Tag Archives: holiday crafting

Frantic Holiday Crafting Update

YOP3 sheep

On December 1, I set a goal of finishing a project every other day in December.  With just a few days to go, I’m happy to say that I did pretty well.

First off, I finished three secret for future publication.  (You can read vague details on my Ravelry project pages here, here, and here.)  I can’t show pictures of the finished projects, but I can share the yummy yarns that I used.

Yarn collage

All of these were new-to-me yarns, and I really enjoyed discovering each one!  On the left is Imperial Yarns Columbia, which is a great workhorse yarn, but with a bit more softness than you would expect for a sturdy, worsted weight, wool.  In the center is Rowan Big Wool, which has a delightful feel as well, and it works up very quickly since it’s a super bulky yarn.  And on the right is Valley Yarns Valley Superwash.  The colors in real life are much richer than what you see on the screen.

And then there are the projects I already shared on the blog, a crescent shawl I made for my sister with Mountain Colors Twizzle, which has stunning colors and a scrumptiously soft feel (thanks to the silk content); the plain, ribbed hat I knit for MC using Studio Donegal Soft Donegal; and the brimmed hat I crocheted for my friend using Patons Shetland Chunky.

I did manage two other finishes in December.  Both were inadequately photographed in the holiday rush.  The first was a lap blanket for my grandpa, crocheted with two strands of what Ravelry calls “vintage” Bernat Softee Chunky that I bought at the famous Smiley’s Manhattan yarn sale.

Grandpa lap blanket

I created an ombre effect by changing the strands I held together for each row.  I also made a little heart motif on some of the squares, since my grandpa just had a pacemaker installed.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to make new projects for my other relatives, so I dug through my collection to find some existing projects to gift.

Holiday gift Collage

I gave my grandma the original sample of my Pineapples for Everyone Shawl pattern, my uncle the hat I originally knit for MC (that was deemed “too fussy”), and my aunt a cowl I made as part of a CAL in January.

And then on Christmas Day, I did the last finishing touches (but forgot to photograph them) on the headband for my sister’s boyfriend.  It’s something he could wear to a football game in his current home (New Orleans) or in the new city he’ll be moving to after graduation (Houston).  Each side has a different flavor.

Geaux Saints I am a Texan

At this point, I’m averaging something closer to a finish every 3 days, which isn’t bad for the holiday season.  And, I’m on my way to (hopefully) finishing ten projects by the end of the month.

I have one more secret project to knit.  The yarn, HiKoo Simpliworsted, was a bit delayed in arriving and it looks lovely.

SimpliWorsted

And I received a fabulous gift from Kim Guzman (interviewed here) on Christmas Eve.  She sent me some of her famous apple butter (yum!) and packed the box with yarn (the now discontinued NaturallyCaron.com Country).  So with that, I started a baby blanket for my cousin (who, according to Facebook, may already be in labor).

Heart blanket thru 2013-12-27

This is a refinement of the pattern I made for my grandpa, where the hearts are a bit pointier and the squares are easier to join as you go.  The color that looks brown in the picture is actually a dark purple.

In other yarn related news, my sister gave me some yarn from her recent trip to Montenegro for Christmas.

Ana yarn

It’s now official that my yarn stash is better traveled than I am, since I also have skeins from Italy and Patagonia.

How did your holiday crafting go?

For more Year of Projects posts, visit this thread on Ravelry.

Frantic Holiday Crafting: Shopping Spree

Smiley’s, a discount yarn shop in Woodhaven, Queens (reviewed here), has an annual Manhattan Yarn Sale.  You can only buy yarn in bulk at this sale (3-10 skeins in each bag), so I have tried to avoid it for the last few years.  While it’s a great place to be if you have a sweater to make, it can also lead to impulsive yarn stashing, which is perhaps not so great if you live in a one bedroom apartment as I do.

Smiley's Manhattan Yarn Sale

Yesterday, I arrived at the hotel where this massive sale is hosted (the picture above shows about 1/6 of the yarn that’s available) right as the doors to the ballroom were opening.  Usually, there are crowds around the room so I thought an early start was the best idea.  You see, I decided in all of my last minute gift making mania to make a blanket for my grandpa.  I needed a bulky yarn and I needed some masculine colors.

Bernat Softee Chunky stash

I was tempted to buy more yarn, but I held firm.  I *only* bought 21 skeins of Bernat Softee Chunky.

Bernat Softee Chunky

Now I just need to finish this blanket by the end of next week :).  I did finish one project this week, but not for the holidays.  It will be sent out to the publisher tomorrow, along with some other secret projects I’m working on.

Frantic Holiday Crafting: Finish 3

It’s amazing how a little challenge can make your fingers fly.

Nice boring hat blog

This is a nice, boring hat for my special guy that I just finished.  I used the same yarn to make a slightly fancier hat a few weeks ago, but in using my secret knit testing tactic (asking him to “try on a hat” to see if it would fit someone else), I discovered it was too fancy for his tastes.  I knew the yarn, Studio Donegal Soft Donegal in Charcoal, would be perfect for him, though.

Grey days

I’ve been wearing “the fancy hat” though it’s a bit big on me, but I may give it to my uncle for Christmas.  After all, I’m less than 20 days away and with many unfinished gifts.

Since I set a challenge to myself last Sunday of finishing a holiday project every two days, I haven’t exactly met my goal.  But I have finished three projects.  (You can see the others here and here.) I feel like I’m on track, and, like most crocheters/knitters, I have a stash of finished items hanging around that can be gifted if necessary.

Some amazing yarn arrived in the mail on Friday for two upcoming designs that will be published in a magazine next year.

Imperial Yarn

I’m loving the feel of this Imperial Yarn Columbia 2-Ply.  I’ll be knitting up a secret project with it next.  One of the great joys of being a designer is having the opportunity to use all kinds of wonderful yarns that I wouldn’t usually have access to.  I’ve been wanting to try Imperial Yarn for a while and it isn’t disappointing.

Valley Yarns

I’ve also been eager to try Valley Yarns out.  Some of the students in one of my knitting classes took a field trip to WEBS in the summer, and I didn’t go because I’m trying to bust my stash.  Luckily, I get to sample the Valley Superwash now, so I don’t have to be too jealous!

I’m having some problems reading comments on my blog right now, but I’m hoping they are still coming through.  If I don’t respond to your comment, it hasn’t been fixed yet.

You can find links to more Year of Projects posts on Ravelry here.

Frantic Holiday Crafting: Finish 2

This is the second project I finished since I challenged myself to finish a project every two days in December.

OB hat

I crocheted this hat last night.  It’s for a friend of mine who bought one of my crocheted hats at a craft fair a few years ago.  We went to Smiley’s to shop for this yarn a few weeks ago.  She wanted a remake of the hat using black and grey yarn, and I held three strands of Patons Shetland Chunky together to make it.  It’s super cozy and made with a small brim, just as she requested.  I didn’t weave in the ends, though, because I’m not sure about the size and since she commissioned it, I want it to fit exactly as she wants.  (She lost the original before she could measure the circumference, and described the fit ans not too snug and not too loose.)  The next step is to schedule a fitting.

For more Finished Objects, visit Tami’s Amis.

Frantic Holiday Crafting: Finish 1

declared my intent to finish a project every 2 days during December on Sunday, and here is my first finish.

 

Crescent shawl blog

 

I knit up a simple crescent shaped shawl for my sister using a skein of Twizzle that Mountain Colors sent me for review.  (Review spoiler alert: I love it so far!)  I could have finished the shawl with just one skein, but I was so engrossed in the mid-season finale of The Walking Dead that I didn’t realize how close I was to the end of the skein until I was on the last row.  I didn’t want to rip back, so I just cast off with the other skein.  Lucky for me, the colors coordinate beautifully.

This took 4 days to make, but I hadn’t started my challenge yet so I’m feeling super accomplished right now.  Oh, and I never said that finishing a project would include the blocking – hence my sneaky picture of the center.  (The edges are not ready for prime time currently.)

Now which project should I take up today?