Aw look! One pattern, 364 versions of the MDK New Ancestral Christmas Stocking.

Teacher Gifts Revealed

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Dear Ann,
We have to leave for the airport in 90 minutes. Although I’m only halfway packed, I’m caffeinated as hell, and I feel a powerful urge to post pictures of my Teacher Gifts 2007.
I generally don’t like the stress of production knitting (as you know all too well), but I like knitting scarves and mitts and such for teachers. This year I think the key to my enjoyment of the process was yarn selection. I used 3 yarns I hadn’t knit with before, and loved them all.
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Two pairs of Fetching mitts in two cashmere yarns. The pale blue is Debbie Bliss and the silvery gray is Mongolian Cashmere by Jade Sapphire Exotic Fibers. Both are sumptuous. The Debbie Bliss has a more cottony feel (which to me is a nice thing), while the Jade Sapphire is silky. Really silky. I think I am finally getting why the animal-fiber folks love the cashmere. (Philistine that I am, I used to think that cashmere, like caviar, was something that people liked mostly because it’s expensive.) I’ve got enough of the silvery gray to make a pair for myself, and I will. I have committed Fetching to memory. My only beef with Fetching is that I can’t seem to pick up the stitches really smoothly at the ends of the thumb opening. (Why is this a beef with Fetching and not with my own skillz?) I figured out how to make it less noticeable by starting my pickups on the end of the thumbhole that shows less on the right or left hand. (Is that tip vague enough for you? It might make sense if you are actually picking up the thumb stitches for a Fetching mitt. Put the mitt on the appropriate hand, and ask yourself where you would want a little bit of gappy knitting to hide. That’s where you start your pickups.)
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This scarf used every bit of 3 skeins of Misti Alpaca Chunky. This yarn is a revelation. I don’t usually like knitting with a yarn that is this chunky, but the drape of alpaca is deluxe and the hand is silky smooth. I love the way the Misti yarns are so subtly colored. They read as solids but up close they are full of colors. The pattern I used was good old Mistake Rib, over 31 stitches (which is a multiple of 4 stitches plus 3): *K2, p2; repeat from *, end K2, p1. Repeat this row until you run out of yarn. A great unisex scarf pattern that lets the yarn do the talking.
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Three skeins of a different shade of the same Misti Alpaca Chunky, in a lace rib pattern that is beautifully reversible. I did it over 27 stitches (a multiple of 5 plus 2). It’s a 4-row pattern that goes like this:
Rows 1 and 3: K2, *p3, k2; repeat from *.
Row 2: P2, *K1, yo, ssk, p2; repeat from *.
Row 4: P2, *K2tog, yo, k1, p2; repeat from *.
On both of these scarves I used number 10 needles, because they were handy.
Now I’m down to 60 minutes to pack my Omaha gear, which is mostly knitting and jeans. I’m planning to kick back with the homefolks for the next few days. The homefolks have no Internet. Oh, and did I mention that I haven’t done any Christmas shopping yet? I got ONE thing, and it’s not even for a child. So I’ll be busy this weekend, but I kind of love shopping Omaha-style. Load up the cart!
Merry Christmas everyone. Even if you don’t celebrate the holiday, it’s a sweet time of year.
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Throw your Santa hats in the air, like you just don’t care.
Love,
Kay

43 Comments

43 Comments

  1. Great scarves! I especially love the lace one – thanks for the specs. Enjoy your trip to Omaha.

  2. Boy oh boy, I wish I had a child of yours in my class. I received some wonderful gifts from my students today, but not one gorgeous handknit masterpiece. Lucky duck teachers!

  3. I LOVE those scarves! Definitely going to do the “mistake rib” version for the boyfriend.
    I am writing from my home in Omaha. Von Maur has re-opened, as of yesterday. My friends and I have all made a point of going in and buying something to show our support. Just a thought.
    Have a very, Merry Christmas!
    Lucinda

  4. I LOVE those scarves! Definitely going to do the “mistake rib” version for the boyfriend.
    I am writing from my home in Omaha. Von Maur has re-opened, as of yesterday. My friends and I have all made a point of going in and buying something to show our support. Just a thought.
    Have a very, Merry Christmas!
    Lucinda

  5. Oooops! Didn’t mean to post twice. Sorry!

  6. Those are some gorgeous gifties – lucky teachers!
    Hope you and yours have a lovely holiday trip! See you when you get back!

  7. Have fun! Be safe! LOVE LOVE LOVE!

  8. Happy, Happy Christmas! Love from (sadly) snowless London x x x

  9. Happy holidays dear girls.
    Fantastic Fetchings and superb scarves.
    xxx

  10. Why didn’t my students’ parents ever knit cashmere fingerless gloves for me? Maybe because my students were 17 years old. Hmmph. Still, seems like teachers of these students have earned MORE and BETTER gifts, not fewer.
    I love your choice of colors, too!
    Merry, merry Christmas to you both. And Happy Solstice, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Festivus, and New Year’s. All the best. Thanks for all the blog goodies this year.

  11. Girls,
    Check out the readability of your readers!
    Signed,
    An avid reader
    http://www.criticsrant.com/bb/reading_level.aspx

  12. Someone has been very busy…I am quite impressed.
    Oh, and I just so happen to have two skeins of the Debbie Bliss, two skeins of the Jade Sapphire and 3 skeins of Mistii Alpaca Chunky! Kismet? Serendipity? Or, the Gods must want me to knit a lot during vacation. Just lovely. I must say that lace one is particularly lovely. Have a ball in Omaha. I hope you will get some snow.

  13. merry merry merry
    to one and all

  14. I am in eternal awe of your teacher-giftery-knitting-goodness!

  15. I also think those teachers are very very lucky. Not only handknits but CASHMERE ones! I would swoon and fall to the floor. Somehow the Whitman’s sampler just doesn’t make me feel that appreciated.

  16. The lace rib sure looks a lot like a braided cable. Neat!

  17. As a teacher.. all I can say is.. do you want to move to Seoul, Korea and let me teach your children?
    :D
    AWESOME! One time, I did get a sweet hand stitched little mini-quilt piece (about 12″ x 12″) with a nice apple in the center and quilted border.. I love and place it in my classroom every year. The hand-created gifts are treasures and are appreciated.

  18. Off to Omaha — will you be stopping in at Personal Threads? I hear so much about it on the Lime and Violet podcast that I almost to visit Omaha just to visit that shop.
    Safe travels!

  19. Off to Omaha — will you be stopping in at Personal Threads? I hear so much about it on the Lime and Violet podcast that I almost want to go to Omaha just to visit that shop.
    Safe travels!

  20. You might shy away from production knitting, but these teacher gifts are so worth bending that rule!
    Marry, Happy, etc. to you and Ann both. Travel safely.

  21. Gorgeous, sumptuous set of gifties, Kay. It looks like a designer display, really. You’re getting to good at the photo styling. Must knit all of those things – thanks so much for the instructions. Enjoy the Midwest for me, okay?

  22. Lucky teachers! The gifts are beautiful. By now you have landed and probably already been shopping. Have a wonderful holiday and hope you have safe and “stress free” travel!

  23. Love the scarves, and now I feel less guilty about the fact that we still have much shopping to do too!!!
    Happy holidays to all!

  24. I love love love your idea about knitting for teacher. They always get the same things so what a wonderful surprise. The shade of blue of the mits are just wonderful. Good work!

  25. I love love love your idea about knitting for teacher. They always get the same things so what a wonderful surprise. The shade of blue of the mits are just wonderful. Good work!

  26. Kay – I love you!!! I’m just about to commence my first ever pair of Fetchies, done in a blend of Lincoln wool and GERMAN SHEPHERD, spun from my own dogs’ hair for me by my friend, Lauren. I’m using some alpaca with it, too. It’s a lovely, soft tweedy blend, very warm, and the hat I made from it (for the dogs’ breeder) has been a huge hit with all the people (and dogs) who have seen it.
    I have enough left to attempt the Fetchies, and your pick-up-the-stitches-hide-the-gappy-knitting tip has solved my one problem. Thanks.
    Travel safely.

  27. MERRY CHRISTMAS and love to you! Those are wonderful presents indeed – if I thought something like that might be in the offing, why I’d go back to school for a Teacher Certificate. Wait…well, maybe not. I’m nearly 65. HOWEVER, thanks for the patterns, add my name to the list of your fans gearing up to do that clever Mistake Rib. I do SO lurve me those single row patterns!

  28. The Fetching mitts are devine. I’ve finally started giving away the ones I made two summers ago and everybody loves them. I used Auroura 8 and although not as lush as the cashmere, still lovely to wear. I even kept a pair for myself (amazing!) I adore the lace rib scarf! I keep looking at it wondering if I can make that pattern into a sock pattern! I try to make everything into a sock pattern.

  29. Love the scarves. Thanks for mentioning the hand and the drape of the cashmere. Two more reasons for my list of reasons for springing for cashmere.Those lucky teachers. Enjoy your trip,I’m heading to the LYS for some cashmere.

  30. funny–my daughter who lives in NYC just came back from visiting her grandparents in Iowa–flying in and out of Omaha–and did her Christmas shopping in the midwest as well :-)

  31. Wow…lucky teachers!!!
    Have a great trip and a super holiday!
    (((hugs)))

  32. Brava to you for the loverly teacher gifts. Me, I gave up handknitting for teachers about three years ago. Too many (who gets the handknit? who doesn’t?) and frankly, the last round left me a little parched on the appreciation level. (They seemed to like the accompanying Border’s gift card more than the hand knit, and gee, I’m a pretty good knitter.) One of the moms this year took up a cash collection, just cutting to the chase. (Easy enough.) But like, whatEVAH…the point is to appreciate the people we appreciate. And I love the teachers!

  33. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
    I love this blog and so enjoy your take on your experiences. Such a hoot-“vintage Ballenciaga”-I still crack up thinking of that one. Happy Holidays to you and yours and warm and cozy wishes for the coming year.

  34. Happy Holidays Ann and Kay. Thanks for so much blogging fun this past year!

  35. Thanks for sharing the patterns! I need a scarf pattern for my sister and I think the lace rib will be perfect!! Merry Christmas!!

  36. Lovely teacher gifts!
    If EVERYONE on the planet who’s made Fetching (you should forgive my hyperbole) didn’t have a beef with the thumbholes I might think it was my skills, but, in fact, I think it’s the technique. Of course, if my skills included an arsenal of thumb gussets I could eliminate the offending gappy pickup, so maybe it is me?
    Sigh…I knew I could find it a way to make it my fault.
    I hope your holidays were merry!

  37. I love Mistake Rib. I started Spouse a scarf with that but have yet to finish. Oh well, it can be his Epiphany gift…

  38. I love the lacey scarf and am trying to knit the same…however, my stitch definition is not as clear as yours. how did you get the eyelets to be so big….did you go down a size or two?

  39. Hi. I had the same problem with the gappy holes around the thumb when picking up stitches in Fetching. I looked at other folks comments about this pattern on Ravelry. Found a great solution and it worked for me. Pick up 4 stitches on each side of the thumb instead of 3 and then decrease back down to 3 stitches on the first row. Worked like a charm for me! Hope this helps you!

  40. Hi. I had the same problem with the gappy holes around the thumb when picking up stitches in Fetching. I looked at other folks comments about this pattern on Ravelry. Found a great solution and it worked for me. Pick up 4 stitches on each side of the thumb instead of 3 and then decrease back down to 3 stitches on the first row. Worked like a charm for me! Hope this helps you!

  41. Hi. I had the same problem with the gappy holes around the thumb when picking up stitches in Fetching. I looked at other folks comments about this pattern on Ravelry. Found a great solution and it worked for me. Pick up 4 stitches on each side of the thumb instead of 3 and then decrease back down to 3 stitches on the first row. Worked like a charm for me! Hope this helps you!

  42. Hi. I had the same problem with the gappy holes around the thumb when picking up stitches in Fetching. I looked at other folks comments about this pattern on Ravelry. Found a great solution and it worked for me. Pick up 4 stitches on each side of the thumb instead of 3 and then decrease back down to 3 stitches on the first row. Worked like a charm for me! Hope this helps you!

  43. My first time posting. Guess I don’t need to hit return so many time!! Sorry bout that!