Friday, December 27, 2013

FO Friday: FO-la-la-la-la, la la la la

I hope everyone had a very merry Christmas!  I think I can confidently say that mine was a successful one.  Mountains were skied, busy airports were traversed, traditional potato salad was assembled, and most of the present-crafting deadlines were met.

Which brings me to finally getting to reveal some of the projects I've been working on recently that made their way under the Christmas tree.  Now that they have been unwrapped, I can share them with you.  First, I made a scarf to match the beanie I knit for my grandfather last year:

I used the same kind of yarn (except I didn't hold it double the way I did for the hat) and the same sort of almost-rib pattern.  I really like the stitch, it's very simple, all you do is make sure you have an multiple of four plus one as your number of stitches (I had 33) and then K2, P2 to the end of every row, knitting the last stitch.  It makes for a very pick up and knit project, and I like the texture of the end result.

And for my grandmother, a pillow:

I snapped up the fabric with the adorable fox cuddling on a sofa seat during the Shop Hop earlier this year.  The orange with tiny white polka dots was a fat quarter I picked up at Jo-Ann Fabric.  With the help of my much-more-accomplished-sewer mom this was a really easy entrée into the sewing world for me.

On this side of the Atlantic, I did some more knitting, but in a different category than I'm used to: baby. My step-sister (that is such a weird term, by the way, it still doesn't sound right, although it is much easier to get out than my-dad's-girlfriend's-daughter was) is due to have a baby boy in March, and I confirmed with a few people that making something for her son-to-be was an acceptable Christmas gift.

Then it was a torturous matter to decide what to make for him.  Girls are so much easier, let me tell you.  Pink, cute, fluffy, these are places that my mind naturally goes to.  It's harder for me to navigate the theoretical things a still-theoretical boy might like.  And then you want to make something sort of cute, but still useful, nothing that's going to become the bane of the mother's existence, like anything that requires special care when washing or involves things that might present a choking hazard.

I settled on this pattern from Lion Brand for a sort of blanket-meets-soft-toy bunny.  But because I never make things easy on myself, I decided that I wanted a monkey instead of a bunny.  Partly because of my uneasiness around wanting to make something boy-appropriate, partly because I have more of a personal connection to monkeys.  As a kid, and still to this day, my dad will sometimes quip in Czech, 'Opice jses a opice zustanes', which roughly translates to 'You are a monkey and you'll stay a monkey', and more roughly translates to 'You are silly'.  And the result of my silliness:

Cute, right?  The body is super-simple, and it's amazing how crocheting a pair of ears and a face will transform a blank round shape into a monkey's head.  I even gave him little hairs by strategically placing some of the ends as I was weaving them in.

It feels so good to show something finished instead of just alluding vaguely to progress made on secret projects.  How about you?  Did you finish all of your Christmas crafting in time?  Any IOUs under the tree?

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