Tag Archives: Christmas Knitting

A Race Against the Yarn Update

I mentioned earlier this week that I am currently in a race with the yarn that I am using for my SIL’S Christmas socks.  There are only two competitors in this dash to the finish line: me and a the remnants of the a skein of Poppy yellow label from Tanis Fibre arts.  Right now I think we are in a dead tie, still going neck to neck.  The good news is, we have passed the halfway mark.  The first sock is finished and while the leg is a tiny bit shorter than I would otherwise make it, I’m certainly not going to attempt to add any additional length by doing something foolish like frogging back and adding more rows.IMG_2715

This is now the time when the real race begins.  There was never any doubt that I would conquer the first sock.  The question has always been the second.  The accursed second sock.  The sock that can make or break the whole deal.  The sock that will either catapult me to victory or leave me weeping uncontrollably in the corner with nothing but an unfinished sock with which to dry my eyes.  That is the sock that I am starting.  With uncertainty being my only companion in the fray, I am jumping in head first.IMG_2716

Keep your fingers crossed that when I emerge, there I will be a with a big smile and warm toes.

 

 


The Last of the Christmas Knitting

Another Christmas has come and gone and with the last of the hand knit gifts given out I can finally show these to you. As any knit blogger will tell you, there might be a lot of knitting in the weeks and months before Christmas, and we knitters might be really busy, but it makes for boring blogging as we can’t put a lot up on our blogs for fear of people seeing things before the all important day. So pictures have to wait and then the wait is over and there is time for sharing.

First up is The Big Snowy Owl.  Originally this owl was meant to be close to two feet tall and made from three skeins of chunky yarn.   I didn’t have any chunky in my stash when I started making it, so I used what I had and added wings.  It turned out fine and as my Husband said, “you don’t need to make Little J a conduit for an imaginary friend”.  This went ot my best friend’s daughter, who has developed a love of all things owl, and apparently she took it to bed with her on Christmas night so I’ll take that as a success.

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Next was the gift for her little brother.  Wee O needed something that matched his personality and I really thought that Tony fit that bill nicely.
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Cuddly and fierce both at the same time, he is perfect for a growing  little boy who is learning to walk and talk at the same time!  It’s a super fast and easy knit and has no little parts that can be ripped off and chewed on.

Last up is this.

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This is Stone.  It is the third year in a row that my friend has requested a gargoyle and it is the third year that I made on for him.  Mr. S seems to have quite the soft spot for these little guys!

So that’s it.  I still have one pair of socks to finish as I will admit that I got super lazy about finishing the socks when I realized that we weren’t going to be seeing my SIL until well after Christmas.  But I am onto the second heel and they should be finished by the end of the weekend.   And then it’s time to really start thinking about the knitting for this coming Christmas.  The last two years my knitting has been hugely impacted by life and it has resulted in less Christmas knitting than I would have liked to have finished.  But not this year.  This year I have a plan!  I even made a spreadsheet.  There will be lots of Christmas knitting this year and even though my MIL thinks it’s funny that I’m planning this early, we all know the truth.  When it comes to Christmas knitting, it’s never to early to start.


Twenty Four of the Cutest Little Socks Ever!

Everyone has their own holiday traditions.  I’m fairly certain that is universal regardless of what you celebrate at this time of year.  We all do something that helps to make the holiday our own.  Sometimes those traditions change over the years, and sometimes we add new ones.

This year my BFF started a new tradition in her home for her children involving 24 little lovely crafted handknit socks.  Sometime last year, my friend explained that she wanted to make an Advent Calender for the kids out of little stockings to hang by their fireplace.  She set herself a goal of two socks a month and then raided my sock yarn ends that have started to take over my flat  collect from the Epic Blanket of Insanity.

And then she started knitting.  Every time I saw her she was knitting one of those damn socks.  I have to give her serious Kudos at this point.  With two kids under the age of four at home, I think she used almost every spare second of her knitting time to make these socks.  Me? Can’t say it would have happened.  But then again, and I make no secret of this, I have the attention span of a gnat when it comes to my knitting projects and so things take way longer than they should to finish.  If I’d been in charge of knitting that for them, they might have received it in time for next year, or maybe this year in little groups of four or five and then I would make myself insane trying to finish the rest of them on time.  But not Miz K, all 24 socks were in fact finished by December 1st and ready to be hung.

There was however a brief moment of panic when she thought she had either miscounted or lost three socks.  And of course she discovered that while hanging the other socks up.  After a few moments of Miz K  preparing to throw herself off a sheep, (I envision this being the knitterly version of jumping off a cliff), and madly trying to make three more socks in record time, she instead looked in the few places that it seemed logical for three little knitted socks to migrate to; the bottom of the stroller, diaper bag, purse, and other project bags.  A few minutes later she texted back to let me know that she had found them and in that moment all was right in the world of tiny knitted socks.   Then all 24 stocking were hung by the chimney with care and her incredibly fortunate children woke up to a treat.

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Advent

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Each little sock was knit on 2.5 mm needles. She cast on 40 stitches and knit top down. They are essentially a very tiny, plain, straight forward sock. It’s a basic heel flap and a grafted toe.
It’s twenty four days of her children having little surprises to wake up too and yummy chocolate to have as a treat. And twenty four days that her children won’t really appreciate until they are a little older and they realize that not every child has people who knit things for them all the time. But until that happens, this is a great memory for them to be building.


YOP Update Sept 1, 2103

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I’ve been a busy little knitter in the last few weeks.

First, my dad’s Christmas socks are finished!  It’s another pair of Vanilla Lattes off the needles.

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And in the blink of an eye another pair were cast on. These are for my Bother in Law, who is really lucky that he is getting socks as opposed to a hot pink corset complete with bobbles and pom-poms, since he did claim that he would “wear anything I knit for him.”

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The dish cloths are coming along well and I am very happy with my decision to have added tags to each set since I have already lost track of what set is going to whom.

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Vivd has increased to 11 squares and two new colours have been added. (Only 29 more squares to go)!

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And lastly,  after one ill-fated attempt, I have cast on a linen stitch scarf and this time it seems to be going well.

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I hope everyone else had a great fibre filled week.

Happy Knitting!

My goal: 5 skeins out/month

Skeins out/in

July 5/3

August 5/4

Sept 0/0


Christmas is in Fact Coming

In my world, Christmas is coming.  I realize that is a silly thing to say, because regardless of whether or not you celebrate Christmas, it is in fact coming.  It’s coming  the same way the tomorrow is coming.  Christmas is coming with the same certainty that there will be a knitting later today and more coffee.  No matter how you look at it or how far away it is, when you knit Christmas gifts, the next Christmas is always coming.  Last year I didn’t do a lot of Christmas knitting.  I knew that I was going to be very short on time and that the added pressure of trying to finish a ton of gifts wouldn’t make the already trying time any better.  Last year for the first time in a very long time we opted buy the majority of our gifts for people.  That came with its own complications.  First, I hate malls.  Two, I hate Christmas shopping.  Three, the only time I had to do it was December 22nd.  The crowds were insane.  I hate the consumerism.  It just all turns my stomach.  That day more or less ended with me calling my Hubby at work and having a screaming meltdown when I couldn’t find anything for my SIL and her husband.  It was not one of my more gracious moments and I think I frightened the hell out of the poor guy sitting on the bench outside of the store and when I got home I realized my shirt had been on inside out the whole time and then I still had to wrap the majority of the gifts since I was not waiting in the line in the mall to pay someone a stupid amount of money to wrap the presents I was just forced to buy.  What I am trying to convey was that it really was not a great day by any standards.  I’ve had days with the stomach flu that I would consider to be more enjoyable than that little romp through the re-filtered oxygen, florescent lighting, and crappy tinned music.  As I was walking back to by car I decided that we were not going to have another Christmas like this one.  And we are not.  The knitting has started.  My Hubby and I have started to generate ideas for gifts for people.  We know that there will always be a little bit of shopping to do, but not like last year.  Never like last year.  Never EVER like last year.

Some things I can’t show you yet because they will be seen by the wrong eyes.  That is killing me a little ’cause one idea I have is sickeningly cute.  But, it’s going to have to wait.  But I can show you these little cloths.

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The majority of the cloths are this pattern.
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A few of them are this one.
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And the last ones are this one.

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I could not get a good picture of this cloth. There is a snowflake in the middle.

Three per set tied with a ribbon and we are good to go.

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As I mentioned earlier this week these are all part of larger gift for people. I’ll show the finished product a little closer to Christmas. But I am happy to have things under-way.  I am one small cloth sized step away from not having homicidal rage this holiday season and that is a good thing for everyone.  Believe me on that.


A Baby Gargoyle for FO Friday

I really didn’t do very much Christmas knitting this year.  Serious restrictions in my knitting time due to a return to school and basically breaking my right thumb and spending 8 weeks in a brace really cramped the knitting style.

But there were a few shining lights in an otherwise (sadly) knitted gift free holiday.  This little guys was one of them.

baby Gargoyle

My friend has been asking me to make a buddy for the first gargoyle I made him a few years ago so this year I finally did.    My hubby drew the coat of arms to go with him.  This gargoyle did turn out very small compared to the first one.  He’s practically baby sized.  But, I think he’s darn cute and now Victor has a buddy.

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This is Victor

Pattern (for both): Stone 

For more Friday knitting check out FO FridaysCreative Friday, and Fiber Arts Friday.


FO Friday – It’s Only a Little Late

We all know the stories of the baby blanket that was started before the child was born and given to them as they left for college.  In this case, I am pleased to say that the blanket isn’t quite that late.  It certainly wasn’t ready in time for last Christmas, but the weather was on my side and since we kind’ve skipped winter altogether this year, the blanket wouldn’t have had much use anyway.  At least that’s what I am telling myself in an attempt to justify not having the blanket done until 8 months after it should have been given away.  And, as luck would have it, now that the blanket is ready to be presented to my SIL and her Husband, they are out the country so the blanket will be even later.  However, I am not taking any responsibility for a wedding that is taking place in South Africa and delaying the presentation and reception of the blanket.  The knitting is finished and if my SIL’s brother in law on her hubby’s side was inconsiderate enough to plan his wedding at the same time as I finished the blanket then it is clearly his fault for any further delays and I am really very concerned about his clear lack of respect for us fibre folk.  Either way (since it would be rude of me to punish my SIL for having an inconsiderate ape of a BIL) this is waiting for them to return and be incorporated into their flat.

Log cabin 1

Log cabin 2

It’s twenty squares in total and will be a great blanket for snuggling under while they watch a movie.  The pattern is a slightly modified version of Paintbox Log Cabin Blanket.  I used 20 balls of Noro Kureyon and while I did enjoy knitting this I am very happy to finally have it ready to go.

Oh, and for the record, I have never actually met my SIL’s Brother in Law.  I’m sure he is a very nice person .

And this is two FO Friday’s in a row!!!!!! It’s really rather exciting.

For more Friday knitting check out FO FridaysCreative Friday, and Fiber Arts Friday.


FO Friday – I Love You Enough to Make you Another Scarf

The “I Love you Enough to Make You Another Scarf” Scarf

For Christmas this year there was no doubt in my mind that my hubby needed a new hat and scarf.  He still very proudly wears the first two that I knit him from the beginning of my knitting career. (I remember the hat took me something like 12 hours to make.  I can do the same hat now in under 3 hours.  I know this cause it’s happened).  I am very tickled by the fact that he still wears and loves the set.  But it old and well-worn and he needed something at little more updated.  So I set about to find a set I liked.  What I found was the Windschief hat and cowl set.  But the husband didn’t  need another cow.  He needed a scarf.  So, this is what I came up with.

(I’m going to add better pictures this weekend.  It’s actually a perfect winter day outside for photos, but alas I have no model currently.)

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Note: As this is a scarf gauge is not critical to a completed project. Please keep in mind that finished lengths and widths are based on the yarn and gauge used in this pattern. Altering the weight and gauge of yarn used will result in a scarf that may use more or less yards than this pattern suggests.

Suggested Yarn: Any DK weight yarn. Scarf knit in Tosh Merino DK colourway Stovepipe

Yarn requirements: 675 yards/618 yards (3 ball of Tosh)

Gauge: 20 – 22 sts = 4 inches in stockinette stitch

Finished size: Length

Width:

Materials:

Needles – 4.5 mm or US 7 straights

Notions: 2 split ring stitch markers

Measuring Tape

tapestry needle

Abbreviations

CO: Cast on

K: Knit

P: Purl

K1tbl: knit one through back loop

Garter Stitch

Knit all stitches

Repeat for every row

Twisted Rib

(K1tbl, P1) across row

repeat above row for all rows

Section One

(Using Cast on Method of choice)

CO 42 stitches

First row: Begin Twisted rib, (K1tbl, P1). Repeat for all stitches to end of row

Repeat Twisted Rib on all rows until scarf measures 1″ from cast on edge.

(I moved my split ring marker every two rows to make it easier to now when to start and stop the twisted rib pattern).

Next two rows: K1, (P1, K1tbl) x20, K1

Row 3 & 4: K2, (K1tbl, P1) x19, K2

Row 5 & 6: K3, (P1, K1tbl) x18, K3

Row 7 & 8: K4, (K1tbl, P1) x17, K4

Row 9 & 10: K5, (P1, K1tbl) x16, K5

Row 11 & 12: K6, (K1tbl, P1) x15, K6

Row 13 & 14: K7, (P1, K1tbl) x14, K7

Row 15 & 16: K8, (K1tbl, P1) x13, K8

Row 17 & 18: K9, (P1, K1tbl) x12, K9

Row 19 & 20: K10, (K1tbl, P1) x11, K10

Row 21 & 22: K11, (P1, K1tbl) x10, K11

Row 23 & 24: K12, (K1tbl, P1) x9, K12

Row 25 & 26: K13, (P1, K1tbl) x8, K13

Row 27 & 28: K14, (K1tbl, P1) x7, K14

Row 29 & 30: K15, (P1, K1tbl) x6, K15

Row 31 & 32: K16, (K1tbl, P1) x5, K16

Row 33 & 34: K17, (P1, K1tbl) x4, K17

Row 35 & 36: K18, ( K1tbl, P1) x3, K18

Row 37 & 38: K19, (P1, K1tbl) x2, K19

Row 39 & 40:K20, K1tbl, P1, K20

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Switch to garter stitch, (knit every row), and continue until scarf measures approximately 7” shorter than desired length.

Section Two

Begin Twisted Rib pattern

(I moved my split ring marker every two rows to make it easier to now when to start and stop the twisted rib pattern).

Row 1 & 2: K20, K1tbl, P1, K20

Row 3 & 4: K19, (P1, K1tbl) x2, K19

Row 5 & 6: K18, ( K1tbl, P1) x3, K18

Row 7 & 8: K17, (P1, K1tbl) x4, K17

Row 9 & 10: K16, (K1tbl, P1) x5, K16

Row 11 & 12: K15, (P1, K1tbl) x6, K15

Row 13 & 14: K14, (K1tbl, P1) x7, K14

Row 15 & 16: K13, (P1, K1tbl) x8, K13

Row 17 & 18: K12, (K1tbl, P1) x9, K12

Row 19 & 20: K11, (P1, K1tbl) x10, K11

Row 21 & 22: K10, (K1tbl, P1) x11, K10

Row 23 & 24: K9, (P1, K1tbl) x12, K9

Row 25 & 26: K8, (K1tbl, P1) x13, K8

Row 27 & 28: K7, (P1, K1tbl) x14, K7

Row 29 & 30: K6, (K1tbl, P1) x15, K6

Row 31 & 32: K5, (P1, K1tbl) x16, K5

Row 33 & 34: K4, (K1tbl, P1) x17, K4

Row 35 & 36: K3, (P1, K1tbl) x18, K3

Row 37 & 38: K2, (K1tbl, P1) x19, K2

Row 39 & 40: K1, (P1, K1tbl) x20, K1

Next Row

continue in Twisted Rib across all stitches until scarf measures 1″ from point of triangle.

BO all stitches.

Weave in ends and block if necessary

For more Friday knitting check out FO FridaysCreative Friday, Fiber Arts Friday, and Fibers on Friday


A 12 in 12 update; Or, This is Harder Than I Thought it Would Be

So this year I decided to embark on the 12 in 2012 shawl challenge.  I knit shawls, a lot.  You can read more about that here.  For me this will be challenging but not undoable.  Ambitious without being insane.  I intend to complete all twelve shawls and am happy about what this will do to my stash.  Right now it’s all sunshine and roses, (aside from the fact that my January shawl is driving me a little mental), and I am in knitted shawl bliss.

And then I go onto to Ravelry and Twitter and this petals start to wilt and fall off the roses and the sun peeks behind a cloud and things get just a little dimmer.  See, here’s the thing: people keep making new shawl patterns and I want to knit them all.  I want to knit them all right now.

It started innocently enough when I won a copy of the Walnut Grove pattern from KnitPurlGirl.  It’s a great shawl and the kind I like to knit.  It doesn’t have a bunch of lace so it’s right up my alley.  Simple enough.  I swapped out one of the shawls on my Year Of Projects list and added that one in its place.  I even have all the yarn I need for it and it’s going to be damned pretty when it’s finished.  Then the January shawl for the West Knits Shawl club dropped and I love it.  No real problems here yet.  I just have to force myself not to stash dive and cast on the shawl right freaking now.  And because Mr. West is already not a huge bundle of temptation for me on any normal day, he has a new patternoutside of the club dropping on February 1st.  I love it and it will look great with the birthday yarn my husband bought me.

Birthday Yarn!

This  may not seem like a big problem, but this now puts me in the position of having to really start juggling my list or saying forget it all and just add it.  I’m leaning towards the first one.

But that’s it in a nutshell.  I only have two hands, which do get tired sometimes.  I need to eat and sleep and go to the gym.  I need to work full-time.  All these things contribute to a better, happier, warmer life.  It’s a life in which I have a roof over my head and food in my belly and that makes me a much happier knitter.  I just don’t have enough time or hands and I don’t have any magical powers that would allow me to knit two projects with my mythical second set of hands at the same time.  (Though I do wind balls with my ball winder in my hands instead of on a table.  I’ve been told this is odd.)  I just don’t have time and I can only knit so fast, which is not as fast as I would like.

So now I have to juggle my list and fall into a fibre filled haze of madness and pretty shawls.  I’ll post regularly as I fall into madness.  Please, just pull me back if I go in too far.


On My Needles and Between my Pages January 4th

On My Needles

As I mentioned earlier in the week, I have decided to participate in the 12 shawls in 2012.  For my first addition I have cast on Sharktooth by Stephen West.  I doesn’t take much of a read through the back entries of my blog or a very long glance at my Ravelry project page to know that I am a huge fan of  his patterns.  I love them to the point of almost knitting nothing else.  When I cast on something new there’s a pretty good chance the pattern will be his.  It just clicks with me and I enjoy knitting it.  So believe me when I say that this pattern has the most obnoxious 2nd set-up row of anything I have ever knit by Mr.West.  I think at one point I had more markers then stitches and there was no love for the design or the man at that moment.  Anyway, with a little focus and a few words unbecoming of a lady and a second cast on, I got it right and am now working my way through the first section.  I love the way the colour is playing up in the yarn and am going to be happy to move onto to section two.

Between My Pages

I took a little break form the Hunger Games trilogy to sneak in All Wound Up by Stephanie Pearl-Mcphee.  Initially I was a little concerned about this book.  The opening stories weren’t captivating me the way they normally do.  And even though I could literally hear Stephanie’s voice in my ears while I was reading, ( I am fortunate to share a LYS with her and sometimes we end up at the same knit night), there was just something missing from this book.  And then I made it the fourth story entitled Personal Filters and  started laughing so hard that I choked on my drink and gave myself an asthma attack.  And just like that, I couldn’t stop reading.  As always our beloved Harlot is able to mix humour and personal reflection in a way that makes you feel like you are getting insight into her own world.  Her writing is publicly relevant and highly personal at the same time.   It’s true that a non-knitter wouldn’t “get” everything that she writes about.  But I am kind of assuming that if you are currently reading this you are a fibre person and therefore will find great humour in what she writes.  The book (being a collection of short stories or essentially long blog entries) is a fast read and very easy to pick up and (slightly harder) to put down.  It’s great when you have five minutes to spare or you’re stuck in transit for 1/2 an hour.  I absolutely recommend this to all knitters/crocheters/spinners.  You’ll find yourself in the pages of this book and have a good laugh at the same.

For more great Wednesday Stuff check out WIP Wednesday and the Yarn Along.