Yarn-bombing is new to me, I first read someone blog last week about it, how did this escape me?
(Why write this story without more photos, btw???)
Did everyone have a good holiday? I sure hope so. Weather here was uneventful, and today at 42-degrees it’s darn-right pleasant. The family caught a cold, of course (everything can’t be perfectly perfect, right?), so that’s still sort of in full swing, or at least, not to the getting-better stage. But otherwise, a very nice Christmas.
My sister made these funky little hens for gifts. They are filled with rice, and heavy.
They are quite helpful already, because my good friend Ellen gave me this book.
“There’s a new Jamie book!” I said to my friend Ellen when we went to the movies. “About his time after Aurdsmier!” She was a little non-plussed, and then I realized, “Oh, but you haven’t read that far yet. That’s the second book. Well, you’ll read it, and then there’s a new one!” Except it is like really the 8th book or so, and my friend has still only read book one. (Ahem, Outlander.) And really, it’s the third or fourth John Grey book, and not a Jamie book, but Jamie is IN IT so I will count it. Until I tell you otherwise when I’ve finished reading.) She’s tried to read book two, but couldn’t get into it despite my urging that it picks up after the first hundred pages. She’s content just to read and re-read the first book of the series. Which I don’t understand at all. Why dip your toe in when you can wallow?
But she remembered and gave me the book. So what do the hens my sister made and books have to do with each other, you ask….They allow you to do this:
Which leaves your hands free so you can do this:
Because this year I sort of fell behind on Christmas, I guess there was just so much other stuff going on I was completely overwhelmed. It was that kind of year. But I am motivated to start on next Christmas awfully early, so that’s good, right?
The interesting knitting turns into this, photo courtesy of Martha Stewart.com
Is that adorable or what? you can find the knitting instructions here. I am using size 3 needles instead of size 4, so I am a bit bummed about how long it is taking to knit. Definitely not a one day project, despite it looks so cute and tidy. Still, I hope to have several knit by next year this time.
As for a one-day-project, I did knit up the pink yarn into a button-hole scarf that has about waist-length drape. I checked out Biglots for more yarn, and was fortunate to find another skein of the chenille. So three skein lengths makes an average-length scarf. Although, full disclosure, one of the skeins seemed to have only half the yarn of the other two, so there’s a reason the yarn is ending up at Biglots for $1. Still, what a warm scarf and it took only one day! It’s 11 stitches wide, knit on size 11 needles.
So whew, that’s one gift down. I’ve got my fingers crossed more yarn will come in, because I’d like to make a matching hat.
And also, let’s keep our fingers crossed that I remain motivated to work on gifts for next year! Even at one gift a month, that’s still not enough for everyone…. Darn, I’d better get busy!
Yes, there is still a lot of stuff to be done before Christmas, but I couldn’t resist picking up these yarns because they are so inexpensive. The chenille is the same that I worked with last year to create the raspberry scarfette, so I already know it’s a great yarn; I’ll use the bobbles concurrently and create an interesting scarf. I hope two skein lengths is enough. If you have a Biglots near you, peek at the yarn from time to time because they have some stuff that’s great for hats and scarves.
I was looking at knitty.com this morning, musing that I still have some unused sock yarn (how did I get off knitting socks? Why so much yarn I never used?) and that a small project or two would be just the thing to use it up.
For me, I love these fingerless gloves. If I still worked in a cold cold cold office, I would be wearing these.
And what is more adorable for a little girl to wear under her dress than a pair of knit bloomers? Wish I had a pair of these to keep me warm!
And what a quick gift to knit, these fabulous, cute, and girlie ballerina slipper socks. The pattern comes in all sizes. I imagine these are super dooper quick to knit because really there is not much to them!
And lastly, a hat that lets the pigtails free! No more squished, hair full of static flyaways!
I can see making all of these projects, which frankly is way better than investing more money in quilt fabrics (not that I won’t, wink wink). Better to use up a little of what’s on hand, you know?
I’d better figure out which one to attack first…!
I subscribe to the Knitting Daily newsletter, which sends out a knitting tip a couple times a week, free patterns now and then, and reasons to subscribe to their knitting magazine every day. This is a free pattern they sent out this week.
Doesn’t this look like a sweater you’d buy from SundanceCatalog for a pretty penny? I can see wearing this little sweater vest over any number of dresses, or a t-shirt and jeans. And what I really like about it is that it’s knit on number 10-1/2 needles, and takes only 475 yards of yarn. That means it can be knit in a couple days, quick quick quick. If you want to search for your own free pattern it’s called the Eco Vest by Katie Himmelberg. You might have to sign up for their newsletter to be able to access the free patterns, but really there’s no downside to that as it’s a pretty good newsletter. I’ve gotten lots of great knitting tips from it.
While I’m talking about knitting, I also noticed this photo in one of my old Victoria magazines, from 2002. I love pulling out an issue and just looking at it over and over and seeing something new every time. This time I noted the white stitch detail on these mittens. What an easy way to dress up a plain pattern, and then do the same on a matching hat or scarf. . . . Pretty pretty!
Oh, and I should say the only reason I haven’t subscribed to their knitting magazine is that I just don’t have time to do all the projects I want to as it is! I just don’t want to be tempted by pretty patterns, amassing yarn I will never have time to work with, more patterns, more yarn….And I like their Piecework magazine even more, as it covers all the sewing crafts. That’s the one I would subscribe to!
I haven’t stopped working on projects, but some of them are Christmas presents, so no sense giving away the surprise in advance! This scarf will probably end up with me, and it definitely a one-day project if you have 5 hours. I timed myself. I used Lion brand Suede yarn, and it took one skein. 122 yards of bulky-weight, with only a yard left over, if that. I had to adjust the patten to 4 less stitches than the pattern called for, otherwise there was not enough yarn (yes, I completely made it one time only to find I was oh-so-close to finished but out of yarn).
I found the pattern here (under “freebies”), it is a free download. I like the buttonhole idea, and have since noticed it used in longer scarves. It eliminates that whole big knot at your neck, and keeps everything smooth and stylish..
I just stumbled on my copy of Nicky Epstein’s Knitted Flowers and realized I had never knitted any of the projects, though I had planned to and still intend to follow up.
I love this shawl project and wish I could wear it, but this kind of thing really belongs on someone like my boss at my last job, who went to important meetings and always looked fabulous no matter how harried. She would look perfect in this. But me, I think I’d just look like someone who wanted to look important. I don’t think I could carry it off with the same ease and naturalness. “What, this? I just threw it on to keep my arms warm. It’s always so cold in the building, don’t you think?” (Kim, if you’re out there, you should knit this!)
So the next possible project is to add flowers to a ready made sweater. Except going through my sweaters, I don’t have one that works. Nope, no simple cardigan begging for flowers. Why don’t I have one??? Plus, matching the color would be a bear once you sat down and tried. Better to just make the sweater and then embellish!
Of course the easiest place to start is to add a flower to a hat. I’ve already got a skein of raspberry chenille that someone has begged to be made into a hat, so I guess that’s where I will go first. Simple, easy, quick.
My intent is still to work with the craft materials I already have, and now I feel bad I never tried any of the projects in this book. I have yarn enough to make 3 pairs of socks, and the fore-mentioned hat, but socks don’t really need flowers. Or do they????
Remember I started some socks with alpaca wool a few weeks back?
The pattern was from a vintage yarn instruction booklet so I can not link to it but my next pair of socks is going to be this lacey pair here.
I bought this yarn via ebay where it was described as the color coral, but in person it would have been dead on to describe it as paprika. Funny enough it looks like the color used it the pattern I am following, so I imagine it will turn out a very pretty pair of socks!
Wearing the alpaca pair feels very decadent and soft, and I wish I were a sandal kind of person because I don’t have anything to wear to show them off. They are not exactly boot socks or gym socks, so they will have to be around home socks!
If you are a knitting pattern developer, let me tell you that there is a dearth of sock patterns for the ages between baby and adult.
I found a young adult size in this old pattern book (thanks Lori!) and right about the time I took this photo, I realized that since I was using baby yarn and not real sock yarn that this pair would wear out after about 3 wearings, so I had better not knock myself out making knee socks. This is as high as this pair will go. This is my tester pattern to make sure I can get the toe and everything right before I commit to using the much more expensive sock yarn.
It is more expensive, but it sure is pretty right?
I am searching online for free patterns for childrens socks (if you know of any please let me know!) and saw the beautiful cover project this month at knitty.com. I am using their pretty photo.
I can sure see making this one sometime this year! Using maybe a slightly lighter yarn with more movement…. As well as knitting a few pairs of socks….