Christmas knitting

The last few weeks in the run up to Christmas were filled with hectic present making. I ask you, what sort of moron decides it’s a good idea to make Christmas presents for every member of their family, when they have a four-month-old baby and a partner who is working late every evening? Oh. This sort of moron, it seems.

My Christmas good cheer was a little lacking, it has to be said, in the face of the crazed present making attempts. I would have thrown in the towel half way through, except I thought the people who landed homemade presents would be jealous of the people who got bought presents that would have been nicer.

Anyway, as is so often the case, despite despair during the making stage, I was pretty pleased with the end results once it was all finished.

Next year, though, I plan to avoid the late nights, strops at the sewing machine, cricks in the back, callouses on the fingers and general Grinch-like mood that started to appear when I realised I simply couldn’t finish everything on time, by saving the homemade presents for birthdays, so I just need to make something for one person at a time.

(I had briefly flirted with the idea of starting straightaway on next Christmas this January and trying to make one present a month in 2013 so I had a big stash by December time. Then I realised I didn’t want to be that person…)

All that said, I was pretty chuffed with the actual results of most of the presents I made, so I thought I’d share some details, photos and tutorials here over the next few weeks.

To begin with, a few pictures of my favourite part: the Christmas knitting. Ah, I love a bit of knitting and managed to rustle up three knitted presents that were finished on time. (Though there is a final one still on the needles.)

There must be something about Christmas and cabling that go together in my subconscious because I realise now that all of these are cabled patterns. What can I say? Snug and toasty always appeals in December.

If you like the look of these, I’ve put links to my Ravelry project pages for more information, as well as links direct to the patterns.

Hot water bottle cosy

Knitted hot water bottle cosyI am most delighted with this little cutie from all my festive knitting. Simple cable pattern and I tied a white ribbon on the top as well (but didn’t photograph that for some reason). It knit up really quickly and looked nice and professional by the time it was finished. Though there is often a pleasing “homemade” look when something is, erm, homemade, I do like things to look as if you could buy them in the shops as well. Or at least, not like they could have been made by a five-year-old. This definitely passed both those tests.

If you fancy trying out a hot water bottle cover, I did make a few modifications to the written pattern, see my Ravelry hot water bottle cosy page for more info.

The pattern is available for free on Ravelry and is by Christiana.

“Bella’s mittens” for my sister

Bella's mittens knit by Wolves in London
There was another one, of course, but my other hand was busy taking the photo

I thought these mittens were quite awesome and should keep my sister’s hands warm when she’s out walking her dog. I hadn’t seen the sort of horseshoe cable pattern before but loved the end result. The wool isn’t the most glamorous (it’s quite a cheap acrylic one that I’d had in my stash for a while as I was trying not to buy any new yarn for these presents) but the colour is lovely and quite heritagey and it’ll be easy to wash too. Oh and I’d made her a teapot cosy in the same wool a few years ago, so as an added bonus she can be matching to her tea cosy, ha ha. Always essential.

More pics on my Ravelry Bella’s mittens page. The pattern is available for free and is by Marielle Henault.

I’d had this pattern saved in my Ravelry queue for quite a while now (and mentioned it as one of my planned projects to make in my Top 20 tutorials for Christmas presents) so I was delighted these turned out so well.

Cabled hat for my other (soon-to-be) sister-in-law

Slouchy cable hat
A little snap of me modelling the cable hat

I knit this cabled slouchy hat in a nice aran weight wool in a sort of sea blue colour, picked up at my local wool shop.  (Incidentally, when I say “sea blue” I mean UK sea blue, not tropical sea blue. It’s a lovely deep grey-blue that looks like it could sit moodily at the bottom of some English cliffs.) The colour is stunning, but I did actually mess up the cables a bit, so they’re not quite in the right places. That’ll teach me not to bother to look at the pattern after the first repeat. I’m not overwhelmingly happy with it, as a result, but I didn’t have time to frog and re-knit. This was definitely my biggest knit disappointment, as I’d spent a while trying to choose the perfect pattern and the perfect yarn, only to knit in a far from perfect way. Sigh.

More info on my Ravelry page for this Star crossed slouchy beret and again this pattern by Natalie Larson is available for free on Ravelry.

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