I just love this Huckleberry Ascot pattern! One skein of gorgeous, chunky malabrigo yarn in  Amoroso and four days of fun garter-stitch and short rows (forgot how to wrap a stitch–luckily the women at Late Night Knit Night were up to the challenge) gave me this finished prezzie for my SIL.

Here’s me modeling it, dreaming of the day the holiday knits are done and I cast one on for myself:Img_0063

Specs: Huckleberry Ascot, Interweave Holiday 2007
Modifications: The pattern called for a lighter yarn, with a #6 needle–I used the chunky yarn with a #9 needle. I cast on the same number of stitches, but made seven pattern repeats instead of eight so that it wouldn’t get too wide.

These pics don’t even come close to flattering the kettle-dyed goodness
of the shades, moving from orangey to wine and back through red.  In fact, my infatuation with this yarn is such that I went to my LYS yesterday in the middle of a snowstorm to procure more even though I had four skeins at home already (I had to match my mom’s coat, don’cha know–the pollen colorway worked perfectly).

You know how you try a certain yarn, and you feel like you’ve seen the light, as if this fiber eclipses all others so thoroughly that soon everyone in their right mind will be wearing and knitting nothing but this yarn?  Well that’s my relationship with Malabrigo chunky right now.  So if you see a tall, dark-haired woman walking down the street sporting a knit skirt, sweater, hat, scarf and gloves that appear suspiciously rich in color and kettle-dyed, stop and say hi. I’ll be happy to direct you to the nearest source for my obsession.

So, other than petting and winding skeins of Malabrigo, I’ve been moving into the Xmas Craft Season. Last weekend, my mom and I attended the Holiday Craftacular, sponsored by the lovely Glitter Workshop. The High Noon Saloon always opens their arms to progressive events, but it was a bit odd to have a craft fair in the dark, cave-like atmosphere of the bar. On the plus side for many, though, was the opportunity to sip drinks while looking at letterpress cards and handmade stuffed pastries, which doesn’t happen every day. My mom and I drooled over the Amy Butler skirties by orangyporangy, and my mom found some hand-pressed cards she couldn’t refuse at the Queen Bee stall. We loved the fiber croissants, french toast and baguettes with berets from Poor Lost Bread, and I purchased a fuzzy handspun yarn for my mom’s Xmas gift from Kitty Grrlz, who spun intrepidly even in the dark.

Closer to home, I’ve been working on a secret project after the kids were asleep.
When I was a kid, I remember visiting my best friend’s house at holiday time, and staring awestruck at a felt Advent calendar they had hung in the kids’ room. The same room, BTW, boasted one of those cat clocks whose eyes moved back and forth. That seemed so impossibly cool and remote to me.

Anyway, a green felt tree topped the calendar, and the bottom half was covered with numbered pockets. Every day, the kids told me, they found little ornaments or candy canes in the pockets. For some reason, that thing stuck in my mind as the epitome of Christmas wonder. I never actually promised myself that I’d make one for my kids when I grew up–I didn’t even think of possessing it at the time–but a resolution to do just that grew in my heart the past year or two. Running it by my friends, I found that a surprising number of them either had one or had inherited one similar to the one I remembered.
Last year, I attempted to make it, shopping for wool felt (nothing but the best for my babies!)which, incidentally, was where I met the friend-turned-art-teacher who hooked me up with C’s school. I cut out the tree and some of the numbers, but it lay around for almost a whole year before I got back to it again.Img_0025

But, this year I made it! I cut out all the numbers while watching Sugar and Spice.
This pic shows it after that evening.
The next night, I sewed them all down while, umm, watching Sugar and Spice again. It’s funny!
Of course it turned out more complicated than I thought, involving a lot of measuring and marking of pockets and sewing on twenty-four buttons and figuring out how to hang the thing–a dowel worked fine–and then assembling twenty-four ornaments. Okay, I haven’t finished more than four ornaments, but I’ve got time for that, right?
Since the kids demand parity in all things, I’ve decided to dole out the ornaments two at a time, and pad the extra day with little treats. The Huz obliged by picking up tiny candy canes and red-and-green York peppermints for the occasion.
I have to say, so far it’s been pretty dang satisfactory. The kids seem intrigued by the reversible heart ornament, and keep visiting the tree to fasten the decorations onto different buttons.
The best part is my little guy making sure to remind me about seven times last night not to forget to put something in the pocket after he went to sleep.

Which reminds me, I’ve got to finish one of those ornaments tonight….

xoxo Jaala

December 02, 2007 by Knitcircus

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