Baby, it's cold outside! As we use our semi-frozen fingers to fumble with awkward buttons and zippers and walk through toxic clouds of other people's coughs, try to remember the joys of winter. The sledding and the hot chocolates and what not. If you don't have someone making you lots of knitwear right now, you need to start making more friends who are crafty. There is nothing sadder to me than someone under-dressed in winter. Almost everything I knit now gets gifted, as I am literally drowning in it. I don't need another scarf, another pair of socks, another mitten, another hat. I have. So. many. Sweaters, I will still make and make and make for myself as I tend to get bored with my wardrobe easily. Everything else, bah. Go, I send you to the four corners of the earth to keep someone else warm.
I figured I would finally get around to blogging about some knits I've finished in the past, oh, five months or so. Most of them were gifts and kind of secret, but the fits of gift-giving is well behind us now and I can safely reveal things in a public forum. Also, as I was boxing up and packing and moving out of Paris, everything that hadn't been gifted got donated to the big charity bin down the road, which later I saw not-homeless people ingeniously fishing clothes out of using hooks and wedges. Sigh.
First up: the Xenocryst
This went to a warm-climate heritage friend in a cold land. He appreciates. It's got this really interesting textured wee cables, and a picot edging that I didn't find too emasculating.
Another ultra-cute owlet hat was crocheted for a new baby:
Good old Cascade 220 and all the scraps it makes.
This was one of my favorite sweaters to make:
It's the Armas. It's a really brilliant, fun masculine design. I really thought I could rock it as well, perhaps with a slightly more feminine color so I don't look like I'm a viking warrior out to pillage.
The cables were just so organic and fun to make. I did fix the collar since I took these pictures though. I modified it from the original and it didn't quite lay the way I wanted it to as a shawl collar, so it is now a crewneck.
The yarn is Queensland Kathmandu Aran, a tweedy blend of Merino, silk and cashmere. It's very soft, but a rustically spun 2-ply that I was picking bits of hay stems out of the whole sweater.
This was an easy garter stitch project called the Pinch Hat from Knitscene. You make a tapered rectangle, then seam it together and pull your stitches tight to pucker the fabric. I ended up putting a line of tiny rose-bud buttons down the seam, and I gave this to a friend whom it suited perfectly.
The yarn is Madeline Tosh Merino Chunky, a lovely squishy yarn to fall in love with, so I kept on going with it:
A bandana cowl from Purl Soho, which is really simple and it made for a great gift. I really fell in love with cowls this year, especially since I did so much backpacking. Having a pack, a coat, and a cross-body bag meant that if I was wearing a scarf, I was usually tangled in something and it made for awkward moments of choking myself while getting on and off trains and planes and ferrys and trying to sit down for a bit to eat. Cowls are useful in these situations. Using short rows, you make a big bib like triangle, which fits as a stopgap down the front of most coats.
Here's another chunky cowl that I would make again:
The Burberry-inspired cowl. It's got these big, lovely cables that make it very warm. Mine is a bit small as I only had the one skein, but this would work nicely a bit bigger, or really huge as an infinity scarf, which I am seeing everywhere now.
Another manly sweater using Kathmandu Aran:
This one was for my grandfather, whom I had never made a sweater for (!?). It's the Shawl collared sweater by Martin Storey, and it's easy as 3.14. It's from a book Rowan published that I've had for years, but I was always hesitant to make anything from it again since Rowan puts a whopping 8 inches of ease in their men's sweaters, which just seems like too much to me. This worked out- I made the smallest size, and I knit it in the round so I took away 8 stitches total from the body to make up for the fact that I didn't need a seam allowance.
Yet another hat, for a friend:
The Quantoid. It's very warm, double-thick with an interesting rib pattern that you strand. Cascade 220 FOREVER!
I crocheted this lovely scarf last summer:
The Boteh. It's lovely, lacy leafy and the best shade or red, "Tart" in Tosh Merino light. I need to get better pictures of it eventually. Oh, and PS, I can crochet now. It took me ages to get around to learning, and then I'd forget as soon as I taught myself, but I found this project and decided to teach myself to make it because I thought it was pretty, and that was the way to go. It's easy, and if you find something you like, between you tube videos and ravelry, you can probably figure most things out.
A pair of rather awesome socks:
The aptly-named Porthos socks. It's a fairly mindless rib pattern and it makes for a good guy-sock. Or a bad-guy sock, if you must. The yarn is tres vibrant- Sanguine Gryphon bugga in "Cuban Cockroach".
A twinned pair of Merino Chunky hats for a his-and-her gift:
Above is the "Giftie Slouchie Beanie" for her, and the "Chunkieanie" for him. They are both the same color purple, but the more masculine of the two is much more saturated with dye and appears to be purple-black at times (it photographed a bit lighter than it is in real life). I thought that was a nice touch.
A pair of Pyroclastic Socks from knitty.com:
I kind of screwed up the lace pattern, but it ended up working for me, so they look different from the originals. I loved the unusual arch and gusset shaping, although it took me a while to figure out what exactly was going on in the pattern once the heel was turned. These went to a friend with perpetual cold feet and a drafty old Parisian apartment. The yarn is Plucky Knitter superwash fingering merino.
A pattern I chose to show off some really amazing yarn:
The Garden Grove hat in the Verdant Gryphon Codex in the "Beowolf" colorway. The yarn is silk and BFL wool, and it has a lovely sheen to it that just shows color so nicely. I kept this hat. I loved it so.
I actually have a few more things lying around needing to be photographed, and right now I'm putting a sweater in time-out after I realized that I made two left fronts to the cardigan. Sigh. But I'm busy doing all sorts of other good stuff that I will get around to telling you about very soon. Cheers!