Matey Christmas, everyone!

My Christmas visit home involved a lot more visiting someone in the hospital than I'd initially banked on (which was actually none). Luckily, sitting in a hospital room yields a large amount of knitting time.

My theme of untenably-large gauge, plus foolish continued refusal to swatch or even measure gauge, continued to bite me in the ass this Christmas.

I planned to make for the males in my family (a father and two brothers) colorwork hats out of Telemark. The first hat I whipped out over about a weekend, not counting some subway knitting of the lining.

It came out pretty large (SURPRISE), so I decided that that one would go to my Dad, whom it would be most likely to fit.

Yarn: Telemark
Pattern: Ufserud
Mods: Took out one 10-row repeat and left off most of the bottom stripes.

Here is a positively terrible picture of it:

2009 12-26 004

It does actually fit okay.

Second, I decided to make each of my brothers a We Call Them Pirates hat. Unfortunately, I made this decision after I'd knit the Charcoal and one of the Cream skeins into most of another Ufserud hat. Turns out sitting in a hospital room is also an excellent place to frog.

There was much more frogging of pirate-ness, but I ended up with these two (terribly photographed, and in one case, not yet blocked) hats eventually:

2009 12-26 002

(Cream and Charcoal, pattern knit reading chart correctly)

2009 12-26 003

(Cream and Black, pattern knit reading chart incorrectly)

Lessons learned:
  1. Read the directions about which color represents which yarn in the chart before knitting the entire hat.
  2. Try to finish gift knitting before the sun starts rising on Christmas morning.
  3. I really need to just assume that I should go down a needle size or two with colorwork. Because it only takes three data points to indicate a trend, and I got about 17 data points. Use smaller needles, already, self, jeez.
Finally, the Christmas piece de resistance:

Christmas 2009 007

Pattern: Fireside Stocking, by Kate Gilbert
Yarn: Knit Picks Palette, held double
Mods: Knit cuff-down instead of toe-up

I started working on this around September, and was done with it before December, I think. I knit it on a 16" size 5 circular, although the pattern might have called for dpns.

Here's a closeup of what I did for the hanger:

2009 11-22 002

The pattern called for a single i-cord, which seemed inadequate to the job of keeping this sucker up, so I braided three i-cords together in the lightest, middle, and darkest colors. It was kind of hard to anchor in the corner of the top. I didn't want it to distort the edge, or stretch weirdly, and it wasn't going to be completely flush with the body of the stocking, even with jamming the sucker through a stitch and then trying to sew it to the inside of the lining. I ended up doing that and then wrapping it tightly a zillion times with a strand of the bare yarn, and I think that actually worked pretty well.

I knew the instant that I saw the pattern however long ago that I would eventually make this for Mom.

Finally, a closeup of one square in the sunshine:

2009 11-22 004

I'm going to go several months without thinking about Christmas 2010.

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