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Monday, January 11, 2016

Christmas Gifts

So much for weekly posts!  With the craziness of the holiday season I had no time for any updates, but don't be fooled; I was knitting up a storm.  I really wanted to up my game on handmade gifts this year and I really did quite a bit.  My work schedule gets busier during the holidays so I try to be reasonable with my goals.

For one of my work friends I made a trio of felted crocheted bowls.  Of course, I forgot to take a picture of them so you'll just have to use your imagination.  They were an off white color and the bowls nested inside one another.  I loved them so much, Iv'e decided that I will eventually make a trio for myself.  For another work friend I made a candle cozy to fit a 3-wick candle from Bath & Body Works.  I used Lion Brand's Cotton-Ease in white.  The bottom base of the cozy was crocheted.  The cables were knit separately from the base and then sewn together.


I'm always nervous about anything I make without using a pattern but I think this turned out well.  I showed my mother the cozy right after I finished it and she immediately asked "Is that gonna get set on fire?"  Ugh!  Way to make me paranoid.  Here is your candle and cozy and a possible fire hazard?  I thought about it for awhile and came to the conclusion that it's safe.  It's well below the rim of the candle and if they use cotton for pot holders than it should be safe for a candle.  Either way, I gave my friend a warning with the gift.  

Next up, I knit some beautiful (if I do say so myself) Christmas balls.  I was going to use a pattern but  it called for fingering weight and all I had was worsted, so I cut down the pattern and designed my own color work graphs.  I took inspiration from the awesome book Knit Nordic by Eline Oftedal.  It's a great book that uses 4 traditional Norwegian sweater patterns to make 20 different accessories.  There is a great pattern for Christmas stockings that made it on my list of things to knit.  


These 4 beauties went to my mother-in-law.  I honestly was very tempted to keep them for myself so I decided that I will start making my own starting now so I can have them on my tree for the next Christmas.  Iv'e learned a little lesson in knitting these: you really have to stuff them until they are about to burst.  I've seen some people use styrofoam balls inside but I prefer the stuffing.  What ever floats your boat.  Maybe I'll write up a few free patterns of my original designs and share them throughout the year.  

I finished my little niece's chevron blanket just in time for Christmas.  It really is a beautiful blanket and it knit up easily.  I would definitely consider making one again.  With the cold weather finally making an appearance in New York, it will be put to good use.  (I hope!)  


Last but not least, my nephew requested a blue hat for Christmas.  Of course I couldn't say no.  I couldn't decide to make it dark blue or light blue so I decided both.  The hat is double knit so it's reversible and extra warm.  This was the first time I've ever done double knitting.  It really was quite easy.  It just goes to show you shouldn't be scared to try new techniques!  


I did make one more thing for Christmas but I never took a photo of it completed.  My husband has been begging me to make him another hat for awhile.  I finally went through my stash and picked out a squishy brown ball of yarn and knit away.  The first attempt was a fail.  It looked like a giant cupcake.  The second try was perfection!  I would tell you more but I intend to take some photos of said hat.  I liked it so much I made myself a matching one!

Next Christmas I will try to be more organized and start my gift projects in September!  It's such a relief to be done with it though.  Now it's time for selfish knitting.  No deadlines, no worry.  Just a cup of coffee or tea and some knitting needles and yarn.  Pure heaven.

If you're curious about my latest projects, check out my Instagram.  I've really become addicted to it and you'll probably see pics of my work before I get around to posting it here.  Happy knitting!!

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