Knitting for the Holidays

I wasn’t intending on knitting or crocheting any Christmas gifts this year except for the toddler hat and scarf set I had finished a month or two ago for a friend’s daughter, but, when another friend sent me a pic of cowl neck scarf she liked with button closures I decided that I would have time to finish this one item. Every year I find myself racing to finish things a day or two before Christmas because at times I can be such a procrastinator and as we all know the Christmas holiday just sort of sneaks up on you regardless of how early you start your shopping and/or crafting. There was actually one year that I was up until 2am Christmas morning finishing up scarves… Not fun!

While I did start this project about two weeks prior to the holiday I knew I would be able to get it done since I opted to use Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick Yarn. This is probably my favorite yarn to knit with since as its name suggests it does work up quite quickly. I did crochet a scarf with it once and for me personally I find it too thick to crochet with. I opted to use neutral colors – Black and Grey Marble – this way the scarf could match with anything. As for the buttons, I spent a good amount of time at my local JoAnn’s trying to find the right ones. I really wanted wooden ones but, the only wooden cylinder shaped ones were on the small side so I decided to go with simple black ones.

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As for a pattern, I sort of followed one that I found on the Lion Brand Yarn website – the Buttoned Cowl – but, modified it a bit this way my finished product would be bulkier. Essentially I just casted on more stitches than the original pattern called for, forty-one vs. twenty-seven. Since the pattern just called for a straightforward garter stitch – knitting every row – I knew this was going to be a piece of cake. I really wanted to knit this in a rib pattern, but, was having a hard time adjusting the pattern into one that would still incorporate the stitches to create the buttonholes. Speaking of buttonholes, it took a few tries before I was able to get them right. I kept missing one and would end up with only three as opposed to four. After about five tries though I finally got it right and I was on my way. If by any chance you are wondering, I decided to start with the grey marble yarn as opposed to the black yarn this way the black buttons would stand out on it.

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I wanted the finished cowl to be approximately twenty-four inches so I worked in garter stitch for about twelve inches, which equates to about fifty-eight rows and then I switched to the black yarn.

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After knitting another fifty-eight rows with the black yarn and binding off this is what I ended up with. Admittedly it doesn’t look like much and I was a little concerned that I wasn’t going to be happy with it.

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But, once I sewed the two buttons on – for buttonholes one and three – and tried it on I was happy with how it looked. And while this picture makes it seem like it’s on the small side it actually has a considerable amount of stretch to it.

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And although my mannequin isn’t doing it justice, its intended recipient was very happy with it and it fit her perfectly.

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And finally, here’s a pic of the toddler-sized hat and scarf set I made. She was ecstatic with it, especially since it matched her new pink coat so well. Making a pom-pom and adding fringe to a scarf was a first for me with this set but it definitely added that fun factor that little kids accessories always need.

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