January Deadline Knitting

January deadline knitting? Isn’t that an oxymoron, you say? Isn’t January supposed to be about Me Knitting?

Well, yeah, that’s what I had intended. I rushed to finish my Christmas knitting and looked forward to the comparative calm of January. I have several things I’d like to get off the needles, plus start a cardigan for my mom. No rush, though. Just knit along on my various projects until they eventually come spilling off the needles.

Or, so I thought.

I flipped the calendar over to January and started filling in dates. Mom’s birthday? Check-a-roony. She’d have an IOU for that sweater, plus we’d go out for a family dinner. On I went, to the end of the month. I noted Aunt Becky’s birthday. Yikes! I thought. What to send her?

Now, my Aunt Becky is our “cool aunt.” You know, the one who never had kids of her own, so remained forever cool to her nieces and nephews? That’s Becky. She’s the youngest of five sisters, so she was always a little more big-sisterish to me than aunt-ish. Plus, she was the aunt that we nieces and nephews could call and count on to fish us out of all sorts of trouble, no questions asked, no judgment rendered. Of all of my aunts, she’s the one I’m closest to, and the only one with whom I exchange Christmas and birthday presents.

Now, I know my aunt’s vices: At Christmas, I usually give her a nice set of cosmetics or skin care products. I could do the exact same thing at her birthday, a month later, and she’d be perfectly happy. I’ve taken to sending her handknits for her birthday, though. Last year, I had this pair of mitts on the needles right after Christmas, and sent them to her to wear on her daily walks:

Sweet Fern front

So, I wandered down to my sewing room to look for FO’s as possible gifts, and found the cupboard was pretty bare. That’s not surprising for after Christmas, of course. I found two small cowls, and that was it.

Cowls are pretty out of the question for Becky. Like my mom and other aunts, she’s loath to put anything over her head and mess up her hair (for that reason, hats are likewise out of contention). So, I had nothing.

I’d just been to the yarn store, however, and had this skein of sock yarn all wound up and sitting right next to me at my desk in my home office.

Malabrigo Playa

That’s Malabrigo sock yarn, colorway Playa. Pretty neat, isn’t it?  Shades of blues and browns mean it’ll go with jeans or many other colors of pants.

What if I used that and made her some simple socks? Simple socks would be totally do-able in a month.

I thought about knitting up some simple stockinette socks, but decided that since I was ballparking her foot size, I might be better off with forgiving ribbing. I decided on GlennaC’s A Nice Ribbed Sock, and cast on.

And then I knitted. I knitted on the sock at work. I knitted while waiting for dinner to cook. I knitted during football games. I knitted while listening to an audiobook. It’s been all sock, all the time. I’ve made a lot of progress, turning the heel last night:

Becky's sock heel

In doing so, I remembered why I avoid deadline knitting. With deadline knitting, it’s all that project, all the time, at least for me. Is that alpaca cowl calling my name? Ignore its pleas. Want to work on that long-neglected lace scarf? Forgettaboutit. Swatch for a future project? Better not, as it’ll cut into precious deadline knitting time.

My usual MO is to have four to six projects going, with different characteristics and levels of difficulty. Sock, mitten, and hat knitting are usually relegated to purse projects, and I knit on more complicated things in the evenings. But not now. No, it’s all sock, all the time, until these are doing.

I’m thinking that for her next birthday, I’ll throw a project in the rotation much earlier in the year so that I’m not on deadline come January.

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