Granted last year was a learning experience that caused many gifts to be opened with notes that said it would be done within the week because I had 3 major things go wrong:
1) The 4 pairs of slippers I made out of silk/cashmere/wool would not felt. They actually grew bigger and this was about 1 week before Christmas.
2) The fact that I lost a lot of sleep over a pair of mittens for my mom. She's allergic to animal fibers (wool, angora, cashmere, camel and alpaca have been tried), and her hands are always cold. I had some red acrylic and some purple cotton and a plan to make mittens out of one of these yarns. Well increases and decreases with these yarns stand out like a goth girl at church. Both got frogged and she got a hat and scarf set.
3) I forgot my directions to my dad's sweater at my place in San Mateo and I was at Ben's for most of December in Watsonville. My dad has a 50" chest and I had to rewrite most of the directions for the arm holes since the pattern I had was not the right size and it was not written for the body to be knit in the round. I ended up writing new directions, frogging to the bottom of the arm holes and starting over from there.
This taught me to swatch and toss that sucker in the dryer, to finish my mother's silk gloves this year, and to put all my notes on my Ravelry project page.
This year has been rocky. I had ordered the yarn to make three Fair Isle Tams, made a swatch and tossed it into the washer to find it does not felt. That went into the return box with yarn for a sweater that was a little too dark for me.
I then set my sights on the Pretty Thing cowl and though I got gauge, it turned out to be too small. I have a 20" crown and it is 16 inches. Turns out my friend Kristin's daughter likes it, so I'm making Kristin's entire family a hat or cowl each, in exchange for 3 skirts since Kristin sews more then I do. Here is 5 year old Genna's cowl:
I have 3 more cowls to make as well for 2 of my grandmothers and Kristin. I do not know what I'll do for my aunt Bobby this year, but I think a bag will be the answer. I always think she looks good in Jackie Kennedy type things.
In exchange for the yarn that will not felt and the too dark sweater, I'm getting enough yarn to do two Carnaby Skirts, Kristin's cowl, and another Reunion Cowl for myself!
Here is the Reunion Cowl I'm currently working on and I'm in love:
I'm using unknown silk/wool yarn from the stash that I got ages ago from WEBS. The pattern is so simple it has for the most part replaced my movie sock, is soft as a baby's bottom and drapes beautifully.
I'll be using it to keep me company till I get the yarn to dye on Tuesday (UPS has informed me there is a shipping delay), and Ben is at this very moment making me a skein winder.
I'm helping by staying out of the way.