How’s your giftalong going? Ann: we are getting down to last licks. We are entering the IOU Zone.
My position: it’s perfectly OK to give somebody an IOU-a-handknit. Write it on a card, and wrap it up nicely. If you have a half hour, make them a little swatch, or even a tiny sweater, sock or mitten in the yarn you’re going to use for the gift. You have to pick your recipients carefully, but some people will be delighted just to know that you are knitting for them. Last Christmas, I pledged to knit a cardigan for my friend Gael’s husband, and he enjoyed (or at least was cheerful about) receiving a Ken-sized sweater-as-swatch on Christmas morn. And then, on Easter morn (or nearly), he enjoyed getting the finished sweater. You can’t hurry love, or a cardigan.
One caution about IOUs: if you are one of those knitters who likes having the freedom to drop everything and knit something exciting, that IOU can become an albatross around your neck. You may end up losing steam on something that you very much wanted to knit, simply because it has become an obligation and an obstacle to following your whims. So: proceed with care. Most important thing: don’t let unfinished knitting spoil your holiday. Get them a Target gift card or a fancy chocolate bar. Don’t beat yourself up.
Speaking of Drop Everything and Knit
A couple of weeks ago, I had a moment of vindication in my holiday-knitting approach of just knitting what I feel like, and sorting out recipients later. A dear friend approached me recently, saying a loved one had requested a prayer shawl, and did I know how a person might get a prayer shawl.
Well, a person might get me to knit one. That is a thing that a person could do. I pulled up a copy of Gudrun Johnston’s Hansel shawl (go look at the projects, and sigh at the beauty), got myself down to Purl Soho to peruse the Brooklyn Tweed Loft colors, and happily dropped everything to plunge into one of the most enjoyable projects a person could have the pleasure of knitting.
It’s a joy to work with this yarn and this pattern. It feels very good to be able to do this small kindness for a friend. And knitting is about feeling good.