Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Dad's Hat

The verdict is in on my Dad's Christmas hat

1) the hat is a little big, but he likes it that way
2) it covers his ears (YES!), and even a bit of his neck (oh dear... but he's happy)
3) it is very soft (HUZZAH!!! and it damn well should be, with the merino/alpaca/silk blend!)
4) the colour is perfect (black... surprise, surprise)
5) he is happy


My mum, sister, and I all think it makes him look a little bit like an inmate. But he loves it, so what can you do?

I found a hat in my Christmas cracker that fits me much better than his did:


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Christmas Sewing

Well, I am still struggling to finish Solveig's mitts... but, I have some sewing FOs to show you:

Both of them are Christmas prezzies -- one, an apron for my Mum:


I finally figured out sewing rounded corners... the pattern recommended that I sew REALLY long basting stitches around the corners first, and then pull the threads to create the curve. Magical. My new favourite technique!

This is my Mum's second handmade apron. The first one I made for her last year, and she adores it enough to have requested a second one for when it's in the wash. How could I refuse?

The second present? A pair of PJ pants for my sister. I used the pattern from Amy Butler's In Stitches. It's a fantastic pattern for a beginning sewer like me (tells you all about selvedges, grainlines, etc... all the things you don't know to check when you don't know what you're doing!), and SO cute with the wide-legged pants.


I offered to hem the legs a little shorter, but she likes them like this. What can I do?

All in all, two successes -- and WAY faster than knitting!

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Wristwarmers

Originally uploaded by linzknits
Another well-received pair of wristwarmers. I could get used to this feeling of giving :)

I suppose that's what Christmas is all about.

Happy holidays!!!

Happy Giftee

My dear friend, Pemma, was the recipient of the Composed Mitts I knit for Christmas.


I think she likes them...


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Merry Christmas

I wish you all yarny goodness and time to knit and celebrate with family and friends!

I was hoping to post finished pics of Solveig's Swirly Mittens... but they won't be done until the new year. I've got one done... except for the thumb (and I may have to work out how to knit a thumb to do it... hmmmmm) and just barely started on the second.


Luckily, I have a store-bought prezzie for her, and she's happy with her surprise knitted prezzie coming in the new year, for perhaps Ethiopian Christmas (Jan. 7). She has a friend working in Ethiopia right now, so we had a good giggle over the delayed present.


I would normally be mortified to not finish a Christmas present on time, but I think these are going to be worth it! Let's hope Solveig feels the same way.

Oh, and as a Christmas wrap-up: all the other prezzies got finished!!! Huzzah!

Best of the season to all, whatever you may celebrate, and to all a good night.

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Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Prezzie #4 is finito!


What a wonderful and quick project! I think these will be go-to gifts for a while! One skein (just just barely, I had about 2 inches leftover, even after I skipped a row of the second wristwarmer!) and so super fast!

Hopefully the recipient will LURVE them!

Project Details:
Yarn: Manos Silk Blend in the gorgeous colourway, 3109 (what a name!).

Needles: Addi Turbo Lace (mmm... still obsessed) 4.0 mm circulars, and Holz & Stein Rosewood 3.5 mm circs for the 'smaller size'. I went MacGyver for the cables and used a paperclip.

Pattern: Toast! by Jennifer Campbell of the Purple Purl, free pattern with purchase of Manos Silk Blend or Malabrigo Silky Merino

Ravelry Link: click here

Gratuitous photos:



These will be very hard to give up, but they definitely have given me a one-skein project for the luscious balls of yarn that I never know what to do with, but desperately need to take home.

Now, to finish the last knitted Christmas present!!!


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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Prezzie #4 in progress

Ok, here's what's on the needles:

This is the Toast wristwarmer #1 designed by Jennifer Campbell of the Purple Purl. It was a free pattern with the purchase of Manos Silk Blend or Malabrigo Silky Merino.

Lest you think I've cast on frivolously, I've managed to finish:
1) Composed Mitts, which I'm gifting tonight!
2) Dad's Super-Soft Hat
3) A pair of PJ pants (sewn, photos to come -- I'm proud!)

However, I do have still on the go:
4) An apron (sewn, not yet started and the pattern is "hiding" in my mess)
5) Solveig's Swirly Mittens (currently almost done 1... need to finish for the 24th)
6) These Toast Wristwarmers (1 almost done)

I'm not crazy, just optimistic!!!

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas Prezzie #2 all done!

I should really knit in worsted-weight wools more often. This was a breeze to knit!!!


And yes, the hat is big on me - I think my Dad's head is bigger than mine!

Project Details:

: Mirasol Yarn Sulka in colour 211 (black with flecks of blue and brown)
Pattern: The basic hat recipe from the Yarn Harlot's Knitting Rules!
Needles: 5.5 mm Addi Turbos
Ravelry Project Page: click here


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Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas Prezzie #3 in progress...

This is my "tricky knitting" for Christmas this year. I got hooked on stranded colourwork doing Pemm's wristwarmers, that I needed another project!

Well, diving right into the deep end, I pulled some Knitpicks Palette from my stash, and seeing as it costs about $2/ball, I figured I'd be ok even if I messed this up completely.

I'd bought these colours for my boyfriend's Mum, Solveig, as they are the Swedish national colours, originally destined for a pair of stripey socks. But I think these results are going to be much more exciting:


Mittens!!!! Solveig's Swirly Mittens!!!

Don't you love them? I'm using the chart from this blog, which I think is in Finnish. It's much more of a chart than a pattern, and it's my first real pair of mittens, so I'm learning mitten construction as I go. Definitely fun knitting!

My Mum loves the pattern on the back:

And you have to see what I'm doing with the thumb:

Yes, these are my official precursor to the Selbuvotter mittens I am dying to make. But those will be for me!

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Christmas Prezzie #2 just started

I'm doing a super-snuggly-soft hat for my Dad out of this luscious yarn:

It's Sulka, by Mirasol Yarns. A 60% merino, 20% alpaca, 20% silk blend. It is a gorgeous black, with tiny shots of brown and blue throughout. Enough to keep my interest while knitting, but not enough to read as anything other than black for my conservative Dad.

And when you buy Mirasol yarns, a portion of the purchase price goes back to Peru. You can read about it at their website. I'm going to include one of the yarn tags with the hat, so my Dad gets the story too.

So... the hat has gone through many pattern ideas in my head.

Idea #1) Striped black and grey hat -- Actually, this is what my Dad requested, originally. I asked him (in Heathrow Airport) if he'd actually like a hat I knit him, and he asked for a soft cashmere black and grey hat - you know, with stripes. I don't think he actually wants stripes, he just thought of the two colours together. So I've vetoed this one as I know what the yarn is like.

Idea #2) Beautiful, manly cables on an all-black hat -- This was my brilliant idea, and thankfully I talked to Jennifer at The Purple Purl about it because she mentioned cables won't show up on black, and I should do grey instead for them to show. As you can see, I aborted the cable plan and went with black.

Idea #3) K5, P1 rib with stockinette every other row -- A fantastic idea from Jennifer, but I decided I wanted a real 'ribby' look at the bottom edge. This will be a hat I knit out of a thinner-weight yarn ... probably for me.

Idea #4) K2, P2 rib at the bottom "ear" edge, stockinette to the top -- The final pattern! This is what I'm knitting, and I'm using the hat/head proportions from The Yarn Harlot's Knitting Rules. Seriously, this book has saved me more times than I can count. I'm knitting a hat with a 23" circumference, and knitting for 7.5-8.5" before the decreases. I think I can handle that.


And yes, all I've done is cast on. But it's sooooooo smooshy already!

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