For years I’ve knit socks for my nieces and nephews for Christmas. I’m not sure when I started exactly, but I know it’s been at least eight years (I knit a blue pair and pink pair to be ready for what turned out to be a nephew born days before Christmas eight years ago). If that was the first year, that nephew was number 5; and the oldest at the time was 5. Since then, their number has doubled and the size of their feet, according to my very unscientific reasoning, has more than doubled. All that to say, it’s a lot more knitting than it was when I started.
When I began knitting years ago, sock knitting was one of my early accomplishments (a few missteps aside). We were like peas carrots, sock knitting and I. I churned out pair after pair, but last year the pressure of all those little (and no so little anymore) bare feet got to me. It just wasn’t fun. And if it wasn’t fun, what was the point? So I stopped.
When I started knitting Christmas ornaments at the beginning of December, I was filled with optimism I would finish, but also a healthy dose of realism that with the hustle and bustle of the season they would be the first to fall of the to-do list. As I kept knitting, I enjoyed the challenge of attempting to finish one a day (who, me, competitive??) and even when I fell behind, it was never so far that catching up seemed unrealistic. So today, I hung ornament number 24 on my tree:
The finished result:
With a slew of fall birthdays it’s been a bit like mitten-palooza here.
Stripy mittens are one of my favourite things and weaving in ends one of my least favourite. The clear solution is self striping yarn. I fell slightly in love with Adriafil Stella Jacq. It’s colour changes too quickly for a hat or a larger item, but that’s what makes it perfect for mittens.
The fact I found it on sale was an added bonus.
My affection for Knit Picks Felici sock yarn is boundless, so I was thrilled when they offered it in a worsted weight. One ball was just enough to match up the stripes without stressing about having enough of the right colour.
I may have ordered this year’s colours for next year’s mittens. 🙂
Last year I made an offhand comment on Facebook about the Opal Advent Calendar. Much to my surprise and delight my aunt bought me one for Christmas. It was so much fun opening the little windows to see the pretty new yarn each day. I loved advent calendars as a child, but mine pre-dated the chocolate variety (or any other type of gift) and only had little pictures inside. Yarn definitely beats pictures and sometimes (but not always) chocolate.*
By Christmas I was left with 24 mini balls of sock yarn and some questions about what I would do with them.
My anal knitter side wouldn’t let me make mis-matched socks. I find Opal slightly scratchy so I didn’t want to make a shawl or scarf. My back up plan was squares for my sock yarn blanket, but that didn’t seem quite right either. Then I stumbled across a pattern for Christmas ornaments knit from small amounts of sock yarn. Perfect!
There are two varieties: spiral:
Chevron is my favourite of the two. I had trouble with the spiral pattern that was completely related to my inability to count and completely unrelated to the pattern, but it’s finally working out.
Because I remain totally, hopelessly delusional about the amount of free time I have leading up the Christmas holidays and totally, hopelessly delusional about the speed at which I knit, I thought it would be fun to knit an ornament a day, sort of a reverse advent calendar. So far so good, but I’m traveling for work this week and I’m pretty sure things are about to go off the rails. I’m posting a picture a day (hopefully) on Instagram, so please follow along there.
* I’ve never really thought of yarn vs. chocolate. That’s a debate I’m not ready to have.