As I have written before, see here and here, I do not really do a lot of Christmas knitting.
I simply do a whole lot of knitting all through the year... and then just a small amount of last minute Christmas knitting with an even smaller amount of success (see above links).
This year has been no exception. There will be two gifts that just happened to be knit because each offered up a new knitting experience. I would call both of these knits "Process Knits".
Within the knitting community the terms "Process Knitter" and "Project Knitter" are bantered about. The idea is that you are either process-oriented in your knitting. (You love to knit for the experience of the knitting, and do not care if the results are useful or attractive. You never swatch and would never rip out anything.) Or, you are product-oriented. (You knit because you love to make beautiful and useful objects, and you would totally re-knit anything not to your liking.)
I am of the opinion that each of us who knit fall somewhere within the scale -- most are not completely one or the other.
The first gift will go to Mr K's brother. He is, by far, not someone for whom I would normally knit anything. But over the last year, he has asked, not once (during his Easter visit), but twice (on Thanksgiving day), for a hand knit anything for Christmas. Because I had completely forgotten the Easter request, and because I have been busy meeting design deadlines and dreaming of what to knit for the quick last minute gifts for those that I do normally knit for, that Thanksgiving request really threw me.
At first, I thought, why not make a hat like this one that I made for Mr K back in, I think, 2008?
The pattern is Turn a Square by Jared Flood. The yarns are Cascade 220 and Noro Kureyon. (I cannot tell color numbers or yard used, as it was made quite long ago.) When I located the pattern in its print form, I also located my printed pages of the modifications that Jared Flood blogged about for the Cap Karma Hat by Smariek.
This reminded me that I actually made a modified Cap Karma around the same time as my Turn a Square from some leftover yarn of my mother's.
The yarn is Brown Sheep Co's Lamb's Pride worsted in the color blueblood red. When I finished this hat, I offer it up to all who lived in this house at the time... when no one claimed it, it went into a mud room drawer with all the odds and ends mittens, hats, ski goggles and such... to my knowledge, it has never been worn.
I hand-washed the hat. It is a little tall and a bit bright, but I am going to give it to my brother-in-law. He did say anything. (I'll let you know if he likes it.)
That hat is truly a "process" knit. I only decided to knit it because I saw the modifications on Jared's brooklyntweed blog, and I wanted the experience of working them.
I will be gifting my sister, who loves everything that I have ever knit for her, another "process" knit. This one is totally 2013. Back in January I was in New York for Vogue Knitting Live. I had always wanted to try working with stainless steel yarn, and one of the venders at the market was Habu Textiles who are known for their unique tactile yarns including several that include metal. It was a great opportunity to see the yarns in person. I have already shared my Hakusa scarf here. It was finished this summer, after which I made a smaller one that I named Hasuka Junior which I will keep for myself.
The 'materials' for the shawl/scarf were Habu Textiles A-20/21 1/20 silk stainless steel (69% silk, 31% stainless steel) and N-75 2/48 Fine Merino (%100 merino).
I just wrote a note to my sister about the project and tucked it in the box under the scarf. (I'll let you know if she likes it.)
I consider both of the Hasukas to be "process" knits. They were made because I wanted the experience of working with a truly metallic yarn. (Honestly, except for the first few rows, where there was not much to hold onto, and the metallic yarn was used singularly, it was not very different than any other knitting.) What is cool, though, is that the edging is so very "scrunchable".
If you are also preparing for the upcoming holidays, I hope that you are able to go about it with a light and happy heart... no worries, please!