Friday, November 25, 2011

Christmas knitting (but not from stash)

I had several ideas about this year's approach to Christmas knits, the main one of which was to have it all done by the end of November.  But between leaping from idea to another and getting sidetracked by socks and hats for me, I seem to be only this far in:

Also, I suspect my original idea of knitting a lot of little things I like and then releasing them to the person they've magically revealed being for is actually less wacky than picking a pattern and yarn and person before I cast on.  I cite Hannah's hat and handwarmer set as primary proof - even before I saw that her coat will clash horribly with them, I was starting to feel they were really meant for somebody else.  Plus, the handwarmers up there, the ones I knit last summer for Carol?  I think they're for somebody else too - and not Hannah either.  GAH.

None of this helps me solve the problem of what to give the one key person I need a cowl and handwarmer set for.  I've had trouble committing to yarn, pattern, and colour all this time, the result being that Omigosh it's nearly December and I haven't even started.  I can knock those gifts off in about five days of casual knitting, but that's not much comfort right now.

Enter Trish, who had reason (owing to having won prizes for her knitting at a recent Fair) to make a roadtrip to Mary's Yarns - a fabulous shop in a picture-postcard village - and invited me to come along.  I got some tools...

... replacements for the hooked cable needle I still can't find, plus a fun set of 7mm dpns because I have some bulky yarn I'd like to turn into hats...

... and some yarn.  I bought it to make Turkish Bed Socks for my aunt, but when I got home I realized it is really going to be the cowl and handwarmer set that have been blocking me for weeks (I should have guessed something was up when I bought what is essentially DK weight for a fingering pattern.) 

Instead of a fussy lacy cowl, I'm going to take this butter-smooth merino/alpaca blend and knit a Bandana Cowl, possibly with a splash of contrast yarn for interest.  And then maybe another pair of the Churchmouse handwarmers to go with, with some tweaking so the stitches match up to the cowl. 


Not that I'm out of the woods: the one negative about the Berroco yarn is that it stretches out on blocking, so I'm going to have to swatch very carefully not to make the cowl more of a wrap.

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