Jillian’s Spinning: How I’m Getting Through the Holidaze This Year

This year has been especially crazy for me, nothing traumatic,  just extra busy.

I have found a way to make this year’s gift giving  holidays less stressful for me – no handmade gifts. Yep, send out the craft police. I’m not making any presents.

Over the years I have paired down the number of handmade gifts to one or two per year, rotating through the people who really love and appreciate the work that goes into handmade things.

This year it started as an accident – the planning never made it onto my radar. When I realized, I first felt crappy about it. I love knitting and making and I love all of my people, surely this means I’m a bad crafter. Then I became resigned to it. Then I had my Grinch moment, no one else measures my love in handmade gifts, why should I?

I may make some things for people I love this winter, but in a more organic way, not under a stress fest of a deadline.

Right now I am spinning just to spin.

December in Michigan where I live is so grey it’s like living inside of a Tupperware bowl with the lid on.

So I pulled this out of my stash

Dyeabolical merino/bamboo in Blood Orange
Dyeabolical merino/bamboo in Blood Orange

It makes my eyes dance with delight and it is so soft.

I spun it into a woolen 3-ply, about 12 WPI. It will be a simple cowl in moss stitch or a simple slip stitch. Maybe, I’ll end up giving it away this winter.

Blood Orange yarn.
Blood Orange yarn.

How are all of you staying sane this crazy time of year?



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Jillian is the​ author of the best-selling spinning book Yarnitecture. She is the editor​ of Knittyspin and Developmental Editor for PLY and PLY Books. She kinda loves this spinning thing and wants everyone who spins to love it too, so she teaches and writes a lot. She knits, weaves, and stitches and tries to do as much of it as she can with handspun yarn. She's always cooking up all kinds of exciting and creative things combining fiber arts. She likes her mysteries British, her walks woodsy, and to spend as much time as she can laughing. Spy on her on her website jillianmoreno.com

9 thoughts on “Jillian’s Spinning: How I’m Getting Through the Holidaze This Year

  1. Karrie

    I make things all the time some sewing, some knitting and lately lots of spinning. Sometimes I’m more interested in making an item then having the finished object- they go into the gift pile. I do make things specifically for someone sometimes. By the time Christmas rolls around I always have a few handmade things. I also know a few knitter who love to get handspun they can knit themselves now there’s a win win to me:-)

  2. Gwen

    I’m pretty sure I’m failing the sanity challenge this year. To many things to do and not enough time for crafting or coffee.

  3. Amanda

    I have one more project I “have” to finish for Christmas, but I’m also knitting more projects for myself. My Cyber Monday yarn deals just showed up yesterday, and casting on a new Clapotis with some tea lets me ignore the buckets of snow coming off the lake.

  4. Becca

    I agree wholeheartedly with your description of the weather here. I feel like it hasn’t been daytime in quite a while.

  5. Lisa

    The crafty project I’m working on now is Christmas stockings for my family. I’m staying sane by reminding myself that there are multiple “done” points. I could sew them up in half an hour and they’d be done. I could also decorate some or all of them (my own last), line them, etc. Or I could save some of that for next year. At some point, they’ll be good enough for this year.

  6. Margo

    I too live in Michigan and agree it’s been like living in a Tupperware bowl with the lid on, one that has been in a freezer. I can’t remember the last time I saw the sun for more than 5 minutes. I don’t spin yet but read your blog for inspiration.

  7. Hester Sturrock

    As a child I would try to give everyone in my family a handmade project for Christmas. Finally, as a young working adult, every few years I would give MYSELF a Christmas present and not make anything for anybody. That was a treat for myself. Now I try and only make things for some very young nephews. I sure enjoy not having all the pressure of getting stuff made by Christmas morning. Best – Hester from Atlanta.

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