Thursday, December 20, 2012

Winter Greetings & a tiny pattern for you

Hi, Knitters,
Finally! Madison is finally looking like it's supposed to in December. We are all socked in today with a massive blizzard. Schools were even canceled yesterday, a true rarity in these parts. I love it all. The photo above is my view from the front door.....

.... and this is my view from the back. We are expecting 18 inches or so today. I have one son home from college (thankfully) and the other still suffering through the weather and finals at the UW, so he is close by at least. I can't wait to have everyone home under one roof for the holidays.

We have a couple of different advent calendars going. This is one that my sister gave me a few years ago. I put chocolates in each mitten and hat but I have noticed that many of the days to come have already had their candy stolen early.... that's being kind of naughty (or funny).

TC takes my bag of fiberfill and makes the snow around our little collection of lighted houses. These three are from the Christmas Story. I am hoping to get to add another one this year.

Now to show you my very meager knitting offerings for the season. I got it in my head to knit travel mug cozies for a few family and friend gifts this year. This is what I came up with.

First, I whipped up the Leaf Cuddler. The Leaf Cuddler is part of a huge collection of Cup Cuddler patterns. Click here to check it out. It's a cute idea. I enjoyed making the Leaf Cuddler very much. It's a good little pattern. I used Quince & Co. Lark in Snap Pea and Parsley.

On all of the mug cozies I cut either a heart or a square out of white wool felt and stitched the name or initials of the receiver in black thread. I like the personal touch.

Next, I whipped up 5 more mug cozies using a bulky weight yarn, four in Noro Kochoran and one in some kind of Knit Picks Bulky in gray. If you are interested here is what I did (no pdf, just right here on the blog!):

Fits an 8-10 inch cup circumference (it fits all sizes of Starbucks paper coffee cups and the reusable travel mugs)
Small amount of bulky weight yarn
Noro Kochoran (I think this is discontinued?)
Valley Yarns Berkshire Bulky
Lorna's Laces Shepherd Bulky
Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Bulky
Quince & Co. Osprey

Gauge: 14 sts to 4 inches in stockinette stitch
Needles: US Size 9 dpns (or you can do magic loop or two circular needles) or size to obtain gauge

Cast on 28 sts loosely. Join to work in the round being careful not to twist the stitches. Place a stitch marker on the first stitch. 
Rnd 1: (k2, p2) repeat to the end of the round
Repeat Round 1 until the cozy measures 3 inches from the cast on edge.
Bind off using a needle a couple sizes larger or I used Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off (click here for a tutorial). 

That's all she wrote unless you want to add a personal touch with a piece of felt and a sewing thread and needle. I think the little namesakes add so much.

I started these cozies two days ago and now I have six adorned travel mugs for gifts. 

Above is a manly version.

The heart and the stitching makes it sing.

I stopped by Starbucks and got several grande sized paper travel cups. I put a gift card inside and put the cozy on the outside for a super cute and quick gift.

I couldn't resist turning one of the Leaf Cuddlers into a personalized bookmark. Again, this one is made in Quince & Co. Lark, alternating Snap Pea and Parsely. I just didn't stitch the ends together and blocked it flat.

Alright, I hope you are all warm and safe and cozy. I am enjoying the free day at home. TC's been out in the snow for hours and hours already. Hot chocolate with fresh whipped cream will be due soon. Tonight my kids are signed up for a gingerbread house-making workshop with their cousins at a local bakery by my sister's house but I don't think that is going to happen due to the storm. I would have liked that gingerbread house though.... we'll see what the driving conditions are in several hours.

Have a great weekend. Oh, and one last thing, thank you for the enthusiastic response to my new book and book trailer announcement. I appreciate you very much.

best, susie
p.s. My son came home from college and he was all excited about this documentary he watched. We watched it all together this morning on streaming Netflix. The movie is called Jiro Dreams of Sushi, rated PG, 82 minutes, subtitles. It's a wonderful, interesting film.