Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Making is Over

One by one, I have gradually been crossing things off on my Christmas to-do list.  Today I reached a significant point in my holiday preparations by completing the last of the handmade gifts.  Since daughter, dear daughter is on the receiving end of one of those presents and sometimes reads my blog I can not share everything I’ve been working on but here is a sampling.

Ever since I gifted the first felted slippers back in 2006 I have received requests for at least a pair or two every year.  Knowing how much they are loved and appreciated, I am happy to oblige, even though the novelty of knitting them wore off long ago.  This year I had planned to make only two pairs, one for my sister, Anna-Marie, for her birthday and one on behalf of my sister, Alison, to gift to her daughter-in-law.  I think it was halfway through the third slipper that I decided to also knit a pair for my brother-in-law, Doug, for his birthday (we celebrate the winter birthdays in my family at a post-Christmas brunch so holiday gift-planning also includes several birthday presents).  I vaguely recall having a conversation with him about them and I’d recorded his shoe size in my knitting notebook so I am guessing that he had expressed an interest in owning a pair at some point.

So, that makes three pairs in all:

Knitting 2441

I still haven’t decided whether to gift them felted or unfelted—I’d hate to get the sizing wrong but it is nicer to receive a pair that you can slip on right away.

Once upon a time I used to be quite a seamstress but it’s rare these days that I use my machine for anything other than hemming or mending.  However, since Santa is bringing my granddaughter an Easy-Bake Oven, Jessica suggested that an apron might be a good gift for Morgan this year.  I found a really good tutorial online and had a lot of fun picking out coordinating fabrics.  It made up in no time and I love how it turned out.

Knitting 2442    

While I was sewing it I remembered a Christmas apron panel that I’d bought years ago when I used to work at a craft store and decided that it had sat in the fabric stash long enough.  Luckily, I had just the right amount of muslin to line it with and before I knew it I had another apron to gift, this time to my mother (who is actually the only person I know who regularly uses an apron).

Knitting 2439

You’ll notice that I’ve used our Christmas tree as a background for all of these projects.  If you look more closely you’ll see that the Christmas tree is completely bare of ornaments, even though it has been up since Sunday.  I am hoping to remedy that situation in the next day or two, now that the making is over and the shopping is almost done.  (We won’t dwell on the fact that I haven’t even begun the cards.)  Considering the jobs that still remain on my to-do list it is unlikely that I will be posting again before the big day so I’d like to extend a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of my blog readers and wish you nothing but good things in 2012.

P.S.  If you have the means, please try to make the holidays brighter for someone less fortunate.  Every year my ladies group adopts a family for Christmas from our local women’s shelter and we are going shopping for them tonight.  This is one of my favourite holiday traditions—it feels good to ease the family’s burden at this time of year and it always makes me feel even more grateful for all I have.

Monday, December 5, 2011


Now that Andrew’s birthday has come and gone I can share details and pictures of his super-secret birthday sweater.  Well, it wasn’t entirely secret.  Jessica knew which sweater I was knitting for him, she just didn’t know what colour it was going to be. 

I fell in love with Arshile months ago so when I saw the booklet in my LYS I immediately snatched it up and purchased yarn; an added bonus was discovering Abi, which by the way, despite numerous issues, turned out perfectly.

Knitting 2422

(One of these days I am going to have to get model shots of all my sweaters—the laid-out-flat-on-the-floor poses just don’t do them justice but it’s hard to take pictures of yourself!)

Back to Arshile…

I really loved the gansey-style textured stitches and I am a sucker for a hoodie.

Knitting 2427

The pattern called for knitting it flat and seaming but I couldn’t see why it couldn’t be knit in the round so I adjusted the pattern and cast on after taking off for Miami back in September.  It turned out to be perfect travel knitting—the pattern was straightforward and just mindless enough that I could knit and look out the airplane window at the same time.  I worked on it a bit on the way home but mostly I just slept.

It didn’t take long to finish once I got home and settled in. 

Knitting 2424 

Once blocked, all I had to do was wait for the big day…

With Andrew so mobile these days, it’s hard to get him to stand still for a picture but I managed a quick one.

November 2011 040

and then another.

November 2011 041

After that the photo shoot went downhill when I tried for one with the hood on and he proceeded to jersey himself in his effort to get it off.  However, I am happy to report that he has gone on to wear the sweater multiple times since without incident.