All the knitting

There is definitely a seasonality to making. I don’t just mean gift-making in the run up to Christmas, or cotton-frock making in May. Of course I do both those things, but there’s a deeper pull towards certain kinds of crafting at different times of year. In the new year, I want to do nothing but sew. Come spring, I’m ready to spend most of my time in the garden, perhaps with a bit of hand-sewing or embroidery for rainy days. The long summer holidays open up time for spinning and the dyeing of wool. And when September comes, I want to spend all my evenings knitting in front of the fire, right up to the end of the year.

There are always things that I end up doing out of season – I sewed a skirt last month, for instance – but on the whole I’ve come to anticipate this yearly rhythm. Which is why I thought I’d better pull out my stash of wool and remind myself of all the knitting I want to do before the year comes to an end.

First up are the Christmas knits. Just to be clear, I am the sort of person for whom Christmas starts on December 24th. That’s when we put up the tree, festoon the staircase with lights and ivy, and put holly everywhere we can. But the Christmas crafting needs to start quite a bit earlier than that. In fact, once I’ve made the Christmas cake  in October half term, November is upon us and it is high time to get started.

First on – and off – the needles this year was Ben’s hat. A quick and easy knit, it’s just waiting for its bobble. I’ll have a bobble-making-hat-finishing afternoon when all three hats are done, so this one is put away for now.

In progress is a longer project, which I am not going to write about here for tip top Christmas secret reasons. I’m knitting bits of it in between each of the other projects. Suffice to say that it is going swimmingly and it will be a test of my love to give this one away.

Currently on the needles is a second sock, which is both a first-time-sock-knitters’ pattern I’m writing, and Ilse’s Christmas knit. I’ll finish it off this week, but have to keep stopping to shoot the next part of the tutorial in daylight.

Fliss’ hat will be next: this lovely snuggly one in shades of heather. I love it, she loves it, I can’t wait to begin.

Seb’s hat  – the same as Ben’s but in different colours – will be the last of the knits for my children. My auntie Fiona gave me  the lovely book that all three hats are from in the spring, and it is just full of beautiful patterns. I have my eye on a hat I’d like to make for myself, one day, as well as a couple of the snoods. It has inspired practically all my Christmas knitting this year.

There are two more projects that I’m not even going to post the materials for here, as they’ll give the game away. One is a knitting project that I’m collaborating with one of my children on, and the other is a sewing project. Enough said.

Once the hats are all made, I have plans for all the leftover Shetland wool. First up will be a fairisle tea-cosy, as I’ve been meaning to make one for literally years. I don’t have a pattern yet and will probably just make one up.

I bought the pink wool especially, to tie it all together. I like pink a lot, just now.

And then I need a new pair of cuffs. My last pair were discovered hiding in a white wash that had just gone through at a hygienic 60 C. Let’s just say that while the sheets were better for the cycle, the cuffs were not. I might make some from the book, or make up something more fairisle-y and colourful.

Then there are three balls of Drops Alpaca for a new knitting design that is floating around my head. I don’t want to spoil the surprise, but let’s just say that it involves some of my very favourite winter flowers.

And finally, when all that is done, I am going to knit myself a new pair of socks. This is a bit of an annual thing now: making a new pair to replace the oldest and most worn out. I suspect these will be cast on in the new year, because despite my love of wintry sewing you do need to have something to keep your hands busy while you’re relaxing by the fire of an evening.

I make it five weeks until Christmas, and then another week until the new year. I’ve got five Christmas projects to finish, not counting the first hat, the sewing project or the collaboration. Then three more to work through after that. Then there’s the small matter of a job, patterns to publish and oh, a family. The knitting might just go on a little further into the new year that I’d planned. Ahem. But then again, there are worse things in life than a surfeit of knitting.

Madeleine

Are you making anything for Christmas this year? How’s it going? Wishing you good luck and happy crafting!

7 thoughts on “All the knitting”

  1. So,I was in Glasgow at the weekend and visited the Country Living Christmas Fair. Whilst walking through the aisles,a stall holder stopped me and asked where I had got my snood. I told him that my sister knitted it. He commented on the lovely wool and colours. Of course I told him that you had spun the alpaca and the possum wool was from New Zealand. It turns out that he is best friends with Hilary Grant,both from Orkney,and recognized the pattern! He took my picture to send to her and I told him of your blog. Small world! Looking forward to seeing all your lovely Christmas knits x

    1. Oh goodness! That’s amazing – what a coincidence! It is a very striking pattern, and I’m glad he liked the wool. It’s a long way from the recommended Shetland but works just as beautifully. I’m tickled pink by the thought of a photo of my handspun in a project getting back to Hilary Grant! x

      1. I actually think Hilary Grant might be tickled pink seeing her design knitted up in such beautiful hand spun colours.xx

  2. I have a copy of this book and the patterns are lovely. I’m on my second snood and enjoy seeing the design unfold as it grows. The knitting is easy, just knit and purl with two colours and follow the pattern. The snoods however take time to knit because of the length but this is a good ongoing project to have in your knitting basket.

    1. Definitely. And you’re right – it is lots of fun watching the design unfold. I think that’s what makes colour work knitting so fast (for me, anyway) – I always want to knit the next bit so I can see what it’s going to look like! x

  3. That seems like quite a lot of knitting to me… I’m awed! I’ll be carrying on with knitting a little bit more of my Snow Day jumper each evening… am onto the sleeves now and very much enjoying it. Who knows, perhaps it’ll be finished before Christmas!

    1. I’m so pleased that you’re enjoying your Snow Day knitting – that really does make me very happy indeed. Fingers crossed you’ll be finished by Christmas! I have to admit that it is rather a lot of knitting… As long as the Christmas knits are done in time, I’ll be happy. I don’t mind if the other things linger into the new year, really. I’ll post updates on Instagram as I go!

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