A wee Giraffe is Coming Soon

December 20th, 2014 by swatchless

There’s nothing like a deadline to crack the whip. Tonight I will be meeting the grandma-to-be of the little giraffe, and realized that it’d be my last chance to hand over a gift. It turns out that a giraffe hat can be made in a morning! I used this pattern as inspiration, but knit the ears doubled in the round to give them more structure.

It turned out better than I had expected!

Secret Santa

December 18th, 2014 by swatchless

Tomorrow is a knitting deadline for me. I’m in 3 different Secret Santa exchanges, and I’m happy to say that my 3 pairs of mittens are done!



All are fox and geese mitts because they are the ones my fingers can make without much brain involvement. At this time of year, that’s a key feature of pattern selection.

Neon is cool

December 14th, 2014 by swatchless

I was advised that neon is cool again way back in the summer, and I hoped, as I knit so many tiny fluorescent stitches, that this fact would hold true at Christmas time when the wee munchkins would be big enough to fit into the sweaters.

The babies like them…. The sleeves and the zipper seemed to be particularly tasty.

The pattern is Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Tomten knit with yarn rescued from the GAP window display from when neon was being reintroduced a few years ago. A student of mine who worked at the gap managed to divert about 10 brand new balls of yarn out of the bag headed to the dumpster and brought it to me at school. It was a very sweet gesture, and I’ve been working bits of neon acrylic into projects whenever I can get away with it. The good thing about acrylic is that it can be put through the wash…key for baby clothes!

Elves came to help

December 13th, 2014 by swatchless

Tonight we gathered to decorate a big Christmas tree.

We had a few wee elves help out.

One little elf turned 4 months old, so we turned it into a party.


If you’re looking for a cute seasonal gift for your own little elves, these booties are a good project for elves big and small. I knit them in the infant size, out of Cascade 220, and Patons Classic Wool. It’s key that the wool is NOT superwash. The boots are knit big and loose…

And then they go through two full wash cycles in hot water, and they shrink right up.

Some ended up pretty furry, but you can just snip off the extra fuzz with scissors. You don’t have to worry about cutting the ends too close because it’s felted, so it wont unravel.

I made a pair for my dad several years ago, and he’s been wearing them as slippers all year round.

One word of caution, if you make these for a little child who is walking or running around, you should put some anti-slip paint on the sole to prevent them from wiping out and getting hurt.

Advent Socks

December 5th, 2014 by swatchless

They’re growing!

I’m starting to appreciate taking an ever increasing amount of time at 9pm (4am in Finland) to knit a bit.

This stripe was in honour of the independence day in Finland, to knit a stripe in the colours of your country. I did one better, and knit the flag!

I did a bit of math, and made my students do some too…with my gauge, it seems like I’ll have 13.5-14 inches per sock, not including the toe and heel. It’s a nice quadratic math problem to solve!

Advent Socks

December 2nd, 2014 by swatchless

I am embarking on an interesting Advent activity this year: Advent Calendar Socks. This is like a knit-a-long, with instructions given daily, based on the date.

There are also interesting ways that colours are selected out of your stash of sock yarn scraps.

If you want to participate as well, here’s the site that posts new instructions at 4AM in Finland (9pm in Ontario).

If all goes well, I’ll have a new pair of socks for Christmas.


November 30th, 2014 by swatchless

My little niece and nephew are already football fans. I made them hats to wear for the Grey Cup party today.


I wasn’t exactly sure how many stitches to use. I used 60 sts for their pumpkin hats. I used 80 sts for these ones. Hopefully they will last into next season too.

Verdict: hat’s a bit big, but pretty cute!


A Little Project

November 28th, 2014 by swatchless

This fall, many people in my circles of friends, colleagues, and acquaintances have lost a close friend or family member. I know that at Christmas time, many will be noticing an empty space at their table, and I’ve decided to knit something little that can get added to their box of Christmas trinkets, in commemoration of their lost loved one.


I’m making little angel ornaments using this free pattern on Ravelry.

I am knitting the wings holding a strand of sparkly thread that I got at the dollar store along with the white yarn. It adds a fleck of gold, and makes it look really sweet.


I came home today to see the sunlight streaming through this one. Looks angelic to me.

Today, while in meetings all day, I kept my fingers moving and knit 4 more bodies. I’ll be in wing production mode this weekend.

The entire project can be done in a few hours, and uses up scrap yarn nicely.

Are you knitting ornaments this Christmas?

Thrumming Some More

November 17th, 2014 by swatchless

I am really on a roll with these mittens….

This time I’m thrumming with the fleece showing on the outside. I am placing the thrums every 4th stitch on every 4th row, but alternating them so they are nicely distributed.

I am not sure if the white flecks showing make them “girly”. Many people see them as little white hearts all over the mittens. What do you think?

First Big Snow

November 16th, 2014 by swatchless

We’ve seen flakes in the air for a few days now, and the temperature has dropped to negative double digits overnight, but today is the first morning that I awoke to the sound of shovels clearing the sidewalks. Each roof is white, and there is a blanket of snow covering the grass.

The cold temperature has snapped my mitten knitting into overdrive….I finished two pairs this week and feel the urge to start more.

I delivered a pair this morning to someone who’s experienced a significant loss 10 days ago. I’ve spent many of my non-working hours thinking of a way I could help….but loss and pain are things that only time can heal. So I’ve spent time making, and delivering, batches of muffins, and I’ve also been crafting a pair of mittens.

They’re my usual recipe, 48 sts, fox and geese with an extra long cuff and no ribbing! I use a Latvian braid to make a fancy edge and keep the cuff from rolling.

I stitched a little heart into each cuff so he’s reminded of the love and care that went into making them, and my hopes that his heart can eventually mend.

I hope that the mittens can warm both his hands and heart this winter.