Knit Happens at Christmas

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With Christmas only a week away, I am busy wrapping all the presents I made over the last couple of months. In a year of financial challenges, I have to say I’m pretty thankful for my crafty skill set. Not only are handmade gifts one-of-a- kind (and from the heart), but they are a lot easier on the wallet.

Last year, I made a ridiculous number of socks for my family and friends. I’m sure they would have all loved another pair, but I decided they needed another accessory to go with those snazzy socks. My recent obsession with making hats came in pretty handy this holiday season. Starting in September, I sat down and knit a total of five hats in all different styles, (six if you count the one I made for myself). From the basic ribbed hat to a super cute owl hat, my circular needles got one heck of a workout!

From here on out, it is spoiler city for my family and friends. Don’t scroll down any further, unless you want to spoil your Christmas surprise! If you keep going, at least act surprised when you open your gift.

Seriously,  no peeking.

As for the rest of you, scroll past the stars to see some super cute hand-knit hats!

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This hat has already been ripped open and worn. My friend simply couldn’t wait until Christmas! It’s a simple 2×2 ribbed hat made out of my mom’s favorite yarn, Red Heart (Color: Aran).

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It goes with everything!

I used the same 2×2 rib pattern to fulfill a family member’s request for an Indianapolis Colts Blue hat. She wanted a big, thick hat to wear to the games, so I got to work. This super warm hat was made with Valley Yarns Northampton Bulky in Colonial Blue.

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Go Colts!

Pattern: Basic Ribbed Hat by Anne Laird

Last year, I made the Lucy Hat for myself. A family member loved it so much, I decided to make her one for Christmas. After finishing it, I admit I was quite tempted to keep it for myself. I love the color! This hat was knit with Paton’s Classic Worsted Wool in Plum Heather and Dark Grey Marble.

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I seriously want to keep this hat!

Pattern: Lucy Hat by Carina Spencer

Another family member has a thing for sports, so I made her a beanie in University of Arizona red and blue, (as an ASU alumni this hurt a little!). I combined and modified two patterns to make this hat (I liked the general shape of one pattern and the decreasing sequence on the other). I used Paton’s Classic Worsted Wool in Bright Red and Navy to knit this hat.

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Go U of A? Nah.

Pattern: Sorry no link for this one as it’s my own creation.

A friend of mine is obsessed with owls, so I made her a hat with an owl cable brim. To give it some serious personality, I embroidered eyes into every other owl and dubbed it the Peek-a-boo Owl Hat. This hat was made with Paton’s Classic Worsted Wool in Harvest Yellow.

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Peek-a-boo Owls!

Pattern: Owl Hat by Jennie Powell

Of course, some people just don’t like to wear hats, so I had to make some socks and other accessories. Another Knit Happens post is forthcoming, so stay tuned!

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c.b.w. 2013

A Very Knitty Christmas

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Back in September, I got the insane idea to knit socks as Christmas gifts for my friends and family. As expected, my sock loom and newly picked up knitting needles have been very busy over the last three months! When it was all said and done, I ended up knitting eight pairs of socks, a hat, and a scarf. Hopefully, getting socks for Christmas this year won’t be a bad thing!

Friends and Family spoiler alert!!! You all probably know you’re getting socks, but there is still the surprise of how they look. If you want it to remain a surprise, don’t scroll down any further!!

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If you’re still scrolling, you must be okay with peeking . . . (Shame on you! Just remember Santa is watching!)

As for everyone else, here’s what I’ve been knitting:

Batch #1: Bright and Colorful

Giving socks for Christmas has never been more fun!

Giving socks for Christmas has never been more fun!

For the most part, I opted to make short socks with a thicker yarn. Instead of knitting 6 inches for the leg, I went with 4 inches. This decision gave me more bang for my yarn buck and allowed me to complete a pair of socks in less than a week, (which is rather handy on a tight schedule!). However, I made two pairs of full-length socks, because I had a lot of yarn in those particular colors and I didn’t want it to go to waste.

Yarn used:

  • Yarn Bee Snowflake Wool Blend – Berries/#14
  • Yarn Bee Snowflake Wool Blend – Nazcar/#200
  • Yarn Bee Snowflake Wool Blend – Pale Aqua/#03
  • Baby Bee – Carousel Ombre/#114
  • Paton’s Kroy Socks – Lavender Jacquard/#55309

Batch #2: Thick and Warm

These are sure to keep feet toasty warm!

These are sure to keep feet toasty warm!

All three pair are again of the short sock variety, but with much ticker yarn. The mismatched stripes are actually done on purpose! The more I knit socks, the more I realize how much I love making socks that don’t match exactly – I guess you could call that my trademark. The colors are the same and so is the pattern, but I purposely switch up the stripe pattern to give them a little oomph.  As my mother would say, “that’s what makes them homemade!”

Yarn used:

  • Lion Brand Amazing – Arcadia/#206
  • Lion Brand Amazing – Wildflowers/#203
  • Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice – Grey Marble/#860

For more details on how to make socks on a knitting loom, check out Leisure Arts’ fantastic how-to guide, Sock Loom Basics. I’d still be hanging out in the “non-knitter” section of the craft store if it wasn’t for this little book!

Batch #3: Warm Accessories

There are two people who will not receive socks this Christmas because I didn’t know their shoe size with enough certainty. It’s a good thing I picked up knitting needles, so I could make something just as special for them!

My first two projects using needles instead of a loom.

My first two projects using needles instead of a loom.

The scarf is actually the first thing I ever knitted on a pair of knitting needles, (without help). Considering I am still learning, I’m pretty proud of how it turned out. It’s a gift for a very good friend of mine and I hope it keeps him warm. The hat comes from the idea of a pattern my mother had for many years. She lost it along the way, but together we found a comparable match, so I could make this hat for my dad. I hope he likes what I made with my two little hands! (Dad, you better not be peeking!)

Hat Pattern:

Ribbed Hat Pattern (Free!)

Yarn used:

  • Lion Brand Alpine Wool – Barley/#224
  • Lion Brand Fisherman’s Wool – Oak Tweed/#200

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Stay tuned for a look at how I wrapped these “knitty” gifts. Handmade gifts deserve handmade wrapping!

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c.b.w. 2012