Oh dear! Several weeks have zoomed by in a wave of childhood illnesses. Think we’ve had as many this year so far as there have been weeks since the fireworks of New Year. Which isn’t to say there hasn’t been knitting. Uh uh, not so. In fact there’s been quite a bit of knitting. I’ll start with those Christmas presents I was never going to knit.
I decided in August that I wasn’t going to do any Christmas knitting. August 2012. The pressure of a deadline with a knitting project doesn’t work well for me, and there are only a few select people who qualify for a hand knit. The qualification criterion is simple: expressing sufficient appreciation for my hand knit items to make me believe the gift would be appreciated. To be clear, this still doesn’t mean you’ll get a knitted Christmas present. Tough luck, sorry.
Then as Christmas approaches and I read all the blogs with beautiful hand knits ready for all loved ones I begin to think I’ve made a bad decision. That’s when I cast on a couple of projects ready to have some special presents to give. To give late.
Of course, there are good reasons. The first present I planned to have ready for Christmas was the jumper for Ben that has been on the needles for a couple of months. It would have been done quickly except for the other projects that snuck up and enticed me away from it for short while. And all that beautiful yarn I had for my birthday which I just had to treat myself to start knitting with. Then there was my friend with the cold head and the sore back who really likes her new hat so that was very much worth it.
By Christmas the body had been blocked.
Then the sleeves, then sewn up. And the day it was finished (the 9th of January) the present Ben had ordered for me (a ball winder -yay!) arrived, so that seemed kind of right in the end anyway. He likes it more like it looks, and it looks better in real life than here. At least, I think he does. Which is to say, I hope he does. And he specifically requested really long sleeves. Hand knit and own design. Tick. I think.
The other hand knit Christmas qualifier was a very good friend who has started doing a bit more cycling for a new job, and who definitely shows appreciation for hand knits. Even late ones. For her, it was a pattern called Encircle using some hand dyed yarn for my local yarn store (haven’t tried hand dyeing yet, but one day soon I hope). This is a really clever pattern where you knit the band in the round before picking up stitches along its edge. The band seemed to take ages but then gives a nice snug and stable edging and the rest of the hat seems to grow really quickly. Had to do quite a bit of calculating to ensure it came out the right size because the yarn had quite a high silk content and I knew from swatching (hard lesson paid off) that it would grow in the wash. It was very pleasing to find when I finally got to give it, that it fits just as I’d hoped it would and I think it looks great on Sarah. Only got a photo of it on a bowl. She is much prettier.