#Friday Favorites: Holiday Kitsch

Haven’t done one of these bad boys in a while but it’s Friday so let’s do it! It’s probably to late to make any of these for this year, but maybe I’ll remember next year to start early, or better yet make a bunch of holiday stuff in the summer slump and have them ready to go.

 

I’m a big fan of kitschy holiday decor. Not really sure why but there’s something nostalgic about it all that it just makes me smile. So here’s some of the kitschiest holiday knitting patterns I could find this morning. (I’m not intending to hurt feelings here, just celebrating the kitsch!).

Christmas Lights by Amelia Samios 

big_cord_square_small2Actually, I don’t know how kitschy these are but I really like them. A small string would look cute or make enough to decorate you’re whole tree! This is also the kind of pattern that would work in any size yarn really, so you could make tiny little ones. Reminds me of Charlie Brown.

 

Christmas Holly Wreath by Hayfield

433_-_4_small2This one is so extra. It might actually be pretty hanging on a door, but can you even imagine how many fucking ends you would need to weave in. Plus all the sewing and arranging to get it into a wreath. It would really bother me to make a bunch of holly leaves over and over again, casting on and off and on and off forever… so much garter stitch… but ’tis the season to be extra.

Christmas Baskets by Jean Woods

2348045355_9428c5601d_zI’m just going to leave this one here.

 

 

 

O Hanukkah! by My Savannah Cottage

No Holiday is safe. This dog sweater made me laugh so hard! While there doesn’t seem to be a lot to choose from on Ravelry as far as Hanukkah patterns go, this one is a winner. That dog knows sure well that he looks ridiculous, those baubles though… I do think with some finagling and careful editing this would make a really cute Hanukkah sweater for a kid. Ugly sweaters are still a thing right?

Yuletide Gnomes by Alan Dart

I can’t decide if these are super creepy or cute. This is the kind of thing my family would hide around the house to try and scare each other. Having lots of little ones sitting around in the corners and peering down from shelves might be fun if you’re hosting this year.

 

Not sure if I’ll find time to post over the weekend (we have FIVE Christmas gatherings to go to in the next three days…), but I hope everyone has a lovely holiday.

 

#WIP WEDNESDAY and NEW PATTERN!

Turning thoughts into things! Turns out it’s pretty cool to re-knit old things you’ve made. It’s crazy what a few years of experience will do. I remade that little santa stocking I talked about here and turned it into a little pattern. The new ones look way better than the old one if I do say so myself. My yarn choice/needle size is more effective and I used a duplicate stitch for the buckle instead of trying to knit it straight into the pattern. The pattern is available in my Ravelry Store if you’re looking for a quick little stash busting project. Also a great last minute gift for those people on your list who aren’t exactly knit-worthy but aren’t quite on your no-knit list this year.

Now my brain is buzzing with other little ornaments I could make which hopefully don’t involve a trip to the yarn store… We’ll see what I can come up with tonight!

Avoidance Projects

I set up my little christmas tree this weekend, which really doesn’t involve that much work considering it came pre-lit and I safety pinned a few ornaments onto it the first year I got it (partly to keep the cat from getting them off, partly because I had a lot of safety pins and no paper clips to make hooks from). So the thing is basically ready to go out of the box I just needed to straighten out some branches and put the little stand back on and plug it in. Boom done. I decorated. I also found a tiny little stocking ornament I made and had forgotten about. 33474e3a-332d-4d73-b530-69bc62a118d1

It’s pretty wonky and I was very new to sock making when I made it, but I’m thinking about making a few more and maybe putting a pattern together before christmas. Aside from the buckle it would probably only take an hour or two to finish and they would look super cute tied to the top of presents.

I wonder what other little things I could knit for my tiny little tree to avoid all the knitting I’m supposed to be doing. All the best projects come out of avoiding something else!

FOs and WIPS

I got sucked into video games this week. There’s something so inviting about a dumb little digital world where everything makes sense and little creatures tell you what to do with your time.

ab3154b3-c0de-48f1-b857-480c00f4b54cI also managed to finish another pair of socks for the holidays. Halfway through knitting I ran out of yarn which is more annoying when you’re using variegated yarn. Out of three skeins, I now have about 40 grams broken up into 6 stupid little bundles of yarn trying to get both socks to match. They look pretty close now that they’re off the needles – enough that no one would really notice, but the pattern repeat was about two and a half rows off when I was knitting (which drove me up the wall). I spent a good amount of time matching up the yarn and starting the cast on from exactly the same point on each sock. I don’t know why it shifted. They’re identical mathematically, I would assume they have the same gauge – I’m not sure how they wouldn’t because I knit them both at the same time. Besides the shifted colors, these knit up pretty quickly because I was excited to see what the next color section was, which is I guess why people like self striping yarns.

f1616cc5-996f-40b2-bdbb-9d7b3012ff67I also started working on an infinity scarf for my sister. I asked her if she had any requests for a gift this year because I’ve knit her quite a few things over the years and she’s pretty particular (read: picky). She told me a “basic-ass infinity scarf” that she could wear to work – something that would go with most of her outfits – so gray. I found a lightly spun, lustrous gray yarn that’s once again variegated. I’m using needles that are two sizes larger than recommended so the texture stitch is coming out a bit lacy and has a nice drape. This one is very mindless knit so it’s going pretty quickly.

 

Anybody else feeling the gifting deadlines yet? It’s getting to the point where I feel like I have to be knitting, not that I get to be knitting.

Dream Projects vs. Reality Projects

Knitting Blog Challenge Day 23

If you had the supplies (and patience) for it, what project would you start today?

This one! This one! This one! I’ve definitely talked about this pattern in a POST before but it’s Persian Dreams by Jenise Hope. It’s been in my queue for a while. It seems like such an extreme project to take on but it’s so stinking beautiful and would be so fun for me to knit. Picking a color-way is probably the biggest obstacle to starting this project. I love how fun the original is (image on the right) but the more monochromatic ones suit my style and taste a little better and would probably get more use. I also think the budget for this project would run rather high – If I’m going to put this much effort into something like this I would like the yarn to be a rather high quality. I think wool obviously, but I would opt for super wash since having this thing felt up and shrink down would be a major disappointment. And then… there is my cat who would probably knead the final project into shreds.

502fa634-ed02-40f1-82b2-5fa0634d7b19But alas, it’s not time for starting fun new projects. It’s Thanksgiving here, which means I can no longer procrastinate on the gift knitting. I went and bought all the yarn I needed for my gift projects yesterday (except for K’s because he was with me and I still don’t know what the hell I’m going to make him… ). I ended up only needing to go to one store much to the relief of K. I started the first pair of socks yesterday evening and immediately remembered why I don’t like those variegated yarns – especially not for socks. As you can kind of see in the picture, I had to pull out yards and yards from either end of the skeins in order to find the color repeat so I can make matching socks. I found one set so far and I’m not entirely convinced that they’ll stay matching. It kind of seems like this yarn is made by just dumping a bunch of colors into an industrial spinner and hoping for the best. It looks great and enticing in the skein – which is why I somehow keep buying them – and then they turn into a giant jumbley pain in the ass to knit up. But that’s how it goes – maybe the blue ones will be easier since there’s a little more contrast. Time for me to get off the computer and get to knitting.

The No Knit List

Knitting Blog Challenge Day 22

Have you ever stricken someone off your to-knit-for list because they didn’t appreciate/take care of your last knitted gift to them?

I’ve definitely learned my lesson knitting for lots of people over the years. I have minimized my list dramatically mostly due to the stress of knitting for like ten people. It’s too much for my hands and it’s a lot of time to not be designing new patterns for my shop. The year I made socks for a bunch of my friends a lot of them seemed uncomfortable to be getting socks and a few didn’t even thank me. I’ve had a few people ask me to knit something for them “and they’ll even pay me” but balked when I told them a ballpark range of how much their item would actually cost or they simply never paid me. That’s the fastest way to the no knit list. I’ve limited my list to mostly family at this point. They understand how much labor a hand knit item takes and I know they’ll appreciate it. I actually went to buy my Christmas gift yarn haul this morning so now I’ve got my work cut out for me. I’ve got five items to whip out before the holidays.

Holiday Knitting Rant

Knitting Blog Challenge Day 21

Do you knit gifts for friends and family for the holidays or birthdays?

I used to do this a lot more than I do now. One year I think I made like ten things as gifts and I don’t think I bothered to start until at least Thanksgiving. I’ve cut down a bunch in the past years for various reason’s that I’ll probably get more into tomorrow, but mainly it ends up being so stressful that it takes the fun out of it. There are certain people that I’ll happily knit gifts for. I know they’re going to appreciate them and I know that they’re going to take care of whatever I give them.

I knit a few things for my best friend when she announced she was pregnant. I love making baby items – they’re so fast and they’re just so stinking cute. Knitting baby items is basically like making sample sizes. I can experiment with new techniques or make dumb adorable stitch patterns with a lot less time and a lot less yarn. She loved the little things I gave her, and sent me pictures of her little guy wearing them which is basically the greatest thank you I could ask for. She then told me that anything else I make for them she’s insisting on paying for. At first I was a little hurt by this but she explained to me that what I make is worth a lot more than I give myself credit for. This has kind of been simmering in the back of my head for the past year or so. Yes, knitting is my hobby, but it’s also my passion and I’ve worked really hard to become very good at it. It goes back to discussions my studio had over and over again about the value of “art” and “craft” practices and how they’re both perceived by people in the art world and everyone else. I’ve always felt like the craft world is highly undervalued by most people and I know there’s conversations all over the internet that basically boil down to people expecting crafters to make things for free or for material costs – like it’s something we’re going to do anyways so we should be overjoyed that someone is willing to buy us yarn.

Sorry for ranting but this is where my brain is at as the looming holiday deadline approaches and I internally debate what and for whom I should be knitting. I know most of my readers are knitters and crocheters and crafters in general, what are your thoughts on all this? Do you knit for everyone or just a select few?