Reality Check

Stripey Mittens: one pair done, one to knit; two to embroider flowers upon.



Time management.

I’ll be the first to admit, these aren’t my strongest traits. I tend to be more of a creative spirit, a dreamer – and when I manage to get something done by a deadline, it’s a matter of sheer force of will (with a good dash of denial and several pinches of stubborn. And a total lack of regard to my need for sleep and food.)

Mitts for Elder Squirrel Girl’s birthday, two days before Christmas.

This year is the first that my holiday gift giving revolves primarily around my knitting skills (and sewing, did I mention I’m supposed to be sewing too? Aie.) I’m trying to do a little better in the planning department. I even started early; in fact some things were stashed away in the gifting drawer as early as August.

But my grasp on time management was surely slipping a bit when I made my list of gift knitting. It went absolutely out the window as I continued to add to the bottom of it without checking things off the top.

Anu’s Mittens from “Folk Knitting in Estonia”

As of Sunday night, my original gift-knitting list (items yet to be completed) looked something like this:

2 kid’s sweaters
1 adult man’s sweater
3 pair men’s socks
2 pair women’s socks
4 pair mittens (1 kid’s, 3 adult)
3 pair fingerless gloves (adult)
4 hats

It looks more like the list of knitting I could accomplish during the entire next year. It’s a very nice list, and it represents all the things I wish I could give, but there is just no way I could do it.

Left: Beaufort Hat in Rowan Tapestery; Center and Right: Angora Cables of my own design.

So I very uncharacteristically sat down and gave myself a reality check. I made lists. I crossed things off. I calculated days vs. stitches and postage time. I re-revised. I now have a list that, while ambitious, I believe I just may be able to pull off:

2 kid’s hats
1 adult hat
2 pair kid’s mittens
1 pair adult mittens (already started)
2 pair adult socks (1 nearly done; now if only I can find that pesky dpn!)
3 pair adult fingerless mitts

So that leaves me very busy, but it’s not entirely impossible.

I hope.

Then there are 2 teachers’ gifts, and I’m not sure what I’ll do for that. Fingerless mittens? A couple dish/wash cloths tied up with a nice bar of soap? Any ideas?

*I’d like to edit-to-add here that gift-cards etc., while perfectly good gifts, don’t work so well here. There is no Starbucks or even a local coffee shop. No Borders or Barnes & Noble. So I’m looking for the handmade or online options.*

Back to work…


9 thoughts on “Reality Check

  1. What about scarves for the teachers’ gifts? Knitting one item instead of a pair might help with your time management. I love Anu’s mittens!!! I have Folk Knitting in Estonia. Are you using the yarn listed in the book? I look forward to seeing all you accomplish this holiday season.

  2. Teacher’s gifts? How about a box of chocolates? Or a couple blockbuster coupons? Save your sanity. You’ve been busy, I love the Anu’s mittens. Oh, and where did the fingerless mitt pattern come from. I like it.

  3. Your new list looks more manageable, though still ambitious. How about Starbucks gift cards for the teachers? Or maybe a cute coffee mug with a handknit mug cozy?

  4. I always like for the teacher types a little nice tea with a sweet cup. Definitely a pressure reliever and all buy-able! Or some finely milled organic soap that you decoupage some origami paper on. Something like that.

  5. I love Anu’s Mittens *and* the striped mittens. So cute!We’ve always given Harry & David chocolate-covered blueberries and/or cherries for teacher gifts (because WE like them so much!) I was thinking of going homemade this year and making a scarf, or possibly chocolate chip pumpkin bread. I wonder if they’d rather have a gift certificate, though.

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