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What Are You Knitting For Holiday Gifts?

Sep 15, 2008

Overnight, it seems as though Knitting Land is a-buzz with the topic of holiday gifts. Knitters are comparing notes on what they are knitting for whom, how many gifts they are knitting overall, and how long they have left in which to knit them. People are asking advice as to what to knit for their mother-in-law who won't wear handknits or their teenage son who hates "stuff mom makes."

Although I am a lifelong knitter, I have always found this seasonal knitting uproar to be a bit puzzling. I don't knit for the holidays. Or if I do, I knit one special gift and leave it at that. The rest of my friends and family get things on their wish lists--books, DVDs, cookware, digital photo frames--things which do not require seaming up at 3 AM on Christmas morning. However, year after year, you knitters around me produce gorgeous piles of scarves, bags, hats, and gloves, all the while worrying that you won't finish, or trying to discern what to make for that impossible-to-please person on your list. To top it off, you heroic knitters finish knitting all your beautiful gifts on time (mostly). And you enjoy the whole crazy process (mostly).

This totally bemuses me. How do you do it? WHY do you do it?

Now, lest I sound like a Scrooge: I absolutely do knit for others. In fact, for a long time, I couldn't show off samples of my knitting, because I kept giving everything away. My friend Michelle got a pair of Waving Lace Socks (from our Favorite Socks book); my tiny niece Jackie got a pair of teensy sockies (Ann Budd’s Better Than Baby Booties--a free download!); and so on. But during the holidays, I become almost smug in my I-don't-knit-holiday-gifts attitude. (I say "almost" because I really cannot maintain Smug for very long without dissolving into giggles. I mean...Smug. So hard to stay Smug when you are as silly-hearted as I am.)

Therefore, this holiday season, you won't be reading a lot of posts from me about what I am knitting for my nineteen-year-old nephew Michael or my father-in-law Manny. I'll be knitting other things, but when it comes to holiday knitting, I am going to have to let you folks be the stars of the show.

So then, my holiday knitting-star friends: What are you knitting for the holidays? Who are you knitting for--and why? Are you knitting a lot, or just a little? And most important of all: Will you finish in time?

Inquiring minds want to know. You see, since I have no holiday knitting of my own to do, I have to live vicariously off of all of you...

Leave a comment, and give us all a peek at what is in store for your loved ones this holiday season.


Sandi’s Pick
Even though I knit only a few gifts a year, when it does come time to knit presents, I’m just like everyone else: I knit them up at the last minute! (Why, why do we do this to ourselves? It’s not as though birthdays or Christmas are a surprise each year. (“Oh, wow, look. Someone suddenly added December 25th to the calendar! It wasn’t there before…oh NO!”) I’ve no time for lace afghans or cabled sweaters, but I still want something that is worthy of the yarn it’s made from. One Skein, by Leigh Radford, has been an ongoing source of salvation for me for quick, thoughtful gift patterns. I once had two days to make a baby gift for a shower, and Leigh’s sweet little Baby Bolero from this book was just the thing.

Of course, you can always purchase One Skein online from us, but why not go see if your local yarn shop has it first? Show your local yarn shop some love: Give them your business.


Sandi Wiseheart is the editor of Knitting Daily. I'm sitting in my new light-filled studio, surrounded by boxes of yarn and fiber and books, oh my. This is the first Real Studio I've ever had! How will I arrange it? I have no idea, so I am poring over CPS Studios magazine for inspiration and advice. (Ahem. OK, that was an utterly shameless plug--but really, it's a great magazine, full of wonderful eye candy, and maybe I'll find some really good tips in there to help keep me organized. Who knows?)

 


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Comments

on Jan 8, 2010 8:13 PM

 Wow everyone so busy creating yarn goodies thats great !  ! My oh my ,well i started a crochet prodject that I thought was for myself ,the stella shawl with a bit of a change in the pattern anyway it was getting close to Cristmas and my husband hadn't thought of anything to give to his mother so the shawl became hers .

on Sep 22, 2008 11:10 PM

I followed the link for the Red Scarf Project, but all I found about scarves is a link to donate $ to the Red Scarf Fund. Have they discontinued donating actual scarves? Postage too much? Cash more appreciated? Besides, why should we in Canada mail off scarves to students in the US? We must have family-less kids in post-secondary education here, too, eh? So, I'm going to visit the CEGEP I attended and ask if there aren't some students from the foster-care system there now. If so, then that's where my red yarn will be going! Why not keep it local?

CarolynF wrote
on Sep 22, 2008 11:24 AM

I knit gifts all year for birthdays, etc. My holiday knitting is in high gear this year.  I am knitting everyone sock monkey hats except my oldest son who is much too conservative to join in the fun.  But he is getting a hat in the same type of gift box so we will all await the expression on his face.  Also everyone will get a pair of socks -- that is standard in my gift giving and they would all be disappointed if they were not under the tree.

on Sep 19, 2008 3:22 PM

I don't  do my holiday crocheting, but like others, I do crochet for charity.  I haven't heard about the Red Scarf Project before, so I'm excited to have a new opportunity.  In the past, I have crocheted squares for Warm Up America and crocheted blankets for the Snuggles Project.  I live in So Cal, so I'm looking forward to crocheting weather after a long hot summer.  It's the end of Sept and it's still in the 90s here for goodness sake!  Hopefully October will bring cooler temps and I will start on some scarves and afghan squares to kick off my crochet season.=)

SharonV wrote
on Sep 19, 2008 11:13 AM

This comment has absolutely nothing to do with the red scarf project, but I just want to say thank you.

While reading today's article, I happened to look up and see a banner for Miss Babs.  Being a new spinner I thought I'd go see what I could see - and I fell in love!  She's like a gold mine!

I'll let you know how it goes after I receive my order, I'm sure I'm going to be happier than I am right now, and right now I'm too happy to speak.  Thank you!!!

Nancy@3 wrote
on Sep 19, 2008 9:31 AM

Which email do I use if I have a question about the Red Scarf pattern?

NancyW

CandiR wrote
on Sep 19, 2008 9:26 AM

I'm not knitting for holiday gifts.  I don't usually, so I plan to follow that path again this year.  My family has all the hand knits they can use because as soon as I knit it I have to give it.  I can't wait for an occasion.  I do, however, knit for charity, and the Red Scarf Project is one of my favorites.  I also plan to knit or crochet a scarf or two for the Special Olympics this year.  Another project maybe you could mention in an upcoming post.  This one is sponsored by Coats and Clark using easy to find Red Heart yarn.

on Sep 19, 2008 9:21 AM

Re red scarf --- What about looking good on both sides (one of your criteria?  As much as I love cabled patterns, for a scarf, I avoid them.  How about some patterns with cables that have no right or wrong side?

my3 wrote
on Sep 19, 2008 9:15 AM

they are great

MelissaB@5 wrote
on Sep 18, 2008 4:20 PM

I don't do much holiday knitting.  However, I may knit a pair of felted lopi wool mittens for my Secret Friend on another online group.  Wonderful mittens that are quick to knit, felted in the washing machine, then hand embroidered on the cuff.  Worn over a pair of lined leather gloves, fingers stay toasty on the coldest day.

A lacey scarf might also get made for a gift.

Otherwise, it's just onward with the current projects.

FraniM wrote
on Sep 18, 2008 10:25 AM

Not especially for holidays but have given sibs, nieces, nephews, their spouses & kids hats on a flow basis--just did a head count and I've done probably 30ish (a few got multiples) and I've got 10 or so to go.  Not too bad.  A shawl for my darling daughter, then felted roses (as many colors as possible) to make into pins for hats, lapels, scarves for the actual holidays.  I do have those started.

KarenL@2 wrote
on Sep 18, 2008 8:48 AM

ooowell, I do knit for the Holidays, but it's not really FOR anyone.  My family does a "white elephant" exchange since there are so many of us (new ones are born every so often, dontcha know) and so many of us are without employment, we can't afford to buy for EVERYONE.  Each person brings one wrapped gift of limited cost, then we draw numbers for choosing order (you can either take a new gift from the pile, or take from someone who has already opened theirs).  The rules not-withstanding, we have a lot of fun.  I knit and felted a pink flamingo last year and it was so popular that I have chosen to knit a little something for every Christmas!  This year, it's a penguin...but DON'T YOU DARE DIVULGE THAT TO MY FAMILY!  ;-)  Fiber Trends produce the cutest stuffed toy patterns I have seen.  Check them out.

TaraL wrote
on Sep 18, 2008 2:07 AM

I don't do much knitting for holiday gifts, after spending three months doing it one year and then realising that no one appreciates my hand knits as much as I do. I will knit for others if there is something they want that I can knit, but I'd rather get them something they want than give them something just because I made it. I am designing a Christmas stocking on commission for a friend (as she's giving it as a gift) which I've already started working on.

JohannaR wrote
on Sep 17, 2008 7:03 PM

Many of my friends only get one gift each year (they live Far Away), and it's much easier to do for their birthdays than for the Holidays.  My very small family, on the other hand, is another story.  They usually get things they need (and mom taught me everything I know, sister lives in too hot a climate for anything other than cotton, and dad just doesn't really care all that much).  Anyway, I hate deciding what to give my friends, so my new idea is to make each person a pair of socks every year.  One can have too many hats and scarves, but one always needs more socks.  So now I just have to decide what color and pattern.  Oh, and stop keeping all the socks I knit for myself!

Silemuirin wrote
on Sep 17, 2008 6:01 PM

The only people who get gifts in Dec are those with birthdays; of these the only one who gets hand-knits is Mom.  The people I've deemed worthy to recieve hand-knits get them for their day (ie their birthday) as that makes it more special and personal.  They didn't get a scarf because I knit scarves for a whole mountain of people. Also, doing birthdays spreads out the knitting and means I have little deadlines all year and can intersperse things for ME throughout.  It keeps things manageable.  OTN: 2 capelets for the November birthdays, pair of socks for Mom, sox for Knitter's mag contest.  

on Sep 17, 2008 4:34 PM

I used to knit (and make) just about all my presents, but now I only do some of them. Everyone appreciates what I've made them, but I only knit for them if I find something that is perfect for them. My grandmother really admired the cowl I made for my mom (the one from Lace Style) so I've made one for now. My dad loves my handknit socks, so he gets a pair every year. I've learned to start early and be discriminating about knitted gifts, so that by the time Thanksgiving rolls around I can relax and knit what I want.

BonnieH wrote
on Sep 17, 2008 3:27 PM

I have 4 married children - 2 daughter-in-laws and 2 son-in-laws.  And I have 10 grandchildren - all 4 or under.  I don't knit for the grown men.  I stick to easy projects for the adult women who seem to have appreciated and wear the selectino of scarves and hats made for them.   This year they are all getting fingerless mittens - easy and beautiful and FUN to wear.  I'm making a few for myself too!   The grandchildren are getting puppet mittens - easy and fun too.  They all have their favorite animals which will be made into mittens.  

BonnieH wrote
on Sep 17, 2008 3:26 PM

I have 4 married children - 2 daughter-in-laws and 2 son-in-laws.  And I have 10 grandchildren - all 4 or under.  I don't knit for the grown men.  I stick to easy projects for the adult women who seem to have appreciated and wear the selectino of scarves and hats made for them.   This year they are all getting fingerless mittens - easy and beautiful and FUN to wear.  I'm making a few for myself too!   The grandchildren are getting puppet mittens - easy and fun too.  They all have their favorite animals which will be made into mittens.  

RebeccaA wrote
on Sep 17, 2008 3:07 PM

Since I am currently job-hunting, most of my gifts will be hand-made (mostly knitted).  I have a few things done and others on my needles already, mostly scarves and socks and occasional gloves and mittens.  Happily, the receivers are appreciative - otherwise they would not get anything!

KitS wrote
on Sep 17, 2008 10:54 AM

I've asked my fiance time and again if he likes this sock or that sweater, or those gloves, or (fill in the blank), and all he ever says is no. So, I had pretty well determined that he'd never never get anything from a pair of needles, not from me. And then I saw the knitted Dalek pattern at entropyhouse. It's perfect for him, given that he is the one who got me into Dr Who in the first place. And there's nothing better than cute, cuddly monsters. NOTHING. Now the only problem is figuring out which colourscheme to use ...

Also, if all goes well, some jellybabies to go with it.

kmonthie wrote
on Sep 17, 2008 9:58 AM

I'm one of the loons who try to knit something for everyone.  Nearly impossible due to the ever increasing size of our families.  Last year I declared it would have to be an every other year process so all the felted bags, scarves, and tobaggans I made last year count towards 2008.  The march of the felted bags continues, for the young men, bala clavas are the in thing with many varieties.  My dad is getting a lap afghan and a Peter Rabbit to replace the lost childhood doll. I have 3 illusion scarves in the mix, some mittens and a few sweaters. I'm sewing Towel Jackets for my 3 sisters from an old jacket my grandmother made.

I allow myself from Jan to June to knit those projects I've been wanting to do like lace, entrelac etc. which may include gifts for Christmas. Come July it's "production" knitting.  

I think I'm going to go to a new plan of my family one year and  DH's the next.  

The current count, 32 my family, 40 for his and 8 friends. The current status, 30 projects complete including out state gifts, all but one sweater and 2 afghans, 10 projects are in progress requiring assembly after felting, buttons, or blocking etc. The big projects are complete.

The marathon continues....

DebbieM@2 wrote
on Sep 17, 2008 9:15 AM

    This year I will knit another pair of socks for my dad.  He loved the pair I made last year.  I will use a wool/bamboo yarn since that is supposed to be a good choice for people with diabetes.  I use 2 circular needles along with the excellent charts from The Knitters Handy Book of Patterns and Sandi's tip for grafting on the needles.  Thank you Sandi!  

  My 3 kids might get knitted hat, socks, mittens or a sweater started over a year ago.   It depends on how close it is to Christmas it is when I finish them.  Otherwise they will get them whenever.

LynnL wrote
on Sep 17, 2008 9:00 AM

Every year (so far 2) I pick a favorite pattern and make many versions of it for different friends.  Year one was the felted balloon bag year - I could make one in a few evenings.  Year two was the enterlac hat  knit in the cool Noro Japanese yarns so no color changing needed for a spectacular range of hue.  This year I think will be simple mittens but I'm still undecided (have not yet begun!)

Libraryhag wrote
on Sep 17, 2008 8:21 AM

I always try to knit something for my knitting circle buds. There are five of them so not a problem. This year I found a great mug cozy pattern with a heart on it. I am going to knit that for each of them in the colors they like, then include a mug and some kind of treats inside. Probably some hot chocolate mix and some sort of candy and probably a small knitting notion.

SANDYP wrote
on Sep 17, 2008 8:09 AM

Sandy P

I am always knitting for one holiday or another.  However this year I have a new grandson.  He needs a stocking like his cousins.  With three grandsons, one husband, two sons-in-law, I am trying for matching sweaters.   I am making wrist warmers for fellow employees.  A poncho for a best friend. And on and on.   I never seem to be without a project in hand, whether it is knitting, crocheting, sewing, counted cross stitch or my newest passion--beading.  If only they would let me craft at work!!!!!!   I have put a halt to sewing seams at 3:00 AM.  That was just too nuts and I found I liked getting enough sleep more than finishing a project.  Besides if they don't get it for Christmas there is always their birthdays coming up next year!

Kate M. wrote
on Sep 17, 2008 4:01 AM

I designed and knit a cardigan for my DH, all done except for working in my ends...Yes, my design was stripey.  What was I thinking?  I am also doing hats and scarves for kids in foster care.  A couple of years ago I participated in the Red Scarf Project (scarves are included in "welcome to college" kits for foster kids who aged out of the system and are going to college), and it occurred to me that Maybe if foster kids received something handmade before aging out, more of them might go on to college secure in the knowledge that someone out there was thinking of them.  That might make a difference to someone, and even if  only one is helped to a better life, that is good.  The longest journey begins with one steo.

ZoeK wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 6:36 PM

I knit as the mood strikes me.  I always have three or four thing on my needles and rotate between them.  I have ever given someone a coupon for their birthday etc.  That way they can choose the general pattern and colors. ( Since my first sweater for my Mother was something she didn't like as I told her she wouldn't when completed.  I now reserve the right to veto for anyone who doesn't have an "eye" for fibers.)  Family members have really liked this approach!

JaynaM wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 5:27 PM

A number of years ago I was in the Christmas knitting frenzy and decided late in the week to knit a pair of socks for my husband.  I finished one sock by Christmas Eve, wrapped it up and put it under the tree with a note to have it's mate done by New Years.  He was a bit bemused and the one-sock holiday has now become a tradition.  Now even if I have both socks completed, I only wrap up one and put it under the tree.  The one-sock holiday has become such a family tradition that my daughter's expect their one-sock packages; and I even gave the one-sock present to my first grandchild whose mother said, "Oh look Ainsley, your first one-sock,"  then burst out laughing.

PennyG wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 4:56 PM

I just ordered Dream Toys by Claire Garland and plan on making each granddaughter (otherwise known as the three adorables) a toy for Christmas this year.  We'll see if any other inspirations come along for other family members - maybe a sweater for my son.

Venetia wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 4:22 PM

I am clearing out my stash and buying on sale for 5 knit wool hats, two pairs of sox, three baby hats and 5 easy quick knit throws, three felted bags and 4 children/baby hats.  Also two scarves from ribbon yarn.  So far I have two throws, the felted bags, one cotton market bag, and two of the children’s hats, with one pair of socks part-way done.  I knit during my lunch hour and in the evening.  I'm having knee surgery so I should have time to finish most of the gifts.  With the yarn I have saved and the sales, and finding bargains, I will have my entire gifting done (I hope).  Since it is tough financially, I'm glad I can do this.

JodiW@3 wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 3:24 PM

I have five nieces and nephews (ages 3-15) that I only see once a year, so I knit gifts for them. The older kids made specific requests and the parents make suggestions for the little ones. I also make gifts for my parents. So far, I have finished a pair of socks for my father and purchased yarn for a niece's purse and another niece's scarf. Mittens for the 3-year-olds will be knit from stash yarn.

on Sep 16, 2008 2:35 PM

I LOVE to knit ( and crochet/cross stitch ) for the holidays! However, since I am only 11, school gets in the way. I like to knit scarves or maybe a bag or case for something. I am kind of an advanced knitter, but I will try to make only one short sleeved sweater for my mom. Any ideas for my dad.... I can never think what to make him. My brother likes amigurumi, so I will make him a dog or beaver or maybe a platypus...

CarolC wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 2:05 PM

I'm knitting for almost everyone. Not big things; stuff like mittens and hats, or scarves. I've finished a pair of shooting mitts for one nephew, balanced it with a pair of socks for myself, and have started on the Kid's scarf. Striped, as per his request.

I have more time than money, and I like giving useful gifts. If time gets short, I may find myself crocheting a scarf or two. If I do have the time, though, the firehall will get a delivery of kids' mitts and hats to distribute. It's a way to use up all the bits and bobs, and do something nice at the same time.

Carol

AliceD wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 2:03 PM

I have already knitted 2 pair of baby socks for a great neice and nephew, socks for my husband, felted jester slippers for my daughter and three other pairs for my daughter's nephews. During September I will be doing pumpkin hats for the newborn nursery where my daughter works, October & November I will knit holiday hats and tube socks for the babies. I also have an afghan in progress for my younger daughter, but that won't be finished until next year. I think some socks for my two sons and maybe a hat of some white handspun merino/silk for my younger daughter. My kids usually wear what I make them happily. Except for one bulky ear flap hat, hmm...

VirginiaR@2 wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 2:00 PM

I am making ornaments as gifts for friends :)  Trying out a variety: knitted balls, crocheted balls, maybe some crocheted snowflakes and beaded snowflakes.  Also am making a hat, a bag, and a lace scarf.  Should hopefully be finished in time since I'm starting so early :D

ShelleyR wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 1:51 PM

I'm knitting two pairs of fingerless mitts. One pair will have a leopard spot pattern on the cuff, the will be fairly plain. those are for a sister who likes to read in bed and doesn't like lace or cables. She cannot afford to heat her house, so these will keep her comfy, I hope.

The other pair will be thrummed mitts, but also fingerless for a lady nearby, who has very severe MS and cannot put on gloves, and needs her fingers to operate her wheelchair. These thrummed mitts (from Knits Winter 2007) will help keep her hands warm, while leaving her fingers free to operate her chair, and she'll be able to put them on all by herself.

For the rest? They don't appreciate what I make, so it's "stuff" for them. I keep the good work.

Local babies might get a blanket or two. Mostly I make things that interest me to do, either the technique or the yarn. Now people are wanting to buy my things, and custom order, too! I'm not wanting to do that, because I'm in the habit of following my whims.

Ahh well, that's another discussion

Shelley

MicheleG@2 wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 1:16 PM

I will be knitting market bags for people on my holiday list.  I just made one for myself and they knitted up very quickly, and I think it will be a great gift to help reduce paper and plastic bag waste!

SallyW@3 wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 12:11 PM

I am knitting for the homeless, hats for the moment.  My local yarn shop has a $1 tub so I stocked up and have 3 hats done so far.  I am also knitting a hat for my aunt who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.  I made her a prayer shawl last year and will be making a special prayer hat for her since her doctors told her she will be losing her hair.

Sally

Barbara@2 wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 11:23 AM

I love the book, One Skein, and have knitted and fulled several of the bowls (both sizes) and also the clutch.  I will probably be making these as gifts since there is no "fitting" to worry about.  Also, Piecework is a favorite that I've subscribed to for many years.  Keep up the wonderful work!

Barbara

MarthaB wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 11:08 AM

My husband is a docent at the local zoo.  At Christmastime, they give each other small gifts, but my husband has been good at receiving, and not so much at giving!  This year I am making small bags, about 2x4inches, knit with white,red and green threads.  I plan to put small candies or raisins and maybe a candy cane in them.  Hopefully, they will be reused/recyceld by the recipients!

Janet@4 wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 10:55 AM

I am currently knitting scarves for the Special Olympics athletes, sponsors, and coaches, but I hope to get sweaters and jumpers sewn for each of my daughters and my daughter-in-law.  In addition to the Special Olympics scarves, I am knitting "pedicure socks" so they can keep their feet warm wearing flip-flops after their winter pedicures!  I get my husband in the car to go visit relatives and friends, then I just knit away--otherwise I fall asleep, so this way I can keep him company on our journeys!

BarbaraR@5 wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 10:45 AM

I knit the year through with an eye on Christmas gifts.  I have knit several pairs of socks and mittens for the little boy relatives.  This year I was smitten with the top down ruffled shrug from Knitting Pure and Simple.  I am finishing up the fourth one now.  The gents like wool caps, particularly Jared Flood's Koolhaas hat and Jean Lampe's Cascade Circles.  I've also completed the lace cocoon from Gathering of Lace, a knitted necktie, and some felted toys.  Many (I can't keep up) are on ravelry as  2HandsKnitting.

KathyM@2 wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 10:42 AM

My husband and I come from a large family. We have been blessed with four children. Three of them are married and one is still at home. I am very fortunate to have a family that appreciates handmade gifts vs. purchased gifts. We celebrate the holidays with a tradition of handmade gifts. Everyone uses their individual talents to create beautiful gifts. It is well worth it and I wouldn't have it any other way.

PattiP wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 10:30 AM

    I have a few little things done like hats, mittens and dish cloths.  I usually keep my knitted gifts small, ie the mug cozie from the Knitting Daily download, mittens (slipped stitch for "double knitted" warmth), footlets and slippers, dish cloth with hand made soap, or a practical and pretty lace cowl.  I pick up wool at thrift stores or sale bins.  I try to get the best quality I can afford at the time, to make knitting them an exquisite indulgence.  

    I had planned an ambitious and beaded delight for myself for Christmas parties, but I would have needed to start that before now to hope to  wear it for the "party" season starting the end of November....Oh well there is always next year.

Welcome to Canada, Sandi.  There are a plethora of great home grown wools to get to know.  

Patti

Mary JaneP wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 9:56 AM

Good Heavens, I'm totally inspired by all of the ambitious readers of this newsletter! I'm teaching a group of girls at our church to knit (and a bit of other needlework) and we do it with donated yarns and needles. Right now, we all have squares on our needles to make blankets for people who need them at the holidays. We also have hats in all sizes (at least 50% wool for it's warmth, even when wet) that we've knit since last year that we will give out at the holidays to those who need them.

In the mean time, I've managed a few very simple sweaters for immediate family, and a couple of pairs of those lovely slippers. Due to the economy, we've all been challenged in the family to not exceed $20 for each gift this year. It will make things more fun, thoughtful and creative.

I have learned so many tips and tricks from Knitting Daily! I've also scored some great patterns. As a long time reader of Piecework, I love that I get some history and detailed information (not just patterns) here. Thank you!

CarmelKnits wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 9:50 AM

For Christmas gifts this year, i am making 2 beautiful cable sweaters for my nephews 3 and 1.5 in lambs pride bulky, neck warmers for my sister-in-laws with crocheted market bags and face clothes made out of patagonia and a delicious cabled vest by berrocco for my mother.

DianeD@2 wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 9:17 AM

My original plan was to just knit the Woodland Shawl for my mother - I'm about 1/3 of the way through.  But just yesterday I got an email from my 2 sisters that they want to have "Handmade Christmas" this year - all the gifts are handmade.  Since knitting is the only thing I know how to do, I guess I need to add some things.  

My preliminary thoughts are Fetching fingerless gloves for the nieces, and lacy scarves for the sisters (maybe out of Noro Silk Garden sock yarn).  I'm a slow knitter, so I need to get started soon.

Jcclark wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 9:07 AM

I love trying new techniques, and this year it is the Moebius Cowl by Cat Bordhi. I have already knitted the cat basket, which Prism loves, and wanted to explore other designs. I am de-stashing: using RY Classic Yarns, Natural Silk Aran. My first one knit up in one evening, and is lovely, so I am knitting no. 2; and no.3 will hopefully incorporate a lace pattern from Barbara Walker. My Christmas knitting must be small items, that are a joy to knit, and given to the friends and family who appreciate the time and care taken.

Jennifer

MaxineG wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 9:06 AM

I usually knit a few pairs of slippers for various friends and family; the last few years I've been on a felting kick and I found a pattern not intended originally for felting that makes an absolutely fabulous felted slipper/moccasin (I don't even really like the non-felted version!)    They work up like lightening and felting is just so magical it makes me smile every time.  I do little felted purses, too, for the same reasons.

My other holiday knitting technique is so give fancy gift certificates (created on my computer, with a picture of a ball of yarn where a gold seal might normally be) for one knitted item. Usually I specificy:  one hat, pair of mittens, pair of socks, or scarf.  Then after the holiday craziness, I ask each certificate recipient what they want, what colors they like, etc. I can take my time in January and still deliver cozy gifts before winter is out -- without burning the midnight oil knitting when there's so much else that needs my attention pre-holiday.  Plus, kids and teens in particular seem to love to design their own items, and they rarely choose what I could have selected for them!

GailK@2 wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 8:54 AM

I am knitting lace for pillow case edging for my mom and dad.  My husband and son are getting sweaters; my daughters and sisters are getting felted purses and hats.  I have most of these started and work on them on and off as I get tired of each one.  I usually have several things going all year long.  Everthing should be done before Christmas.

LeeK wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 8:35 AM

Holidays are usualy for charity knitting, it helps me keep the spirit of the season.  Also, there's not really a deadline - charities will accept donations any old time!

LoraW wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 8:31 AM

I am knitting a Christmas stocking for my youngest grandchild who was born on Easter.

I am also knitting a scarf for my middle daughter made of part yak, part wool, since her daughter (oldest grand daughter) calls her the  "Big Yak". We are uncertain where she learned what a yak is, since she is only two and a half years old.

Other knitting will depend on how fast I can spin up the luscious Shetland I just bought.

Pat@4 wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 8:31 AM

I always knit 2 pair of knee socks each for my Mom and one of my Aunts (both in their 80's) because they get really cold feet in the winter.  And they have to be made from acrylic yarn (wait!  wait!) because they read somewhere that it "cures" arthritis.  That done, I can go back to natural fibers and enjoy not knitting anything else for a deadline.

TeresaG wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 8:30 AM

I have been asked to knit a smoke ring for my sister-in-law's mother-in-law for Christmas.  Most likely I will make my sister-in-law one as well.  I will also be knitting fingerless gloves and wrist warmers as they are quick and easy as well as practical.  I am also doing the old stand by--knitted dishcloths and crocheted towel toppers!  All of which I find to be appreciated by everyone and give me a feeling of accomplishment when I finish the project.

NancyP wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 8:21 AM

Last year was the year of the knitted/felted bowl.  Two pairs of socks and two knitted/felted bags are completed.  One set of socks are on the needles.  Wish I had never read the comments and seen the Christmas tree -- it's calling to me......

Nancy P - Baltimore

AbbyC@2 wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 8:16 AM

I am knitting little bowls which I will then felt. I will gift them to all the people I know who are trying to pay for healthcare, so they can use them as they beg for the money they need.

witnwool wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 8:10 AM

Yes, I don't like knitting for a deadline.  I never make it!  I am knitting a holiday stocking for our newest grandchild.  I have knitted one for each of my kids and their spouses and dogs!! Now starts the grandkids!

I do knit gifts year round and just give them as I do them.  If I hit a holiday, great!  

kittykisses wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 7:57 AM

I'm making felted handbags for my nieces and my sister. My sister-in-law gave me a kit for my birthday and I loved making the bag so much that I just starting making them with wool I already had on hand. I add fun fur, metallics or other yarns to create a personal bag.

NickiM wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 7:56 AM

This is the year of socks for me. I've already completed a pair for my son, and have five more pairs to go. Definitely making some for spouse, who has never been a recipient of anything I've ever knitted, so it's high time.

lappendotje wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 7:54 AM

Hallo i am Catharina  from the Netherlands

I do knitting  socks  the whole year round

and  at  the end of the year i give them away (we celebrate St.Nicolaas at the 5 of December) to my son, son in law, grandson, granddaughters and  they love  them very  much.

Greetings  and much knittingplaisure to all of you.

Catharina

Cheri wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 7:45 AM

As the years have gone by, I have pared back on my "knitting for the holidays" until, being at my mid-century mark, I think I'm being reasonable.  I knitted a shrug for one daughter, geisha socks for another and potholders for my sister - well, actually for their birthdays but that's too late now and I have pre-Christmas presents ready!  So in the next 3 months, I anticipate one knitted vase (my leap of faith into the felt abyss), one pair of entrelac socks (from Interweave!) and 3 small crocheted purses for my nieces.  Why do I do it?  It's cheap, personalized, and gives a bit of me to each of them.

TamaraK wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 7:24 AM

Like you, Sandi, I have tended to avoid the holiday knitting frenzy.  I tried it one year and failed miserably.  Since then, I've picked one gift to knit and that's it. The exception would be if  I have something already finished (or close), one of those just-have-to-try-that projects for nobody in particular that I later realize someone on my gift list would enjoy.  So this year I think it will be felted slippers for my bro-in-law but there's always his amazon.com wishlist as a back-up!

FayeH wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 7:15 AM

I'm knitting Flowery Slippers for my aunt, Prairie Boots for my sister, and hopefully various coffee and mug koozies for friends.   I think it's do-able.

SherryM wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 7:14 AM

Sherry Mc re: What I'm knitting for Christmas?

    I'm knitting socks for my nephew's girl friend along with a scraf and hat. I'm keeping it fairly simple. She loves any thing someone makes for her. Also just to let you know I love Knitting Daily.

SheilahW wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 7:13 AM

I've been busy knitting for the holidays since August. I'm knitting small bears, I have 7 bears completed; along with Babes from Claire Garland's book Knitted Babes.  I have 22 of them completed.  I plan to donate these, and more, to a local school for the handicaped here in Costa Rica.  The school year ends in early December so my deadline is the end of November.  I also need to knit Alan Dart's Tooth Trader for my 5-yr old twin grandchildren.  

I got sidetracked this week as my grandchildren have worn out their felted clogs.  We call them house shoes and they each have a pair at home and a pair at Nana and Papa's house.  Sheilah retired and living in Costa Rica

EmilyP wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 7:00 AM

Oh my gosh--Sandi you wrote to me! Every year I swear I'm not going to knit Christmas gifts for anyone because it's too much pressure.

This year, I did do a pretty good job for only knitting for other knitters--people who will truly appreciate my work and can understand what went into it. I also still knit for babies because the moms just love it.

But here I am again making the a lace ribbon scarf (knitty.com) for my sister and two Dale of Norway Norwegian pillows for my mom. I also want to try to whip out a scarf for my boyfriend's mom.

BarbaraF@4 wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 6:55 AM

I'm inspired by Vivian Hoxbro's new book, Knit to be Square, and am already working on the dotted backpack for my little sister and planning the bucket bag for my mom.  My skating coach will get Grumperina's Odessa hat, maybe two of them if he's lucky.  He deserves them!  Several friends will get beaded (jewelry) gifts, but handknits are for my most special recipients and those I know will appreciate them the most!

Karen@16 wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 6:53 AM

I'm knitting socks, 14 pair, hats, 7, mittens, hopefully 7, and maybe sweaters for the little ones.  I start in June for my children because their feet won't grow anymore, then onto the grandchildren, whose feet at growing like crazy!  So I start on the oldest because if her feet grow really long in the 6 months, then those socks will belong to the next one down on the list.  The rush doesn't usually come until December 15th because I've been knitting for so long.  Then, of course, everyone gets their own store-bought gift.  The knitting is to remind them how much they are loved.

The grandchildren love to participate in choosing colors, styles, etc., for socks and hats.

And, of course, because I have to use up some of the stash!

RobinH wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 6:33 AM

I dislike shopping but love knitting, so it's always more fun for me to make gifts.  And, my family has a long tradition of handmade gifts- my father does leatherwork, woodwork and restores antique furniture.  My mom sews and quilts (and knits, but she's mostly turned the gift knitting over to me).  And my sister sews and designs and makes jewelry.   They are all therefore very appreciative recipients of handmade items.  And making a knitted gift is for me filled with *intent*- I tend to think about the recipient and remember all the reasons I appreciate them as I'm knitting.    I try not to stress about it though- last year my dad got a birthday sweater in the spring instead of a Christmas sweater- and for Christmas he got a nice shirt that goes well with the sweater that came along later!  

This year, I'm doing socks for my brother-in-law, sister and dad (maybe my mom if there's time).  I have two and a third pairs of those done.  I'm seaming up the sweater for my husband (the hard part there was knitting it without him seeing!).  I plan to do a pair of fingerless mitts for my sister- she has several pairs and wears them a lot, but they get a lot of hard wear.   So I've got one and two thirds pairs of socks and the fingerless mitts left to go on the 'fer-sure list'.    I also have a 'maybe' list of gift ideas that may or may not be add-ins for this year.    For the most part, I tend to do gift knitting in machine-washable yarns, as it extends the life of the gift item.  (And the few items that aren't go to people I know will take care of them!)

Donnaspins wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 6:32 AM

I am knitting simple sweaters and a pair of mittens for my granddaughters.  I started plenty early though, seems like other things try their best to get in the way and then BAM its a few days before Christmas and your up till 3 am trying to work on your project!  Now I am taking my time and have one sweater almost completed.  Since the other one is for the baby, I think it will be done in plenty of time.  

BarbM wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 6:31 AM

I saw these wonderful felted Christmas trees at the knit shop last week.  Bought Nicky Epstein's book "Knitting Never FELT Better".  Haven't started yet as I need to buy marbles and rubber bands to complete the project before felting but I'm really looking forward to jumping into this one.

I knit gifts for my Bible Study Group (about 13 women) and for a group of women I went thru grade school/high school with.....keeps me busy this time of the year but I love doing it.

Lennette wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 6:30 AM

I knit for the holidays because it helps my family save money and it helps me get through my stash.  This year I am knitting a lemur for my sister (who loves Madagascar), a shawl for my mother-in-law, a blanket for my mom, and (if I can get the yarn) several Daria bracelets for the ladies in my family (sister, mom, mom in law, sister in law, daughter, niece).  I will also knit my husband a stocking.  

RoK wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 6:25 AM

I always set my bar too high and get disappointed by my perceived failure to finish.  This year I hope will be different but my husband has kindly pointed out that the one item I am determined  to finish ( a Lopi sweater for my daughter) has been on the needles for over a year already and was intended for LAST Christmas.  

AnnM wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 6:24 AM

I haven't been knitting for very long so last year I decided to knit some gifts for my family. My sister got a party scarf made from silk and mohair. My MIL got a chunky scarf made from alpaca. And for my mom a impressive scarf knit from lace weight yarn. My moms scarf was on a tight schedule and I had it down that I had to knit at least 18 rows everyday.

if you'd like to see it: www.ravelry.com/.../prudence

You would think this gift would received with warmth and thanks. Nope, and I bet it is still in the box I presented it in. So no more gifts for others, except for my daughter and my husband. And they get gifts all throughout the year.

LyndsayB wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 6:19 AM

Ooh.. I'm going to knit these awesome felted Christmas trees for everyone.

Sorry, I only have a Ravelry link. Hope you all can see it!

www.ravelry.com/.../christmas-trees

ValC wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 6:15 AM

My goal is to knit almost all my gifts this Christmas.  I made a list, checked it twice, and I believe that with my September start of the first project I should be done in plenty of time.  On the list are two cabled pillows-one already started, two intarsia patterned pillows (something in a monogram style), about 10 pairs of fingerless gloves - haven't decided on which pattern(s) yet, knitted ballet shoe style slippers/socks - if possible a rainbow of pairs for my darling dancing daughter, a hoodie pullover - for my ever growing son, and I just found a pattern for a crocheted cardigan that would look beautiful on my sister and I want to make that for her - I think she would love it.  When I accomplish all that :) I would love to add a felted bag or two.  I love to give gifts I make for those that are special in my life.  I hope to make this season a big stash busting year and full of beautiful surprises for those near and dear.

JosieL wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 6:10 AM

Sandi, I am so glad to hear that you don't knit for the holidays.  I did that for the past 2 years and this year I have vowed not to....not even for my immediate family.  It sapped the joy right out of my knitting as I scurried to finish in time and actually gave my boys their pillows w/ the needles still attached!!  It's got to be fun for me, which means I'll be glad to knit for them, but they'll have to be in on the process : )  No surprises and no deadlines!

MirandaF wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 6:06 AM

I am knitting three fair isle christmas stockings free hand, since i couldn't really find a pattern i liked. I am using a basic stocking pattern that I found online for the shape.  I intend on making my daughter the monkey backpack from stichnbitch, and I need to decide on something for my mom.

MaryL@2 wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 6:05 AM

I've been working on a lace shawl from ""Rustic Shawls" in a navy wool bamboo yarn, it will be done soon, so I would like to make my daughter fingerless mittens AND finish an afghan for the family room, should be able to get it all done, I've given up on making gifts for everyone on my list, I want to enjoy the knitting process!  Mary Rose, Montpelier, Va

on Sep 16, 2008 5:56 AM

In general, I don't knit for xmas or birthdays.  When a to-be-gifted item is finished, it goes to the recipient right away.  HOWEVER, this year may be different.  My step-mother covets one of my scarves, so I may make her one of her own.  And I bought some Noro on sale and may knit my dad some fingerless mitts.  And I may knit my son some socks.  And maybe a shawl for my daughter.  And then there is the son-in-law and my sweetie.  Hmmm.  This is getting out of hand!

Eileen wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 5:53 AM

Mohair intarsia-patterned berets for the women in the family who routinely take walks on cool Pacific Northwest mornings. Nothing is more comforting that a warm, cozy head.

One I knit a double-breasted, Aran sweater for my newborn daughter in a size 2, as I knew this could take some time. When it was done, she was 1.5 yrs old. She tried the sweater on. It looked beautiful! Then, she got this look on her face as she started pulling at the sweater, yelling, "get it off! It's itchy!" She never would put that sweater on again. Now the sweater is in a glass wall dispaly as a piece of artwork. I love that project. It was my first attempt at Aran patterns, on a small scale and I had persevered until the project was completed.

HopeO wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 5:49 AM

For me a hand-knitted gift is very personal, rather than wrapping up a DVD or box of candy.  It is tailor made:  the colors, fibers, whether hand spun or not.  I hope to finish a wallaby cardigan for my nephew, purse for daughter, finish spinning and knit her a nummy hat, and a mitered sweater for myself!

JessicaJ wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 5:41 AM

Here we go,

I'm knitting 2 hats, 6 scarves, a bunch of chenille washcloths and headbands, a throw, 2 pr of fingerless mitts, a felted bowl, and for me, a sweater.  Whew.

Sue Howard wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 5:33 AM

I like several knit year round. I have a rubbermaid tub full of mittens and have not started on the socks. I will also knit some hats and sweaters. I also plan on making 2 quilts. If I'm not knitting I'm qulting!! Can't sit still.

DeniseR@3 wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 5:31 AM

I knit for my 2 best friends and 3 sisters. Last year it was felted tea cozies and it took forever. This year it will be scarves made from various ribbon yarn and drop stitches which should go fast.

HaleyN wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 5:28 AM

I try to make something by hand for several folks during the holidays, not just knit items. And I also try to stick to only one large item and several small things that I know won't drive me over the edge. Last year, my husband's grandma got a quillow (a lap quilt that folds up into its own pocket to become a pillow).  This year..I don't know yet.  I do know:

Cousin's son: Camo scarf. He just had a scary surgery and I think he deserves a handknit scarf for the holidays.

Cousin's daughter: Something so she doesn't feel left out. :P

Mom: Urban Necessity Gloves. She asked for them.

Aaannnddd...that's all I got so far.

AnneB wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 5:24 AM

Right now I'm knitting itmes for my panel at a science fiction convention - "Knitting Noir/Crocheting Cthulu"  How to find or adapt patterns for fantasy to goth.

Some ot the items will become presents - the tea cosy with skull and cross bones to my step son.  The string bag with shadow knit aliens heads to a friend with the same sense of humor that I have.  Haven't found a home for the tea cosy with the bio hazard symbol - yet.

Then I'll start on orniments, sock, and toys for Christmas.  If there not finished for Christmas there is always Valentine's Day.  That's when the two grandsons got their dragon and school bus scarfs.

Zaz wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 4:51 AM

hello sandi,

i've already crocheted my older sister a "princess stars motif scarf", it is hardly my thried crochet "project" and i knit mom a scarflette that i wipped up.

you can find those on ravelry wherei am Zaz.

i will be busy knitting for the chrismas fair in my neighborhood and have to be fast and productive and cheap so: plain scarves hats and mittens with embellishments gathered later together.

i am not sure yet but i may crochet the embellishements like cable for all so as to have unisex products.

will find a way for those endless rows of stockinette, half manualy.

Cfanning wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 4:36 AM

I work on gifts all year so when it comes time for Christmas I can do what I really enjoy - seaman's scarves for our men at sea; hats and mittens for children in need; scarves for the Special Olympics (if I can ever find the blue required!).

This is a great site/idea.  Please keep it going.

Carole, Marietta, GA

HelenM wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 4:30 AM

Well I'm thinking of kilt hose for my boyfriend. I must be mad. I've never even knit socks before...and he has broad feet and big calves. So I may park this idea...my Mum seems to like her dishcloths, but she uses them as coasters (!) so I think I'll knit her some coasters and mats! My Dad keeps asking for a sweater, but maybe for his birthday next year. I might make him a warm hat instead. Kiana - for kiddy's tights look for Elizabeth Zimmermann's longies. Should be a good start for you :-) As I got divorced at least I don't have to knit for the former in-laws this year :-) so that should free up some time for scarves!

jennantonnix wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 4:04 AM

I can never keep the knits I've made until the holidays.  I want to see the expression on the recipient's face when the item is completed, not months from now when the whole city is in an uproar of holiday panic.  I usually give the warm "holiday" items I make at around Thanksgiving pr Halloween, as soon as  it starts to get cold.  I've been working on my husband's cardigan for 2 months now (it's black stockinette and he's 6'3" -- many small items have been knit in that time to break up the monotony), and I'm planning a Cobblestone for my son.  Other than the occasional hat or scarf, that's the full extent of my deadline knitting.

FedericaG wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 4:04 AM

I am not sure I have started knitting my holiday gifts or not! At the moment I am knitting a dark green poncho (green is my favourite colour) for myself...but time is flowing and this project is taking more than I thought. I am launching a Knit cafè in Pisa, Italy, the town I live in and I am always on line posting comments on the blog, answering to email, trying to widen the network to get more people attend the appointment and finding new ideas for my group of knitters (Knittable is te name of our Stich 'n )....By the way this was all to say that maybe I will have to consider the poncho I am knitting at the moment  as my first X-mas knit-present....sigh! I was already dreaming about wearing it this season on a pair of jeans!

CandiceB wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 3:57 AM

I've actually got a number of FOs for my holiday knitting, shocking as that may be. There's a cowl for my partner's mother, a drop-stitch scarf (out of handspun!) for a friend, a Calorimetry for my godmother, and a snuggly bunny toy for a pair of my friends' first child.

Still to knit - and you know there had to be more - is a hat for my partner's father, a cabled scarf for a friend (on the needles right now!), another snuggly bunny toy for a cousin's little one, a pair of convertible gloves/mittens for my partner, and one more pair for my father.

I have a lovely cowl that was knit in alpaca for my mother, only to have her try it on and discover she was allergic to it! Back to the drawing board there...

KianaB wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 3:50 AM

We are trying to cut down on gifts this year and make each one count.  We have 5 kids and a single income, so making our presents seemed perfect.  This is my first time knitting for the holidays, so I hope I left myself enough time.  My yarn should arrive sometime this week and I hope to get started right away.  As for my list:

Husband: earflap hat

DD12: Pixie slippers

DD9: Abby cowl from Knitty fall 08

DD6: Tights (I cannot find a pattern for children's tights, of course)

DD4: Emma's Unmentionables from Knitty Spring 08

DS2: earflap hat, a mini-version of Daddy's

CherylL wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 3:36 AM

I don't knit for the holidays, and only rarely for birthdays.  It's to time consuming, plus even friends and family who seriously want me to knit things for them don't seem to want knitting things for special occasions.  Like you said, Sandi, at least for my friends and family, those occasions are best filled with standard wish-list gifts.  

LeslieA@3 wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 3:27 AM

A cashmere shawl for my beloved daughter in law.  It's a complicated, graphed pattern in a wonderful cocoa color.  Then there are the thrummed mittens for the grandsons - which they will probably get before Christmas!

Leslie Averill, North Carolina

VickiR wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 2:45 AM

Dishcloths, dishcloths and more dishcloths - with the fun part being that people get to choose which one they want - very interesting seeing what they choose pattern and colour wise.

Plus I'm hoping to knit up some Chrissy decorations to adorn some presents.

Vicki, Tassie

on Sep 16, 2008 2:01 AM

Scarves, scarves and scarves - for my daughters, for my nieces and for my nephew. Will consider the fingerless mittens for the girls - quick, easy, and with lots of fun-fun posiiblities :-)

Kristina Jensen

Copenhagen, Denmark

JodiW@2 wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 1:05 AM

A Gazzilion pairs of Glittens fingerless gloves that turn into mittens.

Slickchick wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 1:01 AM

I don't knit for Christmas either, mainly because a) it's summer down here and scarves and hats don't quite gell! and b) I knit for my daughters constantly and am trying to finish the half dozen things I already have on the needles!!!!

HannahC@2 wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 12:38 AM

I love Christmas and I love to make as many of the presents as possible. I never finish on time but no one seems to complain about getting their presents spread out through the year. This is the time when I make my overambitious plans, and plenty of sloe gin for back up gifts. I am planning to make a lot of mittens and hats for people this year. My boyfriend wants a tank top which looks like it was in a 50s film. I'm also planning to make my parents a colour wheel quilt. I'm also lucky in having a family who appreciates home made presents. My mum still responds with as much excitement as when I would give her a home made necklace when I was five! I love Christmas, and knitting all the gifts makes it spread over nearly the whole year!

Lykkefant wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 11:34 PM

I'm very lucky in that my family really loves my knitting and appreciates the amount of time and effort that goes into it. All of them know the value of a pair of socks and would rather have such than a cd. Therefore I love knitting for them and spoiling them with hand knits for special occasions like Christmas. However, I try not to get stressed and will only knit as long as I enjoy it, because if I give a gift from the heart (as a hand knitted item is) then I want all the sentiments in it to be beautiful also the feelings I had while knitting.

This year I've already knitted a cardigan for my nephew and a shawl for my father's girlfriend. Several socks are on the way, and a couple of other things.

I like sitting in my couch, knitting away on gifts, thinking of the joy they will induce. Makes me happy!

Katiemarie wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 10:25 PM

After shattering my right arm last winter and being immoble for several months I'm knitting scarves for everyone.  Seamens Scarves, lace scarves, mobius in silk and angora for my Mother-in-Law.  Maybe a couple fingerless mits for cold handed friends.  I have to admit I started last July and am averaging a scarf every two weeks.  I should come out about right.

craftgrrrrl wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 10:06 PM

After being crushed when family members weren't bowled over by the knitted items I made for them, I changed my approach.  Now, I just knit things throughout the year that I like (like hats, scarves, bags, handwarmers - things that don't require a specific fit), gather them up in a box and let them choose what they want.  I've been stunned when one sister picked a bag I never thought was her style, or my mom picking a scarf I never would have guessed she would want. I finally learned it wasn't that they didn't appreciate what I made, just that I was missing the mark in what spoke to them. Whatever is left over is my Christmas gift to me!

TiggerRD wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 9:45 PM

I'm knitting for charity for the holidays.  I'm working on scarves for foster teens.  

BettyB@2 wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 9:37 PM

Mittten & Caps!  I live in Michigan and all My 4 brothers have Kids that have kids, I have no kids, but I always make something for them.  My dear husband has not worked steady for 8 years (unemployment here is 9.9%) and we find ourselves again doing what we can to survive.  Knitting keeps me cool and calm & at peace.  The little ones to the big ones LOVE knit goods I make out of wool/mohair from Brown Sheep yarns.  2 years ago I didn't make anything and I couldn't believe how everyone was sad but knew money was tight.  I start in January and work till Christmas Eve.  

CharnaR wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 9:25 PM

I'm knitting two stuffed sheeps, a bunch of dishcloths, and if I think about it, a pair of socks for my fiance.

I gave up on knitting for more people.  They typically don't appreciate the time and effort.  Especially my fiance's sisters who complain about the color or how something stupid about the said project given to them.  So I don't anymore.

Carol Y wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 9:23 PM

I've given up on knitting anything worthwhile on a deadline. It just isn't gonna happen. OTOH, I've got 8 dishcloths so far - if I can do another 8 I might be giving those as mini-gifts! I'm still working on my parents 40th anniversary afghan - and they just celebrated their 44th!

SuP wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 9:15 PM

I am knitting a sweater for each daughter, a blanket and socks for my grandson. If I have time, I will knit for my husband and two son-in-laws.

KristenH wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 9:04 PM

This may say something about me... I was quite startled to realize people are thinking about Christmas already!  In a nutshell, I'm trying to finish a dissertation and have the beginnings of carpal tunnel, so there will be no knit gifts this year.  I'm still knitting, but on a very limited schedule.  (I actually have to set a timer so I don't overdo!)  In other years, I have purposely knit only small things for gifts and only for a couple of people each year.  I just don't buy into the holiday make yourself crazy nonsense.  So I guess I'm a scrooge too!  ;)

StacyH wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 8:47 PM

This is the year of the hand mitts!  Everyone is getting them.  They are amazingly fast, easy and adorable.  I'm using self-patterning KNIT COL yarn.  Already have four pairs done.

JacquelineV wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 8:32 PM

I finished a hat for my dad, a scarf for one sister, a scarf for a friend, part of a washcloth set for my grandma, and half of a scarf for my grandpa.  I still have a scarf for my mom, a scarf for my other sister,  fingerless mitts for my brother, fingerless mitts for a friend, and a scarf for another friend along with the unfinished projects.  I will focus on the projects for my mom and my siblings (I don't run into my friends until the end of our Christmas breaks at mid-January-- hurray for college!), and I will be giving scratch tickets and beer to anyone whose present I don't finish in time.

on Sep 15, 2008 8:22 PM

I always plan too much then kill myself to finish it all. This year:

vest from handspun for hubby

felted birdhouses and beagle for SIL

felted mittens (from IK recent felt issue) for niece

fingerless gloves for her hubby

golf club dovers for brother #2

socks for his wife

felted tote bag for  mom

Knitty's Sheldon for daughter

maybe socks for brother #1

something for nephew ??

who knows what for my sons

Christmas ornaments for son #1's teacher

panta for son #2 preschool teacher

crayon scarf fo rmy art teacher friend

will I finish? Is there a choice?

I need to finish one of the million baby gifts I'm making right now so this issue is VERY timely... Thanks :-)

on Sep 15, 2008 8:17 PM

I have four sisters, two daughters, an almost daughter-in-law and her daughter, an aunt, a cousin and a mother-in-law. I plan to give them all a pair of hand-knit socks. I have three pairs done so far, with another pair scheduled to go on the needles any day. Need to work faster!

knittinknut wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 8:04 PM

I knit year round, but my family always seems to want something special at Christmas.  This year I'm knitting hats for my sons' girlfriends, a scarf for my eldest son (the alien scarf from Stitch N ) and a sweater for my middle son.  Also I'm going out on a limb and making two knitted "creatures" for my middle son and his girlfriend, "Piet" and "Kiki" from Berroco.  My daughter is getting a soft blue scarf and my husband a warm cashmere hat.

ElaineC wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 7:59 PM

I'm doing 2 scarves for Christmas gifts: one for my very well loved cousin, in a charcoal grey Rowan Baby Alpaca (softest yarn in the world!) using Eunny Jang's Celtic knot pattern.  (It's actually the cable unvented from her blog) And the other scarf is for his very dear wife: a tiny version of Leda's Dream shawl in Sundara Silk, tulip colorway.  It is so elegant.  Both are half finished. I may also do just a pair of slipper socks for another cousin, but that's it!  I want time to play and enjoy Christmas without agonizing over deadlines. (Altho I have been known to wrap knitted gifts, needles and all, if I'm not done!

Janetcc wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 7:54 PM

I have 3 nieces in Florida, ages 5, 3 and 1 -- all of whom I've never met. In my defense the 5 year old is a step-niece. Anyway, knitting each Monica, in different colors out of TLC Cotton Plus.

CayenneD wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 7:41 PM

A pair of socks for a friend is finished.  I am supposed to knit my sister the Caberet Raglan.  The rest is just hopes.  I want to knit felted clogs for my in-laws, mittens for my cousin, a friend, maybe my other sister and her husband.  I guess I need to add my future brother-in-law to the list.  My hard-to-please father is just getting a toaster this year.  No knitting for him!  I hope he doesn't read this. =)  The toaster is supposed to be a surprise, one he might even like.  He already has hand spun, hand knit felted clogs anyway--which he loves, by the way.  I have lots of great plans, but I don't know how much I'll get done.  I'm very happy with regular non-knitted gifts if I don't finish the knitted ones.  I do not stay up until 3am Christmas morning knitting gifts.  I might still stay up that late, but I'll be knitting my own stuff.  The reason I give knitted gifts is because it is easier in my mind than braving the holiday shopping crowd.      

ReneeS wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 7:31 PM

I'm making a sweater for my dad, the Cobblestone Pullover from Knitting Daily, out of a wonderful chocolate brown Shetland cross fleece that I bought raw and have washed, processed and spun.  It's taken me years to finish the spinning, but hopefully the knitting will go faster!

I have all the squares done for a Lizard Ridge throw for my daughter's college dorm room.  I just need to put them together.

I've already finished some pairs of socks for friends, and I have some requests for hats, specifically Jayne hats (from the TV series Firefly).  There will be other Christmas knitting, too.  I'm definitely a last-minute knitter, the one who conceives a project that's perfect for someone on my list three days before Christmas, and convinces myself that it's "do-able."

MeganH wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 7:29 PM

Just a suggestion if you have someone difficult to knit for - and this is especially good for moody teenagers who don't like "things from Mum". Get a hold of "AntiCraft" by Renee Rigdon and Zabet Stewart. It'll solve a lot of problems. I showed it to my friend's tattoed 17-year old and he put in orders.

AngelaC wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 7:27 PM

This year I have a number of knitting deadlines prior to the holidays, so I won't be able to start my Christmas knitting until November.  So far I know that I want to make something for the new baby in our family (I knit a BSJ for her before she was born, so perhaps I'll make a dress), and I always knit something for one of my cousins.  This year I'm thinking of a cowl and/or hat.  My aunt has asked me to knit a pair of socks for her employer, so those are now added to the list.  I'm sure some other things will come up as the end of the year gets closer.

BethanyL wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 7:19 PM

this year i  have started some fingerless gloves for my 2 sisters and a couple of friends,,  i also am going to knit some scarfs.. which i need to replace for the ones that i made years ago.. time does wear them thin..  and i am going to try to make some scruchie hats..  on top of this i am cross stitching a country moose and bear silhouette for a good friend..  not sure what i am going to do for my nephews yet.. probably some books and small toys.. nothing to over the hill, but something that means a lot to them,,  time is dwindling down to the wire..  i need to work on all the items i would like to make,, augh

Christina_W wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 7:15 PM

The last few years have been my big knit/crochet holidays. The last year I made winter slipper socks for everyone, young and old, in my family. I have received a request for a new pair from my sister-in-law that I hope to find time to make. My nephews will be receiving new crochet blankets, a knitted hobby horse, and my niece will be getting a knit backpack. Two of these are completed, and the other two are in progress.

Oh, I almost forgot, I am making the Chanson En Crochet capelet for my mom.

Susan wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 7:12 PM

This year I'm being smart (well, smarter) and choosing only one holiday gift for my new daughter in law. I know she appreciates what I make for her. She just chose the "Dickinson Pullover" in the Fall 2007 Interweave Knits magazine. It is a lovely aran knit that looks like it will be relatively easy, but still interesting. I may use Plymouth Encore, which is proving to be a nice soft acrylic/wool blend that is pleasant to work with (sorry, all you fiber purists out there). Maybe there will be a another sweater for one of the g'kids - maybe the baby. But, I'm not going to make myself crazy, just this once! Anything else will be icing on the cake. This is not to mention a few pieces of charity knitting - when I donated a few hats to the local maternity hospital, they commented that they were the nicest hats they had received. Boy, does that just make your fingers itch to make a few premie caps, or what!

JayelF wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 7:12 PM

Knitting on deadline saps the joy out of the knitting, so I try not to do it, or do it well in advance of the holiday or other occasion.  (I've been known to gripe about new parents not giving me enough lead time if they wait until the second trimester to announce an impending birth.)  I'm on a knitted jewelry kick right now, so I'm likely to raid my gift drawer and give some of my popular knitted necklaces this year.  

My sister has been broadly hinting since June how she loves my knitted tote bag.  Hers could end up arriving at her house for her January birthday, but I've got 2 sweaters for myself to complete as well.  If I put knitting for others ahead of my own projects too often, I start to get cranky!   But, hey, my sister has NEVER thrown out a single thing I've knitted her--she's my biggest fan.

I think Christmas and the December holidays are needlessly packed with too many activities.  I resolved last year to give either Thanksgiving cards or Valentines, then I found some really wonderful holiday cards on sale.......okay, they aren't likely to contain the latest installment of my life story tho'.

Amy@4 wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 6:57 PM

As a relatively new knitter, I'm trying to keep a lid on the project list--don't want to burn out.  A pair of black socks for my boss (who re-started knitting, and was so impressed by my husband's socks, she wanted a pair).  They're not impressive--plain, comfy.  I'm hoping to get my own Einstein coat done for my own holiday.  Maybe I'll get something done for my grown-up children, but not holding my breath.  Hope they aren't holding theirs!

on Sep 15, 2008 6:53 PM

I'm not knitting for Christmas per se, but I have other gifts that are being worked on.  A wedding shawl for my best friend, needed by the wedding in mid October.  As well as a cabled baby sweater for a friend's new baby, due in November.  Those are my two deadline pieces.  Beyond that, I don't see a ton of holiday knitting in my future.  Maybe I'll finish up those three year old clogs for my hubby. :)

on Sep 15, 2008 6:48 PM

I have done lots of handmade gifts over the years; the common theme among them is at least one person gets the supplies in a bag and the promise of a finished item - aargh!  I'm always more optimistic than realistic about what I can accomplish; in fact I'm STILL working on one gift from last year (Koolhaas Hat and a matching scarf I improvised from the pattern.)

This year we've decided to stop giving gifts to all 18 nieces and nephews on my side (since there are now boyfriends and girlfriends in the picture as well, the number just keeps growing), so knitted things will be for other occasions. However, it's hard to resist when they ask...

...and I've been knitting afghans for all of my second cousins when they have babies and will do the same for the nieces and nephews, but first...

...I want to make bobbin lace wedding garters for all 18 of the (eventual) brides, plus for daughters of several close friends - and then there's the beadwork...and embroidery...and a full time job (ugh!).

I'll still probably knit something for my mom this Christmas, and maybe the hard-to-buy-for mother-in-law, but I intend to stay disciplined and not start anything I can't finish in time.

Ketlian wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 6:46 PM

I have been working towards Christmas since February. I need deadlines and specific people to knit for. I have 4 pairs of socks done and 2 more almost ready, a sweater, lace shawl and dishcloths. Either just begun or in the planning stages are 2 more pairs of socks, a baby blanket and sweater and a scrawl (kind of a shrug thing). I make a lot of things each year, and have never kept a single thing for myself! Go fig! But I enjoy knitting each item for the giftee. Like making a prayer shawl, you put all your good thoughts towards the person as you knit it. I have never given an item and NOT seen it used or worn by those I gave it to. And anyone who says it is the cheap way out on giving a gift, hasn't priced good yarn recently!

CherylB wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 6:44 PM

I am making mostly soft spa-type gifts (facecloths or sleep masks) or crocheted magic potholders for friends & family that I know appreciate hand-made gifts.  The others on my list will most likely get gift cards.

Cheryl B.

redrhonda wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 6:37 PM

My list is short and almost finished.  I knit a Cobblestone Pullover for my husband (55").  I was so concerned about its hugeness, that I started it in March...and finished it in April.  I'm also knitting two pair of Jared Flood's Druid Mittens from Vogue Knitting.  Three mittens complete and the last is half-way done.   That's it for my holiday knitting - unless I get inspired by something great!

Peaceful Sea wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 6:36 PM

I love to knit, but not for deadlines. (I never seem to start early enough.) But when the budget for christmas is next to non existent, I knit. Last year it was socks for my dad and brothers. sport weight yarn. Their are some things that I can knit, to give them something special, that if I spent what I could afford they wouldn't have anything nice.

EllenG@2 wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 6:31 PM

Last Christmas I knitted shawls for my sister, daughter and daughter in law and slippers for all three grandchildren.  I promised myself I would not knit any Christmas presents this year.  We will see how well I live up to that committment.  I have a cousin whose daughter is expecting twins at Christmas time.  I have made socks for them and perhaps will aim at getting a blanket made for each of them.  

Mar3509 wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 6:18 PM

By the way, I was getting Knitting Daily every day and loved it - where have you gone?

Mar3509 wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 6:17 PM

I agree about not knitting xmas gifts - I put such pressure on myself to get the projects done - and then never see the giftee where it.

Plus I never had time to knit for myself (work 40+ hours a week)

I prefer as with baby gifts, to knit at my own speed, so when is needed it is already.

avanta7 wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 6:17 PM

This is my second year knitting and the first year I feel confident enough to knit for someone other than myself or my spouse (who HAS to like what I make -- it's in the fine print of our marriage license).  Therefore, this year, EVERYONE is getting a knitted something.  The list includes cardigans for my mother and sister, hoodies for the teenage nephews, a scarf for the youngest niece (she got a cardigan for her September birthday), slippers and/or socks for the SIL/BIL & kids who live in Hawaii, either a handbag or socks for my other SIL, and socks for my brother, father and other BIL.  I started on these projects in July, and thus far have completed three gifts, with a fourth on the needles and nearly done.  I'm also considering making several quickie hats to give to my girlfriends at our annual retreat the first weekend in December.  Overly ambitious?  Me?  Pshaw.

ClaudiaC wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 6:04 PM

I do like to gift hand-knitted gifts; every year my husband and my son get a pair of socks. This year they will each get two pair...one pair in bright red (Christmas socks) and another self-striping pair in more traditional colors. Cousins and sister will receive the cable slipper socks from One Skein. How far have I gotten? Well one pair of red socks is done and in the drawer and I'm on the second sock of first sock traditional color. I swatched the slipper sock, but haven't started yet. The best thing about all of this is that these items are always appreciated.

AmyE wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 5:47 PM

I like to give gifts that have some meaning for Christmas  - like Fair trade or handmade, etc.  I (usually) like a quiet life so I only do the insane Christmas knitting every couple of years.  Last year I went a bit nuts and ended up knitting 8 scarves (Scarf Style is a wonderful book!), three sweaters, three pairs of socks, and a few ornaments and I finished everything on time except one of the sweaters. It was a bit stressful so not this year - one sweater (for hubby) and 2 pairs of socks (for the in-laws).  I do love giving hand knitted things for Christmas as it represents the spirit of the season for me.

MaryK@6 wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 5:42 PM

I normally do not knit for Christmas, but I do have one Christmas project.  I knit Christmas stockings for my parents great-grandchildren (which of course is my siblings and my grandchildren).  I usually do them so they can have them the first  Christmas after they are born.  I have one on the needles for this Christmas (boy February 08) and will have another one for next Christmas (? March 09).  I love doing this, otherwise my knitting gifts are when "I" want to give.

Mary

Marjoriginal wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 5:41 PM

For the past 23 years or so, my holiday knitting consists of--not Christmas presents but-- baby gifts.  I knit a Christmas stocking for the soon-expected or recently arrived offspring of  our children or the children or grandkids of our friends.  This is one gift that isn't outgrown (especially since I make 'em BIG!).  In the quarter-century since I started this tradition, well over 100 have made their way to provide a receptacle for Santa's largesse.  I rarely duplicate a pattern, and NEVER in the same family.  And Inever tire of planning or knitting these one-of-a-kinds gifts.  

Margie

Robyn@2 wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 5:36 PM

Every year I try to make small gifts for five friends. We meet in late January for our Christmas get-together, so I seem to have more time to wrok on those. Last year it was lacy scarves of baby alpaca from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. This year I'm hoping to learn how to needle felt at Stitches East and plan on making ornaments for everyone in the group. On the home front, I hope to finish a charcoal alpaca vest for my husband (back is finished, so there's a good chance). I started a scarf last year for my sister; that may or may not get finished, too. Also have some beautiful gray/black alpaca (notice a trend?) for a shawl for myself, but will work on that in between prayer shawls/lap robes for church.

A few people have mentioned market bags--sounds like a great idea for the group of friends for next year.

DebraI wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 5:35 PM

I prefer knitting without deadlines, but for Christmas I'll take on one or two things that I think the recipient(s) will like. This year, there's only one sure thing on the roster, and that is a lacey stole for my mom. She seems to like it when I share with her my knitted projects, and especially likes handpainted yarn.  We'll see if anything else pops up.  It's also fun to surprise someone with something totally unexpected. The stole is not started, but I have the yarn and have finally decided on a design. Should be done in time. Not crossing fingers -- too hard to knit that way!

Blue_Carol wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 5:33 PM

Hi -- I'm interested in knitting holiday items.  Like Christmas stockings, tree skirts, tea cozies, etc.  I've had a hard time finding knit tree skirt patterns.  Any suggestions?

Thanks,

MaryL@8 wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 5:20 PM

I am only knitting for my employees this year - no family.  I had originally planned to knit each of them the Arctic Diamonds Stole in alpaca but work has gotten in the way of that plan SO . . . only one gets that and the others get a smaller version.  It's that or they get a very grumpy boss for the next 4 months.  I can't pull all nighters like I used to!

I may knit for the client gift exchange - we shall see how everything progresses.

on Sep 15, 2008 5:13 PM

I'll be knitting just one thing, since I mostly prefer to buy things for other people, too.

But for my geeky (but also extremely cool) friend I'm going to make him a reversible hat. Plain black on one side, and black but with a big happy idea-light-bulb on the other, for when he's feeling smart.

Arachne wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 5:12 PM

I decided to knit a vest for my Dad about the beginning of August, and instead of suprise on my side, decided to go at him with the measuring tape, ask him about the colour, and whether he wanted a button-up or pullover style. I'm at work on a Rowan number I saw a few people had done on ravelry--but the Winter 2006 IK issue on steeks has given me confidence to knit it in the round.

CricketC wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 5:08 PM

HAH!   Sandi, did you ever nail it when you said, "Oh no!  They just added Dec. 25th to the calendar- where did THAT come from???"

  I'm so clueless, every year I think I'll knit several things for family members, and also more for our church bazaar, on top of finishing a summer's worth of UFOs....

   And at some point in mid-December every year, I think, "HELLO?  I'm an Episcopal priest, and this month is BUSY!!!!!!  What WAS I thinking????"  It's not pretty when your priest is sitting home on Christmas Eve afternoon cussing at her knitting and trying to decide if she can call in sick to the services that night so she can get that blasted collar done!

 Hah!  So, this year I've scaled back in theory.  Maybe a few hats for the church bazaar, and just one or two little gifts for friends......  but if I don't get them done by Thanksgiving, I'm toast!

Marji.barks wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 5:06 PM

I only knit for people who appreciate it (few and far between).  This year I am making two of Jared Flood's Hemlock Ring blankets for friends and fingerless mitts for Buddhist nuns in Tibet.  That's it.

Kay East wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 5:04 PM

I knit an afghan for my son, daughter-in-law and family every year for Christmas but I start as soon as the Holiday is over for the next year.  They do a lot of camping in CO, Utah, Idaho and WY and have cold winters too. This year Twin Trees Afghan and it is ready!  I knitted a scarf and matching hat for my sister.  Fingerless mitts for my vet and her helpers.  All are ready to give and I am on the Vogue Knitting mittens, prayer shawl for my girlfriend which are almost finished.  I knit year round and choose items that I would like to keep for myself but never do.  Also do some "Road Scarfs" for the men at the VA Hospital for my charity knitting.

CandiceJ wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 4:53 PM

I knit for most of the gift giving holidays, mainly because I'm on a limited budget, so I can't afford to buy many gifts and I always seem to have beautiful yarn hanging about.  I like going through my patterns until one jumps out at me saying "knit me for MOM" or some such thing...  This year will be the scarves and hats, pattern depending on what I feel the person is like; my mother is getting some fuzzy sock slippers to keep her toes toasty this winter. :)

Remington4 wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 4:42 PM

After knitting up a holiday storm for several years and being continually disappointed at the lack of enthusiasm / appreciation that my personal creations deserved, I no longer knit for the holidays.  I do knit gifts occasionally, but only for people who are truly "knit worthy" -- even some of my dearest loved ones do not deserve that title.  Do I sound bitter?  I suppose I am.  Is it so wrong for me to want people to "ooh and aah" over their hand made gifts?  I feel very free now with my knitting during the fall because I'm doing what I want to do and I'm not on a deadline ...

CathyAnn wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 4:41 PM

I don't knit for Christmas. I can never meet deadlines. I just knit things for people and give them when they're done, whenever that is...

SharonS@2 wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 4:40 PM

Although I'm not knitting for Everyone on my list (did that one last year  lol), I am knitting a throw for my one daughter-in-law, and a pair of socks for my sister and one for my other daughter-in-law all because they either came right out and asked me to or hinted around.  

Sharon

As a gag gift, I want to knit my son a Yarmulke because he loves to act as a priest during the Seder mail at our church.  Does anyone have a somewhat simple pattern perhaps?

MichelleC wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 4:38 PM

We love to give handmade gifts. So for this Christmas:

1 Fair Isle sweater for my new grandson

2.Cabled sweater for one of my twin grandies

3.Debbie Bliss afghan for the other twin grandie

4 Scarves for each of my 4 girls

5.Sox for hubby.

Almost done with #1, halfway with #2.  The rest goes quickly.

LeanneS wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 4:37 PM

I'm knitting elephants for my grandchildren.  I have a purple one completed.  I still have to make  a lime green one and another in bright turquoise.  I think I will knit each of the elephants a sweater, too.  That's all for this year.  I am being sensible and planning only as much as I can finish.  At least that is my plan right now.  I do have an adorable elf sock pattern that would look really cute on kids who get elephant dolls!

Char wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 4:35 PM

yes It ,s that time of year ,but,,I knitt all year round and because i do own a small shop here in Northern Minnesota. Char,s YARN Basket,,It,s my life long passion! What I do is study the person whom I, m making my gift for, and make them The thick felted Hat, for snow blowing the drive,,or the nice warm knee highs for skatting It all works out fine and everyones pleased and warm,,but ...AS ALL YOU KNITTERS KNOW ,,A knitters hands are never Idle,,so my work if you can call it that Is Never Done ,,Totally unraveled Char

Brownsheep wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 4:34 PM

Only my immediate family gets handknits (husband, daughter, newborn niece, in-utero son). It's just too much effort otherwise for not enough appreciation.

My husband adores his handknit socks, so he always gets those. He used to get sweaters, back when I had time! But he wears his socks more anyway. DD is a toddler, too young to protest, and would look cute in a flour sack, so she's getting lots of sweaters.  :) We can use them all in our MN winter.

SherylL wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 4:34 PM

I took up sock knitting this year and went a little crazy buying sock yarn (I have enough for about 10-12 pair in the stash) so I should be giving socks for Christmas.  I knit a pair of lacy wool socks for my mother (Plymouth Happy Feet in red/red).  They're toe-up and I took them with me on a visit in July so I could check the fit and the length.  Mom loved them, said I could wrap them up and give them to her at Christmas and she would be surprised.  With only the top bands to go, I do have a chance of finishing those.

What isn't clear is if I'll be able to knit gifts for anyone else.  Maybe a couple of scarves, another pair of socks.  

tamdoll wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 4:34 PM

I'm loving reading what everyone makes.  I don't knit much for holiday gifts  - but do at other occasions during the year.  If anything, I'll make a hat, some fingerless gloves.

The One Skein book is really great, I've made a ton of things from it & it's been inspiring, too.  Maybe I'll change my mind this year!

BarbK wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 4:30 PM

Last year, I knit market bags.  My Bunko sis's loved them.  

BarbK wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 4:28 PM

I am in a Bunko Group.  This year, I knit Christmas Stockiings for my Bunko sis's and their husbands.  Yes, it has been quite a bit of work, but they have seen me through some pretty rough times, and are worth it.   FYI...... It's only September 15th and all 24 stockings are done!!!!  I think I'll make myself a sweater.  

RachelS@2 wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 4:25 PM

I'm with you,Sandi.  I don't knit alot for gifts.  The thing I do knit some of are beaded Christmas ornaments.  The pattern is very easy and fits over a glass ornament and topped off with a ribbon bow.  They are quick.  I can do one in a night easily.  Friends and family seem to like them and even ask me if I am going to make any.  Sometimes I've thought I would not since I was sure no one wanted anymore. But, it seems they do!

IvernaM wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 4:23 PM

I've knitted 2 rag rugs as gifts, but not for Christmas. My 7th rag rug is destined for my teenage son who requested colors, chose fabrics. Sorry, I don't have a magic pill that will make all relatives, especially males and teenagers, like our efforts.  I might knit another rug for a friend, but that will be when I get to it. I probably won't intentionally knit anything for holidays cuz a) I don't knit that well, and b) life's too busy and I don't need to allow myself that sort of pressure. I do this to relax!

We'll have a grandchild in a few weeks; I need to do some sewing. I might, maybe, get some booties done b4 Saturday. I do have a blanket underway that is two layers, crocheted together as I go. He may get that for Christmas, since I certainly won't finish it for the baby shower on Saturday.  We're hoping to move before Christmas, so everything will be up in the air anyway.

And no, I'm not a Scrooge, but I do think a lot of us get too wrapped up in doing the perfect holiday and forget to relax and celebrate the Savior's birth and appreciate time to spend just being with our families. Being, rather than all the doing, is pretty important sometimes.

Roxane M wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 4:23 PM

I almost never do more than one Christmas gift a year, and if it's for a faraway relative, it has to be something where fit doesn't matter.  Last year it was an afghan for my sister; this year it's an alpaca shawl for my mother-in-law.  I don't knit Christmas presents for my immediate family, because I prefer to have them pick out the projects I do for them so that I know they'll like them.  And that just isn't enough of a surprise for Christmas.

liz@2 wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 4:19 PM

My yarn stash borders on the obscene so I decided to knit for the special people in my life to whittle down the stash.  I am halfway through an afghan for my oldest son.  I am knitting a poncho, 2 pillows, a teddy bear and a baby blanket.  I have finished a scarf, one poncho and another afghan.  What am I working on right now?  A hat and scarf for ME ME ME out of Mountain Colors yarn.  It is beautiful.  I needed to do one quick project so I could hunker down for the rest!!

Liz K

Jane@3 wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 4:17 PM

The only thing I am knitting is the shocking! jacket for my mother (but without the intarsia and embroidery). I am not a speedy knitter and don't have a lot of time, so I have started it now in the hope that I will not be finishing it in the wee hours!

jofelker wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 4:14 PM

Jo F

I am knitting mittens.  I have three grandchildren ages 7, 3 and 1 who recently moved to Chicago Land.  They lose mittens and need mittens endlessly.  I will knit quick, uncomplicated mittens.  I hope to make my husband a sweater in secret for Christmas, but it may end up being for Valentines Day or his birthday

KarinM wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 4:10 PM

I honestly don't know what I would buy for people if I didn't give them handknits. I give Christmas gifts every year, but I plan for them so far in advance that it's normally not a struggle to get them done. This year I've got:

Cobblestone Pullover (done), Nuts About Squirrels, and Broadstreet Mittens for my husband.

Snowflake Lace socks for my sister

Plain Hoodie for my niece

Wonderful Wallaby for another niece

Fuzzy Mittens Tiger for nephew

Unoriginal Hat for sister-in-law

Broadstreet Mittens for brother-in-law

One Row Scarf for Mother

And my husband's parents get whatever he thinks to buy them. I consider myself a generous person, but there is no sense in making something for someone who won't appreciate it and won't use it. Even though I've only got one thing on that list done, it was the biggest thing, and most of the rest won't take a lot of time. It's actually going to be a light year.

DeidreU wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 4:09 PM

Although my year is  full of care-giving for my terminally ill teen, I will continue to knit...mostly for my young grandchildren....and as a creative outlet for me.  Currently knitting a pine green washable sportwt' wool cabled cardigan for a 2 year old.  It will feature red tractor buttons.  both Christmassy, and his favorite thing in the whole world!!  Life will go on.....somehow....

CindyB@2 wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 4:08 PM

I am knitting my granddaughter a knitted tea set with knitted food maybe some slippers and mittens for family as well

GretchenM wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 4:04 PM

I knit gifts because I can't afford to shop anymore. Socks, fingerless gloves, lace shawls, felted items, sometimes a special garment. Last year I started in August and finished just about everything on time. This year I am already behind!

bookie wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 4:00 PM

My husband, adult children and inlaws are getting personalized Meathead Hats (nearly completed) from the book Knitalong and various relatives will be receiving crocheted market bags so there'll be fewer plastic bags in the environment.  Happily my family appreciates handmade gifts.

HannahB@2 wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 3:47 PM

I only knit for my own enjoyment anymore but back when I was in college and first married I was always broke and knit or crocheted gifts were always the least expensive way to go. One year I bought a magazine with patterns for many hats in it, both knit & crocheted and everyone got a different pattern and color hat. I knit everything from toilet paper roll covers to a set of head covers for my father-in-law's golf clubs.

I tought myself to do both when I was about 9 and after that, baby showers were never a problem. I had a couple of patterns for complete layette sets that I really liked and everyone got one of those. Bridal showers? I could crochet up a couple of doilies in no time. Poverty is a great motivator, don't you think?

I really stopped knitting to please everyone else after the last time I knit a sweater for my granddaughter and I never got to see it on her or even a picture of her wearing it.

on Sep 15, 2008 3:44 PM

Most of the men in my life don't appreciate hand knits (too warm, they say), and I feel that it isn't fair to only knit for the ladies. However, I do hope to knit Christmas stockings for my out-of-state grandchildren this year. Both are under 6, so size is more important than design at this stage. Maybe I'll come up with something that will fill both needs!

ValoreeD wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 3:42 PM

After receiving yet another Rubbermaid tub of gifted yarn, I decided to ramp up my charity knitting, and make lots of hats for the homeless.  There is a shelter and a food program here, and both are always in need of hats.  My kids are grown and have all the 'presents' they can use, so this year I'll try to help folks who might also be alone during the holidays and can really use something new.  

Dawn@4 wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 3:40 PM

I am knitting hats and mittens for the homeless in our area. I knit for family and friends all year long. I figure the holidays are for those that might not get anything otherwise.

Monkeygurl wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 3:40 PM

HAH.  I oscillate between NOT KNITTING FOR HOLIDAYS and knitting "just one" or ten of the cute patterns that always seem to pop up between Sept and Dec.  :)  I always manage to figure out something that HAS to be knitted for somebody (but certainly not something for everybody), and no doubt that one person would prefer a giftcard or something more useful, but such are the vagaries of being my friend/relative/etc.  :)  And yes, those few gifts that I finally decide to knit are finished last minute, if not after the actual holiday.  :)  I suck.

Lynn G. wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 3:33 PM

Oh, those baby socks are adorable!   Beyond my skill level, but I would try the xoxo one if it was in the downloadable version.

A few years ago, I knit about 7 or 8 scarves for my dear ones for the holidays...started in the summer and pushed really hard to finish, which I did.  I feel as if "I covered that," and now that everyone has something handmade from me that can be used winter after winter, I can be more selective about handknit gifts.  I'm the director of a new local knitting and crocheting charity which I founded last year but started working on a few years ago, and we're trying to make many items in time for a public event in early December, so I don't feel as if I have time to knit for me or anyone else.  Plus, I'm physically disabled, so knitting is painful and slow. Thus, no unreasonable goals.  It's actually an interesting experience to knit relatively challenging items knowing in advance that they'll be acquired by total strangers.  I get to enjoy the yarn while it is "visiting me" and then pass the gift along.  I've noticed that it's hard to imagine "letting go" of the most recently finished item, but then once I've done the hext one, it's easier to imagine letting the first go, etc.  I'm practicing the Buddhist idea of impermanence as well as the Jewish idea of mitzvah.  Like you, I won't have anything but a minimal photographic record of my work, but that's okay.

AmandaS wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 3:33 PM

I mainly do gift knitting by request only, I can't bare the though of someone hating something I spent so much time on.  

Last year was a sweater for my mom, socks for my dad, a shawl for my neice, Clementine Shawlette for my sister and all were done in time.

This year I'm done with a hat & scarf for my mom, but I need to start the purse for my neice.  I've also recently gotten into glass fusing so my sister is getting a necklas this year over a hadnknit.  I may see if my dad wants/needs a new pair of socks.  My nephew is at the age were handknits aren't "cool" so store bought gifts for him and for my brother-in-law

DianaB wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 3:32 PM

I'm knitting hedgehogs for lots of family members because they LOVED the one I made for myself and they're fairly fast and easy!  I'm also knitting gloves for my SIL because I thought she would like them.  I can't seem to find anything that she is passionate about, so when an idea strikes me for her I roll with it - in this case, plain gloves at 9 sts/in, should be very cute when finished.  I'm actually on the ball with the gloves started and 2.5 hedgies ready for felting!  There are a few other items to knit and so far I am totally on track :)  I knit for Christmas because my family loves it and it's rewarding to hear that from them!  

SusanK wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 3:26 PM

Ok, I decided to knit my sister a pair of socks, with Cherry Tree sock yarn, (oh SOOO yummy) and I started them "early" (way back in May) and now of course I have ONE sock with the toe to close up and I cant find for the life of me, where I put the rest of the yarn with the second sock started.... ARGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHH !!! So much for starting Chanukah gifts early...

NinaN wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 3:21 PM

Two years ago I knit and decorated felted purses for my five sisters-in-law.  It was fun---but I also got requests for more purses. Last year I did scarves. This year I'm making a vest for my golfer husband.  I started it months ago and I've almost finished knitting it. So that's all this year. I'm tired!

JennieV wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 3:18 PM

*nothing*. I am tired of that kind of deadline knitting; it just isn't fun! Plus, the one Christmas where I knit everyone something, I got burned as my dad & stepmom requested a big-ticket item from all the 'kids'... after I'd already knit each of them something!! Argh.

I hope to knit some Christmas stockings, but just for fun and for our house or a holiday auction. Emphasis on *fun*!

ShelleyS wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 3:17 PM

I will be knitting pre-holiday, winter sort of presents this year, 2 pairs of felted slippers for relatives in the dank northwest, and a trio of lacy hats for another who will be missing a bit of hair soon... other than that, my 2nd baby is due christmas eve so MAYBE he will even get something! and not to be left out, my 2 year old daughter needs a new 'Elijah' I think, a stuffed elephant that i found the pattern to on ravelry.  And that's it.  And i mean it!

Jessica M wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 3:14 PM

I'm knitting some of my Christmas gifts because I don't have a ton of $ to spend (as I'm still in high school and need to save most of my part-time income for college and such).

My gift list is:

A scarf, hat, and sock set for my new baby brother

A tote bag for my 14-year-old sister

A purse for my 16-year-old sister

A small throw blanket for my eight-year-old sister

A little backpack for my six-year-old brother

Hats for my parents

My dogs chew knitted items up, or else I would make them things too. :)

KnitFr33K wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 3:12 PM

I am knitting so many holiday gifts, I think I've lost my mind.

A shawl for all three of my sisters.  The one done in super bulky yarn is done.  The ones in lace weight and fingering weight have yet to be started (don't have the yarn yet).  I have a sweater for my dad, a hat for my cousin, a purse for my friend, and I already finished my mom's gift - a knit TARDIS from Doctor Who.

However, I have a ton of birthday presents, too!  I think I'll get them done - I'm very good at finishing things in time - just ask my teachers.  =D

AndreaB wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 3:04 PM

I am crocheting market totes for the women in my family, and making socks for some of the men.  The reason that I send mostly handmade things is that my relatives are all older than me and have more money than me, so they tend to buy for themselves the "stuff" they want anyway, and they don't really need anything in particular (I do buy "stuff" for my niece and nephew though).  So I send handknits, and also handmade food gifts like cookies, chocolates, or spiced nuts, that they couldn't buy anywhere, exactly.  I like kind of bowing out of the whole consumer nightmare that the holidays can be as well.

Joey wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 2:59 PM

My favorite knitted gift was from my darling daughter -- she knit a felted oven mitt for me last year and then my beautiful granddaughter needle felted hearts on it.   What could be better??

GretchenP wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 2:58 PM

This year I am making a purse for one of my sisters, socks for another sister, a prayer shawl for my mom, and the Far Afield Vest from the lastest issue of IWK for myself. The vest is probably the only one that won't be finished by the holidays.

AmyO@2 wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 2:58 PM

I'm knitting mittens...the kind with the flip top to reveal your fingers.  It's in really yummy self striping yarn.  They take no time at all (ha ha)

Plus I've got to get my husband's sweater under the tree this year....the one I've been working on for 3 years!

CynthiaW wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 2:56 PM

I was planning to finally begin a sweater for my husband and had hoped to have it done by Christmas.  I doubt if that will happen.  I have many scarves that I've knitted this past year that will be given as gifts.  As my entire family is now living with us again, plus a dear daughter-in-law and a 23 month old grandson, that means there are 6 adults/one toddler and one Golden Retriever puppy of almost 6 months and a very, very old cat in this house, I doubt if I'll have time for the sweater.

I hope to make felted clogs for everyone as they are beginning to wear out after constant wearing for several years.

Probably I'll just buy things that they want and need.  

Cynthia

EdithS wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 2:54 PM

Most of my knitting is charity knitting.  I always pick one charity this time of year and knit away.  I used to knit for my family but they all have enough knitted things and they have all moved to warmer climates.

E in Vt

KaraB wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 2:53 PM

I pick one item to knit a year for my family and closest friends.  This year it's hats, next year it will be fingerless mitts. It's only 11 or 12 things to knit, and no seaming! Well, and maybe a capelet for my daughter this year.  I also make beaded ornaments, but those are just one per household so three or four.  Anything bigger is for non-deadline giving.  

JennelleM wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 2:52 PM

I'm knitting a simple sweater for my daughter because she needs one in the cold New England climate she chose for college.  I'm also knitting her a hat because she asked for one.  I may or may not knit my husband a sweater, depending on how Daughter's sweater goes.

AmeliaL wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 2:50 PM

It's so coincidental that you would bring up holiday knits today!

Just this afternoon during a seminar at school, my mind wandered off to holiday knits and I jotted down on my to-do list "start thinking about Christmas knitting."  

I haven't yet got any ideas for this year, but I do remember a very stressful holiday last year where I knit for every member of my immediate family, and of course left the fingers of the glove and blocking of the scarf until midnight on Christmas Eve.

It was awful.  Never again.  This year I promise to be on the ball!  I'd love knit for the immediate members again, but I swear to be less ambitious...

Hope this post brings up a lot of good ideas!

HeidiS wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 2:50 PM

I am looking into patterns for American Girl-size dolls for my niece, and I am trying to find a pattern for a John Deere stocking cap for my nephew.  Other than that, I'm not sure.  We draw names otherwise and I never know who I'm going to get until Thanksgiving, which doesn't leave a lot of time for knitting big things.

Anitteb wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 2:49 PM

I knit a couple of scarves for my SO's family when we did Christmas together and the same year they got me a book of knitting patterns and jokingly mentioned that they might be seeing Christmas gifts from the book - well, they are. I'm making (have made some) Two lace shawls, three shrugs, one cabled vest, one scarf, one aran shawl, a mysterious gift with the Stephenie Meyer Eclipse cover pattern on it, a hat, and a scarf for my friends and family. I started in January, have been buying yarn as I find the right kind at good deals and I've got one shrug, one shawl, the cabled vest, scarf, and mystery gift to go. *arg* Next year we may buy all the gifts so that I can make "myself" something for Christmas.

KristinM@3 wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 2:45 PM

I'm knitting a sweater for my dad (to replace the one I made him a few years ago that my mom FELTED) and hopefully one for my husband.  I make no promises on that one.  I'm also making warshrags to go with some embroidered tea towels for my in-laws.

LienK wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 2:43 PM

I'm lucky enough to have a couple of people who love to get handknits. I knit ferociously while watching football (Go Giants!), so I manage to make something for a few of them each year.  My mom wanted me to make her a turtleneck sweater.  I'll also probably do a couple of small baby projects for each of my 2 nieces-both born in August!

Pjecole wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 2:42 PM

This year I seem to be making knitted items that will be felted.

Oven mitts with matching hot pad 3 or 4 sets,

Fiber Trends' clogs, 5 pair, and 1 tea cozy.  My daughter's birthday is Dec. 21, and I want to get a dress scarf woven for her.  Everything is started, and I have a friend who I will get together with each week to make sure we set aside time to knit!  

For my friends who I taught to knit, I'm spinning them each (3) 1 skein of yarn to knit their own scarf!

I just really enjoy giving hand made gifts.  I think it shows thought & effort.  For those gifts that I think personal items are maybe not so appropriate, I bake an assortment of cookies.

HannaO wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 2:42 PM

I'm knitting a vest for my father, because he's a hard guy to buy for. I can't stomch the idea of another tie, book, or golf knick-knack. Even if he doesn't love the vest, he will love that I took the time to make it. In the end, that's what a handmade gift is about!

If I have time, I also plan to knit my mom a sweater and my sister a Clapotis. And, somewhere in the mix, I hope to get a couple of baby gifts done, too. It'll be a busy fall!

JeannineH wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 2:38 PM

I am making mittens for at least 10 of my friends.We all belong to a sorority. I am using our colors, and putting a little animal emblem on the back of the hands. Last year I made stuffed animal toys, and they loved them :o) I am on pair #8, and if I finish early I really would like to make 15 pairs.....so wish me luck

Oh String wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 2:31 PM

I'm not knitting anything for the holidays. I am however crocheting a scarf for a friend of mine.

DonnaP wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 2:30 PM

I don't knit, I crochet. I have a group of friends I make things for for holidays: purses one year, shawls another year.

One year I decided to make hats for family members. Each hat was tailored to the person, so I used many different patterns. After spending a fortune on yarn perfectly matched to a nephew's jacket, making him a skiboarding hat (that he requested!), and having him shrink it soon after Christmas . . .

Well, I'm re-thinking hand-crocheted gifts for family!

Maybe my friends will get hand-crocheted socks next year. If I start them now I should be finished by next December.

KimberlyS wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 2:27 PM

Don't worry Sandi, I don't knit for the 'holidays' either.  I am Jewish!  So, Christmas isn't a factor for us.  BUT, I do knit for the seasons, and am frantically trying to get a black alpaca scarf finished for my husband, as many pairs of socks for us all as I humanely can, and some new slippers.  I'd also like to accomplish a shawl or stole for myself, a new coat for my son, and a nice sweater for DD.  But, the seasons are changing fast on me, and am not sure I'll get them all done, but it's nice to have some goals at least.  It takes me longer to get things knitted up for any project, than most, since I also spin all of my yarns, too!  But, there is a tremendous satisfaction that comes with doing it all, and actually accomplishing those goals!

StacyW wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 2:27 PM

I'm not knitting much for the holidays, either - because most of the folks on my list are knitters, too! We exchange our latest "finds" in pattern books, buy each other fancy knitting tools like rosewood needles, and treat each other to those luxury yarns we don't buy for ourselves. Then we spend the rest of the year bringing big project bags to every family gathering, sharing tips & tricks, etc. Fiber a whole-family obsession with us....

LynnK@2 wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 2:23 PM

My daughter asked me to knit the Lion Brand Cable Luxe Maxi for her for her birthday and Christmas present.  She bought 100% worsted weight silk for me to use.

KellyA wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 2:23 PM

My parents are in their 80's so I just finished a medium blue gray lap robe for Dad.  I'm starting a rose-colored feather and fan lap robe for Mom.  Next, I'm planning to launch into a slouchy beret/scarf set for one of my best friends.  Everyone else gets something from their wish lists.

ConnieS@5 wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 2:22 PM

I always knit my daughter a purse for Christmas and a scarf for her mother in law.  I better get busy! it is getting close.  I am knitting myself the Hey teach sweather from Knitting Daily.

Other than this I don't get to crazy during the holidays with knitting.  Way to stressful. : )

Heather T wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 2:20 PM

This year for Christmas I am finishing all of the things I meant to give people last year and did not finish!

Sherill wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 2:19 PM

I'm trying to knit something for almost every member of my family - so far that's 12 items - mostly things that don't require weeks of work - scarves, hats, handwarmers, slippers, totebags, maybe a pair or socks or two. A few other family members are getting collectibles that I know they'll like. Even though we draw family names and only buy for one person each, as the matriarch (!), I like to give a little something to everyone anyway, as well as my big Secret Santa present.

KellyH wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 2:16 PM

I'm currently working on Christmas stockings.  Though we'd decided to forego the "Santa deal" our son's excitement/realization last year pushed us over the edge.  However it will be more about the heart and traditions than material goods.  In that line I designed stockings for us and am finishing up the 3rd of 4 ("Daddy").  I love the design I made and plan to keep it for future use (my boys will have to bring home a girlfriend/fiancee eventually!).

MichelleD@5 wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 2:16 PM

I usually end up doing themed things for everyone on my list (there are way to many people on my list anyway!) Last year it was games. This year, however, it's looking like knit goods.  I live in Maine and have family from Aroostook County, ME to Boston and everyone needs hats, mittens, slippers, and scarves.  No one will receive all of these things of course but many will receive something....better get my sticks moving!

Michelle

Jnb3382 wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 2:14 PM

This year, my holiday knitting is going to be minimal. I'm just at that point where I'm sick of seeing gifts I've knit in the past be given to a toddler to drag around or to the family dog to play with. So, only a few select people who have really loved knits in the past will receive knit gifts from me this year. I'm knitting for my Mom, my Sister Dawn, and my Best Friend Sarah. I've picked mitten patterns from the book 'Selbuvotter' for their holiday gifts. I'm using an assortment of Knitpicks Essential and Palette to make the mittens. The pair for my Mom is almost finished, and with 3 months left to knit the other two pairs, there should be no problem what so ever finishing the mittens in time for Christmas.

HarpTonya wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 2:14 PM

I'm knitting nothing for holiday gifts - I, like several others who have commented, knit year-round, and when the gift is done, it gets gifted, regardless of whether or not it is on/near/for a special day/holiday.  And the recipients have told me again and again that my unexpected gifts are the best surprises - so that's my plan.  I always have at least 3-4 projects on the needles, usually all of them are for others, but maybe I'll surprise myself someday with a project just for me!  :-)

LiB wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 2:12 PM

I'm knitting Allen Dart gnomes and leprechauns. They knit up quickly and look better than any knitted toys I've seen. I have a list of requests from people without children at home, who view them as keepsakes rather than toys.

Li

lifesastitch.typepad.com

GwenF wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 2:10 PM

I'm making only 3 gifts this year...well until I tack on 10 more in November.  I'm making Funky Sock Monkeys using striped yarn and I'm giving my aunt, who knits, some handspun yarn.  I just recently learned.

gwen

Kymmiam wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 2:09 PM

I don't knit specifically for the holidays--who needs that kind of pressure? Knitting is spoze to be fun and a looming deadline is not my idea of a good time. My family, by and large, isn't much into the handknits anyway, and I don't knit for someone unless I'm fairly certain all that work will be used and appreciated. That said, I'm working on a sweater for my mother that will either be a birthday (it's in Dec.) or Christmas gift, but I have a high degree of certainty that it will be worn.

KatieM@3 wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 2:08 PM

I haven't started my holiday knitting yet, but plan to knit a vest for Dad, a sweater for Mom, and either a pair of socks or a shawl for my Grandmom.  I'm going to knit my Mom a pair of socks for her birthday, which is just before Christmas, too.

I already have the yarn for the vest and the sweater and hope to start them soon.  I plan to knit them in the round to speed things up a little. Good luck everyone, with your holiday gifts!

Betty BJ wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 2:05 PM

Sandi,

How refreshing to hear that someone else does not knit for the holidays - I do not knit for any holidays, including birthdays (well, maybe milestone b-days that I have tons of time to prepare for - like someone's 50th birthday ^.^).

My family and friends are very familiar with my "just because" gifting system.  Of course, 18 and under get gifts for all occasions, but those above - well, they don't.  They do, however, receive "just because" gifts from me:  perhaps their favorite cologne that I just happen to pick up, maybe a scarf and hat that I made with yarn that called their name - maybe even an afghan was handed over out-of-the-blue...

Yes, they've gotten used to it, and actually have grown to appreciate many of my *eccentricities* - I'm known for being overly generous - but on my own terms, with no time constraints or demands.

When I knit, I do it for pleasure - in pusuit of that perfect lacy tank top, or beautiful throw, or wonderfully warm shawl - things that I enjoyed *playing* with...

Even before I started knitting, I used the "just because" system for 18+.  Never liked the *hassles* that holiday gifts create (for me, anyway) - worrying if they'll like the gift, or if I gifted *fairly/evenly*, or seeing that special item that I spent hours of shopping for - only to see it being returned...

No.  Not me.  Stopped that many years ago...  Small children get gifts and money... from 11+, it's money.  After 18 (well, I usually extend it to early 20's...) -well, after that certain age, they start receiving *just because* gifts, with no rhyme or reason ^.^

Yes, I've learned to enjoy the holidays - I don't believe anyone should *expect* a gift - don't believe in that - yes, I have *entitlement* issues - I don't appreciate people with them (*entitlement issues*, that is)- I refuse to indulge those that feel *entitled* - too bad, get on with your life.

No, I'm no scrooge - up there somewhere in this long-winded writing, I did say I'm very gnerous - really overly generous  - just on *my* terms/timeline...   :)

Well, it's a big world, and we're all *entitled* - LOL - to do our own thing - for those that love knitting holiday gifts, my hat's off to you, and I hope you find time to enjoy the *holiday scent and sentiment* :)

Take care, Betty BJ

MartjeB wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 2:05 PM

I'm knitting 7 felted purses, a mohair shawl, a mohair scarf, a cashmere hat and a sweater for my husband!!

SharonV wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 2:05 PM

I've been after my knitting circle to come up with ideas for handmade holiday gifts.  They all claim to be beginners and incapable of making a gift 'fast'.

My answer to that was since it's a handmade gift,  it could be 2 washcloths with a bar of handmade scented soap in a dish.  

But my biggest offering was to start small by replacing one store-bought gift with a handmade one.  That'll take some of the pressure off.

AnDyH wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 2:04 PM

I have already started knitting for holiday gifties...(3 kids are mine, 6 more are neices and nephews).  Majority of what they will get is a pair of hand-knit gloves   --  ages range from 10 thru 21, so styles will vary depending on who it is for (Army son will get military style gloves in Black, college neice will receive a pair with some lace-like design on it, younger kids assortment of sideways gloves and others done in sock yarn so will be washable by machine).

Also have a few other little projects for special friends that I hope to have completed in time.

AnDy in Maine

MichelleM@2 wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 2:04 PM

I knit for the holidays all year long, just as I shop for holiday gifts all year long. (But I only knit for those I know want or appreciate such things.) I've already finished a tam for a neighbor, have most of two half-sized Himalayan totes done for a friend's two daughters, and have a couple misc. scarves done for last-minute gift ideas and gift exchanges. I am going to knit a Sonnet cardigan for a friend, but her birthday is in January and I will probably give it to her then as a combo Christmas/birthday gift. I'm also planning a moebius shawl for my sister and maybe one for my mother -- just as soon as I knit one for myself to wear to my sister's wedding in October!

DebD wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 2:02 PM

Up until recently I was mostly cross-stitching; however, the knitting bug caught me when I saw Berroco's Jasper.  So, on the needles, a sweater for my DH, using Rick Mondragon's sliding loop intarsia technique "Dramatic Duo" from Knitter's Summer '01.  In the lineup, a hoodie knitted in Lamb's Pride Worsted and Noro from "Son of Stitch and B---h".

Love the newsletter and the galleries--please continue the good work!

HeatherL wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 1:58 PM

I always (and only) give handknit items for Christmas.  My secret is that I knit all year round, but generally start in the summer. I also only have up to 6 people to knit for.  Generally I alternate small and large gifts.  My mother and sister got sweaters last year and dad and brother got socks, this year my brother-in-law and father are both getting sweaters (both Jared Flood designs the swisher and cobblestone) and my mother and sister get socks.  Christmass knitting done early and often is a lot of fun (there was one year I finished up a scarf 3 AM Christmas morning, but that is the exception).  I've been doing it so long though that I think next year everyone is going to get a bottle of SOAK so they can take care of all my gifts properly!

LizA wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 1:58 PM

I did my Christmas knitting January thru March: Mini Sweater Ornaments.

I'm working on the Maile Sweater Vest for out son, aged 11 and in love with the color red.

Sould I finish this in time, theshizknit.com posted the lovely St. James' Sweater that will hit my needles either in time for Christmas, or our daughter's birthday in late January.

Who needs stress when I've got knitting????

KimberlyM@2 wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 1:58 PM

The whole process of choosing the yarns, the colors, and the patterns makes me feel joyful and puts me in the Holiday spirit.  I plan little things with bulky yarns if possible so that I can knit them up quickly.  A bulky beanie for my brothers, some felted slippers for my sisters.  

This year I plan on making a felted purse for a dear friend using fingering yarn out of the Nordic Felted Knits book.  My sister-n-law has asked for a knitted purse that was inspired by the interweave knits lacy yoga bags pattern.  I modified it to make a medium sized purse for myself and I have gotten many compliments on it.  I have even had some ask if they could purchase one from me.  

I am not sure if I will have time for everything.  I will prioritize and if I can't get to some of them I will buy something for them.

Meanwhile I have had an excuse to buy luscious yarns and try new patterns.

CarolA@2 wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 1:54 PM

socks, socks, socks.  The grown chldren all want them in their stockings (!).  Added this year are three handmade sock monkeys for the grandchildren, two hats, two felted bags, a cashmere lace scarf, six pair of mittens, a sweater, and a camisole.  I'm about half done with the sweater, the socks are complete, the bags ready to felt, and I've cast on the scarf.  Much farther along than last year at this time!

LouiseC wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 1:52 PM

I'll be making knitted "hugs" for my 3 children, my eldests BF, my middle child's GF, my God-Niece, and a "mini-hug" for my Great-GodNiece. The hugs are scarfs with hands on the ends (found as a free pattern at Knitty), and done on large needles with heavier weight yarn. As far as other projects are concerned, there is always something (or two) on the needles...right now lace shawls/scarves are my passion.

on Sep 15, 2008 1:52 PM

I have 9 nieces and nephews, and I am knitting each of them a hat, scarf, and mitten set.  On previous Christmas' I have just knit them all mittens, so this is a little bit bigger endeavor this year, but I am confident that they will all be completed.

I have already given each of them a crocheted afghan for their birthdays!

CarolynG@2 wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 1:50 PM

I am knitting the Fur Sure Coat from the Family Circle Easy Plus Size Knits for my older daughter and A twin cardigan & shell set for my younger, this is a vintage pattern left to me by my mother.  I have finished the cardigan and almost finished the shell. I have the back finished to the Fur Sure Coat. I have designed a blanket with the Virginia Tech logo for my son-in law.Which will not be finished for Christmas so I am making a pillow from the design and he'll get the blanket for his birthday.

I also have socks on my needles which may end up as gifts. My favorite past-times are knitting and reading.  As you can tell, knitting is getting a priority right now!

I enjoy your newsletter and your blog. Thanks for your sharing your insightful tips.  Carolyn

Raynebair wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 1:48 PM

I don't really knit for the holidays all that much. I gift knit for family and friends throughout the year. Currently I'm working on an afghan and for my husband and an afghan for my sister's wedding.

I was hoping to get a stocking done for my 2yr old daughter who doesn't have her own yet, but other than that, no holiday gift knitting this year.

TriciaS wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 1:46 PM

I'm going to be knitting socks for everyone, I gave them that last year and they all seemed to love them. They're a great way to try out different patterns and I can work on them going to and from work on the bus. I've finished one pair for my sister and am trying to decide on the colors for an Argyle pattern for my brother-in-law and nephew. If anyone knows of knitting patterns that are commuter friendly, I'd love to hear from you! Cheers.

Kathleenmary wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 1:43 PM

I am knitting a prayer shawl for a friend, several pairs of socks and I'd like to try some of those fingerless gloves I've seen... but I have waited way too long this year and may make this a 'Jewelry' year for the most part. I've not been enthusiastic about much of anything this summer except my afternoons writing under the apple tree!

Krisi77 wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 1:42 PM

I won't be knitting much for Christmas, I never do. Not that many I have to knit for! :) But this year I am making a friend (who comes to Canada from overseas) a Christmas stocking! I don't think he ever had one so he needs one don't you think? Especially as I will fill it when I give it to him! LOL I also plan on making him a scarf with some lovely alpaca / silk blend.

I want to make my mom a scarf with the new Ecco Cashmere I got last week, hopefully a beaded one. Other than that I will buy what people need as our christmas' are about buying or finding useful items! We have all grown out of the " I want" stage to the "I could use" stage.  Happy Holidays everyone!  PS: Plus I quilt so I have to do some quilted presents and they take up time too! heehee

JaneW@2 wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 1:42 PM

I plan on making scarves and hats mostly, and Christmas Stockings for my cousin's children who still don't have an Aunt Jane stocking!

I may become inspired to do other things but I think hats are going to be the ticket for me this year - generally quick, lots of opportunity to use fun, interesting yarns in small quantities, and instant gratification!

Happy knitting!

SeannaL wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 1:40 PM

I used to cross-stitch for the holidays, which is just as time consuming as knitting if not more so (I timed my pieces, so I could finish 4 large projects a month, but I was working on them at all hours of the day around work).  The only way I find knitting or making gifts works is if you never let the recipient have any idea that they can expect something handmade.  That way if it isn't done in time for a holiday or a birthday you can just keep plugging away at it.

Of course, this works for most things except my mother in law.  Last year she asked for a scarf (and she has an aversion to wool, which I can only imagine is because she hasn't had anything wool since the 70s or earlier).  This year she asked for two pairs of socks in fairly specific colors and doesn't want any wool.  She likes to dictate her gifts, which is totally foreign to me.

DorisN wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 1:38 PM

Only one item planned right now and I'm starting tonight.  A lacy scarf for my hairdresser who has been cutting my hair for more years than I care to remember.  She always ooh's and aah's over anything I make and it makes me feel so skilled, which I'm not.

AnnG wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 1:37 PM

I am planning on: 1 sweater for son (17),  one knitted Dalek for son (25), one lace scarf - a chance to try lace for first time and maybe a few other things - That's plenty for one Xmas.

EmilyR wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 1:29 PM

I've been knitting socks all summer; gifts for kids and grands,  I plan to hang one sock stuffed with the mate, along with other goodies. I'm hoping to get in some mittens and scarves as well, in between doing the FIVE new baby gifts that are looming between October and March!

Korinthe wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 1:28 PM

Not much this year. I am still trying to finish a lot of baby items for the latest crop of newborns -- and we are expecting our baby in December!

However I have got a pair of socks nearly done for my sister (begun in January) and I hope to knit the Ice Queen smoke ring for my mother-in-law. I have been batting away thoughts of a scarf for my father, too -- there is no way, unless I am on bedrest, I will be able to get all that knit before Christmas. (Never tried lace or Kid Silk Haze before.)

I do try to knit something for at least one or two people, every year. The recipients get rotated. :)

A.E wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 1:27 PM

Just started last week... first gift is a top-down raglan hoodie for my college daughter.  Still trying to figure out what to make for the guys.

I have been knitting gifts for the last few years, ever since my youngest went off to college.  Not only is it fun and a great customized type of gifting, but since I buy yarn on sale or, better, on a secondary market like eBay, it's much less expensive than buying presents.

The trick is to time the knitting to the date of giving.  Last year my son got a box of yarn, with a note that said I would knit it for him.  (rolling my eyes at myself)  He wears it all the time, now.

Sheri wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 1:23 PM

I never plan on knitting the massive number of gifts that I always seem to fixate on just before Christmas.  Three years ago it was Wonderful Wallabees for the little kids (6, I believe)  Last year it was felted clogs - 8 pairs or so - it's kind of a blur to me now.

This year I am determined to STAY AWAY from knitted gifts!  Yeah right!

DeborahR wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 1:22 PM

I am knitting I-cord bracelets which are then felted and embellished with beads. Might try a cuff felted bracelet too!!!                                                          

These are fast to do and are totally unique and fun too!

on Sep 15, 2008 1:22 PM

I'm knitting a DNA cabled earband, and chess-themed earband, and Ronald Weasley ipod sock, a sweater (took care of that over the summer), ornaments, a crocheted-flower scarf, a viney sweater.....I think that's it.  Possible birthday presents to be thrown in between : )  It's going to be a loooong fall.....

LindaW@6 wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 1:21 PM

So far, two Christmas stockings.  Maybe two teddy bears.

KathleenF wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 1:19 PM

I tend to knit or crochet gifts for others for financial reasons. Money is tight. Finding money for gifts AND money for crafting can be hard. Spending money on yarn gives me the fun of crafting AND takes care of the gift-situation, too. Doilies, scarves, a vest, toys for kids or for friends' pets... Not everyone gets hand-made gifts, but I do it when I can so the gift budget can be stretched a bit more. I work on the projects all year long.

AnnC wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 1:19 PM

For the past four years I've been knitting for my significant other's family for the holidays. It started off as scarves for everyone because I didn't know them well enough to buy good gifts (no wish lists are given out, but they'd help a lot!). But then the surprising thing happened, they all loved their handknit items. So this year, Grandma get is getting the Icarus Shawl, and my future sister-in-law and her girlfriend are getting a headscarf and belt respectively (that match) from "Victorian Lace Today" I"m also making a few yoga mat bags for friends of mine. Since I stock up on Yarn over the year anyways I don't feel like I"m spending any money so its great!

RoseG wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 1:18 PM

I am knitting shopping bags for each of my four sisters to reduce the use of plastic bags in our world and a Nicky Epstein scarf for my daughter

TheresaH wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 1:14 PM

I am knitting a lot of nice luxury hat, scarf, sock, bag (backpacks and totes) and glove combo gifts... A few throws  for my parents and in-laws and some preemie hats (goal is anything over 50) for caps to the capital and my local NICU. I started about 5-6 weeks ago and I am about 1/3 to 1/2way done.... SInce I am home, due to a work injury, I am taking full advantage of whatever free time my two boys (4 and 9) allow me.

LindaH@3 wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 1:12 PM

I'm one of those that pushes to the limit, knitting for my adopted daughters coming wedding, ring pillow and accessories.  Then for the holidays I have 3 great nephews,

1 great niece, 2 adopted grandchildren, hats.  I have added

cross bones to one hat with the glow in the dark, nice.

For the first time, I am over half finished  with all my projects.

Never before!! Usually the midnight hour. Happy Knitting to all.

DianeM wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 1:11 PM

Hmm..  So far it doesn't seem like there are lunatics like me out there.  My lunacy is driven by a large stash and a whole slew of expenses that I am just keeping up with, though.  So, presents for everyone!

One toy horse.

Five pairs of socks (maybe six).

One lace scarf.

One lace shrug.

One mohair-blend lace cardigan (easier than it sounds).

One head wrap thing (knitty Caliometry).

One unknown thing for my nephew (still waiting for inspiration)(maybe another pair of socks?)

Will I finish?  Yip.  I've already started, so that I can finish on time.  The socks are easy.  The only real challenge is the scarf, because it drives me nuts to work on it for more than an hour.  But it is started!  So, it will be finished.

on Sep 15, 2008 1:09 PM

I don't really knit for the holidays anymore.  I love knitting baby sweaters and I have a niece 5 and nephew 4 and knitted them matching cable sweaters two years ago.  I never saw the sweaters on them.  As a result, I learned my lesson and only make things for people who ask me to and then it's during the year so I just make it and give it to them.  It's alot easier, no deadlines and the items are what they want.

MaryB wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 1:08 PM

I'm making string bags for a lot of friends, they are easy (I've been traveling lately) and useful.  I don't make 'big' projects for Christmas, too stressful, plus I am a beginning enough knitter that I am still keeping most of what I make.  If I make something for a gift, it is usually not for a special occasion, but just because I think that person might like it, or in cases because they have requested I make something for them.

nhbeaglemom wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 1:01 PM

I inherited boxes of yarn from one of my husband's aunts.  I'm knitting scarves & hats for the remaining siblings out of this stock.

It's going to be a knited holiday in general because I'm doing all sorts of hats, scarves mittens and (hopefully) a sweater.

it's helpful for me to have a goal in mind...and a justifibale reason for that stash :)

LouiseG wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 12:58 PM

Does anyone know about these new glow-in-the-dark yarns? I have four young grandchildren, and was thinking of making them each a hat that glowed in the dark. But am I going to discover in a few months that the yarn's treated with something that's a carcinogen.

Louise

on Sep 15, 2008 12:52 PM

It took me a while to get here, but now I give knitted or handspun gifts when *I* feel like it, not when there's a holiday (with an exception for baby-shower gifts, because knitting a tiny sweater on a deadline is fine by me). Knitting to a deadline just takes the fun out of it, and it's hard to feel good about the gift when I'm swearing at it for keeping me away from my "selfish" knitting!

Peacepurl wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 12:48 PM

I knit year round.. Always have serveral somethings going..

But I don't knit for occassions... I learned this lesson several years ago.. When I knit my baby sister a full length bathrobe.. with a knitted then smocked bodice and cuffs.. for Christmas She was three.. and refused to even try it for a photo.... No,,, I don't knit for dead lines anymore... Perfer to enjoy the process.. My sister is now 29 and lives to tell the story.. Grins

Peacepurl

ErinB wrote
on Sep 15, 2008 12:46 PM

When I move away from my lenghty list of "to do" projects, my holiday knitting is kept to a minimum (or at least that is what I tell myself).  My 4 yr old neice will be getting a princess hat and I see a backpack in a teenage neice's future.  My family knows that I am happily obsessed with knitting and are enjoying the outcome as I learn new skills.