Saturday, December 7, 2013

The stockings will be hung by the chimney with care

I am knee-deep (pun intended) in sock knitting right now.  I have confidence that I will be finished all pairs by the intended gifting date, and for once, Himself will not be getting shafted on socks:

I did these sleep socks for Himself first, which means that for the first time in memory, he will get two complete socks, not one finished sock and one still on the needles, in the gift bag.  The yarn is Viking of Norway Raggan, and while the colorway is similar to one I have made for him before, these socks are much thicker and fluffier, and they knit up in about a week, which was amazing.  Looing at the photo, though, from the ankle down they do not match.  I did not notice this when I was working on the socks.  Now, if I thought these socks were ever going to be worn out of the house, I might be bothered enough to do something about it.  But they will never be worn in public, because they are "too flashy," so I'm not saying a word about the mismatch of patterning.  I would probably not fix a pair of my own socks, which are always worn out of the house, if a similar problem occurred, because recently I've realized people take a quick look at your hand-knit socks, which are almost always covered by shoes or boots, and move on with their day.  Look at me, getting all Zen in my old age.

I have also started work on socks for my goddaughter E:

This is another purchase from the Fiber Festival, from Enchanted Knoll Farm.  The colors in this yarn just called out to me, and I couldn't leave it in the booth.  It's more than I normally spend on sock yarn for someone who's feet are still growing, but I'm knitting them in a modified ladies' size, so I think they'll fit her a little bit longer.  The colors are just fabulous - well blended and sharp, and the same old-same old classic sock pattern is not seeming at all boring while looking at this.

I am about done with socks these days, though.  Even new patterns aren't all that appealing.  If only they weren't so quick and easy, or if cardigans knit up as fast as the socks do.....

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

No closer to finishing the Christmas gifts

I have been plugging along on all my holiday crafting projects.  Unfortunately, those projects have mostly been for me.

Here's a couple of shots of the sweater I am knitting for myself, using the Tucker's Woods Mocha's Worsted I bought at the Fiber Festival:

This is a better color representation than that blue shade that showed up when I photographed the skeins on my counter before dawn.  I photographed these shots before dawn, too, but smartened up and used a white dish towel as a back drop.  This is also my very first attempt at knitting cables.  I have no idea what I was afraid of for so long.

So in my spare time (ha ha ha) I serve as the president of the board of trustees for our local food pantry, and I also volunteer there a lot.  There are people who volunteer there more than me (retirees who are available weekdays, whereas I am expected to show up at my office to earn my check - so unfair) and one of them mentioned she needed a hat.  With ear flaps.  And a pom pom.  In red.  Ok, then!  I could use a break from knitting socks:

Look ma, more cables!

It took me about 8 days to do this hat - the pattern is from Classic Elite Yarns and is called Lavish Flap Hat.  It is lavish, I suppose, because it supposed to be knit with cashmere.  I chose Debbie Bliss Rialto DK, which is a superwash marino and much more practical, in my mind.  The pattern also does not feature a pom pom, which was my own (easy) addition, to meet the requirements given by the recipient.  A tip - when trimming the pom pom, do it over the trash, not sitting on your couch or you will then have to get your vacuum out to get all the little bits of yarn that will go everywhere.  File that under "things I have learned the hard way."

It was a fun break from socks, which is pretty much what I will be working on exclusively right now until early January.  I decided to interrupt the Christmas knitting because she needs the hat now, not January.  Also, she sits on the board with me, so I have a feeling she'll wear it during board meetings.  She's that sort of fun person.

I also made a couple of Christmas dish cloths for our kitchen:

These were a simple stockinet stitch done with Lily Sugar 'n Cream cotton yarn, and took about an hour apiece.  I expect they won't make it much past the holiday season but given I paid about $1.49 for the skein and got two dish cloths out of it, I can't be too upset if they end up in the garage rag pile in January.  At that price, I should think about doing the dish cloths for the house on a regular basis, because that's cheaper than what I can buy at Target.  (Sure, in all my spare time!) Unless they only last a month.