Friday, January 10, 2014

Holiday Knitting

Two years ago, I made Christmas stockings for our school auction.  Several people who didn't win the stockings that evening asked if I could knit some for their families.  I agreed, but warned them that it could take me awhile.

It did.

These five stockings were delivered at 9:30 PM Christmas Eve.  
I know.  
But hey, these are really time-consuming, with all the fiddly little color changes and ripping out and embroidery work and ripping out and afterthought heels.  And ripping out.  

I used the good old Cascade stocking recipe I have used many times before, but the gnomes, houses and paper dolls are from other sources.  I made up the gingerbread cookie chart myself

I really love those gnomes.  Or elves.  Cute little guys:

I can't seem to locate the chart -- I do know that it was free.  I'll keep looking, though.  I used a little bit of mohair in their beards.  The pattern called for french knot eyes, but I took those out, and think they are cuter without wonky, beady eyes.

One of Griffin's Halloween costumes this past year was a fox, so I thought he needed this hat, which is crocheted from a GarnStudios pattern.  The yarn is Vanna's Choice from Hobby Lobby, because it was the perfect color for a fox.
Sharon found a cute hat on pinterest and wondered if I could make it.  I could.
Not the greatest picture of Sharon, but you get the idea.
The pattern is the Wavy Moss Headband/hat from Cedar Box Knits and the yarn is some bulky stuff I found at Hobby Lobby, too.
I knit the hat again in some beautiful Lorna's Laces bulky that my friend, Christie, gave me for Christmas:
Lovely model, no?
I never want to knit with anything but Lorna's Laces ever again.  And as soon as I win the lottery, that will happen.

Sometimes, though, you just have to pretend you are knitting with LL.  This Budding Infinity Scarf for my other darling sister is knit with Red Heart. Not my favorite.

But I had won a huge skein at a Christmas party, and since my darling sister likes neutrals, I thought this was the perfect color for her.
I think Red Heart is a lot softer than it used to be -- at least this skein didn't squeak when I knit with it. However, I still wanted it to be softer, so I went online to find a solution.
There are lots of ways to make acrylic yarns softer, and I ended up combining two ideas.  First, I soaked the scarf in a sink of warm water with 1 cup of white vinegar for a few hours.  After I washed out the pickle smell with some Woolite, I soaked the scarf again in a sink of warm water with 2 big capfulls of fabric softener.  I'm not a big fan of fabric softener because of the plethora of chemicals that go into it, but I conceded that maybe this was the best way to go. And it was.  After soaking for 2 hours, rinsing and a short stint in the dryer, the scarf is soft enough to wear close to her face.  

This pattern was not difficult, but be warned -- ever other row is 260 purl stitches.


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