Saturday, January 7, 2012

Angstmas gift knits (and it's time to spin)

Since I never got to post my holiday knits, I thought now might as well be the time. I mostly knit for Matt's family, but sometimes a friend or two will be thrown in. Matt's mom is a fairly seasonal knitter, so I really enjoy making things for her. As I mentioned, I finished all six of my holiday FOs in just under two weeks. When I'm faced with the frantic, "oh my god! 20something days until Christmas!" thoughts, I always decide that I will knit something small for my recipients and accompany them with a bottle of their favorite wine or six pack.

Yoked Cardigan by Hannah Fettig

A Cardi for Katie in 0-3 month size
Size 7 needles
This first gift was for Kaitlyn, who entered the world on December 15. I had anticipated a post-Christmas arrival, but of course her mother just couldn't cooperate and decided to tack on one more Christmas knit. This was my first time using Plymouth Select Superwash Merino worsted wool and it won't be the last. My stitches look a little uneven in some places, but I ran into some blocking issues when my cat got involved and I had to pick it up before it was done. I think she has already outgrown it.

Calisto by Kate Kaplan
Size 8 needles

Calisto was designed by my friend Kate and this is the second one I have knit. My first Calisto was knit in Noro Yuzen, a discontinued dk weight yarn. Everything worked out with the substituting, but since I had such a pressed deadline and, considering this was one of my gifts that needed to be blocked, I decided to stick with the aran weight that it calls for. I bought the yarn on sale at Rosies and wow do I wish we weren't discontinuing it. This yarn is SO nice, as it's a blend of silk, merino and cashmere. I made this Calisto for Matt's sister and she wore it all week. It also started the fringe fever I have. Everything needs to have fringe! I'm even considering some fringed leg warmers, but I guess that has more potential for failure than anything else.

Malabrigo Silky Merino (I think) in blackberry
Size 10 needles

I'm a bit unsure about this yarn. I dug it out from the depths of an uncontrollable stash and don't really know what it is. I narrowed it down to Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend and Malabrigo Silky Merino, but I think the color matches Malabrigo more than Manos. Either way, this yarn is a blend of silk and wool and has such a nice drape to it. I made this one for Matt's mom and opted to use the smaller weight yarn because I'm not sure how she feels about bulky infinity scarves. This one allows her to wrap it twice, but at the same time it doesn't overwhelm like some of the others out there. The design is very clever, combining a herringbone print, garter stitch and short rows (my fave!). I plan on making another for myself at some point, but I'm still undecided on the yarn I will use. 

Hogwarts Scarf by Lauren Kent
Knit Picks WOTA in Red and Pumpkin
Size 7 needles

I finished this project on Christmas morning and was late to visit Leo in the hospital because of it. Not one of my finer moments. What can I say about this pattern that hasn't already been said? Matt's dad is a crazy Harry Potter fanatic and watching either Harry Potter or Love Actually on Christmas Eve has become a tradition of ours. Matt bought his dad the entire Bluray collection for Christmas and we both gave him a "Expecto Patronum" shirt we picked up at the Punk Rock Flea Market a few weeks back. I can't wait to see him wearing his shirt and scarf and rocking out to Harry Potter. 

Habitat hat by Jared Flood (<3 swoon <3)
WOTA Tweed in "Dill"
Size 7 needles

This FO I seriously considered keeping for myself. The tweed, cables and color just kill me and I wore it around a few days before finally offering it up to Matt's brother Pete. I haven't really knit any cables lately, but they are one of my favorite things to knit and this pattern has their fair share. I cabled this without using a cable needle (for the most part) and it went by really quickly once I got going. I hit up a yarn sale at one of my favorite LYSs on New Year Day (with some of my favorite yarny wenches) and picked up some Classic Elite Moorland to knit one for myself. This was my first time using Knit Picks WOTA tweed and I'm not sure if I will use it again. For more of my notes on the yarn, check out my project page on Ravelry. I also run the risk of having Tweed's baby right now (I LOVE TWEED. And fringe).

Welted Alpaca Cowl by Churchmouse Yarn and Tea
Knit Picks Andean Treasure in "Aurora Heather"
Size 6 needles

This last Angstmas present is one that I knit for Katie's momma, my dear friend R. Kelley. When R. Kelley first moved back to Illinois after a brief foray in Buffalo, I taught her how to knit, but she never made it very far on her own infinity scarf (bad R. Kelley!), so I decided to make her one for Christmas. I've never used 100% alpaca before (what!) and I don't know what is wrong with me. How could I not have? This yarn is Andean Treasure by Knit Picks and it is such a great yarn. Unlike the Knit Picks wools I have used, I didn't run into any knots or splits in either of the skeins I used. I would highly recommend this yarn and plan on using the other colors (gray and yellow) for an Andrea's shawl at some point this year.

And that, dear readers, finally brings us to the end of my knitted angstmas gifts. My plans for the end of the weekend include finishing up that Hineri hat. I did start The Woman in Black last night and managed to get 20% read. Thanks to my Kindle for making it easy on me. Oh, and I got a very nice package from WEBS this morning...

My fiber is here! My fiber is here! If anyone knows of any good spinning books/videos/gurus, please send them my way. I can't wait to start!

Happy knitting!

P.S. all of my gifts came accompanied by either wine or beers. Except for the baby and her breastfeeding mama. Yay!

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