First is this pair of socks for my beautiful niece Stephanie. Pattern: Walking Away socks from Fiber Trends.
The lace that runs down the back of the sock is exquisite. I will definitely be using this pattern in the future for socks for myself and my loved ones.
Modifications: I did have to change the pattern somewhat at the end of the ribbing, or the top of the foot portion would have been too wide. I made some decreases and I was good to go. Since this is just my 6th pair of finished socks, I still chalk this up to inexperience.
Yarn: Koigu KPPPM #1308 (100% Merino Wool). This beautiful yarn has shades of pink, burgundy, and browns. Perfect for Stephanie. These are some of the prettiest pinks I've ever seen. I've heard talk of people saying that Koigu is overrated. Frankly, I don't know what they've been smoking. This yarn is a dream to work with. Soft, strong, doesn't split, and is the colors are exquisite. I love it.
Needles: Size 2 Knit Picks circulars using the Magic Loop Method. Knit Picks has the interchangeable Options needles, which I would highly recommend. But those start at size 4. The smaller sizes of 0-3 are sold fully assembled and are very reasonably priced. The cable is flexible without being too wimpy. Did I mention that the cable is purple? Fun. The join is smooth. No, I don't get a commission for talking about how much I like the needles. I'm just calling it like I see it.
On a side note: I know that sock blockers can be outrageously priced, but they are probably one of the best knitting investments I've ever made. They give the sock a great shape and add that extra finishing touch.
Overall: I'm very happy with these socks and I hope they fit! They are also my December entry in Chrissy's Sock-a-Month 2. Next are two hats for my sweet nephew Natey. You may recall that I knit a hat for him with Noro Silk Garden earlier this year (see sidebar). Unfortunately, it was too big. So when I asked him what he wanted for Christmas this year, he was very specific. He said he wanted two hats: a black one knit with cotton and a red one knit with wool. Not fire engine red, or orange red, but blood red. And could I please make them a bit smaller than the first hat? (He also asked for black house socks, but I ran out of time for Christmas. I'm thinking birthday...) I was thrilled that my nephew in his 20's was so specific about exactly what he wanted, down to color and fiber. Not that it matters, but he dates girls. He's just very fashion-conscious.
Here is my ZimDee modelling the two hats. First is the red one:Pattern: My own. 5 rows of k1,p1 ribbing followed by straight stockinette for the rest of the cap.
Yarn: Lamb's Pride Bulky (80% Wool, 20% Mohair) in Blue Blood.
Needles: Size 10 1/2 Addi Turbo circulars, 16 inch; size 10 1/2 bamboo double points.
Notes: A very quick knit.
And the black hat:Pattern: My own. 9 rows of seed stitch border followed by straight stockinette to finish the cap.
Yarn: Rowan Wool Cotton, color: ink. This is a classic yarn and one of my favorites. I love the stitch detail it provides.
Needles: Size 5 Addi Turbo circulars, 16 inch. Size 5 bamboo double points.
Notes: I hope it fits! If not, I can knit him a bigger one and he can send the smaller one back. I know a little boy who wouldn't mind wearing it again.
Here are the hats ready to mail:You know, of course, that my Christmas knitting is not quite done. Now that ZimDee got to try on some new hats, how can I not knit one or two for him? And of course, the Count saw me knitting hats and said the classic line, "You can knit a hat for me if you want." Ooookay. Believe me, I love it when my family wants me to knit something for them, but the Noro hat I knit for the Count earlier this year (see sidebar) went unloved and unworn. When I asked the Count where it was, he pulled the classic man mind-bending: "I don't remember that." If I hadn't have knit it myself and put a picture on my blog, I might have fallen for that. But after searching high and low, no hat was found. So it looks like I'll still be knitting some hats for some boys to go in their Christmas stockings. And you know I will be loving every minute of it.