Knitter’s tree decoration

Wondering what to make for a fellow knitter? I found this great little decoration to add to your Christmas tree which is knitting themed. I made it for my Grandma (who bought me the Knitty Gritty book last year which started me knitting) for Christmas:

Knitter's tree decoration

Knitter’s tree decoration

It’s a quick knit and you can customise and use up some of your scraps of yarn to make nice mini balls of wall for the decoration. The hardest part was finding some beads to fit on a cocktail stick! I went for slightly larger than the cocktail stick (7mm I think they were) and used glue to secure them.

My pattern notes are on Ravelry, and the free pattern is available online.

Leo the Lion

When I got my Teeny-Tiny Mochimochi book for my birthday, my sister commented that her boyfriend would like the lion (he’s Leo starsign), so I made him for Christmas. It was really quite fiddly (when I made Norman the Gnome I used 4mm needles but for Leo I used 3.25mm despite still using DK yarn).

All was going OK until I tried to thread the i-cord through for his legs. It was far too tight for them to fit through! I decided to keep him the size he was and instead I made individual small legs and attached them to the outside of the body. My pattern notes are on Ravelry and here he is in all his glory:

Leo the Lion

Leo the Lion

I really would recommend the Teeny-Tiny Mochimochi book – I’ve done a few of the patterns from there now and every one has been really clear and I’ve been happy with the end result.

Boozy warmers

Knitted gifts aren’t for everyone (though there’s many more options than there are with cross stitching fortunately). I wanted to make some accessories that anyone would appreciate. I did get some yarn and patterns ready to make Christmas decorations, though I couldn’t decide on what to make and many of them seemed to involve lots of separate parts and seaming (I *hate* seaming!). I did make this mini Christmas tree, but didn’t know what to do with it.

Teeny Tiny Christmas Tree

Teeny Tiny Christmas Tree

Then I remembered seeing some great little hats and scarves to put on bottles of alcohol which a friend had made. I dug out the pattern and gave it a go. Fortunately I’d got over my fear of stripes having completed the Nemo mittens, so I made three different sets of hats and scarves for various booze for family members:

Boozy warmers

Boozy warmers

My project notes are available on Ravelry. What’s even better is that they have been repurposed by my sister and her boyfriend, who have added winter accessories to their meerkat toy. Great to see them being put to good use!

Michael Meerkat with hat and scarf

Michael Meerkat with hat and scarf

Tasteful toilet roll cover

My Mum and her brother always have a bit of fun on Christmas trying to find the most ridiculous/useless gift for each other. This year, I thought I’d join in and knit Mum something silly. I looked around Ravelry for inspiration, and then it hit me… a toilet roll cover! We’ve always commented on how pointless these are, so I just knew I had to make one. I was initially tempted with a doll one (like the beauty below):

Classy toilet roll cover

Classy toilet roll cover

Then however, I spotted something which I just couldn’t understand. A toilet roll cover which looks like a black forest gateaux. Because of course it’s totally normally to have cake in your bathroom. It was perfect. So I sourced the materials, learnt a few new skills (making and attaching the cherries was a new thing for me), et voila…

Black forest gateaux toilet roll cover

Black forest gateaux toilet roll cover

Mum wasn’t sure what to make of it. Fortunately I had already told my sister what I had made for Mum, so she was ready to reassure her it wasn’t a serious present and I didn’t really think she’d want a toilet roll cover. Once she realised that I think she appreciated it!

It was fun to make something different, and useful to learn new skills too. If you’re interested in making your own, you can view my Ravelry project notes, the free pattern is available here, or if you fancy something different there is a whole book of toilet roll covers.

Mmmmmmalabrigo mittens

You may think there are a lot of Mmmmmm in in the title of the post. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of knitting with Malabrigo Worsted though you will totally understand why. I’d heard people talk about it and seen groups of people on Ravelry who are obsessed with Malabrigo but I was sceptical and didn’t trust the hype. How wrong I was!

I asked for ideas of Christmas gifts from my knitter friends and fingerless mitts in Malabrigo Worsted seemed to be a popular response. So I ordered two different shades, planned the patterns, and waited for the order to arrive. Once it did, I just couldn’t stop squishing the yarn. It’s just so lovely. Really. I’m not exaggerating. Then I started knitting with it. And did more squishing. And completely fell in love. Fortunately, you can usually complete a pair of fingerless mittens in less than half a skein, which means I did also get some cheeky ones for myself out of the yarn as well!

These are Malabrigo hand thingies in Pearl:

Squidgy hand thingies

Squidgy hand thingies

These are Cozy Thermal Mitts in Velvet Grapes:

Cozy squishy mitts

Cozy squishy mitts

And these are i carry ur heart mitts in Velvet Grapes (for me!):

I heart you mitts

I heart you mitts

The recipients seemed to really like them, in fact one would like me to knit more (her Mum also wants a pair!). And seeing as I love both the yarn and patterns so much I’ll be happy to oblige of course.

The one downside of Malabrigo Worsted is that it does pill, but I can overlook that minor thing when it’s so incredibly squishy. Seriously, you *have* to try this yarn if you haven’t yet. Did I mention it’s lovely and squishy? Look…

Malabrigo Worsted in Pearl

Malabrigo Worsted in Pearl

Cosy cable socks

The first project I started for Christmas gift knitting was a pair of cable socks. The recipient had commented on some socks I’d made earlier in the year and said she would like some, and in conversation had said she really likes cables. So I looked for a sock pattern with cables, and found one which uses aran yarn (which I thought might be quicker to make and also cosy). It took a fair bit of time to knit them – I’m quite a tight knitter so find cables a bit tricky, and I’m also a slow knitter anyway so socks take me quite a long time to knit. I’m really pleased with the end result though, and the recipient is too. She’s been wearing them over Christmas and showing them to everyone!

My project notes are available on Ravelry, and here are some photos:

Cosy Christmas socks

Cosy Christmas socks

Close up of cables

Close up of cables

I’m so glad I started these in October – I’ll definitely be giving myself plenty of time in future if I do more socks (especially seeing as these were in aran yarn so should be much quicker).

Nemo mittens

One of the other projects I worked on for Christmas was a pair of mittens in Nemo style. I’d spotted them on Ravelry but in children’s size, so adapted them to fit an adult. My sister loves Nemo (I posted before about the Nemo cross stitch I made for her) so to follow the theme I went with some Nemo mittens for her this year.

They were trickier than I thought they would be, much trickier than fingerless mittens. I didn’t really like the way the thumb was added (no gusset) so I don’t think they fit on a hand that well. I also spent ages working out the length and the striping to make sure they were long enough and the stripes looked a little like Nemo. I did lots of undoing in the project!

I used a new type of cast on – Katie’s Easy 1×1 tubular cast-on. It sounded complicated so I wasn’t sure I’d be able to do it but I followed the instructions and it worked! I’ll definitely be using this cast on again – it’s great for mittens, socks etc. where you need a stretchy cuff and 1×1 ribbing.

Also new in this project was colour work. I learned striping (jogless stripes as they were knit in the round), and had to learn how to either carry the yarn or hide the ends if the stripe is too long for yarn to be carried. I learnt this a little too late so the first mitt has some ends sticking out unfortunately where I didn’t hide them properly. I don’t think my sister minds though as they look cute! I’d also never added buttons to anything so had a go of that too for the eyes (I think these look better than the black yarn in the original pattern). All in all a LOT of new skills learnt thanks to knitter friends and Youtube!

My project notes are on Ravelry (with details of the pattern as I adapted it, though if I were to do again I would add a thumb gusset), and here are some photos:

Nemo mittens

Nemo mittens

Nemo mittens (small fin)

Nemo mittens (small fin)

Nemo mittens

Nemo mittens (must have taken this at an angle, they are exactly the same length!)