Friday, November 13, 2009

Overwhelmed by the Christmas.

I know it isn't Thanksgiving yet, but Christmas is already giving me an ulcer. This is my first Christmas since I've "rediscovered" knitting, and I decided to do my first handmade Christmas. I know. I'll regret it. But for right now, that's the plan. One of my Christmas presents is 95% finished... my sister's. They're completely knitting, but I need to line them with fleece. Because I'm an overachiever.

The rest of my Christmas knitting?
* Mother = not started. And I can't even talk about it because my mother is in the blogosphere and follows my blog.
* Gene = 40% done? He's getting the biggest knitting project. I started it in September. I'm pretty sure he doesn't read my blog, but just in case he's a little sneak... I'm not saying what it is. But it's full of win.
* My brother = no idea what I'm making him. I don't even have yarn or a pattern picked out.
* Daddy Dearest = yarn is purchased, pattern is picked out. He's getting a scarf. I don't know if he's a scarf wearing person, but his job takes him to very cold places (Vermont, Canada, Washington... it's cold in those places)
* nuWife = I feel if I'm making something for EVERYONE else, I should probably make something for nuWife. So she's getting a scarf too. Ridiculously easy pattern that looks more difficult than it is. Win.
* Gene's dad = Don't know. I have the yarn. Don't know what I'm doing. It's Eagles Green... Gene says scarf. Maybe I'll do a similar pattern to what I'm making for Daddy Dearest.
* Gene's mom = super cool mittens out of ALPACA!! I loves alpaca. Not as much as I LURVE merino, but I loves alpaca.
* Gene's gramma = don't know, but she's so fascinated that I'm a knitter and loves looking at all my projects, so I HAVE to make her something. Ideas??? Gene thinks maybe slippers.
* Best Friend = I don't know if she reads this blog either, but she already knows she's getting mittens because that's what she asked for. It's cold in Ireland.

Here's my dilemma. Now, those of you who are NOT crafters are the ones I'm talking to. This notion is highly debated on ravelry often... where the people who make gifts for don't understand the work and love that went into making it. I've heard many stories of knitters making socks (which take a long time! For me anyway) for people who say "Oh, thanks." and then never wear them. I know that my sister and the best friend will appreciate what I make. I know my mom and Gene's parents will appreciate what I make. It's my brother, Daddy Dearest, and nuWife that I'm worried about. I've never made anything for them before... so I can't really gauge their reaction. Also, my craft bloggy friends know that yarn ain't cheap. At least GOOD yarn ain't cheap. And I like the good stuff. I wasn't planning on getting much else for people for Christmas. Usually I'll do one big gift and then a few little things. Well. This is the big gift. What if they hate it? What if they think I'm a cheapskate, even though I KNOW that I'm not... and I KNOW that I spend a lot on yarn, and spent a lot of my time making the project.

It always amazes me when people who aren't crafters of any kind discover that I'm a knitter. They almost always say, "Well, you must save so much money on sweaters!" Not really. I've made 3 adult sweaters. The yarn on each of those was around $60. It could easily have been $100. I had someone I work with ask me to make her a sweater. I said, well... a sweater is between 30 and 40 hours of work, so let's say it's a complicated sweater and it takes me 40 hours. At $10 an hour (which is actually a low price) that's about $400 plus cost of materials. Her jaw dropped to the floor. You wouldn't ask a carpenter to build you a bookshelf and pay him $50.

I'm just so worried. I want my family to love my work... and to love what I do.


Joanie M said...

mittens are good.

and/or a hat :)

Joanie M said...

Well, I know for a fact that John LOVES his knit cap you made for him! He wears it often in the house if his head feels chilly. He also wears it to bed quite often. At work he has to wear a dark cap and he has a black one that he keeps in his car for work. In the hospital, John discovered that not only did his head stay nice and warm with the air conditioning on, but it kept the lights out when he was trying to sleep!

Bayjb said...

I love homemade mittens or scarves. What a great idea to do a homemade holiday!!

Anonymous said...

I too, rediscovered my 'inner-crafter'. A few weeks ago, I crafted a decoupage box as a Christmas gift for a blog pal of mine. And I'm thinking of making a decoupaged box for each of my nieces and nephews, with pictures of them through various stages of growth from babyhood to now. I'm sure on Christmas morn, they'll open their presents and sigh, but I know someday, years later, they'll dig their box out of some dark corner of their toy closet and think to themself, my uncle Corey made that for cool! (I can only hope, right?)