This post is a bit late due to various distractions and interruptions! Christmas has been lovely. My sister and family visited, and there was a lot of eating and talking and enjoying the company of family whom I had not seen in over a year.
In the end, I knitted and gifted four hats, two pairs of fingerless mittens, four pairs of socks and a couple of soft toys. I think they were all well received.
The soft toys are Plants vs Zombie inspired – you can see them in the collage above. Initially, I knitted only the Pea Shooter because I wasn’t sure if he would like it. The boy loved it so much that I promptly got an order for the rest of the set! The Frozen Pea Shooter has been finished, and a Sunflower and Repeater remain to be done. The pattern is free on Ravelry from Ginger Grant – linked to here in case you want to knit your own. Be aware that there is a small omission in the pattern about when to place the eyes. I used plastic soft toy eyes and put them in before completing the stuffing on the head. I also added drinking straws to the stems to strengthen them, and added picot ice crystals on the Frozen Pea Shooter to make it more authentic.
For knitting, I have started a sparkly shawl (Paris Toujours in Skeinz Alpaca Sterling), most likely for me, and a pair of alpaca socks for winter.
This yarn was a lovely gift from The Sweaty Knitter, received earlier in the year. This alpaca sock blend looks like handspun, but it has been commercially spun by a small mill in the United States – it is amazing that you can trace the fleece used in each yarn cake back to an individual alpaca! The pattern is just a basic ribbed sock that comes from my head.
Some amazing gifts were received:
I am particularly besotted by the sweater lot of Wollmeise and the lovely bag it came in… 1,500m of pure deliciousness that will be perfect for a lacy cardigan. In addition was more beautiful British wool. Also from another lovely friend was a very thoughtful gift of some crystals, incense and chocolate. I was thoroughly spoilt!
Hannah of Circus Tonic Handmade is a hive of inspiration. Every time I look at her etsy site, there are yet more mouth-watering shades of pretty yarn. Maybe fortunately for my and your pocket, she is now on holiday until 22 January…
The very long-awaited Flagstaff Alpaca’s merino/alpaca/nylon sock base finally arrived, and Doe has started to dye it and list it in her etsy shop. Of course, I had to get some. In fact, I need to get more of this lovely yarn when I can because this is the very last alpaca yarn that Andy of Flagstaff Alpacas is going to spin, from what I understand due to the closure of the mill where the yarn is made. I am very sad about that. There are some very beautiful, masterfully dyed colours in the Doe’s shop.
So that was my knitty Christmas in a nutshell!
I also need to tell you about Charles Gandy‘s visit, which I referred to in my last post. Charles is a TKGA Master Knitter and fibre artist who amongst other things, knits amazing art socks. He is author of The Embellished Sock, a book of socks that are knitted art for the foot. This one is my particular favourites from the book, called Tiptoe Through the Tulip socks.
Charles told us about his upcoming exhibition “Beyond the Sock” featuring amazing art based around a sock form. None of the socks are meant to be worn, but they look absolutely amazing, and hearing about the process involved in creating the socks was very inspirational. Those fortunate enough to see the exhibition when it opens at the Bascom later in 2016 will be amazed. More details are in this link where you can also see a small peek of the exhibition socks and other examples of his work.
Charles showed us a couple of techniques (finger cords and the twist) that he uses one of his other books, commissioned by Regia. We were lucky enough to be given a booklet each, personally signed by him. I might just knit one of them for the sheer fun of it!
As 2016 begins, I want to wish you all a Happy New Year! 2015 was a real mixed bag for many of us. Let’s hope that 2016 perhaps provides a bit of respite. Let us look for opportunities to nurture our friends and family, show love and find peace.
I’ll be back soon with a small review of the favourite projects of 2015!