Monday, January 19, 2015

FO: Christmas Edition #2

Our journey through the items I made for Christmas gifts this year continues today with a few more :) First off, I'll show you the two gifts I was most excited about months and months ago.
They're Shibe Doge beanies! lol My husband loves the Shibe Doge meme (click that link if you don't know what I'm talking about), so when I was looking around on Ravelry one day and I came across a Shibe Doge themed hat pattern, I knew I had to make it. I will confess to being a bad ... supporter? I guess? ... The pattern I originally found was on sale for $4.50 and it come with instructions for a colorworked brim hat or for duplicate stitch words (like I made). Well, I just couldn't see spending $4.50 for a pattern when the part I wanted to use it for was just a basic beanie with words stitched on - I can do duplicate stitch without any pattern, you know? So, I used the Basic Hat pattern by Ooo Baby Knits (which is a free pattern) to make the hat, then I looked at the photo of the "inspiration hat" to figure out the spacing for the words.

I got a bit sneaky with my hats - the pictures above are of two separate hats, by the way. See, my husband has a bigger than normal head (love you, babe). I planned on making my brother in law a hat so he and my husband could match, so I started making this back beanie and told my husband it was for "the other Justin" - this wasn't entirely a lie, but the one I had my husband try on repeatedly was actually for him. This was a good plan because I would have made the hat too short for my husband otherwise. This was my first time using duplicate stitch and I swear to you stitching on the words took as long as making the hats - craziness! But it was all worth it because they came out great. Each hat says, "So Chill, Much Brr, Such Cold, Wow." In retrospect, I kind of wish I had added "Very Hat," but you can't have everything, lol. The beanies are made with Lion Brand Wool-Ease in Black and the words are stitched in Lion Brand Lion Wool in Pearl Gray. This combo makes for nice and snuggly hats :) Both my Justins loved them, so I hope they get a good amount of wear.
Next up was a fun experiment that ended up being a few well liked gifts :) I've always been curious about Red Heart's Sashay yarn, but I just never wanted to pay $6 for something I might not like. One day a few months ago I came across a clearance section that had this particular color (Waltz) for only $1 each - I bought several skeins not knowing what to make at the time. Come Christmas making season, I knew just what to do with these skeins! I made two frilly scarves for my Mother-In-Law and Sister-In-Law :)
I the color combo of this colorway, and I love that it has a shimmering silver thread throughout for just a little bit of sparkle. For each scarf, I just used one skein and look how long they came out! By the way, my lovely model is my younger sister :)
As far as working with this stuff ... it was tedious. You have to open up the yarn as you go to expose the lattice structure since you actually only knit into the very outer edge. Once I got the hang of it, it wasn't really hard, just more annoying than normal yarn. Happily, these went very quick - maybe 2 hours each scarf - and I waited several weeks between making each one so I didn't get sick of it, lol.
My two recipients were both pleased and seemed surprised that I made them, so I take that as a success.
Another item I made early on is this pretty shawlette for my husband's Grandma. I asked my husband what her favorite colors are and when he told me teal and pink I immediately thought of this yarn I've had in my stash for ages. I purchased this yarn when I was still in high school (!) back when I used to do a lot of Swedish Weave projects. I used a little bit, but had most of the skein left ... it's been sitting in a bin for at least 12 years. I'm just not a huge fan of variegated yarn, personally. I was so happy to have recently organized my stash so that I knew I had it and was finally able to use it all up!
I used the Garden View Shawlette pattern, which is free, and I really enjoyed this pattern! It's nice and simple, but with just a bit of lace to keep things interesting. It ends up having 7 of the leaves along the edges.
The end is where things got a little interesting. This is the cast on side, so everything looks good, right? Well, when I reached the end ...
I ran out of my antique variegated yarn! Oh my gosh, I was so mad, lol. I ALWAYS buy extra yarn for my projects. This is my first time using a really specific yarn like this and running out. Because of how the pattern mirrors its decreases and increases on each end, I couldn't just pull back one leaf to make it a smidge smaller - I would have had to pull out all the way back to the 1st leaf at the cast on edge and redo it all. Well, that was absolutely not happening, lol. So I dug through my stash and pulled out all the solid yarns I had that were represented in the variegated skein. I only had 3 that matched, so I just alternated between them for the last 2 inches. Then I had to weave in the ends - 67 ends of yarn! In a 2" area! Ugh, it's so nasty, lol. It was just an awful experience. It was the best I could do though, and she didn't notice anything about it on Christmas. I certainly won't tell her, lol.

The other three items I made were not knitted or sewn and I forgot to take pictures of them. I made my mom, my sister , and my aunt all magnetic pin plates. I actually started a post about them way back in July, but never finished it, lol. Maybe I will get around to it this year. They are super cute and useful.

So, this wraps up the Christmas gifts I made this year :) It was certainly a lot of work, but I am proud that I started early enough to get them done while still working on other projects. This saved my sanity and I didn't begrudge the gifts I was making by the end. I'm happy with how everything turned out, and I hope the recipients enjoy their presents!

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