Wrap Up

I know I’m a tad overdue for this Holiday gifting wrap-up post – and several of you have reminded me that I’m more than a tad overdue for a post of any kind.  Let’s just say that the period from Thanksgiving to the first week of January can be summed up like this: travel, down with a cold, working my tush off to make up for a week off work and projected two weeks vacation (there’s no sick or holiday pay in the land of the self-employed), down with a cold, travel, down with a cold, desperate attempt to play catch-up (again).  Sigh.

When I caught the third cold, Husband demanded I go see the doctor just to make sure it wasn’t something more serious.  It was confirmed that nope, I had the most rotten of luck and a significantly weakened immune system.  Folks, these colds weren’t like the ones documented in previous years, where I could bang out a sweater between sniffles.  I was down.  There was very little energy for knitting.

It’s a darn good thing that the gift crafting was ahead of schedule this year.  Also, that I had a healthy stash of my Etsy inventory all ready to ship when the orders came in.  Yay for forward planner me!

So what was in the gift pile this year?

My aunt requested a pair of fingerless mitts to keep her fingers warm while reading in bed.  Since the request came in a full year in advance, her project was the first off the queue and into the gift pile.


These were a delightful combination of easy, interesting, and quick.  There were several knitters who mentioned that the one-size-fits-most sizing on this pattern is too small for average hands.  I found this to be the case as well, so I added a few stitches across the palm.  This worked out beautifully, and I even have enough yarn left over to either make another pair of mitts or a pair of socks for myself.

For the Knitters:

Next up was a small bookmark project for my niece to accompany an illustrated women-in-science book I think she will enjoy.  I typically don’t gift books to my niece, because a) she is exceptionally knit-worthy and I am the only knitter in the family at this time; and b) we have another aunt who is a retired librarian and excellent at choosing the perfect book for each of us.  But this time I was reasonably confident that my aunt and I wouldn’t be duplicating efforts.


This little lace beauty is actually crochet, instead of knit.  It’s the perfect pattern for a little bit of luxurious yarn.  Just like with knitted lace, take the time to block it properly.  Even with crochet, the lace looks like a garbled mess until blocked to shape.

For the Crocheters:

Next on the gift pile were a couple of knitting projects for the newest member of our extended family.  My new nephew was born just before Christmas.  Which caused me to think about making a birthday/welcome to the world present and a first Christmas present as well.

This blanket pattern has been in my favorites for years, just waiting for the right recipient.  It looks super complicated – and yes, there are cabled stitches involved – but the pattern was so easy to follow and I found myself doing the “just one more row” thing when I worked on it.  Definitely a sign of a happy knit.  The pattern is not sized for a baby blanket, but the number of chart repeats is easily adjusted to make a smaller size.


For the Knitters:

I also worked up this cute little gramps-style baby cardigan.  I can’t resist seeing little baby boys dressed up in classic adult-style sweaters.  It just puts a huge grin on my face when I think of my nephew wearing it over the next few winters.  It might be a bit on the big side for a newborn, but I’m hoping that means it will also still fit next winter.


The stitch and yarn used in this pattern are really stretchy to accommodate him filling out over the next year.  I also knit an extra inch or so into the length, because if he’s anything like his sister and cousin he’ll be a little on the tall side.  The only other modification was a change in gauge – from the worsted weight yarn called for in the pattern to the fingering weight I chose to use.  He lives in a warmer climate, so a worsted weight would generally be too heavy.

For the Knitters:

My biggest gift project of the year was also a request from the holiday season the year before.  Son had watched my progress with finishing the crochet bulldog toy for Husband and thought it was pretty cool.  I casually mentioned that there was a dragon pattern by the same designer.  He’s got a thing for dragons, so he asked if I would make it for him.  Of course I will!

IMG_20161231_141230_clr_sm IMG_20161231_141140_clr_sm

Friends, if you are embarking on one of these Heidi Bears projects, take a bit of advice.  Plan ahead.  Far ahead.  Each of those motifs is individually crochet, then attached to the ones next to it in a very particular order.  These are very large projects – the bulldog contains 58 motifs, the dragon contains 128 motifs.  I budgeted 30 minutes to make each motif and another 30 minutes/motif to attach them together.  It took months.  There was a spreadsheet to make sure I stayed on target.  Yes, I am still sane and Son was properly appreciative.  Whew!

For the Crocheters:

Previously mentioned, Husband asked for a colorwork hat that represents his interests.  I really stepped well outside of my comfort zone for this one.  I am neither confident in colorwork, nor in the design of a colorwork pattern for Husband’s 24″ head.  I drafted a simple chart option, he approved of the draft and the idea of an overall scattering of the motif across the hat, he picked the final colors, and I worked out the draft pattern that I used to knit the hat.

IMG_20161214_102248_clr_sm IMG_20161229_212851_clr_trm_sm

The whole time I was terrified that I was pulling the floats too tightly, or not tightly enough, or the circumference wasn’t going to be big enough.  The end product is squarely in the “amateur” zone.  The design and pattern was fine, but my concern over the float tensioning was justified.  I need a lot more colorwork knitting practice.  However, it fits and he loves it.  Which is cause for celebration.

For the Knitters:

  • Pattern: my own
  • Yarn: Loops & Threads Woolike
  • Ravelry Project Page: here

For the last gift project, I knit a simple short cowl for my knitting group’s annual gift swap.  This became my purse and evening knitting for the stretch of aforementioned working my tush off between being sick and going on vacation.


This textured cowl turned out very well, even in a variegated yarn.  I have plans to work it up again in a solid color yarn, with some matching fingerless mitts.  Stay tuned.

For the Knitters:

  • Pattern: my own
  • Yarn: Manos del Uruguay Alegria, colorway 8106 Botanico A
  • Ravelry Project Page: here

Whew!  That’s a lot more crafting than I thought was on the list when I sat down to write this blog post.  No wonder I have an overwhelming urge to knit all of the selfish items in my queue.  2017 may be the year for selfish knitting – at this moment, the holiday gift queue is empty.  Wonder how long it will stay that way?

This entry was posted in Knitting and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.