Two More Christmas 2014 Knits

Remember when I said last week that I had too many Christmas FOs from 2014 to show them all in individual posts? Well, we’re going to do another two-fer today.

First up is the shawl I made for my Grandmother:

Canyonlands Shawl

This one was like working two separate projects. you knit a basic stockinette shawl, and then you knit the intricate edging on for the cast-off. I thought I was doing great on time, until I realized just how long the edging was going to take. Oops. It is estimated to take half of the yarn in the shawl, so I should have expected it to take half of the knitting time, too. I just didn’t think about it.

Anyway, the pattern is well written. And the lace edging isn’t that difficult even though there’s lace on both sides. It is, however, detailed and you have to pay attention to it. If you don’t… well, let’s just say I did some tinking to make sure I had the edging pattern right.

I used Chroma for this shawl, and I loved the way the color changes turned out. I think it was a perfect yarn for this pattern. My grandma loves it, too.

SPECS (and a link to my Ravelry project page):

PATTERN: Canyonlands Shawl
DESIGNER: verybusymonkey
YARN: KnitPicks Chroma Fingering in Seaweed
NEEDLES: US 6 (4.0 mm)
START/END DATES: November 27 – December 21, 2014
MODS: none

Next up is the pair of mitts that I made for my dad:

Raw Honey Mitts

I bought this Capra yarn a while ago, with the intent that they would be mitts. And wow, this is the perfect yarn for mitts! The cashmere content makes it really soft, but the wool gives it a nice firm fabric and stability. So lovely to knit with, and to wear. (Just trying them on made me want to keep them for myself. I’ll have to get more Capra.)

The pattern is well-written, but it’s deceptive. It’s simple enough to memorize easily. And then you don’t pay attention, because you think you’ve got it. And then you realize that you’ve put the purls in the wrong places and you have to go back and fix it.

SPECS (and a link to my Ravelry project page):

PATTERN: Raw Honey
DESIGNER: Alicia Plummer
YARN: KnitPicks Capra DK in Burnished
NEEDLES: US 6 (4.0 mm) and US 7 (4.5 mm)
START/END DATES: September 27 – November 29, 2014
MODS: none?

Christmas FO Two-Fer

I’m going to post two of my Christmas 2014 knitted gifts in this one post, because:

  1. There are so many of them that it will take forever at this rate; and
  2. I didn’t take many pictures of these two knits.

The first one is:

 Man Hands Mitts for my BIL

These mitts were a last-minute knitted gift that I made when I realized that I had a handmade gift for nearly all of my family members, and wanted to make it ALL of them. Also, I had my brother-in-law try on the mitts I was making for my dad (to test the size), and his (BIL) reaction was such that I realized he wanted them for himself. Well, instead of giving him the ones I made for my dad, I made him his own pair.

(an in-progress picture… one of the few I took of this project… and those are Jamberry nail wraps for anyone who wonders)

I made him the first free mitts I found in my Ravelry queue that looked appropriate, and I used the softest yarn I could find in my stash of the correct size. It happened to be a hand-spun yarn that I hadn’t been able to decide what to do with, and I think the result was great. Also, I really enjoyed making these mitts, so I will be almost certainly making another pair in the not-too-distant future. (Maybe for me, since they’re not really a gender-specific mitt regardless of the pattern name.)

My only complaint about the pattern was something I had before I tried them on: you bind off the thumb instead of placing the stitches on waste yarn and adding more later. I thought the thumb wouldn’t be long enough, but it was. And it was much more comfortable than I’d expected. So it was a complaint that I shouldn’t have had, because the designer knew what she was doing and I was pre-judging. Now I know better!

SPECS (and a link to my Ravelry project page):

PATTERN: Man Hands DESIGNER: Shireen Nadir YARN: handspun by me, merino roving from Bonkers (no link found to the dyer) in the Emerald Forest colorway NEEDLES: US 6 (4.0 mm) START/END DATES: December 3 – 15, 2014 MODS: none The second project for today is:

Miss Fanny The Fabulous Fox for my nephew

I won this kit from one of the Yarn Harlot’s karmic balancing gifts from her 2013 (I think) bike rally, and I finally got around to making this fox for my nephew. I’d meant to make it for his first Christmas, but instead it was a gift for his second.

This kit contains wool “hand dyed with walnut + cosmos flowers”. Very cool. The pattern was straightforward enough for a knitted toy. (They’re all a bit fiddley, in my opinion, but this one wasn’t any more so than most.) My biggest issue with this one is that I hate knitting tight things at a small gauge. I always feel like I’m going to snap my needles in half as I’m knitting. (Doesn’t help that I did this with socks once. I haven’t done it since, but I always fear doing it.) The yarn was very nice to work with. I would have enjoyed doing colorwork with it, had the pattern called for that. (Technically, there’s a tiny section of the tail that is colorwork, but that only served to prove to me that I would have enjoyed a larger colorwork project in this yarn.) The pattern was also pretty easy to understand, with the exception being that there were a couple of things I tried to over-think. Once I figured out that I was going about things the hard way, and backtracked and did them the correct way for this pattern, it went much more smoothly. Also, it was my first time double knitting. That was fun, and it was written in an easy enough way for a double knitting newbie to understand.

SPECS (and a link to my Ravelry project page): PATTERN: Miss Fanny The Fabulous Fox DESIGNER: Mary Jo Martinek YARN: not sure… it came with the kit NEEDLES: US 0 (2.0 mm) START/END DATES: August 3 – December 24, 2014 (yup, this was my final present finished) MODS: Because it’s for a 1 1/2 year-old, I embroidered the eyes instead of using the included buttons. I also didn’t put the gingerbread man button in the pocket for the same reason.

Mom’s Christmas Socks

I’ve mentioned before that my mom likes handknit socks. And so I make her socks:

These particular ones I started with no purpose in mind other than to cast on something that was not a Christmas present. (I was a bit sick of knitting for others at that point.) And then I realized that they were going to be a present anyway.

I used Cat Bordhi’s “Seeds In The Heart Of Winter” pattern as a base, but all I really used it for was the basic instructions in how to knit her Sweet Tomato Heel. I didn’t use the stitch count, because I purchased the pattern not realizing that it was for the completely wrong weight yarn for what I wanted. I didn’t use her heart patterning, because I wanted to do my own slipped stitch thing. I just used her heel and toe numbers (modified for my stitch count).

I mostly enjoyed the heel, though I’m not sure how it will wear, since the socks weren’t made strictly to my size. (I can wear socks I make for my mom, but the fit is different than when I make socks for myself.) I think my favorite heel is still the traditional heel flap heel, though I do rather like moving the gusset to the bottom of the foot. And the double gusset that I tried makes a nice fit.

But I’m getting off track. The yarn for these socks is one that a member of my SnB named, and then Tina of Blue Moon Fiber Arts created a yarn colorway to go with that name. I really like the way it turned out. And being Socks That Rock, the knitting process for these socks was marvelous. (I really love that yarn base. And the Blue Moon dyers.)

SPECS (and a link to my Ravelry project page):

PATTERN: Seeds In The Heart Of Winter (kinda)
DESIGNER: Cat Bordhi
YARN: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock lightweight in As High As An Elephant’s Eye
NEEDLES: US 1 1/2 (2.5 mm)
START/END DATES: October 11 – November 28, 2014
MODS: Lots. See above.

I Am Groot!

This was possibly my most popular handmade Christmas gift for 2014:

A crocheted Baby Groot (from Guardians of the Galaxy)! If you go by the likes on Facebook, this is better than any of the lace shawls I have ever knit.

I have to admit, he is very cool. And he was pretty easy to make. The hardest part was working on him only when Mr. Wyrm wasn’t anywhere around so that he wouldn’t see Groot until Christmas Day. (It worked, but it was nerve-wracking at times. I didn’t always see his “coming home” texts until he’d nearly arrived.)

The designer did a great job on this one, both on the finished project and in her explanations of what to do. Anyone who wants a Baby Groot (and can crochet) should be able to make their own with a minimum of fuss.

I needle-felted him into his pot, the same way that I learned to make pin cushions. It worked for me, and looks pretty reasonable, too. I didn’t buy any specific “dirt-colored” wool, though, just used what I had on hand.

SPECS (and a link to my Ravelry project page):

PATTERN: Baby Groot
DESIGNER: Twinkie Chan
YARN: KnitPicks Palette in Doe and Bark (held together) for the brown, and in Peapod (one strand) for the leaves
HOOK: US H (5.0 mm) for the brown, and US F (3.75 mm) for the leaves
START/END DATES: October 28 – December 7, 2014
MODS: none, unless you count the needle-felting him into the pot part

Rondelay FO

Lookie! Another FO project that was done this summer (barely… nearly fall but not quite) and yet had to wait until after Christmas for its big reveal!

This one is the Rondelay I knit for my sister-in-law. Several members of my S’n’B have made this shawlette (or is it a scarf?) and so I’d seen it in progress before. I never really paid attention to the construction of the project other than to note that it was different, and I certainly never thought about how much trouble blocking such a uniquely shaped scarf would be.

However, it knit up quickly, and didn’t give me too much trouble when I went to block it. (It might not be the most even blocking job I’ve ever done, but since the scarf will rarely be spread out, that shouldn’t matter. It will spend most of the time being a ruffly thing, so no worries there.) My biggest issue was that the rondels were easy to manage until you had to deal with ALL THREE OF THEM AT ONCE. Then the number of stitches on the needles got unwieldy. (Yes, I know. This happens with nearly all shawlettes. But this one was no exception to that rule.) Still, there were only a handful of rows that worked all the stitches on the needles, so it went smoothly enough.

I used Chroma for the scarf/shawlette, since this pattern works best in yarns with a long color repeat. I love the way it turned out in this particular colorway. I had initially thought (when I bought the yarn) that the shades of green would be more distinct, more different. And then the yarn arrived, and I worried that the shading might have been too subtle for the pattern.

But I think I needn’t have worried. It turned out lovely.

STATS (and a link to my Ravelry project page)

PATTERN: Rondelay
DESIGNER: Jennifer Dassau
YARN: Chroma Fingering by Knit Picks in the “Seaweed” colorway
NEEDLES: US 6 (4.0 mm)
START – END DATES: September 1, 2014 – September 20, 2014
MODS: None.

FO: Multifarious

Ready for another Christmas gift FO? I thought you might be. In fact, there are so many of them that you will be getting lots of them. I was ambitious this year, and knit (or crocheted, or even wove) something for each of my immediate family members. It came to a full dozen handmade gifts. Some of them were made well in advance of Christmas, but still. I realized in November that I had made (or was making) something for all of my family members except three, and so a frenzied spate of knitting began so that I could have something handmade for them all.

This scarflette was not one of those. This one was planned, and since it had to be mailed out to its recipient, it was finished with plenty of time.

This is the Multifarious scarf, and it was a gift for my MIL. The colors are perfect for her, and she always loves the lacy scarves and shawls I’ve made her. (Hint: loving the things I make for you is the best way to get me to keep making them. It’s why my mom and sister keep getting knit socks.)

Anyway, this was a fun pattern to make. The color changes in the yarn kept it from getting boring, even though the pattern has a fairly short repeat. That did make the pattern easy to memorize, though. All in all, it was a good knit. It may be a while before I make another one, though, if I do. I don’t want to tempt that “getting boring” thing.

SPECS (and a link to my Ravelry project page):

PATTERN: Multifarious
DESIGNER: Alicia Marchant
YARN: KnitPicks Chroma Fingering in Luau
NEEDLES: US 7 (4.5 mm)
START/END DATES: September 16 – November 28, 2014
MODS: Used “k1, +k1, insert left needle through front of next 2 sts on right needle and k2togtbl,+ repeat from + for the required number of sts” for the cast-off. (Not really a mod, but I didn’t see the cast-off type specified.)

Safari Scarf FO

Look, a finished object that has been finished for quite some time now, but has only just been delivered to its owner! That means now you guys can see it!

This is the Safari Scarf that I was knitting over the (late) summer for my father-in-law. I’d been meaning to knit the Chevron Scarf pattern for a while, and this was when I finally got around to it. This was a fast knit, too! Since the pattern was dead simple to memorize once you got it established (it’s easy to read from the knitting itself) I didn’t need to bring anything with me except my yarn and needles. No pattern needed, which made it great vacation knitting.

When I decided to use this yarn for this project, I was afraid that it would stripe or pool unattractively. But it didn’t! I love the way the color turned out. (That’s my only complaint with using Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock for socks – sometimes the striping or pooling is just not pretty.) I still love the feel of this yarn as much as I ever have, so I’m thinking that I’ll need to look for some solids or semi-solids to use for socks so that I can enjoy using the yarn without being annoyed at the pooling.

But that’s neither here nor there about this scarf. I did made a few mods to it, mostly in order to give the scarf a garter stitch border all the way around. (Details of the modifications are below.)

I really did enjoy knitting this one, and though it could have happily been a little longer, I think it turned out long enough. (Blocking helped on that front.) The fabric of the piece also came out nice after blocking. It’s a nice weight. Merry Christmas to my FIL!

STATS (and a link to my Ravelry project page)

PATTERN: Chevron Scarf
DESIGNER: Brenda of Molecular Knitting
YARN: Shepherd Sock Multi by Lorna’s Laces in the “Safari” colorway
NEEDLES: US 3 (3.25 mm)
START – END DATES: August 19, 2014 – September 18, 2014

MODS:

  1. The pattern calls for 1 garter stitch on each side of the chevron pattern, but I did 4 stitches per side. Therefore I cast on 53 stitches instead of the 47 called for.
  2. I knit 5 rows of garter stitch before starting the chevron pattern. (AKA cast on, then knit 5 rows, then start pattern.)
  3. This also means I ended with 5 more rows of garter stitch. (AKA knit 5 rows, then bind off knitwise.)
  4. In the pattern section, I replaced the “sl1, k1, psso” with “k2tog tbl”.