Every year, right about this time give or take a few weeks perhaps, I start to fantasize about a crafty Christmas. I imagine I will give everyone handmade presents that will be treasured. I’ve never actually achieved a complete crafty Christmas. Last year was as close as I got presenting the adults in my non-nuclear family with homemade chocolate coquito and homemade truffles spiked with all sorts of things. It was a nightmare of non-preparedness and cost me more than I’d bargained on. I waited too late and found myself scrounging for bottles to store the coquito in, settling on emptied out and washed bottles of Jones soda I got at Big Lots. The truffles never really set the way they should have and the liquers I used to spike them with cost me a pretty penny.
Like everything else I’ve screwed up, I’ve learned a few lessons. First of all, if I am really serious about a crafty Christmas I need to commit to it early. Second of all, if I am doing a Crafty Christmas to save some money, I need to think of crafts that revolve around materials I mostly have on-hand. Since I’m not a chef, or an alcoholic, the idea to make my crafty Christmas of the culinary sort was not quite smart as far as cost-benefits went. Third of all, I can’t over-commit myself.
I am head over heels in love with crochet. It’s a craft that is very speedy and offers lots of possibilities. It is a great craft for gifts, too, with a variety of projects that are quick and yet customizable. So of course, this year my crafty Christmas fantasies are revolving around crocheted gifts. And considering this definitely meets two out of three of my learned lessons, it’s a great match– except for the whole over-commit thing.
You see, before I had really grasped how easy crochet was for me, and how quickly it went, and how many nice things I could do with it, and how more appropriate it is for warm South Florida than knitting, before all of that happened, I committed myself to a project for a friend. And it is a great project. It’s my first sort of art piece if you will where I’m using a pattern as a base but I’m winging the rest as I go because there’s nothing like it out there. In other words, it’s really interesting. But it’s big—roughly the equivalent of a baby hat, six child-length scarves, and a baby shawl/small blanket. And I’ve been working on it but sometimes I get fried from it (everything is in the same color except the hat which is in a different color). So I committed myself to another massive (252 4” granny squares) project for MutantEldest.
Now, deadlines with these projects are somewhat fluid. In other words, the project for my friend should be done by the time the baby’s about three months old. Since she is due any day now, I can technically have this done by… Christmas/New Years. However, in my brain I thought it’d be more appropriate if I could have it done before Halloween, hence the October 27th deadline in My Goals. MutantEldest’s gift really has no deadline. I had originally wanted to give it to him as a Christmas gift hence that deadline in My Goals. But, if I put it off, I can make him something small to quell his demand request for me to make him something and it will free up time to work on gifts for other people.
So, I think I’ll be revising my goals. I’m going to give myself to the end of September to look online and create a list of possible crafty Christmas gifts that are feasible to make money and time-wise and at the same time recipient-appropriate (not everyone appreciates a handmade gift). If I can make a worthwhile list, I’ll postpone the blanket and use it to decompress from the other projects. I am going to continue trying to make the deadline for the cape but I won’t throw myself off the turnpike if I don’t finish it by Halloween. We shall see what the next week brings.