Wrapping Up Warming Up For Christmas

Warming up for Christmas

Last July-ish I gave myself a goal of making hats for the women at Elizabeth House. I did end up making enough for the women living in both houses, though I had hoped to make more and have extras. That didn’t work because I got distracted, possibly a little bored, and tied up in some other projects. But, like I said, at least I made nine sets (adult, child, and infant).

Here’s the end result of this project:

Adult Hats

Adult Hats

Child Hats

Child Hats

Infant Hats

Infant Hats

They got distributed in Christmas bags to the residents.

I didn’t keep up with the project as well as I had hoped, and I didn’t work at the pace I originally expected. I don’t think I’m going to do something like that again. Too much stress to put on myself when I was also trying to make Christmas presents, working extra hours with a new baby, and just generally busy with the holidays. From now on, I think I’ll stick to donating to projects headed by others so it’s not all resting on me.

Warming Up For Christmas: A Hat Project

It may seem a little early for a Christmas-related post, seeing how December is still about five-and-a-half months away, but really there are only about 23 weeks. I know, I just said the same thing twice. When you are knitting or crocheting for the holidays, 23-ish weeks isn’t much time.

About a week or two ago I came across the Miranda Hat by Evelyn of Project: Stash. She even started a charity knit-along to go with her new free pattern. The idea of her knit-along is that everyone knit as many Mirandas as they can between June 25 and September 30 and either donate them to a local shelter or program or send them to her to give to the group her family volunteers with. For more information on the Project:Stash knit-along, click here.

I thought this was a wonderful idea. But I’ve modified it a bit.

I love the Miranda and have knit a few of those (which you will see toward the end of the week), but I wanted to branch out. I’m going to donate all the hats I knit to Elizabeth House in Pasadena to distribute at their annual Christmas party in December. It’s a pregnancy shelter for homeless or in-crisis women. My goal is to knit 75 hats (in a variety of adult, child, and toddler/baby sizes) by December 1.

One problem with that is there are over 200 women in the program (residents and alumni), a sizable number of whom come back every year for the Christmas party. Most of these women have at least one child with them, making that a bit over 200 children involved. 25 hats in each size isn’t going to cut it.

That’s why I’m asking fellow knitters and crocheters to help me. The details of the project are found on the project page (click here), but the summary of the process is:

1. Make a hat (or 2, or 12)

2. Include on a piece of paper the fiber content, special washing instructions, your name (optional) and your preferred public online profile (Twitter, a blog, Ravelry, Pinterest, etc.) (optional)

3. Drop off or mail in your finished hat(s) by December 2, 2012. (Drop-off location, hours, and mailing address can be found on the project page here) (LA-area, or otherwise located and willing to ship, business who would like to be a designated drop-off location? Contact me through the form here.)

It’s that simple. If this works out well, I will make this a year-round project next year.

The contributed hats will be displayed and linked to the original knitter (when possible) in a gallery here.

If you are a knitter or crocheter looking to brighten someone else’s holiday season this year, please join me in the Warming Up for Christmas Project.

Questions? Comments? Leave them below and I will get back to you with an answer usually within the day.

Round And Round It Goes

Hypnotic…

Remember how I said I may be crazy? Well, I think I just proved it. This is a lap blanket I made for my grandfather for Father’s Day a couple weeks ago. In near 90-degree weather. If that’s not proof of insanity, I don’t know what is. 🙂

I modified the Pinwheel Baby Blanket pattern by not stopping where it suggested and continuing until it was a good lap-size instead.

It’s a fairly simple pattern. Every other row you add a yarn over to each group, creating the nice lines in the pinwheel. I also chose to do stripes with gray between the black and white in the middle and getting smaller with just the black and white on the outside. On the edge I just finished with a row of single crochet stitches and then a row of double crochets.

I’m considering doing an actual baby-sized one plus a toddler-sized one with a few embellishments in a month or so when the family I work for grows. It’s always a good idea to get the big brother something when the little brother comes so he doesn’t feel left out, and what better way than somewhat matching gifts.

Self-Striped Heart Gloves

I’ve been on a glove-making kick lately. Especially after my sock-yarn-buying kick a few months ago.

I’m really proud of these. They are made from self-striping Microfiber Dralon yarn. I have no clue what that is, but it sounds cool.

I came up with a pattern to knit them seamlessly. I also created a heart on the top and palm sides.

It took a few times of reworking the first glove, but I finally got it down. I even made some in blue.

Since the yarn stripes itself, every glove is unique. They still come in pairs, but don’t match stripe for stripe.

What are your obsessions lately?

These are available on my Etsy site, pink here and blue here. You can also see my write-up of it on Craftsy here.

Let’s Get Dressed Up – One Skein Shrug, Part 2

I mentioned before in the “One Skein Knit Shrug” post that my mom had already requested a second, fancier shrug for a gala she had for work. Like the first one I made, I had this one mostly finished before having to rip it out and start again. This time I had managed to get six stitches off on one sleeve, and I have absolutely no idea how I did that.

After starting over (using my new, semi-fancy row counter app – Knit Counter Lite. There’s a paid version, but I’m broke and this one works pretty well.) I managed to finish it just in time for the gala.

I used a combination of Vanna’s Glamour in Platinum (150) and Bernat Boa in Royal Blue (46208). I added the Boa every three rows to make the silver show through.

What do you think of how it turned out? What should I make next?

Everyone Needs a Minion or Two

My mom works for a non-profit agency as an administrative assistant. Once a year they hold a gala to raise money. That gala happens to be coming up in March, so everyone has been overworking themselves.

I decided to help out. By making a minion for her. Not real help, but cute help.

We’ve wanted minions from the first time we saw the commercials for Despicable Me. Now I have made one.

I didn’t use a pattern for this one, but Just Crafty Enough has a similar pattern here. Mine is a mix of crochet and knit, but the pattern is knit in the round.

What other characters do you find yourself wishing you could have for your very own? Anyone else made a Minion?

P.S.- Exciting news on Thursday. You may already know if you follow me on Twitter…

Ollie The Owl

Meet Ollie. He’s my first knit owl. I have arbitrarily named him Ollie because it sounded good paired with the word “owl” and I have no clue whether he currently has a name beyond “Owl”. This little guy was a Valentine’s present for another little guy that I watch three days a week.

Ollie was made from the “Little Black Owl” pattern posted by Kat on Just Crafty Enough. It’s a top-down pattern with the ears and wings picked up later when the body is finished.

I tacked down the wings like the original, but I chose to sew on the eyes and beak. I did way too many glue gun projects back in middle school to even tough a glue gun right now. And that was almost ten years ago. (Seriously, way too many. We made them every month for old people who were kind of like our “pen pals.”)

I figured an owl made a perfect companion for the Valentine’s Fish. Who says predator and prey can’t get along on a day that’s all about love?