After a week of all of us jogging in place, the starter’s pistol has rung out and it’s time to KNIT KNIT KNIT.
Wait, that’s what we’re always doing. It’s time to KNIT KNIT: GIFTS!
If you’re just joining us and wondering what this Giftalong thing is, check out this explanation of what we’re up to, to the extent we know what we’re up to. It’s a very fluid knitalong, as knitalongs go. Knit what you want, for whom you want. Knit from a meticulous list in your bullet journal, or just free-associate your way through your Ravelry queue. Then give the results as holiday gifts to your most beloved, most deserving, or most needy friends ‘n’ fam.
If all this loosey-goosiness has you confused, your fellow knitters are here to help. Head on over to The Lounge, which is already bursting with knitterly industriousness and many ideas for gifts. To our delight, one Lounger even wrote a poem to celebrate The Night Before Giftalong. (Of course, any English major could tell you that the correct title is A Visit from St. Knitolas.)
Today, I’d like to share the source of at least one of my gifts this year, and perhaps a few more before I’m done.
Lars Rains Has Perfect Timing
A few weeks ago, I got my hands on an early copy of Lars Rains’ latest book, Presto, a collection of accessories using Madeline Tosh’s bulky-weight yarn A.S.A.P.
A.S.A.P. is one of those yarns that always speaks to me from the yarn store shelf; it’s a beautiful yarn, exquisitely dyed. I resist mightily, telling myself that it knits up too quickly, that I am not a Bulky Yarn Person, that I want more entertainment–more yardage–per gram of yarn. But A.S.A.P. can only be kept at bay for so long. Somehow, at this weight, the colors are so deep, so tactile–you can almost taste them. I buy a skein, knit somebody a hat in an afternoon and consider the A.S.A.P. itch scratched for a while. I don’t have many ideas for it beyond a beanie.
Well. Lars Rains has some excellent ideas for A.S.A.P. (Pictured above: Dark Mithral mitts. He’s also got cowls, scarves, hats (slouch hat and hat with good posture) and a lovely shawl.)
It’s a gorgeous, and timely, little book. (The photographs, including the two shared here, are by our farflung correspondent, Gale Zucker.) Most of the patterns in Presto call for 1 or 2 skeins (only the shawl calls for 3). We are talking fast knitting.
Saturday night I cast on Presto‘s cover pattern, Titania, a sculptural neckwarmer.
Daughter Carrie picked out the yarn (A.S.A.P. in shade Glazed Pecan) when she and I stopped in at River Colors Studio in Lakewood, Ohio (aka Cleveland) last weekend.
(What? Parents Weekend should always include an “impromptu” yarn-shop stop. Yarn shopping is a form of nurture that our young people miss when they are separated from us.)
Titania is easy knitting, with a fun tuck-stitch element that will seem familiar to knitters of the Breton Cowl. (It’s even easier to make those foldy flaps when you’re not working in laceweight mohair/silk.)
The best part? I’ll be weaving in the ends on this today. One more gift for the holiday pile–Giftalong overachiever status awaits.
Giftalongers: knit like the wind! Share your progress and patterns over in The Lounge. Personally, I’m on the hunt for tiny, cute non-fiddly patterns, things you can knit a bunch of. Little somethin-somethins that amuse people: mug sweaters, ornaments, bottle-toppers. What are the good ones, the non-cheesy ones? (Also accepted: cheesy in an ironic, fun way.) Patterns for those whose attention span is short but whose stash is long. Put them in The Lounge in the thread I just started called: Teeny Patterns. (Squee–there’s already a teeny pattern there. Thanks, rawedges!)
Remember: we have hashtags, for those who indulge in the delights/wade through the murky swamps of Instagram and Facebook.
Our main hashtag is #MDKgiftalong. Tag your pictures so we can all see them, and we’ll do our best to share some here. And since I love hashtags, I’ll suggest a secondary hashtag: #MDKpileOgifts.
May the odds be ever in your favor, and your present piles reach the top of your Festivus pole.