Drive By Holiday Crafts Post

I spent a lot more time making things than writing about them this December, but I’m quite proud of some of them, so here’s a quick rundown:

I knit a hat for a Ravelry swap:
image
http://www.ravelry.com/projects/khas/old-fashioned-stocking-hats

I knit a hat for my sister, for our first family Secret Santa:
http://www.ravelry.com/projects/khas/hat-shaped-hat

We made mini gingerbread houses with real gingerbread (rather than gingerbread cookies) and then I made a big one, too:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/katsniffen/11282994094/
DSC_7951.JPG

I made Christmas fish ornaments for a Ravelry swap, but failed to take a picture.

I made cinnamon dough cookie ornaments, and then painted them with my Jr Assistant for stocking stuffers. She really liked signing her name on the back of them:
Cinnamon Ornaments
Cinnamon Ornaments
(I was really pleased with the baby-wearing one. That one stayed on our tree)

A sunshine hat

This is my first attempt at a new pattern—a combination crochet and knit summer hat for a friend:

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The color doesn’t come across very well in the photo, but it is Blue Mint from the Caron Simply Soft line:
. The color reminds me of sunny summer day blue skies, getting the “sunny day” feeling without being sunshine yellow, which doesn’t suit most people’s complexions.

The pattern is from Ravelry and I will totally make another to keep.

The crochet part was really easy. The knitting part should have been pretty easy, but I am still so bad at knitting. This is my first completely successful attempt at using circular needles. The places where I had trouble were (1) picking up stitches when my 3yo “helped” and (2) binding off. The first time I bound off it wasn’t stretchy at all, so I did some Google searching and found the yarn-over bind off, which worked great: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RAuk8iRSwJ4

Un-binding-off is an amusing exercise I hope never to repeat, but all’s well that ends well.

The final hat is not as slouchy as I’d hoped (I made the medium) but we’ll see how it looks on the intended wearer.

Why gauge is important

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This—cowl, I guess—started its life as a legwarmer. I couldn’t find any patterns I loved, so I took measurements, figured out from that how many stitches to cast on, and only ten rows in realized that my gauge was way, way off. A friend suggested that it might be a sweater for my not-quite-3yo, so I switched from 5×5 ribbing to stockinette to make a prettier sweater.

A few inches of knitting later, it becomes clear that this is not a sweater for even a really big toddler. It *might* be a sweater for me, but I didn’t really want to make an adult sized sweater. So, instead, I put on some ribbing to match the other side, I have this really soft cowl in MIT colors, and a lesson.