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Knitted Christmas Presents

An old hobby, a new purpose

I was warned this would happen. It was just a matter of time. When I started grad school, many older than I said that one day, I simply would not be able to read for fun anymore. Of course, I didn't believe this. How could one semester end my decade-long routine and relaxation method of reading before bed?

Cut to fall of 2020.

After this semester's midterms--coupled with everything else that we had experienced in 2020--the thought of reading anything longer than a tweet for fun made my eyes twitch. Or really, doing anything made my eyes twitch. There is always Hulu or Netflix, but starting a the same screen after hours didn't calm me either. While pacing around my house at 6 p.m. one Tuesday night, I tripped over my kitty cat's favorite toy and remembered how she acquired it in the first place.

Yarn is also her favorite comfort item on road trips!

In high school, I took up knitting because a few friends also had. I was never very good and never made much more than a trivet, but I've kept the yarn all along (though the kitty cat has used it more than I have in the past few years).

But around October, an epiphany struck! I would re-teach myself how to knit. At this point in the year, I hardly had motivation to do anything, but setting the purpose of making gifts out of my knitting inspired me to pick up my yard and needles again.

Reteaching myself was super fun because I was working a part of my brain that I hadn't touched in 6 years. Unlike riding a bike--where forgetting = falling off--sticking yourself with knitting needles doesn't hurt so bad. So, there were a lot of mistakes. There were a lot of muttered curses. But now, I have a lot of headbands and koozie.

To make the headbands, I casted on 8 stitches for thin yarn and 5 for thick yarn. Since this was a hobby inspired by exhaustion, I used my head size to measure when to caste off so I wouldn't have to get off of the sofa. I hand sewed the ends after casting off.

Perfect for keeping ears warm on a cold day on the water!

The koozie required a bit more work. I casted on 15 stitches for thin yarn and 12 stitches for thick yarn. I kept an unopened beer can beside me while I worked to measure when to caste off. I hand sewed the ends after casting off. For the bottom of the koozie, I made a 5x5 square. I hand sewed the bottom to the cylinder shaped body of the koozie then turned the whole thing inside out. Sometimes a beer can stays upright in it, but sometimes it doesn't. At least it'll keep the drinker's hand from getting cold, right?

All of my family members will get to choose between a headband or a koozie (for traditional beer cans or seltzer-sized cans) to go along with their main present: a lotion bar from Bar Ageless, a small business owned by a friend of mine. One of these gifts (the lotion bar) is certainly better than the other (the lopsided koozie), but I hope that my family knows that the purpose of making a gift helped me to make it through this tiresome semester. Or, at least, they get a little laugh out of it.

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