I've done a bit of Christmas knitting here and there between the Pi and waiting on more yarn for my Garter Stitch Blanket (that thing is a ravenous yarnivore). The first is an annual tradition - sweater ornaments.
I knit one each year - it's a slow but steady way of sprucing up a knitter's tree without them becoming a nuisance on your knitting list. My mom visited for a few days after Thanksgiving and knit one too, so this year we had a bonus alpaca ornament for tree-trimming (not pictured above).
These are knit top-down on double-pointed needles. I usually use a DK or worsted weight on US 3 or 4's. I cast on 12 stitches, work two ridges of garter stitch and start increasing at four raglan points until it looks about big enough. Knit down on body and sleeves (I decreased a bit on the sleeve) and work the cuffs when it feels right. They're very improvisational which is what makes them fun. They take under three hours to work and are perfect for all those little bits we compulsively save (knowing they'll probably never be touched again). They're great for a little hit of colorwork, lace, cables, stripes, handspun, or any other poison you might be craving at the moment but can't justify in any other way.
I also finished the third installment of Koolhaas this week. I think this version wins the stitch-definition contest.
The pattern is mine, available in the Holiday Gifts issue from Interweave if you'd like to knit it. For this one I used Malabrigo Pure Worsted Merino in "Continental Blue" on US 6 and US 7 needles.
The Malabrigo is, as always, uncannily soft and light. One thing I'll note here is that it seems to be a bit less generous in the row gauge department, so if you're trying to decide how many repeats to work for your head length, go with more rather than less if using this yarn. Number Three is a tad short but still fits the recipient. I might extend the ribbing a bit if it persists being bothersome.
Finally, since it's Friday, I'll leave you with a little handspun hit. This is a 2-ply merino heather from Copperpot Woolies, aptly named "Hot Rocks." This was spun from a batt of deep reds, oranges and bright yellows. See the unspun fiber here.
Unfortunately I won't be doing much spinning over the next two weeks. The final stretch of the semester isn't shaping up to be too kind to my knitting and spinning (The Minstrel is sitting in the corner, yarnless and pouting already). Good thing for you I've got two finished sweaters to write about (already photographed!) for which I'm very excited. We're not going to let school choas ruin holiday-blog-fun-time. Not on my watch.
See you soon with a sweater or two.