Crochet, knitting, astronomy & life in general.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Annual X-mas crafting review (Part 1)

The Newtonmas presents have been handed out, the wrapping paper has been cleaned up, and the traditional holiday dinner (home-made pizza in our house!) has been eaten. That means that it's time to show the world what I made everyone for X-mas now that I don't have to be all secretive about it! This will likely be a very long post, so I'll start with the knitted gifts and save the rest for another post.

I'll start with the big one: this year, I knit my first man sweater. My dad expressed an interest in getting a hand-knit tennis sweater... you know, the v-neck cabled cardigans, usually white with a navy blue stripe around the collar? (Something like this.) It had to be a cardigan, because Dad gets hot easily. I couldn't seem to find a pattern I really liked that was free or in a book I already owned, so I designed my own! This is how it turned out:

I actually worked this sweater in pieces because I couldn't think of a good way to do it seamlessly at the time (though I thought of some later after I'd already started). Designing the sleeve caps and arm holes was interesting, since I decided to go with a set-in sleeve, but the sweater design section of Debbie Stoller's Superstar Knitting came in handy. There are a few elements I'm really proud of, as well. I'm a huge fan of these pockets, for example:

I'll probably post this technique as a tutorial on the Happy Seamstress at some point, but it's essentially an afterthought pocket with more forethought. Yeah... that makes sense. I'm also quite proud of the button band. I did a double-knit button band using this tutorial. The buttons I acquired whilst at the Buttons and Needlework Boutique in Victoria.

The oatmeal-coloured yarn is Diamond Yarn Galway Heather, an aran weight pure wool yarn that was very nice to work with (though it felts extremely easily). I have two balls left which might become a laptop case for the boyfriend. The red yarn is KnitPicks Wool of the Andes, which was gifted to me by Joanna. (Thanks a bunch, Joanna!) She had some left over from her cupcake kits.

Most importantly, Dad seems pretty happy with the sweater. The fit is good, and he's actually been wearing it since he got it, which is a good sign. Here he is, showing his approval:

The second hand-knit gift I made were these lovely soft cuffs for my Mom.

The pattern is Mrs Beeton by Brenda Dayne and the yarn is some stuff I got at the Knitty Yarn Round Table in September called Heaven's Hand Silke (pure silk, nom nom nom!) and the leftover Filatura Di Crosa Baby Kid Extra from the cowl I made Mom last X-mas. I used some iridescent purple beads from my bead stash. I really liked knitting this pattern... it's super cute, and pretty clever. And working with the Silke was amazing. I wish I had a bathtub of the stuff.

Here's a funny video I took while she was posing at the piano and didn't know I was filming:

The last yarny gift I made this year was this cute little teddy bear for my friends' baby:

I pretty much just made up the pattern as I went... and I'm not sure I entirely remember what I did, but it turned out awful cute, right? I used some yarn from Mom's stash and she also knit the little scarf. And of course, here's the mandatory cute baby picture, taken by her parents and not by me. She's very studious:

Next time I'll show pictures of the shinier presents I made. Stay tuned!

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