This time of year, our heads start to swim as the “can you make this for me” requests start to pour in from friends and family. What are you working on? Have you already started your holiday yarncrafting? Here’s a peek at what the Studio gang has on their hooks and needles.
Last year I made slipper socks for all the Studio staffers out of Wool-Ease Thick and Quick. I was working on them during Thanksgiving, and my brother saw mine and put in his request. Next came a request from my pal Nell and then my mother! I like to knit them toe up. I don’t work with a pattern, but I use the personal foot measurements of the recipient. Next up after I finish warming the feet, is to make a pair of gloves for my sister out of the new Superwash Merino Cashmere. I haven’t picked out my pattern yet, but I know I’m going to use the wine color! For myself (do I count?), I’m planing a pair of fair isle mittens using my own handspun merino / angora and the LB Collection Angora Merino.
I’ve been itching to do a crochet ripple afghan for some time, and when I saw the Gaelic Bay Afghan in the Fisherman’s Wool I just couldn’t resist. The neutral palette is just so classy and gorgeous, and it struck me as the perfect gift for my parents this Christmas. Of course, I bought the yarn waaaaay in advance because, “Hello… AFGHAN!!” I had to get going if I wanted to have even a chance of finishing this thing before 5am Christmas morning! But to my surprise and delight it’s been moving along rapidly. It’s the perfect TV and Couch project, and it is just as beautiful as the picture!
One gift I am making for the holidays this year is a set of Toasty Knitted Mittens out of Wool-Ease. I love that they are knitted in the round, and even though the pattern calls for double pointed needles, I am using one long circular needle instead. You gotta love magic loop! Instead of making them in one solid color, I decided to cast on with a contrasting color, and immediately change to the main color. This leaves a tiny band of color at the wrist to add interest without being too bold. After the thumb gusset the mitten is plain stockinette stitch in the round, which is excellent for mindless TV knitting. I’ve got one mitten done, only one more to go!
This year one of the gifts I will be knitting is a pair of socks for my boyfriend in the Green Apple color of Sock-Ease – shhh, he thinks it’s olive! Now, if you know anything about me, you probably know that I like to make berets, and that I am not a sock knitter. Well, I made him a pair last year, and while they are very nice socks, they just didn’t fit quite right and the yarn is a bit too fine for everyday wear. The fact that Sock-Ease is machine washable is a big plus! This time I am making them from the toe up, using short row shaping for the toe and heel, and incorporating some ribbing on the sole for extra support. The advantage to toe-up is that I can have him try them on as I go, so I know I am getting the right fit. The first sock is going well, now let’s see if I can avoid the dreaded Second Sock Syndrome!
My parents have received a few knit and crocheted gifts over the years, but never an afghan…and believe it or not, I have never actually made an afghan before! Afghans were always daunting projects for me due to their size and my tendency to get very bored with whatever I’m working on. So, this holiday is all about afghans for me. I found this awesome, quick afghan pattern, Wind Chime Afghan (#90324AD) on our Pattern Finder made out of Vanna’s Choice on a J hook – nice and fast, which is what I need! I already have one strip done which took no time at all.
For the holiday season I am making the Squirrel and Oak Mittens by Adiran Bizilia out of LB Collection Baby Alpaca in Auburn and Tan. It’s a free fair isle pattern in the Nordic style available on Ravelry. The mittens are for my best friend back in Michigan. We definitely have an abundance of squirrels there, so I thought that a piece with a squirrel motif would be super cute!