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Posts Tagged ‘yarn’

Handmade Christmas

Finally, my post of handmade Christmas presents! Inside, you will find links to larger pictures and descriptions, as well as who the lucky recipients were.

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Mikado Fingerless Gloves

These were made as a TimeBank trade, so I didn’t pick the pattern or the yarn. The pattern was simple and pleased the recipient, who is modelling them for me in the above photo. The yarn was some rough wool, which reminded me that I always want to work with sumptuous, soft fibers. Since they were a TimeBank trade, I kept track of how long it took me — 18 hours! That seems like a long time for some gloves, even if they are almost full sleeves.

Here is the pattern for Mikado Ribbon Fingerless Gloves on Ravelry.

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Starting Socks

My first completed pair

I can’t believe I haven’t told you the wonders of socks yet. Socks are one of the best knitting projects. They’re small, so they’re portable and don’t require lots of yarn. They have lots of little sections to make as complicated or as simple as you like. They have a heel, which isn’t too hard, but still makes you feel accomplished.

If you have not made your first pair yet, I recommend learning how using a single circular needle, knitting both socks at the same time. If you’re really skittish about it, do your very first test sock using the method that seems easiest to you, and then jump right in to the circular two-at-a-time method. I learned using Melissa Morgan-Oakes’ book 2-at-a-Time Socks, and I highly recommend it. There are lots of pictures, and the spiral binding is great for keeping the book open to the step you’re on.

My first heel

The cuff and foot of the sock can be as simple as knitting in the round, which I had done before, so the only new part for me was the heel. On my practice socks, I worked through until I finished the heel and was so excited to start a wearable pair that I didn’t even complete the socks.

The two at a time method is amazing. I have only completed a few pairs of socks, but I have used a single circular to knit several pairs of gloves two at a time. I can’t imagine having to knit the first object in a pair, just to have to start all over again with the second! Melissa’s method is easily adapted once you get the hang of it, and I love that I only need one set of circulars.

What are you waiting for? Go buy 2-at-a-Time Socks (or check it out from your local library) and get to it!

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Flat Feet Sock Yarn

How cool is this? The website Conjoined Creations sells their sock yarn pre-knitted into flat rectangles. You unravel each machine-knitted swatch as you knit. Since the yarn is dyed after it’s been machine-knitted, as you unravel you get interesting and unexpected color patterns. Check it out!

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I rarely enjoy all (or even many) of the patterns in a given book or magazine. Anticraft Knitting is no exception. However, I have been looking for a pattern for some net gloves for quite a while, and this book delivered where the internet could not. The rest of the patterns are not something I see myself making, but it has two good things going for it. One, I like the layout and the decoration on the pages. Two, and more importantly, all the little blurbs in between patterns are hilariously well written. I wouldn’t pick it up for the patterns, but you should check it out if you’d like a bit of a gothy laugh.

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Christmas Gifts in June

Finally, a long overdue list of Christmas gifts, complete with pictures of our hastily scrounged together menorah. Mr. Chemist and I have a menorah that he adores, given to us by his mother. However, with our big move across the country, it still hasn’t made it out here. We found ourselves on the first night of Hanukkah without a place for our candles. Somewhat surprisingly, Mr. Chemist was the one who figured out a crafty solution. I have a collection of glassware, including many 50 mL beakers and Erlenmeyer flasks, which turned out to be great candle holders (with a little crafty foil modification). The servant candle, which is traditionally on a separate level from the others, was simply set on my little jar of ink to raise it up. Voila, menorah!

I tend to plan my gifts more thoroughly since they require a larger investment of time and handmade gifts have a bad enough reputation already. Several of my ideas and their results are posted within.

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Adult Chalice Blanket

Kitties make the best models.

I was surprised at how quickly I memorized this pattern. This blanket is the largest and most complex project I have attempted so far, and I managed to finish it with only two or three frogs. Once I figured out the first pattern set, it was pretty easy to tell if I was making a mistake. I definitely recommend the pattern. It’s easy and it comes out gorgeous. Remember, I am a pretty n00bish knitter, which means I’ve done maybe ten full sized projects, all of which have been scarves, hats, and blankets. ┬áThe pattern for a smaller version is on ravelry, I just continued mine until I ran out of yarn. It’s nice and big, definitely large enough for one person to snuggle up in, maybe two if you’re huddled together.

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