Knit Faster!

Ack! It’s December first! WHERE DID THE YEAR GO?!?!?

If you’re anything like me, you are behind in your Christmas knitting and starting to wonder if your long to-do list of gift knits  is anything short of utter insanity. Maybe it’s time to switch out plans for those argyle socks for something more simple, and to toss out all projects that have a gauge of 6 stitches to the inch or more and start focusing on 3 stiches per inch projects?

Quick knits. That’s what I’m talking about. And I have a few gems to share – knits that I have found to be fast, simple, and excellent for giving.

1. Seafoam Scarf (and other drop stitch scarves and cowls)

IMGP0966That wonderful drop stitch adds inches to the length of the scarf in just one row! This thing flies off the needles, and a decently long scarf can be made in the space of a good chick flick or two. Mine was knit in my own handspun. Ravelry project page here.

2. Turkish Bed Socks

IMGP1046This pattern is super quick, super easy, and makes a really nice pair of socks. I wear mine all of the time and my girls love the ones that I have made for them as well. I have knit this pattern many times, but the only picture I have is of the pair that was knit for me by my knitting buddy.

3. Mini Sock Monkeys

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These tiny critters are great crowd pleasers – just ask my crowd! Once I got the hang of them, I could knit one in less than a half an hour and they only require the tiniest bit of leftover sock yarn.

4. Flower Fairies

20110923-100739_mediumGranted, you need some little peg people to make these cuties, but those are easily and cheaply found online (I get mine from here). The girlies love them and they are easily altered to make gnomes and girls and all kinds of little characters. (see my variations here)

5. Wren Headband (or any of the 2131 headbands and earwarmers found on Ravelry here)

IMGP2626_medium2At the risk of sounding self serving, I designed this little knit to be a quick, easy, and impressive gift.

On top of that, there are 4085 patterns on Ravelry that can be made out of under 150 yards of bulky weight yarn! (look here!) Just on the first page I see a knitted beard, a hat pattern for the whole family, and a very cute short scarf.

Now, what are you waiting for? Only 24 more days until Christmas!

KNIT FASTER!!!

 

 

 

 

Gramps

I love knitting baby things. They just fly off the needles and they showcase beautiful yarn in such an adorable way.

Gramps Cardigan in Madelinetosh Tosh DK Saffron (Ravelry page here) (recipient is going to pick out buttons for it later)

 

Three things about this knit.

1. The pattern – It left a lot to be desired, but it was also well written, if that makes any sense. I was frustrated when I found out that when I was “knitting in pattern till piece measures 6″ from CO edge” that I was supposed to pick up x number of stitches on it later, for example. And I was unhappy with the way the cables were forgotten during the shaping. I am kind of tweaky when it comes to cables and I want them to blend well with the sweater around them. Other than that, it is a lovely pattern, and when it is followed by someone who can fill in some of those gaps, it produces a lovely little sweater.

 

2. The yarn. Madelinetosh. Who could complain? It is lovely and the color is so deep and alive. It is expensive, yes, but it is worth the extra cost to use such a gorgeous yarn. I have had issues with pilling with Madelinetosh in the past, but this yarn is an 8 ply that seems much more sturdy than the single that I made this sweater out of two years ago (a sweater which, by the way, I am still in love with and willing run a stone over every time that I wear it). Also, it is superwash which is a plus for a baby.

3. It is leaving my house. Shipping this sweater off and marking it finished on Ravelry today feels very good. It was fun while it lasted but now I am ready to knit something else. You gotta love baby things for that reason alone!

 

 

 

 

 

Emergency Knits – Last Minute Gift Ideas (Christmas Countdown Day 7)

I may have bragged a little about having all my Christmas knitting finished recently. That was rude of me. I apologize.

To make up for that insensitive commentary (heehee), I offer the following ideas for quick last minute knits.

“Last minute?” you ask.

Yes, Dear. One week of December is already gone. This is “last minute” for a knitter. It may be that you will have to set that fingering weight afghan aside for next Christmas and work on something that you actually have a chance of finishing before the New Year. But I digress…..

Since today is the seventh day in our countdown, here are seven things that I would knit if I still needed to knit a gift… which I don’t… because I am done….

Sorry. I couldn’t resist. Okay, here we go!

198 Yards Of Heaven

A triangular shawlette knit in a largish gauge with an easy to remember lace pattern. You may remember that I have knit this shawl. Loved it.

Saroyan

Don’t have the patience for lace? How about another shawlette, also knit at a large gauge, this time with a warm Stockinette stitch body that is sure to fly off the needles.

Turkish Bed Socks

Socks are a bit daunting this late in the game, but what if one just skipped knitted leg and cuff? This is a quick knit that I would definitely wear. That reminds me – these need to go in my Ravelry queue.

Growing Leaves Cowl

I am a sucker for leaves, and this cowl has plenty.

Bunny Nuggets

The kids are sure to love these, and anything else by Rebecca Danger for that matter. Bonus – I bet these knit up faster than it takes to decide which color to use.

Shroom

I have knit this pattern twice, and I still love it. From CO to BO it took one evening. Bonus – looks great in Malabrigo Rasta. (You know you’ve been wanting to try some of that…)

The LeLe Baby Hat

Lastly, for the littlest one on your knitting list: (it almost makes me want to have another baby it is so cute!)

So, there you go. No more procrastinating now, Ladies and Gents. Get knitting! 🙂

All of the photos above were taken from the linked Ravelry project page.

Hat Extravaganza Part 2

Yesterday I told you about some of the hats that I knitted in the last month or so….

…. But, wait! There’s more! And it begins with a story.

When I was but a young woman and knitting was still new to me, I set out to knit a sweater for the Dancing Queen. I carefully chose a pattern suited to her personality, a free spirited, outside-the-box kind of sweater pattern, an interesting but not too hard to knit pattern. I chose Polkadot, a free pattern from Berroco.

Then I ordered yarn. Lots and lots and lots of yarn. I love purple and so I figured that one couldn’t have too much Wool of the Andes Bulky in the Galaxy colorway. Besides, I didn’t want to run out midcircle…

Well, long story short, the Polkadot sweater was a disaster, a total failure, an embarrassing chapter in my knitting story. I ended up making a simple cardigan for my darling daughter instead, after I frogged the stupid circle of doom one too many times. The sweater that actually got knitted used up only half of the yarn that I had bought.

So I made mittens. I made a hat. I made a doll sweater. I made a pair of doll slippers. We used it for crafts in school. And, it seemed that no matter how much we used, the yarn never got used up.

Enter my recent hat making obsession.

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Yes, that is the sweater, too. I made it big and it still fits even after two years. This hat, though you can’t really see it, is just a made up hat with a simple cable rib pattern.

Of course, there was still more yarn, so I made another hat.

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It’s the purple one on the Princess’s smiling head. I could get a better picture of it, but if you have been a knitter for any length of time, you have see it before – it is the Unoriginal Hat by Stephanie Pearl McPhee, only with my gauge, it came out child sized.

And, wouldn’t you know it? There is still more yarn….

Hat Extravaganza Part 1

It all started with this:

A luscious skein of Malabrigo Rasta that I ordered back in December just to feel it’s squooshy goodness with my own two hands.

It had languished for awhile in the stash as my love affair with lace heated up. It patiently waited for me while I discovered my inner sock knitter. And it was there for me when I hit a serious new-baby-fatigue-induced knitting block. A quick colorful knit was just what I needed.

So, the hunt for the perfect pattern began. It took me awhile, but I finally landed on a lovely free hat pattern that seemed ideal and cast on. Two hours later I had this:

Shroom

The gauge was a bit tight with this yarn, but I like it anyways.

I liked the pattern so much that I pulled out my Dream In Color Groovy (Torchwood) and made another:

I had the opposite problem with gauge on this one and had to go down a needle size.

Then, because I was really enjoying the instant gratification that was all up in this place, I pulled out a skein of Berocco Peruvia Quick and my copy of 101 Designer One Skein Wonders and cast on the Lavender Lace Beanie:

This was so cute, I know that I will make another.

This was the yarn my sister got for me last Christmas because she loves me so much. Three balls of this stuff…. I see more hats in my future.

Quick knits. It’s about all this Mama can do these days.