Happy 2010! Hope it's off to a good start for all of you. I've been back in London for a week and Christmas seems like forever ago. But before I can move the blog out of the noughties I need to catch you up on my Christmas knitting.
Christmas sneaking up on me meant that I hadn't actually started any Christmas knitting before December which allowed me to be creative in my knitting planning/timetable. Due to comings and goings of the recipients I needed my Mom's first (for the 25th), my niece's for the 27th, my sister's for a day or two after that and goddaughter Gen's for when I returned.
My plan was clear, start with Mom's and get most (or all) of it done before I got to NB. While there I could knit up my niece's and my sister's gift and then work on Gen's on the way back. Easy peasy.
Suffice to say that the knitting gods weren't working any miracles for me. In combination with changing schedules (my sister was now coming BEFORE Christmas) this meant my sister received a ball of wool and some buttons (with a note proclaiming them to be Magic Wool which if left with a friendly knitter woud become a Nantucket Jacket), my mom got a box with cardigan pieces and a promise that I'd seam them up soon. My niece and goddaughter fared better and both got completed gifts! WooHoo!
Ma's gift was the Katharine Hepburn cardigan (available as a free pattern from Knitting Daily) in Rowan 4ply Cashsoft (not Rowan pure wool as I mistakenly said last time!). I used smaller needles than called for -- 3.5mm for the body and about 10 skeins of Rowan 4ply Cashsoft for the middle size.
The pattern is clear and it's a pleasant knit. Simple 12 row repeat - relaxing with just enough going on to keep your interest. The yarn is gorgeoously soft and great to knit with. I seriously underestimated how long the cardigan would take to knit -- and had to resort to knitting it in front of my Mom to make any progress at all! (It was a desperate move - but proved that all knitting looks the same to non-knitters. I told her it was my sister's cardigan and she believed me!)
Mom seemed very happy with the gift which made it all worthwhile. (Apologies for the photo -- my fault for photographing it in a hurry just before I left!)
My sister's cardigan is the Nantucket Jacket from Interweave Knits (also in the Winter 2006 Interweave Knits magazine). Knit in Rowan Pure Wool Aran (just over 4 skeins) on 5 mm needles it was a quick knit. If I were to make it again I'd change the collar shaping. I haven't seen it on my sister yet so I can't declare it a success or failure - as I think the fit of this cardigan is key.
My niece Kali got a wrap which some of you will find familiar -- I made the same wrap last year for my goddaughter! It's based on the Aimee wrap in Kim Hargreaves Thrown Together collection. I realised today that the only photo I took of Kali's is this one - which shows off the label but doesn't do the wrap itself much justice.
It is 3 skeins of Kidsilk Haze knit double on 5.5mm needles. As a reminder here is a photo of Gen's so you can see what the wrap looks like unfolded!
The last knitted (oops crocheted) gift of 2009 was a Flourish scarf from Kim Hargreaves Heartfelt. It worked up quickly on a 9mm hook - especially as I didn't include the fiddly beads. I used 5 skeins of Kid Silk Haze (the pattern says 4) and it is the fluffiest thing ever. Perfect for a 15 year old in the coldest UK winter in 40 years I think!
Enough of 2009 -- I'm off to find some knitting projects for 2010. If I had learned any lessons from this Christmas of course I'd be starting on gifts for next year --- but I haven't!