OK, y’all. I got one done! And it didn’t even take all that long. (In hours of work time, anyway. In days/weeks of calendar time, that’s a different story.)
It turned out super cute, even though the top is a little different from the one I made myself- I’m not sure exactly what happened there, but I guess that’s what happens when you don’t use a pattern… or notes…
I think the big kid is going to like it!
But here’s the big question: it’s only a couple short weeks until Christmas- will I have time to make a second for the little kid? Or will they get a nice “New Year’s Hat” instead? Fingers crossed.
When’s the last time you had to race against the calendar to get a project done?
So, my blanket continues to grow, and it continues to look exactly the same, so instead of giving you an update on my progress, I figured we’d go look at patterns on Ravelry, and you can help me pick out my next project.
It’s almost a month until Christmas, which means I should have finished any holiday knitting by now (or at least started it), but I haven’t. I’m not going to even attempt any big projects at this point- I’m not going to stress myself out that much. But I have been thinking about making a little something for the kids. Specifically, some a little doll or stuffed animal. Maybe a pair of almost-matching little guys for them to keep. (Not that they need more stuffies- we have baskets full, and they’re almost never played with.)
So, I need your help! I’ve got it down to four patterns, but I can’t decide which I like best. I’d love your input:
Mini Boy Bunny and Bear by Julie Williams of Little Cotton Rabbits. I’ve loved her patterns for years, but have never gotten around to making one of them. Pros for this pattern: Super cute, could make “fraternal twins” for the kids, they’re a perfect size for little hands. Cons: I shudder to think at all the ends in these little guys.
Butterfly & Cocoon by Susan B. Anderson. Another classic stuffed toy pattern. I love the goofy little wings, and the tiny little sleeping-bag cocoons. I know my 3-year-old would be beside himself if he saw this guy, but I also know that he’d need us to put that cocoon back on him about a million and a half times. And I don’t know if I want to do that.
Bebe Bunny by Amanda Buckley. These little guys are just so perfect and sweet. Honestly, they look like something out of a Pottery Barn catalog. Which generally isn’t the vibe my kids go for. If I was making these toys based on aesthetics alone, I’d be tempted to go with these little guys, but if I’m being honest, they might not get a ton of play.
Teddy Boo and Friends by Claire Fairall Designs. Finally, these guys are just the goofiest little stuffies I ever did see. I mean, c’mon. Look at them. They’re so silly. I like that they’re pretty simple, and that I could make two different animals, instead of just changing the color.
But, yeah. They’re all super cute, and if I’m being honest, they’d probably all about the same amount of play (which is to say none, because they’re not trucks). Which would you do?
Have you got any holiday knitting going this year?
It’s Christmas this week, and you were totally going to knit that thing for your mom/sister/neighbor/uncle/whoever. And now you’re out of time and don’t have the yarn or the pattern picked out. Well, I’ve got the perfect alternative for you!
Instead of stressing, just have your recipient fill out this Knit-Lib (like a Mad-Lib, but knitting-themed), to tell them all about their new gift!
That’s right- why spend hours trolling through Ravelry and weeks picking out just the right skeins of yarn, when you can have someone else spend 5 minutes choosing random words to design your project instead?
It’s early, as I write this from the past (ooohh!), but it’s never too early to be thinking about Christmas. Especially if you’ve got plans to knit for Christmas. And boy, howdy, do I have plans.
Just one. I’ve given up knitting Christmas gifts, because… well… it’s a lot of work, it’s stressful, and I just don’t wanna. Sure, I might make a pair of Christmas socks or a particularly special Christmas sweater from time to time, but I’m not doing the whole “everyone on my list gets a pair of mittens” thing this year. (And not just because we have a new member of the family this year.)
But I love a tradition, and one tradition we have is hanging stockings by the fireplace. We haven’t really filled them ever, but I love how they look, just as decorations, and I kind of love making them.
Plus, since our older kid and our dog both have stockings, it would probably be unfair if the baby was stocking-less.
So, I’ve dug the stockings out of storage, and re-ordered more Cascade 220 (thank goodness I actually kept the yarn tags from the last time I made a stocking, or I wouldn’t have had any idea about what shades of green and red to buy), and set to work knitting up a stocking for the little one.
Of course, I never took decent notes or wrote up an actual pattern, so I’m kind of guessing/using an old stocking as a general template. It’s simple enough for the leg of the stocking, but we’ll just have to see how it turns out… I really don’t remember how I did the heel…
And, while you read this, the baby will probably be born already (if there’s any justice in the world, anyway… I’m still a month+ out from my due date as I type this, and let’s just say, I’m ready to move on to the next phase of this thing), and should have a name. But, for now, I’m leaving the name blank, and will go in later with a little red yarn and duplicate-stitch in the letters.
It’s going to be so weird having 5 stockings hung up this year! (Assuming I can figure out the heel turn on this thing…)
Have you ever tried to re-create a project years after you made the first version? How did it go?
It’s Christmas Eve. You should be listening to carols, nibbling on cookies and generally relaxing while soaking in the Christmas-y vibes. But, if you’re like most knitters (me included- I decided a couple days ago that I had plenty of time to knit just one present, because I’m a little bit of an idiot), you’re probably stressing yourself out, trying to power through that last few inches of scarf or finish up the ribbing on that sweater.
I’m here to give you permission to stop.
You’re allowed to put your knitting down if it’s stressing you out. You’re allowed to help your grandma make cookies or drink a cup of mulled wine with your uncle. You can go play bingo with your nieces and nephews or make a snowman with your siblings.
Don’t hole yourself up, hiding as you finish your last few gifts. Your family will understand if they don’t get a totally finished gift on Christmas morning. (There’s no shame in wrapping a half-finished project, still on the needles.)
And if they give you trouble, just hand them this permission slip from the big man himself. It’ll totally get you out of any trouble you might find yourself in.
Print yourself off a Permission Slip, and go find yourself a plate of cookies and a glass of eggnog. Relax, and have yourself a Merry Christmas (or just a really nice Tuesday, if you’re not a Christmas person).
If you’re still knitting gifts for Christmas, good on you. But I’m afraid that I have some unwelcome news.
You have just about a week before Christmas is officially here.
I’ve got faith in you that you can make it- you’re a knitter, after all, and knitters Get. It. Done.
But, if you’re a knitter who has to make a lot of gifts in a short amount of time, well, might I recommend one (or two… they’re small) of these little patterns. They all take less than 50 yards of yarn, which means they should work up pretty quickly.
Plus, they’re totally cute!
I love these tiny, adorable long-johns (complete with butt-flap). They look a little bit fiddly, but, man, they’re cute. They’d make a really sweet little Christmas ornament (especially if you bent a bit of wire into a teeny-tiny hanger).
If your recipient is more of a “classy Christmas” type of person and less of a “butt-flaps are funny” type of person, I think these little wreaths are just darling. (Ugh… they’re so fancy that they turned me into a person who says things are “just darling.” That’s real fancy.)
And these little guys are just straight-up cute. They’re somewhere between Dr. Seuss and the kind of window displays you might see at a really nice department store in New York. I kind of want a tree covered in trees. How cute would that be?
It’s been hot as… well, something that’s really hot. It’s been too hot to really think. And it’s definitely been too hot to knit.
Seattle doesn’t usually get more than a day or two of hot weather in the summer. (I’m talking actual hot weather, not “Seattle Hot” where it gets to 75 degrees and everyone whines.) But this year, we’ve had a couple weeks of upper 80s/low 90s, which is real miserable. No one has air conditioning around here, and in the places that do (like the mall), it’s pretty disappointing.
So I’ve set my big blue sweater aside for the time being. As lovely as it is, I’m not interested in sitting with a gigantic pile of wool on my lap. No thank you.
Instead, I went diving into my craft room stash for something a little more seasonally-appropriate to do.
And, boy, did I hit the jackpot! (Thanks, Past Allison!)
At some point, I must have been on a cross-stitching jag, and I bought three little cross stitch kits. They’re cute little Christmas-y birds (that are inexplicably postage-themed?). A goldfinch, a bluebird and a chickadee.I had already started the goldfinch- the “stamp” part was mostly done when I pulled it out the other day. (I honestly have no memory of working on this cross stitch- I must have started it years ago!) A couple days of work, and voila! I’m working on the bluebird now. I’ve already messed up the head, but I don’t think it’s terribly noticeable, so I decided not to unpick the problematic stitches- he’s just a slightly chubbier-than-normal bluebird.The birds are supposed to be made into little ornaments, but I’m not sure if that’s what I’ll do with them. Maybe they’ll end up being part of a wall hanging quilt, or sewn into little pillows.
I suppose I should finish them before I go planning next steps.
It’s the after-Christmas knitting let-down. Not that I really had a lot of knitting I was working on for Christmas, per se, but I did have a couple holiday-related projects (and some work projects) that I finished around Christmas.
Now I’ve got to figure out what to do with myself again!
I could go back to my Papaya Sweater. I swear, some day I’ll finish it. I just… need more… enthusiasm. Or, alternatively, I just need to get off my butt and just knit the dang thing. (It sits in a big bowl next to my desk and looks at me every time I sit down to work on the blog or send email. It judges me.)I could start something new… I did receive three skeins of a really lovely merino/bamboo blend in a fantastic, subtle shade of blue. I just have to figure out what to do with almost 1500 yards of fingering weight yarn. (Maybe a bunch of socks? Or maybe a light, spring cardigan?)Or… I don’t know… I could do something non-knitting-related? Heresy, I know! But even I like to branch out once in a while. I’ve dabbled in paper-crafting, cross stitch, embroidery, clothing-making, even bookmaking (like, making books with paper, not taking illegal bets. I’m not a bookie. In non-related news, I’ve been watching a lot of cop shows and reading true crime books over the holidays. Maybe I need to start watching something else, if that’s where my brain goes). Maybe I need to find a new project entirely?
Or I could just take a nap with the dog.What are you working on, now that the craziness of the holidays are over?
Merry Christmas, everyone! Whether you’re all dressed up for a big fancy party, or sleeping late and having a cozy day in, I wish you the Best Christmas Ever! If you have to work, may your shift be low-stress and get over with quickly. If you don’t celebrate Christmas, may you have a fantastic Monday!
We’re keeping it pretty low-key this year. We’re not traveling, and no one’s visiting. My husband is making a fantastic stollen (that smells amazing- it’s baking right now!). Instead of going crazy and making a big Christmas Dinner for just the two of us (three, if you count the dog), we’re going to put together a big ol’ cheese plate, play board games and watch a bunch of Christmas movies. It’s going to be a great day!Well, I gotta go- I think I need to go make some coffee (with egg nog, of course).
You’ve fought a tough battle. You’ve spent your winter (and probably a good chunk of your fall) working on your Christmas knitting. It’s now time to rest.
If you’re an amazing go-getter, maybe you’re already done. You can wrap up your gifts, pour yourself a nice glass of eggnog and take a nice Christmas nap, knowing that you’ve completed everything you need to do.
If you’re a human being, you’ve probably got a pile or two of half-finished projects still hanging around.In that case, I’ve got a little poem for you to use on Monday morning, explaining what’s happened.
Rudolph has his reindeer
And Santa has his elves.
There’s only one of me, alas
Just knitting by myself.
I tried to get everything done
And bind off all my rows,
But Christmas comes just when it comes
And that’s my source of woe.
I haven’t finished up your scarf.
Your sweater has one sleeve.
I haven’t completed your present
Though it’s late on Christmas Eve.
I beg of you forgiveness.
Let me knit the last few rows.
As soon as your gift is bound off,
I’ll deliver it wrapped with a bow.
And, I’ve made it into a nice, printable format, so you can print it out tonight, wrap it up and give yourself the weekend off.