I have two more knitted Christmas gifts to show you.
My brother's girlfriend didn't specifically ask for me to knit her something, but she did have a pair of grey, cabled fingerless mittens on her (Amazon) wishlist. Alas, they were sold out. What is a knitter to, but to make a pair?
While not exactly like the ones she chose, I felt like this was a close match to the spirit of her request. The pattern is Sweet Fern Mitts from the Knitter's Book of Wool. My yarn choice was such that the mitts were too big as written, so I took 8 stitches of ribbing out of them. This made the cable sit closer to the thumb instead of the middle, but I like the look.
I used a ball of Lang Vivienne. I had never knit with this yarn before, but it was very soft and I liked the texture of the yarn. (I think it was cabled?) I knew I was cutting it close with one ball because the pattern called for 120 yds and I had 90 meters, but I had taken out those 8 stitches on each mitt. I ended up with a few inches left over. I'm glad I had just enough and didn't have to resort to other options to finish up.
A standing knitting request I have for Christmas gifts is a pair of socks for my mother-in-law. I have made her two pairs the past two years, and they are much appreciated and worn often. I like to knit gansey style socks for her, and this year I found the pattern Gansey Girl to suit what I had in mind.
This year my MIL picked out the yarn herself at a local yarn store. She picked out some Shibui Sock. The color is really nice, but it does make it a little hard to photograph the details of the sock.
I had a little trouble feeling motivated to knit this sock. The problem was there were 5 charts for the leg section, and they were spread across three sheets of paper. When I realized that this was the problem, I reduced and cut and pasted the charts so they were only on 1 sheet. Charts A and B were mirror images of charts D and E, so I put them next to each other and only moved up one chart marker (post-it note) for both charts. After that, the knitting was not so bad.
The diamond pattern continued onto the toe, which was kind of fun.
The change I made to these socks was to knit my standard slip-stitched heel instead of the charted one. I like how the slipped stitches make the heel dense and less likely to wear out, and I was not enjoying the charted heel when I attempted it.
My MIL has worn these socks several times already, and I'm happy to have added to her foot wardrobe.