I'm doing only a few items for Christmas knitting and only one person I'm knitting for reads the blog so I won't be talking about her item (which I haven't started yet anyway). But I'm having issues with the other two items.
Socks: these socks need to be a size 8. All the directions I can find give a heel to toe measurement but nothing tells me when to start the toe. I'm used to custom fitting to my foot but I am a 7. Even worse, when I asked her shoe size and she said 8, I asked if it was 7 1/2 - 8 or 8 - 8 1/2. I should have stopped at 8! So, she's 8 - 8 1/2 and I just don't know when to start my decreases for the toe (I'm going to do a Kitchener). I'm just working myself into a state for nothing. The basic sock pattern (with the round toe) says to start the decreases about 1 3/4" from tip of toe. I need to stop over-thinking this and just knit. I tried to keep track of the time it took to make and it was about a week so if I can just get past that darn toe, I can finish in another week. Done before Christmas!
Scarf: I have ripped this out 3, maybe 4, times now. This design business is tough! I finally had a pattern that I was pretty sure I liked but didn't like the way the cables were looking. I don't know if the pictures will show and I'm not sure I can describe it well enough but the cable didn't seem to alternate the way I was hoping; even though I was alternating right and left it looked like the same line going back and forth. No over/under - that's it! No over/under was happening. So, I found a pattern in a book and will follow that. I don't know how long this will take me to make. I remember last year's scarf as taking forever but it was all seed stitch so maybe this pattern will be more interesting. It is reversible with 1 large cable centered on one side and 2 smaller cables on the sides on the other. I definitely need to learn more about cables because I do like doing them. I think I can get this scarf done before Christmas.
#3: I don't think I will get this done before Christmas. Last year's gift for the same person was done after Christmas, too. I'll have to do better next year.