Now that everyone’s opened their gifts I can post pictures of my Christmas knitting!
1. Natacha’s Gold Cowl
Technically this was not a Christmas gift but a birthday present for my kind, outrageous, Sagittarius coworker. She helps make the new job a place I want to go each morning. The pattern – Spiral Cowl – is so easy and pretty.
When my coworkers saw the present they said, “Ohh you should sell those! You could be rich!” Rich??? I wanted to tell them how hard it would be to knit cowls en-masse and make a living from it…much less get rich. The yarn isn’t cheap. And then there’s the time. Maybe if I got into pattern designing. We don’t like to pay El Salvadoran or Guatemalan living wages for our clothes, so I’d be hard pressed to find people who want to pay an American living wage for the knitting. Besides, hobbies aren’t really for making money. They’re usually where I spend my money…making some gifts out of it is just a nice bonus! So there I am – standing in the office thinking about the global economy and my own destructive buying habits and the measure of a good hobby. But I forced a nice smile for my coworkers and said thank you that’s such a nice compliment.
Natacha's birthday cowl
2. The Sweater to Restore Hope
Read overheard a classmate in the student lounge lamenting a lack of good sweater options for her husband. He gave her my email. I spent a couple replies making sure she was not under any of my coworkers’ grand illusions (You realize buying a sweater is going to be a LOT cheaper, right?). Much to my delight, I discovered around the third email or so that I had a genuine lover of handmade goods on the other line. She stole a sweater from the hubby’s closet and met me at Mind Eye Yarn in Cambridge. We picked doublestranded gray and navy wool, with a shawl-collared pattern from Rowan Knitting For Him (thank you Belmont Public Library).
She paid for the yarn and needles and on top of that I asked for $50. I agonized coming up with an amount (After all, we already established I’m not making a living off this knitting stuff!) I wanted to acknowledge my time, but also be reasonable for someone who lives on a student stipend and still wants to buy handmade with her money. I researched other made-to-order sweaters online and found similar amounts. If you’ve had to calculate a price for your knitting, let me know in the comments how you did it.
His burgundy sweater functioned as a template
My new book - Knitter's Book of Finishing Techniques - was invaluable for things like adding the collar
The gift was completed during my Christmas travels in Cleveland and mailed off to Boston
3. Mom’s Christmas Slippers
I’ve had a Noro sweater in my closet for a couple years now and it just never quite made the cut for What should I wear today? It’s too hot for indoors, the collar doesn’t lay right, and while the colors looked right at home in Eugene, Oregon, they’re a little kooky for east coast living. This December I finally made the call to frog it.
the Noro sweater that is no more
I love Noro in alternating stripes – a look made famous by Jared Flood’s striped scarf - so I planned for a pair of felted Fuzzy Feet slippers for my mom. That next week I unwrapped an ugly gray suede shirt in an office white elephant exchange, and everyone was shocked to see how excited I was over it. I explained that it would make the perfect soles for my mom’s slippers.
Teddy oversees the felting process
Pre-punching the suede soles with an old fashioned leather puncher
I sewed twice around with extra-strong thread so that every space has a thread running over top and underneath
Ta-da! Mom said she liked them a lot. Dad even requested a pair