Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Don't Peek, if you expect to get a present from me...

Green Bean over at Green Phone Booth is way ahead of me when it comes to getting her holiday handknits ready to present. Check out her adorable presents and the excellent rhyme she's concocted to keep us entertained and inspired.

Me? Everything is still in the works. Nothing is finished. And that is where you can join me--in holiday crafting, in medias res, and in a complete panic.

First up is a present for my mother-in-law, a delicate woman who loves sparkly things and is one of the most appreciative recipients of handknits I know. For the last three years, I've knitted her incredibly detailed shawls with silk and beads. This year, I figured she needed something different. When I saw the pattern for the Scallop-Edge Beaded Necklace in 101 Designer One-Skein Wonders,I knew it would be perfect for her.

grandma's necklace

What I did not expect it that it would only take a few hours to make! I immediately whipped up one for my own mother:

mom's necklace

Of course, neither of these necklaces have clasps sewn on yet...

My mother has gotten some fairly labor-intensive knitting presents for the past three years but both my father and brother have gotten the shorter end of the stick. They've gotten simple scarves and the like. This year I'm determined to use the time I've got on making up a little bit of the difference.

For Dad, I've made a Hemlock Ring Blanket from designer Jared Flood at Brooklyn Tweed. While the knitting is finished, it is very much unfinished. I can't imagine that this lumpy blob will turn into the lovely blanket of the pattern--but I am always amazed by the magic of wet-blocking wool. I'll keep you posted.

dad's blanket

For my brother, who I do hope has taken the instructions above and has not continued reading, I'm making perhaps the most complicated thing I've ever made--although I certainly did not realize that when I started it! I won't give away what it is, just in case (unless you are on Ravelry). But it involves two lines of provisional cast-ons, colorwork ribbing combined with cabling without a needle, picking up stitches in the round, grafting, and a bazillion kinds of increases and decreases. Here's what it looked like this morning, after at least three aborted attempts following utter failures:

brother's gift

I have a little thing finished (except for sewing in the ends) for my partner David. Can I actually keep it a surprise until the holidays? (I assume he did not heed the instructions in the title since he never gets anything handknit by me now that he can do his own beautiful knitting.)

But much is still left to knit. On top of my brother's present, my 10 yo son has requested I make him the balaclava-like Black Prince Hood for Hanukkah. I have something in mind to knit for an additional little present for my mother (one of these?).

Wish me luck!

I'm looking forward to seeing all the handmade gifts folks come up with for the season!

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