November 29, 2009

Countdown to Christmas!

It's December 1st and I have a new pair of mittens, reminiscent of candy canes, to help celebrate the holiday season.

The pattern is Herringbone Mittens by Elli Stubenrauch (ravelry link here). I used Cascade 220 for mitts that could stand up to some wear and tear. The stranded colourwork means the resulting fabric is double thick so these should be nice and warm.

I have unusually small hands so I downsized the mitts by using 2.75 mm needles for the cuffs and 3.5 mm for the rest. The advantage of having small hands and feet is that it takes less time to knit mitts and socks, and saves on yarn!

I went to the park with my birdhouse ornament to take pictures, and happened upon a tree covered in decorations which I took advantage of for some photos. Thanks to whatever little elf trimmed the tree!

I hope we get some cold, snowy weather soon so I can make proper use of the mitts. Apparently it's going to be a mild winter though :(

Here's hoping for a white Christmas...

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November 13, 2009

Mystery Socks Revealed!

I finished my Mystery Socks last weekend!

Finishing these socks was not without drama and heaps of frustration. Everything was going fine at first. I finished my first sock quickly and without trouble. I knit most of the leg on the second sock and was almost ready to turn the heel. I decided to show off my remarkably quick progress to my husband.

My husband is a perfectionist. He admires and compliments my handiwork, but almost always finds some little thing and asks innocently something like ' there meant to be that hole there?'. This time however, it was not a little tiny mistake that he had noticed. Instead, I had forgotten an entire section at the beginning of my second sock.

This is what I was supposed to have, which I had managed to do the first time around:

And this is what I had on my second sock:

There was no way I was going to rip out all my hard work, I would sooner throw the entire thing in the garbage, so I had the bright idea that I would knit up the missing section and then undo the cast on edge and kitchener stitch the two together. Well, it looked terrible. If it had been all stockinette I would have been fine, but this just did not work. After much brooding and whining and lying in a heap I went for a walk (it was a beautiful day) which lifted my mood and I decided I would have to lose that section altogether. This meant undoing the first section on the first sock from the cast on edge so that they would match. If you've ever done that you know it is no easy task. The stitches don't just pull out easily and quickly as they do if you rip back from the other direction. After much tedium, I finally have a new pair of socks.

Here's the back:

And the side:

I vow to pay more attention to what I'm doing from now on!

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November 4, 2009

Lavalette - a fall shawl

I've got a new shawl for fall. It's Lavelette by Kirsten Kapur. So lovely and quick to knit too. Only took me 5 evenings (quick for me anyways).

I've been wearing it around my neck as a scarf but it would also be cozy around the shoulders while sitting and knitting.

I need to block it again, as you can see the edges are curling.

The pattern is available from Kirsten's blog, Through the Loops. It's free, but she suggests donating to Alzeimer's and dementia research (link provided on her blog) which I was happy to do.

I used Spud and Chloe Fine Sock (80% merino, 20% silk) which is squishy and springy (my two highly technical terms for describing yarn I like!).

Kirsten also designed the Mystery Socks I've been working on. I'm nearly finished and will post those soon.

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November 1, 2009

Handmade Holidays!

If you're looking for handmade gift ideas or inspiration for the holidays, head over to the Sew Mama Sew blog. November is a month of tutorials, recipes and gift ideas to get you in the holiday spirit. I really enjoyed the Scrap Buster Month in October, so I'll be checking the blog daily during November. Oh, and there's a chance to win a prize every day!

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