Friday, December 21, 2007

Last Minute Knitting

I'm sure many of you are spending your free moments this week furiously knitting to finish up last minute holiday gifts. I spared myself that down-to-the-wire frenzy this year by simply not knitting gifts. I've never done a ton of holiday knitting anyway, as my gift list is pretty short, but this year I kept it down to zero. Until the last minute anyway, when the number suddenly changed to One.

Last week, I showed you a hat that I started for my husband, not as a gift but rather a necessity. I finished that up the day after I started it and was able to give him his new hat and take back the one he had swiped from me.

The hat is Anne Hanson's new Waffle Stitch Hat pattern. The pattern comes in a set together with a pattern for matching fingerless mitts. The pattern is available at KnitSpot and also in my Etsy store. I made this version of the hat for my husband using my FF Superwash Merino Wool Sportweight Yarn combined with a strand of Superwash Merino Wool Sock Yarn. He's been wearing it pretty much every moment since it came off the needles.

Here's an angle shot lightened up a bit so you can see a bit more of the stitch detail:

I enjoyed this simple, quick knit pattern so much that I decided at the last minute to whip up a quick gift for my mother. I was feeling a bit guilty that I hadn't knit a thing for her this year (although I knew she would entirely understand, given how busy I've been with the recent move).

For my mother, I made a pair of the matching Waffle Stitch Mitts from the same pattern, except that I made them full mittens rather than fingerless. I used the same yarn for my mother's gift as I did for my husband's hat. The mitts knit up in no time and I had them ready to go earlier this week. I proudly packaged them up and zapped them off by mail before even thinking to take a blog photo, so you'll just have to do without this time. My apologies!

In the meantime, I still haven't sewn in the second sleeve of my zipper-front sweater, but I have made a bit more slow progress on the ripple stitch afghan. I was feeling really good about getting so much done on these two projects that my mind began to wander to what I would begin next. Then I suddenly remembered another project in-progress that I seem to have blocked out of my mind.

Remember this?

This is a simple rectangular wrap with my FF Worsted Weight Mohair/Wool in the Morocco colorway that I started some months ago. I got about 75% or so done with it and then set it aside for one reason or another and forgot all about it! I'll need to get back on that and finish it up, although I still have no idea what I'm going to do with it.

In the meantime, ideas are brewing in my mind for a little cashmere sweater. I've been swatching a bit in spare moments and have almost settled on the pattern in my mind. I'm thinking of something short-sleeved, more for cool spring or warm fall days than for winter, with a cable stitch incorporated into ribbing around the midsection and simple stockinet in the bodice. I always gravitate to construction of this sort, with some structure and shape around the midsection to give a bit of extra definition at the waist. My preference is for simple pullovers, so I'll probably stick to that, perhaps with a short mock turtleneck. I have to think and perhaps swatch a bit more and then I'll get started on that.

I also need to do a scarf here soon. One of the men on my bowling team asked last night if I would knit him one. I'd been thinking of knitting something for him for some time now (he's not only a friend, but he's also really sweet about inquiring from time to time about what I'm knitting and so I thought he might appreciate something). I'd never seen him wear any type of scarf, hat, or even sweater, so I wasn't sure what he might want. When he brought it up and mentioned a scarf, I was all too happy to have the answer provided to me.

I can't remember ever knitting a scarf for a man before, so I'm a bit unsure as to what's appropriate in terms of size. Anyone have any input on that? The recipient is of small stature (perhaps 5'6" or so?). How wide and long would you suggest? I know he wouldn't want anything "fancy" in terms of stitch patterns, so I was thinking perhaps using a very lightweight yarn (maybe even my Superwash Sock Yarn) in a woven stitch. Does that sound like a reasonable plan? Any input would be most appreciated.

That's all the news for today. I'm just taking a quick break here in the midst of today's dyeing activities, so it's time for me to get back to work. Everyone have a wonderful weekend!


alligator said...

Way to go finishing up all your WIPs! I've been working on that too but it can be such a slog sometimes!

As for scarf size I recommend something of a fairly good size. My bf is about 5'6 and small in stature and he has a scarf that looks quite nice that is about 5" wide. I think if you are using a lighter weight yarn you might want it to be even a little wider than that, 5.5"-6".

anne said...

most men's scarves can be between 54 and 64 inches and wrap twice about the neck. some people say to make a scarf the height of the recipient, but that can be too long, considering that they stretch.

in my experience, using slip-stitches or woven stitches for scarves can mean tedium after the first foot or two because they don't grow very fast, but then, i am a lazy impatient knitter!

Micki said...

Great hat! I'm not surprised your husband is wearing it constantly.

For adult scarves, I generally go with the "height of the recipient" guideline for length. Men tend to like their scarves a little shorter than women do, but then again, long scarves seem to be "in" this year. For width, I usually shoot for 6-7 inches.

Katinka said...

I just ran across the Holding Hands, Feeding Ducks scarf pattern on Ravelry -- kinda sounds like what you're looking for. :)