There have been a bunch of these Famous posts recently. But Christmas movies really are like a big knitted pageant, right?
Before the season runs out and we all start talking about how we promise that next year is the year we start going to the gym (Remember that time I had a gym membership and hardly ever went to yoga? Oh, I mean now.) I will share one last holiday movie knit. And it might be my favorite.
Because Elf is obviously the best Christmas movie to come along since Muppet Christmas Carol. It’s a new classic. And I delight in quoting it non-stop after Thanksgiving.
Every year, without fail, I fall in love again with the hat worn by Zooey Deschanel’s character Jovie. I’m quite sure every knitter has. It’s gigantic and creamy. And that pom pom!
I’ve been dying to make this hat since I first saw the movie but I still have not. I think a nice natural alpaca would be great (like I’ve said before, my weakness!) but a chunky merino might give the cables a little bit more definition. Her hat doesn’t quite have the halo that alpaca yarns do.
Either way, if you get to picking up your needles for this project before I do (one day!), there are two free patterns on Ravelry. So you don’t have to spend all afternoon pausing and rewinding and pausing the movie again to get a good look at that hat!
Are you doing anything for Christmas? Did you finish making your gifts? Why am I sitting on paper? Can I listen to your necklace? Why is there a skeleton over there? Does he have a name?
ps. Happy holidays, guys! Whichever holiday it may be or even if you aren’t celebrating anything, I hope you all eat some yummy food and relax and just enjoy the season. Jon and I are going to spend the weekend making latkahs (who said Hanukah is over?) and then preparing a big Christmas dinner. We’re multicultural like that! So I’ll be back, and exhausted, after the holiday.
pps. Feel free to fill the comments with Elf quotes.
You’ve heard of Christmas socks? How about some Chanukah socks?
I wanted to make my amazing Aunt Sherry something for Chanukah. I promised myself (for the sake of sanity) that I would not make gifts for everyone but I made a few exceptions and she was one of them. She is very special to me and I am constantly getting awesome handmade gifts from her. I don’t think socks are ever a terrible gift (ungrateful kids these days!) so I made her these.
I was inspired by the Purl Soho homespun socks (as I’m sure you can tell by the colors I chose and the style of the sock. I won’t pretend I didn’t rip the idea of a neutral, chunky sock off a little bit.) But I’m a sucker for toe up socks. So I designed my own toe-up sock.
It’s a simple toe-up sock with a short row heel. That’s kind of my go-to sock pattern. I adjusted it to use size 6 needles and Cascade Eco Duo. (Undyed alpaca, you are my kryptonite!) I thought a nice chunky sock would be nice to wear around the house or with snow boots. And, selfishly, they worked up pretty quickly. (Which is good because the other gifts I’ve decided on are driving me insane.)
I love the look and feel of the socks. I’m excited to make more with this pattern. And hopefully more for Aunt Sherry!
(Gift knitting also means that I never get proper photos. Hopefully I can update sometime soon with better ones!)
Have you given socks as a gift? Seriously, though toe up or top down?
When it’s the week before Christmas and none of my holiday knitting is finished, I’m just like:
How’s your holiday knitting going?
I’m sure you need no reminder that Christmas is around the corner. (Chanukah is already here and I am somehow prepared for my upcoming gift exchange! Chanukah is all about miracles, though.) I keep finding adorable little things that I’d love to make as gifts but I won’t have time to make them all before the holidays are over. (By the way, have you been following my current crazy holiday WIP on instagram? I’M INSANE.)
In case you just realized you forgot to make something for Kevin or you just pulled your boss’s name in the office Secret Santa and you’d love to make them something that would make them forget all of those times they caught you searching for cardigan patterns on Ravelry instead of doing your job (not that that’s ever happened to me, I’m speaking hypothetically here), this gift guide is for you.
1. Purl Soho Homespun Boot Socks
2. Red is Best glitten pattern by Jane Richmond
3. Cowl a la Americaine by Amy Christoffers (There’s a sale on this pattern ebook! Do it!)
4. Lion Brand Houndstooth Check Tie
5. Stjarna by Karolina Eckerdal
I take gift knitting pretty seriously and I suggest that we all do. It’s very easy to get carried away, picking out knits for all of the people in your life. If you’ve received something hand made from me, you are very special to me. Even if it’s something ugly, even if it doesn’t fit. (True story: when I was fifteen, I knit a gigantic mushroom-shaped hat for my friend that had a big fro and it was awful and I think I used Red Heart acrylic so I can’t believe I just acknowledged its existence. It was horrifying. If you are reading this and you saw it in real life, please don’t leave a comment making fun of me. If you have photographic evidence, please destroy it.) (Second story: I knit a sweater for Jon and it was gigantic so ripped out the seams and promised to fix it but I never did and he is still pretty pissed that it is in four pieces in a box. I’m thinking about steeking it so it will be the proper size but that isn’t going to happen for a while. Sorry, hun!) If you haven’t received something hand made from me, keep hanging in there (maybe you’ll get a gigantic acrylic hat – it’s worth the wait). Take pity on us. It is a heavy burden being a Christmas knitter!
DON’T FORGET, TEACHING SOMEONE HOW TO KNIT MIGHT BE THE BEST PRESENT OF ALL. I’m sure everyone would love a pair of socks this holiday season. But as they say: “If you give a man a fish, you’ll feed him for a day. If you teach a man to knit, I hope he’s not hungry because he’s going to spend all of his money on yarn.”
Who are you knitting for this holiday season? What are you making? What’s the biggest Christmas knit you’ve successfully tackled?
ps. Happy birthday, Ashley!
Tags: Amy Christoffers, christmas, Cowl, gift guide, glitten, hand knit sock, Houndstooth, Jane Richmond, knit, knit Christmas ornament, knit tie, lion brand, mitten, purl soho, Red is Best, sock, sock pattern, stjarna
Last night I was putting all of my laundry away and I started wondering about storing my hand knits. I may not have mentioned it here but you may have guessed that I live in a tiny Manhattan apartment (location, location, location, right?) which means that storage space is hard to come by. Now, I won’t pretend that the closets in this place are tiny. I have to admit that they are larger than the regulation New York City closet size so all is not lost. (We also have overhead storage which is where my stash lives.Which is great because there’s plenty of room for it to grow but not so great because I’d rather go to my LYS than climb a ladder to sort through yarns I might have.)
Somehow Jon has more clothes hanging in the closet than I do. Maybe because he has a more extensive work wardrobe and I wear comfy sweatshirts seven days a week (though I like to pretend I only wear them at work). As I was shoving my gigantic fisherman sweater onto my half of the shelf, I wondered to myself, What the crap am I going to do when I make more clothing?!
Knitted clothing is bulky. My Maxfield cardigan is at least two if not three times thicker than the cabled Polo sweater I bought in a pinch at TJ Maxx. So what do I do with all of it? I just fold them up as neatly as I can, maybe roll them into a ball, and I scrunch them into the little pile on the shelf, usually wedging them between the ones that I don’t really wear but can’t bear to part with and the ceiling of the closet. Or I hang them off of the chair that’s in front of the sewing machine. It’s not really a good system because it’s not a system.
I’ve also got all of these things that I made when I was a novice that I don’t want to get rid of. There is a bright turquoise Ysolda Teague Snow White sweater that I knit with 100% wool Lamb’s Pride worsted in a sad pile at the bottom of the closet. It’s a big itchy, ribbed mess but I can’t frog it. (PS I can’t believe those awful photos of that are still on my Ravelry. I’m so embarrassed!) It was my first sweater!
So that leads me to this post. How do you store your knits? Do you keep them in the closet or in a special drawer? How many hand knit sweaters are in your wardorbe? Do you have any pieces that you just can’t get rid of? Any tips for the spatially deprived?
It’s almost the end of the year and I’m still discovering things that I made in 2011 that were never photographed. This one was a quick knit but I feel like I should have them all up here. That’s the point right? Better late than never, eh?
Last winter, Jon was begging me for a hat that would cover his ears. Mainly because he didn’t think that his boss and coworkers at his grown up job would appreciate the irony of wearing a Communist hat to work at one of the largest privately owned companies in the country. So we looked for something that would suit him and I ended up making this cashmere longshoreman hat.
I guess the idea orginially came out of Steve Zissou as Jon’s a die hard Bill Murray fan.
But it may have something to do with his other hero in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.
It really came to fruition after seeing what might be my favorite episode of Bored to Death (RIP) ”Two Large Pearls and a Bar of Gold” in which my mom’s favorite actor and long-time crush Rene Auberjonois asks “Why are you dressed like longshoremen?”
So I made him a guard outfit hat. The New York hat (and scarf) pattern worked up great in Jade Sapphire cashmere 4-ply. Any chance I get to knit with cashmere, I take, obviously. You’d be crazy not to.
After wearing it for a season and a half, it’s grown a little bit which is frustrating but it still fits well and keeps him toasty. He loves it but I think he just wants to be Ted Danson.
Do you find that cashmere grows a lot? How yummy are cashmere hats? Why are you dressed like longshoremen?
I wasn’t going to write about Sherlock because I feel like I came late to the party. I finally got around to watching Sherlock over my hurrication but I’m a little bit hooked and I’m currently re-watching both seasons to keep myself distracted from the fact that the next series is not coming out anytime soon. I feel like I’ve tweeted about the show plenty and I’ve been teased by Jon every day since I saw “A Study in Pink” (he calls Moriarty “Mariachi”) so that I think maybe I should take it down a notch with the nerdiness.
But, it’s Christmas. And Christmas means sweaters. And John Watson knows about Christmas sweaters. So this is happening.
And, besides, The Hobbit is about to come out so Mr. Freeman is absolutely relevant right now.
While looking for screen caps of the ridiculously awesome Christmas sweater that Martin Freeman rocks in “A Scandal in Belgravia” I discovered that there is an entire John Watson sweater fandom. Which includes this recipe for a John Watson Earl Grey sweater cupcake. Why not?
It seems the Watson sweater is more beloved than the Sherlock popped-collar jacket. Perhaps I’m not the only one that instinctively thinks “The Richenbach Fall” is pronounced the “Rhinebeck” fall (which is when you jump off a building into a pile of wool, duh). (It probably has nothing to do with that.)
I think Watson’s go-to fisherman sweater is my favorite of his jumpers. You can never go wrong with an oatmeal cabled sweater. Never.
If you’re looking for the ultimate fangirl knit, Trudi Brown has a basic free pattern for the iconic sweater on Ravelry which includes a kind of really adorable drawing of Watson knitting his own jumper and some cool details about knitting and the military.
How do you feel about Sherlock? Are you a Watson sweater fangirl? Will I ever shut up about this show? Do you see how I made it about knitting so I could write about it? Do you want to talk about The Hobbit or Star Trek instead? Would that be better? Is my nerd showing?
Tags: BBC, christmas, cupcake, famous knits, Fisherman Sweater, John Watson, knit, Martin Freeman, Moriarty, nerd, pattern, ravelry, recipe, Scandal in Belgravia, Sherlock, sweater, Watson sweater fandom
I’ve put down my faire isle sweater for the past few days to work on holiday crafting. That’s right. I said I wasn’t going to do it this year but there are a few people I just can’t help but craft for. Since that’s the case, I can’t really share any photos of what I’ve been making until the gifts have been given. And I’ve really been making fun stuff so I can’t wait to share.
While we’re all being patient, I’ll share some photos. I’m trying to take more pictures because I live in the best place in the world where exciting things are always happening and I should take more WIP photos and I love hearing from my followers on instagram. Last month I was pretty successful taking a photo almost every day.
Follow me on instagram for photos every day in December!
Have you ever done a photo-a-day challenge?
Last week, I kicked off the gift guides with some things that any of us would be happy to find under our tree.
But I have to admit to you, because we’re honest here, that most of those gifts were a bit cliche. I said it! Not that I would ever scoff at a skein of yummy alpaca in my stocking! But I want to think outside the box. When I’m gifting for other knitters, I like to find something that’s a little out of the ordinary. Something that they can use that will tell people “I’d rather be knitting.”
Although they can always use an extra set of sock needles (I don’t think I own a full set of any size of double pointed needles, but I’m always finding size 0s in my purse), how about some gifts that the knitters in your life will be surprised to receive?
Which knitty gifts have you received over the years? Remember this adorable mug? What are you giving to your knitters?
Tags: Artizan work, craft is the new black, gift, Irena Sophia, knit gift, knit iphone case, knitting, notions tote, ravelry, spud and chloe, superhero print, sweater iPhone case, tape measure, Tom's shoes, tote, yarn
It’s Friday. Let’s get the weekend started early.
Happy knitting this weekend! Are you making progress on your holiday knits?