Whew. I did a hella ton of Christmas knitting this year. Well, for the Queen of “I-Don’t-Knit-For-Christmas” anyway. I know it’s way past the fact now, but I haven’t shared any of those FO’s with you before now and I figure it would be nice to see some pretty knit pictures here on the blog, not just shots of my cutie son and my not-so-cutie face. Warning, this post is project heavy, but I’ll try to keep the details to a dull roar.
Every year my husband makes an agreement with his Dad that only the kids will receive gifts. And every year his Dad’s girlfriend still buys us stuff. Usually we don’t worry about it too much because we don’t see them until January or February anyway and then it’s not quite so awkward to receive without gifting in return. But this year we went to see them on December 22 and I wanted to be prepared. Currently we are also despairingly broke, so everyone got hand knits whether they wanted to or not. My friend Troy has this great attitude about his handknits. He figures that once they leave his hands he doesn’t need to be sentimentally attached to them anymore. If someone doesn’t appreciate it, gives it away, lets the dog sleep on it, or puts it in the dryer, he doesn’t get hurt. Once he gifts it he’s done with it emotionally. This year I strove to do the same. Because I used stash yarns that weren’t being used anyway, it didn’t really break my heart to think someone might toss this into the closet and forget about it. Realistically, it was doing the same thing here and there was just the smallest chance that my hand knit would end up with someone who would truly wear and enjoy it, whether or not it was the original recipient. That’s more of a chance than it would have hanging out here in one of my rubbermaid tubs. And besides, I got the fun of knitting it.
Without further ado….. Christmas Knitting Blitz 2012 Show And Tell begins!
The Boys (my Father-In-Law & Brother-In-Law) received simple, but not plain, hats in black. I really didn’t know what each of them would wear and figured it would be best to play it safe. I used black yarn that had been in my stash since dinosaurs roamed the earth: Valley Yarns Berkshire. This is a nice all purpose sort of yarn, a bit like Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride, but possibly softer. I don’t know how it will wear because it is pretty fuzzy, but hopefully it will last a while even if it pills. In retrospect, I wouldn’t choose a fuzzy yarn like this in the future for either of these patterns. The design elements were sort of lost in that alpaca halo and would have been more crisp and well-defined with a plied yarn of some type I’m guessing. Oh well. Lesson learned, stash busted. Moving on.
- Pattern: Berruti by Wendy Neal (Ravelry Link)
- Yarn: Valley Yarns Berkshire in Black
- Needle: Size 7 circ, worked with Magic Loop
- Comments: This is my second hat in this pattern and I still really like the way it looks, not to mention the fact that it’s a super quick knit without being stunningly boring. I knit this on a size 7 to stay true to the pattern, but I think in the future when I use this yarn I wouldn’t use anything smaller than a size 8 needle. It felt stiff and was a little hard to knit on needles that size. Still like the finished product though & expect it will be warm.
- Pattern: Man Thing by Justyna Lorkowska (Ravelry Link)
- Yarn: Valley Yarns Berkshire in Black
- Needle: Size 7 circ for ribbing, Size 8 circ for body, worked with Magic Loop
- Comments: Really liked this pattern and thought it made a very handsome hat. Nice & stretchy, & perfect for the guys. The halo of the Berkshire didn’t swamp the design as much on this hat as it did on the Berruti, so pretty happy with how it turned out.
- Pattern: Stacked Eyelet Cowl by Ami Madison (Ravelry Link)
- Yarn: Rowan RYC Cashsoft DK in “Cream”
- Needle: Size 6 circ
- Comments: Second one of these for Christmas 2012. I love this pattern and simply adore this yarn. So sad they’ve discontinued it…. sniff sniff. I was worried about this one because the upper edge was curling inside out before blocking, but luckily that curl blocked right out and it looked great afterwards. Not as drapey as I would have liked, but still pretty in its own way.
- Pattern: Moko-Moko Cowl by Olga Buraya-Kefelian (Ravelry Link)
- Yarn: Valley Yarns Stockbridge in “Deep Red”
- Needle: Size 7 needles
- Comments: I loved this pattern the moment I saw it. And when I realized I had enough stash to knit it, I bought it. Love the pattern & love the result – definitely making one for me eventually. This yarn is pretty nice & works well for this design I think. My only issue was that, despite having 327 yds of worsted yarn (the pattern calls for 330 yds) I was only able to knit 6 full repeats of the pattern. That means I was 2 repeats short! It still works as a cowl, but won’t drape over the shoulders like it shows in the pattern photos. Not sure if the yarn was mismarked, or what happened, but that was kind of a bummer. I want one of these that’s a bit skinnier (and maybe longer) perhaps with some of the Bugga! I’ve been hoarding over the last couple years.
- Pattern: Deck The Balls by Kelly Jensen (Ravelry Link)
- Yarn: Assorted Sock Yarn Partials
- Needle: Size 2 needles, using Magic Loop
- Comments: So thrilled with how these turned out! They were fairly quick, though owing to the slightly different weights of the fingering yarns I was using, I had to modify things a little to get the decreases at the top to fall in the right place. But it really didn’t take long to rip back and finish again when I needed to do that. I see a whole pile of these in my Christmas 2013 knitting future. Fun!
Wow, that’s a lot of FOs to share! And guess what’s totally nuts….. I still have more to photograph and show you! Not from Christmas, just from this year’s stash knitting so far. It’s been kinda fun seeing what I can make with what I already have on hand.
What are you knitting this year so far?