Sunday, 8 March 2009

The Year of Selfish Knits

Gift-knitting  is a most satisfying process. While non-crafty gift-hunters are shackled to whatever happens to be in the shops, we gift knitters are limited only our creative capacities, yarn supply, and the stitching time available. I enjoy selecting yarns, which involves either virtuous stash-diminution, or guilt-free shopping – ‘It’s ok: I’m buying this for someone else…’ I love perusing the thousands of patterns available on-line and in magazines looking for just the right thing for that particular person. I delight in knitting the thing, and the clandestine fun of keeping it a secret from its intended recipient. I savour packaging the finished item, laying it in a rustling bed of tissue paper, wrapping it with the finest paper I can find, and, usually, topping it off with a massive bow. Seeing them love what I have made for them and use it all the time is surely the ultimate knitting badge of honour. 

But what, other than a hypothetical badge, another project on Ravelry, and a warm fuzzy feeling, are you actually left with, after the hand-over of the gift? Nothing tangible, nothing… knitted. Exhausted after a flurry of knitting for other people that started in November and ended in mid-February, I had a small epiphany. Just because I can knit gifts doesn’t mean I am obliged to. I realised I was tired of others feasting on the fruits of my needles while I went hungry (or rather, cold). And while gift knitting undoubtedly has its joys, as described above, it can also be a stressful business - birthdays, weddings, and Christmases all constitute fairly rigid deadlines which, as an expert procrastinator, I never seem to allow myself enough time to complete to meet comfortably.

And so I have made a late New Year’s resolution to redress this balance by re-dressing myself. I hereby declare the remainder of 2009 to be, for me, the Year of Selfish Knits. By the end of it, I would like to be swathed in knitted gorgeousness of my own creation. I’ll be sure to keep you updated on my progress…

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