Now with Christmas gifts all given out, cooed at and (mostly) loved, I can finally talk about knitting. I've been a demon knitter. I decided to be really resourceful this year and stash dive, matching projects to existing stash and thus handmaking much of my Christmas gift list. I avoided blogging while I knit furiously and of course, like so many knit sibs, I left it all far too late.
I started early with Daybreak for the Beau, a beautifully designed graphic shawl pattern by Stephen West of Westknits. This pattern is deliciously simple in idea and so well written up that there really was no problem with the knit. The increase create this wonderful shape and I chose Superwash fingering weight Aspen Moon Arts and 100% Alpaca 4ply by Artesano. I've worked with the Artesano before and it's delicious. I would say the weights weren't perfectly matched but it worked and while I loved the pattern, I was ready to poke my eyes out as I increased past the 350 odd stitches point! The results are SO worth it though. I heart Stephen West, the man is a genius.
I made a Star Crossed Slouchy Beret for Tracy, my US girlfriend who is too far away for my liking. I used Artesano again, but this time in Aran weight. It blocked up beautifully and was really quick to make. Word of caution though, this thing grows so unless you're after the snowboard floppiness I was after, take that into account.
These two gifts were started early, in plenty of time, sensibly. I did leave my sister and mum's presents a wee bit too last minute. By a wee bit, I mean approximately a month or two too late to be comfortable. I was finishing my Mum's plain vanilla socks on Christmas Eve as I only started my sister's 16 cables hat at the start of the week! Mind you both projects were dreamy yarns: Malabrigo for my sister and Abstract Cat in Sportweight with SILK for my mum. I was practically licking them as I made them.
I would like to say I've learned my lesson and am already planning next year's gifts so I won't have the sore fingers and panic of this year ever again. However, all I can think of now is knitting for me, me, me......... expect another 'quiet' patch on the blog......!!!