So here's what I do. First, I make The List. It's a budget of both purchased and handmade gifts. I try to save money and buy less, make more. I try to think of everyone so I don't get surprised later. This year my very kind husband looked at the list and said, "It looks good honey but do you want to take a second look at the knitting list? It seems very, well, um, ambitious." His kind way of saying, "Are you out of your crazy mind! We'll never eat if you try to knit all that!" So then I cut the list and start knitting.
I'm not as organized as the Yarn Harlot. I don't figure out how much time it will take me to do each project and what day I have to have everything done by. In fact, I'm just a maniac and I start casting on willy nilly with all my ideas and my gung ho in full force.
Now that was in early November. Not a bad time to start I'm sure. But since then scarves have turned into cowls and ornaments and bookmarks and anyone who we're seeing after actual Christmas day has had their gift set aside for the time being.
In the meantime I've made several ornaments for my own house and already spent several hours sitting in front of the tree with the lights off just talking to the kids. Or sleeping.
What I'm saying is that there's an art to being able to downsize and let go. Ambition is all well and good, but small gifts count just as much and for me it's just not worth the stress of driving myself nuts for 20 perfect, large sized knitted gifts.
So in a couple of days I'll have a rather large stash of bookmarks and ornaments for gifting which I'm really enjoying knitting. And I'm getting to put beads on them which is no end of fun.
Here's one of the ornaments that I'm gifting. It's the recycled silk, which I love and which suits it's recipient perfectly. Then I sewed on some sequins and added the beads. The pattern is out of the Handknit Holidays book which is edited by Melanie Falick but I believe the pattern is by Leigh Radford.
Now mind you, I'll get off my high horse right now and go back to work on those items that I AM still planning to make. I haven't given up completely. Let's see - 2 pairs of socks, a pair of slippers, 2 hats and either a scarf or another pair of socks . . . . . hhmmmm.