Less Stress for Christmas Knitting

Christmas can be a very stressful time of the year for knitters. Many Christmas Eves find knitters furiously racing to finish this sleeve, or put the fringe on this scarf. Planning your Christmas knitting now can be beneficial not only to you, but to your gift recipients as well.

Why Start Now?Five months seems like a very long time ahead to be planning Christmas, but the extra time can come in very handy, especially if you have a long gift list. More time can mean more gifts, better gifts, and less stress for you.

Who to Knit For

The first step to destressing holiday crafting is to make two lists. The first list should be all of the people that you definitely want to knit a Christmas gift for. The second list should be all of the people that you would like to knit for, as long as you have the time.

Now, figure out how much time per person you have. The easiest way to do this is to take however many days are left until Christmas and divide by hte number of people. First do this as if you are kmitting for all the people on both lists, then calculate it for just the people on the definite list. Use these numbers to determine whether or not you are comfortable knitting for everyone.

What to KnitUse your time calculations to help determine what to knit for each person. Some projects will take less time than your calculated average, while others may take more. Only you know how long it takes you to knit a specific type of project.

Look around online for patterns. Many websites, such as Ravelry and Knitting Pattern Central, offer a variety of free patterns for all occasions. If you have a very long list of recipients, small gifts, like hats and scarves, may be the best choice. If your list is short, you may have time for more complicated gifts like sweaters.

More Tips for Holiday KnitsStick with simple stitch patterns. Gifts with complicated, time consuming patterns are certainly nice, but may be better suited to a birthday or anniversary, when you can concentrate on just the one gift.

Using simple stitch patterns does not mean your gifts have to be boring, though. You can personalize your gifts in quick, simple ways, like using a person’s favorite color, or decorating a hat with a store-bought pin if teh first letter of the recipient’s name.

One last tip for less stree: have a few generic extras. Make a few simple hats or scarves to have just in case someone extra pops onto your list late in the season.

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