The Christmas Knitting

I have to say, there's a lot going on in our household lately and I really wanted to enjoy the lead up to Christmas instead of feeling crazed, so I started off with very modest knitting plans.  Only two gifts, actually, were on my list and they weren't big things.  But you know how it goes, right?  I made good progress on those and got excited and started making more plans until my imagined pile of Christmas knitting kind of tumbled over on top of imagined me and I had to scale back again!  In the end, here is what I made:

Matching felted purses for my niece and her American Girl doll.  Everything from stash except the pink yarn (and maybe the larger button, I can't quite remember...).  Pattern made up as I went along (very simple).  The buttons are purely for show - there is one on each side and they hide the stitches that hold on a snap to keep the bags closed.  The adorable simple bird is sewn from wool felt (I always get mine from A Child's Dream Come True) using a free pattern from Alanna George at The Craft Nest.  The bird went to my grandmother, not my niece.  :)

Matching felted purses for my niece and her American Girl doll.  Everything from stash except the pink yarn (and maybe the larger button, I can't quite remember...).  Pattern made up as I went along (very simple).  The buttons are purely for show - there is one on each side and they hide the stitches that hold on a snap to keep the bags closed.  The adorable simple bird is sewn from wool felt (I always get mine from A Child's Dream Come True) using a free pattern from Alanna George at The Craft Nest.  The bird went to my grandmother, not my niece.  :)

This is one skein of Ushya by Mirasol, cast on provisionally, knitted in garter stitch until it ran out, and grafted together after putting a single twist in the piece.  Could not be simpler and my sister loves it keeping her neck warm!

This is one skein of Ushya by Mirasol, cast on provisionally, knitted in garter stitch until it ran out, and grafted together after putting a single twist in the piece.  Could not be simpler and my sister loves it keeping her neck warm!

This is a very squishy hat for my brother-in-law.  Knit from a bulky stash yarn with wool and cashmere content (I'm pretty sure it was Lana Grossa Alta Moda Cashmere) in the same chained construction that the Ushya uses, which seems to help some against pilling.  I was quite happy with the result on this one and I hear it was well-received.

This is a very squishy hat for my brother-in-law.  Knit from a bulky stash yarn with wool and cashmere content (I'm pretty sure it was Lana Grossa Alta Moda Cashmere) in the same chained construction that the Ushya uses, which seems to help some against pilling.  I was quite happy with the result on this one and I hear it was well-received.

Finally, two pairs of slippers on their first fireside relaxation run.  These are Duffers Revisited by Mindie Tallack, the original pattern in grey for (another) brother-in-law and with a bit of a tongue added (with inspiration from some other Ravelers' projects) in the browns for my father-in-law.

Finally, two pairs of slippers on their first fireside relaxation run.  These are Duffers Revisited by Mindie Tallack, the original pattern in grey for (another) brother-in-law and with a bit of a tongue added (with inspiration from some other Ravelers' projects) in the browns for my father-in-law.

I like to give felted slippers in person and not yet felted.  You get the look of confusion when the package is opened, the skepticism when you promise that twenty minutes in the washing machine will make them fit perfectly, and most importantly, you get the perfect fit.  Plus, felting is like cuddly, useful shrinky-dinks.  The kind of simple magic adults don't get to have in their lives that often.  :)  You can see the delight start to break through as you keep making trips from the washer with the slowly-but-surely shrinking slippers and fitting them to the recipient's plastic-bag-covered feet.

Always give felted slippers in person and not yet felted!

If you're in a rush (and who isn't?), set your oven to 200 (F) and put your newly felted things on a towel in the oven for a few hours.  They'll be dry days earlier than the just-sit-them-out method.  Just be sure no one changes the dial while they're in there!

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I made a pretty little neckerchief thing for my mother-in-law (from stash), too, but seem to have forgotten to take a picture!

Of course, I couldn't do everything I imagined and a few loved ones got left out, but they got nice non-knitted things and will someday make it back to the front of the knitting rotation!   :)