Finished Wonder, First Cable, & Gift Giving Tips
Lucy finished her One Skein Wonder this weekend! It was during a knitting marathon with Mom & Dad that lasted past 4 am Saturday morning.
Lucy used Cascade 220 yarn. She added some green for the border.
Lucy made sleeves a little longer than the pattern called for, making it her own in true LusciousGracious style. Great job Lucy!
Where was Lily during the All-night knitting marathon? At a slumber party, where as part of her gift she gave this wristband.
Speaking of gifts, here is a little holiday gift giving guide from Kiki. The rest of this post will be picture-free, as we are busily working on gifts that can't be shown here yet.
Kiki's Gift Giving Tips For Knitters
Suddenly, that time of year is upon us, and we realize that only a few short weeks remain until January 1....and that most of us are expected to provide gifts for at least 20,000 people between now and then. Enough pressure? Oh, no.......people know who you are; YOU are a KNITTER. And, the holiday season in the Northern Hemisphere just happens to fall during the time of year in which heads are full of sugarplums and visions of warm scarves (Note to Self: Move to Australia by next Halloween).
If you aren't in full-blown panic mode yet, you soon will be, as you start matching names to projects. Will this year finally be the one when you finish that lace tablecloth for your mother-in-law? Would your brother wear felted clogs? Mittens? Who doesn't like mittens? Isn't it convenient that your sister has developed a wool allergy, but can still mysteriously wear cashmere? And Dad...has he come to expect a pair or two of your special hand-knit socks every holiday? Does he brag about them, and refuse to wear anything else?
Ahhhh, don't you feel loved? They depend on you, don't they? And, you always come through with the perfect, handmade gifts. It's just expected. Just like YOU are expected to wear a new sweater of your own design, or at least a sparkly wrap, when you attend all of those mid-winter parties. You are a knitter, and you must look the part. Don't forget to add all of this year's babies to last year's list. And what about decorations? A lacey dresser scarf to line the shelf under the menorah? Tiny, expertly-wrought sweaters to dress up the tree? Your best friend is getting married...she'll need an heirloom...
What else? Angora for Mom? Rustic tweed for your significant other? Your cousin just adopted another dog. How many yards would it take to make a Great Dane sweater?
Take a deep breath. Follow these tips when considering what to knit this holiday season.
2). If #1 fails, reconsider.
3). If you still cannot help yourself, commit your knitting resources/budget/holiday sanity to ONLY knitting for those who can really, really appreciate it. By that, of course, I mean other knitters. If you feel that you must absolutely expand your list, you may include those who crochet. But that's it. Really.
4). I am not kidding.
What do you think? Afraid that some non-knitting loved one will be put out or otherwise angered? Remind him or her that the Great Knitter in the Sky helps those who help themselves. Instead of knitting for them this year, present them with a nice kit. Include some soft, thick, wool yarn (stretchy, forgiving, and quick), big needles, and a good book. Melanie Falick's Kid's Knitting: Projects for Kids of All Ages (Artisan), with its clear pattern instructions, easy-to-follow diagrams, and irresistible projects has helped my family and many of our friends learn the knitting basics, as well as some more advanced techniques.
If you do this, one of two things will happen. The recipient will fail miserably, retreat to a corner, and never want to look at a knitted garment again. Or, he/she will become a master of the art and start making heirlooms for you out of sheer gratitude. Either way, you are off the hook.
Now that your knitting list is severely pruned, what are some good gift ideas for the knitters (and crocheters) you love? You could always give them yarn - you know that they love yarn. Then you could spend all of your knitting time on your own holiday finery.
Or, you could take some time to think about what each knitter means to you, and design accordingly. For that special person who taught you to knit, make a mini-replica of that first item. This is an especially charming gift if you can make it out of any yarn scraps remaining from the original.
Has your best knitting partner helped you over a stitching hump? Did she show you how to turn a heel? Socks are the natural choice. Did he share his technique for cables without an extra needle? Make him a cabled hat or belt.
Did your weekly stitching group watch you struggle for months with the same sweater, only to dissolve into laughter when you finally tried it on (in front of them, you fool) and the sleeves drug the ground while the collar wouldn't fit over your head? Unravel the beast, in private, and make them each a hat or small bag from the yarn. They will laugh every time they use their new gift.
Are you famous for a project or a technique? Incorporate a bit of what you are known for - lace making, felting luxury fibers, recycling thrift store pieces, beading bags, etc - into each gift. Do you spin and/or dye your own yarn? Use some of that, or just give the yarn itself as a unique and sure-to-be-treasured present.
Remember - these people GET you!! Knitting something for them is bound to be a creative act for you, not just a productive one. And these items, because of that, will be true gifts: small parts of your heart and soul.
Please, my stitching friends, consider my words. I am trying to be funny a little bit, but also trying to make a point. And it isn't just because I want to give you more time to knit for ME. Have a great holiday season, and relax a little. Remember why you started knitting in the first place.
p.s. Stephen thinks that we should also include babies to our lists, as they cannot yet knit, and shouldn't be punished for that. I say fine, as long as you each have a knitting partner to do the baby knitting. Have fun, Steve!