Thursday, November 03, 2011

it's beginning to look a lot (or at least a little) like Christmas

I started making my Christmas knits list this morning. As usual it has too many things on it and I will never finish them all, but it's at least a place to start. 

I am dying - dying - to buy new yarn. I browse around the interwebs and see other knitters' beautiful yarns and projects and aaaarrrgh, I want to place a humongous Knitpicks order and get a big box of loveliness in the mail.

But I did two things this morning to dissuade myself. First I went through the pile o' knitting that lives in the corner of my bedroom. This no man's land is a dusty pile of projects that seems to keep growing as I start things and abandon them in favor of new, shinier ideas. They're all viable projects, but I get bored and toss them aside. Naughty! So today I sorted out all the in-process items, as well as the yarns that I've pulled from my stash as I browse knitting books. That mostly adjusted my attitude.

Then AJ and I went out for some groceries at Target and BJ's (our club store, for those of you in other parts of the country). We needed a few big things like a case of toilet paper and a case of juice boxes for Daughter's lunch box, and I am starting to pick up holiday baking items like butter and brown sugar when I see them for a good price. When we got home I went to the white board and filled in my purchases, coming in right at $0 for groceries, and taking a solid hit in the "discretionary" column (t.p. and pullups went there this week to preserve more money for edibles). Wow, is everything getting more and more expensive, or what? 32 juice boxes are $10.99 (Juicy Juice brand, the second-least expensive ones next to Minute Maid which my kids don't like). I think for Christmas I will get Daughter a small Kleen Kanteen ($9.95 at Amazon) and she can take water sometimes. She always asks for it, but I don't have a good, leak-proof, BPA-free water bottle to send in her lunch box. The Kleen Kanteen is expensive, yes, but I think it is a good investment as she will use it for years.

So anyway, a shopping trip where I reach the end of my budgeted allowance for the week is always sobering. 

It will be a stash-based Christmas this year. Much as I would love to buy new materials, the fact is I have enough already to come up with gift knits. It may not be my first choice, but it will certainly do.

I do, however, think inexpensive patterns are fair game. After all, it is much less spendy to buy a $4 pattern to go with the yarn I already have than to buy $30-$50 worth of yarn to match a pattern. In that spirit I purchased the Kina pattern (Ravelry link). It calls for sport weight yarn and I happen to have some that has been marinating in the stash for years.

It's Wool Ease sport in the boysenberry colorway...and I had 6 of them at one time. I've used maybe one skein? I got them at a Tuesday Morning store, probably about 6 years ago now. Yep, I bet Daughter was a baby when I got these because I thought I could use this color for a little girl. There were 6 of these and 3 off-white and they were a steal. I have to say, this yarn knits up really nicely for being only 20% wool. I used to use it quite a bit for baby sweaters but they discontinued it a long time ago. Wish they would bring it back!

Anyway, it's sport weight yarn with size 5 needles so it's slow going. But the pattern is so cute, I am committed to getting it done and under the Christmas tree for Daughter. Oh, and the color is really more of a reddish purple, not the grapey shade in this picture. I just couldn't get it to photograph correctly in today's light. I'll try again when there's more to show.

What about you? Will it be a handmade holiday season? What are you working on?


Karen said...

Great ideas.

I'm sagging under the weight of ever increasing grocery prices. Good idea with the Kleen Kanteen.

I'm just starting to think about my gift list for this year. Hard to believe it's time again.

Shari said...

I'm desperately trying to finish a cross stitch stocking for my two year old. The three older kids have cross stitch stockings that their grandmother made them when they were little so i figured the younger kids should have some too. I'll do the babies next year, hopefully! I made snowman mittens (free pattern on ravelry) the other day. Very quick, easy and cute. Even with the kids, house, life, i got them done in one day. Good stashbuster too. Havent decided if I'll give them to him now or save them for the christmas.

Ruth said...

That looks like the yarn you used for WB's sweater ... the one she got so many compliments on! It's a great color ... Daughter will love it.

kate said...

Ruth - yep. Same stuff!