Putting it All Together: A Perfect Alignment

This year, Christmas was a "traveling" holiday. My husband and I went back to Nebraska to spend time with family and reconnect with dear friends. It was a whirlwind of hugs, kisses (and sadness at the inevitable partings), the type of visit where you have to make the most of every moment.

This was a busy year for me, with much of it spent working on a new eBook, How to Graft Your Knitting Invisibly: Taking Kitchener Stitch to the Next Level, and video series, The Definitive Guide to Grafting, so I confined my gift knitting to accessories.

As many of you know from experience, making gifts by hand is an uncertain process. Not all of our projects turn out the way we planned and there's not always enough time for fine-tuning, and even if they turn out just as we'd envisioned, they may not be received in the way we'd imagined in our heads that they would be. That's the chance we take when we pour our heart and soul into a gift. I'm okay with that. It just makes it that much sweeter when everything aligns perfectly—the making, the giving, the receiving. Nothing is more satisfying than seeing the recipient's reaction to a gift and just knowing that it will be used and appreciated.

My daughter Michela, for one, really loves hand-knitted garments, especially cowls. From big and bulky cowls, made with warm, "squishy" yarn, to those that are smaller and more decorative, made with finer yarns, that she can wear to work.

For this cowl, I used Lion Brand Wool Ease Chunky and U.S. size 15 needles. The stitch pattern is Pattern 4 from Chapter 5 of How to Graft Your Knitting Invisibly (the top-to-bottom version). I left the cowl un-sewn so that she could try it on before I committed to a length. Good thing, too—I had to add a few more repeats because it wasn't quite long enough for her to wrap it twice, which is her preference.

 

I grafted the two ends together just in time for our daily walk with the dogs. The day was cloudy, windy and cold—in other words, perfect!

My friend Julie (shown here with Michela) is another willing recipient of knitted gifts. Some years ago, I'd made a tube cowl for her that, unfortunately, got lost at a high school parents' night. She went back to the school several times to see if someone had turned it in, but no luck. (I like to think the person who found it is enjoying it as much as Julie did!) So I decided to make her another one. We discussed several yarn and color choices and finally decided on Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted. Julie is wearing Version 2 of her tube cowl in this photo.

How about you—did you knit for someone else for the holidays? If so, how did it go?

P.S. I hope you'll get into grafting with my new eBook and video series! Mastering grafting is a wonderful new year's resolution!

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