I’ve frequently said that I enjoy knitting for family & friends. Recently, I’ve been reminded why there is joy in the process. A couple of weeks ago, I received a picture via text from Texas that reinforced why it is so special to knit for loved ones. Miss Butterfly, who is now 9 1/2 years old (!) had picked out a M’Amy hand-knit to wear to school that day – because it was cool & stylish. The handknit, the “Oh My Darling” poncho that I had knit for her almost 4 1/2 years ago.
It is fun to look at the “now & then” pictures and see how Miss Butterfly has grown up. I’m thinking that this year’s knit list needs to include new wearables for the dear kiddos in my life.
When I first started blogging, knitting was a ‘hot topic’ that occupied many of my posts. In recent years, while my knitting skills (& stash) have greatly increased I don’t think I have been knitting quite as much. In 2011, I knit a few things – although most of them have yet to be documented. In the absence of digging into those projects right now, here are a few recent stitches from up north.
For Christmas 2011, I only had one gift knit – an afghan. This was made for dear friends up north that truly are like family. Many a fun hour has been spent with this family – lot of time just hanging out. So, a cozy afghan for the living room. (project details here)
(this quick pic was taken in my hotel suite – hence the clashing with the chair)
I’m ready to start some new knit projects; however, in the interim I have been cranking out my ‘old standby’ dishcloths. A tableau from last Sunday…working on a dishcloth while teaching a young friend to knit (a hot pink scarf)…as we caught up on life & enjoyed frosted mint mochas at a local cafe…a perfect way to spend a winter afternoon…
I’ve said it before & I’ll say it again – knitting for babes & kids is fun! Especially when you get pictures of the knits in action.
This afternoon these pics came from Texas via text message. When I was in Dallas in March we woke to a Sunday snowfall & scrambled to put together some cold weather gear for the girls to play in the backyard. So, I decided that I needed to provide some additional cold weather gear – this winter I was on the lookout for snow pants for them & found a steal of a deal on ‘basic black’ just before Thanksgiving. For Christmas, I knit simple “infinity scarves” for Miss Butterfly & Miss Doodlebug & found some winter gloves to match. Today, they have a bit of snow down south & were adequately prepared to head outside & play.
Most of the time, snow isn’t as fun when you’re an adult…there’s the shoveling to do, getting the car in & out of the garage in the alley, dealing with driving in the bad conditions (I had a horrible trek north in December after a big snow), etc…how wonderful to be reminded of the joy that a bit of snow can bring!
(…before January turns to February, it’s high time to blog about the holiday knits…)
As fall turning to winter and the holidays of 2009, my knitting needles picked up some speed so that I could have plenty of hand-knits under the Christmas tree.
For my uncle in California, I decided that a watch cap was in order. A quick search for a pattern yielded the Modern Rib Hat pattern. The simplicity of the knit 2, purl 1 pattern and the subtle change of the color stripe (Caron Simply Soft Shadows in Merino) quickly knit into a cozy hat for his neighborhood night watch work.
For my favorite little girls in Texas, simple hats with fun buttons. These hats were based on the Republic Hat (Toddler edition). I cast on more stitches for each one. I found the buttons on Etsy – a fun grab bag of “repurposed” buttons with lots of fun paintings on them – in fact, it was hard to pick which one to put on each hat.
For the Artisan family…wrist warmers. In March, when I was in California for Grandma’s funeral we found time to visit a local yarn shop along the Pacific Coast Highway. As is my “norm” when visiting a yarn shop, I asked what was a local or unique yarn that the shop carried. The answer was Capistrano Fiber Arts – beautiful hand dyed yarns from the area. I picked up four skeins of yarn and an accompanying pattern for simple wrist warmers. These were fast knits and are very cozy for all of us.
My blogiversary came & went on New Years 2010 – this is the start of the 5th year that I’ve hung out my shingle at AmyArtisan. As I seem to be saying more & more, I hope to be blogging more actively in the coming weeks and months. Going forward, I plan to make this more of a priority than it has been in recent months. Work has me on the road again so I’m figuring out my “new normal” of work and life. So far, the time on the road has yielded quite a bit of knitting in 2010 – stay tuned for those knit tales.
One of the ‘pitfalls’ of having a lot of ideas to craft for the holidays is that you think of things so far in advance, think it is too early to start on them and then before you know it, the holiday has passed and your crafty ideas are still just ideas. In the past couple of years, I’ve managed to be fairly realistic about the Christmas projects – although there are a few ideas that have yet to be made.
This Valentine’s Day, the crafting ideas & the timing came together and I was able to create a few simple ways to send some love to family & friends – through knits & cards. In early January, I came across a pattern for a heart shaped dishcloth – a variation on my “go-to” Grandma’s favorite dishcloth. In no time, I had one on & off the needles.
Ah ha, a Sweet Spa valentine was in order. Throughout January I continued to knit up some hearts – there is no shortage of dishcloth (er, facecloth) cotton in the artisan stash. I then turned to Etsy & found some cute handmade soaps to complete the gift. For Grandma, since I was already making some more comfort cloths I knit a super soft heart to include for her.
Next up, cards. Between blank cards, stamps and lots of fun papers I have plenty of supplies for making cards. On a Sunday afternoon I pulled out the supplies and had my Valentine cards drying on the mantel in no time. I had 3 flavors to the cards – for most, I used the hearts stamp set that I had picked up several years ago; for a few friends, I used some origami paper that has been “marinating” in my craft stash for a while; and for Miss Butterfly & Miss Doodlebug, I had fun with some itty bitty stamps – using the flower to create their initial.
Looking ahead to other holidays this year, I’m hoping that this “on top of it” approach will hold. In fact, I’m already thinking of some “Christmas in July” activities. What about you?