Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Crafty Tuesday: Is that holiday knitting I feel in the air?!

It happens every year. And it's always right around this time, late June/early July. I get drawn in by schmaltzy Hallmark Channel commercials for their Christmas in July movies. The temperatures are getting warmer, yet I start thinking about how I need to finish up my current projects so that I can start working on hats and mittens for the fall. Knit Picks has their summer yarn sale. All of this translates to me getting crafty fever for holiday knitting and crocheting. Big time.

I had been going through a bit of a crafting slump. I've been so enamored of other things lately: some writing projects, festival dance practices, summer activities with my family. And thus my craft projects seemed a bit...lackluster. I'm working on a sock that I started during the CNMC, and it's true, I do love it:

The colorway is called "Rustic Cabin" which I sort of adore. But it's pretty mindless knitting. I am looking forward to wearing these socks in the fall, but the project isn't exactly scintillating. I'm also finishing up a sweater that I've had on the needles for what feels like at least a decade, so also lacking a bit of excitement in Sweaterland. I'm on the yoke, and I have to say, that's the best part of this pattern. The section features cloister lace:

See the little churches forming? It's not possible for a pattern to be more perfect for me, yes?! The only issue was that the rest of the sweater is plain stockinette fabric and I nearly died of boredom slaving away to get to this point. I hope the sweater appreciates that. ;-) The sleeves nearly finished me, such was the nature of their monotony, and it may have been LAST summer that I was diligently hard at work on those.


So, FINALLY, I am nearing the finish line, and the lace has been more interesting, definitely. But given the long term nature of the project, it just doesn't have that fresh, new feel anymore.

Cue the summer yarn sale and me sniffing the air:

"Hark. That's humidity. And consequently, my hair is an absolute disaster. Yes, that's right, I must order yarn right away and make a list!!"

If that statement makes sense to anybody else besides me, then you must be as delusional as I am.

But there is a method to my madness. June 25th (just a mere two days away, I might point out) marks exactly 6 months until Christmas Day. For knitters and crocheters out there, you know that this means that it is the perfect time to plan out and begin holiday gift crafting.

Suddenly, I am all inspired. :0 Yarn order over the weekend, check! Including some TO-DIE-FOR organic cotton hand dyed to stripe like a watermelon. I know that this all likely sounds like gibberish right now, but trust me, the resulting kitchen accessories are going to be *smashing*. I tried to keep the new yarn acquisition down (snort!) to things I needed for my gift list that weren't already in my stash. My husband likely isn't going to see my actions as anything resembling restraint, but he isn't a knitter, he doesn't understand our yarn hoarding ways. ;-)

And so, *drum roll* here is my list for 2015, and I think it's pretty darn reasonable:

Mike - Sweater. I procured the yarn for this during Knit Picks' big Thanksgiving week sale, which was an approved Mike color (translation: brown, gray, OR navy blue; God forbid anything should be multi-colored), and it was a fantastic deal. It's a gorgeous cabled pattern. If I start July 1st, I'm optimistic that I can finish this by Christmas. Hope, after all, does spring eternal.

Henry - Gingerbread socks. Fancy dancy, self-patterning sock yarn procured, these are easy. He's been asking for them and loves handknit socks. He is so obviously my offspring.

Anne - Yellow blanket. Naturally, she chose this particular occasion to want something to be only one color, and I only have one skein of yellow sport weight in my stash. Need more yellow, but otherwise this shouldn't be too bad. I will crochet it (so much faster), because the thought of knitting a whole blanket makes me twitchy.

Mother-in-law, grandmother, various aunts - Watermelon-themed dishcloths and potholders.

Of course, I have a bunch of other projects that I'd like to get done as well, such as some winter wear for myself, and hats for any nephew who asks. Oh, and some shawls. I love shawls, have I mentioned that. SO MANY SHAWLS. I made project pages for everything in my Ravelry gallery, and I now have...


...18 projects in-progress or in the wings.


I can do this!!

*rallying cheer!*

If you're a friend or relation, and would like a handknit for the fall or winter, let me know now so that I can add you to the list! :0

Ok crafters: let me see your list! Leave it in the comments. ;-)


  1. I haven't thought much about Christmas crafting but this is a good reminder to do so. My soon to be sister-in-law may be getting a lace scarf. That was the plan last year but then I realized I wasn't going to finish in time (even if I stayed up all night) and bought her something else. For myself I'd like to finish the nativity set I'm working on. I'm mostly using yarn left over from other projects however I need gold yarn. Any ideas where I can acquire some from? I haven't liked my options at local stores but I haven't done much internet searching yet.

  2. Melanie, talk to me. :0 What weight yarn are you using? I'll be on the hunt, I live for this stuff! A handcrafted nativity sounds *awesome*! As for the lace scarf...been there, done that. ;-) Yes, sometimes my ambitions are too ambitious. That's why Mike got his last handknit cardigan for St. Patrick's Day rather than Christmas. ;-)

  3. I've got a box of yarn that I've been eyeing every time I walk by it but 80 degree temperatures are keeping me from wanting to even think about it! This post was a great reminder though! I absolutely hate summer, so maybe getting a list together of fall/winter/Christmas projects will put me in a better mood today :).

  4. Christine, thank you so much for commenting! And you bring up an excellent point - yes, the summer heat doesn't lend itself to wanting piles of wool in your lap, lol! But the summer is a great time for small projects like mittens or hats, that you can easily tote around with you and will never get large enough to collect on your legs as you work. Another good idea are blankets that are worked in small pieces, like squares, that you seam together at the end. Small squares now, then seam in the cooler weather! Make a list, girl! :0

  5. Tiffany, mostly I'm using worsted weight yarn. I've sent you an email with more details. Thank you!

  6. Melanie, I'm on it! I'll get back to you tomorrow. :0 Excited!

  7. Patons has a "metallic" yarn called, ironically, Patons Metallc. It has a sheen to it, which I suppose would work up as metallic looking. The gold color looks more bronze to me, though. Vanna's Glamour has a gold colorway, too. It is acrylic with a mylar strand that sparkles a bit, but I think that is DK weight, so a little thin.

  8. Amy, oohhh, great suggestions! Here's the Patons Metallic: http://www.joann.com/patons-metallic-yarn/12865143.html

    I agree with you on the gold, it's definitely darker. I didn't know that Vanna had a sparkly line, here's that one: http://www.joann.com/lion-brand-vanna-s-glamour-yarn/xprd1144577.html

    Good ideas, thank you so much!

  9. Amy, thanks for the suggestions and Tiffany thanks for the links. I think the Patons Metallic gold is too dark but the silver is pretty. I could use silver in most places that call for gold. I'll have to think about that. I've seen the Vanna's gold which I like ok but I wish it was more of a solid color and a little less yellow. However if I find nothing I like better I will go with that. Am I being too picky?

  10. Melanie, not too picky at all! It takes a long time to create projects like this, and you want them to turn out just right. Plus, it's the Holy Family, they deserve our best efforts. ;-) I have some other yarn ideas, but I'm at the reference desk, and Holy Interruptions, Batman! I'm sending you an email with all the deets later today!


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