For my best Lady, a lovely Wham Bam Thank You Lamb neckwarmer. This is a great bulky-yarn little cowl with offset seaming. I made one for myself a few years ago and wear it all the time. It's the greatest. This one is made out of Brooks Farm Duet, fine mohair and wool, 4 strands held together. It's squish-tastic!
For my sister, I took some lovely Hello Yarn club fiber and carded it into wee rolags before spinning a a sort of colorwave. This was one of the quickest spin-to-knit-to-blocking-to-wearing projects I've ever done. And, it was also the earliest I've ever finished a Christmas craft. The pattern is Wingspan.
For my neighbor-friend, I spun a super bulky Swaledale thread, and then Navajo-plied it to retain some big swaths of color. I tried many non-felted patterns, but none of them seemed to work. I was afraid that going with a felted pattern might require more yarn than I had, but eventually I went with my favorite felted clogs pattern, and made small modifications as necessary. The Swaledale was a big hair mess post-felting:
I knew when I received December 2011's Southern Cross Fibre club that it would be PERFECT for something for my mom. She's a fan of the sea blues and beachy colors, and Oceanic had all of that going for it.
I wanted to weave something for her, but was still very much a novice. So, I instead spun 8oz of this gorgeous BFL/Silk blend into a whack of laceweight 2-ply. The colors matched up pretty well, too, giving the finished yarn long runs of color. I knew that if I tried to knit with the yarn, I'd start something that I might not finish (ahem), so I kept playing around with the weaving idea. My friend Anj persuaded me (oh the force she used!) to take a 6 week weaving class at our local guild, and by week 2 I felt confident enough to warp my 24" rigid heddle side-to-side, full width, and went to town. It's by no means perfect - lots of missed warps, some wonky beatings, and tension issues leading to some meh edges - but it is beautiful nonetheless.
Finally, with all this crafting going on for my favorite ladies, I was struck with the idea to make something for my favorite guy... What could I make for Miki that he'd love? Something that would bring together some of his favorite things - camping, hiking, Mt. Washington, and - sorry, dear - snuggling (but manly snuggles. Like, with beer and bushy beard and beef jerky snuggling...)? It took some thinking, but I settled on making a quilt using the peaks of the White Mountains and the Presidential Range as inspiration. It was not finished in time for Christmas - ran out of thread and even with the quilt bat(t) signal up, I didn't have enough - but I wrapped it for him anyway.
He was delighted! Here you can see he's instantly put it to use in our often-chilly home (we keep the heat set low because I don't know why... To save money? To force the cats to lay on us? To prove a point?). The backing was a mix of fun camping prints, complete with tents and trailers and wildlife. I OF COURSE managed to sneak some squirrels in there, too. The brown chevron fit in well with the mountain theme, I thought.
And here's a shot of the front. It obviously has received the Lucy-Cat Stamp of Approval. The quilt top was pieced using the bulk of a Moda Happy Campers Jelly Roll. The tallest "peak" - in this case, Mt. Washington - is the full 44" of a strip, with the rest proportionate to that peak. I didn't use a pattern so much as I looked at lots of elevation profiles and graphed out peaks and valleys using MS Publisher (I know! High tech!).
And that's it! I can now start to procrastinate on making next year's gifts. I have some plans in the works, though!