Happy 2021 from our family to yours!

This holiday season marks the first of many being celebrated as husband and wife.

Though 2021 brought some of the unknowns from 2020 with it, we couldn’t be happier to have spent it together. We look forward to what 2022 will bring, including welcoming an addition to our family in the next few months.

We hope that your year has been as wonderful as ours and that next year continues to be full of hope, love, and joy.

A newly married interracial couple sitting on the grass. He's kissing her cheek and she's looking down and smiling.

On deciding to crank out a few hand-made gifts after all

An in progress photo of a baby sweater with both sleeves set aside on stitch markers. The body of the sweater is just about ready to be bound off.
Harvest, knit in Rohrspatz & Wollmeise Pure held double

A couple weeks ago, my sister announced that she was pregnant with her first child. As I eagerly await the gender reveal*, and hope that they don’t change their mind on learning the sex of the baby, I realized there was no reason I couldn’t cast something on my needles to add to their Christmas gift. They’re excited, I’m excited, I have some yarn that looks like a rain forest, new born sweaters don’t take very long…. so it looks like I’m taking back what I said about not knitting for anyone. (Remember that post I wrote about it’s ok to change your mind?)

Naturally, as soon as I said that the flood gates opened and I started to think about whether or not there was anyone else I should be knitting for for the Holiday season. I’ve had my loomed warped for a month or so with a table runner I’ve been working on for my mom, it now has an end of December deadline on it. I found this interesting/simple sewing pattern for handmade hand warmers and have a handful of friends that spend their time ice fishing or generally suffer from cold hands. In other words, I made it less than a week before caving and creating a spreadsheet of projects to complete before the end of the holiday season.

I can’t help it! The desire to keep people warm is in my DNA, as is the desire to create. So on that note, I have some last minute gifts to crank out. Here’s to my sanity!

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Completed Harvest with matching Barely hat

*I’ve read a few articles discussing how gender reveal parties are inconsiderate to future transgender children. I will love this baby no matter what, but will also enthusiastically knit little tutus if it’s a baby girl (unless she’s anything like me, then she’ll stop wearing them in favor of outfits more equip for climbing trees). I can’t help it, they’re so stinking cute. To be fair, I would also knit them for a little boy, without judgement, if he wanted them.

On Skipping the Holiday Knit Season

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Some gifts I’ve knit in the past

For the last several Holiday seasons, I have cranked out pairs of socks, hats, mittens, scarves, cowls, sweaters and blankets. Adding and subtracting people that I needed to knit for, stressing over forgetting someone. This year, I opted to do something crazy: I’m not going to knit for anyone.

Secret Santa gift? Not something handknit. Family gift exchange? No hand knits (although my mom is getting a woven table runner if I finish it in time). White elephant? Nothing handknit. Close friends? Still nothing hand knit. I’m putting my foot down this year, I’m knitting what I’m inspired to knit and giving the gifts as they are completed.

It feels a little bit like going on strike and, if I’m being honest, I’m genuinely interested in whether anyone will say anything. I’m not testing my family, I’m just prioritizing my knitting time to be a time of rest and relaxation (or at least one where I can pick my complicated projects and not knit them to a deadline). The idea came to me when my sister told me that she was using the coordinating handknit socks I gave her and her husband for their wedding as cat toys. Why am I stressing out to make gifts for people who don’t even care that I’m taking the time to make them?

Ok ok, perhaps they do appreciate them and the cat thing is just a fluke. I’m not saying I’m never knitting for anyone ever again, I’m just saying I’m done trying to cram project after project into the months leading up to the holiday season. If someone mentions needing a pair of mittens, I will happily knit them a pair of mittens. Just not for the holidays this year.

So as we enter the final weeks of the holiday season, for the first time in years, my gifts are all purchased and wrapped. I’ve been done with my shopping since early November and haven’t had to think twice about anything. Each gift was carefully selected and wrapped with care, leaving me with a slightly giddy feeling that I don’t have to worry about a looming deadline.

Perhaps I’ll knit for everyone next year. We’ll see what 2020 brings. In the meantime, enjoy the snazzy board game that made me think of you. (It’s entirely possible that I will regret this decision come gift exchange day)