FO Friday #119

The result of knitting all the cowls!!!
Holiday knitting can be a "kill joy" for most knitters. You make your list of recipients, you search (and search and search and search) for the perfect pattern, maybe you splurge on good yarn, then you spend the hours it takes to create something, and then pray the person will like it. In doing all of this, you KNOW there can be a high level of anxiety and sleep deprivation. Why do we do this to ourselves?

This December I cast off quite a few projects that became gifts. I matched stash to a pattern that looked fun, and I did it more by what I wanted to knit than by the "gifting list" that usually rules my knitting in December. Once the item was finished was when I decided to whom I should gift it. That took the pressure off. Just in case of epic fail... I had other items in mind that could be given in lieu of "all the Knitted things".

When doing seasonal/holiday knitting, I have to consider the whole aspect that asks "Is recipient Knit Worthy?" Do you know what I mean? Is the person going to enjoy and wear the item? Will they smirk and make fun of another pair of socks, as the quip... "Just like I saw in Target...." (no no you didn't see these in Target!!!!!) Will they take care of it and follow the washing directions given? (Do you hate when they come back with a felted item and say something like.... I don't know... I just washed it.... Can you fix it? Uh, nooooo!)


GapTastic Cowl, supersized.
You may recall I mentioned making a lot of cowls... my girls love them and they ARE like walking billboards for friends who will plead, "Can you ask you mum to make me one?" I have made so many Gaptastic Cowls, and while I like seed stitch, it just. goes. on. for. ever! So here are a few patterns that I've tried recently.

Noro Seyfert Cowl
Noro Seyfert, Seyfert Cowl by Norah Gaughan, free download from Berroco
Yarn: one skein Noro Taiyo, size 11 needles.
Modifications: cast on 143 stitches
I love this cowl, it was easy to knit, fast, and such a great showcase for variegated or homespun yarn. I was able to make it in an afternoon of re-watching Downton Abbey, Season One.

Icelandic Seyfert
Icelandic Seyfert
Yarn: two skeins Forest Greener Icelandic Bulky, size 11 needles.
Modifications: cast on 145 stitches.
Again, fun to knit, qick and a beautiful outcome!

Mulberry Multi Seyfert, For Good Hat
Mulberry Multi Seyfert
Yarn: Four skeins/100 yards each, Forest Greener hand-dyed worsted weight, size 9 needles.
This, too, went quickly and I enjoyed watching the shift of colors as the skeins played out.

Turquoise and Chocolate Icing
Turquoise and Chocolate Icing, Birthday Cake Cowl, free pattern by Christina Wall
Yarn: deep stash, no label, size 9 needles
I like this pattern for its closer fit and as a canvas for variegated yarn. It worked up quickly and was a mindless relaxing knit.

Birthday Cake Cowl
Birthday Cake Cowl
Yarn: Red Heart Strata, size 8 needles.
The pattern was easy to follow and the colors were fun to watch as the skein unrolled, but I hated the feel of the yarn. Sold this at the Christmas Fair.

Dusty Rose Infinitude Scarf
Infinitude Scarf, by Jeni Chase
Yarn: Lion Brand Vanna's Choice, one jumbo skein, size 10 needle
I liked working this up, It wasn't as quick, with 240stitches on the needles, but the shape is different and it is warm and cozy. Try it if you like the double wrap cowl with less volume than the GapTastic.

I have been making some really fun hats lately. It started when I signed on to the Woolly Wormhead Mystery Hat KAL. I loved this because I got the pattern in sections, I was able to watch the forum spoiler board for pictures of the progress people were making, and in the end, I do believe this may be the most beautiful hat I have ever made.

Encircle, Woolly Wormhead Mystery KAL
Pattern: Encircle by Woolly Wormhead
Yarn: Classic Elite Yarns Portland Tweed, size 4 needles
This photo doesn't do the little bud-like cables justice, but I have to say that this was a fun knit, challenging in that I learned to do a number of new techniques, and it became a beautiful frame for a button out of my mum's button box. Go to the original pattern and view the variations that the members of the KAL created. Some are more fitted, others more slouchy.

Intersection Breaks
Pattern: Intersections Break, Melissa of SingleHandedKnits podcast
Yarn: Deep stash, Lion Brand of some unknown bulky type, size 9 needle
This is Mel's first pattern and it has become one of my favorite hats to wear every day. It is fairly easy to knit and I think a perfect first cable pattern.

Intersections Break
 Intersections Break
Yarn: Deep Stash, Bernat Alpaca Natural Blends, size 9 needle
I had hoped to enter this hat into Mel's KAL. She had us cast on the day of Christmas and we needed to cast off before New Year's. I was not able to get any good photos since the lighting is so grey here in New England in winter. I will definately be making more of these. This one was supposed to be a gift, but I have decided to be selfish and keep it for myself.

For Good Hat
For Good Hat, Megan Williams of the Stockinette Zombies podcast
Yarn: Deep stash, Bernat Alpaca Natural Blends, size 6 needle
The story behind this hat is touching. Megan designed a hat and dedicated it to the memory of her sister, who passed away so young. The proceeds from pattern sales were donated to National Woman’s Health Network. I did a RAP (Random Act of Pattern, in memory of Knit Purl Girl) and shared it with the women in my local knitting group. I am hoping they enjoy it as much I as I did.
This pattern had many new methods of construction, but in a good way. Instead of endless stockinette or garter stitch, there were sets of stitches that form wedges the band was cast off and then picked up again to give a different type of edging. I do need to get into Windsor Button and find the perfect compliment to this yarn.

If you are still here... after so many photos and my lengthy narrative (sorry) ..... I am putting this up for FO (Finished Object) Friday, but these were all finished over the past two weeks.

This piece added after posting............
A number of you have asked for details on the olive colored cowl in the opening photo. It is called Green with Envy, the pattern is Envy by John Brinegar. I did a post about some of my other projects that were made in the early stages of my return to knitting. The link to see more is here.

Find your way to Tami's Amis to view what other knitters have posted for FOs on Friday. Another great place to look at Friday posts is that of WonderWhyGal's, go here to see more.


Patricia said… I resonate with your post. Your cowls are lovely! I made a couple and the recipents said...Oh, and Infinity Scarf! I always wanted one." I was very happy with my knitted gifts and the most popular and the ones that resulted in additional requests for "can I have one too" were the gaiters I made for the men in my family. Made with a chunky an easy pattern that knits up in one evening...they hug the neck nicely, can be pulled up to cover the nose and do not have lose ends of scarves to deal with. I attached the following notes to all my gifts: "Yes, i handmade this especially for you. If you don't like it, please act like you do!" Happy New Year, Erin!
WonderWhyGal said…
Look at all of those projects! I've been thinking about knitting the Gapstastic and I think you just sold me. I love all of the hats too, especially the first one. Goodness, must go add some to my favorites.
Ye gods, woman! How many cowls and hats? I agree with you about the "knit worthy". I have to add that my Dad felted a gorgeous hat I made for him. I nearly cried, as did he. He loved the hat and wanted another one, but this time in superwash wool. He still raves about his hat. So sometimes it is worth knitting for people who won't care for their item, but making sure they can't kill it by changing up the yarn choice.
Evelyn said…
What wonderful projects ... and modeled so beautifully!
Natalie B. said…
I am in a state of cowl love at the moment, filling up my queue with various "Must knits" and yours are wonderful!!
So many great projects, and that for 2 weeks - amazing!!
Terra said…
What a lot of cowls and hats! And beautyful too! Great! Greetings from Germany. Sabine.
Kathryn Ray said…
Wow! So many projects in such a short time. I hope they were all well received. They're all gorgeous!
Keri said…
I love cowls but I wasn't sure about the Gapstatic but maybe now I am.
Chrisknits said…
You were a machine in December! Love them all. I am glad to see the Seyfert Cowl was a winner, it is in my list of to-do.
Andria said…
Don't apologize for the long post, it was amazing! I loved seeing everything you made and all the stories that went with them. Fabulous projects, you were so busy and you made some really lovely items!
SweetPotato said…
Awesome! Thanks to you, my Ravelry favorite list has grown :)

I can totally relate to what you said about gifting knit projects. And, way to go for using up some of your stash vs. buying new yarn for these gifts!

What pattern is the green cowl in the first picture?
Erin_in_Boston said…
Thank you all for the many comments! I have missed posting and reading your feedback. I must confess that one contributing factor to my productivity was two weeks with the flu. I didn't knit everyday for sure, but when I was feeling better, but still not able to go to work, the knitting kept me occupied!
Sweet Potato...the green cowl is an old FO, but the free pattern is by John Brinegar and is called Envy. Here is the link:
Melissa said…
Really enjoyed looking a all your cowls and hats. It was fun to see how the same cowl worked up in different yarns. Thanks for sharing.
Lilea said…
All of these projects are lovely, but I especially like the Encircle in that great tweedy red color! I love that you used a button from your mum's button box. I too have my mothers button box and my mother in law's! I love going through them to find just the right button for my knitted (and sewn) creations.
Voie de Vie said…
Nice to see you linking up with the WonderWhyGal! You did a great job with all that gifting. I am a big cowl fan, and each of yours turned out wonderfully. I also like your process - make the gift in patterns you want and yarn you love, and then determine who might get it. Works for me. :)
bookworm-Mary said…
1) I love long narratives, I write them frequently myself.
2) I love seeing lots of photos, only because I have photo envy and dont take that many myself.
And WOW so much productivity.
AllyB said…
That's a great bunch of cowls. Your blog is so cheerful. Glad to see you for FAF. That Wooly Wormhead hat is awesome...going to find the pattern now. Thanks
Inky077 said…
The internet ate my first comment - drat! Anyway, wanted to post that your choices of color and pattern and yarn once again are spot on. Where were cowls all these years? I would have LOVED them as a teen. Such fashion statements and warm, too. Am anxious to stash dive and cast on a few of your pattern suggestions!

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