One of the (few) advantages of having pneumonia in December was that it gave me the opportunity to knit and watch a lot of 30 Rock in bed. December knitting means knitted Christmas presents for everyone!
Admittedly, I did have some Christmas presents knitted before pneumonia rolled around. Over the summer I started projects to use up my leftover yarn from other projects (some of which has been toted around with us since my Mum and I left England when I was 10 years old).
This string bag, for instance, made use of a skein of Lily’s Sugar n Cream yarn that I dyed. A few relatives received these this year in various colors.
I initially planned to make one R2D2 hat for my 8-year-old nephew. But it came out bigger than I’d planned (I swear I knit a gauge swatch). So I knit another one. It came out even bigger than the first. I decided to knit one more final one and it came out tiny.
I based my hats off this pattern, which you can download for free on Ravelry, but changed a few things and knit it intarsia rather than duplicate stitching at the end (although I did a bit of that for the black circle on one or two of them).
Once the 3 were finished and I wasn’t certain of the sizes for any of them, I decided to send them off to France to my nephew, the original intended recipient, his baby brother and their Dad.
The report back is that Art2D2 wouldn’t take it off, they couldn’t get the littlest to keep it on and no word on whether my brother is wearing this hat of sheer awesomeness.
A dress for Maisie bear
Berry’s beloved Maisie bear (featured here in a post of her own) loves being a Paramedic. But even a dedicated bear like her needs a change of clothes every once in a while. Over the summer when the kids went to see their Dad, Berry dutifully packed Maisie a bikini to change into (originally created for Hello Kitty). I thought perhaps Maisie might like another change of clothes for the Christmas holidays and, after perusing the Build-a-Bear online clothing catalog decided I’d knit her something myself (again using leftover yarn, this time from Duncan’s Moshi Monster sweater, seen here in my 2013 knitting roundup).
Given that I was following no pattern at all and using a similar Build-A-Bear from Duncan’s pile of stuffies as a model, it turned out rather well. And Maisie bear? She loves it. She loves it so much she hasn’t taken it off since Christmas Day. She’s a hardworking bear and deserves some time off, but I’m not sure when she’s going to put her Paramedic uniform back on and go back to work.
A bear for Baby Simon
I love having nephews (nieces are good too) and watching them grow, even though almost all of them (the little cute ones, anyway) live far away. *sniff sniff* I also like the excuse to knit new things that I haven’t tried before.
This bear was a first for me. I’ve crocheted amigurumi dolls before and knitted some play fruit (for a nephew, of course), but hadn’t attempted knitting a toy.
I got this pattern from Gregory Patrick at Mad Man Knitting, whose blog I enjoy reading. You can buy the pattern from his craftsy store (he also has tiger and bunny patterns that I haven’t tried yet).
I attached his head on the wrong way round while assembling him, but once I got that fixed, he came together nicely. And I’ve received photos of a really cute baby cuddling him which makes it all worth the effort.
On Christmas Eve, I decided to keep on knitting, and whipped up a couple of scarves from some Paton’s Pirouette yarn I found on sale at some point during the year. I didn’t get any good pics of the scarves, but here’s one of the recipients enjoying hers.
A Christmas stocking
Finally, I knit a secret Christmas present — secret because it was for someone living in the house. The only one of us without a Christmas stocking: Honoka, a foreign exchange student from Japan who’s staying with us for the school year.
I can’t give credit to anyone for the pattern as I made it up based on knowing how to knit socks and finding a couple of Christmasy patterns that I then modified to fit my stitch count. Perhaps one of these days I’ll write about it in more detail.
In any case, it turned out really well and Honoka was happy. And now she has her very own personalized stocking to take home with her and theoretically hang next year (and get her entire family to join in and pass it down the generations, telling her children about the crazy family she stayed with in America).
And that wraps up this year’s handknitted Christmas presents. Not bad for a month of pneumonia and a little bit of pre-December knitting.