Wednesday, January 02, 2008

FOs: El Beanie and Slingbag

Hi and Happy New Year! I hope you had a wonderful holiday season! Before I allow myself to present a 2007 recap/2008 commencement post, please humor me as I tie up some loose ends and blog a couple of gift knits. I can't leave these out!

First up: El Beanie. Made for B. (Substitute model below.) Believe it or not, this is the first thing I've ever knit for B. A fantastic choice of a first knitted gift though, if I do say so myself.

The knitty gritty:
Pattern: El Hatto Negro by Julia Trice
Yarn: Karabella Aurora 8 in 1148 black, 2 balls
Needles: US4 and US6

So you may be wondering why haven't I knit anything for B in all this time, and am I really that bad of a girlfriend? I'm sure I would have knit something for him sooner, if his wardrobe welcomed such a thing, but alas, he is not a big knitwear-wearer. *gasp* I know. Best I can come to justifying this is to say he's a SoCal boy. He doesn't wear sweaters (much to my chagrin, but I spin this as a blessing in disguise). He's not much of an accessory guy, knitted or otherwise. He does wear hats, although 99% of the time it's a baseball cap, except while he's snowboarding. I wanted to knit him something, so I decided to gamble and knit a beanie. I've had my eye on this very one for this very person for a while; this hat seemed just right. Simple and classic, yet stylish. There's definitely more than meets the eye with this pattern. The resulting hat is really cushy, soft, and warm. Perfecto! I wasn't sure if he would just hold onto it until the next snowboarding trip, or if he would actually wear it now. Well, I'm absolutely thrilled to report that he has been wearing it almost daily since Christmas morning!! Yay! Should I knit something else now, or will that be pushing it? ;)

Next up: Slingbag. Gifted to B's mom. I was her 'Secret Santa' :)

The knitty gritty:
Pattern: Felted Shoulder Bag by Klynch Designs for Mountain Colors
Yarn: Lion Wool in Midnight Blue Solid and Ocean Blues Print, 3 skeins of each
needles: US9

Oh, this bag. It was a labor of love. A giant bag to knit and felt, first of all- not my idea of the best time. However, I had a feeling B's mom would like this one, so it would be worth it. That's what I kept telling myself anyway. It took quite a bit of searching (as Dis can attest to), but I finally stumbled upon this pattern, which is exactly what I was looking for. Her everyday bag is very similar to this. I wasn't quite sure if I would actually finish this bag in time or like the way it looked when it was done, so I went in with a "well, I'll give it a shot, but I'll have a back up plan in place, just in case" attitude. I was happily surprised that the knitting went fairly quickly, and the variegated yarn kept me fairly entertained. Felting was interesting, but it turned out well, so the only thing left was sewing in the zipper. I don't want to complain too much, because I did get it done, and it looks halfway decent, but good lord. There's nothing fun about sewing in a 20 inch zipper into really thick felted fabric. I think that part may have taken the longest, actually. Won't be doing that again for a while. Okay, I'm done.

The wonderful news is that B's mom absolutely loves the bag. She called the other day to tell me that she took it out and got all sorts of compliments on it. Yay! I'm so thrilled, I can't even tell you.

Two knitted gifts for first time recipients, two success stories! Makes it all worthwhile, doesn't it?


Madge said...

Happy New Year! Hope you and B have a splendiferous 2008!

And yes, success stories make holiday gift giving totally worthwhile. I love both of yours. But...sewing a 20 inch zipper into a felt bag?! Ouch. Definitely a labor of love!

Kara said...

That is a perfect beanie for someone who doesn't wear knitwear...

Happy New Year!

Julia (MindofWinter) said...

Yay! I am so glad that you liked the El Hatto. It is super cushie, which gets lost because all you can see in a photo is a black hat. M wears his daily in the winter, so hopefully B will, too. It is definitely the most used knit in our house.

I'm so glad that your gift knitting worked out. I'm always biting my nails until the bitter end, so I understand your trepidation.

Happy 2008!

kat coyle said...

love the hat, i might have to make on too. and i'm with you on giant felted knits...not so fun. but sounds like it's a hit and that's good news. happy new year!

Rachel said...

Those both look wonderful! I could definitely tell from the picture that the hat was super cushy and warm. Great hat with which to hook in a non-knit-wearer. Sort of a gateway drug for knitwear. :)

The bag also came out really well -- I'm not at all surprised that it is adored by the recipient!

tentenknits said...

ahh love that hat!! it's perfection! and the bag came out fabu! Happy New Year, SFAM!!

knitzalot said...

I love the way that beanie turned out. It looks so...professional! Great job!

Lolly said...

Great looking gifts! I think that the hat really works - I am looking for a nice simple hat pattern for my guy, and this one works! I also like th felted bag. It's a cool shape. I am happy to hear that she loved it too ;)

Nasus said...

I'm glad to hear that mom loves the bag! And B definitely looked great in his el beanie :)

dee said...

gorgeous bag! And the hat will look great on B!

*K-Knit* said...

great hat

*K-Knit* said...

great hat