I did an amazing thing this year, and actually had all my Christmas gifts finished on time. In the last few weeks I did scrap one or two projects, but everyone who I planned to give a knitted gift to got at least one.
I made five of these hats. First up were a trio of Center Square hats for my mother-in-law and two youngest sister-in-laws (age 9 and 14). I also made two more for a husband and wife.
Pattern: Center Square
Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash; each hat used less than 1/2 of the ball of each color.
Notes: These are really quick, about 3 hours each. I really like the pattern, and it was my first attempt at color work. Very fast and fun. I highly recomend it as an introduction to fair isle knitting. I did a bit more ribbing than called for in the pattern and changed the decreases, making a rounder top with the spiral decreases. The small one (purple and teal is) the same amount of stitches, but I used spiral needles. Also, as others have noted, this yarn grow a lot when washed, though it seemed to shrink back mostly if dried in the dryer.
Pony Tail Hat
Pattern: This is mostly the Hannah Hat, but, inspired by the Robin's Egg Blue Hat I made the border in seed stitch and only used one button.
Yarn: Noro Kochoran, less than one ball.
Recipient: Oldest Sister-in-law
Notes: Fun pattern and idea. The yarn is really fuzzy and I'd end up covered in the fuzz. This would have been quick, but it took a few attempts to work out the gauge issues and figure out the decreases.
Pattern: Pirate Captain Doll (non-ravelry link)
Yarn: Cascade 220 Wool and Elann Highland Wool (shirt)
Notes: I'm not sure if I'm really done with this. I'd like to get better fabric (instead of the ribbon shown in the picture), and I bought more beads but then couldn't find them in the mess of my apartment. The pattern directions weren't always clear on how to do the finishing sewing, but I was able to figure it out and I'm pretty happy with the results.
Stow-Away Shopping Bag
Pattern: Stow-Away Shopping Bag, Out Couture AC 306, purchased at Isle Knits.
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton (turquoise), Lily Sugar and Creme (ombre and orange)
Notes: I made this a little longer than the pattern called for and made the straps thicker, and I think that made it a bit tight in the pocket. This was an easy pattern, and one I'll be using again. I might hold the yarn doubled next time for the pocket/bottom of the bag to create a more solid fabric.
Pattern: Mitered Mittens (May) by Elizabeth Zimmermann
Nashua Handknits Wooly Stripes, just over 2 balls (I could have used just the two, but I broke into the third to match the stripes on the thumbs.
Notes: I've recently become a bit enamored with mittens. Unfortunately, I don't really have a place to wear them, so these were a gift for my sister. Like many others I modifeed the thumb construction based on the instructions here. Other modifications were 7 rounds of 2x1 ribbing on the cuff and I didn't decrease to a point at the end, instead decreased down to about 10 stitches and then Kitchenered them together.
Pattern: A Felt Flock by Bev Galeskas (Fiber Trends)
Yarn: Elann Highland Wool
Notes: For the bigger one I held the yarn double, the smaller one was just a single stand of yarn. These are so fun, just the like the Hedgehog and the slippers the shaping is done with shortrows. I needle felted on the eyes.
Monkeys for Mom
Pattern: Monkey Socks
Yarn: Koigu KPPM
Notes: The infamous Monkey pattern, I think everything to be said about the pattern has already been said. I'll be making more of these, maybe a no purl version.
Last, but not least, Felted Clogs
Pattern: Felted Clogs (AC-33) by Bev Galeskas
Yarn: Patons Classic Wool
Notes: Officially the longest UFO ever. These were supposed to be a gift for my mother for Christmas 2004 (or maybe 2003). No, that is not a typo. I knit one pair for my mom and one for my dad. The knitting and felting was done on time, but I had the hardest time sewing on the sole. I finally got my dad the pair for him a few months before he passed away, but the pair for my mother had languished. I'm so happy to have finally finished these.