Monday, December 14, 2009

Holiday Knits Continued

So, while I am still employed at the moment I am employed part time. The benefit of this? Holiday knitting deadlines aren't so scary after all. Hail the return of the gift scarf.

His and hers scarves. Well, They're only his and hers because one is for my dad and the other is for his wife I guess, other than that they're totally different. His is the genius 'why didn't I knit this sooner?' One Row Handspun Scarf by the Yarn Harlot in a lovely yet still manly brown Berroco Ultra Alpaca. Hers is the also genius 'why didn't I knit this sooner?' Feather and Fan Scarf in a classic but still feminine gray Berroco Vintage Wool. I had never knitted or even seen Feather and Fan in person before making this scarf. Now I know why it's so popular. Easy as pie and pretty enough to make something simple and good like Vintage look like a million bucks. I have a feeling I'll be knitting both of these as gifts again in the future.

Something not so classic, actually kind of quirky? That would be these.

Trebuchet Hot Water Bottle Cozies, and their accompanying water bottles. Definitely not the perfect gift for just anyone but trust me, I think the people who are getting these will like them just fine. One is my godmother, who is from England, and often exclaims "Oh how precious!" in her thick English accent at charming things such as nightgowns and teacups and things like this that remind her of her childhood there. The other person may or may not see this so I won't be specific, lets just say she appreciates things handmade and comforting. So I think they will both go over well. Both knit it Patons Basic Merino.

Another big holiday success these days? Ina's white chocolate bark.

She's the Contessa for a reason people. This is good stuff. Easy too. Melt some white chocolate, spread it out in a rectangle on parchment, press in chopped walnuts and dried apricots and dried cranberries. Festive and pretty, my photos don't do it justice but in person the fruits look like jewels on snow. And taste even better....

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

B5T5 Wrap Up and the Start of the Holiday Knits

The Bottom 5 Top 5 are finally done! Last one-

Pattern: Caricia by Anne Hanson at Knitspot
Yarn: Seduction by Blue Moon Fiber Arts
Needles: Size 5 Knitpicks Options

The small triangular shawl is quickly gaining popularity over the fingerless mitt for "Most Favored Knit Accessory in My Closet." I adore this item. What a shame that I passed this yarn over for (gasp) three years??? That's right, I purchased it at Stitches 2006. Ludicrous! And I love this shawl! It is silky and pretty and has the wow factor of no one can believe you actually MADE that yourself when they see it. Was it hard? I wouldn't say hard, lace does requires concentration though. Which is ok. When I'm parked on the sofa while there's football/hockey/another sporting event I'm really not that into on the TV, I don't mind having something to concentrate on. Plus, as I mentioned-LOVE IT. Thank you again Anne Hanson, have I knit all of your patterns yet? Ok no, but I think I've knit enough to officially make me a fan. A fan of Anne. Yup.

And since that sums up my Bottom 5 Top 5 experiment let me just take a minute to say- HUGE SUCCESS! I never thought I could take yarn I so strongly felt 'meh' about and make such cool things that I love so much. I love my B5T5 items! I think in a way because they were such surprises. I never intended to make a bulky weight Katia triangle shawlette. Never. But guess what-worn it like 10 times already. 10. Times. So my new theory-there are no bad yarns. Ahem, let me repeat that -THERE ARE NO BAD YARNS. There are only yarns in search of the perfect pattern. That is all. And with the power of the Ravelry, and a little time, every yarn can find it's way. Every yarn.

Boy for someone who took such a long break from blogging I seem very enthused don't I? Well, yeh, things have been a little rocky of late. My job situation has been somewhat rocky, but I'm still employed so that's a good thing. And I seem to be coming out of some horrible head cold misery this week so that was lousy, and then the holidays are upon us, yadda yadda yadda you know the drill. But the holidays-THE HOLIDAYS! I do have quite a bit of holiday knitting to share in some upcoming posts. But I don't want this to be an epic blog post so I'll just start with a glimpse at the smallest and the cutest ok?

Pattern: Mittens from the Knitters Book of Handy Patterns by Ann Budd
Yarn: Vanna's Choice (what's good enough for Vanna, is good enough for me)
Needles: Bamboo 7 dpns

My little niece in Florida asked for mittens for Christmas. I know what you're thinking, same thing I did-"But you live in Florida!" But I'm told there are some cold(er) mornings here and there, and sometimes my niece thinks her hands are cold, and ok, yeah, my guess is that these will probably be put to more "dress up" type use than "warmth providing" use. But when the cute niece asks, you know the aunt is going to knit them right? This pattern was interesting. Normally I love everything from this book but yeah, for some reason I ended up having to frog the complete top half and thumb of the first one I knit of these. The increase section is written a little unclearly and my first thumb was ridiculously short. It was an easy fix to rip back and just make the gusset shorter and the thumb shorter. And now they're perfect. And adorable. And just in time for Christmas.