A Little bit of Merry Christmas Knitting

Hats usually are a successful holiday gift project, but this year I found a neat pattern on line that is for a hat that converts to a face mask, just the thing for the cold winter weather we have had so far this year.  The first time I made the hat directly from the pattern, but found the bottom was way too long (just bunched up below the neck and what a waste of yarn when you are using handspun).  So on my second try, in an acrylic yarn as I didn’t want to use up all the handspun yarn trying out a revision, I eliminated the 4 inches of bottom knitting and started with the four inches of K2P2 ribbing.  This made a much more successful hat (just about the right length and it folded more easily into a cap when you don’t want the face mask down).  Then I switched to special handspun yarn (spun from alpaca fleece that I was given earlier this year; it spun into a variated light brown to cream yarn, very soft and pretty) and did the final version.  I also narrowed the nose band by two stitches at the center in the final cap which is better for the eye holes.  DONE!  I like the cap, very warm and nice looking, AND when it’s very cold, just pull it down and it turns into a face mask!

Here’s the link to the original pattern if you want to try it: Jackyll and Hide Cap.

And here are some photos of the finished caps.

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The light brown alpaca hat is in the foreground.

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Alpaca hat converted to a face mask.

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Here’s the variegated acrylic version showing the face mask.

Lastly, I found another pattern called the “Curling Cowl”; very easy straight knitting in the round (200 stitches knit in the round on a size 7 needle for 6 to 8 inches.  Here it is knit in kid mohair; it makes a beautiful neck scarf!

The Curling Cowl

The Curling Cowl

 

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The Joys of December and the Holidays – Crafts and Music

I think there is something about the holiday season that brings out the best in us: wanting to do and share with others, stimulus to creativity, and a love of crafts and music.  The start of the season was putting artwork and crafts into the Artists’ Guild’s Holiday Market: this year I put in four paintings, several matted photographs and some woven Inkle Band belts.  The market this year is filled with the work of talented artists and crafters and is a mirror into the creativity of this community.  Such a joy to walk around the Art Center and admire all the work that is there.

While I was working at the Market a week ago, several people were admiring some lovely glass marbled ornaments that were for sale.  One of the ladies said: “Oh, I know how to make those, and proceeded to describe how one could make similar ornaments using plain glass balls and colored wax.”  I was intrigued, and I went home thinking, I want to try this.  I bought the materials (at almost no cost) and this week I experimented and made some ornaments that look pretty good!  I always make ornaments for old friends at an annual holiday get-together, so here are my 2013 ornaments.  I am so happy with how they turned out!

Xmas balls 2013

2013 Christmas Ornaments

The string ensemble had their Fall Concert a little over a week ago.  It always is a joy to play with this group of musicians who play so much for the love of the music.  Three of us played a couple of trios to start the program, and then the whole ensemble took over for the remainder of the concert.  We had only a small crowd there (almost no publicity), but the joy was in the music making.

Program p1 Program p2

 

HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE!