Friday, January 09, 2009

The Super Secret Project

Today let's discuss how to make a Christmas present for your brother.
First come up with an idea. Last year he loved his gift. So, I decided to make him something similar this year.

Step 1. Come up with an idea. We love the Pirate Movies. So I decided to do something with that. I thought a hat based on Jack Sparrow's Sparrow Tattoo would be appropriate so I made some scribbled ideas on a piece of paper and got out the yarn.

Pretty soon I had something started and with all the Christmas knitting I was doing, it was kinda pushed to the side but I knew I had to finish it.

Step 2: Finish Knitting it, making little changes along the way. It's double-knitted just like last year's hat so I tweaked a little here and there, tinking back when appropriate and I have to say that it was a learning experience to ladder down stitches and do them back up in double-knitting. (I like the double-knitting for hats for him because it makes it extra warm, keeping his ears from freezing in the Minnesota winters.) Finally:

Success. The knitting was done but it wasn't quite ready to gift.

Step 3. It's time to block it.

The hat is shown here with my "blocking tool" It's a coffee can (full size) with a hand towel wrapped around it and secured with a rubber band. I wash out the hat in the sink with a little of my natural laundry detergent and wrap it in a towel, walk on the towel to get the majority of the water out and put it on the coffee can.

I try to put it somewhere where it will dry fairly quickly because I'm impatient and if it's a bit snug I will sometimes pin it to the towel but this time it was plenty big.

As a matter of fact, I thought it was far too big and stretchy so I ran it through a washing machine cycle on warm so it shrunk just a bit.

I still wasn't quite happy with how it looked so I did a little backstitching on it to make the bird's head and tail look a little bit better.

Now it was ready to gift so I made a tag and wrapped it up.

Here's my brother, right after he opened it. (That's my mom's arm. She was anxious to see it too!)

(Notice please that he's wearing the hat from last year.)

He must really like it because when we went to my grandpa's house a few days later for Christmas with them, guess what he was wearing?

Please excuse my poor attempt at an artistic shot of him playing pool.

Glad to have finally shared that with you. So what's on the agenda for today?

Well, that and my coffee cup means my day is pretty much set.

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