my life as a crocheter & knitter & working mom

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas wrap-up

Christmas isn't completely over in these parts; we go to Vermont later this week to celebrate with my family.

But, I thought I'd post about those things I made for Christmas day in New Jersey.

First up, gifts for my boys.

I bought a bunch of Jets licensed fabric back in September/October, thinking I'd get something done for Hubby's birthday. Didn't happen. I did however make him a pair of shorts for sleeping in and pj pants for Billy, who barely wanted to put them on for a picture and will probably never wear them.

Next up was my father-in-law's gift.

He usually drapes on of M-i-L's aprons around his neck to protect his clothes when he carves, so I thought he should get his own manly apron. The pattern is simplicty and I cheated and used woven belting for the straps. He liked it a lot and wore it throughout Christmas dinner.

I was going to make my mother-in-law some potholders, but the plan was cursed from the get-go. The first fabric I wanted to use was 100% polyester so I had to pick something else. Then the layers of fabric and batting were too much for my machine. So those have been put aside and I decided to knit up some mittens. Originallly, I was going to use Thistle Mittens by Libby Guillard-Somers (rav link), but the pattern is top-down and I didn't want to be trying new techniques 3 days before Christmas. So, I modified, heavily.

I was able to get one finished for Christmas and gave her the completed pair at church yesterday, which she promptly showed off.

My mods were:
  • Cast on 48 stitches and knit 2x2 ribbing for 1 1/2 inches (~15 rows). 
  • On the next row k1, k in stitch below, p21, k2, k1 k in stitch below, k 23 (now 50 stitches). 
  • then I started the chart, which was more of a guide than directions since I was working up instead of down. On row 20 of the chart I started my increases for thumb gusset. Followed pattern to last 2 stitches placed a marker, k 1, k in stitch below, k 1, k in stitch below, placed a marker, k to end of round every other round until 16 stitches for thumb. 
  • I worked one round of chart before removing thumb stitches to waste yarn and casting on 4 stitches over thumb. 
  • this meant there were 2 k stitches on one side before pattern and 3 stitches on the other side (I had a deadline, I didn’t have the time to make it perfectly symmetrical) 
  • I followed the rest of the patter, decreasing (ssk, k2tog) where chart had M1s until 6 stitches on each needle, then I grafted. 
  • I knit 20 rows for the thumb, k1 k2 tog around, k2 tog around to about 7 stitches cut yarn and pulled through.
I have most of the Vermont gifts done, done, done. Just Mom's left to sew and Dad's birthday sweater to finish. Lots of wrapping to do!

I'm going to need to hit a fabric store to re-stock on Christmas prints. M-i-L loved the gifts bags and I think I'll be out of stock by the time I get the VT gifts wrapped up!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009



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Friday, December 11, 2009

another sneak peek

Here's something else I'm working on for Christmas. Just cast on last night (you didn't see the other two cast-ons that were knit a few inches and ripped out, indecisiveness kills knitting).

I hope it works out to be the right size.

I plan on doing some sewing tonight. My main goal is to get my father-in-law's gift finished.

Tomorrow Hubby and I are going shopping. B's spending the day and night with his grandparents. We hope to get all of his gifts tomorrow.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

tell me you like something, and I'll probably make it for you, eventually

My maternal grandmother was a great crafter. She knit, crocheted, sewed, beaded, braided rugs and made the best fudge and pies. Every year at Christmas we would all get a tin of fudge (although, since I live away I would get tupperware as the tin wouldn't get back to her for the next round of gift-giving) and she would bring out ornaments and garland she'd made throughout the year. I have some wonderful ornaments she made and the angel on top of our tree was made by her as well (she made sure everyone got a bead angel). I also have two garlands that she crocheted. The garlands usually adorn our bannisters (this year, in a break with tradition, one was in hung in the arch between dining room and living room instead of on the upper half of the staircase).

My mother-in-law has said she likes the garlands a number of times. So, I made her one for Christmas. I had left-over Christmas ombre from the tree skirt I crocheted my mother 8 or so years ago. I didn't have the pattern my grandmother used (even though I inherited her knitting and crocheting stuff), but it was easy enough to look at the ones I have and see that it was simply 3 dc in each stitch of the foundation chain.

I cast on what I thought was enough stitches Sunday after lunch, and by dinner time I was done.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

teacher gifts

I finished the gifts for Billy's teachers this weekend.
Little zippered pouches to be filled with goodies like purell, hand lotion, tissues, lip balm.

Fabric was some in my stash. I love the kids on them. I used the tutorial on the Purl Bee. I fussy cut the pieces a little bit deeper and I frenched the seams instead of using bias tape.

Now to get to Walgreens for the stuff to go inside. I need to wrap the speech therapist's for tomorrow. Hanukkah starts Friday.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

inching toward Christmas

I'd make a lot more progress if I could stop ripping back on this. After knitting at lunch, I'm 1/3 done.
Not much will get done tonight. Hubby's Christmas present was 1/2 price partial season tickets to the Devils and the first game is tonight. My first hockey game of the season!