Saturday, 28 December 2013

Gift Wrap 2013 (Part 1)

The time has finally come where I can show off the knitted lovelies that I've been working on for the last few months.

First up is the Lonely Tree Shawl, made for (and modelled by) my mother.  Isn't she adorable?

It was lovely to knit.  I had a false start in that I knit quite a bit of it before realizing that it was coming out much too small and the fabric too stiff, so I ripped it out and started over with bigger needles.  It was totally worth it.  The second time around was much nicer.  I'll admit I had a tough time giving this one away, it looked really good on me!  I guess it looks good on my mom, too.  I guess.

Second is a double-knit piano scarf for my dad, the piano nerd.  

Double knitting is pretty fun, once you get the hang of it.  The way it works is that you are creating two layers of knitted fabric simultaneously so each side is the reverse of the other.  For each white stitch that I knitted, I purled a black stitch, and for each black stitch I knitted, I purled a white stitch.  I had to learn how to alternate between knitting and purling while holding two strands of yarn in one hand.  It was exactly as easy as it sounds to begin with (not easy), but like with anything, practice made perfect.  Well okay, if not perfect, practice made good enough.

Next is my take on a lumberjack hat for my brother.  

I wanted the look of the classic checkered plaid but couldn't find any existing patterns that were quite right, so I made this hat up as I went along.  I may write up the pattern yet but there wasn't much to it.  I can't take credit for the crown of the hat though, the envelope closure was suggested by a fellow knitter on Instagram, and it worked perfectly.  Another reason why social media is awesome!

The real fun of this hat though, is not the hat itself.  The hat was really only to go with the beard.

The beard part I did not design.  The beard was crocheted using this pattern and then sewn into the finished hat.  

If you have any friends, family, or loved ones that wish they could grow a beard (or insist on trying even though their genes and/or age are inadequate for the task), I highly recommend knitting or crocheting a beard for them.  It's great for two reasons:
  1. They get to (finally) have the awesome facial hair of their dreams.
  2. You don't have to look at their unsightly attempts in growing said facial hair.
After finishing up my gift knitting for the year, I began a gift for myself.  And then I finished it.  Truthfully, from start to finish it probably took between six and eight hours.  Apparently Malabrigo Rasta is amazing and I'm tempted to make all of next year's gifts from Rasta because it takes almost no time at all to knit.  All you need is two balls of Rasta and six hours and you end up with this:

A yummy, squishy, SUPER WARM seed stitch cowl to help block out the insanely cold winter we've been having, and are going to continue to have.  It can even double as a hood.

What's even better is that it makes me look shifty (as proven by the above picture) so it will help keep random people out of my business as well as keeping out the cold.  Bonus!

Stay tuned for parts 2 (and maybe 3)...

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