Archive for December, 2014

Green Christmas

Sunday, December 28th, 2014

It’s rare to have green grass as a background for the Christmas knits. Here’s some of the gifts I made this year.

My cousin’s little one will make good use of this rugged Tomten sweater. He’s a big boy, but not yet big enough for this sweater. It’s good to have something to grow into!

These mittens are Fox and Geese, made from scraps of yarn paired with black-a good way to use up odds and ends.

Here’s another pair of fox and geese, knit from Cascade EcoWool. They’re soft and stretchy, but still a sturdy mitten.

These last ones are again fox and geese mittens, but made from my handspun yarn. The green I dyed with food colouring, but as it turns out, I didn’t quite have enough to finish the thumbs in the same green. It’s a good thing my aunt doesn’t mind having slightly greener thumbs.

My Boxing day yarn adventures were fruitful, and I have completed the sweater. Here it is before the ends got sewn in and before blocking.


I’m now trying to adapt Trellis to be knit in one piece up to the arms. It’s been a while since I made a cable sweater, we’ll see how it goes.

Boxing Day Sales

Friday, December 26th, 2014

This is the first time that I’ve gone boxing day shopping. Ever. I wasn’t even thinking of shopping until last night, when after an early Christmas dinner I decided to make this sweater.

IMG_0144.JPG (photo source )

I cast on, and knit until I ran out of yarn. I thought that there was more navy yarn on my shelf, but apparently that had turned into a hat or something else this fall.

With 7.5 inches of plain boring knitting complete, I started figuring out where to get more yarn to finish it up. One thing led to another and I saw that Michael’s was having a huge sale starting at 7am on Boxing day. Fast forward to this morning when my mom and I set off (with travel mugs of tea) to stock up on acrylic yarn. (I may also have a lot of robot hats to knit in the near future)

Reduced prices paired with a 20% off coupon meant that we got a pretty amazing deal for a rather large quantity of yarn.

I’m hunkering down to knit a bit today before we resume Christmas festivities. We’ll see how much can get done before I’m on potato duty at 3pm.

Advent Socks Complete

Wednesday, December 24th, 2014

After 24 days of knitting, my advent socks are done. I followed instructions on this site

It was exciting to watch them grow incrementally (quadratically actually), and the daily prompts were so creative.

I hope the two Finnish knitters continue to do this next year in English, it is a lot of fun.

A wee Giraffe is Coming Soon

Saturday, December 20th, 2014

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

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

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

Sunday, December 14th, 2014

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

Saturday, December 13th, 2014

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

Friday, December 5th, 2014

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

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

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.