Finally unveiled for your blog-reading pleasure are the Christmas gifts of 2007.
This is the first Christmas in ages that I've knit so many presents. It seems that my re-energised knitting (thanks largely to my late discovery of the knitting world on the web last April) has reminded my loved ones that they like knitted things.
The first request came from one of my nieces in Canada who wanted to know if I could possibly knit her some mittens, preferably blue. She didn't know why, but she had developed a sudden longing for some knitted mittens -- and if it wasn't tooo hard (she asked) could I possibly put the initials of her high school on the mittens. After a bit of research I selected NHM #7 from Selbuovotter - Biography of a Knitting Tradition (lovely book). I knit SMHS (her high school) into one palm and 2008 into the other (they are New Year mitts I decided).
When I completed these mitts I loved them - but I suddenly got worried that she might prefer some plain mittens. So I made these, very plain blue mittens (American mittens) from Folk Mittens as well.
Her sister hadn't asked for anything specific but when I saw this pirate mitten pattern I knew I had to make them for her.
My sister had requested some warm socks so I made her one pair of thick socks using Regia 6ply, a thin pair using Trekking XXL and just to amuse myself a lacey pair of ankle socks. The ankle socks are Hedera socks (but shorter) knit with Lucy Neatby Celestial Merino yarn. The fourth pair of socks -the very colourful stripes - went to the niece who got the skull mittens. I figured that although she generally just wears dark colours - who can resist colourful socks?
Quite pleased with this output I made some special labels for each of the gifts and shipped them off to Canada (with the famous Lyra).
The recipients were all very pleased, particularly my Mom -who reportedly teared up when she opened Lyra - and my niece who requested the blue mittens - she LOVES the selbuvotters.
Of course last Friday I decided to make a couple more gifts and began this hat and pair of mittens for S. The hat is a simple rib pattern knit in the round, and the mittens I just sort of made up as I went along. The yarn is cashmere from Posh Yarn and was a pleasure to knit with.
On Saturday I started the final gift - a cardigan for gorgeous goddaughter G. It's Tess from Kim Hargreaves Heartfelt collection. It was knit on 12mm needles using Rowan Big Wool.
It was a very quick knit, and was a good lesson in why blocking isn't just magic for large lace pieces. When I finished it I was less than impressed. My stitches were uneven and the bottom edging was a mess. A quick wash and a few hours drying time sorted both of those problems out. (A gigantic fan was very useful in speeding up the drying process, so the cardigan was dry when I wrapped it early Christmas morning.)
My decision to make the last minute gifts was a good one. S has been wearing her new hat CONSTANTLY for the past 3 days, and G immediately put on her cardigan (over her pyjamas) and wore it later that day to her grandmothers. It looks great on her and fit perfectly. In fact, it has proven popular with her mom as well. C has already borrowed it -- she wore it on her annual boxing day theatre trip with her family.
All of this has left me with a warm fuzzy feeling -- which is I guess what Christmas giving is all about. .... but I'm looking forward to some Soo knitting now!