Knitting For “That Time of Year”

As my daughter pulls out the proverbial stops, as it were, for Christmas, and though I’m a person who belongs to no religion and celebrates no religiously-themed holidays, I simply cannot disappoint my daughter and grandchildren by appearing on their doorstep in December as Mormor (Grandmother) Scrooge.

I refuse to join the hoards of crazed shoppers who mob shops as soon as Thanksgiving is over, but I will stay in the quiet of my own home, pick up my needles and dig through my yarn stash.  Thankfully, there’s only a few people I knit for at Christmas:  three related to me by blood and two by marriage.  And I start that knitting in the summer, which is why, in October, I have only one more holiday item to knit!

erase_ublysweaterAfter seeing this book, however, I realized I’ve become THE grandmother who gives her grandchildren a hand knit sweater and “something educational” – a book, globe, microscope, art sets and the like.  Oh dear.  (I hope I’m not one step away from putting a package of tube socks in their Christmas stockings.)

Now my grandson is a gentle soul and wears anything I knit him because it’s from ME (reminding me of me – a child in sunny Marin County, California, who wore all the ski sweaters lovingly knit by her  grandmother back in Sørlandet).  My granddaughter, however, is the kind of child who lets you know what she REALLY thinks of your gifts.

Case in point:  I recently sent the grandchildren some puzzles, and they Skyped me the day they received it.  Grandson O thanked me enthusiastically and told me he loved puzzles.  My Granddaughter F thanked me but leaned into the camera and whispered “but I don’t really like puzzles.”  🙂

This explains why everything  and anything I knit for Granddaughter F is some bright (blinding) shade of pink.  As that’s her favorite color, it allows her to find something she can honestly say she likes about her hand knit gift, even if it’s only the color!

Are your children and grandchildren brutally honest about the hand knit items you give them?!


About sweatyknitter

Fiber art devotee, author, and amateur artisan bread baker.
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26 Responses to Knitting For “That Time of Year”

  1. Once my first grandchild arrived, I told my daughter I wouldn’t be knitting for her much anymore! And she told me no knitting clothes for the kids out of cashmere or silk! 🙂


  2. nicolaknits says:

    No grandkids yet, but I hope one day to have some to knit for. Not yet though.


  3. You’re fortunate. … I think my daughter was three years old when she first started to express her dislike for any clothes I chose for her! 🙂


  4. Brittany says:

    I totally lucked out! My daughter loves everything I make for her. At 4, she’s already sitting down next to me as I browse patterns and putting in requests. She gets upset when she finds out I’ve made things for myself or someone else.


  5. Brittany says:

    I lucked out! My daughter loves everything I make for her. At 4, she’ll already sit down next to me as I’m browsing patterns and tell me all the things I should make for her. In fact, she gets upset when she finds out if something isn’t for her.


  6. jorstadcreek says:

    Oh how do you get motivated to do Christmas gifts in the summer? I resolve to get started early next year. My children eventually decided to demand hand knit socks, no more sweaters or other items, just socks. I will likely continue the hand knit socks as gifts when I have grandchildren. Until I can’t stand to make them anymore that is.


  7. I once heard my young daughter tell a math professor: “Has anyone told you that you look like a penguin? No – I mean PILGRIM.” 😦


  8. ANd thank you for visiting mine. 🙂 Yes indeed, that division between politeness and honesty is a “sticky line” – I think I like that term better than “thin line.” !


  9. salpal1 says:

    I am sure that if you consult with yoru granddaughter, she will be glad to give you guidance, lol. And yes, there absolutely is hope for educational gifts.


  10. marissafh says:

    LoL – no grandchildren (yet!) … but my younger son has no problems telling me what he thinks of my latest piece of work!


  11. Whether adults or children, isn’t it sometimes a sticky line between politeness and honesty? The craft of diplomacy can be useful but a challenging skill to learn. Thanks for visiting my blog. : )


  12. daniellajoe says:

    lol, your grandson is the best 🙂


  13. Well maybe my granddaughter will be like your nieces and will pick out what she wants me to knit for her – and like it! 🙂 And so there’s hope my educational gifts won’t bomb?! 🙂


  14. To date, I’ve knit my granddaughter two ponchos … no yellow pompoms though. And oh yes, I remember the ponchos of the ’70s!


  15. Oh dear … I wonder whose been wearing Nanna’s gifts?!


  16. LOL! At two! Wow, he clearly is a young man with a mind of his own and not afraid to use it! (Still in diapers two my daughter tell me not to sing lullabies b/c she didn’t like my voice! She would actually frown and pull the bottle from her mouth and give me “the eye” if I started to sing!)


  17. Me to … though my granddaughter tries to be kind when she tells me she doesn’t like a gift! That said, I think my grandson has impressed upon her that whatever I knit, no matter how she feels about it, she should only say nice things – like “thank you”! 🙂 (But she’s not that good a liar!)

    Liked by 1 person

  18. You’re more trusting than I! I remember once when my daughter fell in love with a bright green mohair, found a pattern, told me how she wanted it modified etc. I made it exactly to her specifications. After about a month she said, “You take it. I don’t like the green anymore.” (Well, I never liked the green, so I overdyed it black and wore it!)

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I don’t blame you! Years and years ago I knit a gorgeous and complicated cabled cardigan for a birthday gift my now ex-father-in-law out of a beautiful oily fingering weight wool I bought in Sweden. He opened the package, looked down and said, “oh, nice” and set it on the piano! All I could think about were those hours and hours of knitting and wondered if I could spirit the sweater away with me, unravel and use for a sweater for me!


  20. salpal1 says:

    lol – I have 5 beautiful nieces who wear everything I make them and ask for more. It was not always so. When the oldest was 4, I bought her a beautiful hand-made dress, then knit a sweater to match, with embroidered flowers on it (what was I thinking?). She opened the box, tossed it on the floor and said “oh, clothes.” and moved on to the next package. I did not knit for her again until she was 12 and asked for a light blue cardigan. 🙂 What I learned from that was to consult the girls on what kinds of things they would like. Now I have a niece in her twenties who asks for socks (bright colors) and another who wants all the scarves and shawls I care to make for her. So hang in there with your granddaughter. You will get it right!

    PS I love the books my grandfather used to give me (educational) and still have them all.


  21. andresue says:

    My children seem to be truly delighted when they receive something off my needles. They understand that it’s a gift of time and love and thought. My in-laws do not like my handmade gifts and act annoyed when they receive them. It’s almost as if they feel gypped that I didn’t buy them something from the store. Needless to say, I don’t make things for them anymore.


  22. kiwiyarns says:

    I do have to consult my kids’ like/dislike meter before I knit something. Otherwise I do risk things ending up in the ‘reject’ bin. Your grandkids sound like lovely children. 🙂


  23. knotrune says:

    I was a kid who loved the “something educational” gifts! Not so much the scratchy homemade stuff from Nan, who made things which would have been lovely in decent fibres, such a shame, though I do have fond memories of one poncho with yellow pompoms on. Can’t go too far wrong with a poncho as you usually wear plenty of clothes under it 🙂 and it was the 70s.


  24. daniellajoe says:

    Lovely post, i crochet and it is a labor of love to handmade gifts… I tend to be more like your grandson lol 🙂


  25. My 2 year old son once said very politely “no thank you” (with a little no thank you – wave with his hand) when I presented him the new dungarees I had just sewn for him. Usually, he just ignores things completely.
    Luckily my nephews and nieces love my stuff, not like my own children 🙂
    Oh, and here, it is my mother who can not hide her real opinion very well 🙂


  26. jengolightly says:

    My grandmother used to knit for me, and sadly everything she made was either slightly too small or incredibly scratchy. I miss her tremendously and the only thing knit by her I still possess is a small garter stitch beret. When my daughter was born she showered her with beautiful hand knits, all I have left of those is a half finished bootee from her knitting case. Don’t even ask what happened to all those. Hand knits are lovely gifts, I wish I still had everything I had been given by my Nanna x


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