If you plan on making gifts for your friends and family this holiday season, then it’s time to start getting ready and I’ve got some tips to set your holiday crafting up for success. Santa shouldn’t be the only one making a list and checking it twice. If you want to get crafting the first step should be make a plan. Choose your patterns, make a list of supplies, or get really serious and make a schedule.

Giving yourself deadlines can help ensure that everything is complete before it’s time to go under the tree. Don’t make this holiday season more difficult than it has to be. Choose projects that are stress-free. This isn’t the time to bust out a new technique you’ve never tried before. A great way to streamline your crafting is to make the same pattern for everyone.

And gifts that are one size fits all, like cowl and shawls, leave the stress of fit out of the process. You don’t want to be playing yarn chicken at the 11th hour. Make sure you have all your supplies before you get started, that means getting extra yarn for all your projects just in case. And be sure to check your dye lots before leaving the craft store. Santa can do it all in just one night, but unfortunately it’s going to take you a little longer.

It’s never too early to start crafting for the holidays In fact, the summer time is an ideal time to get a jump start on your holiday projects. But it’s ok if you’re waiting for the mercury to drop before you pick up your needles. Choose an appropriate pattern for your deadline. If you’ve waited until December first to cast on, you probably won’t have enough time to make a fair isle sweater.

Instead of knitting a hat for that cousin that’s always begging for one Consider the gift of knowledge. Teaching someone the craft of knitting or crochet is an amazing gift. And something that they will appreciate long after that hat has gone out of style. Bonus: it’s a great way to spend quality time with someone you love.

You know what they say teach a man to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime. It’s happened to all of us, you just ran out of time before you could finish making those gifts. It’s a bummer but don’t let it get in the way of what the holidays are really about: even if your crafting schedule goes by the wayside. Time spent with your family enjoying the holidays is more important than anything you could make. And besides, there’s always next year.