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Gifts & Holidays

Fiber Trends felted clogs

One of the all-time best patterns, and one just about every knitter is familiar with, is Bev Galeskas’ Felted Clogs, published by Fiber Trends (and available in both adult and children’s sizes as a download from Ravelry).

Andrea knitted a pair of these for herself a few years ago, loved them and wore them out.  So I gathered together bits and pieces of Cascade 220 I had left over from other projects and this is what I came up with.  (Those are her feet, so the fit is probably … perfect?)

FiberTrends felted clogs

I love stash-buster projects that work out this well.

Eva’s stocking (and contents)

Here’s the stocking, and the projects alluded to earlier as getting finished up like crazy.

Stuffed stocking
Felted stocking for Eva, with Harry Bear (pattern free from Berroco) and earflap cap with matching mittens (photos of both below).

First the stocking. Felted, a little fair isle, a little intarsia, nothing too ambitious but I’m pleased with the result.
I knitted the stocking using Cascade 220 (single strand) and size 11 needles, using just a basic sock pattern for proportions.
(A note about the intarsia section: When I came to the tree section, I put the stitches involved in the intarsia on a straight needle, leaving the rest on a circular. I worked the tree rows, left them on a holder, worked back and forth on the stitches on the circular needle until I had the same length as the tree panel, then put all the stitches back on the circular needle and continued in the round. When I was all done, I just stitched the panel in place and the seams disappear completely in the felting.)
(Oh, and just for the sake of documentation in case I ever want to make another, I did an afterthought heel.)

I took some photos along the way because the shrinkage during felting always seems like such a guessing game. So I wanted to record just exactly what happened.

Before felting front, after felting

Measurements before felting: 28″ long x 10″ wide at ankle
Measurements after felting: 20″ long x 7.25″ wide at ankle

Before and after felting measurements

And stuffed inside a fluffy white Harry Bear, about 7 inches or so long,

Teddy bear

and snowflake cap and mittens set.

Baby cap and mittens

Whew! Best Christmas ever!

Eva’s stocking – finally completely finished

Okay, this is the last post about Eva’s Christmas stocking… I promise.
I just had to show off my first try at needle felting. I took some tufts of pink and white roving and added Eva’s name to the stocking.

Eva's stocking

Needle felting is fun. You should try it.

Advent Calendar

How cool is this? Cut Out + Keep is currently doing a crafty advent calendar, revealing one Christmas-related craft a day. The crafts so far include sewing with felt, cooking, paper crafts, and more.
And how cool is this? They asked to include my mini mitten pattern for today’s project.
And just to put an extra finishing touch on the coolness, today is my Dad’s birthday. Happy birthday, Dad!
See Cut Out + Keep’s advent calendar here.

Oh yeah, Christmas

Apparently my brain is incapable of thinking about Christmas knitting except between December first and about January first. When the calendar turns to December, I suddenly get all these ambitious Christmas knitting plans swirling around in my brain. I frantically knit them, invariably abandoning some of them along the way as the deadline looms and the stress mounts. Then, Christmas comes and goes and for a few days I think about all the Christmas knitting that I’ll do throughout the year so as to not end up with a last-minute rush.
And then my selective Christmas memory sets in and I forget that the holiday even exists.
So what was I doing on December first? Buying skeins of Plymouth Boku to make felted Christmas stockings for Eva, my husband and myself.

Not bad for two days work, eh? It helps when you’re knitting loosely on size 10.5 needles, in straight stockinette in the round.

Ad-hoc sock schlock

Well, I hope the recipient doesn’t think of these as socks as schlock, but I have to admit they’re not my fave.

But they meet the criteria…
1. Manly. These are for my Dad, so no frou-frou lacy socks would be welcome, though I’d much prefer to make some frou-frou lacy socks.
2. Stretchy. I asked Dad what he wanted me to knit for him and he said that because of the swelling due to the blood clot in his leg, he’d really like some comfy handknit socks that wouldn’t be too tight. So I went for a stretchy sock yarn with elastic – Soxx Appeal, from Knit One, Crochet Too (in the aptly-named color Toffee).
3. Warm. There are a few elastic yarn options out there, but this is the only one I found (at least at my local yarn shop) that was mostly made of merino wool. Soft and warm.
These are entirely ad-hoc. They’re toe-up, using a crochet provisional cast-on with short rows, and an heel that’s identical to the toe. What I like about making socks this way is that there are no gusset stitches to pick up. Just make the heel and then keep on a-knitting up the leg. What I don’t like about these particular socks, and why I referred to them as schlock, is that I found working with this yarn to be really unsatisfying (it splits, it stretches all over the place, it doesn’t show stitch patterns well, which forced me into a boring rib pattern, and the color is boring).
The most interesting part of these socks: the stretchy bind-off
Since these needed to be stretchy and my standard bind-off is anything but stretchy, I used a 1×1 tubular bind-off, using this tutorial as a guide. It was slow and fidgety (the process feels similar to doing a kitchener stitch, threading a sewing needle in and out of stitches in a certain order and direction), but it’s worth it if you need a nice stretchy cuff.

The cuff will stretch even further, but that was as far as my fingers would go!
I’ve got the better part of the second sock to finish by Christmas. Luckily this is a fast knit. I haven’t been doing much Christmas knitting this year… just don’t quite have the energy for it this year. But I do have one more holiday project to share, and I’ll post about that tomorrow.