Yesterday I had a little of that Christmas anxiety that I’ve been seeking to avoid. The little voice of Christmas panic tried to give me a hard time. It reminded me that the baking isn’t done. I reminded it that the Christmas spreadsheet has not yet indicated that it is time to bake. It tried to make me anxious about not having a tree. I reminded it that we have a tree plan for today, and everything is fine. It started in about a largish pair of socks that I haven’t started, I reminded it that I am almost done a hat. It tried to freak out because some yarn I ordered hasn’t arrived yet, and I told it that everything is fine. It’s all good. There’s a schedule, and I’m on it, and why doesn’t it just chill its bad self out. Then it said that the sweater I’m making is coming out the wrong size, and I told it to screw off – just reflexively – you know?
The truth is that it’s right about the sweater. It’s been right for days and I know it and I have no idea why I keep knitting on things like they are going to change. The sweater is too big. I’ve been telling myself that it’s not true and that the kid will grow and that it’s totally fine, but it’s not. It’s like the opposite of the "It gets better" message. Knitting does not get better. If something is too big, knitting for longer will not make it smaller. This is not how knitting works, and I can’t even believe that I tried to convince myself otherwise.
It’s beautiful. It’s Madelinetosh DK Twist in Betty Draper’s Blues, and it’s going to be a great sweater for a little guy(I’m not showing you the whole pattern yet, it’s a little stealth) and I like it so much that I even thought about leaving this (the kid will grow into it eventually) and buying more yarn and starting again, but I do have a little thing I like to call a "budget" and besides, there’s totally not enough of this yarn to make the size that it’s obviously going to be.
With that last realization, the voice of Christmas anxiety got a toehold. I’m going to have to rip this out and start again, and that? That might be a problem. I’ve decided to get a tree and then worry about it. A tree will solve everything. A tree will cast a magic glow that makes all things possible. I got this. It’s going to be fine. Totally fine.
Gifts for Knitters 2012
A few times over the years I’ve done a Gifts for Knitters thing – where I’ve listed some presents that I think that knitters would like to get. I do this because I think that non-knitters worry about buying knitting related gifts, the same way that I worry about getting Joe engineering gifts. I know he likes that stuff, because the house is as littered with circuit boards and resisters and vacuum tubes as it is merino, but standing in the store that has all the thingies he likes? I don’t know what thingies might be good. Are there some thingies he uses up all the time? Thingies that get lost? Is there a measuring tape equivalent of a transistor that I could put in his stocking? Can you buy some of these thingies online? Is there a book about these thingies that most people think is pretty good, or am I about to buy him the book about thingies that they all laugh about because it’s dead wrong throughout. I’ve longed for someone who could stand in the store with me and give me some idea of how to navigate this stuff, and I always think that maybe something like this could help a non-knitter figure out our thingies too.
I’ve been a knitter a long time, and I think I mostly know what they like, but darling non-knitters… take your knitter’s personality into account. Follow your gut. You know more about your knitter than you think, and you’ll know which of these is a good idea for them. Some of these are new ideas, some are good ideas from previous years, and as we go down this path together, know that I don’t get paid to promote stuff, this isn’t advertising, it’s just stuff I saw around and thought a knitter would like.
I know I’m starting a few day’s late, but I’ll catch up, and I’m trying to order them in a way that reflects that some of them might have delivery time. Suggestions in the comments are more than welcome, and non-knitters? Don’t panic. It’s going to be fine. You’re going to be amazing. (PS to knitters? Wouldn’t kill you to strategically print out a few things… you know what I’m saying?)
Stitch Markers. I know, I know. Your house is littered with them and you aren’t really sure what they’re for, and one time you saw your knitter use a piece of yarn as a marker because they had no marker – and that’s sort of making you think that maybe markers aren’t important at all… but trust me. If you’ve ever even heard your knitter talk about markers (need one, have one, looking for one, lost one) then they’re probably going to be cool. There’s a bunch of kinds. This ringlet kind is one of my favourites. They don’t get caught in your knitting, they don’t dangle around, they’re a good choice for the no-nonsense knitter who doesn’t own a lot of cute stuff. If you have the other sort of knitter? One with a sense of whimsey? Look no further than this site. Tiny teapots! Little doughnuts! Did your knitter go bananas for a mood ring back in the day? (Or last week.. I’m not judging) how about little chromastone stitch markers? There’s (fake) coffee bean ones, there’s skulls, this shop even probably has your knitters favourite kind of dog – if that’s the kind of knitter you have. Stitch markers are a fun little thing for knitters. Super personal, and if you go to Etsy and type in "the thing my knitter cares about stitch markers" you’ll find something.
Best part? If you’re crafty, you could make your knitter some. Knitters are makers. They would love that.
Day 2 (See? I’m totally going to catch up.)
I’m trying to hit all sorts of different price points here, so if the last one was thrifty, this one is for the non-knitter who’s been saving up for something more special. Every craftsperson loves beautiful tools, and if your knitter has been knitting for a while, and you can see they’re maybe serious enough about it to want some serious upgrades? How about hand made tools? Knitters love things that are handmade- it’s what they do, and they respect it. Consider a beautiful Nostepinne (they help knitters wind yarn into balls, knitters who like doing things by hand love them.) A handmade swift? A floor model? Does your knitter spin too? Maybe a niddy noddy?
Good luck, happy shopping, I’ll see you tomorrow. I’m going to see a man about a tree and rip a sweater up.