Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Knitting Frenzy!

 It occurred to me a few weeks ago that blogging was going to be tricky during the holiday knitting season.  Most of the people who I would knit for also read my blog, so I can't start mouthing off about my gift knitting.  I'll just have to leave it up to you over this next month to guess which things I'm knitting as gifts and which things will serve another purpose.  (And maybe I'll just throw in some lies to throw my family & friends off the scent!)

Anyway, the first picture of gorgeous gorgeousness is none other than the Honey Cowl.  It's simple and lovely, but gives a warm, squishy texture that will be very cozy this winter.  It's no wonder that this pattern already has 8366 projects listed on Ravelry.  My favorite thing about this pattern is that it it simple enough that you can use any type of yarn for it.  A plain color would look elegant with the simple slip-stitch pattern, and tonal & variegated colorways won't look too busy when paired with this pattern. Either way, it will be lovely.

I used two fingering yarns held together to approximate the dk yarn that the pattern calls for (I got gauge using a US #8 needle).  I used one skein of Cascade Heritage in plain red and held it with a Crazy Zauberball that contained reds, pinks & purples. 

The next thing I have underway is my little stuffed froggie.  This project starts with the arms & legs, so they are sitting around waiting for me to knit a body to attach them to.  So far I am really happy with how it's coming together.  I began a body, but decided I didn't love it, so I frogged it (har, har, knitting pun intended) and I'm going to try again.  This should be a fun pattern to release mid-winter or so!

What else?  I'm working on a second "Leap of Faith" along with my testers!  This one is made of Knit Picks Stroll Tonal, and I love how it's knitting up.  The colorway is less busy than the Zephyr Adorn Sock Yarn that I used on the original sample, so the cable detail pops a lot better.  I'm not sure if I'll finish this one with a zipper or if I'll do a different finishing technique on it.  Either way, I can't wait to steek it!  (It's addicting, people.  I'm just warning you right now - once you steek something, you'll look for every opportunity to convert your flat-knitted cardigan patterns to in-the-round just for the fun of chopping them down the middle!  - And because you'll love avoiding all those purl stitches!)

Finally, a gift picture, but this one is for my kids and they aren't interested in reading blogs yet.  (Especially knitting blogs, and especially their mother's knitting blog!  I mean, how boring would that be??)  My daughter has been begging for felted clogs for a few years now, but I've resisted due to living in a house with lots of wood floors, kids who like to run through the house despite me telling them to slow down, and the inherent clumsiness of the pre-teen crowd, combined with slippers that have slick sounded like a recipe for a trip to the emergency room for stitches.  But, both kids have matured a lot over the last year and I think I can now count on them to be old enough to wear their felted clogs responsibly enough to avoid bills from a plastic surgeon.  I believe this will make pairs #7 & #8, and I think I've just about got the pattern memorized.  This pair was the women's size medium (which will fit my 12-year-old son since we can now share shoes!) and each slipper took me about 3 hours to make.  I'm using Paton's worsted wool held double, which is what I've used on all my past pairs, and it felts beautifully!

By the way, using Paton's worsted this time has alerted me to the fact that their skeins contain 23 yards less than they did a few years ago.  I get it, Paton's can keep the price the same if you just give us a little less wool.  But it's really annoying to pick up a pattern that was written a few years ago and buy the number of balls that the pattern specifies, only to realize that you don't have enough yarn because the company changed the yardage.  I'd much rather just pay an extra 30 cents and have the right amount of yarn.  Who's with me?!

That's all the pretty pictures I have for you for now!  I hope you are getting lots of knitting done for the people on your holiday gift list!

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