the rest of the handmade goodies

Now that everything has been given away I can show you the rest of what I made!

My mom requested fingerless mitts after seeing mine on Thanksgiving. So she got a pair.

mom's mitts

On Hannukah I found out that the socks I had given to my dad a couple of years ago were too snug around. They were colorwork so I guess I didn’t account for the loss of stretch. Oops. So he got a new pair of socks from Berroco Comfort Sock. That yarn is so soft. I am going to need to get more to make myself some socks.

dad's christmas socks

The same year I gave my dad the (too small) socks, I gave my aunt a pair also. She lost one in the laundromat. She always wears sneakers so I decided I could cheat slightly and make her socks out of DK weight cotton/acrylic yarn. They felt soft and cozy when I tried them on. I hope she loves them! (She didn’t try them right there so I didn’t get to find out.)

teddy's christmas socks

She also got one of the matroyshka doll ornaments that I made. I gave two of these to Rachel and Shauna and kept one for myself. I think the one I made for my aunt is not pictured here but you get the idea, right?

matroysha doll ornaments

Last night, in honor of being finished with all of my crafting for other people, I decided to cast on a new sweater for myself that I’ve been wanting to make. I am starting with the sleeves so I was doing magic loop on my Signature Needle Arts circular needles. Today in the car, I discovered something tragic.

broken needle

So sad! I’m going to write to them and see if they can put my tips on a new cord or something and then never EVER use them for magic loop again.

merry merry!

I just spent the last two hours or so building this.

hagrid's hut

How fun is that? It also opens up.

hagrid's hut

Really, it was Stefan’s Christmas present. Really.

Speaking of Stefan, here are he and Niels “modeling” their PJ pants. They are understandably distracted by their toys. Cute pants, though, huh? I just bought the T-shirts at Target to go with.

boys in PJ pant with hexbugs

I also made them a pair of the felt bird ornaments, by request. Niels got the green with the red wing and Stefan red with green. Stefan said, “THANKS!” when I gave it to him. So, yay.

more tiny birds

Last but not least is the gingerbread house that Erik helped them build. I buy the same kit from Trader Joe’s every year with the sugar people. The kids haven’t gotten bored of it yet.

gingerbread cottage

I will have more finished objects ready for the world to see after we visit my parents and aunt today. I hope you’re enjoying your Christmas and/or final Saturday of 2010!

totally not christmasy

I still can’t show you all the Christmas stuff I made, some because I haven’t given it out yet and some because I don’t have a good picture. I made my boys PJ pants (we traditionally give them PJs on Christmas eve) and they are wearing them to bed but I didn’t get a good shot before they went. I’ll try in the morning.

To tide you over, here is a video I made three years showing you how to knit backwards: the piece moves from the left needle to the right needle instead of right to left. I use this a lot for small sections of short row stockinette or for heels on socks. Someone at knitting was talking about taking a backwards knitting class at Stitches (Teenuh, I think?) and I said I could teach her instead which reminded me repost this video.

Enjoy and Merry Christmas!

christmas means no craft pictures

Actually, I have one craft picture you can see: a craft I messed up. I was going to make these whimsical quilted notecards as Christmas gifts. So easy! So cute! So “You really can’t mess these up.” according to the description. I proved them wrong.

yes, you can mess this up
Blech.

Instead I made something from the book I mentioned in the previous post. A couple somethings, actually, but I haven’t given them away yet, so you can’t see them.

Instead, enjoy my cookies. I made one of my favorites: Double Ginger Crinkles. I actually mixed the dough up a couple of days ago and it was waiting patiently in the refrigerator. Today it was ready for the big time!

First it got rolled into balls.

ready to roll

Then the balls were rolled in sugar spiced with ginger and allspice.

mmm, sugary

Lined up neatly on the baking sheet.

all lined up

And baked until they puff up and then crinkle back down.

don't eat them all at once!

These cookies are delicious, trust me. Or you could make them yourself and find out.

Double Ginger Crinkles
From Washington Post 12/1/99
makes 3 doz. cookies (I get more than this, maybe mine are too small)
2 cups plus 2 Tblsp flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp ground ginger
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground allspice
3/4 cup veg. shortening (I use Spectrum organic, nonhydrogenated)
3/4 cup plus 2 Tblsp sugar
1 large egg
1/3 cup unsulphered molasses
1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup packed chopped crystallized ginger
1 1/4 cups sugar blended with
    1/4 tsp ground ginger and
    1/8 tsp ground allspice
(I only used 1/2 cup of sugar for the rolling – with the usual spices – and I still had sugar leftover. Go figure.)

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ground ginger, nutmeg and allspice. Set Aside

In a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed, cream the shortening for 2 minutes. Add the sugar in 2 additions, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Beat in the eggs. Blend in the molasses and vanilla. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in 3 additions, beating just until the flour is incorporated after each addition. Stir in the crystallized ginger. The dough will be very soft. Cover tightly and refrigerate until firm enough to handle, 3 to 4 hours. (If necessary, transfer the dough to freezer until firm, about 1 hours.)

Preheat oven to 375. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper.

Form the dough into balls of about 1 Tblsp. Roll each ball in the ginger-sugar mixture and then place them 3-inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.

Bake the cookies for 12 to 13 minutes or until set. During baking the cookies will puff, then deflate and form crinkled surfaces. Cool on the baking sheets for 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight tin.

sometimes it’s hard not to knit with wool

Cookie, Teenuh, Mairead, Juls and I visited A Verb for Keeping Warm today. The shop is gorgeous but, sadly, most filled with wool. Gorgeous natural dyed wool…

Covetable Wool

…but wool nonetheless. There was some lovely laceweight silk and tussah silk too but the colors are never as vibrant in silks and I wasn’t really in the market for laceweight.

I got a book, though: Fa la la la, Felt. I see some felty Christmas stuff in my future.

a play with friends, finished sweaters, hannukah

Yesterday I went to see Coraline, the musical at the SF Playhouse

coraline program

It was wonderful! It was made even more wonderful by the company of my two good friends, Rachel and Shauna.

rachel, shauna and me at coraline

Wine, live theater and friends: Divine!

I have also finished the sweaters for my nieces.

two sweaters all done!

I think they turned out well. (Ravelry link to the larger sweater Ravelry link to the smaller sweater.) I particularly like the wooden heart buttons that I just happened to have.

heart buttons

That’s one at the top of each sweater. I think they are very sweet. We had a Hannukah dinner tonight and I gave the sweaters to my dad so he can take them to my nieces. The dinner was delicious, if I must say so myself, but I didn’t take any photos of it! Oops. can’t go wrong with latkes and good beef, though!