Right Down To Business

What’s Luis Hanging today?

You know who’s a good boy? Luis is a good boy, because despite asking (again) if he could hang Santa, and being told (again) that it’s not time for Santa, Luis went ahead and picked something else, and I can hardly believe it.  Lou is apparently nothing like my kids at that age.  Lou’s seen Santa around town several times, he’s even visited and spoken with the guy, he understands that when you hang Santa, it’s Christmas, and still, upon being denied this several times, he apparently hasn’t shredded the entire advent tree while throwing himself on the floor in a temper tantrum that made the kid in the Exorcist look restrained.

elarbol 2014-12-14

Instead, the gentleman picked the Christmas Tree. (That’s Arbol de Navidad, for those of us giving the Spanish a shot.)  This one was a pattern I figured myself, although this one looks to be pretty similar.  I didn’t want to sew two sides together though, so I worked mine in the round.  I cast on enough to make the tree as wide as I wanted at the bottom (x2) and joined to work in the round.  Round and round I went, decreasing 4 stitches (k2tog and ssk at the sides) every third round.  When I was done, I stuffed it with a little wool, added the wee trunk, and sewed on the little gold beads to be ornaments. Simple, sweet, and a little sparkly.

Gifts for Knitters, Day 14

This one is simple and straightforward.  Your knitter needs good tools to work with.  If they were a carpenter who spent as much time building things as your knitter spends making things, you wouldn’t expect them to have a crappy saw, right?  If your knitter was a cook that spent this much time cooking, you’d think they’d have some pretty slick tools in the kitchen, right? Absolutely.  Take a look around your house and see if your knitter has these tools, and choose what seems right for your budget and their level of engagement – but remember, these are tools your craftsperson will use not toys for their amusement.

Swift:  A swift is a tool that holds a skein of yarn so that the knitter can turn it into a ball that they can knit from.  There’s  several kinds, like this one – it’s great for the knitter who has no swift, this sturdier wooden one, and this (I have one of these and love it so, so, so much) Hornshaw Woodworks one.

Ball Winder. The swift spins, and the yarn is connected to the winder.  Ball winders are pretty freakin’ handy – even if you’re knitter doesn’t use yarn that comes in a skein.  You can wind half of a ball off of an existing ball to make two things of equal size, you can rewind a commercial ball that’s gotten sloppy – Your knitter needs one.  If you don’t see one around the house (and your knitter hasn’t expressed a profound love for winding balls of yarn by hand *) get one of these.  This blue and white one is ubiquitous, it’s a good winder, but has a lifespan, then the gears start to go, it makes skipping noises and starts making breasts rather than balls.  It’s a great, great place to start though. This one from Nancy’s Knit Knacks looks like a workhorse, and the Strauch winder is a joy to behold.

* About that knitter who loves to wind balls by hand? Think about getting them a beautiful Nostepinne.  There’s basic ones here, but you can find a million beautiful handcrafted ones.