I've got a terrible cold which is probably the punishment I get for how completely smug I was about saying that the knitting and Christmas prep were all moving along at a good clip. I couldn't possibly be more stuffed up if I tried and this morning I was so desperate to feel better that I took an expired Benylin. (Joe's going to run out and try and get me something a little better- like maybe a huge bottle of whiskey.) Despite the punishing cold, and at the risk of turning it into pneumonia with further smugness, this weekend I really got a lot done. The spreadsheet marches along, a few things were wrapped, a few more things were sorted out, and despite a party (I knit while I attended. I know they think I'm odd, but I think I'm just normalizing knitting within our culture) my knitting goals turned out to be actual goals. This time of year I have a hard time telling the difference between goals and plans I make that have all the sense of a reindeer on skates. These, because they were achievable, turned out to be actual goals. I finished a cashmere watchcap,
Yarn: Groove Cashmere, pattern: Lorne's Hat.
and I knit a whole Pretty Thing in just a few hours.
I don't want to toot my own horn on this one (since it is my pattern) but I consider this a really good last minute emergency gift. It's only 61 rounds and goes pretty quickly, assuming you're reasonably comfortable with charts, and this time, the yarn was my favourite part.
I knit this one out of a slightly dear cashmere silk - Superior, from Filatura Di Crossa. I got it at the Little Red Mitten while I was there - absolutely inspired by one that Joan was wearing. The yarn was $26, and I took a deep breath, remembered it was cashmere and silk and bought it.
When I was done, I weighed the cowl, then the ball. The finished thing was 9g, and what was left in the ball was 16g, so I'll have enough for a whole other one, and that makes this yarn way, way less expensive than I thought. It was like suddenly getting it for half price. (I admit, you have to think the way I do to make that work.)
Just to round the weekend out, the better part of a sock...
I feel like today's probably going to be less productive - knitting wise, but I figure that fighting this cold is likely better for all of Christmas in the long run. (By long run I mean tomorrow. I'll kick Christmas arse tomorrow.)
I hope you forgive me for making the gifts section short and sweet today.
Gifts for Knitters 7
Where there is knitting, there are charts, and where there are charts there is a knitter always seeking a good way to keep track of where he is in a chart. Here's a bunch of solutions. There's the magnetic boards that stand up like an easel, a magnet strip holds the chart against the board and keeps track of where you are on the chart. There's a basic one from Knit Picks, and Knitters Pride has two different sizes, and theirs includes pockets to keep pens and patterns in. Slipped Stitch Studios (I know I keep mentioning them, but their stuff just looks so neat) has an assortment of pattern wallets - all of which are pretty clever, and for the guy knitters who said that all the stuff is girly? Are you sure? How about this one. Or this one. Or how about mustaches? If you're looking for something smaller, how about these super neat ribbon/magnet chart keepers? You just sandwich your chart between the two magnets, and there you go. (By the way, these work great for knitters who like to work from books or magazines - those mediums are hard to attach to boards.)
Stocking stuffer in the chart department? Removable Highlighter Tape. I LOVE THIS STUFF. It would be brilliant in your knitter's stocking. You'll look so clever.
Finally, because so many of you said to keep the books coming, for any knitter who struggles with charts? Charts Made Simple: understanding knitting charts visually by JC Briar. Hard to beat.
Gifts for Knitters 8
Paper goods for knitters, because your knitter likes knitting related EVERYTHING. I like these ones from Buffalogirls Design (especially the "I was knitting before knitting was cool" one.) If you're American, there's still time to get fabulous Knitterella stuff before Christmas (If you're not American order anyway. Just put it away for next year.) There's note cards, gift tags all fabulous. These look charming. So do these... in fact, you could just get on Etsy and see what you find. (I want it all. Look at these mice. Stop me.)