xmas gifted, #2.

One of my closest friend’s, Mack, is downright one of the most fun people to knit for because she looks amazing in just about anything you give her (like here). What’s more, whimsy fits her well, so it felt very natural that I would whip up a pair of Through the Loops’ Reykjavik mittens as part of her Christmas gift.

The little houses really sealed the deal, for me, and about the hardest thing about this project was selecting the color combination. I went with pretty much the same featured in one of the pattern pairs but I chose a slightly brighter red, Knit Picks Telemark in Poppy, for the accent color.

As always, more snaps of the mittens at the Isles of Mittens Flickr set.

What do you think? I really want to make the matching hat for myself. Yes, no?

xmas gifted, #1.

One of my best friend’s from college, who since graduation moved to New York, has been working in the fashion industry for years. He travels to Paris, Milan, and is the most impeccably dressed person even when he’s lounging in his gym shorts and tshirt.

For Derek, its always about knitting forward thinking items with excellent fibers and lasting quality; when you make something for him, he wears it forever, as evidenced by the Noro Striped Scarf I made him a few years back, which he was smartly wearing when I arrived at his childhood home for coffee, catchup, and giftage.

This year, it was a gorgeous Thermis neckwarmer using Classic Elite Portland Tweed–the fiber content of which is Italian virgin wool, Alpaca, and viscose. I did his Thermis in the espresso colorway with these stunning camel colored buttons for the closure.

I’ve made so many of these for gifts in the past few years; I suggest if you’re looking for something quick and chic, knit one of these (design by Kris Knits, available here).

More snaps, as always, of my neckwarmers, at its Flickr set.

scenes from xmas, 12/2010.

From top left to right: piles of snickerdoodles, homemade bacon cheddar dog biscuits for Sir Winston Churchill’s four legged chums, Martha Stewart dark chocolate caramels, laid out, and sliced for individual wrapping.

Holiday insanity is finally over.

scenes in color.

We’ve been playing a lot in knitting class with greens and reds and when I was picking through photos from this month, I noticed that we did some pretty hilarious work around color in December.

From the candy in their mouths to the fiber on needles, hues of red and green have reigned supreme. And what’s more, we’ve got girls crocheting flowers, knitting cables, working a glove with an open button cuff, and even a turtle toy with many increases and decreases on four needles in the round.

December was a profitable month. In color and in creativity.

More at the flickr set, of course.

holiday eating traditions.

Every year at the holidays, my family makes traditional tamales; because they are a bit of work, we like to make a whole pile of them and gorge our way through the new year.

It involves lots of folding, tying, prepping ingredients, and steaming.

You’ll never eat anything more tasty. There’s nothing better than masa. Our varieties include some with meat (like chicken and beef) and vegetarian delights like green chiles and cheese and beans.

Mouth waters.

crunch time, 12.12

It’s that time of year again; that time when I’m up to all hours of the night, feverishly finishing gifts for the holidays.

Knitting like crazy.

And every year, I say I’m going to get started early; finish things in summer and fall when I have time. And every year, I do, basically, none of that.

my little knitters, 12.1

The Winter Term of little knitters are up and running! This section is complete with knitting experts–every one of them have taken my class before and showed prowess on the needles despite some months off from any formal instruction.

I am so proud.

L. began quickly, casting on with a baby pink yarn gifted to her from an equally proud as myself grandmum. She worked at least 10 rows of knitting without nary a question before showing off what she remembered.

A child after my own heart, for sure.

She made the most progress on her first project of the term last week; others were moving along at a gorgeous pace, as well, and asked me to procure patterns for them–turtles, tote bags, bow headbands, and beyond.

As always, I’ll keep track of everyone’s progress this term at the Flickr set dedicated to my little knitter bees.

drooling, 12.1

How badly do I want the Penguin Classics hardcover set? Gorgeous, drooling, sputtering, gasping, you name it.

Everyone knows I’m the forever book slut and this is the ultimate book porn. And even though I own most of these books in other editions (multiples, no less), I want this little baby more than anything in the world.

I’m also a sucker for Penguin’s Graphic Classics series. I have a whole pile of those, too. Clearly, Penguin knows how to sell a cover.

Get it for me?