03 January 2015

Christmas Knitting

After promising myself that I wouldn't try and knit a bunch of things for Christmas, I sort of went and did exactly that. The saving grace was that most of the things I knit, while they were Christmas presents, didn't actually have to be completed until a few days after Christmas.

The first thing I knit, that wasn't initially a Christmas present, was this red, uneven checked cowl.

Uneven Checked Cowl
I had started making a blanket using this stitch pattern that was supposed to be mailed off to be part of a giant Christmas stocking. I knit it solely backstage during Meet Me in St. Louis because it was a way to keep my hands busy during the few moments of downtime and it was an easy pattern to keep track of. However, I was over half way through my first skein of yarn and it didn't look like the stocking was actually going to happen, so I just knit until I liked the width, cast off, and joined it to make a cowl. Meet Me in St. Louis was the last show that my Production Assistant, Anna, was doing at that theater with me, so I asked her if she wanted it. I already have too many cowls and I wanted to give her something I'd knit. It worked out for us both because she liked it and happily took it as a Christmas/show present.

I also knit a cowl for my Secret Santa at work. It was a pattern I'd favorited on Ravelry a while ago and it was a good pick for Secret Santa because it used bulky yarn and size US13 needles, so it knit up really quickly.

Moebius Basketweave Cowl
I actually had a very hard time finding yarn for it. My person's favorite color is green, but being Christmas time, any green yarn was few and far between. Luckily I found this nice grass green. It was unintentional, but I thought it was amusing how similar the stitch patterns were on the two cowls that I made.

I ended up knitting two things for my Secret Santa. In addition to the cowl, I knit this adorable Tardis mouse.

My Secret Santa really likes Doctor Who, so I knew I wanted to make something Doctor Who related. I also didn't want to shoot myself in the foot by picking something too ambitious. The mouse was something I could reasonably finish in the time I had and I already owned the yarn for it, which also helped.

The embroidered letters weren't quite as perfect as I would have liked.
It did knit up pretty fast overall. Piecing it together and doing all the detail work was the most time consuming part. I had initially wanted to do the small crocheted ears, but I'm so rubbish at crochet that I abandoned that idea pretty quick and settled for the knit ears. Overall, I was pretty please with how he came out.

The final two things I knit this year for Christmas were actually the very first and the very last things I completed. I wanted to knit something for my mum and Joanne (Mike's step-mom), but I didn't really know what to make them. Mum's hard to knit for because she lives in Hawaii and I don't really know Joanne well enough to knit wearables for her. In the end, I knit them these little stuffed guys.

Mum's Stuffed Gnomeman
Joanne's Christmas Gnomeman
 Technically they're gnomes, but because of the colors I used, I really think they look more like snowmen. I've been calling them gnomemen. The one on the left was the one I made for Mum. I picked his hat and scarf colors based on the fact she likes orange. The one on the right is the one I made for Joanne. I went for more Christmas-y colors on him. I also gave him eyes based on Mike's suggestion. I think somehow the red hat ended up smaller, despite the fact that I thought I followed the pattern the same both times. I intentionally made a longer scarf for Mum's. I think I picked up the stitches around the base better the first time. I didn't go far enough back on the red guy, so the stitches want to curl out more. But they're both pretty cute despite all that.

And now I'm back to slogging along on my first pair of socks. I actually did make some progress on them recently, despite all my Christmas knitting. I just have a few inches and the toe to go, then on to the second sock!

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