Long-reader, first-time poster here. My giftalong odyssey this year has gone something like this:
November 1st: Decide there will be no handknitted gifts this year. I need to finish 2 long-standing WIPs instead. I acquire the needed yarn to finish both and start making good progress.
November 24: At Thanksgiving, find out that my daughter's new apartment is not properly heated, her bedroom especially. Determine that what she urgently needs is a light wool shawl to wrap herself in at night, as I do. Bonus point: I happen to have the perfect yarn in the stash so I start right away.
Dec. 3: Still making decent progress on shawl. Attempt to order online a doll outfit that is all that my 5-year-old granddaughter has asked from Santa. Find out the outfit is sold out online but the local store may still have it in stock.
Dec. 4: Go to local store. The outfit is sold out. Never mind, call daughter who lives in NYC and convince her to check the company store there. The website says they have the precious outfit. The website is wrong. Sold out! Santa is going to disappoint!
Dec. 5. It's a knit outfit after all. I can do this. Google and Ravelry to the rescue; I find one or two patterns that I can adapt to create a reasonable imitation of the elusive outfit. And I can get them right away, thanks to the magic of PDF! Life is good.
Dec. 6: start knitting the outfit. The knitting is fast when it comes to dressing a 15" creature. Felt antlers, on the other hand, take me forever. But eventually, the thing is finally done and I can return to the shawl.
Dec. 17: shawl finished and blocked.
Now knitting a child-size hat to match the doll's outfit.
Today: knitting done. Still need to sew felt antlers and knitted ears on child's hat, by far the most time-consuming task in this knitalong which in my case is more of a last minute sprint. Just like other years.