I imagine every knitter out there has knit a gift at some point. On the other hand, how many knitters receive knit gifts? Not nearly as many. Every year, my knitting group throws a little anniversary party celebrating the group’s beginning. A few years back we started picking names out of a hat and knitting each other anniversary gifts! It’s not a party without presents! Turns out, I love getting knit gifts as much as giving them! Handmade gifts of any sort really but I have an extra special place in my heart for knit gifts!
It’s a lot of fun every year, trying to guess who’s picked who, stalking each other’s Ravelry queues and favorites to pick the perfect gift, trying to consult with a third person to get opinions on colors or patterns without getting caught. The truly brazen bring their gift swap to knitting night and play it off as a gift being knit for Great Aunt Jean. I actually blogged about my gift knitting, saying it was for me. (I totally wish it was…)
The party has now come and gone, and all that secret knitting was totally worth it. I have color preferences, fiber preferences, knitting technique preferences… it’s refreshing to see how other’s interpret those preferences. I have to say, my gift knitter, Vanessa, totally nailed my style and knit items I love but would not have knit for myself. This is actually the second time she’s knit for me. The first time was also a smashing success. She’s set the bar exceedingly high for anyone who ever knits for me in the future. So this FO Friday I’m featuring Vanessa’s FOs!
First up…Nothing Says Screw You Like a Rainbow!
My very first pair of handknit socks in White Birch Fiber Arts ‘Nothing Says Screw You Like a Rainbow’ colorway! I wasn’t at the first day of Stitches this year but I received 4 messages from different people when they hit the White Birch Fiber Arts booth saying ‘Wow, you need this yarn’…well, everyone needed this yarn so it was sold out by the time I got there and my yarn money was ear marked for Brooklyn Tweed, anyhow. I think I’m the only one from the knitting group who didn’t buy this yarn…we’ve seen arm warmers and 3 or 4 pairs of socks so far. I love them all, we all do! How much we love them seems to be a constant conversation! Just as the party was starting this week, I actually declared that I finally decided I like the rainbow with blue clouds better than the fade to black colorway with rainbows and black stripes but if they’re at Rhinebeck, I’ll probably get one of each because I think I really need to knit myself a pair of these awesome rainbow socks!
And then Vanessa showed up! Boom! Done!
These socks are pretty awesome, I’m torn between wanting to never take them off and never putting them back on for fear of tarnishing them. They radiate good vibes! I’ve got the happiest feet in the zip code. Probably even the area code. I don’t know how I’ll ever put store bought socks on again?!? Hand knit socks are a luxury I’ve been missing out on completely.
As if that wasn’t enough, I got something else too! Vanessa the Amazing also knit a Traveling Woman scarf for me! She picked the yarn based on the name again…Shenanigans! If there’s shenanigans, I’m gonna call you on it. Be warned. I have an eagle eye for shenanigans.
Deadlines being what they are, I ended up blocking the scarf myself. It turned out to be the easiest blocking and fastest trying project ever! My apartment is tiny. Blocking boards hanging around for 3 or 4 days is a big inconvenience. This project was dry in less than 16 hours!
I think the yarn played a big part in that, Lorna’s Laces Solemate. Solemate, literally, has space-aged polymers in it! Yeah Science! It’s 55% Merino, 15% Nylon…standard sock stuff. The last 30% is Outlast, a fiber with heat regulating and moisture wicking properties! It’s been used in space suits and nascar suits and now…hand knits! It’s super fun to talk about but this is the first I’ve ‘worked’ with it. I really love the results! There may be a sock knitter in me after all.
Before I start knitting socks though, I really need to make a decision about my Rhinebeck Sweater. I thought I had decided to use the purple on the right, it’s a bulky weight so it would go quick but I have to call Shenanigans! because it just doesn’t match my new Traveling Woman…the brown on the left however, looks quite lovely. I think it’s time to get serious about swatching.