Should I knit christmas presents? The last couple years, I've knocked myself out trying to give everyone a hand knit for Christmas. In a few cases, it's gone well. In most cases, it's been pretty flat. It's not always a great experience for me as the knitter and giver, and I fear it's been disappointing for the receiver as well.
For me, it turns a low-pressure elective activity into a mandatory chore dictated by a deadline. If everything goes smoothly without any hiccups, then it works out okay. But when something goes wrong--when a project takes twice as long as I'd planned, when I make a mistake, when the FO comes out lame instead of awesome--then I panic. Since I love knitting and refuse to let myself panic about something that I do just for the joy of it, then I quit. So last year, when I ran into a few problems finishing all those French Press Felted Slippers, I just quit. Which is why a few people received slippers in January, and the others received fingerless mitts in February. (Sorry, sister!)
The other bummer for me is that it takes away a lot of knitting time from things I really want. Knitting is where I get to be pretty selfish, and I don't like giving up my knitting time for people if I'm not sure they really want it in the first place.
Which leads me to my second point. I think there are some people who really appreciate the value of the returnable gift. Obviously, hand knits do not fit in this category. There are another group of people on my list who really don't need knits. Now, I know. Everyone needs knits. But some people really don't need hand knits. This group almost entirely overlaps with the group that likes to be able to return their gifts and get exactly what they wanted in the first place.
So with these three reasons firmly in mind--it's too stressful, it takes time away from things I really want to knit, and I don't think people want them anyway--I decided this year that I wasn't going to knit anyone anything.
Except my mom, of course. She's a knitter, so she'd love something hand knit.
And maybe my sister-in-law, because she is an artist and a crafter, and she's said that she loves handmade gifts.
And I did just find the perfect pattern for my sister, who did hint last month that she might like a handknit cowl.
And you know, my dad might like a knit hat, since he liked the scarf I made him last year, and I've been wanting to make Koolhass for somebody.
And those Christmas buntings I've been seeing look so festive and adorable, and would look great in our new house.
So now it's the middle of November, and I may or may not have a list of holiday knits that need my attention.