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December, 2009:

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.

I finally felt like felting

Eva’s Christmas stocking, before and after (click them for bigger versions):

Eva's stocking, pre-felting Eva's Christmas stocking

Bad lighting on the “before” shot notwithstanding, I’m very pleased with how this turned out! I was worried the stocking would be way too ludicrously huge, but it became appropriately huge after felting. And here’s a little closeup on this gorgeous yarn (Plymouth Boku):

Eva's stocking, closeup

And, wait a minute, what’s this under the tree?
Felted clog. Not as noisy as a wooden clog
A present for me. This is one of the Fiber Trends felted clogs that I finished knitting almost two years ago and never got around to felting. After I pulled Eva’s stocking out of the washer, I was so high on felting I threw the clogs in the washer immediately. And now that they’re all felted, my very warm and happy feet are mad at me for not doing it much earlier. These slippers would have made maternity leave a little more cozy.
Felting is fun! I have two more Christmas stockings to knit and felt (though that probably won’t happen until after the holidays) so I have something to look forward to.

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.

Finished: Lace Panel Gloves

I have been finishing up projects like crazy but not getting much blogging done! Here are my Lace Panel Gloves, designed by Lisa Hoffman and published in the Fall 2009 issue of Vogue Knitting. This issue has lots and lots of pages with little yellow sticky-notes marking patterns I would l-o-v-e to make!

Red Gloves

I used Wollmeise. I had never used this yarn before but it is very beautiful and so easy to work with, and I think the gloves have a very nice fluid drape to them, which you really can’t see in the photo of course. I’m so very pleased with myself … this is the first pair of gloves I’ve made. Thank you, Deb, for introducing me to this yarn.

Honey I Blew Up The Christmas Stocking

Eva’s stocking is done and just needs to be felted. Do you think it might be a little … big?
Eva's stocking, pre-felting
Kind of a major departure for the mini mitten maven, I’d say. Brad was saying tonight that I’d better watch out or Eva might crawl into it and get lost.
I hope it shrinks a LOT or I’ll be in trouble when it comes to filling this thing for Christmas!
(pattern: Ella’s Felted Christmas Stocking. Stay tuned for a post-felting update!)

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.