-A sock cowl?

Does it annoy you? Or is it just me?  You knit up a pair of socks, which you love and adore.  But then you have this smallish amount of leftover sock yarn.  It is never enough to make a third sock.  It just sits there in my yarn bin.  Occasionally I think about tossing it, giving it away or finding something to use it for but mostly it just takes up space.  Annoying.

Gusto pattern by Laura Nelkin
I was searching for knitting patterns, for what?? I have NO idea. Suddenly I found myself on Knitty.com. with this beautiful cowl pattern staring at me.  Gusto is a pattern by Laura Nelkin.  While I have never made one of her patterns before I have seen her on Craftsy.com.  This pattern was just what I didn't know I was looking for.  In the pattern she uses the Magic knot to make one continuous ball of yarn from all of the partial sock yarn balls you have left.  Brilliant!  From that yarn ball you knit up a beautiful and useful cowl!  

The pattern is full of fun stitches that keep the pattern rolling without getting boring.  Which I have to tell you will keep you on your toes if you happen to be someone who likes knitting in front of the TV.   Yet, it is easy enough to knit in on a hallway bench, (with a finger you may or may not have sewn through,) while you wait for your son to finish saxophone lessons. There are two versions of the pattern.  One that uses beads on the cast-on and bind-off round for extra sparkle, and one that does not.  I chose the one that does not use beads.  Mostly because I did not have beads on hand and I was to impatient to start knitting.  Next time I'm trying the beads!

I was going to save this as a possible Christmas gift but now that the polar vortex has brought colder air our way I am in desperate need of a cozy cowl.  If you happen to have a few extra yards of miscellaneous sock yarn laying around you should check out Laura's Gusto pattern it's the perfect fit.

I was sad that I did not have a large selection of sock yarn leftovers to choose from.  I haven't knit socks in over 6 years!  Fortunately I did have some.  While it is all one color way it is variegated and does give contrast to the beautiful stitching.


Ho. Ho. Ho.

Yep, it is that time again.  If you have been out of the house in the last two weeks, I am sure you have seen more than one worker unloading boxes of Christmas decorations.  It seems to me that Christmas comes earlier and earlier every year. Even my daughter has been listening to Christmas carols!  Over the past few weeks I have been slowly (and I emphasize s-l-o-w-l-y) working on Christmas gifts.  I always think I have plenty of time, and then WHAM!  It's Christmas.

When I saw this Shorter StyleTriple-Flounce apron pattern on Sew4home I knew instantly who I needed to have this under their tree.   I have made several patterns from the Sew4home site and always find them easy to read and complete.

This apron, as the name implies is a shorter style apron just perfect for a sassy and sweet teen or college student in your life.  Using mostly Christmas fabrics I stitched up my version in just one afternoon.  I had my daughter model it for pictures. When she saw how cute it was she immediately wanted one for herself and for a couple of her friends. (always a good sign that it is teen appropriate.) While I may get around to making one for her, I doubt it will be for Christmas.  My list to-make items is growing ever longer. There are just too many cute patterns out there.