I can’t say I’m going any faster, but I’m in the swim of things with my gift knitting. I have to admit a tinge of guilt this year. In years past, I’d done a fair bit of it far in advance, sometimes using especially mindless gift knitting (like socks or scarves) as bliss-out-on-the-beach pieces during our summer vacation. Or I’ve doodled up little projects between larger ones, while I was waiting for my ideas to set. By this time I’ve usually got a basket of goodies ready for holiday giving. Unfortunately, this year nothing got done ahead of time, and I’ve been forced to do something I detest – knit to deadline.

I hate knitting to deadline because in my professional life, all I do is march to deadlines. I’m a proposal manager, and I’ve lived my career in 30-day increments. Other people will say things like, “Dear, remember ’91 – that was the year little Brunhilde was born,” or “Yeah, 91. Cousin Ildefonse was in Desert Storm.” I say, “Fall ’91. That was that big military IT/hardware support proposal, we had an extension that got eaten up by the sheer bulk of the revised reporting schedule requirements.” From this you can well deduce the heart-stopping excitement of my daily life.

Knitting has always been a blissful interlude, a no-deadline finish-it-whenever sort of pursuit. That’s one of the reasons why I’ve shied away from pursuing commercial publication for my patterns. Squeezing my knitting life into a tight deadline sucks all the joy out of it.

So here I am. Doing frantic knitting on a couple of Hannukah presents (it’s early this year, adding further complications). The Kombu scarf, four hats, and two pairs of socks are done. That leaves three scarves, two more pairs of socks, and possibly couple of kid’s size earwarmer bands to go.

Today I plan on casting on for a very simple scarf done in Sandnes Lime (a mostly cotton, very soft yarn) for a friend who is wool-sensitive. I’ve used and reviewed the stuff before and not been wildly pleased with it, but for a scarf it should work out fine. Although most of the detail will be obscured by the textured yarn, I’ll probably work it in this simple knit/purl pattern – just to give it a bit more interest:

I like this one for scarves because it adds a bit of loft and like all patterns with near equal amounts of knits and purls on each row – it lies nice and flat without curling.

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