Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Christmas in July

Here it is only July, and I'm already thinking about Christmas presents. I won't even start knitting them for a month or two...or three. But I've started thinking about who is going to get what. Rarely does the perfect project and yarn combination fall into my lap. It amazes me how hard it is to make decisions when knitting for other people.There's so much thought that goes into gifts. At least for me.

Sometimes it's easy to figure things out. When I knit the wrap for my mother for last Christmas, I spent a few hours on Ravelry looking for a pattern I'd like, then I'd figure out yarns and cost and decide if it was reasonable or way out of my budget. In that case I picked out the pattern and had ordered the yarn in a one day. Hell, planning this year's gift for her took even less time once I figured out what I was looking for.

Sometimes it takes a lot more planning. Since I've figured out both of my parents gifts already, I've moved on to the rest of my list. One person in particular is proving difficult. She's always cold, so my first thought is a shawl.

What shawl though? Something made of lace is easiest for me. I'd have to pay attention and take my time knitting it. At the same time though, it means less yarn, which means I can spend a bit extra per skein and get a nicer yarn, but also pay less overall because I won't need a huge amount of yardage to cover the same amount of space. Okay so maybe a wool alpaca blend since she's really always cold. A lace shawl in a nice yarn. Then she could even wear it as a scarf when she leaves the house. Perfect.

But wait, there's a new baby in the house. He'll be about five months old in December. Now I've got to weigh the options of nice warm yarn that needs a bit of care when being washed and worn, versus something more hard wearing that doesn't breathe, like a acrylic or acrylic blend yarn. Wool would keep her warmer and breath better, but acrylic would be easier to wash. And then there's the thought of a lace pattern - what about the possibility of baby fingers getting stuck. I'd like it to be pretty. She could use a bit of whimsy in her life. More then that though, I'd like her to be able to use it and not have to worry about it being a problem with the baby.

All this thought going into just one gift, and all they see when they unwrap it is the finished project. They don't see the hours spent looking for the right pattern and yarn. All the deliberation that goes into picking those things out. The handful of people I ask for opinions about things to get a better understanding of what might be the best decision for them. Or the looks on all those peoples faces when I tell them I'm already thinking about Christmas presents. In July.

It'd be easier to buy her a few pairs of socks and call it a day. Easier, and maybe I'd even find an awesome store bought gift if I start looking now. I've still got a bit of time. I'll pick out a pattern and yarn if I can and go from there. Her birthday's not too far from Christmas either. I can always buy a gift for one and make a gift for the other. We'll see.

Have you started thinking about Christmas gifts yet? Or are you a last minute gift giver? Am I just odd for thinking this far ahead? 

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