Thursday, December 24, 2009

happy christmas

rubbish christmas
Fortunately for the wee man, last year's christmas jumper still fits. Mostly due to me making it about fifty times too big originally. A little bit snug over that fat belly, he'll have to go easy on the roast potatoes, but he will be glad of its warmth this year... brrr! It looks like a scene from Doctor Zhivago outside, the trees are covered in ice right up to the top branches. Going out of the door is like walking into a vat of liquid nitrogen. Fortunately I have plenty of mince pies, knitting and wine to keep me occupied indoors.

A very merry christmas and a happy new year to you all! May santa bring you a sackful of yarn!

Friday, December 18, 2009


This, unless I have any more last minute harebrained ideas, marks the end of my festive knitting. Only prezzies for my sisters this year, because one sister asked for socks and the other one would be jealous if I didn't knit her something too. (My brother has fallen off the xmas knitting list because he doesn't wear the nice handknitted-in-wool-from-local-farm hat I made him, favouring a cheap shopbought acrylic one that doesn't even fit his head. Hmph.) My sisters have Very Different Tastes. One likes muted neutral colours, and would consider some shades of beige to be too garish. The other likes her colours as bright as physically possible, and would probably enjoy wearing a garment made of radium.

I highly doubt any of them will read this so ta-daaaa! Above are the rather unadventurous socks for Muted Sis. Made from recently acquired Regia 4ply in shade 'I can't remember'. (Whilst in my possession it was so fleetingly in a unknitted state that I'm afraid I have failed to put it into Ravelry or save the ball band). Just a plain toe up garter rib. Interestingly, though, they are much baggier than the last pair I made, despite using the same pattern, the same needles and almost exactly the same yarn. I don't know what has happened to my tension. Initially I blamed gin, but the second sock is just the same so I think I am just slowly turning into a Loose Woman.
Dayglo Sis is getting these mittens. They are made from some alpaca from the stash, aran-ish weight, multicoloured and brandless but beautiful (a gift from some friends who went to Patagonia on holiday). I've started making various things with it before and abandoned them because they didn't really suit the yarn. I wanted to do it justice - it is very soft and warm and quite short colour repeats, which I think come out rather well in this design. I winged the pattern, they are very simple. I couldn't tell you what I did, I was using a new strategy: 'I can't be bothered to write down what I am doing as I go along, so I will make them fairly soon after each other and trust myself to make the same decisions each time'. It nearly worked, and the resulting mittens will be ideal for anyone with one fat thumb and one thin thumb. My sister doesn't really fit this description, but maybe if I distract her with a small dance while she opens the present she'll never notice...


Saturday, December 05, 2009

super speedy sister sock

So I really wasn't going to do any Christmas knitting this year, as I have been dead busy with various Big Projects lately. (If you are wondering what, there is a hint here! I know, it's all quite exciting). Then my sister phoned a couple of days ago. I hadn't done any Christmas shopping so needed a quick run down on what her eleventy billion kids wanted from Auntie Rubbishknitter. She suggested, as there has been a dearth of income in this house of late, that I could make the kids something. I politely declined, as not only am I a bit strapped for time but they are mostly teenagers and probably excruciatingly embarrassed by my creations. So she reeled off a list of presents and mercifully, as they were all the sort of thing that could be easily achieved on a 10 minute Amazon spree, I was starting to feel a bit calmer and more organised about the whole Christmas thing. Until I asked her what she wanted, and she casually said, 'oh i don't mind, a pair of socks or something'.

To be fair, a non-knitter probably sees this as a pretty innocuous request, easily fulfillable in a supermarket if you're lazy. But someone like me is physically unable to buy socks as a Christmas present for a close family member. Especially when a recent Kemp's sale cleared out a load of Regia sock yarn at £1.20 a ball, some of which mysteriously found its way over my threshold. I may not have a lot of time these days but I wasn't Manchester Yarn Day Speed Knitting Champion for nothing! So I found myself hurriedly casting on for the fastest sock in the West. It's plain toe up garter rib using my old fave knitty universal sock pattern, and I have to say this is possibly the world's quickest sock to make. Look, two days of evening-only knitting in and I am nearly there on sock one! The trouble is, you see, this is a bit of a can of worms I have opened....I have another sister too, who is likely to get jealous. Good job I stocked up at Kemp's really ;)