When is it too late to give Christmas presents ? In my book, if you know the person well enough, and they know what you're like (ie rubbish at deadlines), and the present is handmade, then until the end of January is acceptable. Isn't it ???
By now, if you've been following my blog, you'll know that I like to leave things to the last minute, just to add that extra-stressful edge to the finishing of a project. The Ombré Cowl and Mitts were no exception. Twice.
I'd bought 2 balls each of this yarn on holiday in Florida last year, I really loved the richness of the colours. It's a line that I believe is stocked only at Michael's craft stores, and is sold under their Loops and Threads Impeccable label (feel free to correct me lovely US readers if I'm wrong). My favourite is the red and green one, called "Summerset", and a close second is the purple one, "Fresh Lilac".
For ages I couldn't decide what to use this yarn for, the project I selected would have to use all the yarn or none at all, I couldn't see how I would use up oddments of it so I didn't want any leftovers. Eventually I settled upon a chevrony-rippley pattern for a scarf, and used Summerset for it for one of my friends (let's call her "Friend A") for Christmas. The colours in the yarn changes very rapidly, so there's no self-striping going on, and for a while I really wasn't convinced about the effect of the colours, it looked a bit mottled and sort of patchy. Undeterred, I kept at it, and when the scarf was long enough - about 150cm - I decided to join the ends and turn it into a cowl.
After completing the cowl there was about half a ball of yarn left, so I crossed my fingers and hoped it would stretch to a pair of mitts. Hip hip hurray, I had Exactly The Right Amount left. Interestingly whilst working on the mitts, I could see a pattern emerging, obviously the length of your row or round compared to the distance between colour change repeats can vary the effect and I had hit upon a good ratio in the mitts. Both mitts and cowl suddenly seemed way more appealing - more deliberate and less random :)
The mitts are so easy, just a spiral of half-trebles and a gap for the thumbhole.
I did crochet about 90% of this set before Christmas but somehow festivities took over and I didn't pick it up again, and complete it, until last Saturday - 31st January - phew, just in time!! When both mitts and cowl were completed I had used 2 balls - 200g - and I had about 20cm of yarn left - now that is what I call good value :)
I did the thing where you try and get a photo of your own hand wearing a mitt/wristie/glove, it just doesn't work does it. Both arms are too short. But here's the best I could do ....
Finally I wrapped them up and dispatched the parcel off to Friend A - well, my Little Miss and her best friend, who is Friend A's Little Miss (keeping up ?) were meeting up at the park, so I entrusted the handover to them, and they didn't let me down - lovely sensible girls they are :) Happily, Friend A says she loves both the cowl and the mitts and I've seen her wearing them twice already :)
"Fresh Lilac" was still to be used, and, probably before the first set was in Friend A's hands, I started on a second set, for another friend - any idea what to call her ? - "Friend B" of course.
It was Friend B's birthday on Tuesday, so technically I only had a couple of days (yikes) to get cowl and mitts completed for her. Well, I don't know what was going on: this yarn is sort of a heavy-DK-light-chunky, the pattern is really simple (I'll post it up in a few days), and yet the cowl seemed to grow sooo slooooowly.I was crocheting like fury all week to finish it. I knew I definitely wouldn't see Friend B on her birthday, and probably not over the weekend either, so although it was finished after her birthday, it isn't a problem.
Again I did the cowl with matching mitts, I think they are so pretty together.
This time my hand-selfie was a bit more successful - plus my nails match :)
Both sets were finished with emerald cottage labels .... cute aren't they :)
And here is the lilac set festooned (what a fabulous word!) with a lovely ribbon. Aaaaah lovely :)
The patterns for both are easy-peasy, I'll try and get around to posting them soon.
But first - keep your eyes peeled for later this week ...... this is post 99, so my next one is The Big One - 100 - and the GiVeAwAy ... whoop !!!! Bye til then .....