“Make us a crazy-bright, Mexican-inspired blanket!” they said.
“I think I can do that,” I said. “I think that might be fun!”
It was. It really, really was.
Well, my cunning plan for this year worked out. Having knit like a demon all spring and summer, by the first week in December I’d almost finished all the samples for this season and had no immediate deadlines reaching over my shoulder with their sharp, deadliney claws. I was feeling pretty damned pleased with myself. All that was left was the gifts for the niece and nephews–the special fun knitting I’d been saving until now–and I had plenty of time…oh, crap. Mailing times. To Canada. Why do they always sneak up on me? Gah. As it turned out, everything I’d chosen could be made quickly–the first two took a day each–so all was not completely lost. If you’re in a last minute panic, fellow knitter, maybe these ideas will help you, too. They’re not even child-specific, in my humble opinion. Continue reading
Just over a year ago, Interweave Knits published my Backroad Hats pattern in their Gifts special issue. It’s a good gift pattern, if I do say so: the stitch pattern is very stretchy (so the hat fits a lot of sizes and has some wiggle room for gauge) and works well with variegated colourways and the tonal variations of hand dyes; the hat takes about 126 yds/115m of worsted to Aran weight yarn and is a quick project. (The grey sample is in Malabrigo Merino Worsted, and the variegated sample is in Widdershin Woolworks Targhee Worsted, now only available through Mooncat Fiber in Taos, NM.) I’d always intended this hat to be available as part of a set, and now it is. Continue reading
I have, in the past, expressed my feelings about Christmas knitting, so I’ll summarize here: No. Well, mostly no. No with exceptions, those exceptions being very young (for now) and very dear to my heart. The niece and nephews still get Christmas knitting, because they’re still young enough that anything they might want will be quite small, and if I get it right, they’ll think it’s totally neat, and I’m hoping to be fondly remembered as the crazy aunt who knit them great stuff every Christmas. Last year’s gifts were pretty good—I still watch the video of the oldest nephew shouting “It’s Santa’s hat! It’s Santa’s hat!” as he unfolds and dons the hat-scarf thing. This year, though. This year, I think I hit it out of the park. Continue reading
Being a continuation of yesterday’s post, in which I started to outline my plans for the Gift-A-Long. Again, all photos are copyright the designer unless otherwise noted, and are used here with permission.
Yesterday, I outlined gifty plans for myself, The Niece, myself, and Nephew 2. Today, let’s start with Nephew 1 and move to some backup plans, put in place just in case I’ve become a completely different person and have underestimated how much time is left in the year.
So. Last year, I made the oldest nephew the longest, stripiest, pointiest hat that ever did point. That sucker will be hard to top, but I think I’ve found the way to do it. Mittens. No, really, mittens. You haven’t seen these mittens yet. They’re the Little Hedgehog Mittens by Birch Hollow Cottage. Continue reading
Oh, look! It’s November. Or, as many knitters know it, the frantic season. Now, in the name of sanity and continuing familial affection I have pretty much stopped with the seasonal gift knitting, and am much happier for it. I do make exceptions for the niece and nephews, though, because they’re little, and fun to knit for, and did I mention the littleness? I’m also going to make an exception for myself, since all my knitting time lately has been devoted to work stuff and a cardigan for himself (which is sort of also work stuff), and I’m feeling very virtuous. And cold. And in need of a sweater.
I do, however, need help keeping on track. (Long time readers may remember that when it comes to non-work knitting, I excel at starting projects, not so much with the finishing.) Fortunately, there’s a group for that on Ravelry: the Indie Design Gift-A-Long. From now until the end of the year, the Gift-A-Long group has stitch-alongs for every kind of project in knitting and crochet, with a huge number of prizes (over 1,800, from patterns to needle sets) to keep us motivated. There’s also a giant pattern sale, with 3,822(!) patterns at 25% off until the 21st, using the code giftalong2014. Eighteen of those sale patterns are mine; you can see which ones in my handy Gift-A-Long bundle, and all of the sale patterns on the Giant Pinterest Boards of Shopping Doom.
…is the approach I went with for the next Christmas project, which is why there are two hats in this post. Always ask the parents, people. It’ll save you grief in the end.
A while back, a dear friend sent me some merino sliver, all the way from New Zealand, which spun up into a pretty, soft, red and pink yarn:
Now, I may not be a big fan of pink, but The Ever-Growing Niece loves it. Loooooooves it. Pink, pink, pink, the brighter the better. I knew who this yarn was going to. Continue reading
It’s the blanket I started for my nephew, Galactus, Eater of Worlds. Well, I took Jacqui’s excellent advice and blocked it, and it still looked wrong. That pattern with a plainer yarn or that yarn with a plainer stitch — either would be lovely. That yarn and that stitch together were just too much fancy all in one place. Perfect for a shawl, maybe, or the bottom of a summer top, but for a baby blanket? No. I started again. Continue reading
When I was little, I had this hat. This hat was long — at least as long as I was — and pointy, and it was striped in blue and grey with a tassel on the end. It was long enough to use as a scarf and a hat at the same time, and it tapered over the whole length until it was as pointy as one of those icicles on the tip of the eaves at the end of winter that almost reach the ground. It was a ridiculous hat, and I loved it so. Continue reading