Tag Archive | gift knitting

Someone wants a hat!

I finally finished this pair of socks. I started them over six weeks ago, which is a really long time for me. But these got set aside for some gift knitting, so at least there’s a good reason. Still, it was a relief when I wove in that last end and called them done. They don’t quite match exactly, but I’m telling myself I’m okay with it.

IMG_5503So it has a longer section of gray at the toe, what’s the big deal, right? This way I didn’t have to get into the second skein of purple for two inches. The important thing is that the socks are soft and cozy, and they’re the same size. That’s pretty good!

With the socks done, I could move on to new projects without guilt. A friend asked for a hat for her husband, and I was delighted. I do love making hats, and I’ve overwhelmed the rest of my people with hats, so it’s a treat to have someone who actually wants me to make a hat! Within two days I’d whipped up this simple red and white striped hat, which could be considered festive but is secretly Huskers colors.

IMG_5502And that was so much fun that I decided not to stop there. Ask for one hat, get two, apparently! I pulled these out this morning and cast on with the navy already. IMG_5504(These are Seahawks colors, just in case you’re like me and don’t follow any sportsball stuff.) I’m improvising my own pattern again; casting on 88 with size 6 for the ribbing, then switching to 8s for the body. I’m doing a different stripe pattern; hopefully it comes out like I see it in my head.

I’ll close with two bits of good news: a while back I made pombe yeast hats for two new people in the lab at work, and they received them on Monday. Both of them seemed to be genuinely delighted, and they both wore them around most of the day at work yesterday. That really made my day; I work with such awesome people.

Finally, Grace is doing so much better. She’s clearly got more energy, isn’t sleeping as much during the day. She was even playing outside with Duncan this morning, which she hasn’t done in a few weeks. Her appetite is back and she wants to eat everything…except the kibble we’ve been feeding them for ages. But that’s fine, we’ll look for a different food at the store today and hopefully find something tasty that won’t break the bank. Feeding three big dogs gets expensive! We’re being pretty generous with her, giving her some chicken when we cook it, and extra treats here and there, so that she’ll gain back some of the weight she lost. It’s such a relief to not be so worried about her!

That’s all for now. We’re all taking a vacation day today and in a bit we’re going out for a Family Fun Day, at least as soon as I can get everyone motivated to get out of bed and shower. There’s probably a visit to a bookstore in my future, a trip downtown to see some Christmas lights, maybe a lovely dinner out. Here’s hoping your holidays are equally delightful!

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?

Knitting Gone Wrong

I found out recently that one of my nephews was in need of mittens. I’d made him a pair a couple of years ago, but somehow one got lost, and plus he’s grown since then. Aunt Knitter to the rescue! He has a winter birthday and a pair of mittens would be a lovely gift. He is currently infatuated with Lightning McQueen so that was my inspiration. I had just the right colors of Knit Picks Brava Worsted in my stash, I chose Tin Can Knits’ World’s Simplest Mittens, and cast on. How could I go wrong?? (*dun dun DUN* This is called foreshadowing.)

Wow, the first mitten went fast! Just a couple of hours over two nights and I had a finished mitt. I thought it looked kind of big, and the proportions seemed a little off, but the length measurement matched the pattern specifications, so off I went onto the second mitten.

From the start, I questioned myself. It said to cast on 28 stitches. That number seemed wrong. I didn’t remember casting on that number the first time. But oh well, I’m getting old, I’d slept since then, whatever. I kept going. This mitten went even faster than the first; I finished all but the thumb in one night. Woohoo! Yay me, right?

HAHA. No. I held the first mitten up to the second. The second mitten was MUCH smaller. Not really shorter, but the body was a lot narrower. I counted stitches and discovered I’d cast on 32 stitches the first time. No wonder 28 didn’t sound familiar! Somehow my eyes had landed on the stitch count for the child size in DK weight the first time, and the second time I actually did it correctly. Sigh. At least I have one mostly-finished mitten in the right size. I spent the rest of my knitting time last night frogging the first mitten so I could reuse the yarn. Waste not, want not, right? And I’m grateful that it’s small, so I have time to get it finished before the birthday party this weekend! #mustknitquickly

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This is the “bad” mitten

Have you ever had a disaster trying to make two things the same size?

Knitting Injury

Let’s start with the good news: the long holiday weekend gave me so much knitting time that I was able to complete two socks! It was very satisfying, as I’m sure you can imagine. One is a plain vanilla sock in KnitPicks’ Felici Spaceman, and the other is a Strutting Peacock in KnitPicks’ Chroma in Lakefront.img_5260-1img_5261-1Sadly, last night I noticed that the middle finger on my left hand was hurting, especially when I closed my fist. I picked up another sock project to see how I hold my fingers while I knit, and discovered that I keep that finger bent when I knit socks on little DPNs. So it would seem that I need to take a break from knitting. I’m hoping that if I rest it this week, I’ll be good to go on Saturday. We’ll be on a day-long road trip for the girl, for All-State Band Auditions, and I need to be able to knit that day, otherwise I might actually go crazy. For this week, then, my lunch break project is crochet, an Artfully Simple Angled Scarf in Zauberball. I chose it mostly so I could use my new Furls crochet hook.img_5262-1Give me some hope: who else has had minor knitting injuries that healed quickly?

 

 

Socks, Finished and Unfinished

I have a new FO: I finished my Basket Weave Rib socks last night and I love them quite a lot. They are delightfully thick and squishy and soft, and the rib pattern is unusual without overpowering the yarn. These are for my gift pile, and I really hope they fit the recipient!

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But yesterday I also got new sock yarn, thanks to the big sale at Knit Picks. I want to make some Christmas socks, but didn’t have a lot of sock yarn to choose from, and definitely not much in colors other than purple. I came home to a lovely box full of yarn:

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Who doesn’t love those mail days, right? I dug right in, excited because I’m trying some Felici for the first time. I’ve seen socks made with it, and I love how it looks and feels. One color is for a gift, the other is for me (but mine will probably have to wait until after Christmas).

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Now my challenge is to figure out how many sets of sock needles I’ve got, so I can cast on as many socks as possible. I know I have at least three, maybe four. Hm, maybe I should add more sock yarn needles to my Christmas wish list!

Sock Fixation

It’s so weird how my knitting changes. Like, what I want to knit changes based on what’s happening in my life. Right now, things feel hectic and overwhelming and stressful, and all I’ve been knitting is socks. I have two socks on my needles, and they’re making me so happy. I even have fancy yarn picked out for fancy shawls, and it’s beautiful yarn and I can’t wait to knit with it…but I’m not ready yet. I just need socks right now. My current obsession is this Basket Weave Rib Sock.

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The yarn is Schaefer Yarn Nichole, which is labeled fingering, but it feels like a heavy fingering. So when I knit it up with my size 1 needles, it’s all thick and squishy and I can tell these socks are going to be heaven to wear. I love the look of the pattern too; it’s a great design for a variegated yarn, letting both the stitches and the colors play nicely together. This is also the first time I’ve made socks for someone else, so I’m really hoping I estimate well on the foot length.

My other sock is another pair of Petty Harbor socks. These are for me, in Knit Picks Stroll Glimmer in “foxglove and kestrel”, AKA purple and gray.

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Obviously it’s been taking a backseat to the blue sock. This is like my backup sock. But that’s okay, it’s perfectly happy waiting patiently for its turn.

It’s a gray, rainy Sunday here, and my errands are few and short, so I see plenty of knitting in the forecast. Hope your Sunday is equally pleasant!

Gift Knitting Part II

Whew, another Christmas in the books! It was a busy one, a good one, and now I’m ready to move on. I do enjoy the holidays, but they¬†seem to have gotten more complicated, and thus more stressful, over the years. I’m happy to have a bit of a breather now, and be able to focus on my knitting! What have I been making, you ask? Well, let’s take a peek:

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I made good progress on this teal and gray scarf yesterday while binge-watching 11.22.63 on Hulu. (SO good, and I loved the book so I was worried, but I really enjoyed it and am now reading the book again.) Anyway, nine hours of TV means lots of knitting time.

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Pattern for this one is Quickie Cowl and yarn is Classic Elite Yarns Chalet and Chateau.

This one is another Twinkly Lights Cowl like I made for my SIL (the tan/brown one I showed you before) only this one is in Cascade Yarns Baby Alpaca Chunky. I also did it correctly this time, with the wider center section, and I love it. It’s dense and heavy and warm, and I know I’ll be wearing it a lot when the temperatures drop again.

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I managed to score some more Cascade Spuntaneous Yarn, this time in purple and pink, and the purple one ended up being my Christmas Eve party knitting. And when I finished it, the hubby snagged it because he was chilly. And he liked it too!

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Fortunately for him, he had his own warm knitwear waiting under the tree! A week before Christmas, it was super cold, and as he wrapped his (handknit alpaca) scarf around his neck, he casually mentioned, “Gosh, I need a buff.” Like you, I said, “What the heck is a buff??” and found out it’s basically a really snug cowl that can be worn over the face when one is doing weird outdoorsy things like hiking or biking or running, or whatever. And I know he didn’t mean it like that, but knitter friends, you know I heard him say, “You need to make me a buff for Christmas.”

Well. Challenge accepted! I popped over to Ravelry and found this perfect pattern (had to buy the book; don’t know if I’ll make anything else from it anytime soon) but didn’t have the right yarn. I made it to the yarn store two days later and cast on that night with some Cascade 220 Superwash. It needed to be warm, resilient, and preferably washable, so I chose a good workhorse of a yarn. As I began knitting, I remembered how much I dislike knitting from charts. I especially dislike them when the chart is in iBooks and I can’t get it into my knitting app to keep track of rows. So yeah, I wrote out the charts and knit from that instead. Worked pretty well! Six hours later, I had a buff ready to wrap.

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Isn’t it so pretty?? I love the design; I think I want to make it again but with a looser fit.

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I think he liked it. I mean, I know he looks scary here, but he’s really not. And he says it’s warm. I call this one a Gift Knitting Win!

Okay, last project. This one was also last-minute. Like I made it on Christmas Eve and gifted it the next day. I’d wanted to make something for my aunt but couldn’t think of what to make. While browsing Instagram, I saw a photo of ErikaShmerika’s First Leaf Neck Wrap and thought AHA! A quick bulky project that’s a little bit different, that’s perfect! I pulled out some Berroco Kodiak in the color Harbor Seal (code for Gray) and knit this up while watching Jurassic World.

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Jack was so kind and modeled for me after I finished it. I think he looks quite handsome. But his patience didn’t last too long and I did need to add a button.

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I think this is a really cute scarf, and the yarn is warm but so fuzzy and lightweight. The pattern called for a full-length scarf but I liked the idea of a more unusual buttoned neckwarmer, and bonus: it worked perfectly within my time constraints!

I do enjoy gift-knitting when it goes well! And now the gifts are put away, the kids are busy with their new gadgets, and I can settle in and do more knitting. And because my family knows me and loves me, I can start a round of selfish knitting with MY new gadgets: a new YarnPop bag and a yarn valet!

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I hope you all had joyful holidays with plenty of knitting time and just enough family time!