Christmas knitting: CHECK!

As I’ve mentioned before, I live in Spain. Here, most families and friends exchange gifts on January 6th, the Epiphany, rather than on December 25th. Spanish children, however, are always excited on Christmas morning because Santa Claus (or, as they fondly have named him, Papá Noel) always leaves them plenty of toys. Children in Spain, though, get another day of gifts from the Three Magi on January 6th, which is why in Spanish we call it El día de los Reyes Magos.

I’ve completed everyone’s Christmas gifts (actually, my Reyes gifts) with plenty of time to spare! Actually, I finished them all a week ago. Why haven’t I been excited to report about this until now? Sometimes a picture speaks louder than words:

There has been nothing but fog and dark clouds here for about two weeks. It was impossible to take really good photos of my knitting. As a matter of fact, I became so desperate that I entertained the idea of blogging about my finished Christmas knitting by describing what I made and omitting the photos. Luckily, the sun came out this morning. According to the weather forecast we’re in for some sunny days this coming week. 
So, this morning, I drank my coffee, gathered up my blocked and dried items, took them outside, posed them on a bench in the Plaza de Santa Cruz, and happily photographed them. 
Firstly, I’m pleased to introduce you to “Pico Bandito,” a crocheted scarf pattern by Jon Averett:
For this project I used a couple of skeins of Oso Blanco “Amore” fingering weight yarn and, as you might see in my Ravelry Project Information page, I used more yarn than the pattern indicates. I used a smaller hook and so I needed more yarn. I crocheted it in three days. Now that I’ve followed the pattern exactly as it is written I want to make another scarf with a different stitch pattern. It’s truly beautiful when the directions are followed exactly as written, though. Rows of nothing but double crochet can be quite beautiful.
Another gift I made with a free pattern is the “Sweet Memories Cowl” by Jacinta:
I used some Katia Oxford to knit this up very quickly, in about two days. The stitch pattern is very easy to memorize and the results are lovely when using a variegated yarn such as the one I chose for this project.
Someone else very special is going to get a pair of wool striped socks. I simply followed my own personal pattern for vanilla socks and clipped away at my stash of Cigno Nero DK yarn. The wearer will be thrilled to have mismatched, striped socks. This is how they came out:

Finally, I made a pair of mittens for a very special someone, following the “Fremont” pattern by Annie Modesitt:

I am very blessed to have married into a family that appreciates my knitting. I already know, from past experience, that the people in my life who receive these handmade gifts will be delighted. And now, I’m going to work on some gloves for myself!

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The Hello Kitty Cardigan is done!

I finally finished the cardigan I intended to make for a five-year-old’s birthday. She’ll get it for Christmas instead!

The sweater is a combination of Ofil Nabucco and Drops Nepal. The Ofil Nabucco yarn is a pink, sparkly wool-acrylic blend that I got in a secret surprise box at my knitting club. The Drops Nepal is this fluffy, alpaca-wool blend that is really soft and squishy. I bought the Hello Kitty buttons at a craft show.

All I did was follow the instructions for a child’s raglan sleeved cardigan in Ann Budd’s book The Knitter’s Handy Book of Sweater Patterns. I decided to use Brioche stitch, which left a faint, uneven line on the yoke. No problem! I crocheted chains of the contrasting Ofil yarn and wove it into the fabric. No ugly line and the sweater looks more interesting.

The collar, button band, and pink trim are done in garter stitch.

The wearer loves Hello Kitty and the color pink so I’m sure she’ll be enthusiastic about wearing this very warm winter sweater!