Friday, December 21, 2007

Hand made gifts

Monday I got my first present of the season: yarn from Best Friend. Having no self control, I opened it right away. Actually, I do have self-control. But every winter, we go to Wisconsin to celebrate Christmas (the non-religious kind) with Husband's family. And I'm not about to take a gift to me, to Wisconsin, to open there. So I opened it here.

It was Frog Tree Bulky Alpaca in Bordeaux (purply wine red), Teal (dusty blue green) and Olive (light olive green). Fabulous colors that I wouldn't have chosen myself. That's the fun of gift yarn. It stretches your color comfort zone.

On Tuesday night, I couldn't hold out any longer and cast on, and Thursday night I finished this:
Basically, I took a 60 inch long circular needle in size 13 US and cast on at least 120 stitches. I didn't bother counting and really just wanted to make sure the stitches didn't crowd the needle. The yarn usually calls for size 10 US.

Then I garter stitched random rows and in the end, used any yarn left over to make some (skimpy) fringe. Half way through binding off the red, I ran out of yarn and finished with teal.

It's just about 5 inches wide and 5 feet long. And super soft and super warm.

I worked on it at work and every one's complimented the colors. Plus Frog Tree yarn is a fair trade company, working with artisans in Bolivia, 70% of which are women. So apropos. Great job, Best Friend!

Now I'm working on this scarf:

It's Landscape yarn by Lion Brand in Country Sunset. It usually calls for size 13 US needle, but I'm using size 17 needles. I cast on 15 stitches and am doing 2 rows of knit, then 2 rows of purl. Basically it's 2 rows of stockingnette stitch then 2 rows of reverse stockingnette stitch. There's a corrugated texture to it that I like.

It's about 7 inches wide and 14 inches long here in this picture. I cast on the first time at about 7:30pm tonight (during Jeopardy!) and then again at 8pmish and again soon after. But that's okay. On such big needles, progress happens so quickly, frogging is relatively painless.

I plan on giving it to one of my employees, the one who keeps raving about the Frog Tree alpaca scarf. Colors aren't quite the same, but it's got the reddish wine and the olive green. And lots of turquoise, which she might appreciate, being from the Caribbean.

Then I have 2 and half more employees to knit for. One of them is a knitter and she wears a scarf she knit herself. The half employee is a recent part-time consultant. Very recent, as in started last week after I fired Complaining Employee.

I plan to give these scarves at Chinese New Year, first week of February. For Chinese, that's the big gift giving holiday, not Christmas. Plus it buys me time!

A lot of my knitting this week got done while watching VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of the 90's. Ah, the memories it brings back, especially of the early 90's when I was still in college. Good times, good times.

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