Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Hail Mary Christmas Knitting

First things first: Happy New Year!  I can't believe it's been over a month since my last post.  Ok, maybe I can.  I'm sure a lot of you are tuning in since I included the blog link at the bottom of my Christmas letter this year.  I seemed to get a bunch of hits between Christmas and New Years, even though I didn't post anything.  Welcome.  I hope you don't get bored.

It's really purple, not blue.
It was a pretty good holiday around my house, fairly quiet, which is pretty nice.  The parents and I took off for my sister's house on the 23rd, something I came to regret.  In hindsight, I should've spent as little time as possible at my sister's house.  One thing the two of us do not share is my allergy to pine/fir/spruce trees.  It was like "Death by Christmas Tree" at her house.  Between the live tree in her living room and the fresh clippings all over her house, I was a wheezing, stuffy mess.  I wound up having to get a z-pack from my doctor to knock out the yuckies that resulted from her decorating.  If we weren't such good friends, I'd think she was trying to kill me!  I did work the week between Christmas and New Year.  I got a lot done, but not as much as I would've liked.  New Years was perfect: quiet, on the couch with my knitting, good cheese, a cocktail and my puppy.  Shortly after midnight, I had my first finished object of the year: a Norwegian Star fair-isle hat requested by my friend, Amy Acland.

The theme of this post, however, is the hail mary knitting I did leading up to Christmas.  I originally wasn't going to make anything for Christmas presents.  Too much stress, too much worry about it being appreciated.  I went back on this decision when I realized I had no idea what to get for my grandmother, my sister and my grandfather.

Emily holding the Emily by Emily
For my grandma, I made a capelet.  Normally, I don't like capelets or other such frivolities, but this one seemed perfect.  First of all, the pattern's name was "Emily."  How perfect!  That's my name, too (duh).  Not to mention: I was named after my grandmother.  Emily made an "Emily" for Emily.  Second, it was beautiful, with subtle but elegant lace, cables and picots.  Third, it gave me an opportunity to work with some beautiful Miss Babs Yowza yarn.  It came out beautifully, and I hope she wears it and enjoys it.

For my sister, I had a really hard time.  The only thing she really needs is a new car, and that's a little out of my hands.  She's pretty meticulous about her decorating and already has her house situated.  My brother in law is obsessed with diet and what the family eats, so food stuff is mostly out.  I decided to use some of the yarn I got in the Outer Banks and use it for a scarf for Trish.  It was a pale pink and tan and I used the "Twisted Ribbon" pattern using beads at the points where the "ribbons" crisscrossed.  I finished it shortly before midnight on Christmas and was able to put it under the tree.  I also got her some spices and rubs that she can use while cooking. What surprised me, though, was that she asked me to teach her how to knit while I was down there!  She bought some fun fur and worsted yarn along with a set of needles and made a scarf for her sister in law.  Now, I just have to teach her about what is quality fiber and what will melt if it gets too close to heat. (hint, fun fur falls into the second category)

He likes it!  So cute.
Grandpa was the hardest.  He's not one for scarves or mittens, and he's not really one for hats, either.  He has one cap that he always wears.  After much polling and advice seeking, I decided to make him a cap, much like the one he has, out of yarn.  It is a newsboy type cap, with cables and a little brim.  I was able to whip it out in one evening on the 21st.  I was a little worried it'd be too feminine, but realized that throwing in a stitch to attach the front of the hat to the brim would do just the trick.  He really liked it.  I also tossed in a gift card to Red Robin because I know he loves their bottomless root beer floats.

I don't know if I'm going to knit for Christmas next year.  If I do, I'm going to start a lot earlier, like tomorrow.

Right now, I'm working on socks.  I have so much sock yarn and I really want to make a dent in my stash.  Also, right before Christmas, my cousin's son came up to me and asked when I was going to make him something.  When a 3.5 year old sits on your lap and asks you to knit him something, it's really hard to say no.  He suggested a scarf, but I reminded him that I made one for him last year.  We agreed on hat and mittens - a set for him in his favorite color, purple, and another for his twin in yellow.  I've finished the hats using the Nottingham pattern in Bernat satin.  I've made one pair of really simple mittens, complete with string, and am halfway through the second.  I can't wait to drop those off!

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