Like the Wind

Status update? Not too shabby.  Last night, I knit like the wind and Sam, clever girl that she is, baked the first batch of Gingerbread.  The price exacted for doing this chore was that Sam got to do it her way, and so this year we’ll have our traditional trees and snowflakes and stars and moose, with the addition of foxes, hedgehogs, snails, pterodactyls and T-rexes. (The extensive cookie cutter collection is in full use.)

While she created a plethora of festive cookies (it turns out the hedgehogs are pretty festive) I knit and knit.  So, yesterday I was here:

and today I am here:

A few changes.  The scarf is gone, because it’s blocking – which is a tiny step forward, but is still forward indeed.  One of the pairs of socks is gone, because they’re in my purse to be travel knitting.  I only got an inch done on them yesterday, but still, that’s not too bad, considering that this time of year it’s too cold to knit while you’re walking. The buttons for the little sweater aren’t on, but they are in my pocket. (I know that’s a seems like a small step forward, but it took me 20 minutes to choose them.) No progress on the red sweater or the nearly finished men’s socks, and that baby hat haunts me in my sleep, but see the pile of knitted kindling in the back?

Whammo! All the pieces for two pairs of French Press Slippers. I forgot how truly quick they are, and I don’t just mean quick for me – quick for anybody.  I started when we got back from an errand downtown in the early evening, and by bedtime I was all done both pairs, except for the seaming, and that won’t take more than an hour.  (They don’t have to be sewn up nicely. They’re going to be felted.)  One evening, two presents. It was like watching a knitting hurricane happen.  They went so fast that I while I was knitting them I was thinking crazy things like "I should make more pairs, everyone could have slippers. How much more time could it take?"   Then I realized I was having the some kind of  quick present induced knitting stroke and put down the needles.  Near miss, that one.  It’s intoxicating to have it go so fast. 
Today I seam (and put icing on hedgehogs) tomorrow, I felt!

Gifts for Knitters:

If your knitter is forever spreading out wet knitting on the carpet or your bed, and you’ve got a million pin holes in your mattress, this idea might work for you.  For the precise knitter, who likes to have all the right things, a blocking mat with a grid on it might be just the ticket. If your knitter is a little more guerilla, or if they like to make big things, then you might want to stop by a store that sells flooring, and pick up a couple of packages of those foam tiles that are for kids to play on. They’re easy to stick pins in, easy to clean, don’t get soggy wet and can be interlocked into whatever shape your knitter’s knitted thing is.  Long scarf? Sweater? Triangular shawl? They can be rearranged to suit whatever, and when you’re not using them, they stack and store easily.  Get a couple of packs and while you’re at it, buy some pins for their stocking. Knitters who block things always need more pins.  (Get rustproof ones, and they should have the little balls on the top.  Makes it easier for us to find them before you step on them.)

77 thoughts on “Like the Wind

  1. Woohoo! Nice job – we knew you could do it – keep up the Hurricane Knitting tempo and you’ll finish in no time. 🙂 Fingers crossed for you that “no time” means “in time” for Yule or whenever your gifts will be exchanged.
    Have a festive holiday season with that lovely family of yours. And ps – PLEASE POST UPDATED PHOTOS OF LUIS?! We miss him. I’m speaking on behalf of the Blog because I don’t think they’ll mind. lol 🙂

  2. You go girl!! I need some of your knitting mojo so I can finish up my last three projects.
    Please, please, please post pictures of the gingerbread tomorrow! They sound so cute, and the blog would really love to see them!

  3. I suggest T-pins for blocking. A very affordable “luxury” for blocking knits….so much easier. And blocking wires. The best $20 I ever spent!!! OK…. back to knitting……

  4. I’m so very impressed how you actually do knit like the wind!
    And am so very sad that not only is it too cold in T.O. to knit while walking, it’s too cold to knit while waiting for public transit… which can be quite a lot of waiting time especially on those very snowy days.

  5. Clearly, you people have far more willpower than I do when it comes to Xmas treats. I have to make an effort not to have much of that sort of thing around, as it inevitably calls to me from wherever I happen to be in the house. Solution: non-edible Xmas baking, i.e. baked ornaments for the tree.
    P.S. Can’t wait to see the hedgehogs!

  6. The hedgehog is one of favourite cutters (although I thought they were porcupines – they are versatile cutters and can be whatever we want them to be) and this year we will be adding the Tardis, Weeping Angels and Daleks! Very festive!

  7. God job getting ahead with the knitting… as for presents, I would love to get a bunch of those mats… However…did you hear the old wife tale, that you are not supposed to give pins as a present? (anything that punches, or cuts- if you do you ruin a freindship…) at least that is what my mom (who was a great knitter BTW) thaught me. If you do give them, ask for a penny as payment…

  8. Would you share your gingerbread cookie recipe? I’m sure you have already been asked but my poor search strategy did not locate it. It looks like a tried-and-true recipe!

  9. Those French Press slippers are a great, quick gift. Everyone got a pair of those from me a few years ago. In fact, maybe it’s been long enough that they need a new pair? Hmmmmmm.

  10. Good job, Sam! I think hedgehogs and t-Rex make nice additions to the cookie pile. And I know what you mean about the “Oh, I could knit this and this and this….” about one week before Christmas! Sheer craziness!!

  11. I really think you’ll make it, if nothing “blows up,” etc. between now and Wednesday. Isn’t it nice when our children can and will actually help?!

  12. You know, I bought that French Press pattern when you raved about it and have never been able to make them. The designer’s blithe instructions to make the second sole (or some part) by reversing the directions for the first made my eyes cross and resulted in a lumpen wad of yarn and needles hurled at the wall. The oh-so-sweet designer then blew me off when I asked for more complete instructions.

  13. Another day and you have NOT addressed the question of the gingerbread moose.
    I’m in sunny (albeit cold) Florida and moose cookie cutters are not readily available here. Also hedgehogs…

  14. Knit like the wind, Steph! You can do this! Only one request and that is would you please take a picture of Sam’s cookies? I’d love to see the non-holiday ones.

  15. You continue to be a braver Christmas Knitting Woman than I! “Little Red Riding Slippers”: finished and sent. “Shepherd’s Fingerless Mitts”: finished and sent. One of those darned ruffle scarves: finished and sent.
    But…2 neck warmers, a slouchy hat, a glitzy scarf and a pair of socks (in Madelinetosh, no less)? Still In Process….
    And cookies? Made at the end of November and frozen!

  16. you’re making more progress than me… my progress consists of paring down the knitted gift list 🙂
    Also, look at it this way…. if you put the french press slipper materials and patterns in your carry on bags, you have ANOTHER project you can work on while flying and then next giftmas, while you’re baking with your girls, they can be going through either the felting or be sitting there all wrapped up…. head start on next years gifts 🙂

  17. Great progress! I’ve never thought of hedgehogs as Christmas-y, but they are super cute. You’ve now made me hungry for gingerbread. First I’ll search your blog to see if you’ve shared your recipe, then I’ll google one.

  18. Now I know what’s wrong with me…I am having the same reaction to knitting Calorimetry. So fast and so cute! All my friends want them, so I am sneakily cranking them out two at a time!

  19. Any tricks on felting the slippers for people who aren’t present at the time? I LOVE these slippers and have knitted 8 pair so far including several as gifts but I usually give them un-felted and we have a felting party with the recipient present for fitting. Just curious how you handle that part.

  20. For blocking mats, anti-fatigue flooring is the same material as the foam tiles for kids to play on, except it’s not as pretty and much cheaper. I think mine was about $1 USD/square foot.

  21. My daughter LOVES hedgehogs. In your free time can you post a picture of the festive ones?
    Note to self: get hedgehog cookie cutter

  22. My goal is to be done by the solstice. A few more days. . .
    Keep us updated! Your progress is motivation for the rest of us! Now it’s time for a nice merlot and a rest for my weary hands. ??Cheers!

  23. And you have time to take pictures and post for the Blog! Thank YOU.
    The tree is a nice sparkly background too. mmm, pictures of the gingerbreads would be very fun.

  24. Awsome job I love the then and now pics . I’ve recently found “arm knitting” and you can whip up a beautiful scarf or cowl in less than half an hour. Great for your funky knit loving friends and last minute loved ones. I saw a video link on this one sight decided to check it out!! Really fun and instantly gratifying ! This is one knitter who will not let “IT” get me down! Merry Christmas to all and to all a good knit

  25. Blocking with thinner knitting yarns items I got this advise: put the sleeves insides against each other one on top of the other on your blocking board or mattress, same with front and back pieces or left and right of button up parts. This way you can pat them exactly the same size. Works great for baby and toddler items, where 3/8 of an inch difference is so clearly to be seen in the finished object, like 1,5 inch in grown up items. I like to use T-pins if possible, glass headed ones when I run ot of T-heads, never the thinknobbed ones, they get lost to easily and I had an enormous scratch on my leg one time, that tought me to use the better ones right away.

  26. four size much better to use and for mailing major documents and delivery notes.
    Envelope having to do with C5 length and girth can keep page having to do with A5 girth and length The dimension to do with this any kind having to do with envelope could be the 229mm x 162mm. They are available so t

  27. Yes please what is your gingerbread recipe? I have yet to find one that works right. I saw yours on the twitter pic you posted and they looked amazing! Great baking to Sam!
    Good luck on your knitting. I am still plodding through a pair of colour work mittens for my husband and they are killing me.

  28. Now I want a hedgehog cookie cutter! Pics please! 🙂 The year the French Press slipper pattern came out I knit like 7 pairs for christmas gifts…quick but I overdosed a bit and can’t knit them anymore. And I didn’t even make myself a pair…maybe someday I’ll be ready for more? 😉

  29. YOU ARE A GENIUS!
    My boss gave me an Amazon gift cert for Christmas, and I’d been trying to decide what I wanted that I could order from Amazon (as opposed to Webs or Ravelry or my LYS, where I prefer to spend money LOL).
    I couldn’t think of anything I’d be sufficiently excited about, then I thought…I will go see what Stephanie has listed in her Gifts For Knitters.
    DUH! I’ve wanted real interlocking blocking matts for AGES. Just ordered some.
    Thank you and Merry Christmas! 🙂

  30. Thank you so much for the idea of foam interlocking blocks as a gift for a knitter. I am the knitter and crocheter in the family, and while not as energetic as you, I am forever looking for a solution to the blocking episode that follows finishing a sweater. These blocks show up in toy stores and yard sales, too. Great idea and much appreciated.

  31. My kids heard about the hedgehogs. And the moose. And the snails. And the dinosaurs. and now they say my cookie cutters are boring and they want creative control in the kitchen.
    Which would be less of an issue if the ring leader weren’t only 6!

  32. Peony67, my dad had the same belief that sharp things cannot be “given,” only ” bought,” lest the recipient be injured by said object. I don’t know that superstition’s geographic origin, do you? Daddy’s ancestry was Scots and Irish. Mom’s was English and Welsh, and she didn’t share that belief.
    Dear Stephanie, I have a suggestion for your knitter-gift ideas for next year: Would it be possible to post them in mid-November so I can share them with family before all their gift decisions are made?
    And I second all of the pleas for photos, even if they can’t be posted until after your family events.

  33. I went looking for blocking mats last year and was blown away by the $60 price tag. I was walking to the cashiers stand with a package of the foam tiles you put under your exercise equipment for$30 for 22 sq ft of rearrangeable tiles the same size and slightly thicker as the “knitting” blocks.Felt pretty clever. Then I saw it.
    A lovely purple EXERCISE MAT. Thick lightweight dense material water resistant surface and it rolls up!! Blocked on it and the pin marks cant be found! Love it!! And it was only $12.99.
    Now that I’ve graduated to shawls a second one laid out next to the first works perfectly.

  34. I went looking for blocking mats last year and was blown away by the $60 price tag. I was walking to the cashiers stand with a package of the foam tiles you put under your exercise equipment for$30 for 22 sq ft of rearrangeable tiles the same size and slightly thicker as the “knitting” blocks.Felt pretty clever. Then I saw it.
    A lovely purple EXERCISE MAT. Thick lightweight dense material water resistant surface and it rolls up!! Blocked on it and the pin marks cant be found! Love it!! And it was only $12.99.
    Now that I’ve graduated to shawls a second one laid out next to the first works perfectly.

  35. I need to buy myself another set of foam tiles to use for blocking. I really liked them. They somehow got lost during a move, but I saw a set at Marshalls the other day that I want to get.

  36. Add me to the list of knitters who are firm believers in those foam squares for blocking. Arthritis has completely taken away my ability to get down on the floor to block on a rug. I use the blocking mats on my DR table and can move around without problem. I bought mine at Home Depot in whatever department has rug mats. $18 US for a set of four 24″ mats.

  37. Cookie cutter tip:
    My sister became enamoured of biology when in secondary school, and one result was paramecium shaped cookies. She did a cardboard pattern. That would work for any other shape that you can’t get hold of on short notice.

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