Go Go Get your Garterstitch on!

First thing you need to know about me is I’m ridiculously indecisive.

My good friend Tim has been asking me constantly since we became friends if I’ll make him a scarf for his birthday or Christmas or… just in general. Not being a very conscious gift-giver, I decided to start early.

I asked him: what color do you like to wear? He told me gray (not surprising because it’s his last name…)

So, as I always do, I went to Loop. I picked up some machine-washable Wool/Organic Cotton blend in gray which I thought he’d really like (especially since he told me he wanted gray).

NOTE: When it comes to hand-making gifts for guys, never ask what their favorite color is- just because they like bright green, doesn’t mean they want a sweater in bright green! Either ask what colors they like to wear, or keep an eye on the colors they most wear- that way you can make both of you happy.

I then tried to find a “manly” pattern and found that the easiest thing I could probably do with one super-bulky yarn is the Garterstitch in a wider scarf. I found the “Go Go Garter Stitch” scarf in my copy of “Stitch ‘n Bitch” and figured it would work for this pattern too.

Using size 13 needles, I cast on 18 sts and continued on in my endeavor thinking this would be super soft and awesome and Tim would love me for it.

…Two hours later I ran out of yarn.

I double checked the tag that came with the hank. The hank contains approximately 60 yards of yarn… which would not be nearly enough even if I went and got another two hanks. at 14 dollars a hank, I didn’t want to go down that road.

The next day I went to Loop again, and asked one of the ladies who works there what I should do. She suggested I go away from machine-washable, since they’re expensive and they usually have less yarn in each skein. I found a beautiful and super soft organic 100% Wool in a darker gray than my Spud & Chloe yarn. I didn’t want the first yarn to go to waste, so I took my Dark gray and started making stripes. My new yarn has 165 yards, more than twice the Spud & Chloe, so I make my stripes of dark gray in varying lengths, and add the Spud & Chloe in every now and then.

I tried that and found that the Spud & Chloe yarn was thicker than the Wool, so I took it out and just started knitting through with the wool.

The other day I took it apart. I don’t like how boring it looks and it’s not the same affect I’m wanting in a scarf. I doubled the yarn and have to go buy a pair of 15s or 19s (Broomsticks, people… Broomsticks!) and I imagine changing it to the Moss stitch will allow the knit to be bigger, and just as manly as the garter stitch.

I also figure, since Tim wanted machine washable yarn and I couldn’t give it to him without spending upwards of 40 dollars, I’ll tell him whenever he needs to get it washed, he can give it to me and I’ll hand-wash it for him. I really wouldn’t want him to have a two-inch scarf because he threw it in the washer. Plus, scarves need only be washed about once a year, if that; so I think the payoff will be very good, even though I’m not giving him exactly what he wants.


The Christmas Present Montage

I went to Joann Fabrics on Friday. I know I shouldn’t have but I have so many things to do before Christmas!

I figured the best thing for me to do is go with my strengths. I have an awful time buying things for my friends so I usually end up getting a CD or going to Bath and Body works which I hate doing because it feels like a fall back for me. I decided to create my presents for my friends and I feel like it’ll be the easiest way to make them happy by these items.

For the sake of keeping things secret from my friends who may be reading this, I’m keeping the colors vague and only mentioning what pattern I’ll be using.

M1 loves a certain Broadway show so I’m making a scarf inspired by one of the characters. It’s made of a simple garter stitch on size 8 needles. I’m about half done with this sucker. He’s super tall so I had to account for that. I think it’ll reach my knees when I’m done.

M2 wanted a hat so I’m going to make Quincy out of a beautiful Autumn Red that I think will look amazing with her hair and eyes. I bought Brooklyn Tweeds book of patterns a while ago and have yet to create anything from it so I’m really excited to delve into this project. I’ve also never made a hat, so it’ll be an interesting feat. If I have extra time and yarn, I’ll create some mittens in the same color for her. She has long walks outside between classes so I think simple Stockinette Stitch mittens would also be great for her.

C told me she’d prefer a scarf. I found a BEAUTIFUL teal blue that would make her gorgeous blue eyes pop and her hair be a great contrast. I’ll make the Ribbed For Her Pleasure from Stitch ‘n Bitch (It’s one of my favorite things to make) with double stranded yarn. I think it’ll look beautiful in her wardrobe and she’ll be able to wear it all over the place.

T changed his mind about a hundred times on color, style, length and everything possible that he could want. Finally he settled on black and I got started this past weekend. I loved the Green Vertical Striped scarf I made previously so I decided to attempt it on a thinner weight yarn. So far it’s looking good, though I’m not sure if it’s long enough. I just started casting on, didn’t count my stitches and stopped when the yarn was bunching on the line. I’m sure it’ll be fine!

M3 is going to be a different story. She told me that she’d like a scarf. I don’t have any color ideas for her because she looks fabulous in anything and she wears a lot of colors and looks great in them. I’ll have to make at least one more trip to Joann Fabrics to pick up an idea for her and this scarf. I’m leaning toward the burnt orange I already have but I don’t know that she’d wear it if it’s that colorful. I may end up going with the organic black yarn I saw at Joann and create something beautiful from there…

Sadly… you, my dear readers, will have to wait until after Christmas to see what these babies look like. I’ll be taking pictures of them before I give them away to my friends and I’ll offer up some pictures of what they look like/ my friends have to say about them!

Note: I have way too many friends with names that start in M…