Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas 2009

Yeah, Christmas knitting is finished!! I finished the last project, the hat for RED that you see below, on Friday morning and off to the post it went. I hoped to put a brim on this hat but wasn't able to work it all out for this one. I do have some more yarn though and I'm determined to figure out the brimmed hat. I've been looking at the Son of a Stitch and Bitch Half Pipe Hat in order to get a better idea about how to add the brim. I think I'm going to try and get a copy from the library and see if I can dig up instructions for this. Meanwhile, RED gets this hat without the brim. This hat is a simple K3,P1 rib with decreases based on the Jacques Cousteau hat I found on Ravelry. I made this with Paton's 100% Wool in a nice heathered gray that I like a lot.
Next I made some gift sets for my aunts. Each sister got a handtowel made with a modified version of the Victoria Dishcloth, a small face towel, and a pretty soap from our local Asian Market. This yarn is some 100% Organic cotton I got from Elann that used no pesticides and such when growing and then they don't even use any dye to get the colors. It is actually grown in the colors they sell. The cool part is when it gets wet,the parts that look sort of gray actually turn a pretty shade of green. It's also super soft.
The next item up didn't end up making it to the gift stage. I decided to steal them for myself. I made these lovely socks with Colinette Jitterbug handpainted sock yarn and by the time I finished, I was so in love with the yarn that I just had to keep these for myself. I adore the colors in these socks and they are just so soft and squishy. I am now thinking I need a pair of socks out of every colorway of this yarn. I am definitely in love.
For my cousin, I decided to send this cute little felted purse. I was practicing some mosaic patterns and decided to make something purposeful out of the swatch. I think it turned out really cute and I hope she liked it.
The other pair of socks I finished were for Mom. She has been the most appreciative of the hand knit socks so I guess I better keep up the good work. These socks are made with Araucania Ranco Multi hand dyed 100% wool. I feel in love with the colors in this yarn since they made me think of Monet's painting Water Lilies. I decided to try out the Basket Check socks from my Little Box of Socks gifted to me from a friend. The pattern was easy to memorize and adds some really nice texture to the socks. The colors of the yarn are simply beautiful but they did play a bit of a trick on me. When you just look at these socks, the blue/purple color seems to be the dominate but when you put them on your feet, the red really comes through and changes how they look.
I really like the heel flap on these. They use an "Eye of Partridge" heel that basically means you slip alternating stitches on every other row. With this hand painted colors of this yarn, it made a really pretty pattern on the heel.
Next up, another hat for Eva. This is the Toasty Topper pattern from Knitty, Winter 2007. This was a fun one to knit and while it looks kind of weird just sitting there, the pictures in Ravelry of this actually on cute little baby heads are adorable! I hope to get a picture of Eva in it to prove how cute it really is. :)
I also knitted a bunch of Coffee Cozies. This was the Eco-friendly stocking stuffer of choice this year, at least in my book. My mom gifted a number of these to her friends and I gave out several to mine. This was a great little project to play with leftover scraps of yarns and different stitch patterns. I think I will continue to make these just to play with these scraps and see what comes out.
And finally, a hat for Brenda. This is made with Bernat Alpaca yarn and it is so very soft and warm. I had actually intended for this hat to be a men's hat but as it grew in length on the needles, it grew in appeal to me. As soon as it was large enough to try on, I knew it was meant to be worn by a girl. I loved the way it looked with my hair and I figured if I added a flower of something, it could be just "girly" enough. I am really pleased with the result and I decided to send this to Brenda for Christmas since she has a similar hair style and I thought the look would suit her well. I hope she likes it.
So, that was my Christmas knitting for this year. Overall, I am pleased with the results and I hope everyone likes their gifts.
So what does one do after the obligatory knitting is finished? Well, copy what the Yarn Harlot is doing of course. I read her November 25th entry about the Noro scarf and could totally see myself in the same situation. I often find myself knitting more just to see the colors changing in the yarn than to finish whatever I am doing and the idea of doing a scarf like this seemed quite appealing. Well, last week my two things happened to make my thoughts turn into reality. First, my everyday scarf disappeared at work one day. One minute it was hanging on my cube wall and the next minute, poof, all gone. So, new scarf required. Now, the Noro scarf is beautiful and all, but with the yarn running somewhere around $15 per skein, it was simply not going to happen. I needed a good knockoff yarn. And thus the second thing that happened. I went to JoAnns and they had their Debbie Mumm line on sale. This line has a pretty yarn called Traditions that has nice long repeats in color and is soft and has a nice sheen. The yarn is a wool/acrylic blend with a black core and a colored outer layer. It's not as nice as Noro, but it's a darn good low cost substitute, especially when it's on sale. :) I cast on this scarf for ME and I am loving watching the colors change. So pretty!