I couldn’t post about these at the time I was knitting them, so a brief post now…
I rarely knit for other people. I am a slow, fussy knitter, with a vast number of things that I want to knit for myself. Although you might think that knitting my own presents makes sense when I am being careful with money, I have a very small amount of yarn on hand (not a stasher) and buying the yarn costs basically as much as buying the finished item from a shop. Even quite a decent shop. I’d rather find a great bargain, use some Tesco points, or make the effort to save money out of one of my other budgets.
However, the exception is when it’s something I want to knit anyway. That’s why many (not all) of the new babies of my acquaintance end up with hats. Baby hats are possibly my most fun knits ever.
This Christmas there turned out to be two things that I wanted to knit.
1) One sister had requested fingerless gloves specifically. She sings in a choir, so often has to shiver in cold churches, while needing to retain enough dexterity to turn pages. I’d never made fingerless gloves so it was a fun challenge. I made some One Cable Mitts out of a ball of Stitch Nation Alpaca Love that I’d got in a swap at knitting group. It’s a decent wool/alpaca blend that didn’t feel annoying for me to knit (I’m not great with pure wool) so hopefully shouldn’t be annoying to wear (I don’t think sister has wool issues). The cable definition turned out pretty nice. I remembered to cross the cables differently on the left and right gloves and put the thumbs in different places. If I knit the pattern again I’d want a thumb that was just a touch wider and a glove that was a touch shorter, just a row or two.
It turned out that my other sister also made the choir sister some fingerless gloves, but they were totally different, being tipless (ie separate short fingers) and interestingly textured. I really fancy having a go at them myself sometime. The pattern was Treads.
2) I took a fancy to making a beer sweater in the week before Christmas. I’d been half-thinking of doing it for a while, but didn’t have any sportweight yarn. In the end I decided just to make it with a light DK (Sirdar Click) and it worked out fine. I magic looped (like I always promise myself not to do) since I didn’t have the right dpns (as usual) but it wasn’t all that painful. I’ve never knitted a bottom-up raglan before so seeing how the construction worked was fun.
It looks great on a small bottle, but on a large bottle it has rather a Pooh-bear midriff-showing effect! (See below.) Anyone wanting to put them on proper decent-sized bottles of ale should add another inch/inch-and-a-half.
Mr Woodsmoke was adequately chuffed with it, and it makes me smile!