How to Succeed at Christmas Panic Knitting

It happens every year like clockwork.

I’ve got a last minute project on my needles that I’m planning on giving to someone for Christmas.  There are inches, or feet, to go and only a few days to get there.

This year’s Christmas panic knitting project: my bushwhack knitting afghan(?).

I still haven’t measured its length.  I still don’t know what the gauge is.  I think it’s about 5 feet or so long and I know it’s not yet 40+ inches wide.

I think the ideal width would be close to 48″ wide, but I’ve decided not to stress too much about it.  If I can get it over 40,” and I’m confident I can, than anything over 40″ will be gravy.

Risky Gifting

In my Boyfriend Curse post, I warned against gifting knitting with expectations attached.  This gift will be risky because I plan on giving it to my daughter.  She has previously told me to never knit anything for her, ever, not even a scarf.

Aren’t I disrespecting her wishes by giving her this afghan?

Maybe, although I didn’t start out to knit it for her.  I’ve changed my mind several times over what I would do with this project.  I’ll tell her this, too.  It should make it more tolerable for her.

Maybe if I make it very, very clear that there are no strings attached to this gift, she’ll accept it.  If not, I’ll make it very easy for her to refuse it.  And I’ll apologize.  Sincerely.

So why do I think I can get away with this this year?

  • She had to throw away her comforter last summer and keeping warm is a real issue for her.
  • It’s not wearable, so it won’t offend her sense of style.
  • It’s not a special project, it’s meant to be useful, nothing more.
  • I’m not attached to the outcome: I didn’t make it for anyone.  I enjoyed the process of bushwhack knitting.  It’s been fun and kind of silly, and I’ll give it to my dog if my daughter doesn’t want it.  (My dog loves this thing. I keep having to wrestle it away from her so I can work on it.)

Let’s get real

I thought I was well on my way to 30″ wide.  Bzzt.  Wrong.  I’m at about 24.” 

This isn’t terrible, or a deal-breaker, but I do have to get my fingers in gear and get to knitting.

While I still haven’t checked the gauge, it’s easy to see that each row is a little over 1/2.”  I’m not sure how far over, but I should be able to get at least 10″ in width for every 20 rows knitted.

If I want 20 more inches, I need about 40 rows of garter stitch, in 2 days.  That means I need to knit a minimum of 20 rows today.  It’ll be a challenge, but I can do it.

How I Will Do It

  1. Count the inches, not the rows.  Knitting, especially this project, is supposed to be stress reducing, not stress inducing.  For me, counting rows is a form of micromanaging.  I’m not going to do it.  I’ll measure it once or twice today.
  2. Multitasking is a crock, but I’m going to do it anyway.  This project is perfect for reading or watching while knitting.
Christmas panic knitting
Dropped Stitch
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff.  See the dropped stitch?  See how it hasn’t run all the way to the bottom of the piece?  I’ve knitted about 20″ since I dropped that stitch and it hasn’t moved at all.  As I mentioned before, mohair really likes to stick to itself and sometimes, that’s a good thing.  My finishing will probably consist of snipping off the ends and leaving it at that. It’s wabi sabi, right?
  • Bribes.  I’ll give myself rewards every time I sit down and do 1, 2, or 5 rows in one sitting.
  • Learn from my mistakes and plan ahead next year!
  • Enough Writing!

    I can’t knit and write at the same time. So, sorry, no time for more writing.

    Wish me luck!

    Sending love and best wishes to all the other Christmas panic knitters out there.

    Update: The gift was a success! It turns out my daughter loves any blanket type thing that will help her stay warm in the winter.

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