Attention Sandra: do not read this post.
This year we're doing something different for Christmas presents. With the kids in the family getting a little older and more aware of Who Got What and She Got To Unwrap More Than I Did, it's becoming more and more important to rein them in. To be fair to them, it's not only the children that need reining in...come 10.30 AM on Christmas Day I am always looking hopefully under the tree to see if there's anything I've missed.
My sister-in-law and I decided to do it this year: "handmade" gifts. This doesn't necessarily mean "knitted", although, realistically, knitting will figure prominently.
I had bought some bouclé yarn last year, with vague thoughts of knitting ponchos for all my nieces...after half of one poncho, when I was crying bitter tears of boredom, I abandoned the project. The yarn will now become spiral scarves for the girls, with matching wristers.
This one is in camo (hard to see in the picture), for a very non-girly 8-year-old.
The thing with knitting for children is, there's always the very real possibility that they'll despise what you have made for them, send a faint sneer your way on Christmas morning, and promptly consign it to the Goodwill bag. Good news is, with acrylic bouclé yarn that I got on a BOGO sale and spent one day knitting, it won't break my heart. And, with the perversity common in non-knitters in general, and children in particular, they are more likely to be enthusiastic about acrylic bouclé than about, say, cashmere laceweight.
The pale blue. For a slightly girlier niece....haven't decided which, yet.
Speaking of laceweight, here is the first work-in-progress picture of my mother-in-law's gift: Eunny's Print o' The Wave Stole. I'm knitting it in Sweatermaker's Island Hues (no website but you can find out more about it at Fun Knits), on bamboo needles which I have sharpened almost to the danger point with an emery board. It's the first time I've knitted proper, laceweight lace, though the patterning, chart reading, and so on is no different to, say, the Pomatomus socks, or any of the other lace socks I've made. This means I've avoided the much-mythologised beginning-lace-knitter learning curve.
This shows the patterning well, though the colour is truer in the second picture.
I started the gift knitting in January - a pair of Anemoi Mittens for my sister, who had recently assured me that she loves wearing mittens and has quite a few pair of them. A few days ago, she spotted the Anemoi Mittens on Eunny's sidebar, and commented "Boy I'd like those...that is, IF I wore mittens."
I said cautiously, "But...last year you told me you wear mittens all the time."
She breezily said, "Oh, no: I meant gloves, not mittens."
There was a silence.
Then she said, "Oh, no."
Then she said, "Oh, no."
So I suppose the lovely blue and white Anemoi Mittens are destined for someone else. Sadly, Gwen has the smallest hands of anyone I know, so unless they go to a niece, they will have to be ripped right back and reknit with a size larger needle. I'd send them to a niece, but....well, the rest of them are getting acrylic bouclé spiral scarves. It hardly seems fair.