Christmas 2013: Yellow and Gray

Xmas yellow and gray pile

For some reason, all of the gifts I knit for my family for Christmas this year ended up being yellow and/or gray.

Xmas yellow and gray lineup

I’ve written about some of these already, but they are (from left to right), From Dusk Till Dawn Shawlette, Cassiope, Clockwork, Sea Leaves, and Orchid Thief.

Xmas yellow and gray stack closeup

And here are just a few more random pictures…

Xmas yellow and gray fan 2

Xmas yellow and gray stack

Xmas yellow and gray stack

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Aran Tree Skirt

Aran tree skirt detail

Pattern: Aran Tree Skirt by Teva Durham (ravlink) from Handknit Holidays: Knitting Year-Round for Christmas, Hanukkah, and Winter Solstice
Yarn: 1944 yds Knit Picks Bare – Peruvian Highland Wool Bulky Weight; 325 yds Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Bulky in Silver
Needles: US 15
Size: 55″ diameter
Started: 08.25.2013
Finished: 11.24.2013

Aran tree skirt: buttoned

What can I say about this one? I got Handknit Holidays for Christmas pretty soon after I started knitting and wanted to make it for my mom, who seriously decorates for Christmas every year. I finally decided to go ahead and do it this year. It took about three months of me working pretty consistently on it to finish it up. Knitting on US 15s with bulky yarn held double while also doing intarsia for the braided trim wasn’t the absolute most enjoyable thing in the world, but I did enjoy the ridiculous number of different cables that are part of the pattern. I made a few changes to the version I had and I love how it came out.

Aran tree skirt: big cable

As far as changes, I followed the lead of a few of the projects on Ravelry and knit the full 3/2 cable at the end of row 27 instead of doing a short row in the middle of it. Also, as other folks have mentioned, I did a back cable instead of a front cable on sts 14-19 on row 1.

Aran tree skirt

To get as much of a complete circle as possible, I knit 11 full repeats and 38 rows of a 12th. I bound off purlwise, and blocked the skirt lightly just to open it up a little bit. I pinned the center and then worked my way out, spraying the tree skirt with water as I went.

Aran tree skirt: Santa button

I did not do the braided cable up the sides of the tree skirt. Instead, I did a plain crochet chain to clean it up a bit and make buttonholes. I used six cream-colored buttons on the main part of the skirt and a Santa Claus button to close off the trim. (I had a pretty classy, shiny, medium gray button that I was also considering for the final button, but decided to go with something more cutesy.)

Aran tree skirt: cable and trim

Check out that intarsia!

My Ravelry entry is littered with a ton more pictures, including progress shots that I took after each wedge I completed. I was pretty obsessed about this as I knit it, which was probably a good thing, since I wanted to have it finished (including blocking it, having it actually dry, and buttons sewn on) in time to give it to my mom when I saw her on Thanksgiving so that it could be out for as much of the season as possible. I’m happy to say that I made that deadline and my mom loved it.

Aran tree skirt - no buttons

This tree skirt is by far the most impressive thing I’ve knit so far. After spending three months with it, it feels a bit odd not to have it to work on anymore. I’m trying to substitute some blanket knitting, but it isn’t the same. This may be the first thing I actually miss working on.

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Canephora Socks

Canephora Socks

Pattern: Canephora by Emma Welford (ravlink)
Yarn: 300 yds Gynx Yarns Strong Sock in Cafe
Needles: 2.75mm; 2.25mm for heels and toes
Size: US women’s size 8
Started: 11.23.2013
Finished: 11.29.2013

Canephora Socks

In a fit of pattern and yarn buying, I joined two pattern/yarn clubs. The first, Pantonal: A Yarn and Pattern Club by Gynx Yarns & Emma Welford, started up in October. Canephora is the second in three patterns that have come with the club. I knit them up in the yarn provided, Gynx Yarns Strong Sock in Cafe, and I’m pretty much in love with them. I really like how the twisted cable panel curves along the side of the foot. I followed the pattern to the letter, aside from knitting the largest size even though my feet measure the middle size (I’m a tight knitter). These socks have made me want to knit more socks, so I’ve actually already cast on for a new pair already.

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Jaywalkers

jaywalkers

Pattern: Jaywalkers by Grumperina (ravlink)
Yarn: 312 yds Rainy Days & Wooly Dogs Strychnine – Gothsock in Winterberry
Needles: 2.75mm; 2.25mm for  toe
Size: US women’s size 8
Started: 11.13.2013
Finished: 11.17.2013

jaywalkers

Basically followed the pattern for these. I cast on 68 sts and changed the double decreases to sl 1, k2tog, psso. These are going to be tons of fun to wear over the holidays. I can’t wait!

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Orchid Thief

orchid thief

Pattern: Orchid Theif by Ysolda Teague (ravlink)
Yarn: ~411 yds Tempted Hand Painted Prissy Grrl Sock in Moonlight
Needles: US 6; US 8 for bind off
Started: 11.07.2013
Finished: 11.12.2013

orchid thief

Another pretty quick knit for Christmas. This is for my grandmother and I think she’ll like it. The yarn is really soft and had far better stitch definition than I thought it would by looking at it in the hank.

orchid thief

A lot of folks had problems with this pattern, but I purchased it directly from Ysolda, so everything was correct as far as I could tell. I know people also had issues with running out of yarn, but I am a pretty tight knitter, so I was OK.

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Cowboy Cowl

cowboy cowl

Pattern: Cowboy Cowl by Pam Powers
Yarn: ~389 yds Dream in Color Classy with Cashmere in Emerald Darkness
Needles: US 8
Started: 10.25.2013
Finished: 11.10.2013

cowboy cowl

This was a pretty straightforward knit. I think that if I were to make it again I’d go down a couple of needle sizes on the cowl part, since it’s quite a bit baggier and drapier than I prefer. I do like the long section in front, especially now that it’s colder out.

cowboycowl-8

The pattern called for five buttons, but I only had four of these cute wooden buttons (left over from my Tilted Duster), so I just went with them. I also have to say that my crochet chain/buttonholes didn’t come out half bad. Maybe one day I’ll actually work on learning crochet properly.

cowboy cowl

 

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What I’m wearing…

The temperature has finally dropped here in Chicago, so that means wearing tons of knitwear!

First up is Gretel, the second. I lost my first one and just had to knit a replacement. In the same yarn. I did knit one fewer repeat on this second version, which I still sometimes regret, but it is by far my most-worn hat during the colder months.
Gretel

I’m also wearing my Color Craving shawl, which I clearly still do not have FO pictures of. Whoops! It’s incredibly cozy (and I sometimes end up wearing it around my shoulders when I’m at home, too), but I’m not sure the best way to wear it. Right now, I’m folding it double, putting it around my neck, and then pulling the two ends of the shawl through the loop on the other side. It’s very warm and squishy and I’m very glad I knit it.
Color Craving detail

I was also finally able to wear the 2013 mittens I made out of my handspun. The thumbs are a bit snug, but the mittens fit my smallish hands just fine. I’d definitely go up a needle size (or two) if I were to make something similar for someone else.
2013 squirrel mittens

And last but not least, we have my BFF Socks. I knit them as part of a second sock syndrome swap back in 2007 and they’re still in great shape. The second sock for this pair was only the fourth sock I ever knit in sock yarn. Woot! I am thrilled that it’s finally warm enough for me to wear my handknit socks.

BFF socks

I have apparently never taken a picture of the finished pair of these socks. I should do that!

So, I guess there you have it. I might do these “what I’m wearing” posts once a month or so, since there are a lot of knits that I wear that I don’t really take the time to think about often.

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From Dusk Till Dawn Shawlette

dusktilldawn-3Pattern: From Dusk Till Dawn Shawlette/Scarf by Tetiana Otruta (ravlink)
Yarn: ~429 yds Numma Numma The Usual in Griddle Grits
Needles: US 6
Started: October 6, 2013
Finished: October 18, 2013

A pretty straightforward little shawl. I’m not 100% sure the stitch counts/chart were right on a few rows, but that may just have been me. The only change I made was to knit one fewer repeat of charts B and F and one more repeat of charts C and E.

dusktilldawn-7I wasn’t sure I liked this as I was getting to the end of this and was actually worried I’d have to knit a replacement, since this was destined to be a Christmas gift. Luckily, a good, hard blocking really opened this up and I like the stripes that come and go. I’m happy to have gotten another Christmas gift off of my to-knit list already.

From Dusk Till Dawn Shawlette

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Weekend Yarn Winding

wound_20131019-5

After finishing up the Dusk Till Dawn Shawlette yesterday (FO post to come!) and having some time to myself after going to the really, really great Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry today, I decided to wind some yarn for the next few things I’m planning to knit.

Dream in Color Classy with Cashmere

First up is some vacation knitting: two skeins of Dream in Color Classy with Cashmere to make the Cowboy Cowl by Pam Powers. I’ve liked this pattern for a long time and I think it’ll look pretty and autumnal in this yarn. Plus, the cashmere should make it a nice piece to have next to my skin. I’ll eventually start angsting over what buttons to use for the back, but that’s at least two weeks off.

wound_20131019-4

The gray yarn at the top of this stack is Tempted Hand Painted Prissy Grrl Sock in Moonlight. I’m pretty sure I’m going to make my grandmother Orchid Thief for Christmas, and this light gray should be a nice, classy, simple yarn. It is 437 yds, so that should be more than enough, especially considering I’m a pretty tight knitter. I had initially planned on using String Theory Hand Dyed Yarn Caper Sock in Pewter, but it’s only a 400-yard skein. I’m still going back and forth on this one, especially since the Caper Sock is a far rounder, bouncier yarn, which should make the pattern pop a lot more. Decisions, decisions…

Next up is a “One of a Kind” skein of Madelinetosh Tosh Sock that I bought at Stitches in August to make Dalice the Dorothy Day Shawl. Since the initial pattern was pretty large and made in worsted weight yarn (and knit on US 10s), I’m moving it down to a fingering weight yarn and knitting more of a shawlette. I’ll probably knit it on US 5, so the 420 yds I have should be more than enough. I am going to cast this on tonight so that it can be my travel project until I go on vacation.

And last but not least is Rainy Days & Wooly Dogs Strychnine – Gothsock in Winterberry from the December 2010 GothSocks Club. I pulled this one out randomly because, well, Christmas is coming and this is just a fun-looking yarn. I don’t have a specific plan other than making myself a pair of socks, probably something Jaywalker-ish to play with the striping. I’ll be tossing it in my suitcase next week, even though there is almost no chance I’ll have the cowboy cowl done before I get home. Haha!

Isabel and yarn cakes

Cats and yarn forever!

That’s about all for now. I should have an FO post up in the next few days and, hopefully, another one for my Color Craving shawl done soon, too. The days are getting shorter so it’s difficult to get shots in decent light, but perhaps I’ll get some Color Craving beauty shots done tomorrow. Here’s hoping!

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Christmas knitting has begun

I have a decent-sized list of things that I’ll be knitting for Christmas gifts this year. I don’t think my family really checks this site, but just in case, I’ll be vague in the cases where I think I may need to be…

  • something for my sister-in-law (done)
  • a shawl for my aunt (done; see below)
  • a shawl for my grandma (have yarn and pattern)
  • a shawl for my mom’s cousin (working on it)
  • something for my mom (underway…just over halfway done)
  • something for my brother (have a few patterns picked out)
  • Dorothy Day Shawl for Dalice (have the yarn)

Not a ton, but definitely enough to keep me pretty busy. I’m glad I have two things done already. Speaking of which…

Sea Leaves Shawl

Pattern: Sea Leaves by Sue Schreuder (free pattern on Ravelry)
Yarn: ~584 yds The Sanguine Gryphon Eidos in Phaedo
Needles: US 6
Started: September 22, 2013
Finished: October 6, 2013

This pattern was pretty straightforward. I think the incr3 on each edge made for a bit of a tight top edge for me. There’s also a bit of wonkiness in the plain section, but I wonder if that’s because I went with the stockinette instead of the garter. Hmm… The only other change I made was to repeat the leaf lace pattern three times instead of two. I did end up using about 40 percent (~164 yds) of a second skein in order to make it larger, just FYI. I used Jeny’s Super Stretchy Bind-Off as recommended.

Blocking

As for the yarn, Eidos really isn’t my favorite. It’s pretty tightly spun, which would probably be great for socks, but it feels rough on my hands. Not a ton of fun to knit with. I also used it to make my Trillian (Ravelry), and it’s just not my favorite thing. I do have one more skein (in a rather fantastic bright green-y yellow), but probably wouldn’t get any more.

I know these pictures aren’t the greatest, but it’s getting to be that time of year. Maybe I’ll wait for the weekend for my next FOs.

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