I can't remember how old I was, but one year I looked at one of my Christmas presents before Christmas. I snuck out, slit the tape, opened the end, peered at what it was and then closed and re-taped it so that nobody could ever tell what I had done. It felt instantly wrong and instantly like I'd sullied something, and by the time that Christmas morning rolled around, I was so ashamed of what I had done that I am sure my performance as I opened that gift was so completely over the top that there's no way that it could possibly have been believable. It cured me of all curiosity around my Christmas presents, and turned me into a confirmed life-long non-peeker. I am not the sort who will ruin my own surprises, and so this past month I've been as careful as I can not to ruin the surprises of others. To that end, the knitting on this blog has been stealth the last little bit, but (almost) everyone has their gifts now, so I can have a big reveal.
First, Ken got socks -
Just a plain pair this year (from my sock recipe in Knitting Rules ) I let the yarn do the work, it was so pretty masculine. That's Yankee Dyer "Yankee Puritan" yarn - very nice stuff.
Old Joe got a pair too -
Tanis Fiber Arts Blue Label Fingering in Midnight is the yarn, and the pattern is one I bashed out myself, and I like it so very well I just might publish it.
Amanda doesn't care for socks, so another hat found it's way into her stocking.
Manos del Uruguay Maxima in Currant- and the pattern was a super fun knit called the Knit Night Hat.
Erin got a pair of Boot Candy boot toppers.
The yarn was Nature Spun Chunky in Charcoal, and these babies were FAST. I didn't get a super good picture of these because I finished them on the way to my mum's in the car, and I'm still not sure that I understand the concept of boot toppers, but they were a hit.
Hank and Luis were the big winners this year. I planned months ago to nail a few nephew sweaters, and lo - it did come to pass. I finished Hank's sweater at 11pm on Christmas Eve, but I did finish it - and I'm pretty sure he likes it. (In order to get him to let me take his picture, I had to allow him to choose the poses. He's a born model.)
Pattern - pretty much faked it - with inspiration from this pattern. That pattern is knit flat, and I wanted to do it in the round, so I changed that...
and I didn't want to knit the sleeves flat and sew them in, so instead I picked up around the armholes and knit them down, decreasing as I went.
(Yes. Hank has seen the Karate Kid. Why do you ask?)
I also made the hood bigger, big enough to really shrug into anonymity. (When Hank described his perfect sweater it was dark purple and had a BIG hood. I wanted this worn, so I complied.) Yarn was Eco + in Ranier.
Finally (or almost finally - there's a few presents not quite done, but I'll get there) Little Lou got another sweater.
His mum loves them and puts him in them all the time, and he's so ridiculously adorable that he looks great in everything and so it's a pleasure to knit for him.
Yarn was Madeleine Tosh Twist DK in Betty Drapers Blues, and the pattern is from a Sirdar pamphlet I've had around since Hank was small.
It's a classic little cabled cardigan, and he wears it like a pro. Big thanks to Kate and Carlos for taking these pictures. I didn't make him model it on Christmas Eve, he was too busy ripping up (and eating) wrapping paper and I didn't want to harsh on his mellow.
I love grumpy old man sweaters on sweet little babies. It makes me want to knit him another one. Or ten.
Thus ends the parade - almost. There's two little gifts still on the needles, they'll be finished today I think - and then Joe was the guy who took the bullet this year when the flu stampeded through my life and plan.
I owe him socks. I'll get on that. Soon.
Maybe Lou needs a hat first.