Christmas Knitting

Every year, I take off from work between Christmas and the New Year. I used to think of it as an affordable luxury, but in recent years I’ve realized it’s a necessity. It grounds me and I start the new year feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
I intentionally plan very little for my time off. I’ll spend hours on the couch, knitting and watching DVR’d Christmas specials on Lifetime (a true guilty pleasure that really lasts the entire month of December), and I always spend a day with my mom. It’s such a luxury to spend a weekday with my mom. We’ll grab breakfast at our favorite breakfast-diner (the one with really great homefries), we’ll go back to her house and watch daytime TV. I’ll knit and she may bring out some sewing, or decide to put a roast in the oven. We’ll munch on those creme-filled vanilla cookies that she always has in her cookie jar, and before we know it, the sun has gone down and dinner is ready.
In recent years, I’ve also been able to spend a day with Christy and Katy (and this year they’re coming to my house!).
Spending time with people I don’t get to see nearly enough — I think of it as my Christmas gift to myself.
Every year since I took up knitting again, I always plan to start a new (big) project during this time off as well (2006, 2005, and 2004). It seemed to make sense since I plan to have all this time chatting and watching TV. But, I never get very far with the project, and I’m always left a little deflated. It could be that I tried to knit St. Brigid before her time, or it could be that I need something simpler to knit then.
Which got me thinking — the planning part of Christmas knitting is as much fun as the time off. I daydream about my time off of years past — about the day I brought my mom to Rosie’s to have her help me pick out a color. My mom isn’t a knitter, but she’s an expert at sewing and embroidery so she understands color, drape and fit. I don’t often get to share the planning stages of knitting with my mom, so that day (2 years later) still stands out as one of my favorite memories.
So, I’ve been enjoying planning out what this year’s project might be. I have a few options (behind the cut). Feel free to share your thoughts or suggest something else.

These are (roughly) in preference order right now. I like them all but I’m still not convinced any of them are the right next project. I only have 2 weeks to decide and get the yarn in. Or, I only have 2 weeks to change my mind 100 times and eventually pick something I hadn’t even considered.

ribs and snowflakes in berry nature wool

I’d probably do a stockinette body, and I’d make it a V instead of a turtleneck. The pics don’t show it, but there’s a pretty cabled V detail along the bottom half of the sleeves. I would be cutting it close with yardage so I could either knit the colorwork portion and up to the top and then pickup sts and knit down until I run out of yarn, or I could sub a different color above the colorwork.

Harmony in Ultra Alpaca Light

I love this design and the gray would make it a classic.

Hex Coat in Nature Wool

This would be a great use for this yarn. I started a sweater in it a while back and the kettle dyeing set up right on top of itself. So, I had a vertical strip of dark green in the center, and 2 lighter stripes on either side. Nice. The seed stitch would break up the coloring, and the hexagons would benefit from a little variation.

Bianca's Jacket in Silky Wool

I like this one, I traded on Ravelry to get enough yarn for it, but I’m not convinced that lightweight silk wool yarn is what I want to be knitting when it’s 25° out.

And a few more that I like, but don’t have anything in the stash.
Stashless Christmas Knitting

24 thoughts on “Christmas Knitting

  1. You’re whole week-after-Christmas thing is a very interesting idea. You definitely have me thinking. As a SAHM, I don’t get official “vacation” but I could allow myself to slough off a bit for a week and do more knitting. Now that would be fun…Which project shall I choose?

  2. So cool that you get to hang out with your Mom like that at the holiday break. I’m hoping to do a bit of the same when I go home for a few days. As for the sweaters, I am obsessed with colorwork right now so you may not want to listen to me. 😉 I have to agree with you on Bianca, nice sweater but not a real cozy winter knit. The second one would probably be the most interesting, but if you’re going to be in a situation where you want something more mindless, not a great choice. That’s my $0.02. Can’t wait to see what you decide!

  3. What a great present to yourself! I could see how that carrot at the end of the holidays could keep you going.
    As for the project, I think you should go with the Fair Isle number at the top. You just got done with all that cabling, so why don’t you do something different?
    Just my two cents!!

  4. I am so jealous of your downtime! I did that for many years — I especially love DC at that time because the town empties out so the museums aren’t as crowded. My new job doesn’t have as much vacation time, so I’ll be working (boo). But I’m realizing how much I’m missing that gift-to-myself, so I’ve vowed that vacation time becomes non-negotiable in the next job.
    All of that is a very long way of saying – how delightful that you’ll be able to enjoy your time off!

  5. I like the second possibility best. I feel like the colorwork on the first one might not be too flattering.
    Whichever you end up knitting, you’ll definitely do a fabulous job on it.

  6. That Hex coat just looks so warm and cozy. I wish I had already knit it so I can wear it home tonight :)
    I’m glad you’re taking the time off. I also insist on a really big break at the holidays, and it’s so worth it!

  7. Not weighing in about a project.
    Just wanted to say that I love that you set aside the special time for your mom. Such great memories.
    And I am so glad I was able to get the day off to hang out that week. I am SO looking forward to it.

  8. I have been “working” on my Hex Coat since the spring. I think it only appropriate that you start it after me and finish it way before me. :)
    On the mom note. Sweet. Gracie would like a Central Park Hoody and I suggested my mom get in on the action and help me knit it quicker. If only Gracie liked something in the stash. Whoever heard of a 13 year old that loves gray?

  9. Oooh, I’d love to see you knit the Hex Coat. Surely all of those little hexagons wouldn’t be boring! (we will not speak of the massive amounts of seed stitch that the rest of the coat entails right now.)

  10. I think the hex coat would look great on you, and that seems like the consensus. Although I think the Norah Gaugan sweater with the inset panel would be fantastic too.

  11. How do I help you choose? many of these knits are also on my queue! I do like that second one with the alpaca and the Hex coat has always intrigued me…

  12. Hmmmm…well, I vote for the colorwork sweater. It’s very holiday appropriate, and the simple stockinette would be good for chatty, busier moments without you becoming distracted. The colorwork would provide enough interest so it wouldn’t be dull. My second vote is the beautiful lacy sweater (#2), but the first one seems so winter-y and also nice and simple.

  13. a lot of those are in my queue also – that snowflakes one is my favorite along with Nordic from IK – I have been wanting to knit that FOREVER!!!! But, I think the snowflakes in the berry color – beautiful!

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