Sunday, 7 December 2008

Cheat Sheet

I have managed to knit three Christmas presents in one afternoon. Not because I am a particularly fast knitter. Not because I have found a way to manipulate the space/time continuum. No. But because I cheated. Knitting doesn't really have much of a dark side - no anabolic steroids, no bribing judges, no sex, drugs and rock and roll (well, not directly) - so as cheating goes, it's pretty tame stuff. Nevertheless, if you need to cut some corners to get to where you need to go, here are some tips:

a) Choose the right yarn. Something chunky. Something flash. Something bold and eyecatching which will knit up on 10mm+ size needles. Forget delicate 4 plys, Kidsilk Haze or classic DK Shetland wool - it's going to take too long to make them look good. The added bonus is that you can mix and match, it's a great way to use up bits and pieces of luxury wool that may be hanging around your stash.

b) Choose a small object as your goal. This is no time for afghans or sweaters, obviously. Even a hat may be pushing it. Go with something that requires no pattern, shaping or serious concentration of any kind.

c) If a little extra finish is needed then choose an interesting stitch pattern. A simple rib can be enough to give it a twist.

Don't misunderstand me - I care about these gifts and dearly love the people they're intended for, but my present total is now heading for 25. (Seriously, that's not a typo). I've made about half of these but something has to give somewhere, and with festivities creeping up on me already, speed is of the essence.

But I'm pretty happy with how these turned out. Not bad for a quick knit:

This is two strands of Malagbrio and then one skein of Rowan Ribbon Twist to make a collar scarf on size 12 needles in mistake rib. Just waiting for a button to be added.

This is a scrap of Rowan Tuft I had tucked away, with Rowan Big Wool and a tiny batch of an anonymous white single ply. 12mm needles again and then the two ends sewn together to make a cowl.

And finally, more Malagbrio, but this time teamed with some leftover Manos del Uruguay, followed by half a skein of something which I think is Noro Transitions, held with some Freedom Spirit. 10mm needles and a mistake rib. An unusual colour combination, but that's mostly down to the nature of the Noro. Again, it's just waiting for a button.

So hopefully I'll be ready to hand these out next Sunday and persuade some of the girls to pose for some photos of them 'in action', rather than lazing around on my sofa...


Woolly Stuff said...
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Woolly Stuff said...

I love the white and blue cowl - really, really cute.

And, 25 gifts? Seriously? Mein gott, I think next year you'll have to start xmas knitting in ... January!!!

(sorry, I had to delete my original comment - it had a bad typo...)

Hoxton said...

Thanks! Hope its new owner feels the same! I know, getting a bit daft now. A recount has it at 21, so not so bad...?