Christmas is for giving
I gave more hand made gifts this year, than I ever have in the past. I think that could be a good judge of the fact that my life may be just in the place I want it to be, with enough time for creating things.
One thing that helped this achievement was the fact that I now routinely knit on any long trips we make. For alot of years I thought if I could not read while riding in a car, I probably could not knit. I have of course found out that this is not true, and now when traveling I am usually knitting on a sock or some small project.
The gifting started at the party with coworkers. The name I drew was a lady I just knew would love a hand spun/knit scarf of alpaca. And I was right. She was so appreciative of the gift, and I think there will be much wishful thinking next year that I get someone else's name. Opps, not a good precident to start, but I appreciate the sentiments behind it.
The rest of the knitting was for family. I did those gigantic boot slippers for both hubby and daughter, those were in the pictures below.
And I will post a picture of the scarf I did for my daughter. It is knitted not from handspun but from the Manos yarn made from recycled silk sari warps. It really turned out different, and it was interesting to knit with. The colors change constantly, and have the brilliance only found in silk. The yarn has an interesting hand to it too, substantial, and yet very thrown together feel. I used the drop stitch for the scarf. I cast on 28 stitches at first and knit 8 rows garter (don't copy this down yet, for this is not what I finally used) That many stitches was too wide, and that wide of a band of garter stitch did this weird flaring out on the ends, compared to the drop stitch later. So I basically frogged one mornings worth of knitting to start over.
Cast on 19 stitches
K three rows
Drop stitich row: k1, *wrap yarn around needle three times (as if knitting), k2* repeat between stars until end of row.
Next row, knit only the knitted stitches. All of the wraps just get dropped off the needle. They will look sloppy, but once you have done the row, what you do is tug from below those stitches to straighten everything out.
K three rows, do drop stitch and knit row dropping the wraps, and repeat this until out of yarn or scarf is length you want. Finish by knitting three rows of garter.
I bought two skeins of yarn, but had about half a skein left. I plan to do some playing with this yarn. The whole time I was knitting with it, my mind kept trying to fathom how to make it into a solid fabric, to show off the colors. However, just knitting tightly does not make a very nice fabric. The dropped stitch really does do better to display all that color play. And trying to make a solid fabric out of such a fuzzy yarn is really rather futile. However, I have thought about carrying one strand of the manos and one two ply strand of homespun silk, and making me a skinny scarf. That's what my mind finally settled on for making fabric from this yarn.
I have not heard yet from my mom on her socks, I will talk to her tonight and see how she liked those. That was the last of my hand knitted presents for this year.
Now I am working on my best friends birthday socks, which unfortunately will be late, since her BD falls between Christmas and New Years. However they are fun to knit, I have alot of time right now, and I bet they will not be too late.