Thursday, December 30, 2010

Handmade Gifts

I really enjoy making gifts for other people but I wonder how the receivers feel.  I know there are some people who really like a handmade gift and appreciate the effort and time that went into it, but on the downside, when you get a handmade gift that just "isn't you" or doesn't fit, there's no exchanging it.  This year, I tried to keep my handmade gift projects limited to people I thought would enjoy them the most, or things specifically mentioned.  The exception is that I can't help making cute little sweaters for my niece and goddaughter, so I think they are going to be stuck with some crazy-Aunt-Karen gifts!  Hopefully when they're old enough to start telling me what they want, I will not take it personally.  Or maybe they'll think my stuff's wicked-awesome fashion and ask for more!  Anyway, here are my handmade gifts for the year.

Saroyan  for Kristina

As you can tell from the photos, I finished it last spring!  I have always wanted to try one of Liz's patterns and really enjoyed this one.  It is written in a way that allows you to make the shawl as wide and as long as you want.  I went by the yarn I had and it ended up between a scarf and a shawl but will keep your neck nice and warm!  It is sort of the shape of my favorite scarf.  I knitted a sample out of this yarn for Marly in 2009 and wanted to knit another project with it.  Wool gives this yarn stability and the bamboo content gives the yarn a nice sheen and more warmth.  I was thinking of Kristina when I started this project and when I got done, it seemed like it definitely wanted to belong to her!

Pattern:  Saroyan by Liz Abinante - free!
Yarn:  Bamboo Ewe from Debbie Stoller, Lipstick red
Ravelry details here.


Socks  for my mom

My mom loves handknit socks so I had intended to make her more than one pair through the year but I just did not have the time.  However, I did start this pair for her in August.  I traded Dawn some pictures of her Autism hat pattern for this yarn.  It was nice to work with.  The pattern is from Sensational Knitted Socks and the only problem I had is that I misplaced the book after the first sock.  Now I could have borrowed this book from several different friends, had I not altered the pattern slightly.  Agh!  I did manage to get the second sock knit up by following the first sock.  Unfortunately I did not have these done by present-opening time but I finished them before I left my mom's house.  (I also had to undo my cast on row because the cuff was too tight.  I just put all the stitches on needles as I undid the row, and bound it back off with the EZ Sewn Bind off.  I really like this bind off, it's flexible; here's a video if you want to see it.)

Pattern:  3x3 Cable with Moss Stitch by Charlene Schurch
Yarn:  Louet Gems in Charcoal from Ms.Yarn
Ravelry details here.

Eyelet Sweater for my niece

Wow, this post has lots of craft drama!  This project was no exception!  Someone gave me this yarn and I thought the texture was really fun.  I found this sweater online and thought it looked like a fun knit.  I swatched my yarn and my gauge was a little small so I thought I would knit my own size between the sizes available.  This would probably have been fine if I had picked the right sizes to work between but when I tried it on her in November, somehow I made it too small!  I had enough yarn to start over so I did, and the second time I went by the 3T size.  Since I knew the pattern already, it came together really quickly.  I used vintage buttons of my grandmother's for the closure.  I don't actually know that this sweater fit my niece, but hopefully it does!

Pattern:  Eloise Eyelet Sweater by Lion Brand Yarn - free if you sign up to their website
Yarn:  JoAnn Sensations Stellina, red, 3 1/2 balls
Ravelry link.

And my finally project was not a knit!  I wrote it all up but I am having a lot of problems getting my pictures to load and this one is absolutely refusing.  I'll see if I can post it later.

*In weather today, we've had snow falling ALL DAY!  Finally.

**And on a personal note, BFJ and I have been married fifteen years this week.  And he's still my best friend. 


Shawn said...

Hi Karen,I know how you feel about giving handmade gifts. I always like to give it to someone I know will appreciate it, especially after putting so much work/love into it. All of your gifts are beautiful!! Oh and congrats on 15 years ~ sounds like you're on your way to many more.

Nana said...

The socks are wonderful! Your dad was bragging about them when we were at our neighbors' home last night - unknown to him, I had them on and was able to show them off. Lots of oohs and ahs about your "fine detail"! Thank you! And 15 years is a great milestone!

Judy said...

Your handmade gifts are wonderful. If someone does't appreciate...cut them off! Glad you finished the socks, they look great.Happy 15 years! Happy New Year.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful gifts! And Happy Anniversary!

Larissa said...

Love your knits! that shawl is on my list too. Happy New Year to you! and happy 15 years - it just keeps getting better!

Thimbleanna said...

Happy Belated Anniversary! (Did you tell me what day? I've lost a whole two weeks of my memory! Ours was the 27th.)

BEAUTIFUL projects, as always Karen. I so love seeing what you are up to. I LOVE LOVE the edge on that shawl. And the socks and little sweater are just gorgeous. You've Rocked the Knitting!!!

StarSpry said...

I feel the same way about giving knitted gifts.

Your knits look great!! Glad you were able to finish the 2nd sock before leaving your mom's house :)

Happy belated anniversary, too!!