Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Handmade Christmas Gift Number 2

 Mittens and hats!  We are trying to stay warm here people!  Though, funny enough, it's been an unusually mild winter for central Alaska.  And I am not complaining.  I hope it stays this way.  But it's still cold, and mittens and hats are vital, so this lovely sister of mine got a new hat for her birthday and some mittens to match for Christmas.
Since the hat was a late birthday present she got to choose the pattern and yarn that she wanted.  Her choice (much to my joy) was the pattern Scrollwork from Brooklyn Tweed Wool People Vol. 4.  It was my first time using a Brooklyn Tweed pattern, and it was just as good as I'd hoped it would be.  I've loved their patterns and colors and styling from afar for a very long time, so it was (geekily) surreal when I actually got to purchase a pattern! (gasp!  Oh my goodness, just to stress how silly this is, the pattern cost a whopping $6.50, I don't know why, but for some reason I let things become something I "always wanted to do" and yet never just come out and do it, even though it would be easy, so easy, and fun.  Maybe it carries over from being the child who saved her Halloween candy for months.)   I wanted to use their yarn too, but my sister didn't like the idea of tweed yarn (crazy!) so we went to the yarn shop together and I let her pick out whatever she wanted.  Which was Cascade 220 (worsted) in Iris.
 It turned out pretty good I think!
Next up are the mittens, which my sister did not get to pick out the pattern for, because these were a surprise.  And a successful one at that!  I used the same yarn and a pattern from a book I already had, Boutique Knits.  It was a good project that came together quickly (thankfully) and neatly.  
 Usually I stay away from patterns that have lots detailed finishing work.  It's curious to me when I read other knitter's comments or posts on knitting blogs and ravelry, because it seems like there are two categories that we get placed in, those hate finishing on projects and those who love/don't mind it.  I don't know if I really fall into either.  I've come to realize that it really just depends on the type of finishing it is and how out of the way you have to go to avoid it.

For example: I don't mind seaming, in fact I actually enjoy getting to sit down and sew all the pieces together.  And when it comes to a seamless raglan top down sweater, I really hate knitting the sleeves.  The rows are short and the dang thing just gets more and more twisted the longer you knit, so you have to wrestle the whole sweater around and around every five minutes or so.

But, I don't ever want to have to sew on a button band, or knit something fair isle flat.  I do not enjoy felting at all (my poor hops-a-lot slippers still are not finished because I just do NOT want to felt the ears.  Gah, writing it out makes me think I should just do it.  I should, I really should.) and even though I don't mind it, kitchener stitch is something I put off.  I think it's just the fact that I have to track down my tapestry needle.
So all that to say, I feel like I fall smack in the middle of the two parties.  I'm probably not the only one either.

Now the point of this was to say that for all of the little finishing things these mittens required, they weren't as bad as I thought they would be.  The leather cost about twice as much as I thought it would, and I still had to tea dye it.  But it worked.  And I already had the buttons, so that worked too, and really it just all came together for a nice, professional looking pair of mittens.
 This will be the last of the present posts for a while.  The other gift I made was blouse for my other sister, but it's a bit too cold outside and dark inside for modeling.  So it might not be until spring.  There will be more project posts soon though because last weekend I finally got some sweaters photographed!  Hooray!

Hope you are all having a lovely week! Drink lots of tea and read good books and stay warm, okay?  I'll be back soon.

Love, Clara

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