Hey all you knitters out there: the final countdown to the big X is on. One week to go. And you have to ask yourself... Is your knitting finished yet?
Because everyone knows this is the busiest week of the year for UPS, FedEx, the USPS, and the Honey Baked Ham people. But what non-knitters don't realize is, this is also the most frenzied, hand-cramped, extra-tight-gauged week of the year for knitters, too!
I know you're all out there trying to weave in a thousand ends on Fair Isle mittens for your cousins, and a stockinette stocking for your cat, and a big ol' cable motif sweater for your bestest friend or your dad or your hubby - or, more likely, frantically trying to reach that weaving-in stage, because then you'd be practically finished, when in reality, you still haven't started that first sleeve! And I know that in the next seven days you'll drive yourself loony-tunes, staying up into the wee hours of the morning, cursing your fingers for not moving faster, cursing the yarn for not cooperating, cursing the pattern designers for, well, all the things they do... Just cursing in general, I imagine, because you didn't start early enough, or you're trying to cram too many projects into too little time, or because you forgot about getting a gift for your great aunt Margo until too late so you have to turn to your stash and try to remember what her favorite color is... I believe the illustrious Harlot refers to this Chrismastime knitting madness in The Secret Life of a Knitter as, simply, "It," because it's too terrible to try to name.
Whoa. Okay guys (er, gals), take a minute and step back. Breathe.
Before you give yourself carpal tunnel and use so many under-your-breath obscenities that Santa will no longer be stopping by your house this year, let's try and think for a second just exactly what knitting (or crocheting) Christmas presents is all about. Aren't you doing it out of love? Isn't the point of a hand made gift to show that you care about the recipient so much that you wanted to give not only from your wallet, but from your talent, creativity, time, and heart?
Not to be cliche about it, but every stitch ought to be made with love, not with expletives. Your giftknitting projects shouldn't be marred by frustration and anger, because then that frustration and anger is worked into the object, and in a way stays embedded within it - in the tight stitches, uneven edges, and other symptoms of knitting that was rushed rather than enjoyed - and that would be a tragedy. So stop stressing out about it. Calm down. Take it easy. Relax. Remember why you wanted to make this person something in the first place. I'm sure if you care enough about them to want to hand knit a gift for them, they probably care enough about you that it's no big deal if you aren't done until after New Years.
(At least, this is what I've been trying to tell myself, as I breathe the fragrant odor of orange juice blended with wool - see previous post - and develop a permanent squint.)