Merry Christmas!

Oh my, we’ve been busy. You probably have, too. I just wanted to pop in to wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Festivus, Merry Winter Solstice and Happy New Year!

This first photo is the Christmas picture I sent out and also printed really big and have it pinned up near my desk. I love it so hard.

Merry Christmas

The rest of the pictures show some of our holiday preparations. MOM, you’ll notice in one of the pictures below that it seems I have stolen your cookie cutters, but I did not! I found the exact ones you have at the thrift store in their original package! Cool, huh? I guess maybe they’re pretty common shapes, but I love them.

Getting Ready for Christmas

Getting Ready for Christmas

Getting Ready for Christmas

Getting Ready for Christmas

Getting Ready for Christmas

Getting Ready for Christmas

Getting Ready for Christmas

Getting Ready for Christmas

Getting Ready for Christmas

Getting Ready for Christmas

Getting Ready for Christmas

knitters, meet Girdwood

Girdwood Mittens!

Mittens, anyone? Here’s a new mitten pattern for everyone!

When I started working on this pattern, my children both desperately needed mittens. We have had a cold winter here in North Carolina and last year’s mittens were too small. After some starts and stops with gauge, yarn choice and stitch count, I finally knit some mittens for Maggie that fit using sport weight yarn.

Jerry needed mittens, too. On a hunch (and after doing some quick math) I grabbed some Cascade 220 and cast on with larger needles but the same number of stitches. They were a perfect fit! More math, another hunch, and bulky yarn…I had mittens knit from the same pattern that were big enough for me!

Girdwood Mittens!

I’m really excited about these mittens. The Girdwood Mittens are named after a ski town in Alaska where I once spent a long summer night listening to bluegrass music. I have fond memories of that town.

Girdwood Mittens

Included in the pattern are two sizes of thumbless mittens, to fit newborns and toddlers (up to age 2). Other sizes are Small Kid (3-6 yrs), Big Kid (6-10 yrs), and Small, Medium and Large Adult. To learn more about what yarn is used for each size of mitten in the pattern, click on the sizing chart on the Girdwood Mittens page.

Girdwood Mitten(s)

You can see a handful of beautiful Girdwood Mittens that were knit by a really wonderful group of test knitters on the Ravelry project page.  The pattern is $6. If you would like to buy it, please click below.

Girdwood Mittens – $6


I have been thinking a way to say thank you for people who sign up for my newsletter. What I’d love to do is work on a free pattern that would be exclusively for subscribers. While I figure out the logistics of that, I’ve decided that when I release a new pattern I will randomly select 5 knitters from the subscribers list to get the pattern for free. To be eligible, all you need to do is get on the list and stay on the list! Sign up here if you’re interested.

Thank you!

gift

Kevin & Kara's Afghan
at Mom & Dad’s house in Buffalo

A late night picture of a big project.

That’s my sister, Holly, holding the wedding afghan we made for our cousin and his new wife. Holly knit half of the purple and yellow strip and I knit the whole purple and orange strip. Other knitters include my cousin-in-law Jen, my Mom, my aunts Char, Jane, Jeanne, and Jean, and my cousins Andrea (sister of the groom) and Liz. That’s 10 knitters!

Do you recognize the pattern? It’s on the cover of the book Knitalong by Larissa Brown and Martin John Brown. The pattern is called Olive’s Afghan and it is the perfect project for a group knitalong…as long as you make sure everyone is knitting at the correct gauge!!

We thought there would be trouble when the strips started arriving and some were skinny and tightly knitted while others were loose and BIG. Luckily, Aunt Jean had a brilliant revelation before the strips were sewn together. We were all admiring the afghan laid out on the floor and pondering what to do with “the big one” when Aunt Jean suggested that I simply unravel two of the stripes from “the big one.” Wouldn’t you know, that worked! So one of the strips has two fewer stripes and you wouldn’t notice if I hadn’t told you.

We used Ultra Alpaca just like in the pattern and it is one cozy blanket. We tried to match the colors of the original, but although my LYS has a great selection of the Ultra Alpaca we had to do some substituting. Here is a better picture of the colors, in the daytime:

Kevin & Kara's Afghan
That’s not the final layout, I didn’t like the two yellows as neighbors.

I used a whip stitch in a contrasting yarn to join the pieces. Then I steam blocked the seams and that made a surprisingly huge difference in the final appearance. I’m an advocate of wet-blocking, but steam blocking is just about as good. I’m learning every day.

The newlyweds, they’re so sweet and I don’t think they’d disagree if I described them as having a “funky” style. So the bold colors and bold design of this afghan suits them well. And I made sure to tell the bride (who is a craftster, but not a knitter) to TAKE GREAT CARE IF YOU NEED TO CLEAN IT. I hope she got the message.

Kevin & Kara's Afghan

I’ve got a bunch of cousins who are mostly younger than me and mostly unmarried, but there are no engaged couples right now, as far as I know. This group afghan thing is so fun (the other wedding afghan made by the family is documented here and here) that I hope we get to do it again soon. Go on cousins! Get engaged!