Thursday, February 23, 2012

Knitting Gifts

I've recently discovered the anxiety that is knitting a gift for someone. It first struck the day after I started making the Cardinal dishcloth for my boyfriend's mom. I was so gung ho and searching for a pattern that was more complex that I latched on to the first good looking thing I saw within(and at the top of) my skill level. This magnified when I was bolstered by the success of the cardinal, though it did have a few stitches that weren't quite in the pattern.

I went looking for a pattern my own mother would like, and found the perfect flower. It was complicated, but I wasn't afraid. I'd never adapted a pattern before, but it was from a glove and had a chart, so I didn't think it'd be difficult to turn into a flat knit dishcloth. Unfortunately, I didn't take into account the complexity when considering the needle size and went with my straight sevens since my interchangeable needle set hadn't arrived yet. I set off on this new adventure, and it didn't turn out exactly as planned.

It turned out to be more of a dishtowel than a dishcloth, and the pattern was more stretched than I'd envisioned it. It was 120 rows. It took a ball and a quarter of Peaches n Creme, the most I've had to use on a single project so far. It was difficult to get a picture, but here is the finished project:
Flower chart here.
I actually took it off my needles and made several other projects before finishing the last 30 rows just in time to get it to my mom for her birthday. Even though I just threw this in as an additional present beyond what I was planning on getting her anyway, I feel bad because it isn't perfect. I never want someone to feel obligated to use something I made (enthusiastic as I might've been at the start!) if they don't like it, and I also feel bad for spending so much time on something that had problems I could've fixed at the time if I'd only known what I was doing a little more.

One of the projects I did while this was in the wings is part of a wedding present. I am attending one of my high school friends weddings in May, and will at least be sending a present to the wedding of my cousin (not technically related since she's the stepdaughter of my aunt, but it's not so much not blood relation as the fact that we're not close and I'm not sure I can manage travelling home twice in May). For both, I'd like to give them a bottle of wine, a couple of nicely (home)made dishcloths, and one small thing from their registry. This allows me to flesh out my gifts for them without spending more than what's in my limited budget.

I picked out a wine cozy pattern that looked nice and made it. I'm a teensy bit unhappy with it because the pattern says that the maker didn't knit it in a round because she didn't like doing so and I was pretty sure I'd like it better and was capable of doing it round, but I gave her the benefit of the doubt and knit it flat. The seam is rather obvious despite my being careful, and I had to go over the ribbing at the top more because it didn't hold together as well. If I do this pattern again, I'm definitely knitting in the round, and I might add a little more to the ribbing to avoid crocheting, which hurts my wrists.
Pattern found here.

Bottom view
I'm happy with the way the yarn looks otherwise, given that it's Red Heart Shimmer yarn. I'm planning on embroidering (or something, haven't decided what will work best yet) their monogram onto the front to complete it and personalize it.

On my needles right now is a double knit pot holder. I decided to try this before I made the double knit bookmark because it's easier to see if I make a mistake and the yarn isn't so expensive as to make me feel guilty if I mess up!

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