Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone! I sincerely hope you were all able to enjoy a wonderful time with family and friends these last few days!
I’ve especially enjoyed the chance to spend some quality time with my sister, Hannah, and my littlest niece, Claire!
They live some distance away, but were able to come and stay for a few days over Thanksgiving, which has been a real treat! 😄We even got a chance to peruse the Christmas Tree Farm together…
Hannah, Claire, Mom, & an adorable little Christmas Tree!
… and celebrate Claire’s birthday with Cousin Vera and Aunt Annelies!
Happy Birthday, Claire!
Cousins play time! Vera and Claire are still just a tad too little to actually play together yet… but playing nicely close-by is totally awesome! 😉
I’m also incredibly grateful for being able to live my dream of designing, writing, and sharing my knitting patterns, and for the support you all have shown me! A sincere and heartfelt thank you to each and every one of you! 🙂
So how was your Thanksgiving? Did you get to spend some time with family? What are you grateful for?
I don’t know about you all, but I find that during the Christmas Season, knitting time comes at a high premium, making efficiency even more important.
All of my dear friends and family know that if I could, I would knit something fabulous, exciting, and huge for each and every one of them for Christmas!
But alas, in this imperfect world, reality sets in and I discover (and re-discover) that this is not likely to be possible for me…
So in the spirit of both efficient and reasonable Christmas knitting, I’d like to share with you all some lovely knitting & crochet patterns I’ve spotted recently that are quick, relatively easy, and make great gifts!
The Pony Tail Hat – a delightful and practical current trend …
The Messy Mom Bun Beanie, by Ashlea Konecny, is very popular, very cute, and super easy to crochet! All you need is a size H (5mm) hook, some worsted weight yarn, and few hours!
The By My Side Ribbed Ponytail Hat, by Michelle Moore is an absolutely adorable crocheted cap version with a cute brim and the perfect spot for a gorgeous statement button or pin. SO chic! You can just see the ponytail hole near the bottom edge in the back view pic…
Here are a couple of really unique options! The Cardiff Bay Ponytail Hat, by Beth Ann Beck has a enchanting touch of simple lace and cable. Knit up in a bulky weight yarn, it would be a quick knit with lots of interest, and would make an exciting gift!
Child’s Ponytail Hat
Child’s Ponytail Hat
Child’s Ponytail Hat
The Child’s Ponytail Hat, by Gail Tanquary, is a riot of color and texture! It would knit up very quickly in aran weight yarn. Plus, the pattern is a free download on Ravelry! The bonnet type styling, the highly textured accent yarn, and the use of the yarn ends as fringe are all so creative!
The Headband/Ear Warmer – perfect for keeping ears warm while rocking fabulous hair! A few that caught my eye…
The Headband with Cable, by Elaine Phillips is a lovely and practical version of this handy accessory; AND it’s a free pattern on Ravelry. I especially love the way that it’s knit wider than normal so that it’s double-layered for extra warmth!
And the Nordic Viking Headband, by Randi Hjelm Debes, is knit in a bulky weight yarn. The pattern comes in several different sizes for both children and adults and incorporates a fascinating herringbone stitch pattern.
The Fingerless/Half Finger Mitt – a classic necessity…
These Fast & Easy Fingerless Mitts by Lisa M. Beamer make a perfect gift knit! Available as a free Ravelry download, you can choose between the knit flat version or the circular version. They’re perfect for using up odd bits of yarn leftover from other projects since they only need about 50 grams in worsted weight yarn.
The Muckle Mitts, by Mary Jane Mucklestone are so charming! The perfect knit for one who loves color work and/or fair isle knitting, they’d make a wonderful gift for a loved one!
And for someone who wants a bit more of a challenge, the Urban Necessity Gloves, by Colleen Michele Meagher. Knit in worsted weight yarn, these sweet little mitts are half-finger gloves with a button down flip-top! I know many who would absolutely love to have a pair!
What about you? Are you knitting gifts for loved ones this Christmas? Do you have a favorite go-to item or pattern that you turn to for gift knitting? Feel free to share in the comments!
Wishing each and every one of you peace and joy and wellbeing in this Blessed Season, and throughout the New Year!
I was so thrilled when my mother-in-law, Phyllis, asked for a handknit sweater for Christmas! The important thing to understand here is that I was longing to knit something for someone who would actually wear it. My dear husband, you see, refuses to wear anything I knit for him ever since the unfortunate incident of the black-hat-with-the-red-angora-lining. And who could really blame him?! But that’s another story for another time. He saves me time and trouble though, by telling me up front, not to knit him anything because he won’t wear it, so at least there’s that. This then, is why the excitement was impossible to contain when Phyllis asked for a sweater!
[Yes, I do realize that we are currently in the month of March, and that this fact makes my Christmas gift to Phyllis about three months late. Fortunately, Phyllis is a fabulously gracious person who didn’t at all mind opening a half-knitted sweater on Christmas, and who waited very patiently while I finished it. ❤️]
Since she was actually visiting at the time, we got online immediately and went virtual shopping to pick out the perfect yarn and pattern together! What a good time we had! It was even better than “normal” shopping because we didn’t get worn out and stressed from walking and driving from store to store and dealing with crowds and traffic. 😊
Phyllis settled on the Cable Down Raglan by Stefanie Japel. She wanted a turquoise color, and the sweater was to be warm, but not too warm in order to layer in Virginia’s mostly moderate winter weather. We decided to go with a cotton yarn, and settled on Knit Pick’s Shine Worsted in Aquamarine.
Once the yarn arrived, I could hardly wait to cast on and start knitting! It was really hard to make myself knit gauge swatches, but I’m REALLY glad I did!
When one is knitting a garment, especially for someone else, (especially if that someone else does not live in the same house or even what could be called reasonably close by) it is vital to:
1) Take said person’s measurements with care, ahead of time; paying close attention to his/her preferences regarding ease…
2) Note and plan ahead for any alterations in fit that will be preferred… (for example, my mother-in-law wanted the sleeves on her sweater to be full length rather than 3/4. This necessitated planning ahead by ordering more yarn.)
3) Find and maintain the proper gauge…
4) At least one or more fittings along the way to ensure the garment will be a success!
The Cable-Down Raglan, as the name suggests, is worked from the top down, circular fashion, raglan style, and all in one piece.
I love the cables. I really enjoyed knitting them, and I still enjoy looking at them! You can see the sleeve stitches on hold and the rest of the body in progress.
I put my Grellow & Gray Sirka Counter to excellent use on this project! Would have lost my head for sure without it! At one point I was using all three hands to track three different sets of repeats! What a lifesaver!
This was my first experience with knitting a raglan sweater, and also my first experience with knitting a sweater in the round – all in one piece!
I really like the idea of knitting a garment in one piece. Of the entire ensemble flowing along smoothly in an orderly and aesthetically pleasing fashion. Of not having to go back and sew up seams afterward.
But I discovered, as I worked on the sleeves of the sweater, that it became very frustrating to deal with the bulk of the body of the sweater while knitting around and around each smaller sleeve. I had to adjust the entire body of the sweater in relation to the sleeve four times per round. It really slowed me down. In the future, I think I may try holding the body stitches and working the sleeves first since they are so much smaller and could be easily pinned in place to keep them out of the way while knitting the body.
There were a lot of ends to weave in, but that just goes with the territory! Aunt Peggy had made a gorgeous bracelet that went perfectly with the sweater!
As a final touch, I sewed in a special label…
Phyllis loves her sweater, and it makes me happy to see her so happy!
In this first month of the New Year, I am continually impressed with the excitement of new beginnings, and can’t help but feel that 2015 is going to be filled with adventure! Wishing each and every one of you fabulous discoveries and adventures this year, and success in every struggle you face!