Claire here, welcoming you to the month of December!
I hope your holiday knitting is going well, if you've taken the plunge this year. I hope you've chosen your recipients wisely as well! Gifting a knitted item is never as simple as handing the package over with a "Hope you like it!" You have to make sure your giftee knows the care requirements for the item and will fully appreciate the hours of work that went into it. Not just the knitting of the thing, but all the time spent picking the right pattern and yarn and (how agonizing!) picking a color. And after a bit of time has passed, you check in with the recipient, see how they like it, is the fit okay, have they worn it out. It's that last bit that is important - if they haven't worn the item, without prodding, in at least a month from the time of gifting, you may want to reconsider giving them another knitted gift the next time a holiday comes around. At least that's how I feel about it! You have to make sure that the giftee will really, truly, fully appreciate the time you put into this, the care and love put into each row. Especially compared to the ease of online shopping, where you can purchase something, have it gift wrapped and sent directly within the space of a few minutes, putting hours - or weeks - into a project represents a big investment. So, really, the best people to give knitted gifts to are knitters!
That's who I'm doing the bulk of my knitterly gifting for this year. Apart from a giant amigurumi Mr. Krabs (his body took a full bag of stuffing!) for my boyfriend, I am knitting for my fellow knitters - my mom, my sister, and maybe some co-authors of a certain blog. I know they will cherish the items they receive, keep them clean and safe from moths, and wear them without pestering from me.
As such, gift knitting has taken up most of my time in the last couple weeks, so I don't have a lot of pictures to show you! I did get to take the Peaks Island Hood with my on my Thanksgiving trip to visit my sister Emily in North Carolina, but was plagued with camera-forgetfullness. After a loooong bus trip down, we had a delicious Thanksgiving dinner with her friends in the next town over, necessitating a trip through some very windy mountain roads! We got to spend some time grooming her horse, playing with the dogs and chasing down her cats to cuddle with. Of course I had to make a stop at Earth Guild, a very cool yarn/crafting store. They have so much to look at, you could easily spend hours wandering about. In the evenings we sat in the kitchen by the wood stove, knitting and eating some more tasty pumpkin pie. I thought I would be bored by the 28" of seed stitch, but it made for good mindless knitting, and the Miski yarn is so soft and smooshy that it seemed to fly by.
This picture is a couple days old - I have completed the hood increases and am now working on the 9" between that and the hood decreases. Sadly it has to compete with something else from the trip - scores of books picked up at the Goodwill outlet! I was very excited to find three of Gladys Taber's books in the .59 cent per pound bin. I have fond memories of reading and re-reading her book Especially Dogs from the elementary school library, even though we have never owned a dog. I'm keeping the book confined to my bag to read on the train, so hopefully I can have all my gifts done on time, and a hood to wear now that it's getting properly cold out!