Thursday, February 05, 2015

Non-Christmas gifties

I do a lot of gift knitting, and not just for Christmas. Other occasions come up throughout the year that make me want to break out the needles.

A classic one is the arrival (or impending arrival) of new babies. Especially co-workers. It is always a lot of fun to choose patterns for wee ones. So when I got word that one of my co-workers was expecting twins, well! What an opportunity for knitted fun!

My first plan was to make a set of Duffle Coats, by Zoƫ Mellor. This is an adorable and cosy coat that's been in my queue for ages, and it doesn't hurt that it's from a book called "Double Knits: Pairs of Patterns for Babies and Toddlers". My plan was to knit two coats in two different colours, but then to trade the colours for the sleeves and hood so that you would know they were part of a set (e.g. a blue coat with grey sleeves and hood; and a grey coat with blue sleeves and hood). I found some good acrylic/wool blends in the stash, in grey and blue, and got going:

Blue Duffle Coat back
Grey not pictured because, well, I haven't taken a picture of it
Unfortunately, although I thought the grey was aran weight, it turned out to be chunky, and not only were the two fabrics obviously very different in terms of feel and drape, but there was no way I was going to have enough yardage in the grey.

And then the mum said that they'd found out the sexes of the babies and knew they were having a boy and a girl. So that gave me a brand-new inspiration! I am therefore making a cardigan that looks like a tuxedo for the boy, and a dress for the girl. They're both coming along really well and I think they look adorable:

L'il Tux, body
(Not pictured: first sleeve. Which is actually too long, I think, and I'll probably redo it with more frequent increases.)
Glockenblume, in progress
(It's actually further along than this; I've started on the bottom edging. Also, I ran out of yarn, but fortunately my mom had given me some leftover sportweight from KnitPicks that she'd used for a cardigan for DD1 that is an almost perfect match. That's getting used for the bottom edge. I'm hoping like heck that it's not too obvious a colour difference.)
The tuxedo cardigan is L'il Tux for Baby by Judy Lamb, and the dress is Glockenblume, by Helga Torres.

And then about two weeks ago, I found out that one of my new co-workers (new thanks to our recent re-org) is also expecting! Fast forward to this week, when I had a meeting with my new team (all of whom have their cubicles near this expectant father), and asked casually when the baby was due. The answer: ANY DAY NOW. Oh, and today I found out that the work shower will be tomorrow.

Why don't people tell me these things?!?

Fortunately, I happened to have, kicking around the house, an almost-complete vest that I made as a prototype when I was working out yardage requirements for my Wuv pattern. And it's green, which is perfect, because nobody in the office knows if the baby's going to be a boy or a girl. (Except the future dad. And he's not telling; I strongly suspect this is because he doesn't want to receive gender-stereotypical gifts. Smart guy.) Two buttons and a bunch of sewn-in ends later, and we have...

12-month Wuv, completed, front

12-month Wuv, completed, back

Another event that gets my fingers itchy to start new projects is a birthday. My youngest turned three this past August, and about a week or two out from the big day, she confided in me that she was absolutely certain that she would be getting a rainbow for her birthday. I tried to tell her that, y'know, everybody's bought the gifts already and it's very possible that a rainbow is not one of them, but she was adamant. She would be getting a rainbow.

Okaaaaay, so she's getting a rainbow, I guess.

Rainbow, completed

Pattern is I Can Knit a Rainbow, by Clare Doornbos. (Thank heavens for Knitty.)

And then, DD1 got an invitation to her best friend's birthday party. Unfortunately, despite her close friendship with this girl, she absolutely could not tell me any ideas for what we could get her as a gift. "What does she like?" I asked. "I dunno..." came the answer. Finally, with just a day and a half before the party, I threw up my hands and decided to knit something, because from talking with this friend, I knew, at least, that she was a big fan of my knitting. I used my own Flutterby Tam pattern and managed to crank it out and block and dry it in time for the party on the Sunday afternoon:

Friend's Flutterby Tam, completed, top

Friend's Flutterby Tam, completed, bottom

The friend was apparently very appreciative and has since worn to school it a lot. In fact, I know she's been wearing it this week specifically because it accidentally came back to our house in DD1's backpack a few nights ago. :)

Anyhoo...

So when DD1 came home at the beginning of the winter holidays with a generous surprise Christmas gift from this friend, and a request from her for something else knitted by me, I thought, oh, fine, what the heck. The new winter Knitty had just come out and I was itching to find an excuse to make Ashley Knowlton's Drogo reversible slippers anyway:

Drogo, completed, tops

Drogo, completed, soles

DD1 says her friend loves them. Yay!

And finally, sometimes I don't need a gift-giving occasion. Sometimes I just want to make someone something. That someone is usually one of my children.

For DD3, this week I finished Sophie Missgraindesel's Gilet noeud noeud:

Gilet noeud noeud, completed

And for DD1, I'm working some serious yarn-conserving magic to make her Chocolate Passion from DROPS:

Chocolate Passion in progress
(I'm actually way farther along than this; back, fronts, and sleeves are actually all done, I'm just in the process of sewing it all together.)
I made substantial mods to this one - to see what they were, you can check out my insanely extensive project notes on Ravelry.

Future giftie projects include a few things for DD2, including a cardigan and slippers at her request (and to her specifications, naturally). Oh, and something truly epic for my cousin, who has just announced that his wife is expecting their second child. (SQUEEEEEE!!!)

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