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Gifts Archive



March 2013



Catching Up: Everything Old is New Again

Written by , Posted in Blog, Bloggy Blatherings, Finished Objects, FOs, Fotoposts, Gifts, Knitting, Knitting Knatterings, Updates, WIPs

HI! Hi, Internets, hi!

So I’m browsing Ravelry this morning (likeyoudo), and there smack in the middle of the “what’s hot right now” list of patterns is an old knitblogger’s friend: Cornelia Tuttle-Hamilton’s Klaralund! [rav link]

It’s possible that I am particularly knitstalgic at the moment, having finally imported ancient Typepad blog posts over that reach back to 2005. Certainly I was more clever in my blog headlines then, and FAR more prolific in my posts than the past ~mumble~ years have shown. But to come across a pattern that was one of the first in what felt like a constant wave of projects that would zoom across the (then somewhat limited, compared to today’s 2m Ravelry users) knit-blog-osphere, trending as one of the current projects that knitters are into in 2013, feels almost like an out-of-body experience. Time traveling, if you will, but with more needles and fewer Daleks.

Terribly pleased to see that the pattern has had more sizes added; I thought the reason it might have come back into knitterly awareness now is because of the release of the Noro: Knit 40 Fabulous Designs book, but since that happened in 2009, I really don’t know why it’s come back around. Not sure it’s relevant, really; I’m just kind of glad to see what feels like an old friend coming across my Ravelry options. 🙂

Okay, so. Everybody knows it isn’t real unless you blog it, right? So here’s all the stuff that hasn’t been real until RIGHT NOW, since last we met:

The Sainted Husband got his (almost)annual Crazy Hat Project result earlier this year – his Skully Hat remains the most oft-worn, beloved knitted item ever to come off my needles, so, as TSH is a professional editor and English teacher, I made him We Call Them Ampersands, a spin-off of the same pattern as his skully hat, now with more typography!

True to form, I’ve discovered I haven’t got a good Finished Object photoshoot of this one, but here’s a couple action shots of the hat doing its job:


(That’s my dad in the background; we were visiting them in Raleigh, NC and it was COLD that day. YAY knitted things to keep people warm!)

And a hazy at-home, natural-habitat shot:

Ampersands Hat


Project: We Call Them Ampersands; original pattern is Adrian Bazila’s We Call Them Pirates; Ampersand chart by Susette Newberry

Yarn: I don’t actually know. Generic shetland-esque wool I had in stash, no ballband.

Needles: Addi Turbo Lace US 5s

I don’t have a timeline for this one, either, I’m afraid. This is what happens when I don’t blog for forever; I have no digital memory to help me remember these things.

Hats are pretty much all I have had any knitting bandwidth for of late, it seems; I have a rainbow Ampersands I started for myself, but will have to rip because my gauge was wonky:

Rainbow Ampersands hat in progress

That’s Kuani for the color, and I think a shetland for the white. Pondering other options for this one.

The other hat I knit last year ate up nearly all my knitting mojo, and it was a confluence of Twitter Bravado and commission. I follow many of the authors I love over on Twitter, and one day the infamous Brain Hat was mentioned as a desired object by one of my most fave authors. I, perhaps foolishly, replied that I had two sticks and some string and could probably make that happen. Several DMs later, I had a commission to make the thing.

Brain Hat in medias res: (in media? Damnnit. Stupid Latin.)

It took four football fields of yarn, months of time, and at least half my sanity, but I TRIUMPHED:

Braiiiiin (hat)


Pattern: Alana Noritake’s Brain Hat [Rav Link]

Yarn: Madeline Tosh Sock in “Nectar” from WEBS

Needles: Addi Turbo Lace, I think US 4s? Can’t remember specifically what size needles I did this on, am guessing based on some in-progress pics I’ve got on Flickr; I do know that purchasing an i-cord machine saved. my. bacon. with this project; holy crap but did this ever take forever! Thank goodness the recipients were terribly patient with me for it. 🙂

Started: February 4, 2012

Finished: December 18, 2012

As I’m sitting here doing this, I’m realizing that even though it feels like I haven’t knit anything in years, practically, I actually did finish a fair number of projects this year! Long-time readers (if there are any of you remaining) may recall the Samhain wedding shawl knit for Miss Plum’s godmother; so, when this lady birthed her first child this year, there had to be a small suite of Wee Laddie Knits! First, the obligatory Baby Surprise Jacket:

Handspun BSJ is done but for blocking! (for @wren's pending wee laddie)

Pattern: Baby Surprise Jacket

Yarn: My own handspun (!!!!)

Needles: No idea. Addi, yes, but size? No clue.

Completed: Sometime in March 2012.

I had enough handspun leftover to crank out a wee tiny Aviator cap:

In which @wren should avoid looking unless she wants spoilered:


I can’t remember what book I cribbed this off of; it was one of the very first knitting books I ever got, but it’s about the same as any other infant ear flap hat pattern that’s floating around out there. I was just ridiculously proud that it was knit from my own handspun. 🙂

Then there was a second wee laddie sweater:

Sweater for pending Wee Laddie is DONE! So. Cute.Pattern: Fibre Space‘s Baby Stripes

Yarn: Spud & Chloë Sweater, purchased at Fibre Space

Needles: Addi Turbo Circular US8s

Completed: March 12, 2012

I have a grey hat in progress for another friend that stalled out on the crown decreases; need to take some pics of that for you; also I took some of this Clover Leaf Farms fiber in colorway “EarthTones”:

4oz braid of Clover Leaf Farms merino in "earthtones"

And am turning it into some handspun, like so:

Bonus 365 shot: playing with bouncing flash! @xPeregrine @tylluan

Not sure yet what that’s going to be.

Holy crap you guys, there is so much. I shall sum up what remains in a forthcoming post.

Meanwhile, tell me how y’all are doing?

PS: I went from dirty blonde to red while you weren’t looking:

For @mizjawnson, LOTD: Why Did I Wait So Long to Get the Naked Palette?!


and After:

2nd day flat iron curls:



August 2010



Cooper Circle Caulfield Cap

Written by , Posted in FOs, General, Gifts, Knitting

Well, ok, it’s the Caulfield Beanie, but close enough for alliterative awesome, I think. 🙂

Cooper Caulfield Back

Cooper Circle Caulfield Beanie

This was one of those times when I really wondered if I had gone ’round the bend. I cast on for this thing on Tuesday afternoon (August 17, 2010, Future Self, when you can’t remember and are trying to update your Ravelry page or tell somebody when it was or somebody asks you AGAIN “How long does it take you do something like that?” and you have no idea and go check the blog to find out…) with the express intent of having a birthday present for The Sainted Husband’s birthday on Friday, August 20th.

Cooper Caulfield Decreases

Lovely crown decreases

You might think (unless you are familiar with me and my methods of doing things) that I would choose a simple, fat gauge beanie in all knit stitch, so as to be sure to complete it on time. But NO! It was not to be any such thing. I had in mind something to show off this yarn, which by the way is going to put a serious hurtin’ on me in the future as I will require more of it, so I dug through my Ravelry faves and came upon The Family Trunk Project’s Caulfield Beanie.

Cooper Caulfield Posing

Thoughtful Tom is Thoughtful

Then I considered using a different yarn, because I am in deep smit with this one and wasn’t sure I was ready to give it up, but no. It needed to be his. And so it came to pass that the Caulfield Beanie met Neighborhood Fiber Company’s Studio Worsted in colorway Cooper Circle.

Cooper Circle Caulfield Beanie

I had many a moment of “Oh crap, this thing is ginormous, there’s no way it’s going to fit, wtf was I thinking using this yarn on these needles and…ooooh pretty! squishy! pattern-y!”, but clearly once again the knitting goggles (far less fun than beer goggles) were on and the hat is a good size for him. (That, or he’s just got a truly ginormous noggin, dunno — either way the hat works, so I’ll roll with that. :))

So in summary:

  • Pattern: Family Trunk Project Caulfield Beanie
  • Yarn: Neighborhood Fiber Company Studio Worsted, “Cooper Circle” colorway, purchased from Fibre Space yarn shop in Old Town Alexandria
  • Needles: US 8 Addi Turbo 24″ circular
  • Cast on: 08/17/2010
  • Cast off: 08/20/2010
  • Mods: Just the yarn (though Cormo would NEVER suck, this particular yarn was what I wanted to knit with this time), and using Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Cast-On method for casting on.
  • Notes: Knitting this thing was awesome. The cast on and set-up row were a bit of a nightmare as it’s a very specific repeat that you really have to pay attention to; I ended up getting to use some of my insanely cute owl and penguin glass stitch markers – 8 of them! – to make it easy to keep track of where I was, but I was dorky and didn’t think to try that until I was a couple rows in, so it was very slow going until then. This yarn is the most exquisite color I think I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with, though the yarn itself was a bit splitty; I am now trying to determine if I could sell off some plasma or something in order to afford a sweater’s worth for myself.



February 2010



Beck for Valentine’s Day

Written by , Posted in FOs, Gifts, Knitting

‘Round about March of last year, I took some photos of a sweater in progress and posted them here. A sweater that had originally been intended as a Valentine’s Day present, but that promptly hibernated through some serious life changes for us, as well as the tail end of my last couple of years of knitting ennui. Thereafter my returned knitting mojo and all my knitting time was taken up by the wedding shawl, since that was on deadline (and deadlines and I don’t mix very well unless I am brutal to myself in project monogamy). Finally, it took Snowpocalypse, Snowpocalypse II: The Burying, and Snowpocalypse III: Snowverkill to provide me enough time, space, and mental wherewithal to finish The Sainted Husband’s Valentine’s Day Sweater.

Better a year late than never, right?

  • Project: Jane Ellison’s “Beck” Sweater
  • Yarn: Classic Elite Skye Tweed, 16.5 skeins
  • Needles: US size 8 needles, Addi Turbo and Addi Lace circulars
  • Size: 44
  • Mods/Notes: I knitted a gauge swatch for this thing. I WASHED the swatch. I got gauge with said swatch. THE SWATCH. LIED. This beast grew into the craziest wide sweater EVER. I knit the size 44, and it was easily 10 inches larger around than that when I first blocked it. (This is partly my fault because I did not measure as I blocked, and I didn’t listen to my inner voice saying, “Huh. That looks…kind of big.” After the first blocking, the sweater fit ME very well (we have a Jack-Sprat-and-his-wife thing going on in my house), but was far too big for TSH. So I blocked it a second time, felted it very slightly on purpose, and now he says he loves it.I’m not entirely satisfied with the sweater yet — it rides up at the back hem because his spine is so curved, so I will attempt to tack on some short rows at the back hem to extend that down another three inches or so in the center; I overblocked the collar such that it is too big on one side, so I need to steam that back where it belongs; and I need to knit a couple of facings for the back side of the zipper, which I think I want to re-install as it’s buckling despite my careful insertion of it.

    Still. He’s wearing it, in front of friends!, even as I type this, and claims that he’s very happy with it. So I will call that a successful Valentine and a nice F.O. 🙂



March 2009



Technology and Procrastination

Written by , Posted in FOs, Gifts, Knitting

This is what happens when the twain shall meet:

I took far too long knitting this sweater for a wee dude born a couple months ago — so long that I was beginning to be afraid it would be too small for him by the time I cast off, if I didn’t get a flippin’ move-on, already. And thus, when I suffered a bout of insomnia night before last, I finished the knitting, sleeve-seaming, and button choosing:

So. Everything but the blocking, but there was A Thing for the recipient at my office the next day, so I let it go out wonky…and without taking any reasonable photos of it. (LAME!)

Enter Calliope, my iPhone. And thus you have photos, albiet not pretty Pentax ones. Still — an F.O. is an F.O., yes? 🙂

Project: February Baby Sweater, Elizabeth Zimmerman (rav link)
Yarn: Alpaca blend purchased at MDSW last year. I have a LOT left, so expect to see this again. It’s rediculously, wonderfully soft. Has major halo.
Needles: Addi Turbo US 6 (it doesn’t look NEARLY that gauge, does it? so weird.)
Mods/Notes: I skipped the gull patterned lace as this was to be a macho wee sweater, and went stockinette, instead. The rest I knit as written, or at least in so far as I could understand it — there’s wonkiness under the arms there because I didn’t get the “pick up 4 x 7 stitches” part at ALL. Will be hitting Ravelry E.Zim. forums with that question before I knit another one of these, which will likely get cast on…oh, NOW. 🙂

Also, with the buttons — there were only four of the blue buttons that had two holes, and one button that was exactly the same as the other four in all ways except that it had four holes in it. Weird! But typical button-box/jar fare, yes? So I put that one in the middle, and it totally worked. ~fin~