Actually, most of these items are not holiday gifts. But my needles and hooks have been busy since I returned from New Zealand.
First, there are all the chemo caps. The receipient of the lacy peach one from the October batch was very grateful, so I was happy to finish this one for her:
It is a Red Heart pattern (I skipped the ribbing) using an odd skein of Deborah Norville yarn that I picked up thinking I would use it to make doll clothes for one of my nieces' American Girl dolls. This seemed more important, and I have been told that the recipient really loves it.
Then my mother's godcousin (their parents were godparents to each other's children) had chemo and lost her hair mid-December, and my mother asked, pretty please? So I whipped up these:
The multi one is the same spiral rib pattern that I often use, in Caron Simply Soft Paints, colour "Oceana". I knit it over my Christmas trip, so the hat was finished for my mother to take home and deliver. The other is a pattern I've wanted to try from New England Knits out of a ball of Red Heart Soft. It went very fast. I didn't use the pattern stitch on the top because after an inch, I was concerned it was rough, so I frogged and went back to 2x2 ribbing. It looks pointy on top, but that smoothes out nicely when the hat is worn:
I had fun looking for the buttons and really like the pair I found at Joann's.
I thought I was done, but when I went to my dentist's office on Wednesday for a teeth cleaning I found out that he has been having chemo, when the hygenist mentioned that "he lost hair in this cycle." Since I always knit in the chair (calming!) when the dentist came in to check my results he joked that I should make a hat for him. Sure, I said, what colour? "Surprise me." I tried a dark red I had leftover from the Red Scarf Project, didn't like it, then remembered that I have some of the new Lion Brand Tweed Stripes that I thought would be a scarf and didn't want to cooperate. I dug it out of the charity bin, whipped up a simple ribbed hat, same spiraled top as I used on the aqua cap above, and dropped it off the next day between meetings. He doesn't work most Fridays so I had to do this quickly. I was rushing so much I forgot to take a picture!
I did make a number of non-chemo items. I always do a few for the Red Scarf Project. This year I had time to do only two:
The one on the left is Jo-ann Sensations Rainbow Boucle, simple crochet pattern. I have enough left for at least one scarf for next year. The one on the right is also crocheted, of Caron Simply Soft Paints in "Sunset".
I'd been putting off the next project, which is part of a "Crafter's Pay It Forward" meme on Facebook. Early in the year, we started posting and the first five people who responded were supposed to get something crafty from you. I had only three people who responded on mine! Silly people who skipped me. I am still waiting for my friend Ches to send a tracing of her hand so that I can knit gloves for her. The recipients are not supposed to know what they are getting, but Ches is very into gloves so that's a natural for her. The second is my incredibly crafty friend Eina but I did finally think of something for her, I just have to see her because I didn't take it to our group's holiday party. The gifts are supposed to be delivered before the end of the year, I'll count it.
The third is my friend Jenna, who was trying to learn to crochet so that she could make something called a "Sweet Pea Shawl" from SnB Happy Hooker. Jenna was not enjoying it. She asked me for help, which I gave, but for a beginner, it was frustrating. We joked that Jenna should just have me do the shawl as her pay-it-forward, and the next thing I knew, Jenna handed me the bag of yarn (Stitch Nation Bamboo Ewe in "Snapdragon") and pattern.
When I realized that her birthday was coming, I finally made the shawl:
It went fast, and was easier to follow the pattern than I thought.
I also knit a stole for my grandmother for Chanukah/Christmas, which she had requested. Forgot to get a picture of it, I used a scarf pattern and knit in Red Heart Fiesta in "Wheat." Usually I wrap the gift and leave it when we visit for Thanksgiving. After the weather got cooler there, I kept hearing how my grandmother loved wearing the vests I usually give her, how they cause a stir in the building where she lives, people cannot believe I make them, etc. So since I had some yarn waiting (I'd planned to make the usual vest until my grandmother requested the stole) I whipped up a simple vest:
My parents will deliver it when they stop to visit over New Year's weekend. The yarn is a no-name endlot and I have enough for another vest, I think! Pattern is just a tube to the armholes, graft the shoulders, add borders - really nothing to it. My grandmother loves the style.
Next up for charity items will be a few scarves for the Special Olympics project, using up leftover solid red yarn that I didn't get to use for the Red Scarf project, because I ran out of time. But first, my "week of selfish knitting" when I concentrate on making something for ME:
This is a shawl-to-be out of a hank of Brooks Farm's "Duet" yarn. Not sure of the colourway, it may be "Bonnie", it was an odd hank I bought on sale at last year's DFW Fiber Fest. It feels very silky. Just shows that I can indeed make something out of other than mass-market washable acrylic yarns! I wound the hank on Christmas Day and cast on the next morning. That shows what it looked like on Tuesday. I have knit on it all week (except for the dentist's chemo cap) and it's bigger although it's at the awful point when it doesn't seem to grow and the ball doesn't seem to shrink no matter how much I knit!
At least there's a long weekend ahead of me........