Tag Archive | holiday knitting

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?

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 for the Holidays

This year, my holiday knitting is pretty much non-existent. I’ve made gifts the last two years, and I just decided not to take on that anxiety this year. It requires a lot more advance planning than I managed. Now, with that said, there might be one or two gifts coming off my needles this year, but that’s about all. I’m partly relieved and partly sad, which tells me this hiatus probably won’t be a long one. So, family, if you’re reading this, put your requests in early next year!

So what am I doing if I’m not making gifts for people? For quite a while, I was busy making stuff for my two craft shows. My second show was last week. It was a one-day, 4-hour fair, and it was a bust. I had two sales that *almost* covered the table fee, and then I bought a super-cute necklace from my booth neighbor. It’s my sneaking suspicion that the clientele there were the type of people who think that handmade gifts aren’t as good. I had a few compliments, but most were just quick glances. I even had two people ask me, “Are all of these handmade?” before walking away empty-handed.

Don’t worry, I didn’t take the lack of sales personally. Disappointing, sure, but I know the problem was market, not product. The silver lining is that the fair was to support the First Hand Foundation, a charity run by Cerner, so my table fee went to a good cause. But still, it wasn’t really worth the work, given that my Knitting SIL had to find a babysitter so she could haul all my stuff, and I had to move around on Helga, my knee scooter.

With shows done for now, my focus is back on my Etsy shop. I’ve been working on adding pieces, and today I finished! It’s completely up to date with all my current inventory, and you can check it out here. As a holiday special I’m offering free first class shipping with the code SHIPMYHATS. My sales are slowly increasing, and I’m getting a few custom orders from it too. Of course, most of them are Yoda hats! IMG_4270And I managed to finish the mermaid blanket, FINALLY. IMG_4247I completely forgot to take a photo of the finished piece, darn it all. It turned out pretty good, but I don’t know that I ever want to make another one. If I do, I know that I’ll charge a higher price next time!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to turn up the new Adele album and go back to knitting Yoda hats.

Christmas Presents Unveiled

I don’t know about all of you, but I was very tired yesterday. Christmas can wear a person out, what with all the shopping & wrapping & cooking & eating & cleaning & unwrapping & cleaning. But we had a wonderful two days of family time, so it was all worth it. And now that gifts have been given, I can share a few things I couldn’t share before.

The first is the Bumble Hat. He’s the Abominable Snowman from the Rudolph TV special and I found the link on Facebook. I was tempted to make one for myself but ended up making it for my aunt, who commented how much she liked it. I used some fuzzy white yarn from Joann (lost the ball band so I don’t know what it was, but not fun fur) and random acrylic from the stash for the face. He was so fun to make.IMG_0212I made a Jayne hat (from Firefly, I think. Or something like that.) for my sister and I think she liked it. I used Knit Picks Bulky, and the orange wasn’t quite as orange as it should be, but she assured me it was still acceptable. Our mother couldn’t figure out why she would want something like this, or how she could wear it out in public. Some things just can’t be explained.IMG_3548I made the hubby some fingerless gloves. He doesn’t wear gloves often but I figured maybe his hands get cold sometimes, and this way his fingers would be free. By some miracle, they actually fit! The pattern for these is called Maize, by Tin Can Knits, and there’s also a variation for a full mitten. I made them with Plymouth Baby Alpaca.IMG_3504Isn’t he cute? 🙂  You know who else is cute? My girl. I’d knit up another Super Soft Merino Hat for her in pink and gray but I knit it in front of her and told her it was for me. She was quite happy when she opened it Christmas morning. IMG_3542The experience of the boy’s hat did not go so well. I needed a box to wrap it in and in our box of boxes found one a good size. Without thinking, I reused it. The boy pulled off the paper and saw a box for a Doctor Who mug and got all excited, and I had to tell him it was a reused box. There were tears and I felt horrible. But after a few minutes, he recovered and didn’t seem to hold a grudge against the hat. IMG_3531Hmm, anything else? I think that might be all the gifty knitty things that I couldn’t share before. It was lovely because all the things I made were well-received and fit well. And I even managed to finish something new for myself just in time for the holidays: I bound off maybe five minutes before we left the house.IMG_0314That’s the Cupido Cowl knit in Knit Picks Reverie in Wine. I did not enjoy the knitting of it; too much knitting into purls which is not my favorite thing. But I do enjoy the finished project so much. It’s so soft and cozy, and not itchy at all. I have two more balls of the Reverie and I’ll make something else with it, but it’s going to be a very simple pattern next time!

I do hope the holidays went well for the rest of you too. I’m looking ahead to the new year with a lot of hope and optimism, and I’ll be sharing my goals, big and small, with you soon. (hint: there is yarn involved.)