Saturday, December 22, 2007

A Little Christmas Treat

We're coming down to the wire on the Christmas knitting--I am working the toe of the last sock and the collar of the last sweater. I actually may have things done before Christmas Eve this year! There are already new projects lined up to be cast on or warped on!

Of course, not all has gone smoothly. The scarves for Miss Julia's teachers never got made. This caused great crisis and consternation Thursday night as the preparations were being made for the classroom party. So what to do? Then inspiration struck.

I had designed a little coffee cup cozy for my sister's birthday gift back in November. It was a super-quick knit, so I decided to whip up a few for the teachers. I made three in about 2 hours, and I decided that this is now my favorite last-minute gift idea. And, as a little Christmas gift to you, I'm sharing the pattern.

Coffee Cozee
Materials:25 yards worsted weight yarn
Needles:4.5 mm double pointed needles
Gauge:20 st and 26 rows=10 cm (4 inches) in st st
Loosely cast on 45 stitches. Divide stitches over 3 dpns (15 st per needle) and join in the round.Work in K3 P2 rib until piece measures 7.5 cm (3 inches).
Next round: *Slip 1, K2tog, PSSO, P2* Repeat to end of round.You now have a K1P2 rib pattern established. Work in ribbing for 2.5 cm (1 inch).
Bind off VERY loosely.

That's it! This will fit most large to extra-large take-out coffee cups, as well as reusable mugs without handles (for the green crowd). Simply slip the cozee up from the bottom of the mug until the lower ribbing hugs the cup tightly.
We tucked a coffee shop gift card and a baggie of homemade cookies in with it, and I made a little tag explaining what it was and how to use it. A great little gift, and it took longer to bake a whole batch of cookies than it did to knit the cozee (but then, I knit fast ).
Fleece on Earth
Good Wool to All!
Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Well, You Don't See That Every Day...

Busy, busy, busy, as usual!

With Christmas coming up, I have been scrambling to finish up commissions and get my own gifts knitted and woven. I'm a sleeve and half a sock away from being done, so I am well ahead of the game. Knock wood. Hopefully, I'll get around to posting pics of the FOs after the gifts have been opened by their respective recipients--I'm really happy with my work this year.

All this knitting and weaving has been crammed in between a very hectic schedule of family visits, Christmas concerts, parties, and auditions. I auditioned for and won the role of Hannah Porter Pitt in Keyano Theatre's upcoming production of Angels in America: Millennium Approaches. Very exciting, and challenging--this means I actually play 4 different characters, including an elderly Rabbi and the late Ethel Rosenberg. A little something to occupy my "free time". Eep.

And with all this going on, I get an email from a designer friend of mine, offering me an interesting challenge. She walks with the help of a cane some days, but in Alberta's frosty climate, she was finding the handle of her cane a little too cold at times. So what should do, but to ask someone to knit her a "cane sweater". How could I say no?

Interestingly enough, there isn't a lot online about cane handle covers. Has no one else ever had this idea? So off to the drawing board. Armed with the dimensions of the cane handle in question and a ball of turquoise Shetland yarn, I went to work. And came up with this...

Yeah, i know, it's not much to look at all laid out flat, but look at it on the local model!

All purty and buttoned up. The handle sections are knitted in the round, then the buttoned shaft cover is picked up and knit down. I think the buttons could have been a wee bit closer together to keep the gapping to a minimum, but I didn't want too many fussy buttons cluttering things up, either. You certainly don't see anything else like it around, anyway-perhaps I have unvented something new!

Today's big plan--fudge and toffee. MMMM!

Oh, and a sleeve and half a sock!