Merry Christmas! Delayed Knit Gifts

Welcome back, knitting friends! Unless, of course, this is your first visit to the Knitting Daddy blog — if that’s the case, welcome for the first time! I hope each of you have had a wonderful week. I know I did — any week that something comes off my needles is a good one! Even better, the socks that came off my needles this week are a long overdue gift for my dad that I’m thrilled to be able to finally deliver. More on that later in this post, let’s first catch up on what’s been going on in my knitting world this week.

Dad's Socks

Dad’s Christmas Socks Finally Came Off The Needles This Week

This Week In Podcasts

Bit by bit, I’m chipping away at my pile of podcasts. This week, I listened to episodes of Fiber Hooligan, Knit Circus, TwinSet, Knit 1 Geek 2, The Lost Geek, and CraftLit! There’s still a pile of podcasts I need to listen to — I’m about a week behind, but I’m catching up.

The Fiber Hooligan episode was about the Yarnover Truck. I loved listening to this interview, and I want a Yarnover Truck in my neighborhood! The Yarnover Truck is a yarn retail store that is housed in a truck. The owners wanted to open a yarn shop, but were put off by the expense of retail space, and came up with the idea of using a truck as their store. They drive it all over Southern California, and you can keep up with where it is by following their website and social media outlets. It’s a very cool concept, and I would absolutely love to check it out some time.

Knit Circus #40 included a lot of talk about Ravellenics, which was really cool. Even though the Ravellenic Games are over for this year, I’ve had a great time listening to podcasts that talk about the Games and reading forum posts about the Games. One thing that was odd about this episode is that the audio was repeated — after the entire podcast played, it played again! Since I was listening to it while I was driving, I actually listened to the whole repeat, just to make sure it wasn’t some sort of joke. It wasn’t. *shrug*

TwinSet #34 was a fun listen. I felt bad for Ellen and Jan, because technical difficulties ate their episode the first time they recorded it, so what was released was a redo! Thank you so much for taking the time and energy to completely redo the episode for us. It was another fun one — lots of laughter and love shared, to be sure. They also included an interesting discussion about casting on and casting off, which reminded me that there are so many cast on and cast off options (and I only know a few of them). The different options are appropriate for different projects, having different characteristics, and producing different effects. I always enjoy listening to these sisters talk with each other about the fiber arts. I’m glad to see that I already have a new episode queued up waiting for me to listen to!

Knit 1 Geek 2 Episode #86: And Apparently There Was A Sports Thing Too was recorded before the Ravellenic Games started. Maggie and Karen discuss the preparations they are making for the Games. Again, it was really fun to listen to this, even though the Games were already over when I listened to it. As always, there was lots of geek squee: Captain America, Sherlock, Harry Potter, Doctor Who, etc.

The Lost Geek Episode 27 — L.O.V.E was another podcast that included Ravellenic content. Arlin is incredibly enthusiastic about her own projects as well as encouraging everyone else to do well in the Games. She also talks about wanting to attend a knitting retreat, which is something that I want to do, too. I love knitting with friends, and I think being able to do that in a retreat setting would be a lot of fun.

CraftLit continues to keep me interested in North And South. I’ve been hooked on this one pretty much from the beginning, which is a nice change from The Age Of Innocence, which took me a little while to get excited about.

Looking at my list of podcasts I haven’t listened to yet, I see that I’m going to be in for a treat over the next few days as I continue to catch up. There are so many great knitting podcasts out there, I hope you’re enjoying them every week, too!

This Week In Ravelry

This week was pretty much status quo for me on Ravelry — I continued to mostly keep up with the IBK forum and poked around a few other forums a little bit as I had some time. I also added a new pattern to my queue. It’s a hat that I plan to knit for myself: R2D2 Beanie by Carissa Browning. Yes, it’s exactly what you think it is with a name like that. I might knit it for Blueberry, too. 🙂

2014 Knitting Goals Update

At the beginning of the year, I came up with some knitting goals for 2014. I’m pretty sure they were overly ambitious, but I’m not revising them. I’m going to try to remember to check in at the beginning of each month and see where I stand. So far, I’m OK with my progress.

  1. ON TRACK — I don’t always post by Monday, but I’ve written a new blog entry every week so far: Write 1 new blog post every week on my Knitting Daddy blog.
  2. NO PROGRESS — I’ll probably be doing a KAL next month, though: Participate in at least 1 KAL.
  3. NO PROGRESS — This project is becoming my knitting shame: Finish Blueberry’s Adaline cardigan that has been on the needles, like, forever.
  4. ON TRACK — I participated in the Valentine’s swap: Participate in at least 3 IBK swaps. (Probably mini-swaps)
  5. NO PROGRESS: Knit at least 4 patterns that have been gifted to me.
  6. ON TRACK — I contributed to both the Dec/Jan and Feb charities. I’ll be starting a hat for the March charity soon: Contribute to every IBK charity drive.
  7. NO PROGRESS: Knit at least 1 pair of socks for myself.
  8. NO PROGRESS: Knit a fish hat before the November fishing trip.
  9. NO PROGRESS: Knit Spud & Chloë from the Spud & Chloë At The Farm book.
  10. NO PROGRESS: Knit Mary, Joseph, and Jesus for a nativity.
  11. ON TRACK — I’ve bought some “souvenir yarn,” and I’m OK with that: Within a week of buying new yarn, cast it on for a project, unless it is “souvenir yarn.” (This was almost “no new yarn,” but I’ll allow myself to buy yarn for specific projects.)
  12. NO PROGRESS: Knit at least 1 hat for myself.
  13. NO PROGRESS: Write out and publish patterns for my iPhone Cozy and Dapper Dishcloth.
  14. NO PROGRESS: Submit something to the county and/or state fair.

Several of these goals will probably be combined (8 & 12, 3 &14), so it’s not nearly as daunting as it might appear. Still, I definitely have some work to do if I am going to be able to accomplish these this year.

This Week On My Needles

This week, all of my needle energy was committed to finishing Dad’s second sock. I’m happy to say that they came off the needles Sunday night, and it leads me to the main topic of this week’s post: delayed knit gifts.

Merry Christmas! Delayed Knit Gifts

Has this ever happened to you? You have a great idea for something special you want to knit as a gift for someone. You pick out your pattern, you pick out your yarn. You have plenty of time before the gift-giving occasion (birthday, Christmas, whatever). You start knitting. Maybe you get distracted, but it’s OK, you have plenty of time. You keep knitting. The deadline approaches, and you’re farther behind than you’d like to be, but it’s OK because if you work just a little harder, you’ll be able to finish in time. You keep working. Then you realize that the project may have been larger than you anticipated and you might not make it. You keep working. Then you realize that you definitely won’t make it. So you come up with a back-up plan. And that doesn’t work out. So there’s another back-up plan. That doesn’t work out. You find yourself approaching the gift-giving occasion without a gift to give. What do you do?

That’s what happened with me when, last October, I decided to knit a pair of socks for my dad’s birthday in November. I’d never knitted adult socks before, but I was pretty confident that I’d be able to do it. As Dad’s birthday approached I wasn’t even halfway finished with the first sock. I knew I wasn’t going to make it, so I got a different gift for his birthday and figured I could buckle down and finish the socks in time to give them to him for Christmas. I worked diligently on them and still came up short. When we exchanged gifts at Christmas, I think I was about halfway through the gusset on the first sock. I put it in my project bag and stuck it under the tree. Dad got a sneak peek at the sock, and an IOU for a pair when I finished them.

Once I finished the gusset, the rest of the sock flew off the needles pretty quickly. That’s when I realized that I used more than half of my yarn knitting the first sock and wouldn’t have enough available to knit a second sock. And the yarn was discontinued. I searched all over the interwebs and several stores for another skein of that yarn. Eventually, I found a source for it in a different colorway, and Dad was OK with having a mismatched pair of socks, so I got that skein to do the second sock with.

I cast on and the second sock seemed to be flying off the needles faster than the first one did, which was great. And then I got sidetracked. The sock kept getting some attention almost every week, but it came in fits and spurts, especially when I got to the heel flap and turning the heel. Once I finished the gusset last weekend, the rest of the sock pretty much flew off the needles and I was weaving in the ends this past Sunday evening. I was thrilled. I washed the pair and hung them on sock blockers to block them. I’m really happy with how they turned out, and they’re super-comfortable. I’ll be delivering them to Dad later this week.

I went back in Ravelry and looked at the history of these socks. I started them on October 9, 2013. I finished them on March 9, 2014. That’s five months, for a project that I originally thought I’d be able to complete in about five weeks. It was great that I had a back-up plan for when it didn’t pan out for a birthday present, but as Christmas approached, I was really hoping to get them finished. As things sometimes go, it just didn’t work out. I learned a lot (socks take longer to knit than I thought they would, it’s important to pay attention to how much yarn you have and use, e.g.) and thoroughly enjoyed the project. I don’t know when I’ll try socks again, but I’m sure I will. I just wish I had been able to have a completed pair of socks for Dad under the tree.

I’ll have to plan my Christmas knitting better this year. It’s already March — is that too early to start?

I think missing a knitting deadline is probably a common issue for knitters. What knitting deadlines have you missed? Maybe it was a baby shower that you had a half-finished blanket for, maybe it was a birthday or Christmas. What kind of back-up plans do you employ when you miss a knitting deadline? Join the conversation and leave a comment describing some of your most memorable stories about delayed knit gifts.

Until next week, keep on knitting for the ones you love!

-greg

Ravelry: KnittingDaddy

6 thoughts on “Merry Christmas! Delayed Knit Gifts

  1. I try not to knit for a deadline, because between my perfectionism and my generally slow knitting anyway, I rarely make them.

    My socks always take a long time, too. The first pair went great, but the second pair took four years to finish (bad yarn choice). For the third pair, I knitted each sock at least four times before I finally gave up and changed colorways… the fourth pair took two to three tries per sock. I finished the fourth pair and went back to the third pair and finally finished them this year. (Oh, and there was a pair of worsted weight socks in there somewhere that took a few months as well.)

    Looking at Ravelry, that third pair took from June 2012 to Feb 2014 to knit; and the fourth pair took a little over a year to knit. And these are DK weight socks! My whole problem is my perfectionism and my picky feet. If I could just let go of the perfectionism, I could have a pair of socks in two months or less, because they’re great for knitting on the go. 🙂

    • It’s funny. I didn’t necessarily intend to knit for a deadline. It is more like “Oh, I’ll make such-and-such for this person. And I guess I can give it to them for this occasion.” But then the artificial deadline becomes the real one.

      I definitely see the allure of having socks on the needles as an easy take-along project. I’ll probably do that next time I cast socks on — put them on the needles with no intent of having them completed anytime soon, and just work on them whenever I feel like it until they are done.

      Thanks for sharing your sock thoughts!

  2. When I first led a group in the Prayer Shawl Ministry, there were some who knitted for a deadline like the birth of a child or the timing of a funeral; however, we found that whenever the shawl was finished and gifted it was absolutely the right time for the recipient. We acknowledged that there was a God-Freakiness about the whole timing thing which helped us all relax.

    I will admit that knitting for a deadline like a Halloween costume needed for trick-or-treating does stress me out because I am generally a ‘free time’ knitter, not a ‘full time’ knitter….yet.

    • My mother’s quilting ministry is similar — they always seem to have the right quilt at the right time when needed. I’m with you about being a “free time” knitter — I think that I’m learning that anything I want to do for a deadline, I need to plan at least double the time I think it will take. Time to start knitting for Christmas now!

  3. I have a toy turtle that was supposed to be a Christmas gift . . .then a Valentine’s Day gift . . .
    The knitting is done, but there is a ton of sewing up and some embroidery for finishing. I seem to fall down at that stumbling block quite often. Thankfully, the parents are very laid back people 🙂
    PS Just found your blog recently–it’s great!

    • Understanding and patient gift recipients are awesome! Good luck and have fun with the finishing — it makes a huge difference and really helps your toy “pop.” And it’s also just nice to move the project to “complete.”

      Glad you found my blog – hope you continue to enjoy it!

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