I've been sort of cleaning up from the Christmas knitting, finishing the half finished projects.
For Christmas, I made half a dozen sets of Totos and Tribbles to give as presents. I like to make sure that everyone who comes over for Christmas has something to open, but with 35-4o people I have to set a pretty tight budget. So these seemed like a good gift, even counting the original cost of the stash yarn. I think they went over well, as every person who got one had to try using it as a hand puppet.
Toto is a nifty design from the second Mason-Dixon Knitting book, and it's not a beginner's project. It uses several funky knitting techniques - picked up stitches, a 3-needle bindoff, and an I-cord bindoff, but they all serve a purpose, and create an object that's both functional and decorative. That sounds like the embodiment (or empotholderment) of Craftsman principles to me - so as we work on our house, I'm sure the kitchen is going to include some Totos.
It's a good thing they work so well, because they're absolutely addictive to make. I finished this set right after Christmas.
And I just finished this one tonight. The pink yarn is left over from my Son of Dish Rag Tag dishrag. I fell in love with its ice-cream colors as I was knitting with it the first time, so I'm glad to have found a project that will stay with me me to use the rest of it.
The Tribbles are addictive, too. Here's the post-Christmas Tribble production. In addition to the ones that join potholders in the kitchen, I have visions of having a whole basket of them in the bathroom, to use as bath scrubbies. I love handknit washcloths, but they often stretch too much - the Tribbles probably won't have that problem.
I still have a Christmas project or two to finish (start, in one case), but I can't show you those in case the eventual recipients see them. However, I know my mother doesn't hang out on line, so I can share the next project I'll start, as soon as I decide what it is.
Mom wants a hat. Specifically, she wants a hat that keeps her ears warm, but that doesn't squish down her hair. I'm not exactly sure what sort of hat that would be, but I'm pretty sure that Mom also wants a hat that's machine washable, so I picked up this Plymouth Encore at Mary Lynn's, and it's going to be Mom's hat.
I've narrowed the pattern choices down to two - either Meret, or the Warm-Ears hat. I think it's going to be Meret, because it's prettier. Warm-Ears might be closer to what she wants, but I can't be sure without trying it on her, and that would ruin the surprise.
The next decision is about the Knitting Olympics. I'm thinking about going for broke and trying to do a sweater - a sweater using a heavy yarn and big needles. Since I'm still "between opportunities" jobwise, a sweater really seems possible - and it's cold right now. I looked at the February Lady sweater and Bella Paquita, and after reading all the comments about difficulties with the latter decided to do February Lady. But then I looked at yarn. Little Knits has some great yarns at great prices, but once shipping enters the equation the prices become much less great. So I think I'll do a round of the local yarn stores before I make any firm decisions - the Olympics aren't until February, anyway. I'll hope to have my Christmas knitting finished by then.