Well, here we are, the last week of November, and the crunch for holiday knitting is ON! Do you feel the pressure yet? That tiny, ticking in the back of your brain that marks the time spent (or not spent) working on those items to be gifted? No, just me?
I’ve been working away at a few different items through the past weeks. Two gifts are done, more than that are in progress. I’m struggling on one pair of socks. I can write about them because they’ll be for my grandmother, and I don’t think she’s discovered this humble blog. Writing about my frustrations won’t spoil any surprises for her.
I’m working on a pair of socks for Grandma, but I’m fresh out of inspiration. I know what I want out of the project: a pattern I haven’t made before, with an interesting texture or pattern detail. I don’t want these to be simple vanilla socks.
The yarn is lovely. That was the easy part. I bought this yarn from a local indie dyer: Lake Knit Yarns. The colourway is called Storm Across the Valley. Isn’t that fabulous?
After trying a few different simple cable/twist stitch designs and after ripping back twice (the first time, it was salvageable; the second time was a full rip back) I’ve decided on an almost vanilla sock: lots of stockinette with a very simple cable which will run along the outside of the foot. At least, that’s the plan. It lets the yarn really shine but adds a touch of interest. I’ve knit much farther than the above photo, almost done the leg, in fact, and I haven’t had the urge to rip back a third time. I think this pattern’s a winner.
The name my sister gave to this project. We’re both uber dorks.
A friend from the Museum Studies days was having a baby. This friend and I started working in the same city within a few months of each other, at different cultural organizations, and even after she moved on to a different opportunity in Toronto, we would still get together a few times a year for dinner, drinks, and to catch up. She is notorious for her pineapple collection. When I found out she was having a baby, how could I NOT knit her something pineapple related.
Here is the PineHatpple
Finding the right pineapple hat on Ravelry wasn’t easy, and I ended up combining elements from two different patterns, following the lead of others who did the same thing.
The hat was made from the Pineapple hat pattern by Becky Veverkar. It was knit in the round with the wrong side facing you. As you knit the hat, the inside has the wonderful bobble-y texture taking form, and before you add the crown, you turn it inside out. The crown was made from pineapple tea cozy pattern, linked here. If it looks a little dodgy, don’t worry. Both the hat and crown patterns have been ‘archived.’ The yarn used was Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash.
Not long after the hat was sent to my friend, I got a lovely text back with her new daughter wearing the pineapple. I couldn’t have been happier with how it turned out and that I was able to make it for a good friend.
It’s happened. It’s November. For knitters, this is a great season, because I rarely leave the house without something woolen to keep me warm! My fingers are kept warm by my favourite wrist warmers, and my Fourth Doctor Scarf is getting well worn (as it should!), as are other favourite scarves and cowls. Out from ‘retirement’ from the warm summer weather, this is the time for yarn-laden loveliness to shine, and so it does. However, this is also the time of the year that my needles get little rest, for I am deep into gift knitting!
With the calendar month changing, panic is starting to sink in. How on earth am I going to get everything that I need to get done, actually done? Of the 6+ gifts I’m working away at, only one is complete. This is not a great stat. As I always do, I’m loving the process of creating, the feel of the yarn, and the great sense of satisfaction of watching my project grow, round after round and row after row, but as I knit and purl, I am feeling a slight sense of anxiety with every stitch: knit faster!! Keep going!! Go, go, go!! It will all come together, as it always does, but staring down the barrel of 52 day clock, the pressure is certainly on!
Holiday knitting check-in: How are your gifts coming along?
Happy knitting (now excuse me, I must return to my latest WIP)!
To start thinking about Christmas knitting! Can you believe there is only 93 days until the holiday?
Late last week, I cast on what will likely be my largest gift. I won’t post too much here in case the person I’m making it for somehow stumbles upon this site (very much doubt they will, but one never knows). Once it’s finished, gifted, and worn by the recipient, I’ll post pictures, because even at a few inches knit, I’m very happy with its progress.
Making this item, I wanted to make sure that it was done right. This meant knitting a gauge swatch. Have I lamented about how much I hate gauge swatching on this blog yet? You know, I don’t remember either, so here it comes: I HATE making a gauge swatch. I know that I’m a product driven knitter, so knitting a square for the sake of knitting a square is so insanely DULL to me! Can I let you in on a little secret? I cheat when I make my gauge swatches. More often then not, I cast on about half of what they recommend, and I knit about half the rows I’m supposed to, check my tension, then rip back and cast on for real. Yes, I know, I know, this is not how it’s done… At least when I knit the swatch for this latest WIP, I cast on MORE stitches then recommended and got the desired 4 inches wide, and well, old habits died hard when it came to knitting the rows… sigh.
I’m working diligently on this gift, and I have another item on my needles that will also be gifted, so once again, no pictures of that WIP. I have a feeling holiday knitting will be keeping me busy for quite some time!