Thursday, December 31, 2015

Knitted Gifts For The Christmas Holidays

This year I decided to knit as many items as I possibly could to give away as Christmas gifts this year to close family members and friends. Well, I started knitting gifts in September and kept adding names and gift ideas to the list below.

Gifts for my cousin:

Purple arm knitted scarf
Purple knit cuffs to match scarf
Prayer shawl

Gifts for my Mom:

Poncho
Knit Cuffs to Match Poncho
Knit Necklace

Gift for my Step-dad:

Knit Hat in Denim Blue

Gift for my Hubby:

Knit Hat in Blackstone

Gift for Step-Grandparents:

Arm Knitted Blanket

Gift for Paternal Grandmother:

Chunky Knit Cowl

Gift for Maternal Grandmother:

Chunky Knit Cowl

Gift for my Friend, Sarah:

Arm Knitted Scarf and knit necklace

I'd like to make the following items for myself this holiday season:

Knit Hat
Knit Cuffs 
Ripple Scarf

Knit necklaces for fourteen other people

The good news is that I was able to night all but four items on the list I intended to make this year to give as gifts. Everyone was happy with the gifts I made them for the Christmas holiday season.

I look forward to continue to improve my knitting skills in 2016!! Happy new year!

Monday, December 21, 2015

The Importance of Knitting a Gauge Swatch

I have learned my lesson big time when I decided to skip knitting a gauge swatch for four knitting projects I recently completed.

I never knitted a gauge swatch for scarves or other items I've made in the past... And for the most part, the items turned out fine. That is until now!!

I knitted four hats to give to family members this year for Christmas and the circumference for each hat is too wide by two to three inches... Whoops, my bad! 

That's when I finally realized the importance of making a gauge swatch before starting any knitting project. The last thing I want to happen again in the future is to knit something and have it turn out too small or too large and be unable to use the item I just finished making. 

By not having an item turn out to be the appropriate size, I've also wasted my time and money on yarn to make a project that doesn't fit.

Watch the following YouTube video on titled 'Understanding Knitting Gauge with Debbie Stoller' to learn more about knitting a gauge swatch.


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Gifts to Give the Knitter in Your Life!

Do you know someone who knits? Are you looking to find them the right gift for the holiday season? Well, I found a few great knitting gift ideas in an article from the Huffington Post titled The Perfect Knitting Gifts That'll Make Someone REALLY Happy by Kristen Aiken. If all else fails, a gift card to a knitters favorite knitting store or other hobby retail chain will be a good option too. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Beginning Knit Prayer Shawl ~~~ Lion Brand Pattern #81041AD

Early stages of knitting the prayer shawl.
My Aunt Dee was diagnosed with stage four, non-operable lung cancer and ovarian cancer in August of this year. At the time, her doctors said she may only have 6 months longer to live.

So, I decided to begin knitting her a colorful knit prayer shawl to wear during her remaining days with us. Unfortunately, I was unable to complete the prayer shawl before my aunt's death, as she passed away about a month after her diagnosis. 

It was heartbreaking losing my aunt to cancer and that she suffered so much from the ravages of end stage cancer. Aunt Dee was a wonderful person and I will always cherish the wonderful memories I have of her.

I continued making the prayer shawl and decided to give it to my cousin, Kim, my aunt's daughter.

The pattern I used for the prayer shawl I made was Lion Brand Pattern # 81041AD. It's a very easy to knit prayer shawl. If you can cast on, work the garter stitch, and bind off, then you can make this super easy Lion Brand prayer shawl for yourself or others. This prayer shawl pattern may be downloaded for FREE from the Lion Brand Yarn website. Simply visit the Lion Brand website and search for the pattern using the pattern number provided above.

I did make one major change to the prayer shawl though... Instead of casting on 48 stitches as called for in the pattern, I cast on 60 stitches as I wanted the shawl to be wider. I am glad that I made the prayer shawl a bit wider as it may wrapped around the upper body to provide warmth and comfort.
Finished Prayer Shawl

I made the prayer shawl using Lion Brand® Homespun® Yarn in the Marble Colorway, which is a lovely self striping yarn. I also used size 10.5 (6.5mm), 24-inch Clover circular knitting needles to make my version of this prayer shawl. 

I thought this Lion Brand Pattern #81041AD was easy to make and turned out beautifully. Lion Brand® Homespun® Yarn is super soft to the touch and feels luxurious as it lies against the skin. The finished dimensions for the completed prayer shawl were 69 inches in length and 22.5 inches in width.

Want to learn more about prayer shawls? Check out the Lion Brand Yarn blog post about pray shawls titled: 

10 Truths: Knitting and Crocheting Prayer Shawls

Until my next post, happy knitting!!