A couple of years ago I made this hat for my fella. Somehow, in the past nine months it has managed to get itself lost in this tiny little house of ours. In this very small house, there is no way this hat has gotten very far, but truthfully, I haven't actually spent any time looking. Why find a knitted hat when I can devote that time to knitting another one?
And so, naturally, I found myself perusing Ravelry patterns in search of the perfect quick pattern (I chose the Family Ribbed Hat from More Last-Minute Knitted Gifts, Joelle Hoverson) and stumbled into a local yarn store for my first try at Madelinetosh (tosh merino). The pattern is perfect and timeless, and the yarn in 'Twig' (how awesome is that name?) was a dream. I'm actually, possibly a little too in love with Madelinetosh yarn right now as a result. If I see it, I will buy it, so, so help me, don't get in my way.
All in all, a great knit, and a great little birthday gift for my great guy. He wears it, he doesn't say a word about it being nearly (gulp) two weeks late, and he lets me take countless dorky photos of him wearing it. He may get the occasional knitted hat to keep his head toasty warm, but I'm even luckier - I get him.
A good friend of mine celebrated a birthday last week. And to 'mark' (oh punny me!) the occasion, I made my book-loving friend this bookmark. Now that all is said and done, instead of focusing on the fact that I ran out of time to block it into a nice consistent rectangular shape, and I hadn't practiced my embroidery skills in a dozen+ years before laying needle and thread to this project - thus resulting in a very abstract looking design (those are flowers, by the way...it's okay if you couldn't tell), I will focus on the fact that my friend seemed thoroughlypleased by this little token gift.
I wouldn't trust just any friend to receive a folksy, imperfect, well-intentioned little knit project, but this friend has to be one of the most supportive, positive, and caring people I know. Whatever is going on in my life, she is always there, encouraging my endeavors - big or small, sharing joy in whatever I'm smiling about, lending an ear for a vent or two (or twenty), and doing it all over regular (and treasured) lunch dates.
So, as much as I wish I had practiced my embroidery skills first, there just isn't always the time or opportunity, and I knew that my friend would prefer to receive this gift - imperfections and all - than to know I was either too embarrassed by its lack of perfection to even give it to her, or to not even try in the first place in the absence of oodles of time to practice.
It feels so good to finish off 2010 (well, truthfully, finish off the first few days of 2011) with a FO. This was supposed to be a Christmas gift for someone…. but, now that it's finished (and finished too late for Christmas), I sort of want to keep it for myself (go away guilt! the season of giving is over, it is now the season of surviving winter with as many cute handknits as possible).
The pattern is Burberry Inspired Cowl Neck Scarf (by Julianne Smith) and it is truly one of the coolest cowls I've ever seen. I just love the drapy, soft, goodness of it all. While the yarn itself (Malabrigo chunky) is luxuriously soft, the big gentle cables of the pattern itself make it irresistibly cozy. I'm glad I went with a solid colour - keeps the focus on the lovely swooshy cables. The colour was chosen because I think the intended recipient would really like it… but, while the colour was perfectly her, I'm not sure if the style of the cowl is a perfect match (this is me trying to convince myself not to feel guilty about wanting to keep it). I was lucky enough to receive two knitting books and the new Interweave Knits magazine for Christmas, so I think there just might be the perfect pattern in there somewhere to make up for her instead.
For now, I'll do the grown-up thing and put this pretty pink cowl aside to avoid growing too attached to it until I find a better pattern to gift to this person for Christmas 2011. But, if you see another pink-yarn project pop up in my Ravelry… you'll know that I was successful in keeping burberry all for myself.
Looking ahead: 2010 was a bit of a dud knitting wise, so, in the spirit of the New Year and because I don't care to make any actual non-knitting resolutions (why fool myself into thinking I have a shot at keeping any of them), I present a short list of things I want to do in my knitting life in 2011:
Knit more. This one's easy. I want knitting to become a part of my everyday again, as opposed to something I just think about doing.
Knit a pair of socks. I'm terrified of sock knitting, so terrified in fact, I can't even bring myself to give sock patterns more than a passing glance.
Meet other knitters. I don't really know any other knitters. Ravelry did wonders for my habit hobby by opening up the world of knitting beyond my couch and limited selection of inherited (and kind of ugly) patterns. But, I would love to talk to other knitters about knitting and yarn, knit with them, and learn from them. There is a world of knitters out there in this city and I would love to become a part of it.
Knit an adult-sized sweater. I tried once. But… it didn't work out very well. It was a horrible pattern and was loaded up with mistakes. My yarn, too, was pretty awful, and not proper for the new knitter that I was (am?). I want to do it right.
Okay, so that's not exactly how my husband said it. There may have been a few clever descriptors thrown in there too. But yes, in the car, driving home to visit our families last weekend, he looked over at me in the passenger seat, carefully smoothing out the nearly-finished cozy, iPhone tucked softly inside and my brain (slowly) calculating how many rows might be needed to finish it off, when he asked in an almost concerned way: "you're knitting a sweater for your iPhone?"
I think my face got a bit flush, because, yes, turns out that's exactly what I was doing. But I adore my new little important-organizational-and-professional portable electronic device (aka toy), and how better to protect something so delicate (with glass being on both front and back, I might add) than to swath it in handknits? Besides, I prefer to think of it as a little cozy, or sleepy sack.
So, here it is: The Who? iPod Cozy. Knit with some leftover Cascade and a couple of perfect brown-eye buttons from the button stash.
So there you have it. While my husband may still not be convinced of the necessity of an iPhone cozy (I keep arguing my case) I am quite happy with how it turned out. I think he was just a bit hurt that I was focussing my knitting habit on a lifeless recipient, when he was/is still (patiently) waiting for a new toque. I'll get on that... soon... I just, um, have some important knit-related things to look up on my iPhone first...
Meet my front door. It's one of my favourite things about our old house. While I love the way it looks, I especially love having it. Having a door that opens up onto the world. A door to be knocked on by friends and family. A door to be lit up by a welcoming porch light on a dark cold evening. It's an old wooden, destined-to-be-drafty kind of door, but I love it for all that it represents.
And it is a door in need of adornment.
So, I present my wreath. A quick trip to a craft supply store, a quick trip to the basement to find the glue gun I've packed and moved to four different homes over the past 10 years without ever using it, and a couple of hours to myself with a hot cup of tea nearby resulted in this. It's simple, with just tiny bits of various fall colours tucked in throughout and gobs upon gobs of exposed glue (after 10 years of not touching a glue gun, I was just a bit too triger happy), but I absolutely love it.
Even better than a crafty new wreath for fall is that there's yet another wreath season just around the corner...