Some Christmas Knitting

I have to admit that I did not do a lot of knitting for the holidays this past year – you are supposed to have more energy in your 2nd trimester (which I did) but that did not mean that I had any more FOCUS!!  Therefore, Christmas gifts hand knit by me, were few and far between!!  This dishtowel and 2 hot pad set was sent down to Debby in Key West – b/c really, they don’t exactly need hats and scarves down there!!

Dishtowel pattern is a free pattern from Lion Brand, Cottontail Dishtowel and the hot pads are ALSO a free pattern from Crochet Today! magazine, Your Nana’s Potholders.  These were all very satisfying projects that were finished quickly!!  The backs of the potholders worked up a little looser then I would have liked, thereby making them a little ‘puffy’ when they were attached together.  I would not use them as proper potholders for this reason, but they will make great hotpads!!

Yarn used: Bernat handicrafter cotton in Soft Yellow, Lily Sugar N Cream in Ecru and Soft Teal. 4.5 mm hook

More to come!



Baby Bear goes to her new home

It’s always nice to give someone a knitted gift that they really appreciate!

FO 6/52: Baby Bear

I **finally** have a finished object to show off.  I cannot even begin to tell you how behind I have gotten! 😦  Happily, this is a Christmas gift that I can get crossed off of my list AND blog about.  This cute little bear is going to be for my new little cousin, Addy, who was born this past February.

The pattern is from the book, Itty – Bitty Toys, and I used just a little over 1/2 skein of Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in Happy Valley.  Since my gauge is SO LOOSE, I used 2.5 mm needles – I always have a problem with my knit toys being so stretchy and therefore hard to stuff, so I really have to go down a couple of needle sizes from what most patterns recommend.

This was a relatively quick knit until I got to the feet – so fiddly and boring!!  The legs and feet are worked in 2 pieces and then the foot is sewn onto the leg.  It ends up with a cute result, but not very fun to actually perform.  I kept on putting off finishing it up, but I finally bit the bullet, and just did it!!  I have so few FOs to show off right now, it felt good to actually finish something even if I didn’t not enjoy the final finishing process!!

I am still plugging away on all of my weekly projects (I started #13 on Saturday) – still currently working on a lot of stuff that I can’t blog about until things are given to the intended recipient, but quite frankly, I’d have to finish something before I could do either…

Cold Weather Accessories

Two of my most recent FOs are the Boneyard Shawl for me, and the Pismo Hat for Jason.

For this project I used almost an entire skein of Chameleon Colorworks Twinkle Toes in Briar Rose – I believe that I procured this skein of yarn on our travels to Seattle last year, but I didn’t write down the name of the store where I purchased it – It is driving me crazy not being able to remember!!

I followed the modifications that several others on ravelry did – instead of M1R and M1L I opted for the YOs – and instead of the garter stitch edging I chose the Picot bind off – This was my first time to do a knit picot bind off so I was concerned the entire time that I would end up using up all of my yarn too early and therefore RUN OUT! I got about 1/4 of the way through the bind off  and was convinced that this very scenario was going to play out, so I endured the very frustrating task of ripping out my last section and carefully adding all of the stitches back onto my needle — only to end up with 10 grams of yarn left over!!!  I was not a happy camper as I had really wanted to use up every last inch of this yarn…However, I think we would all agree that having leftovers is much preferred to having not enough!!  (I later learned that the battery on my scale was in the process of going bad and all of my weights weren’t accurate!)

Another topic entirely is the seemingly never ending quest that Jason and I have to find him the perfect hat pattern – Jason has been blessed with a lot of brains and therefore a rather large head to accommodate all of them.  🙂  He is also rather picky about how his hats fit and doesn’t like it when after a lot of wear they begin to stretch out – even though that is the nature of the beast when dealing with knitted items.  Add in my rather loose gauge problems and there you have it!

This hat seems to mostly be a winner – I used Koigu so it is a nice warm hat that isn’t too bulky – However, it is VERY stretchy and my gauge is a lot looser than I wanted. 😦  But on a happy note Jason says that of his knit hats this one is his favorite so that makes me happy.  I do however have to more patterns to try out for him in the future, another by Marnie MacLean called the Carlsbad Hat and then one by Pierrot, a Japanese company that I have discovered on Ravelry.  I’ll have to brush up on my chart reading for that one tho!!

The modifications on this hat were copied from other ravelers who found that the top of the hat was way too pointy, so I just followed what several others had done regarding the top decreases.  My goal for all of Jason’s hats are to make them 9″ long in order to cover his ears, so I had to write out every line of the decreases so I would know how long they were in order to know how long to make the hat BEFORE I started the decreases – that was a bit of a headache, but it turned out exactly 9″! so YAY!!! It did bloom once I blocked it – and that was really just soaking it in some wool wash and not doing anything but laying it out to dry.

Christmas Morn 2009

While all of the other knit bloggers are doing their year end/Happy New Year reviews, I am still firmly planted in 2009!!!  I will get caught up eventually! 🙂

For Christmas this year I really had to scale back on what I could knit for gifts.  Every year previous to this one, almost everybody on both sides of the family got a knitted gift from me.  It would almost kill me trying to get everything finished so this year I just decided that I WAS NOT going to do that this year…It made for a much less stressful time!

Naturally, my mother is one of the few that ‘made the cut’ – so she was the lucky recipient of her much desired “Harry Potter Scarf” and some cabled footie socks from the book One Skein.

For the slipper socks I used Lion Brand Wool-Ease Lilac from my stash and size 5 needles.  For me, these socks were a TOTAL SUCCESS!!!!  I have learned this year that my gauge is horribly loose so I am a bit unsure if I will ever be able to knit a normal pair of socks with sock yarn,  but I am a bit more confident that I can make a pair of socks that FIT with heavier yarn.  These socks fit great and I was really thrilled.  Jason was so impressed with them that he is actually wanting a pair! 🙂

The most anticipated knit item of the year was the gift that I am pretty sure she’d given up on ever getting- her Harry Potter scarf!!!

I had put off knitting this FOR SO LONG (about 4 years!), but once I started it I realized that it wasn’t so bad.  It only took me about 1 week of dutifully knitting on it!  And thanks to my pal, Maria, I had a handy-dandy pompom tree to help with the fringe!!

I chose to use sport weight yarn for this scarf – don’t ask me why!!-so it was knit in Brown Sheep Nature Spun Sport in the colors Sunburst Gold and Burgundy.  I used size 5 needles on this project as well.  To make up for my smaller gauge, I knit 27 rounds per color block instead of 22.

I don’t have a picture of Mother opening her scarf b/c I am notoriously BAD about surprises and I ended up giving her this early on Christmas Eve.  But she loved it and wore it on Christmas Day.

Happy December!!

I can’t believe that it is already December – but I have been doing my best, along with the help of “The General“, to be prepared with all of my Christmas knitting this year.  Fortunately, I have been able to significantly shorten the recipient list due to lack of ideas – I have already made most everybody in my family all of the gifts that I can think to make for them!  Therefore, only a very few are getting that last “I want to make this for you and here it is” gift.  Takes a LOT of the pressure off of me!!  I say it every year and this year I really mean it, next year the only people getting knitted gifts will be my husband and my mother!! 🙂

I did manage to squeeze in a little Thanksgiving project while working on my other commitments, the Tiny November knit-a-long at the Spud & Chloe blog.  I love everything by Susan B. Anderson, so this was a fun project even tho I didn’t actually get to knit along with her – I was a few days behind getting started and then a LOT of days behind getting finished.  Nevertheless, Franklin is completed:

I used Lily Sugar n Cream in Warm Brown, Wine, Yellow, Jute, and Sage Green.  All from my stash – so this was a really fun way to use some stash yarns.

I have recently discovered how loose of a knitter I am, so I had to use size 3 needles in order for my fabric to be tight and my stuffing not show thru.  That can be a little rough on my hands and that is why I had to go a little slower on knitting this.  But I had him finished for Thanksgiving and took him to show off at my grandmother’s.  He was very well received and now sits by the TV waiting for next year!!

FO: School Cloths

I am getting a jump start on Christmas gifts this year, as I alluded to in one of my previous posts.  My mother’s side of the family is easy enough to knit for – she has 2 sisters and they both like to receive knit items.  This year it is going to be dishcloth sets.

For Tracy, a 1st Grade teacher, she is going to receive the School Cloths Set.

yarns used:

ABC – Peaches & Cream Light Blue (23 g)
123- Sugar N Cream Soft Teal (23 g)
Apple – Peaches & Cream Red (24 g)
Book – Sugar N Cream Hot Orange (23 g)
School Bus – Sugar N Cream Yellow (22 g)
Pencil – Sugar N Cream Jute (23 g)
Globe – Sugar N Cream Sage Green (24 g)
Scissors – Sugar N Cream Hot Purple (24 g)

These were so fun, and just like the halloween set, very quick!  I can complete 1 cloth in just over an hour, so it makes for great TV watching knitting.

I am really enjoying choosing the colors for each cloth and then seeing the completed sets.  I have already gotten started on the next set (fruit), for Mother’s youngest sister.  I do admit to being tired of working on dishcloths, but the instant gratification is a nice payback.

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