, because joining things seems to jinx them for me. However, I think it's a fine idea to get a little advance knitting done for Christmas, or birthdays. For my part, once I get my Red Scarves shipped, I'm going to A) work on some UFOs (either finish or frog) and B) knit up some felted bowls.
Something I did last Christmas ('05) that might appeal to some: Little amulet bags from the book Oddball Knitting. I thought about each person as I worked on their bag, using bits of leftover yarn (in most cases) and small needles (size US4?). I put a tiny brass bee in each, and left it up to each person to otherwise fill the bag as they chose; you could select a special good luck charm (the book has some suggestions). I did deviate a bit from the pattern and just knit a wide rectangle and sewed it up, rather than knit on DPNs.
For most of the bags (3), I used yarn that I'd used for another project related to the recipient. Top right & bottom left: the fuzzy yarn is from scarves I'd made for them; top left: the top rust color is silk left from a hat I made for her son.