I haven't had a chance to give most of these out yet, but I'll assume that my nephew and nieces aren't reading this... First up, my version of Eva's Hat by Mary Ann Stephens in Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino. My experience of DB patterns has been a bit mixed, but the yarn itself is glorious!
This is knitted in the round from the bottom up, and then stitches are picked up at the hem to knit a contrast band for the inside, which is then sewn down. This helps the hem to sit flat rather than curling up and hides the strands of the colourwork on the inside. Plus it amps up the cozy factor!
This was my first experience in colourwork (other than stripes, that is) and I loved it. I've been wandering around Pinterest and Ravelry and have a few plans for me.... More on that another time though.
Next up, another Hermione Loves Ron in stashed Rowan Bamboo Soft. I've written about this in a previous version here. Love this pattern. My daughter's hoping there's enough stash left for one more...
Slightly more challenging - finding a hat for a fourteen year old boy. Enter Graham, a slouchy beanie in broken rib. It looks a bit odd lying flat - no hanger appeal there - so I got my boy to try it on for the camera.
It got a thumbs up from him and my twelve-nearly-thirteen year old girl, so I figure I'm on the right track :) Good pattern - AND (drumroll, please) I knit a gauge swatch! Giant leap forward in personal growth, that. I used Cleckheaton Country Naturals (8 ply/DK instead of 10 ply/worsted, so gauge test was unavoidable), which is pretty much my go-to yarn for male knits.
Our friends had a gorgeous baby boy on Christmas Day, so I dug out my Old Faithful Sirdar children's knits pattern book and made my favourite basic V neck. The neck looks small here, I know, but it stretches over a grapefruit with room to spare. (Don't ask.) This was in Bendigo Classic 8 ply, and was actually from stash. Woo hoo!
My brother-in-law- and his partner had a baby boy in late November, and since they live in Darwin there didn't seem to be much point in knitting anything! I hadn't done any quilting for years, and even then it was pretty basic, so I kept this simple too.
The batting (is that what it's called??) is a cotton, so it's really lightweight and breathes nicely. Plus it's not bulky at all, which is a plus since they travel around a lot. It'll probably be more use as a playmat, but it's a good size for that. It's all machine done except for the bound edges at the back. I don't remember ever machine quilting before, and I'm glad this was relatively thin, because it got tricky in the middle there. A few lines show up some uneven stitch lengths, but I'm pretty sure only a proper quilter would notice that. I got a look from my husband when I asked him, so I'll take that as a yes!
It took a bit longer than I thought it would (blind optimism fails me yet again...) but I enjoyed it. I'm not ready to become a regular quilter any time soon - although I'd like someday to make one for our bed - but it made for a nice change. Thank goodness for rotary cutters, though!
I don't often share much outside sewing/knitting ventures, but I hope you don't mind me being a wee bit self-indulgent for a moment and sharing The Best Christmas Present Ever:
Introducing Sasha. We're all in love...
This first post of the year is also my first blogiversary! I thought I'd commemorate it first by saying an enormous and heartfelt thank you to you all. It's been such a rewarding year, and I've loved being part of this amazing online community. Thank you for all your lovely comments, support and encouragement; it's been so appreciated!
I've been going through my small stash as I've been planning projects for this year, and found a few items that, while I still love them, just don't fit in with the plans. So I wondered whether any of these could find a willing home among any of you? A slightly more tangible thank you, perhaps!
Firstly, a Japanese cotton lawn. This is 112cm (44") wide, and 3 metres (ummm...120" - I don't know yards!) long. It's a navy nackground, with a teal-green, lemon and cream print.
Secondly, a cotton (I'm pretty sure) navy gingham, with 2.5cm / 1" squares. This is 118cm /48" wide and there's just over 2 metres in length.
Thirdly, three skeins of Abuelita Baby Merino Lace yarn. Each skein is 420 yards / 384 metres. This, I'm assured, is fingering weight (4 ply) merino not lace weight despite the name. It's beautifully soft, and I was utterly seduced by it when I saw it on sale 2 years ago - so much so that I ignored the fact that I just don't wear this colour.... Your gain, perhaps!
If any of these take your fancy, leave a comment saying which one(s) and your email address so I can contact you. If there's additional interest I'll draw names out of a hat. Or maybe I'll get Sasha to... ;)
Finally, not as a giveaway, but just because I love it and wanted to Show and Tell - look what my sister gave me for Christmas - the most wonderful tape measure I've ever seen! On the back are these fantastic little drawings of the predominant fashion silhouette decade by decade from 1700 to 1990. It's almost too good to use!