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Knitting for the holidays

Are you doing a lot of gift knitting this year? I’ve done some in the past but this year I’ve got a whopping ONE knit gift planned, and I’m just fine with that. I needed someone new to make socks for — the girl and I both have a ton, I’m not convinced the husband wears them, and the boy only likes boring solid dark colors — and I have a nephew who loves handknit socks. Perfect! The only downside is that he’s growing up and his feet are discouragingly large, but when you do a simple pattern, it goes pretty quickly.

IMG_5955Pattern is my favorite Vanilla Latte socks. The yarn is some self-striping Patons I picked up at Joann, and while it’s not the softest, it should make warm and durable socks. Now let’s just hope they fit!

Gift cowl

I got to give a knitted gift yesterday! And they liked it! AND they wore it all day! This is clear proof that this person is knit-worthy, but I will wait to knit more for them because I don’t want to scare them and let them know make them think I’m crazy. I wasn’t planning on making them a gift, but I found the yarn in my stash and it basically screamed their name. The colors are just perfect for them.

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This is the Growing Leaves cowl and I had to cross my fingers when I blocked it. See, I didn’t follow the instructions to decrease the last two rows because I thought, why would I want it get smaller?? Well. Because the bind off edge is kind of big and floppy if you don’t! Thankfully, it blocked out nice and even and gorgeous.

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The yarn is Knit Picks Chroma Fingering in Vermont. I don’t like this yarn for socks because it’s so fuzzy and sticky, but it does make a lovely cowl!

Weekend Cowls

This weekend was kind to me, giving me lots of knitting time. The girl and I watched movies Friday night and I got most of a cowl done that night. (We watched The Greatest Showman and Lady Bird, and both were just Eh for me.)

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The second one was a Sunday project, mostly done while watching Everest (really good!) and the last half of Toy Story 3. I had to do this one in daylight because OMG black yarn.

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Obviously it’s still drying and I wasn’t patient enough to wait for it to dry before taking photos. The yarn for both is Cascade Baby Alpaca and the pattern is Flor de Maio. I didn’t do as many pattern repeats as the pattern called for, but I think they’re still a good wearable size. Hope the recipients like them!

And now that those are done, I am free to play with the yarn that came in the mail today!

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More new projects?

Well, clearly I don’t respect my own limits. Or maybe subconsciously I do and they’re not as low as I thought they were. Despite my whining about feeling overwhelmed by WIPs the other day, I have added more to my queue. One is a sock but that’s totally justifiable: I needed a simple travel project for car/concert knitting. And I had beautiful new sock yarn calling my name.

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This is Hedgehog Fibres Sock in the color Gossip. Love it! After the boy’s band concert, I have a good two inches of leg past the cuff, but it got too dark to take another photo.

Okay, the sock is understandable. But apparently I have also agreed to make two cowls…before Christmas…as gifts…for a friend to give. But hear me out: I like this person a lot, and I like to help my friends, and I like it when people like my knitting enough to ask me to make things for them. Plus, I like it when they’re willing to pay me to make said things!! So, two cowls are on the list. They’re bulky weight and it’s baby alpaca which means they’ll be fast, fun knits for me. Right? Right. Thank goodness it’s Friday so I can get to knitting ASAP! Anyone else taking on last-minute gift knitting?

Too much knitting?

Is that a thing?? I’m afraid it is–I have something like six WIPs and there are at least three more floating around in my head and I feel like there are some I’m forgetting that I’m supposed to make and AAAAHHH! Knitting is supposed to be my therapy, not my stressor! I don’t really even understand why I feel like this, because I can sit down and plan out my projects, the timeline of gifts and review projects, and it’s fine. I’m doing fine. But for whatever reason, my head feels full and it’s like I’m not staying on top of my knitting.

I don’t like associating that feeling with knitting. But I’m not sure how to fix it. One thing that seems to help is finishing projects, so I probably should focus on that before casting on anything else. Yesterday I finished a sock, one of a pair I started about three months ago, and that’s a long time for a sock for me.

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They’re fraternal twins and the feet aren’t the same length but I love the colors and they fit and feel good on my feet today so that’s a win. Now to finish the other sock project that’s been lingering for months!

Not much knitting

There is little knitting happening so far this week. I had to finish a book for book group (City of Thieves by David Benioff, VERY good!) and last night had a fancy work dinner for the husband. So basically all I’ve been able to work on is my easy lunch break sock knitting. I’ve got one Felici Goth Kitty sock done:

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And I just started the heel on the second yesterday, so a new pair of socks is in my future. If I don’t get distracted by holiday stuff, that is. It is also the time of year that my craft room becomes a wrapping station.

q5QQRiQmQQWBbLZutb9WAgI set up the extra folding table and put out boxes, paper, tags and markers, and it makes wrapping gifts so much easier. At least it does when I don’t borrow the table to block my knitting!

Two Finished Gifts

I feel like I’m running in place with my Christmas knitting. I finish projects but I still have ones waiting in the wings, so I don’t feel like I’m getting ahead. But still, I did finish two projects the other day, and that’s a relief. The first is the pair of Lightning McQueen mittens, the project where the first mitten came out too big and I had to frog it and reknit it. My second try was much more successful.

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Hooray, two matching mittens! These are actually a birthday gift that I’ll give today, so here’s hoping they actually fit the little boy they’re for. Pattern is World’s Simplest Mittens by Tin Can Knits.

My second FO is a pair of Christmas-gift socks, the Strutting Peacock socks that I’ve had on the needles since mid-November. (Feels like longer.) This wasn’t a fun knit for me. I don’t think I like the Knit Picks Chroma for socks, at least not for socks with twisted stitches. The colors are pretty, and the final socks do feel dense and warm, but the yarn sticks to itself a lot, making tinking and frogging difficult. I bought more colors in the big sale, so I’ll try another pair with a simpler pattern and see if I like it better.

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I do like the look of the pattern. It took a little while for me to memorize, but I was able to do the second sock mostly without the pattern. My only modification was to do a stockinette foot rather than carry the pattern down, to make for faster knitting. I think I’d like to try this pattern again with better yarn.

Last night was a band concert, the girl’s last District Band concert. She played beautifully, they sounded wonderful, and I had lots of knitting time. I chose the simplest of knitting so that I could watch her while I listened and knit, and made good progress on my Scrappy Cowl.

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This is a pretty fun project. I think I’m going to like this cowl a lot! But for now I’ve set it aside because I need to focus on more gift knitting. The boy has a girlfriend, and he would like me to make a cowl for the girlfriend. I like the boy, so I will do my best to complete that along with the other two gift projects on my list! Are you done with your gift knitting yet?