I’ve been so overwhelmed with gift knitting for the past several weeks that the FOs have been flying by without even registering here. So here’s the 2008 Christmas roundup in order of completion, with recipient photos where available (more will be added as they come in).
Holding Hands, Feeding Ducks scarf previously blogged here.
Recipient: Niece Sydney.
Begun: October 10
Completed: October 25
Pattern: Drop-Stitch Scarf by Christine Vogel
Yarn: Argosy Zen 6-Ply (100% Mongolian cashmere), Harvest colorway
Needles: U.S. 10 1/2 wooden custom straights
Recipient: Sister-in-law Sherry
Begun: November 15
Completed: November 18
What a fast and glorious knit for all kinds of variegated yarns, especially luxury or unusual fibers! This is yarn I swapped blogless LindyG for when she needed a skein of Berroco Cotton Twist that I happened to have. I sped along with it, since each four-row repeat added about three inches to the scarf. Made it skinny (co 16 st) and long for wrapping and draping. Highly recommended.
Pattern: Cabled Mug Cozy by Knit Picks
Yarn: Knit Picks Main Line (75% Pima cotton, 25% merino wool), Adobo colorway
Needles: U.S. 8 Harmony wood circulars (knit flat)
Recipient: Archer’s second-grade teacher, Mrs. Lea
Begun: November 19
Completed: November 21
I hadn’t done cables in months before fishing this yarn and pattern out of the Renaissance cotton sampler that Knit Picks offered a while back. It was a blast getting back into them, and I immediately went for another cable project to keep the love going. Packaged with a Starbucks mug and gift card, it made a sensational teacher gift.
Details hidden until such time as gift is received …
Pattern: Fetching by Cheryl Niamath
Yarn: Knit Picks Comfy (75% Pima cotton, 25% acrylic), Blackberry colorway
Needles: U.S. 4 Harmony wood circulars (Magic Loop style)
Begun: November 22
Completed: November 27
Some of the moms with whom I shared a waiting room while Archer was having speech therapy this fall admired by knitting, and one in particular was over the moon for my Endpaper Mitts. One day as I was walking up to the building, she came running out of her van to beg me to knit a pair of fingerless gloves for her daughter Camryn, a precocious youngster of I’d guess 9 or 10, who often liked to converse with me while I knitted. I agreed and refused payment. When I delivered these, the mother was ecstatic. She gifted me with chocolate in return — a very good deal.
I went down two needle sizes from the pattern recommendation and used a lighter-weight yarn to try to get them smaller for her hands. The yarn was also from the Renaissance sampler.
Nalu Mitts previously blogged here.
Recipient: Cady Gray’s preschool teacher, Ms. Cindy
Begun: November 27
Completed: November 29
Pattern: Cathedral Purse by Knit Picks
Yarn: Knit Picks Shine Sport (60% Pima cotton, 40% Modal), Leapfrog colorway
Needles: U.S. 5 Harmony wood circular
Recipient: 2 year old girl, Angel Tree charity drive
Begun: November 24
Completed: December 6
I used this little wrist purse as a learning and stashbusting exercise. One of the Angel Tree cards I took from the staff senate charity drive at my university was for a preschooler who wanted bags or purses. I packed up a little toy, a set of clothing, and a stuffed bear sitting in this purse. I hope she had a very merry Christmas.
Pattern: Irish Hiking Scarf by Adrian Bizilia
Yarn: Patons Classic Wool Merino (100% merino wool), Bright Red colorway
Needles: U.S. 9 wooden straights
Recipient: Father-in-law Alex
Begun: November 30
Completed: December 8
After I went cable-happy with the mug cozy, I wanted to pull out one of my fat skeins of Patons Classic Wool and do some crisp, bright cables. The famous Irish Hiking Scarf certainly fit the bill. I enjoyed every minute of knitting it, and want to make all the matching accessories. Here’s Alex immediately after receipt:
Pattern: Philly Cowl (Ravelry link) by Caro Sheridan
Yarn: Elsebeth Lavold Silky Cashmere (55% silk, 45% cashmere), Smoky colorway
Needles: U.S. 9 Harmony wood circular
Begun: December 9
Completed: December 19
I snagged nine skeins of this yarn in two colors at Tuesday Morning near the beginning of December. Happily, this luxury fiber solved the problem of what to knit for Mom. I wanted to make her something she’d use, but something special — not everyday, not utilitarian. A cowl suggested itself. I had never knit one before, so it was a learning experience for me, and I messed it up about every way it was possible to do; but for such a small project, it wasn’t too painful to rip it out and fix it. This is only 2/3 of the height specified by the pattern; Mom’s a fairly conservative dresser, so a lot of scrunch and extra fabric isn’t really what she would want.
I searched for a pattern that had buttons so that Mom wouldn’t have to pull it over her head and mess up her hair. When I talked to her this evening, she sounded very happy with it. I hope she’ll send a picture soon.
Pattern: Nalu Mitts (Ravelry link) by Leila Raabe, my own mods to downsize
Yarn: Knit Picks Telemark (100% Peruvian highland wool), Snow Leopard colorway (discontinued)
Needles: U.S. 3 nickel Options fixed circular
Recipient: Cady Gray
Begun: November 29
Completed: December 21
While I was working on the mitts for Cady Gray’s teacher (and loving every second), CG asked whether I could make her some. As it turned out, I had a smidge less than a ball left after the adult-sized pair. If I’d been able to get an entire pair out of one ball, I would have made a pair for myself out of the remaining ball. But since I’d had to dip into ball #2, I knew that plan wouldn’t work. So why not grant a little girl’s wish? The mods I made to make a child’s size are detailed on the Ravelry project page. They came out fantastic, and she put them on immediately and barely took them off all day. “The greatest gift of all is that I made you something that you really like,” I told her in the afternoon after she exclaimed over them yet again. “Well, Mom, the greatest gift of all is that you’re my friend, actually,” she said with her best approximation of adult charm.
Pattern: Branching Out by Susan Lawrence
Yarn: Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool (45% wool, 35% silk, 20% nylon), colorway 29
Needles: U.S. 8 Harmony wood circular (knit flat)
Recipient: Mother-in-law Libby
Begun: December 4
Finished: December 24
This was my most time-crunched knit of the season. The lace was more complicated than I had knit before, and the first few repeats took me a long time. But when I got in a groove, it started to fly off the needles — I could do several repeats at a sitting. I did make one mistake — the border is in stockingette and not garter as specified. That means it will have a curling problem on the edges. Blocking worked pretty well, though. And Libby loved it. A great way to make the most of a single skein!
And that’s Christmas ’08 — The Knittening! I’ve bound off the bottom of my FLS and am heading for the sleeves. After that, the question is where to go next. Cady Gray’s Drive-Thru? My many sock wips? Or something entirely new, for the new year, and just for me?