Holiday Madness

Yes, it has finally set in. Weeks ago, I perused my patterns in search of the perfect – i.e. quick and easy yet eminently giftable – projects to make as gifts for family and a couple of friends this year. Thinking to myself, “I’ve got Plenty of Time…!” (Famous last words, right?)

Now, here it is the first week of December and already I’m feeling behind the curve. I’ve discovered that much as I admire them, I’m just not one of those bloggers who posts photos of every WIP in each stage from start to completion. I don’t always have my camera at hand to shoot projects every few inches and then discuss the challenges and rewards of each step of the process. Some of the more challenging ones, yes, I do try to document those with slightly more regular updates. But the smaller projects that I crank out this time of year, not so much.

Finished projects – well, those are a different story. And as it happens, I have a couple to share today. Certain people who regularly read this blog should probably stop reading now because this could be a spoiler.

I made the Thorpe hat , designed by the wonderfully talented blogger Kristen Kapur in a couple of hours yesterday afternoon while listening to NPR and pausing every now and then for a sip of hot tea. If there’s any better way to spend a cloudy, raw afternoon, I don’t know what it is…
The hat, slightly modified with a couple of rows of garter stitch at the crown and knit on size 9s out of Noro “Transitions” (from my obscenely seemingly bottomless stash) should keep my niece’s ears nice and warm this winter:

Transitions is one of those Noro yarns into which the designer used almost every luxury plant and animal fiber available. No lie; just consider this ingredients list. Here goes: a single skein of Transitions contains 55% wool, 10% silk, 7% cashmere, 7% alpaca, 7% angora, 7% camel, and – whew! – finally, 7% Kid mohair. What was Mr. Noro thinking?!! I’ll give him credit, though – this baby is one soft, warm, and snuggly hat.

For my sister the pea-soup-green-fan, this Darkside Cowl by Sarah Fama is just the ticket. I knit it in Manos del Uruguay pure wool (yes, also from the stash), also on size 9s:

and then (because I had another skein, so why not?) I made her a pair of mittens to go with it.

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