The holiday season is an interesting time under normal circumstances, everyone is running around stressing about what to get their loved ones and spending money that they don’t have. My partner and I are in the process of fixing up a house that was built in 1910, my sister just had her first baby, my parents buy everything that they need, when you combine everything together and stir it you end up with the following situation: How do I encourage those around me not to feel bad about not spending money on us this year? And also: Should I warn people that we don’t have a lot of money to spend on gifts?
My parents were the easy part of the equation, we’re all more interested in quality time than opening a gift. Assuming it stays safe to do so, I foresee a nice dinner out in our future.
Then there’s my niece. Realistically, I’ll knit her a sweater and add a few books to her collection. It’s too early for her to really want anything special.
My partner’s Mom is also on the list, but we still haven’t sent her the birthday shawl I made (to be fair, she lives in New Zealand). I’m leaning towards sending her a few nice teas, but that’s really up to my partner.
That really leaves my sister and her husband, who have big hearts and generous gifting habits (seriously, I’m often left feeling like I spent to little on them). When you combine that with KnitPick’s Big Sale and the growing list of baby sweaters in my Ravelry favorites, you get my proposed idea: They pick from a selection of sweaters and the yarn links I’ve pared with them and I’ll make my niece a sweater. If all they do is pick a sweater and buy the recommended yarn, they’ll spend at most $20 and I’ll have a surprise sweater to knit my niece. If they don’t feel like that’s a good idea, I set a reasonable budget for us to spend on each other.
The first sweater I picked was the Tutu Top. Scrolling through finished projects reveals grinning little girl after grinning little girl. Two balls of mighty stitch (I’m not usually a fan of acryllic, but I like the sheen this adds, plus it’s economical) in two different colors for a grand total of $15.97 with shipping. Let’s be honest for a second, my niece will find herself in this sweater regardless of whether or not her parents choose this as an option.
Next up was Gingersnap, also using mighty stitch. I have yarn to make one of these for my coworker’s daughter and possibly for the boy down the street. What’s one more? The yarn I have for the other two sweaters came from the Loopy Ewe. I took advantage of the color cakes (which is “samples” of cascade 220) that they put together. My coworker will get a sweater in dark grey, white and teal. My neighbor might get a sweater in blue red and yellow (we’ve only met them a few times and I keep going back and forth on whether or not to give them one. This sweater would cost closer to $20 to purchase yarn for.
Their third choice is French Macaroon, a garter stitch sweater with subtle striping. Two balls of Swish DK should do the trick (~$17)? I’m probably under estimating and being overly hopeful that this isn’t the one they pick. At least it’s a free pattern and Knitpicks ships fast! As a side note, I thought Macaroons where the coconut cookies and Macaron was the meringue cookie? Perhaps I’ve been watching too much of the Great British Bake off….
The final option that I sent my sister was So Faded Pint Size. I’m not sure when I added this pattern to my library, but this is another one that’s been in there long enough that my niece will get one of these sweaters either way. I suggested a Stroll Tonal Mini Pack. Since the packs are $20 before shipping, this is the most expensive option.
I’m excited to see if this is something that comes to be. It’s a different way to incorporate someone else into my knitting, while still proposing options that I would enjoy.