Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Christmas was Accomplished!

I really, really enjoyed preparing for Christmas this year.  I had a huge amount of knitting mojo for the first time in years and all those close to me benefitted (I think that's the word) in one way or another.  Mostly I made hats, mitts and cowls but I tried to match up the design to the person. Judging by the reactions I seem to have got it right.

The Ladies' gifts
Generally, I used patterns from Ravelry with little or no changes and a range of Rowan yarns. Those to the left are Creative Worsted (green), Lima (maroon) and 100% Merino (Grey). The green is a little on the scratchy side and sheds as you knit it, but the colours are wonderful and I think will hold its shape and pattern very well.

The sockhead hat in the boys' collection followed the pattern but the other two were adapted. The grey hat uses Heather Kinne's Lined Beanie pattern, but instead of striping I used a textured stitch for the outside. I was very pleased with the result. It's a simple but ingenious pattern .  Maybe next time I'd use something with a bit more ribbing to make the fit a bit more snug, but I was reluctant to do that given that the inner layer is stocking stitch. Still, that could be ribbed too. I chose this pattern because the recipient spends a lot of time outside in the cold for his hobbies - it should get a lot of wear.

For the Boys
The other adaptation was to the cowl. This was based on Totally Biased ! by Susan Ashcroft. I used two colours of Debbie Bliss's Donegal Tweed Aran which were chosen because the recipient has happy memories of a maroon sweater with mustard flecks from when he was a child.  I loved working with this yarn and really enjoyed devising the striping sequence.

Details of all of these projects (and more) are in my Ravelry Projects.




Photo courtesy of Amazon

Santa was very good to me. I have a number of knitting books and, most exciting, a drop spindle spinning kit. I am beyond delighted with this and am just waiting for a few hours to myself to give it a go.  The kit contains a large wooden drop spindle and 200g of natural wool roving (50g each of Manx Loughtan, Merino, Jacob and Bluefaced Leicester Humbug). So, not only will I be able to try this new craft, but I'll get to see and feel the differences between the different fibres.  I am sooo looking forward to this.

So - onwards and upwards. 2014 is here and I am raring to go.  Apart from the spinning I am also planning to try dyeing some yarn. I'll post here when I have some results.

Happy New Year!