Nightmare Before Christmas

My Nightmare Before Christmas

Tick-tock goes the grandfather clock beside my knitting chair counting down the days to Christmas. But I am not anxiously awaiting Santa to deliver a skein of cashmere yarn.

I am feverishly trying to finish the projects I planned to give as gifts this holiday season. I look down and my feet are surrounded by huge piles of yarn yet to be knitted. And even though I see my hands completing row after row, the scarf I’m knitting appears to be getting shorter!

“You were whimpering in your sleep,” my husband explains as he touches my shoulder. “Is everything OK?” I rub my eyes and begin a 15-minute explanation of how I need two extra sets of hands to complete my holiday knitting.

What will my friends and family think if I present a store-bought set of mittens? This is so horrible! Why do I procrastinate every year? “Honey, what will I do?” I question. Silence. My husband has fallen back asleep. I vow to simplify my holiday knitting in the morning. Or a peaceful night’s sleep prior to December 25th will be impossible.

The light of morning brings me clarity and I begin by making a list of who I want to knit for. Next I organize all of my yarn into piles, ordered by weight. The thicker the yarn, the more quickly the item will knit up. Then I begin flipping through my favorite patterns and mark the simple ones to consider.

For the neighbor’s Christmas party, I decide on a wine cozy. My first thought was a striped pattern in red, green and white, but I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to utilize yarn scraps. I happily deplete my entire drawer of marble sized yarn balls. Thank goodness the nine different colors complemented each other so well.

For my sister, a jet-setting computer consultant, I select a felted laptop case in an envelope style. I triple a bulky yarn and use large size 17 needles to speed up the knitting. After a few wash cycles and a lot of hot water, I finish off the case with a funky button from one of my discarded cardigans.

I choose a simple set of boot style slippers for my mom, whose feet are always cold. I use a thick wool yarn for the body of the slipper, but jazz up the ankle cuff by mixing in eyelash yarn. Thankfully my mom and I are the same shoe size, so I know they will fit perfectly.

For my golfing husband, I find a simple pattern for a putter cover. Perhaps a warm club will help him on the putting green? This was one of the easiest items to knit and I spice it up by using navy and gold, the colors of his alma mater. M Go Blue!

My holiday knitting is far from complete, but the list is getting shorter. I review my calendar for the next week and block off two hours each evening and my lunch breaks at work. Barring any hand cramping or colossal yarn tangles, I should be able to check off the entire list. Soon I will be back to dreams of sugar plum fairies.

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