It is only a few days after Halloween, but already stores are full of every Christmas gift and decoration imaginable. As a general rule I try to make as many Christmas gifts as possible, rather than buying them, but this year will be different. I have two kids, the oldest just turned two, and as a result, I have almost no time to make thoughtful Christmas presents. This year I have only two Christmas presents on the needles. I think I have a good chance of finishing both before Christmas without pulling my hair out.
I am making Debbie Bliss's "Baby Shrug" from Simply Baby and a bag for my sister that shall go unnamed on the off chance that she is reading this blog. So far I am enjoying the process of making both at a leisurely (for Christmas time) pace.
Why would I suddenly forgo attempting to make hand knits for everyone on my Christmas list? The reasons are as follows;
1) I don't have time, 2) I would like to enjoy Christmas this year, rather than feeling the weight of unfinished knits bearing down on my shoulders guilting me into knitting every spare second of the day instead of relaxing by the fire and drinking hot cocoa while reading a good book, and 3) Very few people understand the time and effort that goes into hand knits, and therefore do not fully appreciate the gift. Hand knits require weeks, sometimes months of planning and work. Store bought knits require a last minute dash to TJ Maxx. Those that give the same respect to hand knits as store bought knits do not deserve hand knits.
The look on the person's face when they open the box with my FO in it can make it or break it for me. I have at that point spent hours picking/designing a pattern, picking a yarn, and knitting the piece. Will all my work be worth it? Will they love it as much as I think they will? Perhaps not. But someone who appreciates hand knits will know that I would not have put that much time and effort into the gift if I didn't love them, and will love the effort I put into it, even if they don't love the color or pattern, or even my knitting ability. On the other hand, a person who does not appreciate hand knits will not understand the amount of effort put into the gift. They may even say the dreaded, "You didn't have to make me something. I would have liked something you bought just as much."
No more will I waste my time on the unenlightened! I will knit only for those that appreciate my craft! And those that I gave birth to, even if they will drag their hand knit sweater through the mud, or spit up on their hand knit teddy bear.