Friday, December 19, 2008

Busy Little Bee

That is me!!!! Life has been a flurry of activity this past week, including actual knitting activity! I've been cranking out the last-minute additions to Xmas gifts to beat the band and I finally have some photographic evidence of the fact, and I swear I'll include it shortly.

I've decided that while I shouldn't necessarily wait until the week before Xmas to actually go out and start shopping for presents, I'm really good at it. Actually, me and DW are good at it. In fact, we're so good that present shopping for roughly thirteen people only took an hour and a half and each gift still manages to portray that a lot of thought was put into every single one! It's great when stuff works out like that, isn't it? Now all I have to do is bake, make fudge and marshmallows and put together baskets...which isn't a big deal because DW is a genius when it comes to arranging things prettily. Odd isn't it, that for all my craftiness, I am incapable of artistically arranging gift baskets? Well, we all have our talents...

Anyway, on to the finished (or even semi-finished) gifts I've whipped up so far!

First on my list are Michael's Manly Mitts! I made these for my mom's boyfriend because he's one of the few grown men I know of that actually appreciates handknit items - and knows how to care for them! Last year I gave him this simple 4x4 rib scarf made out of this gorgeous chunky weight baby alpaca yarn and it still looks like it did when I gave it to him! So, here are the mitts.

Pattern Details
* Pattern: Boku Fingerless Gloves (Free Pattern Handout)
* Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Boku Colorway #60 - 1 skein
* Needles: US8 DPN - set of four
* Modifications:None
* Size Made:I made it exactly the way the pattern said to.

These mitts were literally cranked out over one single 8 hour period of time and were such easy knitting that I found I didn't have to pay too much mind to them until I got to the point where I had to start measuring. My attempts at matching up the stripes from glove to glove were a failure, as they usually are, but I thought I'd fouled it up a whole lot worse than I did, and when I saw the finished pair together I was relieved to be able to see that they did look like they came from the same ball of yarn at least. The Boku was a dream to work with, and I'm already plotting an entrelac stole knitted out of it for the future.

Next up, we have my brother's Big Head Hat. That's not the actual name of the pattern, but well, my brother has a sizeable noggin, so I thought that it was fitting.

Pattern Details
* Pattern: Helping Hat - Made in the Style of the Cranberry Hat
* Yarn: Plymouth Encore Chunky - Colorway 389
* Needles: US9 - 16" circs and US9 DPN's for decreasing
* Modifications: After the cables are finished, the designer recommends doing 19 rows of the ribbing, and I think I only did 12. My brother's head is big, but not pointy, and he likes his hats to fit quite snugly and I just had a feeling that if I made it as tall as the designer said to, he'd wind up with a point on top of his head.
* Size Made: Sized to fit my brother's head as best as I could without actually measuring it.

This took me no longer than three hours to whip up, and I did this while catching up on some old episodes of CSI and without a cable needle - which was surprisingly fun! I think I need to figure out how to do other types of cables without a cable needle as they can sometimes be awkward.

Third on my knitted objects list are yet another pair of fingerless mitts, intended to be made for my friend Faith, but inadvertently sized down for my shorter, stubbier hands. So, it looks like I have an early Xmas gift and I'll just have to make Faith another pair.


Pattern Details

* Pattern: Fetching
* Yarn: Wilfert's Verona in Colorway 60 (I think, couldn't tell, the label wasn't written in English)
* Needles: US6 DPN's
* Modifications: In order to conserve yarn as I wasn't sure I'd have enough to complete a full pair, I sized the hand down just a tad by only knitting three rounds above the thumb placement, and then only two rounds before the picot bind off. Also, I only knit two rounds for the thumb and then bound off. The result was a smaller, tighter fitting glove that was more suitable to my stubby fingers than Faith's...oops!
* Size Made: Basically the size the pattern recommends.

This yarn was a dream to work with and I love it's silky sheen! It's so soft, and so warm and just so mmmm...and the color is so rich! I'm secretly glad that I get to keep them because it would have broken my heart to give them away.

And finally, my most recent forray into last-minute gift knitting - a pair of footies for my friend Randi


Pattern Details

* Pattern: Cable Footies - "One Skein" by Leigh Radford
* Yarn: Universal Yarn Classic Worsted Tapestry in Rose Garden
* Needles: US8 DPN's - set of four
* Modifications: None
* Size Made: Size for a foot that wears a size 8 shoe.

Okay, normally, I hate yarns with a lot of acryllic in it, but I wanted to make something that was machine washable for Randi simply because she has a child and this child is not only energetic, but typically (and accidentally) destructive. So, just in case her little girl spills something on them,she can just pop them in the wash. And this stuff is nice and soft and not plasticky feeling - and the colors were so pretty I just had to!

My only issue with this pattern is that it knits up rather large. Not necessarily for Randi's feet, as hers are bigger and slightly wider than mine, but if I were knitting these for me, I'd drop down to a size 6 needle rather than stick with the size 8. That way I'd get a tighter fit. Still, these will do quite nicely for Randi and I'm sure she'll like them. Besides myself, DW and my mom, Randi and her boyfriend Ian are the only two people I would knit socks for. I just know that they'd appreciate them more than some of my other friends.

Ah well. In other news, I finally got my knit picks order in, and let me just say that the customer service people are excellent there! It turns out that I was waiting and waiting, when it was never gonna get to me that way at all seeing as the address part of my address went mysteriously they were shipping to just Apt 3 in Fall River Ma with no house number or street name at all! Silly me! Still, it's all here, and it's all lovely!


Yay for the swag! :D From top to bottom I have here: 2 skeins of Knit Picks Imagination in "Lost Boys, 2 skeins of Knit Picks Imagination in "Seven Dwarves", 2 skeins of Knit Picks Gloss Fingering in "Porcini", and 2 skeins of Knit Picks Palette - 1 in "Blue Note Heather" and the other in "Golden Heather".

I have plans for most of this stuff already. The Lost Boys are going to a pair of Zombie Socks[ravelry] for DW. She's obsessed with all things zombie and I know she'll love, love,love them. Plus, she won't have to steal the handknit socks I make for myself when she has her own! For the Gloss, I was thinking of making the Anniversary Socks [ravelry] from Favorite Socks. The color of the yarn is so elegant to me, and these socks just seem to scream elegance. Plus I think the pattern would look lovely in a pale, solid color.

Now the Palette is where I get sticky. See, the Golden Heather didn't look nearly so orange as it does in person...still, I think I'm going to plod through and hope for the best with what I have in mind for these two skeins. See, I've been itching to try colorwork, and a lot of people recommend starting off with Eunny Jang's Endpaper Mitts [ravelry]
, and at first I thought they weren't all that attractive. Yet I'd still go back and look at the pattern often and I'd admire other people's FO's in this pattern. Eventually it grew on me, and now I've decided that I must have them. I just hope they'll look all right in the colors I've chosen. If they don't, I'll gift them to someone and buy up two more skeins of Palette in different colors for myself.

All that leaves me with, is the Seven Dwarves...and I have no idea what to make with it. I mean, I don't know how the yarn knits up. Does it stripe, or does it merely pool? Anyone have any clues? Anyone have any recommendations? Maybe I'll come up with something...

In the meantime, knitting isn't all I've been up to this past week. I've humiliated my dog yet again.
And bought and decorated a Xmas tree - which made me realize that no matter what we do, our Angel topper is always going to look HUGE.
And baked some gingerbread men from scratch(well, a couple of 'em got turned into drag queens thanks to DW)

Once DW gets her next day off, we'll be putting together our holiday gifts, and putting together a gingerbread house as well. We're determined to stuff our holiday full of as much xmassy goodness as possible since we pretty much crapped out on Halloween and so far, it's working.

Now, I'm off to forage for food in this house of mine, because I'm suddenly and irrevocably, starving! Cheers and thanks for reading! Also, if I don't get on here before then, I hope everyone has a very happy holiday - whatever they may be celebrating!


Corrina said...

I love the ginger bikinis. Awesome!

Courtney said...

Looks like you have been busy

Courtney said...

Heehee drag queens LOL