Monday, December 20, 2010


Lots of holiday cheer in the last few days! Now I must pay the piper and finish grading papers this afternoon and evening. Some highlights:

- knitting holiday gifts

Pattern: Acorns, by Melissa LaBarre
Yarn: Orange Flower Superwash Merino Worsted, in "Cadet" (3/4 skein)
Needles: US 5 and 7 bamboo circs + US 7 dpns

 Wonderful squishy yarn in beautiful blues!  The pattern is very well-written, and seeing the acorns emerge is delightful. I still need to block this, but the next few days are going to be hectic, so I'd better document it now.
Pattern: Awbrey (free!), by Stacey Simpson Duke
Yarn: Malabrigo Chunky in "Mariposa," 1 skein
Needles: Clover US 10.5 bamboo 16" circs

This truly was a quick knit, and the thick cables are super cozy. The Russian lace bind-off that Stacey suggests is easy and very effective.  The slightly flared shape is perfect -- it keeps the top (cast-on edge) from being saggy, and allows the bottom to flare out a bit where your neck meets your body.

My first time using Malabrigo Chunky!  Wonderful stuff -- very soft and cozy, and less fragile and prone to pilliness than the worsted since it has more plies. I love this colorway in the skein, but I was afraid that it would look horrible knit up.  As it turns out, it's still lovely! 
I'm knitting a cozy cabled hat with earflaps to match! These cables are more complicated, but they're fun to work. The pattern's another freebie -- Snowboarder Hat that Rocks by Irishgirlieknits.  So cute! I was halfway through the fourth repeat of the cable pattern when I noticed that it was looking awfully tall; I ripped back a bit to do just three repeats before starting the decreases.  I'll definitely knit this pattern again!
- listening
Low's Christmas EP, a (post)modern classic. Low hails from Duluth, by the way. 

- watching

Paul watched Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas many times when he was a kid, but it was all-new to me this year! In a word, awesome. It's a Jim Henson piece, with plenty of Appalachian folksiness, mixed with a battle-of-the-bands with some super-psychedelic rockers. Very sweet, plus you can see forerunners of many Muppet Show characters. 

We also watched The Holiday, which is a mixture of treacle and charm, with bad acting by Cameron Diaz in particular. That said, the set designers are geniuses  I want to move into Kate Winslet's darling cottage in Surrey posthaste. Plus all the meta bits about movie-making were fun. I rather think that if casting had been done differently (Diaz and Jack Black), this could have been a great guilty-pleasure romantic comedy.
- decking the halls
We decorated the tree while sipping fresh grapefruit juice & gin cocktails concocted by Paul and listening to the Magnetic Fields.  A very hipster Christmas, I suppose.

P.S. Have you read Neil Gaiman's piece on persuading his parents to get a Christmas tree yet?


Katie M. said...

So many squooshy cables! All gorgeous. Now I am off to read about purchasing Christmas trees ... while wishing I too were having a hipster celebration. Or, at the very least, gin.

Rue said...

Lovely! Now I want to knit a bunch of big chunky cables. Does this mean that your holiday knitting is done?

marycatharine said...

Your knits all look wonderful!

Anonymous said...

Great gifts! And I agree about Malabrigo Chunky: it's just as soft as the original, but with better stitch definition and a bit sturdier. I made a favorite hat out of it last year and it's still in good shape.

elizabeth said...

So much to comment on! I adore Emmett Otter's Jug Band Christmas! Had the book when I was a kid and am checking out Netflix to see if it's available now...

The hats are wonderful and you're almost convincing me that I may have time to knit a couple before xmas!

Caffeine Girl said...

I love all your quick knits. I've got to stop making everything out of fingering-weight!

Carrie#K said...

Cute knits, I really like the cabled earflaps on that hat, nice set.

Nope, haven't read NG's piece yet, off to do that now! Merry Christmas!

Chris said...

Lovely knits!

Hmm. I haven't seen either of those Christmas movies...