Christmas comes but once a year

26 Dec

And thank god for that.

I love my family very much. I was excited to give them handknits this Christmas and know that my gifts would not only wrap them in warmth, but love. However, If I had to constantly knit at such a fever pitch with a bright shiny deadline looming ahead, my nerves would be absolutely shot.

Now, you could contend that I knew Christmas was coming. In fact, it’s the same day every year. There’s no way I could have been blindsided by a holiday with unavoidable reminders from October on. That’s true. I knew it was coming. I even had a plan in place to not get down to the wire with my gift knitting. To prove I was committed to this plan, I even knit a sock this summer. One sock.

This is when the trouble began. As I’m sure all you knitters are aware, not only is one sock NOT a pair, but it’s a dangerous presumption of a pair of socks. You say to yourself, “Look how quickly I knit that one sock. And Christmas is months away. I have so much time to knit the other one, why don’t I knit myself a sweater right now instead? I can always come back to that other little sock.”

Then, BAM, the next thing you know it’s November. Not only is that other sock not knit, but the sweater you’ve decided to knit for your dad also needs finishing, and you never knew how slowly stockinette stitch could come together into a men’s size large sweater. (Side note: You know what knits up quickly? Lace. Why don’t men wear more lace?)

So there I was, mid-November, hastily trying to finish up a sweater for dad and that other sock for mom, and then even another project for mom! I was doomed. I really was. I had to make some tough choices. Other gift socks for extended family members – and even for my husband – had to take the back burner and be abandoned as Christmas gifts.

I knuckled down and knit until my little fingers cramped and couldn’t move any more. And you know what? I won. Just in the knick of time to get my gifts wrapped and in the mail in time to arrive for Christmas, I was finally finished.

Hand-painted yarn and a simple pattern knit up quickly into mom's socks.

Dad's Cobblestone Sweater took up the bulk of my Christmas knitting time.

Despite my ill-fated attempts at creating a “plan” to avoid that last-minute rush, I really did come in just under the wire. But it wouldn’t be Christmas without panic, would it? And it all worked out in the end. Mom loves her green and gold socks, knit with sport-weight Blue Moon Fiber Arts Handpainted Sock Candy (96% cotton, 4% elite elastic).

Dad’ sweater – Cobblestone by the talented Jared Flood – is knit with warm, soft Berroco Comfort Heathers in the Honeyberry colorway. Dad has socks knit from the fingering weight version of this yarn and he really loves them, so the yarn choice was a no-brainer.

My only issue with dad’s sweater, despite the long stretches of stockinette stitch, is how the decreases in the yolk pull two purl stitches together to make a little bump. However, when the yarn is stretched during wear, this issue pretty much disappears.

Mom loves her socks, and unsurprisingly, she also loves the label they came in.

This simple label was made using Apple Pages and printed on cardstock paper.

I had seen a simple printable sock label on the Knitmore Girls website awhile ago, and I stored the idea away for Christmas. This label was easy to make and you get a lot of bang for your buck. It really makes the presentation of handknit socks a treat for the receiver. For this label, I found the Christmas image online and using Apple Pages (like Microsoft Word) I added the text on top. The label is designed longways down letter-sized, cardstock paper, and taped together at the back. I also included the name of the yarn, fiber content, and washing instructions on the back.

I still owe my husband a hat, and I have some socks on my needles for an aunt, but Christmas has passed, and it amazes me that after all that, all I really want to do right now is sit down and knit.

2 Responses to “Christmas comes but once a year”

  1. Mama at 3:29 PM #

    Your Mom and Dad are very happy with their hand knits…Did you not notice there was nothing homemade under your tree. Daddy wanted an unplanned flannel quilt enough leftovers for a pug quilt? why not. A bummble bee hat for the girl next door no problem, a couple hats for a friends daughter and so on and so forth. I figure if I finish up now they can be put aways until next christmas but I find myself saying well its still a year away!


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    […] Scarlet Beaded Tam) and a simple blue-green beret using yarn leftover from my dad’s Christmas Cobblestone sweater. My Farmer's Market Beret features a charming vintage button […]

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