About Woolly Wits

I am a hand-knitting designer and teacher. See and purchase my published designs on Ravelry.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Coal for Christmas

The deadline for my next published design was pushed back a few weeks, so I was given an opportunity to do a little holiday gift knitting.  The beneficiaries of this are my nieces, who range in age from ten to twenty-three.

The strange thing is, I found a pattern in my knitting.  Everything was gray.  Charcoal gray.  As in, all naughty children get for Christmas is a stocking filled with coal.  I will leave it to their mothers to say whether they have been naughty or nice, but they are getting coal from me.

Brynn's set of hedgehogs were knit from Purl Soho's Knit Hedgehog free pattern. All were made from bits of stash yarn.  The pink was done with multiple strands of baby yarns, while the gray was some Lopi, leftover cowl yarn (more on that coming) and an unlabeled skein.  The pattern was very clear and very fun.  After finishing these three, I immediately cast on another to make a dog toy.

The hat with the row of shiny buttons is the Owl Hat for Big Heads by Linnea Delen, another free pattern. Maggie loved the owl mitts I made her from Mollie Makes last winter, so a hat to match seemed natural.  I did change up the pattern by working the ribbing on a needle two sizes smaller, as it appeared a little floppy in the pattern photos. That was a good decision, as even if the hat is a little large, the firmer rib will hold it on.  The yarn is a skein of Berroco Vintage Chunky that was in the stash.

Rachel's gift is a GAP-tastic cowl from Jen Geigley's super-popular pattern.  I was working on this for a while, because it served as my mindless knitting project when I needed a break from my own design work.  The yarn is an Italian boucle merino while I recycled from a thrift store.  I will usually only go to the effort of picking apart a sweater and ripping it all back for cashmere, but I really liked this yarn.  I used three strands held together to match the pattern gauge.  Many knitters I know have made shorter than the 15" called for in the pattern, but I really like the huge scale of the original, especially for a hip young thing.

The last present is for Ellie.  At least I think it is, because I like them so much I may keep them and knit her another pair.  They are simple but elegant, and a quick knit - the Nejiri wrist warmers by Yumiko Sakurai.  It's a nicely written pattern, but I did add a few tricks.  Before binding off for the thumb, I worked a kf&b on the last stitch, and then bound off the new back stitch over the first true bound off stitch.  This is more secure and stronger, since three strands of yarn are now bearing the stress of the opening.  When closing the thumb opening on the next row, I did another kf&b and bound off the new stitch over the first stitch across the gap for the same reasons.  The yarn is very vintage - BioSpun Wool from Creative.  The dye ran like crazy when I washed them to block, so I am veyr happy that I did not use it for color work.  It's a heavy dk weight, so I used two strands.  And, since I liked them so much, it's a good thing I have plenty more for a couple more sets.

So that leaves one more set of mitts, and one (possibly two) hedgehog dog toys to finish my holiday knitting.  Seems easy, except that the second set of mitts should be in the mail by Monday . . . .

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