Tag Archive | gift knitting

It’s a small world, after all

The other day, I showed you some yarn that I was thinking about using for a gift for a guy friend. I decided to go forward with it, so I pulled up my all-time favorite fingerless glove pattern, Mmmalabrigo Mitts, and cast on. As I knit, I realized I’ve probably made a dozen pair of these mitts over the last several years, which made me wonder how old the pattern was. I looked at the blog archive, saw the pattern was from 2008 and the most recent, and final, post was 2016. When I clicked on that, the post was about how quiet she’s been on the blog because of all the yarn, and if you were interested, you could check out her website.

Guys. Guess what the yarn business was? YES! It was Destination Yarn, the SAME yarn I pulled out of my (very full) stash to make these mitts! What are the odds?? Slim, I tell you.

Once I’d made the connection, there were other things on the page that should have clued me in, but I’ve looked at this post so many times over the years that I go immediately to the pattern and ignore everything else. And of course, that connection sealed the deal on this project — they had to be made, even if I decide they’re not right for the intended person. I’ve got one mitt done and the other cast on. Gotta love small Aran weight projects!

Happy Saturday, friends.

You Give Good Glove(s)

Okay, so you know how I’ve been knitting Christmas gifts with yarn from stash? I made a hat and fingerless gloves, and last night I blocked another set of fingerless gloves.

These are the Felicity Mitts and despite following the pattern precisely, or so I thought, they are not exactly the same length. I’m hoping blocking will mostly take care of that. It’s a free pattern on Ravelry and simple enough to knit, although I’d never grafted two ends of icord before and I’m not sure I did a great job.

Anyway! Now I want to knit something for a guy friend I don’t know super well. He dresses pretty conservatively, but often wears fun, quirky socks, so there’s definitely a playful undertone there. He doesn’t strike me as a hat person, so my other quick go-to gift project is fingerless gloves. I dug through my stash and so far this is the only yarn that seems right.

I like the pops of red, but I want to keep them as subtle as possible. I’m thinking about holding the yarn double, to mix up the speckles and variegation. It should make an Aran weight and I’d use a very simple pattern, like this one, to balance out the yarn.

What do you think? Without knowing this person, do you think these would make a good somewhat generic guy gift?

FO Friday: Fingerless Gloves

I haven’t just been buying yarn willy-nilly — I’ve also been knitting a bit! Recently I finished another Christmas gift.

These are for a very stylish male friend, so I’m hoping they’re classic and elegant enough. The elegant mostly comes from the yarn, which is a marvelous silk and merino blend from JulieSpins. Seriously, these mitts feel so good. I’m glad I have over half a skein left so I can make some for myself!

The pattern is called Pioneer Gloves and I’d share the link but Rav is currently down so I’m afraid you’ll have to do the extra step on your own. I do think it’s a free pattern, if that helps!

Happy Friday, friends.

Christmas in August, Part Two

My gift hat has been completed and has its pompom. Though I loved the suggestion of a pink faux fur pompom, I remembered I wanted to do these gifts completely from stash, and I didn’t have a fur pom that worked. What I did have was exactly enough yarn left over for one good-sized pompom!

That literally used up all the yarn, and a I had to use a scrap of another yarn to attach it. I’m calling that a big win! It was so satisfying that I moved right on to my next gift knit, a pair of fingerless gloves. I chose a pattern called Felicity Mitts (free on Rav) and some creamy Malabrigo Sock from the stash. The first mitt went so quickly and I was in love, convinced I’d found my new favorite mitt pattern.

I do love it! Look at the dainty lace that will block out so nicely! But now I have a huge case of second-mitt syndrome and am having the hardest time casting on for mitt two. Thank goodness I still have plenty of time before Christmas!

Happy Saturday, friends.

Christmas in August

I am not someone who counts down the days until I can put up my Christmas tree. I’m not eagerly awaiting fall and all things pumpkin spice. I love summer and would much rather be warm than cold. However, I do enjoy knitting for people I like, so I cast on the first Christmas gift of 2022 yesterday.

This will be a waffle beanie in Supernatural Yarns Fairy DK, color Amortentia. I’m pretty sure it will have a pompom, but I’m not sure yet if it will be a matching yarn pom or a coordinating faux fur pom. It partly depends on how much yarn is left! Which would you go for?

After spending so much knitting time on big projects, it’s a treat to knit something as small and quick as a hat. Here’s hoping they appreciate it!

Happy Sunday, friends!

Little blue hat

I think it’s safe to say that things are going somewhat back to “normal” and I’m not sure I’m a big fan. Life has just felt really busy lately. I do love getting together with my family again, though the parties have been fast and furious the last couple of months and my socialization muscle is still kind of weak and atrophied. I’m starting to do a little more in-person stuff for work, and it is good to see people again, but working from home was so simple. And our own renovation is still on hold while we wait for windows to be delivered, but we’re getting ready to sell a home we’ve been renting out, so we’re starting to do all the prep for that, painters and lawn care and realtor oh my!

I’m tired, I guess is what I’m saying. I’ve been feeling good the last few weeks, even with the usual dip after a party, but today I’m just … blah. So here’s my latest FO, a quick hat I knit up for a nephew who likes blue.

The yarn is some Koigu fingering from the stash, and the pattern is a 2×2 ribbed tube that I mostly improvised. I looked up the recommended length for a child-size hat and as I knit, I kept thinking, really, it needs to be longer? Isn’t this long enough for his little head? Well. His head is bigger than I realized so this hat will not last him as long as I’d hoped. Still, a winter or two is fine by me, and I’m always happy to knit a hat.

Happy Tuesday, friends.

Hello, Hinterland Hat!

Okay, well, I knew hats were fast but apparently even cabled hats are a pretty quick project. I finished the Hinterland Hat today and heck, it’s cool. Here’s the Rav link if you want to check it out.

I did mess up two of the cables early on, but there was no way I was going to frog back to fix them. And it worked out well because the folded brim hides the worst of it. I’m still not sure I love the cabling process but I do adore finished cables, and it makes it worth it, at least for smaller projects. I don’t know that I’d want to do a cabled sweater yet.

This pattern had two versions and I chose the second version, which had extra little cables between the purl sections. I know, crazy! The yarn is Island Yarn Blackwater in Silver, and it’s a smooth, squishy superwash yarn. There was a bit of splitting with some of the little cables, but otherwise I love it. Maybe the variegation hides the cabling some, but I think subtle is okay for the recipient. Let’s just hope it fits him!

While I was outside taking photos, I had some furry helpers. What could I do but take a few shots of them too?

Pretty soon it will be too cool for me to want to be outside with them very much, so I’m enjoying while I can. Oh, and last night we watched Enola Holmes. It was cute; I enjoyed it. I loved Millie Bobby Brown but somehow Henry Cavill made Sherlock a little too … likeable. I guess I prefer Sherlock as a curmudgeon.

Hope you’re having a good weekend too!

How about a hat

Nope, nothing finished here! Instead I cast on a new hat! One of my favorite work friends has a birthday soon and I decided I needed to knit him a hat. And for some reason I decided it needed to be cabled.

I’ve got the brim done, now it’s on to the 8-row pattern repeat. Surely I can finish a worsted-weight cabled hat in five days?

FO Friday: Socks

My recent shawl-knitting obsession fell by the wayside the last week or so. I couldn’t resist casting on a new sock with some of my birthday yarn, and this sock practically flew off my needles! I mean, this is obviously a progress shot, but it’s done now. The yarn is Bootheel sock from Show Me Yarn in the color Sonny & Tubbs.

Once I finished the first one, I decided I needed to be good and finish a lingering pair of gift socks. I was partway through the leg of the second sock so I knew it wouldn’t take too long. But here’s the problem with making gift socks: they’re not as addictive if they’re not for me! Especially if I’m doing colors that don’t speak to me. So it’s possible that sock-knitting is primarily a selfish thing for me. Anyway, I finished the second sock and now have a pair ready to mail.

The eagle-eyed among you might notice the socks don’t match exactly. The main yarn is from a 50g skein of Happy Feet. I had two skeins but weighed the first after making the first sock and thought I’d have enough for the second. Well, not quite. I ran out with about 3/4″ left of the foot to knit. That wasn’t enough to make me want to add in the second skein and two more ends to weave in, so I just started the green early. The recipient won’t care a bit, I don’t think. It’s funny how I’m so much a perfectionist in every other area of my life, but in my knitting, it’s all just “Eh, that works!” Maybe that’s just one more benefit that knitting brings to my life!

Happy Friday, friends.

Sock It To Me Monday: Special Edition

Today’s sock post is special because I’m sharing my feedback on the Saucon Sock yarn from Kraemer Yarns. I was given the chance to review it a couple of months ago, and given my love for sock knitting, I was eager to test a new kind of sock yarn.

Saucon Sock is a cotton/acrylic/nylon blend that is washable and lightweight. There are so many possibilities with this: socks for spring and early summer, easy-care socks for kids or non-knitters (or even knitters, honestly), and socks for people with wool sensitivities. I got to select two colors, so I chose Loganberry for me and Forrest for the boy. He’s a teenager with no time to be fussy or careful with socks, so I knew he’d let me see how the yarn holds up to … rougher handling, shall we say?

img_8431

He requested a mid-calf length sock, and I did a simple pattern with some ribbing. For myself, I did a basic Rose City Roller to see how they’d fare in a midwestern summer. When the skeins came, the yarn felt a little stiff at first, and I was unsure if I’d like it, but as I knit with it, it softened up and made the nicest fabric. It’s not soft like wool but it’s smooth, and even feels cool to the touch. There’s no squeakiness that you can sometimes feel with acrylic yarns; the cotton was definitely the dominant feel. It reminded me of knitting with linen, even down to a slight splittiness at times, but I really enjoyed knitting with it. I could knit outside in 80-degree heat and it didn’t bother me a bit.

img_8456

How did they wear? Great! The boy reported no sagging or sliding down the leg, even after wearing them all day, so it held its elasticity all day long. I wore mine all day (inside) on an 80-degree day and the socks didn’t stifle my feet at all. They felt very breathable. Again, not soft like wool, but crisp against the skin.

The final test was washing. I had the boy throw his in his laundry, like he washes everything else, so they went through a cotton/normal cycle with warm water along with jeans and t-shirts, then through a cotton/normal warm dryer cycle. Mine were soaked in Eucalan and laid flat to dry. His socks came out softer and cleaner (we have three dogs, and hand-washing doesn’t remove all that dog hair) but they did have some minor pilling. Overall, though, they looked good!

Mine were crisper and had a nice shape, due to being patted into shape and drying flat. I had no pilling, but I still had plenty of dog hair, which is one of my ongoing annoyances with handknit socks. I did use a lint roller on my socks before taking photos.

As you can see, mine look almost fresh off the needles, but I think there’s a happy medium with this yarn. I think I could easily do with machine washing them on a gentler cycle with soft items, and then laying them flat to dry. I could maybe pop them in the dryer for a few minutes at the end to soften them up and pull out a bit more dog hair. Honestly, I’m delighted to have a good easy-care/summer-weight sock yarn available, and hope to add more to my stash.

It’s very affordable at $14.50 per 100 gram/430 yard skein, and it comes in 20 solid colors. It would be easy to mix and match, and in fact, I have enough left over to do a pink pair with green cuffs/heels/toes. And something else really cool: it’s made in the USA! If you’re in the Pennsylvania area, you can even visit their mill.

A special thank you to Stitchcraft Marketing and the folks at Kraemer Yarns who sent me two skeins of Saucon Sock (retail $29). I received no other compensation for this review. All opinions and photos are my own.