I was able to complete a whole slew of special items in time for Hanukah this year. I know it's always a gamble to give hand-crafted gifts to people, and for the most part, I respond to the cues I hear when people see me knitting. When someone makes an admiring comment more than once about a work in progress, I make a mental note to think about what might be perfect for that person. What you're about to see are gifts for my family. That can be a minefield of expectations, but I think I everyone was pleased.
I dragged the boys to yarn shops when I was out west visiting them during the summer, and made them pick out their yarn. I can spend 2 hours happily picking out yarn for one single project. Josh was like...."okay, this one's fine. Let's go." Matt said, "You pick, Mom, I don't care. I guess I like fall colors. You find something." Josh ended up with the Debbie Bliss cotton denim, in a dark brown and white tweed. Matt's is in Mountain Colors Firestorm. The picture here does not do justice to the lovely reds, gold, brown, and black variegation in the yarn. It was the first time I'd worked with either yarn, and it was sheer pleasure to knit these hats. I used a pattern from Sally Melville's Knitting Experience.
Mom's scarf is made with Splash. I took her to a shop to pick out her yarn, and she was much more patient than the boys. I wish I'd taken a picture of her with the scarf on. The silvery gray in the scarf exactly matches her hair, and framed her face beautifully. Next time I visit her I will take a photo, and then I'll make her famous here too.
Rebecca's clogs were not such a pleasure, although she is SOOOOOOO appreciative that I do not begrudge the effort at all. This was my second pair of clogs, and I find that the constant counting of stitches wears thin very quickly. My felted projects have all come out great though, so I'm sure that sooner or later I'll cave in and make clogs for someone again. (Yes Amy, I know you're next in line.)
Amy's gift was the scarf and hat set. Amy had asked specifically for clogs also, so she's the one who lost out when I finally finished Becky's and said "NO MORE CLOGS!" I had some beautiful handpainted yarn from LynnH already on hand, but I needed more to do the hat as well. Fortunately Lynn still had a little bit of mohair left in that colorway, which I used for trim on the hat. (Lynn's yarn offerings are everchanging...hop over there and take a look.)
Becky and I were able to have brunch with Amy this morning, during her visit home for Christmas. She promises me that Josh will take her picture wearing the scarf and hat, and email it to me, so I can post it here.
Lynn and I are going to see Cold Mountain in a little while. I read the book way back when it first came out, and I thought it was excellent. I hope the movie will do it justice. As usual, I'll have some knitting with me to work on while we wait for the movie to start.