Posted by: jinniver | January 1, 2009

A Knitterly Christmas

Several weeks before Christmas, my mom and I were chatting about various holiday details, including gifts.  Now that “the kids” are older (and 2 of us have kids of our own), we’ve taken to mailing wish lists out prior to birthdays and Christmas.  It makes gift shopping so much less stressful, and even the people who prefer to surprise the recipient can just use them for inspiration.  Unfortunately, sometimes the list doesn’t offer much inspiration.  Mom was bemoaning the 2 item list (meant to be used both by the parents and the sibling/spouse who drew him in our Secret Santa exchange) provided by one of my brothers, and I somewhat smugly pointed out that my list had quite a bit of variety.

“No, it doesn’t!” Mom said.  “It’s all knitting stuff!”

“But it’s a variety of knitting stuff!” I retorted.

In truth, my list did contain more than knitting-related items, but I have to admit that over half of it did involve knitting:  knitting books, knitting software, knitting needles, yarn, a yarn bowl…  What can I say?

Perusing the knitting forums in the days since Christmas, I’ve seen that some knitters were sadly disappointed by family members who just don’t get it:  the ones who won’t buy knitting items because the hobby is not highbrow enough, or because they think of knitting as work, or…whatever reason they come up with.  To me, that’s just silly.  It’s like me not buying my sister-in-law clothing because we’re not the same size, or not buying my brothers Philadelphia Eagles gear because I’m a Washington Redskins fan.  Fortunately, my family gets it…or, if they don’t, they at least humor me.  Either way, it’s good.

So, I had truly delightful presents under the tree this year, knitting and non-knitting alike. My mom got me the Sweater Wizard software I’ve been wanting since the first time I saw my LYSO just plug some numbers into her computer and come up with a customized pattern for a fellow knitter.  There are a lot of great patterns out there, but I really like the idea of designing my own.  And sometimes, it is hard to find a pattern that does just want I want.  I’m finding, for example, that as my son gets older, it’s getting harder to find sweater patterns for him.  There’s lots of baby and toddler patterns, and lots of patterns fit for girls…not so much for boys.  Plus, he’s a 3 1/2-year-old boy who’s got a 5-year-old’s height and a 3-year-old’s waist, so I have to customize patterns to fit anyway!  I was also quite thrilled to find a copy of “Knit On Down” under the tree.  I want to try some more top down patterns, and I liked the looks of the ones in here (by the way, if you follow the link, ignore the synopsis.  The publisher apparently sent the wrong synopsis for this book to everyone, since the same one is on Barnes & Noble and Amazon).

My sister-in-law Meghan was my Secret Santa this year, and as we were discussing all of the money-saving techniques we’d tried during this holiday shopping season, she confessed that she’d spent quite some time on the KnitPicks website trying to find the right combination of items on my list to qualify for free shipping without going over our set spending limit. The first present I opened was a much coveted set of Harmony sock DPNs:

KP sock DPNs (2)

I do the majority of my knitting in the round on 2 circular needles, which I prefer for a number of reasons (it’s a lot harder to drop needles, there are only 2 “breaks” where laddering can occur, and I can try the project on as I go by sliding the stitches onto the cable), but DPNs have their place and I needed a good set of them. I’ve got quite a few socks I need to get knitting on! I love my Harmony interchangeables, which are about all I knit with any more, and so I knew the only DPNs I wanted would also be Harmony.

Meghan topped off the order with the chart keeper I asked for, which is going to come in handy for more than charts. I have a bad habit of putting my knitting down without marking which row I was on because I prefer not to mark up the pattern if I’m planning to reuse it–now I can use the handy magnets to keep my place:

Pattern keeper (2)

Of course, we ended up with no room in our suitcases to bring back most of the gifts, so my software and book are going to be shipped.  Can’t wait to tell you how well they work!

EDIT: We just opened the presents from my husband’s parents, and my in-laws bought be a beautiful yarn bowl from the Knit Witch!  For those of you looking at the bowls in the link and saying “Huh?” (as my husband did), the yarn bowl holds balls of yarn that might otherwise be inclined to roll around as you knit from them–the yarn runs through the hole in the side to keep it in place.  I’m thrilled about this gift for several reasons:  it’s beautiful (did I mention that?); I am so tired of balls of yarn rolling around as I knit; and I love supporting (directly or indirectly) people like the Knit Witch who so generously share their wonderful knowledge.  Here it is! Did I mention beautiful? My in-laws could not have picked more perfect colors for me if they’d ordered a custom bowl:

Yarn bowl (2)

Yarn bowl (1)

Wishing all of my readers a happy, healthy New Year that brings you your heart’s desire!



  1. awesome! so great how much thought went into everything. I got those dpn’s about a month ago – they’re great!

  2. I lurve the Harmony dpns!! Quite the good addition to your arsenal. 🙂

  3. The needles are gorgeous. Which yarn bowl did you get? Have a happy new year knitting with your new toys!

  4. Mmmm, those DPNs look nice. And the yarn bowl looks lovely, I wonder if I can connive my sister into making one for me, since she has done some pottery before.


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