I keep coming across knitters (online) who are Working On Their Holiday Knitting. At first I felt pressure to get going on MY “holiday knitting.” Then I remembered: I don’t want to. Been there, done that. Last year I knit something for everyone. Some larger projects, some smaller, but everyone got something. My friends and family were appreciative, and gushed adequately, but I have yet to see one of those knitted gifts in action, out in the real world. Which is somewhat disappointing. I LOVE giving handknit gifts. Love it. But I get WAY more excited about it than the recipient! Of course, one can’t reasonably expect a non-knitter to understand all the time and effort that went into knitting a pair of…fingerless gloves, for example. How could they begin to imagine all the prep work; the pattern-researching, the yarn-shopping, the color-contemplation? How could they possibly fathom the swatching and the knitting and the ripping and the re-knitting and the shaping and the cabling and oh drat I dropped a stitch and for the love of pete where’s that crochet hook the little scoundrel is getting away from me! and…you know, all that. They don’t know. I don’t know if I even want them to know! It’s so much easier to hand over a finished item and hear “(Gasp!) Did you make this?” and feel like you’re a little bit fabulous for making something out of yarn and love.
I guess it’s pretty satisfying when they do seem to like the gift (even if they never wear that lace scarf that took you forever because it was your first lace project AND your first time reading a chart and you thought it was SO pretty but you parted with it anyway on account of the love), but I think I stressed myself out with the lofty goal I set last year. It became un-fun and the rewards did not outweigh the sacrifices and I decided that it was ok to become more of a selfish knitter. For some reason, I think a lot of us feel like we should be knitting for other people (I still feel compelled to knit for baby showers). But I’m trying to let go of that feeling of obligation. That’s the part I get hung up on. It’s MY hobby, for crying out loud! I can do what I want! My father certainly doesn’t give away all the fish he catches. My sister doesn’t feel obligated to play a little personalized tune for each of us on the piano every time we get together. Why do I make myself feel like I have to knit gifts for people? It’s completely my own fault. Obviously I should be knitting for people when I want to knit for them, not because I invented some kind of obligation in my head. And anyway, I came to the realization that (duh) not everyone will want something I knit for them for every single gift-giving occasion, every time! Maybe I’m making them feel obligated to wear the Kidsilk Haze capelet (which is actually a pretty impractical garment, albeit lovely). So maybe if I knit for myself, with the occasional (practical? uber-beautiful?) knitted gift thrown in here and there, everybody wins.
I’m trying to decide what to do about my sock. It’s long enough that I could finish it off any time now, but…(sigh)…the ankle still doesn’t fit like it should. I don’t want to bother knitting another if, when all is said and done, I have not one, but TWO ill-fitting socks. I’m leaning toward ripping it out and starting over with another pattern. At least I’ll have a better idea of what I’m doing this time. Anyone know if there’s anything to this short row vs. heel flap thing? Will doing a heel flap improve the fit of my sock? Does top-down vs. toe-up have any bearing on the matter?
I am determined to finish this pair of socks, since I’m suddenly finding sock patterns and yarns significantly more tempting than I used to. And after all, a handknit pair of socks would make such a lovely Christmas gift.