Under the Tree

Somehow I managed to make mad progress on the knitted gifts this Christmas.  Not only did I make cowls, mittens, toques, socks and my very first pom-pom… I did it all with time to spare.
I give you the knitted round-up

Like the cowls? Various simple patterns found on Ravelry by searching the yarn – Estelle Drake you can find the blue and orange one modeled by Miss Erin here, the pink one I also found on Ravelry but I’ll be damned if I can find it again – basically alternate squares of knit and purl.  The one in the middle is simple moss 60 stitches in the round.  Mittens for The Boy were too small so I ended up with new mittens. But The Physicist’s mittens fit perfectly! I made Sista’s toque (which she loves BTW – just doesn’t look like it in the picture) from the same pattern as the ones I made for the little ones this fall – but added a pompom for good measure. And the FIL (Father-in-Law) loved his socks so much last year – I made him a second pair (he has requested 7 pairs).

What did you knit for Christmas?

When a Knitter Loves You

Okay blogosphere, I’ve done it. I’ve listed all of the topics/little stories that I want/need to share/remember with you/me. Was that clear? Let me explain – I’m no Pioneer Woman, (yet) and that means that this blog remains just as much for you as for me. And that is a polite way of saying, you’re going to be hearing about this wedding for a long time.

Like, probably about a year.

The good news is  I’m going to spare you and you’ll only have to read about it once a week.

The bad news is you might be really sick of hearing about it by the our one year anniversary.

The best news is you’ll feel like you were there.

I knew you’d be thrilled.

So with that warning in place – you can’t say I didn’t tell you. Let’s begin.

When a knitter gets married after the initial thoughts of dress, venue, bridal party, the next one in line is what am I going to knit? You saw the yarn ball tutorial early on. I’ll report that I did make them, and they were lovely but I didn’t overkill it – we had a lot of flowers and flowers are just as pretty as balls of yarn. Instead I brought yarn to our bridal party, and I may have bitten off a little more than I could chew… err knit.

Now, it didn’t seem like that much. Four attendants on each side + our emcee + the Boy 10 items. We had a 10 month engagement, that’s only 1 item per month. I was prepared to do even better than that, convincing myself I would have everything finished by my birthday (6 months) and then by the Boy’s birthday (7 months) and then… well let’s just say, they were all made with love but I did require some back up. (For any engaged knitters out there I will only advise that you keep in mind that while it doesn’t seem like a lot you will be doing this little thing called planning a wedding while you are trying to churn out 1 item a month.)

For the girls, my girls I slaved away and can happily report that their hand knit gifts were all made by my two hands. They were all unique just like them. And they were all made with love – I really tried not to knit on days where I was regretting the decision to make hand knit gifts for 10 people all while planning a wedding. Instead I saved the knitting for calmer days when I was happily knitting at home, at work, in the car, at my parents, at the Boy’s parents… you get the idea. Each girl got a pair of orange and grey mittens and a small bottle of knit soap so they wouldn’t ruin them the first time they throw them in the wash… SIL I’m looking at you. The cuffs and thumbs all matched so they go as a set, but each pattern was different.

For the boys, I called in some back up and luckily I had happlily obliging knitters to come to my rescue and knit up some socks. Four grey, one orange – but the orange were still on the needles during the photoshoot… which was about 24 hours before they were gifted.  Finished by May, not so much.

For The Boy, I of course knit his myself. In front of him. He even commented at one point – “Who gets those ones? They’re fancy and they have a cable. You must love that person the most.” I told him they were only fancy because I was getting bored. And while I didn’t see his face when he opened them I like to think he was surprised.

The Boy's Socks Orange and Gray fancies

So what did all that knitting amount to?

A lot of love for the bride. Of course The Boy had very little to do with this thank you so I we decided that he should gift the attendents something as well – so they would have love from each of us.

Curious? You’ll have to check back next week (see this is going to be fun!). For now, let’s all marvel at those beautiful knits. And nod our heads in recognition as to why the K1P1 page hasn’t been updated since Christmas.

One of these days when the sight of the orange and gray yarn doesn’t give me heart palpitations perhaps I’ll knit a few more sets of mittens, for myself, and the Boy, and… this is how it starts.

And so you don’t have to wait until next summer…. another w-day picture

Another beauty by West Photo

The knit wear photos are mine – sorry about the lack of artsyness, there may have been a time crunch involved.

The w-picture is from the wonderful David West.  Don’t take what’s not yours, but do call if you’re getting married!

Christmas Round-up

No YouTube Friday today… instead knitting.

It started with 2 pairs of socks, and a knitting fair.  I decided I would knit a pair of socks for a couple of friends for Christmas, an easy budget friendly, thoughtful gift.  4 individual socks… 3 balls of yarn.  No problem.

And then it grew… and grew and grew.

And by the end of my Christmas 2010 season I had completed and gifted 7 pairs of socks, 2 toques and a sweater.

How did this happen?  It started innocently enough I finished the original 2 pair.  So I bought yarn for another pair. 3 pair… not bad. Definitely not biting off more than I could handle.  Then I was knitting at the Boy’s parents house and they asked what I was working on.  I said, “I’m knitting socks for Christmas, everyone’s getting socks”   The Boy’s mom said “Oh! That’s great! I’ll look forward to it.”  I didn’t mean EVERYONE everyone, but since that was still October I decided no problem… I could take on a couple more.

I forgot to take a complete picture of all 7... here's 4

Then about 2 weeks before Christmas my lovely sista had a question. “Do you think you could knit a toque for Christmas?”  The sista doesn’t knit… she makes requests. This request was for her man-friend.  Since I still hadn’t thought of a gift for him, I took on the challenge, with the understanding he might get it still on the needles.  I went over how many projects I still had on the go, and pointed out that My Boy, would be getting balls of yarn since he told me not to worry about knitting for him.

Sista gave me shit.  Apparently it sounded terrible to say my Fiance (BTW the Boy hates that word) only made the B-list.  I should really knit him something if I’m doing it for everyone else.

So I headed back to the yarn store.  Serenity Knits in Newmarket is a little closer than my usual Mary’s Yarns in Unionville and since I was on a deadline – I had no time to spend on a longer trip than necessary.  So I picked two toque patterns.  “Ribbed for his Pleasure” and “Knotty But Nice“.  And I knit.  And I knit. And I knit.

And I finished The Boy’s Toque – described as a perfect thank you for the man in your life who doesn’t mention that your stash is constantly multiplying and that you’ve brought your knitting to bed while wearing scrubby pajamas.  Sounded perfect – and if he didn’t love it I did.

Look how cute!

Sista’s man got a toque still on the needles… but it was finished, torn out (too long) and re-knit by December 26 so that’s not bad.  It was a 2×2 rib, and described as nothing fancy.  Just a plain hat for a plain toque lover… with a dirty name.

The Boy modelling another man's toque

And the sweater… oh the sweater.  It was supposed to be a plain stocking stitch sweater… nothing too complicated about it.  I thought it’d take me 2 weeks at a leisurely pace. I was madly trying to finish it December 24th, all the while fairly certain it wasn’t going to fit.  I finished it.  And I was right.  It didn’t fit.  Unless of course my sista didn’t want to put her arms down. So it’s back in my knitting bag and I have to attach it to the wool winder this weekend and rip it out… completely.  Argh.

Other than that, look at all of these happy faces.

Crossing things off and taking names

Well maybe not taking names but nonetheless I can’t be stopped! I’m a knitting fool! Finally after many many months of these socks sitting in a bag.  They are finished.  Socks for the Boy!  Socks for the winter, so that he can stop freezing me out with his colder than ice toes.  HURRAY! Better than that I’m down to 100 things on my 101 list!

When I said I would knit socks for the happy sustainable couple, the Boy was a doubter.  He said, “You’re going to finish a pair in two weeks when it has taken you 8 months to finish mine?”  Give me a deadline baby and I’ll get ‘er done, no deadline results in 1 and a half socks sitting in a bin untouched for many months.

But madly finishing those socks got me on a role, and I was able to finish up the pair for the Boy in no time.  Just in time for fall… too bad it’s 35C outside today.  Not really ideal sock wearing temperature.  Oh well, I just had to finish them, I don’t control their wearability.

This winter we’re going to have some happy feet – look how happy he is already…

I told him to "look excited"... yikes.

Getting back into needles

Knitting Needles of course! I heard a rumour that my family in the west have been waiting with bated breath to hear what my big surprise was.  What surprise? You may remember that I wasn’t blogging a few weeks ago because I was working on a surprise.  Well, here it is – prepare to be disappointed unless of course your name is Jonas or Kristen, in which case I can only assume you are happily enjoying these…

Wedding gift of the century

Jonas and Kristen got hitched a couple of weeks ago.  It was wet, it was green, it was a REALLY good time!  What’s with the socks?  They had a wedding that fit with their mission to live as sustainably as possible.  They were married at a tree farm, they collected wild flowers the day before, and they made a request that if you were going to get them something for their wedding, to please do so with their choice to live sustainably in mind.  Reuse, regift, make something, bake something, gift certificates for things to do, promote a local artisans, get them something that grows.  As soon as I found out I was up for the challenge and the Boy and I started to try and think of something creative we could get them.  We hadn’t really had much success, and we hadn’t settled on anything until 2 weeks before I had a brain wave.  I could knit them socks!

One problem… I’ve been “knitting the Boy’s socks” for about 8 months now.  I only had 2 weeks.

What can I say, I love a challenge and work well with a pressured deadline.  I headed out to the wool store on Monday (that brought me to 12 days away) and found some delightful sock yarn for boy socks and I knit. I knit and knit and knit.  I knit on my lunch break, I knit as soon as I got home until I went to bed.  I knit and knit and knit. And I finished them.  1 pair of socks for a boy with days to spare.  Just one problem… there were two people getting married!  Luckily my mom has a love of knitting socks and gave me some to choose from.  The deal – I need to replace what I gave.  No problem, it’s not like the yarn is still in an untouched ball or anything.  Hmm… maybe she should give me a deadline!

Anyway, that’s where I was.  Contrary to popular belief I don’t generally blog at work… only if I’m feeling completely inspired and can bang it out in a few short minutes.  So since I was mad knitting that left no time for blogging!  Sorry to get your hopes up Alberta family –  no ring, no wedding plans… just needles. Knitting needles that is.

Full report on the awesome evening that was Jonas and Kristen getting hitched tomorrow!