Tag Archive | gift knitting

That’s it, then

When I came home from work Tuesday night, I thought having the next five days off sounded like such a long time. But now I’m in the last day and guess what, it was not that long! The dinners are done, the girl is gone, and I go back to work tomorrow, alas. But all is not lost because it is December, the Christmas decorations are up, the girl will be back for winter break in about two weeks, and I still have the rest of the day to knit! The temptation to start something new for me is strong, but I will probably be good and work on my gift socks. I’ve got two pairs in the works.

img_6208The left is Treasure Goddess sock yarn, and the right is Berroco Vintage worsted. It’s for a work gift exchange. They chose a sock theme and of course I had to make socks! But I don’t have time to make actual sock-weight socks, so I’m doing a nice cozy bed sock or house sock or whatever you want to call it. I finished the first one in about four days — I’d forgotten how quickly worsted weight socks knit up! The pattern for that one is Arinn and it’s a simple rib. I also finished a cowl but it’s a test knit so I’m going to save that one for when the pattern is live and I have some prettier photos.

Oh, but I also need to make another Santa hat! Guess I better get to knitting!

 

Cactus is NOT done

He really was done, and very cute. And then last night I went to a book signing and the boy forgot I wasn’t going to be home so he didn’t lock up the dogs when he went to band practice. (You can see where this is going, can’t you?)

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Yes, alas, Duncan strikes again. The silver lining is that it’s just the one piece that’s damaged, and it’s even the smallest piece. I should be able to remove that, attach a new one, and even save the flower. I guess that will be added to my weekend knitting! Sigh. Dogs. Can’t live with them, can’t live without them!

WIP Wednesday: Cactus

After a few nights, I have all the pieces of my gift cactus knit. They’re small, simple seed stitch tubes, so super fast to knit. Now I just need to stuff and sew together! And maybe add a tiny flower or two. Then I’ll add some straight pins for the thorns or needles or whatever those prickly things are called on a cactus.

img_6064It’s a good thing this one is going quickly because for some bizarre reason I thought it would be fun to do a test knit. Now. Right before the holidays when I’ve also decided to do another Christmas gift knit. And also I got the pattern this morning and it has tiny cables. Of COURSE it does. Sigh. Where’s my brain these days? But it’s a DK weight cowl, and I just bought a gorgeous skein of DK, so it’ll be fine. Just fine. Everything’s fine!

Happy Wednesday, friends! The weekend is in sight!

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!

Happy Halloween!

It’s Halloween! But my kids are older so I don’t have to go out in the cold to trick-or-treat, and I don’t have to answer the door over and over while listening to my dogs bark. As cute as my kids were when they were little, I confess I don’t miss the chaos of Halloween. Instead, I’ll leave my porch light off and just keep knitting like it’s a normal night. I’ve got another bottle sweater on my needles, but today I wanted to show off my latest FO, my Not So Lacy Lace Scarf.

fullsizeoutput_2412After blocking, it was 72″, and at first I was afraid that was too long, but now I think it’s perfect. Plenty of length to wrap around however you want!

fullsizeoutput_2417Sorry for the less than stellar photos; it’s been a little chilly and I’ve been too lazy to get outside for a proper photo shoot.

The yarn is Schachenmayr Fashion Soft Mix, a nylon/alpaca/wool mix and it’s super lightweight and soft and fluffy! It’s a gift, and I really hope they aren’t sensitive to alpaca or wool.  I haven’t made a scarf in a long time, and I was afraid it would drag on forever, but I finished this in a week! Once I memorized the 4-row repeat, it was fast and fun.

Hope you all have a safe and fun Halloween!

FO: Bobble Hat

For all my talk yesterday about selfish knitting and making what I want to make, I spent my knitting time yesterday and this morning making a bobble hat. I’ve made maybe eight or ten of these already, for my former co-workers. They’re meant to represent the pombe yeast tetrads that they study in their research lab, and even though I’ve left that team, my former boss still asks me to make a hat for each new member. As annoying as I find bobbles to be, I’m happy to do it because A) I adore her and B) I love it when people ASK for handknit items. I had the yarn in my stash and I hadn’t made a hat in ages, so it was kind of a nice treat.

IMG_4786It’s based on this pattern but I made modifications to make an adult size and to adjust the placement of the bobbles, so you can see the details on the Ravelry project page. And now it’s done and I can go back to my previously scheduled fun knitting! Happy Sunday!

Interlude Project

Sometimes when I have several big projects on my needles, I need to cleanse my palate with a smaller project that I can get done in a few days. Sunday I cast on a new Bandana Cowl with yarn from the stash. It got off to a rough start, though, and I was afraid I’d chosen poorly.

First, I was trying to adapt a pattern meant for bulky yarn to aran weight, so I was using notes from another knitter. The first needles were too big, though, so I frogged and started over with a smaller size. I liked it enough, until I got a few rows in and saw a dropped stitch way down at the beginning. I didn’t like it enough to keep going, so I frogged again and cast on with size 8 needles, and this time it worked. Except I did drop a stitch again and had to ladder it up about five rows.

img_4664It wasn’t my favorite yarn; it was a little nubby, and thick & thin in places. It’s Skacel Urban Silk, which is 80/20 silk and cotton. It’s definitely soft, and has the lovely drape of silk, but something about it just didn’t thrill me, so I’m glad I made this with someone else in mind. Now let’s just hope she likes it!

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It’s definitely smaller and more snug than the original was intended, but it fits me well and should be perfect for the recipient. And it got two skeins of yarn out of my stash!

Ready to Fade!

My new yarn arrived yesterday, a set of four skeins from Bumblebee Acres Farm in a Game of Thrones-inspired fade. My colors are Lannister themed but they have plenty of other choices. This is for my commissioned shawl and even though these aren’t my colors at all, I’m excited to make it for her. The yarn is called Butter Sock, with 70% Merino, 20% Silk, 10% Cashmere, so it’ll be a treat to knit with and cozy to wear. (I’m pretty sure she’s never going to see this blog, so hopefully it will be a surprise when it’s done.)

I chose the Find Your Fade pattern so she’ll have a big squishy wrap to keep her warm, and because I’ve been wanting to make one for ages. I cast on at first with the recommended size four needles, but quickly decided I wanted a tighter gauge and started over with size three. Warmth is key, and I think it will still come out plenty big! I haven’t gotten very far, maybe 15 rows in, and I haven’t planned out the color changes for my four-color fade yet. I need another weekend to spend with my Fade!

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We’ve had days and days of rain and gray skies, which makes me just want to curl up and knit even more than usual. Hope you’ve got sunshine where you are!

 

Where’s my mojo?

Excuse me, have you seen my mojo? It went that way? I wonder if I can track it down!

Seriously, my creative juices are non-existent at the moment. I have two WIPs with a deadline so that’s all I’m working on, and I think that’s part of the problem. I have over-extended myself with non-selfish knitting. I’ve been doing a lot of yarn reviews, some gift knitting, some test-knitting, and I think I need a project that’s all about me. I want to choose both the yarn and the pattern, and I want to keep the finished project at the end. Another blogger talked about doing a Mother’s Day cast-on that is purely selfish knitting, and that is a thing I would like to do.

BUT. First, I have to make some progress on my deadline WIPs. I’ve got one birthday sock done and am on the gusset of the second. Thankfully these are Rose City Rollers so they go fast. I tried a new toe this time, a barn toe that’s more rounded, and I like how it looks. I want to try it on one of my socks next.

The niece likes complementary socks better than matching, so I picked two leftover balls and am just kind of making it up as I go along. I’m thinking the foot of the second sock will be striped.

My other deadline WIP is a shawl test for Under the Olive Tree Knits. It’s a beautiful lace pattern and I chose some Araucania Huasco from the stash, so it’s an enjoyable knit. I think my brain is just malfunctioning right now and is often too tired for a trickier pattern that I have to think about.

I’d like to say I’ll make good progress on it today, but that’s doubtful. The husband is out of town, off to fetch the girl home from her first year of college, so I thought “Oh! I’ll let the dogs sleep with me! How sweet that will be!” Well. I have three dogs. And Duncan is not a big fan of sleeping through the night apparently. So I had this 100-pound bear of a dog clambering all over me and licking my face and it was not a restful night. I have learned my lesson and tonight Jack will be the only one allowed upstairs with me because he is a good dog and knows how to behave himself.

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Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to nap a bit.

Just a hat

Yesterday was Yarn Store Day here in the U.S. and I did not celebrate the traditional way, i.e. by going to a yarn store and buying more yarn. I wanted to, don’t get me wrong! But I’d already bought yarn this month, most recently last weekend at a LYS, so my budget said I didn’t need more. (Budget lied but whatever.) Instead I celebrated in my closest little LYS, my craft room, poking through all my yarn treasures, reminding myself what perfect little pretties I already have. I picked out one gorgeous skein intending to cast on something new and fun just for me. Then I remembered that I wanted to make a baby hat for a pregnant friend. And then the SIL texted about my niece’s birthday in two weeks: she wants to collect donations in stead of gifts. So cool, right?? So cool that I decided I needed to make her a present to go along with our donation to support her generosity. Pretty multicolored skein went back in the stash…for now.

fullsizeoutput_20c2The hat was quick enough to make, using leftover Blue Sky organic cotton from my blanket. It’s KU Jayhawks colors, just FYI. I hope it is, at least. The pattern is Long-Tail Hat and it’s one of my favorite baby hats to make. And yesterday was Grace’s birthday (she’s FIVE now!) so I made her wear it for a brief moment.

fullsizeoutput_20c3She was thrilled, clearly. Anyway, gift #1 is done and now I’m on to some Rose City Rollers for the niece.