knitted, gifted :: The Fisherman’s Wife (Cowl) + Whitefish Point Armwarmers

20131226-112114.jpgThis is my stepson’s adorable girlfriend and she rocks so hard. In addition to many other things I love about her, she also has a true appreciation for things that are handmade (as a massage therapist, she understands the care and energy that go into working with your hands). So when my stepson showed me a picture of a cowl that she had indicated on Facebook that she liked, I knew what to do.

First, I got to work reverse engineering it – I thought perhaps it was a neck warmer from a store, rather than a handknit; the picture on Facebook didn’t indicate. But before long, I found a pattern for it – The Fisherman’s Wife on Ravelry.

The Fisherman's Wife

The Fisherman’s Wife

This knit is about as fast and easy as they come. I rarely knit with super-bulky yarn, but when I do, I am astonished all over again at how quickly it knits up. If you don’t mind the feeling of knitting with tree trunks, it’s pretty fun. I used Cascade Magnum, which I’d never used before, and I really liked it.

After that, I decided to create some armwarmers to go with it, so, as I’ve already mentioned, I designed these Whitefish Point Armwarmers.

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I think she likes them:

cuteness

cuteness

I also designed some boot toppers (pattern coming soon), but I only managed to get one of them knit before Christmas (so the gift is coming soon, too). This continues a long tradition of mine, of giving partially-knit gifts. Sad but true.

aren't they adorable?

aren’t they adorable?

It was very fun to give gifts so well-received. Her gift to me included a gift certificate for a massage, so as you can imagine, that was mighty well-received, too!

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Merry Christmas!

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With apologies for the radio silence this week (as I’m sure you understand, many obligations have overtaken my time, and I couldn’t manage to keep up with my blogging plans), I’m just popping by to wish you and yours a Merry Christmas (if you celebrate) and a happy Wednesday (if you don’t). We’ve had a wonderful day and hope you have, too.
requisite goofy shot

Advent Activity Calendar

One of my most popular posts, on here, on flickr, and on Pinterest, is my mosaic of our 2009 Advent Activity Calendar.

 
Advent 2009

I’ve continued the tradition of an Advent Activity Calendar each year (the boys wouldn’t let me stop at this point if I tried!), and I try very hard to document each year, so that I can remember the following year what works and what doesn’t. I haven’t always done a great job with the documentation (2011 I only managed to document the first 10 days or so), and I haven’t always managed to tag or categorize my posts appropriately. But because I know there are people out there who come looking for ideas about this sort of thing, I’ve consolidated what I do have in one place, creating an Advent Activity Calendar page here on the blog. I hope it’s helpful! I will continue to try to tag old posts accurately as well. For now, there are maybe 15 posts categorized under Advent Activity Calendar.

I am so SO glad I went to the trouble last year of knitting a Smitten Advent Calendar! It feels great not to have to make a new one each year, and I was so happy to hang this one up last night.
knitted :: Smitten Advent Garland

Of course, as you know, I did knit another Smitten Garland this year, for my dear friend Deborah.
Smitten :: done #knitting #mittens #smitten #adventcalendar
I had originally planned to knit a little bit on it all year, so that I wouldn’t end up knitting 24 little mittens all in a row. But in the end, that’s what I did, because that’s what I do. I got them in the mail to her on Wednesday, mailed 2-day Priority, confident they would reach her on Saturday so she could hang them in time for Advent. Sadness of sadness, though, the postal worker wouldn’t leave them without a signature when Deborah wasn’t there to receive them (even though I did not select the signature requirement). I am so bummed. But I expect they will get to her safe and sound tomorrow, and now every Advent after this she will be able to hang them on time!

Then there were 14. Sort of. (Smitten)

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I mean, I can’t really call them done until I’ve gotten all those ends taken care of, can I?

Not to mention the little loop thingies.

But I’ve been leaving off all the individual finishing details for the sake of momentum – it seems to work well for me to immediately cast on for the next mitten as soon as I’m done knitting one. I timed myself on the most recent one, and it took me 49 minutes to make it. That was without reading or watching TV, and I usually do at least one of those things while I knit. Watching TV while knitting doesn’t slow me down at all, but I know that reading does, at least a little bit.

My goal is to get these finished (including the weaving in of ends! including the sewing of the little loop thingies! including the crocheting of a chain for them to hang on!) in time to get them in the mail in a little more than a week, so my friend will receive them in time to hang for Advent.

I know it sounds like I’m a great friend for doing this – but you should see what she made for me! And you will, soon.

(Fashion Friday will be back next Friday, with – at last! – another Stitch Fix! My box is finally on its way to me now, scheduled to arrive on Monday. It’s all I can do to keep from looking at my account info to see what they’ve sent me. I’m trying to be surprised. Happily, I hope.)