Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Gifts Unveiled

Well, by now the people getting them have opened their gifts which means I am free to show them off...

Glovember really must have inspired this year because once I got started on gloves, I couldn't stop!

The first pair were giving to my MIL. I converted a fingerless mitten (or "wrister") pattern to gloves. (And I'll repeat that I will be posting separately on how I did that.)

I first fell in love with the yarn of deep purples and reds; I had only the vaguest idea of what it would be used for when I bought it, but loved it enough to take it home. Beyond the colour, it knitted up beautifully. A yarn like that deserves a simple pattern so it can show off without any competition.

I decided on Laura's Ribbed Mitts by Carrie Barraco (Sorry it's a Ravelry download only as far as I can tell.) I liked the simple 6x2 rib pattern and the organic way the thumb gusset was formed.

But fingerless wouldn't do!! So I continued the thumb to full length and added fingers in stocking stitch. (I just kept the purl rib on the outside of the first and pinkie fingers. Just for something.)

The other modification I made, for those who are interested, is to stop the thumb increases early. The gusset and thumb were getting way too big, so I only increased to six stitches the second time instead of 12. I know, this only makes sense if you're working on the pattern, but there it is for those of you who are.
Project Stats
Started
: 14 Nov '10
Finished: 8 Dec '10
Pattern: Laura's Ribbed Mitts by Carrie Barraco
Materials: Fleece Artist Nyoni (wool, mohair, nylon, silk)
(<1 skein) $15.90
As with the Green Thumb gloves, I did the Kitchener stitch at the top of the fingers. It worked even better on the stocking stitch here than it did on the ribbed fingers of the Green Thumb pattern. But honestly, if you don't like doing Kitchener, I don't think it would be worth the extra trouble. (And I know there are plenty of you out there that hate to Kitchener.)

The gloves were a pleasure to knit and very good for hauling around.
Next, are the "trouble makers." Oh yes, I told you about them--they were the ones that went flying across the room. Well, I finally got them licked into shape (so to speak). They are modeled here by the recipient, my FIL:
I started with the fingerless pattern, Tony's Cashmere Scarf and Gloves by Christ Abbott (again, only available as a Ravelry download). I then added a half thumb, half fingers for pointer and index fingers, and then a single section for the ring and pinkie fingers.
They kind of look like they were made for an alien or one of Jim Henson's puppets, but it makes sense. Anything you need to do with your hands, you can do with your thumb and first two fingers. Pretty much. So why make the last two cold for no reason? And if they're together, they can keep each other warm. It's very cozy.

Project Stats
Started
: 9 Dec '10; Finished: 19 Dec '10
(not counting the numerous mis-starts)
Pattern: Tony's Cashmere Scarf and Gloves by Christ Abbott
Materials: madelinetosh tosh dk (terrarium), 1 skein $22.00
The main pattern of fisherman's rib is wonderful in gloves. It is stretchy to fit, but doesn't get stretched out. It's also very three dimensional which gives you some extra cushion between you and the cold world.

The wool is very nice. One of the new madelinetosh that Amy had at the Red Purl. It's machine washable--very important for "working" gloves. And the greens and browns are so lovely even Troy spontaneously commented how gorgeous the wool is. While being very manly, of course. The colour I mean, not Troy. Well, Troy's manly too, of course. Anyway, you know what I mean!

I worried some about the fit at first, but decided the stretch of the pattern would be sufficient to make up for any sizing problems.
And, indeed, the fit was fine.

In the end, I did use the Turkish (tubular) cast on for both gloves. The result was excellent and far too good for me to get out of doing it on other projects. I'm sure the more I do it, the easier it will get, right? Although I think the biggest obstacle may just be the ease of doing something familiar and habitual. And that is no reason not to do a different [better] method!!

And there you have my secret Christmas projects for this year. Well, except the one that I cast on yesterday. I might get it done on time since I have a week until I'm seeing the person it's for.

Now, I know that casting on a Christmas present on Christmas eve may seem an awful lot like a bad case of procrastination, but it's really not. I only started it because I had done so well on the rest of my gifts that I wasn't burned out. And I'm putting no pressure on myself to get it done. If I don't, I'll give the original gift I had ready. If I do, this person will get two gifts. So of course, that is nothing like procrastination. And what's a knitter to do when she is looking at the last four days of her five-day weekend with no new projects!?

In any case, it's time to sign off. Merry Christmas to all!

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