Sunday, December 28, 2008

Under the Christmas Tree

I hope everyone has had a warm and lovely holiday with family and friends. I know I have!

It was a rush to the finish, but I managed to get things together in time for a Christmas with most of the trimmings. Oh, some of the decorations are still in their boxes, but we had a beautiful tree, Christmas lights, wrapped presents, a bit of Christmas baking, good meals, happy times, and music.

And a few little knitted gifts that made it by the skin of their teeth.

There were some knitted sweater ornaments for family Christmas trees. After all, a tree isn't really properly dressed until it has a sweater!

These little sweaters were adapted from the adorable Egg Cozies designed by Kristin Nicholas in Melanie Falick's Weekend Knitting book. The yarn is bits and pieces of leftovers, in various weights, from bygone sweaters and baby booties. The pattern is very cute and makes a good jumping-off point. I made my own personalizations, of course. I also thought, though, that the arms were hugely extra-long as written in the pattern, so I shortened them quite a bit.

There was also this little number, the Coffee Mitt from Judith Durant's One-Skein Wonders book, designed by Leanne Walker of KnitWit Yarn Shop in Portland, Maine. It's knitted in some Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride I had around the house. It's a yarn I really love, a single ply of wool and mohair. Some people seem to think of it more as a felting yarn, but I think it makes a beautiful sweater.

The Coffee Mitt looks like a homely little item -- it drew a chuckle when the present was opened -- but it really comes into its own when stretched around a tall black coffee or grandé latté. Then the handsome stitch pattern shows, the insulating wool and mohair feel cool and comfortable to the hand, and the world is spared another discarded cardboard sleeve.

There was a warm scarf in wonderfully soft Malabrigo Worsted baby merino.

This is the Cross-Stitch Scarf designed by Margaret Halas, from the Designer One-Skein Wonders book. This scarf has an interesting texture that has always caught my eye every time I've leafed through the book.

The one in the book is done with Manos del Uruguay yarn, a heavy worsted weight that knits in a larger gauge, but, like the Manos, Malabrigo is a single-ply kettle-dyed yarn, so I was pretty sure it would work well in the pattern with just an adjustment in the number of stitches.

The picture in the book shows off a dappled watercolor-like blended colorway, so the effect is different. I used the Malabrigo "saphire magenta" colorway 239. Its more contrasting and abrupt color changes give the scarf more of a sporty look.

I think it's quite pretty, and I was happy to see that the colors seem to suit the family member it was made for.

There was one more, of handspun, that I'll tell you about in the next post. I wish there could have been more, but I was really skating on the edge and lucky to get this much done.

And I was able to bestow the beautiful airy Cherry Leaf Shoulder Shawl, in Malabrigo laceweight edged with seed beads, on my tall elegant mom, who couldn't have been more thrilled.

And so here I am, moderately frazzled but now relaxed and happy. It's been a jolly good Christmas.

1 comment:

Bess said...

Oh. That scarf is absolutely beautiful. The design really does enhance the yarn and vice versa. lucky gift recipient!