Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Oh Christmas Tree

It's Christmas time in the bungalow! Well, at least it's Advent, the season of preparation for the feast of Christmas. I am very proud to report that my Christmas knitting is done. And when I say done, I really mean done. The kind of done that means if for some heinous reason Christmas actually came tomorrow, I could hand over the knitted items to their recipients without a regret. The kind of done that means the finishing work and the end weaving wasn't left for 6 or more weeks because I moved onto another project. It's a good feeling to be done.

I must admit that the reason I was done with my Christmas knitting by December 10th this year is because I set my sights very low. In fact, I think I've done less knitting this year than I did last year. Last year the girlies were 19 months old, and I had a two month old. Little X was (and still is) very mellow, so I was able to camp out on the couch and knit. Now he's starting to walk, and well, the house is more chaotic. But, I have accomplished all my goals and have been setting some new ones. I'll get those done if only my yarn arrives on time.

So far this year I have knit two Totoro hats from the free Hello Yarn pattern.

I knit one as written, and the second I reversed and knit from the top up. I had a bit of trouble with the row gauge - it was way, way off, even though I was using a heavier yarn than called for & it should have turned out longer than needed. The first hat was knit and ripped out three times before I got it to be long enough. I do completely detest (and suck at) the figure 8 cast one, so I knit it from the bottom up and kitchenered the top. It took me much less time. I also added ear flaps and ties to the hat so that it will stay on my wiggly girls heads. Oh, and I knit it big and fulled it for warmth and ease of embroidery. The pattern is great - I just rearranged things per my personal preference in knitting. Misses E & G are enamored with the Totoro movie and I know they'll love the hats. What a clever idea.

I knit them "matching" pairs of mittens. The grey base yarn is the same as was used for the hats, and then I used a skein of Noro Silk Garden for the colored stripes. I loved working with the Noro. It was my first time using it and the color gradations are incredible. Lots of fun to watch it develop in my hands as I knit along. I had less than a yard left over after I finished the last mitten. It was a close call. Not too bad, if I say so myself. The merino that I used for the hats (incidentally the same stuff I used for my dad's scarf) just lasts and lasts and lasts. So I got both hats and all the mittens out of 6 ounces. I used one 50 gram ball of the Noro, color #87.

My dad's scarf is the Open Cable Scarf which I highly enjoyed knitting. I do have a few cables that crossed the wrong way, but shhh! No one will notice if I don't point them out. It was a great pattern for a scarf. Complex enough to be interesting, but easily memorized and knit while watching Lost. The scarf is fairly long - my dad is 6'2" and I got his scarf out of about 5 1/2 ounces of the same merino that I used on the girlies' hats. If you're looking for some, you can find it in my ebay store as Anne Shirley. It's great stuff. A pleasure to knit with and it lasts forever. mhm. I kettle dyed the yarn, and it's very pretty blues, greens and olives. The picture is making the olive look much more mustard than it does in person. It has a nice blending quality in person that is just lost on my digital camera.

Now if all goes well, I still plan on knitting some cotton face cloths for my mother in law, a hat for little X and a hat for Mr. N. We'll see if I get it done. I dreamt both hats up last night as I was laying in bed awake, and the face cloths late last week when Mr. N casually mentioned his mother would like something hand knit for Christmas. I'd whip her up something really quick, like a hat, but she's allergic to wool, so I have to send out for the yarn. Hopefully some pretty, pampering face cloths will be just the thing. Fast enough to get done and conveying lots of love. I'll post on my progress with the hats. I'm planning on combining the cable from the Open Cable Scarf pattern with a simple 6 X 6 cable and decreasing in the purl stitches in between. We'll see how it goes, I guess!

1 comment:

Adrian said...

The Totoro hats are adorable, but the mittens. The mittens are gorgeous!!