Sunday, 4 January 2009

Christmas knitting 2008

Did you get all of your knitted/crochetted gifts finished in time for Christmas? Since work consumed so much of my life last year, I set myself a very modest total of two pairs of socks and a pair of slocks (crochetted, slipper socks). The slocks never made it.

I didn't get a photo of the first pair of socks, which I gave to my SIL. However, they are from the same yarn as the sock that I was knitting half-way down this post. Here is another shot of that photo.

Yarn: Regia 6-Faedig a.k.a. Regia Crazy Colors 6 ply in the colourway Passion. 2 x 50g balls (I used approximately 80g).
Sticks: 3.5mm Addi Bamboo dpns.
Pattern: none, really. I just applied the Yarn Harlot's generic sock recipe.

The second pair of socks seemed to take forever to knit. I bought the yarn at the start of December, when I visited Barons in Uxbridge. Despite the down-beat start to our relationship, the Elle Machine Washable Sock Wool was actually a pleasure to knit. Which is just as well really - because the first sock took over two weeks, I was frantically knitting the second sock at midnight on December 23rd. My wrists were killing me!

They were for DH's best friend. I think he likes them. He modelled them for me.

Yarn: Elle Machine Washable 4-ply Sock Yarn in brown. 2 x 50g balls (5g left over.)
Sticks: 2.5mm Addi dpns.
Pattern: "retro-rib" pattern from Interweave Knits Winter 2004. Here's a link to the pattern on Ravelry, if you're curious. I made larger socks than those in the pattern, by increasing it to 72 stitches and working the heel flap over 36 stitches. The final result is perfect for a plain yarn since it allows the texture of the stitches to take centre stage, but the rib pattern does make it slow going. It was easy to memorise but almost impossible to knit without paying attention because it changes every few stitches. It was a relief to get to the foot so that I could do some plain knitting on the sole.

In a fit of inspiration/madness two weeks before Christmas, I added a hat to the mix. I'd gone into John Lewis to buy a wedding present and, as usual, wandered through the yarn department. In the clearance bin, I found two balls of Rowan's Biggy Print and thought: "That'd make the perfect hat for Kim". (It did, too.) It was only when I got home that I discovered the recommended needle size is 20mm! And I needed dpns to knit a hat. DH was sceptical that I would find needles for it, let alone get it done in time.

Tuesday 23rd December found me trekking into I Knit London to see if they had needles I could use. I ended up with a 15mm Addi Turbo circular and good luck wishes from Craig.

I cast on on Christmas Day and was finished within two hours. Lets just say that it was interesting doing the magic loop on a circular as thick as my thumb.

I made up the pattern, trying it on as I went.

Final view:

Rowan's Biggy Print in Thunder. 1 ball per hat.
Sticks: 15mm Addi Turbos.
Pattern: Made up by me. Cast on 28 sts and join careful not to twist. Work in K1 P1 rib for 10 rows. On next row, decrease every 4th stitch either by K2 tog or P2 tog. Then work two rows decreasing every third stitch. Work 1 row of K2 tog P1. On the final row, K2 tog and repeat to end. Thread a paper-clip with the tale end of the yarn and, using that as a needle, thread it through the remaining stitches, drawing them tightly together. Weave in the ends using the paperclip as if it was a needle.

I liked it so much that I made one for me, too.

- Pam