Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Hits and Misses

Wow. How is it that Christmas is over already? I guess I should have known that if the rest of the year went by so fast, so would the holiday season. The last week and a half have been a flurry of activity. I am super happy that our package to France made it before Christmas. The post office estimate put it there either right before or after, so we figured it would probably not make it in time, but we were lucky. Overall, I think most people enjoyed their hand-knit gifts, but there were a few misses.

First of all, I wanted to share with you my goal for gifts this holiday season: no money. That's right, my goal was to make things from things I already had (except for the 2 'larger' projects I was working on and had planned out since before summer). I nearly made it. The main gifts I was planning for my family, however, I just couldn't get my head around at the last minute. And because I kept telling myself it should be easy, I had left them to the last minute. I would tell you about it, but there is still an incarnation of them in the works for B's parents and Auntie (which will be, of course, late). So for now, I will show you what I did for B's sister and her family...who you can read about here.

First up, we have the Father and Son hats.

I had two leftover hanks of Lamb's Pride Worsted from the fair isle class I took many moons ago. They remind me of chocolate-mint (And although the light one is clearly green, they decided to call it Khaki. Seriously?). So, for Dad's hat, I started out with the green by casting on and then knitting for two rows in a 2X2 rib, then I switched to the brown and finished the hat. I did the opposite for Son's hat (although, I also only knit with the brown for one row since I wanted it to look proportionally similar). I used the Hat Recipe and head sizing estimates in Knitting Rules! and managed to completely over-think the crown decreases both times. Dad's hat hides it better. Son's hat, not so much. I HATE the way my nephew's hat came out, but then I realized that I was making this for an extremely active child who has been known to feed caps to the family dog, so I figured it was fine and moved on...

...to one Pink Headband:

The careful observer would note that this is in fact crocheted. For whatever reason, when I tried to knit it, the increases looked super ugly, so I decided to practice my crochet. I started and ended with a crochet chain, then worked a few rows of single crochet (I think), increasing up, and the worked the body of the headband in double crochet (I think). Then finished with the single crochet again, decreasing down. I also crocheted around the headband to even out the stitches. I think it came out pretty cute and managed to use up all the leftover Lamb's Pride Bulky I used for my breast cancer scarf! Unfortunately, I heard recently that my niece is all about the purple these days, so I am hoping she'll still wear it.

Another stash buster was the Judy's Grandmother's Baby Sweater from Greetings from the Knit Cafe. Here's a picture of the back:

The ties wrap-around to the front and tie. It is out of Jaeger Baby Merino DK in the rosiest of pinks (217). It was GREAT yarn to work with, super squishy and soft. I made it with the intension that my newest niece could wear it this winter. Well, she grew too fast and it doesn't fit :-( Oh well, there will always be more babies, but it does make me sad that she won't get to use it.

Finally, I made one Hunter's Cap for my boss who just retired last week and bought his own herd of deer in Vermont. I don't encourage this activity, but the deer are going down whether he has a hand-knit hunting cap or not and this just seemed like an appropriate gift. Besides, the man has been more than generous with his support and encouragement over the nearly 6 years I have worked for him, so I felt it was due.

I made the hat with almost a full hank of Orange You Glad Lamb's Pride Bulky. This was purchased, as I did not happen to have a hank of safety orange yarn in my stash ;-) I used the Comfy Ribbed Hat pattern from the Knit Knack Kit and...it came out too small. I washed and blocked it out and it fit much better. (I used B's ginormous head as a model, since my boss also has a ginormous head.) He seemed to be genuinely tickled by the gift, which made me very happy!

All right people, that's all I got for now. I hope everyone has had a wonderful holiday no matter which one you celebrate(d). For those who celebrated Christmas, I leave you with one of Jenny's favorite new spots. That's right - under the chubby tree!

She's discovered that those bottom branches are mighty good back scratchers! I will share some more gift photos next time. Happy Holiday Recovery everyone!


Jennifer said...

I love the knits! What a cheery orange hat.

I'm glad you had a good Christmas.

Theresa said...

I can't believe you didn't have the safety orange in your stash? Really - what kind of stash operation are you running there?

The Stitchin' Sheep said...

All your gits went over well here. Really. The boy likes his hat (he'll never notice the decreases), and you're right about the possibility of a nasty fate for it in the end. He already found a way to snap the top of the "wig" you sent open and unknit a few rows. I'll have to fix that, which doesn't look fun with all that hairy yarn to dig through.

And, the headband was worn just yesterday. It's perfect, since we're trying to grow the bangs out long.

Dad loves his warm, cozy hat, too. Just what he needed since he fed the last one to that family dog you mentioned.

And, the baby sweater is really sweet. It's not your fault my husband is a monster and creates monstrous (albeit cute) children that are way bigger than their age would imply. She's a little over 3 1/2 months now and fits nicely into 6 month clothes with just a tiny bit of room to grow.

Thanks a lot for all the goodies!

Anonymous said...

Those are some lucky gift recipients!! and I agree, the holidays have gone by way too fast!! But we still have New Years to look forward to!

Rachel said...

Wow, great parade of FOs! I just love the complementary father-son hats -- I may have to file that idea away for someday. I have a skein of pink and a skein of gray Lamb's Pride burning a hole in my stash...it would make a great mother-daughter set.

Happy holiday recovery to you too!

Nonnahs said...

Congrats to you on all the holiday knits! The boss hat is so cute! I will picture it on said boss' head...hee hee... :)

Mercedes said...

PL retired! Really??? Deer in Vermont, really???? Just checking. I love your holiday knits. The hats are cool and the baby sweater is adorable. I actually want it and I don't even have a baby. Sorry it didn't fit
:( .Knitted a scarf for my grandmother and will post a photo soon. First attempt at a shape other than a square or rectangle. On Holiday now in Thailand. Will be blogging about it when I return in January. Probably will be back in SD in the fall. Miss ya'll.

amanda cathleen said...

so many great knits! That has to be *the* coolest baby sweater I have ever seen