It is August – and although we have had some almost wintery weather – the days are generally warm and the sun does come out. And yet it is also the perfect time to think about Christmas knitting.
Even if you are the sort of person who bemoans Christmas decorations going up earlier and earlier, and hate the “so many shopping days left” countdowns, there are good reasons to think about your festive knitting during the summer holiday period.
Plan your gift knitting
Time for some deep, searching questions – and you need to be perfectly honest here. How many hand knit items you want to give, what you are going to make and will it involve secret knitting?
The last thing you want to do with gift knitting is panicked finishing at the eleventh hour, desperately sewing up hats or grafting the toe of a sock in the early hours of the morning following the work party. So write your knitted or crocheted gift list now and try to work out how much time you will need to finish everything on the list – a timescale of more than four months and you might want to plan for December 2016 instead.
Think about whether you are knitting for other knitters or for non-knitters. A non-knitter may not be aware how much time a jumper takes and will be equally touched by the thought and work that goes into a hat, socks or mittens that are perfect for them.
Remember that sewing up or blocking takes time too, and if you are planning a knitted surprise remember that secret knitting time can be limited.
Don’t forget to make time now to source the perfect yarns. I find that choosing the yarn when I’m knitting a present can take me much longer than choosing for myself, probably because when I’m knitting for myself I’m much more willing to rip something out and “repurpose the yarn”.
The Christmas jumper question
Now we have encouraged you to start your Christmas knitting project plan, we need to discuss the knotty issue of the Christmas jumper… or hat or scarf or any other item featuring Father Christmas, Christmas trees, reindeer, etc.
There is nothing wrong with these – except perhaps some rather tired Bridget Jones jokes – but you need to decide how much you want your gifts to be worn or used. Realistically, that stunning intarsia Santa sweater will only get a few wears a year, and if it is for a child, they may grow out of it by next year.
On the other hand the pattern may be just the challenge you want and could be a lot of fun. Just don’t be disappointed if the item has a short life span.
One compromise can be winter rather than specifically Christmas themes – so snowflakes or snowmen for example.
Good luck with any gift knitting you are doing this year. We’re confident you’ll get it all done in time and make sure you have fun as well, thinking of all the happy faces on Christmas morning. And if you still think it’s daft to be thinking about Christmas in August, can I point you towards some of our Twitter followers who started their Christmas projects weeks or even months ago.