Archive for the ‘Knitting Christmas Gifts’ Category

missing last page 34 for the Interweave Knits article on shaping sleeve caps

As always November and December are proving to be very productive months for knitting. There is just something about Thanksgiving and Christmas that makes me want to just turn out project after project so that everyone on my list gets something handknit. I’ll reserve the photos until after the gift giving has taken place so that I don’t spoil any surprises.

For those who are visiting from Interweave, looking for missing Page 34 of the article on shaping sleeve caps. click to zoom, rt click to save and hope this helps

OK a tiny sneak peak with no names

 

 

I’ve just added two new luxury gifts for baby to the shop section. Both are hand knit from hand spun yarns.

The pure cashmere dress was inspired by an old Beehive Baby booklet that I used to use for knitting for my own little babies many years ago and the Cashmere and Merino Layette is an original design but was also originally inspired by one of those old booklets from the 60s and 70s. I even had a few of those little books when I was a kid. I use to knit baby things because they didn’t take a lot of yarn. It was fine and gave me lots of knitting pleasure for my dollar. I was always a little different… when other kids were saving up for toys I was saving for yarn and many times when they all went out to play I would sit in the family room and listen to records while I happily knit away at my latest project. As you can tell, these two designs brought back a lot of memories for me. I hope you like them too. Don’t worry about washing them by hand it’s so easy and I will send you full instructions. Each will make a wonderfull and very special gift that will be put away as an heirloom and passed down through the generations. As always please contact me if you have any questions or need any help.

I don’t know about you but I am almost as opposed to finishing as I am in love with knitting. It took a lot of self-control but I managed to put a face on “Hello Kitty” today for my sweetheart Alice. This is her dream hat for this year and she really appreciates the stuff I make her. What an amazing girl she is.

I used Beadwhore Knitting’s pattern and it was very helpful. I just adjusted the stitches to my gauge and cast on. I used coins to help me visualize the best placement for the face and outline stitched around them to show me where to go with my stitches. It is *hard* to embroider on knitting! Let me tell you.

My guys like a light weight but warm hat, one they can scrunch up and stick in their pocket but when they put it on it needs to keep them warm! The folded over “cuff” should not be too deep and when it’s folder over the hat sits just over the tip of the ears but when it’s pulled down against the cold it goes right over those ears completely. I might call a hat with this kind of fit a skull cap or beanie.

This little watch cap fits the bill perfectly. Having knit and ripped quite a few times before I got it right I can now present you with a pattern for a cap that’s super warm, “stuffs” nicely into your pocket and fits just right. I will make this pattern as a download, all pretty in a pdf with my lovely template and graphics soon but for now, so I don’t forget how I did it, I will write it out here. This one’s for Dan.

I used LUX by Buffalo Gold Premium Fibers (45% American Bison Down, 20% Cashmere, 20% Silk and 15% Tencel) and it was an excellent choice. I used it doubled to make it a fingering weight yarn but you can use any fingering weight as a single strand. A sock yarn would be perfect as long as you aren’t knitting for a sensitive bald head. The lux would be perfect for such a person as this as would many of my exotic luxury fiber hand spun yarns in fingering weight. If ordering from the handspun please let me know you are making the “Perfect Reversible Watch Cap” so I can spin it just right for this project.

I`ve chosen a few of my favorite handspun yarns for this project and put them on sale for you. Jan 2012.

Size: Adult Small (Medium, Large) Finished Measurements: 15 inches around and 8.5 (9, 9.5) inches in length

Gauge: 7.5 sts and 10.5 rows = 1 inch in stocking stitch (11 sts and 10.5 rows = 1 inch in K1, P1 rib)

You will need:

approximately 200 – 250 yards of fingering weight yarn. If using the LUX, as I have done, you will need 2 of the 40 gram skeins of 330 yarns each. The finished hat in size small weighs about 45 grams so you cannot get one out of a single skein. a 2.5mm circular knitting needle and a set of 4 or 5 in size 2.5 mm

Instructions: With single strand of fingering or double strand of lace yarn (Lux) and the circular needles cast on 156 stitches. Join in a circle and work around in K1, P1 rib until piece measures 6.5 (7, 7.5) inches.

Shape Crown: Row 1: Work 11, *Double Decrease (slip next 2 stitches together knitwise, knit the third stitch, pass the 2 slipped stitches over) Work 23.  Repeat from * around ending with work 12. 12 stitches decreased over 6 miters. (144 sts) This makes the nice mitre that looks good on both sides.

Row 2 and all even rows: Work even knitting the knits and purling the purls. (trust me, even when you knit 3 in a row it will resolve itself after the next decrease row) Row 3: Work 10, *Double Decrease over next 3 sts, work 21. Repeat from * around ending with work 11. (132 sts) Row 5: Work 9, *Double Decrease over next 3 sts, work 19. Repeat from * around ending with work 10. (120 sts).

Continue in this manner, decreasing 12 stitches every other round until there are only 12 sts remaining. Break yarn and thread through the remaining sts. Pull tight, secure and weave in your ends.

 

Loving this wonderful top I just purchased on Etsy from threewatersfarm !

I had recently signed up for a class on Craftsy Spinning Dyed Fibers on how to spin these wonderful tops and so, of course, I had to buy some. I got these 2 amazing colourways and a bar of homemade goat milk soap.

I got on the iPad and watched the class and practiced. It was my first time to try Navajo plying and I can’t believe how easy it is after I’ve been avoiding it for all these years!

I only have 4 ounces of each colourway so I started with a pair of mitts. I found the pattern on Ravelry, Cruiser by Cailyn Meyer. When the mitts were finished I still had quite a bit left but not enough for a hat so I made this headband to match the mitts (just made up the pattern as I went).

This set is for Libby and I gave it to her today. I really think she likes it a lot.

 

I’m making my Christmas presents and wanted to work with some cashmere so I thought this would be a nice little project that would work up fast and give the recipient some wonderful warmth and luxury this winter. It was really fast and such a treat to knit. This one’s for Bethy.

I love this cowl and it was so fast and easy, a perfect “knitting as meditation” project.

BLOCKING: I blocked it with wires and pins and Wow, what a difference. I really stretched it to it’s max when I blocked and probably wouldn’t have stretched it quite as wide now that I see it dry. I think I prefered the fabric with a little more bounce and a slightly tighter fit. But that is personal taste and it’s nice to have a choice. Different blocking choices can give you such different looks.

Pattern coming soon, check here to see if it’s out yet.

Yesterday while watching football I knit this little earflap cap to match the Alpaca Pullover .

Ill be writting it up as a pattern soon. let me know if you want to try the untested version and Ill email it to you if you ask before the retail version is ready.  Pattern for the Sweater is here

Fun and Fast to knit

 

I’ve decided on a couple of designs for Cowls. I’m going to do a simple one, just once around the neck with a little drape and simple elegant lace design. I have a couple of traditional all-over lace patterns in mind.  I handspun some of my Mongolian cashmere fiber for this one in a fingering weight. I was really happy with the way it knit up. it’s so soft and the drape is perfect for what I want. I’m thinking I will write out the pattern for this one and another one with the “old Shale” pattern on it. I think the same yarn would be perfect. Put them both in the same pattern and just have choice of stitch patterns with everything else being the same.

The Big Cozy Cowl will be very different. I am using the China Cashmere from my old business Handknitting.com. I have dyed it myself simply by sprinkling the dye powder randomly and baking it in the oven at 350 for 1 hour in a glass covered dish. The dye bath did exhaust itself and the colours look fantastic. this one is the bulky weight with 6.5mm needle. It will be 60 inches long and about 14 inches wide. The idea is to have it long enough to wrap around the neck x 3 with a little extra for styling. Very luscious and exotic in thick cashmere. Cast on 180 sts and join. work in garter st for 14 inches or desired width.

This is all I have so far because Ive tried so many patterns and different size needles etc. and had to rip it out about 5 times. I have settled on the pattern written above. Just the right melding of cozy, thickness, drape and attractive but simple allover pattern.

 

 

All thought of building a web site and products for sale are slipping into the background as I contemplate what I’m going to knit for my family for Christmas.

The socks are always a big hit and I will certainly be doing them this year but what else. Everyone has a couple of scarves, mitts or gloves and the kids all have hats scarves and mitts but I’m sure anyone could use more. I will perhaps do the big cowl for the ladies. I saw a couple on Ravelry. This is the free Burberry Inspired Cowl that I thought would be nice in Cashmere or in Merino and Silk bulky.

I also thought about bags. Felted bags but I don’t think I have time to make them now. Why do I always wait until October to do this?

I did spin some Merino and Nylon from Knit Picks last week. I put it into a glass dish and sprinkled 2 colours of gaywool dye on to the soaked skeins. I covered with a glass lid and baked at 325 – 350 for about 1 hour. the water was pretty clear and I didn’t get much bleeding into the rinse at all. the effect was pretty and I will definitely try this again and refine. I knit them into a pair of men’s socks but it took 150 grams instead of the usual 100 that I need of the commercially spun yarns. I think my yarns must be more compact.