I made a few Christmas gifts for family this year. I thought I'd just post a quick round up of them all here before I forget them as they were made in the crazy haze that is December.
These are the Hermione's Everyday Socks that I decided would be the perfect knitting project for me to take on my bike trip. When I originally packed for my bike trip down the Oregon Coast this summer I envisioned a lot of chill down time at the beach. While I did spend a bit of time at the beach I mostly spend my time biking and doing all the things that are involved in existing when you camp from a bike which is setting up a tent and cooking for hours everyday. This is not a complaint as it was satisfyingly meditative but it meant that I pretty much knit slightly more than one cuff while on my trip and then it became unravelled in my pannier. I restarted these socks in the fall and then realized that the variegated yarn looked really weird and busy with the textured pattern so I frogged them again and restarted with stockinette. This was my first pair of socks and I struggled a bit with thinking that I knew what I was doing when I didn't and didn't read the instructions carefully enough so I ended up ripping out the heel and redoing that as well during the process. Once I just accepted that I didn't know any better things went a lot smoother and I started really following the directions. Redoing everything took a long time but I also didn't really think about how this yarn is so much finer than I am used to. Thin yarn = millions of stitches. These took forever. In the end though, I'm very happy with the result. My Oma has the same size feet as me and so I hope she enjoys them. She will forget that I knit them but I somehow take comfort in the fact that I know I did.
This was two tries at a hat for my cousin's daughter (my partner would tell me that she is then technically my second cousin but my cousin told us we could choose our own titles to be called and so I choose "Amazing Renée). I recently visited my cousin and her family and managed to measure her 2.5 year old daughters head while she stood still for a minute. I decided to adapt my go to Turn a Square pattern by Brooklyn Tweed by just doing some math and casting on less stitches but I didn't take into account that doing instarsia to make speckles instead of stripes as the pattern calls for really reduces the stretch and made my first attempt way too small. The second hat turned out significantly larger and I hope worked out but I can't be sure as the recipient was not interested in putting it on on Christmas Eve.
This is the Aviator Hat that I made for my cousin's newborn son. This pattern was super straight forward and knit up very quickly as it's so tiny. I didn't add the buttons to the front as I worried they could become a choking hazard as they might be easily ripped off the hat. This one was immediately tried on when received as babies really don't have a choice in these things.
My uncle is a wonderful man who wears a bow tie to work every Thursday. He makes up silly songs, encourages singing at the dinner table and legally changed his middle name to Montana on a recent birthday because he liked it. I drew his name for our extended family secret santa and knew that I would get him a bow tie. At first I thought I would buy him a fancy one but then learned after a trip to Harry Rosen that bow ties are crazy expensive. They ranged for $100 to $250 and none of them were made of magic. In fact they were all piled up in a messy ball in the corner of the store. I gave up on that pretty quickly and decided I could just make a bow tie and hope that it turned out nice. This one is 100% silk and lined with silk organza and cost about $15 to make. I used this tutorial and it was very straight forward. It was a bit fiddly to turn the bow tie right side out but doable with some patience and the blunt end of a knitting needle. The resulting bow tie looks great but my uncle is a big tall man so the proportions might be a bit small for him. He still looked very dapper in it though. When we were little we called him Uncle Stevie. As we got older we started just calling him Steve like everyone else. One day he sighed and said "when did I stop being Uncle Stevie?" so I added a quick embroidered name for him.
All in all, I think that these were pretty successful projects. I sometimes wonder if home made gifts are a pleasure or a punishment. I try to consider if someone will truly appreciate one or if they'd really prefer something purchased from a store. It's hard to know but I think they were well received. I knit my mom a top one year that she didn't seem too into at the time but then she texted me this year telling me how awesome it looked on her. She also handed me a printed out pattern of a cardigan with a colour suggestion written on it a few weeks ago so you never know I guess.
A blog to document my attempts to create a well-fitting wardrobe through sewing and knitting.