Something not too demanding, enjoyable, and if there's something at the end to show for it, so much the better.
This year I've been casting around for inspiration for my project and I've finally decided on what it's going to be.
I'll give you a clue......
I haven't knitted for years. My grandmother taught me when I was very young, around 6 or 7 years old. As I'm left handed it wasn't all plain sailing, but by the time I was in my teens I was quite advanced, knitting Fair Isle, Aran and really complicated lacy patterns.
When my children were babies I knitted almost all their clothing, and when they were toddlers I created colourful picture knits featuring their favourite story book characters.
I continued to knit happily into my mid 30s.
But then, for no obvious reason, I stopped, and haven't purled a stitch since. It's almost 20 years since I last picked up a pair of needles and a knitting pattern. So I've decided to have another go, and this Christmas will be self-gifting two pairs of needles, a pattern, and some lovely wool to knit a jumper.
I'm going to start gently, with a fairly easy pattern and see where I go from there. Hopefully it will all come flooding back to me....
I gave serious consideration to several other things..... scrapbooking, embroidery, needle felting.... but decided against them. Scrapbooking takes up a fair amount of space and seems to require loads of different papers and materials. Embroidery is OK, but needlework and sewing form a large part of my day job so I wanted something different. I've always fancied having a go at needle felting but it would take ages to get any good at it, and I want something I can just pick up and do if I have a spare 10 minutes, and won't take ages to clear away afterwards.
During long winter evenings by the fire, I can keep half an eye on the TV, or listen to the radio, whilst knitting, and there's something supremely satisfying about seeing a garment gradually emerge from the needles.
Needless to say, Small Dog has given the idea a firm 'paws up' and has already placed an order for a made to measure hand-knitted jumper.
She was somewhat less keen when I showed her this......
Granted, she is technically a non-moulting dog, so she doesn't shed her hair, but it does grow, and it does need regular cutting, generally yielding enough clippings to knit a small guinea pig. I'm sure if I collected it over the course of a year there would be sufficient to create her a jaunty beret like the one above.
And who knows, if the knitting bug really takes hold, this could be us next summer......