Tag Archive | handmade gifts

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?

Weekend Knitting, plus Yarn

Thanks to my girl and her band activities, I got to spend the entire day Saturday knitting. Well, at least as much as my hands could tolerate. I had to take breaks periodically, of course. But I was focused on one goal: finish this second sock, which is a Christmas gift. I got pretty close.

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Since then I’ve gotten farther, and I only have about an inch left before starting the toe. This one will be a FO before you know it!

Her competition was out of town, which meant a LYS stop for me. We went to True Blewe Yarns in Columbia, MO and I found lots of really pretty yarns. Lots of yarns I appreciated, several I picked up and carried around, but it was the strangest thing: most of them weren’t calling my name. I didn’t feel like buying yarn just to buy pretty yarn. (GASP! Am I feverish??) I want more sock yarn, but I want self-striping, and I want more colors, not just purple. I have quite a bit of purplish fingering weight, waiting to be made into shawls, so I didn’t really want to get more. I don’t know, I guess I just wasn’t really feeling it that day.

Okay, that’s not completely true, because you KNOW I didn’t walk out empty handed. I thought about the pieces I’ve wished I had to wear, and chose these accordingly.

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I’ve used the super bulky Spuntaneous and LOVE it, but hadn’t seen the worsted version before. I’ve wanted another neutral gray cowl, so I’ve got enough here to make a lovely long one to double.

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I don’t have a lot of blue clothes in my closet. I don’t like blue things in my house, really. So why have I been drawn to this vivid royal blue lately?? No idea, but I decided to give in. This one is already on the needles and on its way to becoming a Squishy Soft Cowl, like the dark green one I just made.

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I’ve bought this Wonder Woman yarn before. I made a gorgeous cowl, put it on Etsy as a showpiece, thinking it would never sell, and it sold! So I had to send it away, and that made me sad. Now I can make something for myself to keep.

I have one more new project on my needles. This is a Be Simple Variations with my new green Classic Elite Magnolia. I’m already loving it.

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Hope your weekend was as productive as mine!

 

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?

 

 

More Socks

Sometimes being a knitter comes in handy in unusual ways! We did Senior Photos for the girl over the weekend, and for one photo she needed a conductor’s baton. We didn’t have one of those, but guess what? A 14″ straight knitting needle fits the bill in a pinch! Fortunately we were close enough to home for me to go fetch one, since I didn’t have one on hand. All the other photos went smoothly and I can’t wait to see the official photos.

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I managed to fit in a bit of knitting as we drove between locations, and during the kids’ concert on Sunday, so I made good progress on one of my socks. This will be a plain vanilla sock, my first Felici sock, and so far I’m pretty happy with it.I’m trying the baby circs again, and while I still don’t love them for socks, I am getting more used to them, and I can tolerate them when I need so many socks on the needles.

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This pair is another gift, and my first sock with Knit Picks Chroma. I love the colors in the Chroma, but the yarn isn’t as nice for me as the Felici. It’s fuzzier, more sticky, so when I have to tink, it’s a bit tricky. (Haha! I made a little rhyme!) I probably should have done a plain sock for these too, but I have a vision in my head, and I really want them to be Strutting Peacock socks. And once I get into the rhythm of the pattern, it’ll be fine.

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I have one more set of sock needles available; I just need to decide what pair to cast on, and who they’ll be for!

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!