The gifts were a big hit. From the top, the Tiny Treasures hooded cardigan pattern from Family Circle Baby Knits, a close up of the pattern, the Be-Ribboned Bonnet from One Skein Wonders and baby booties from Knitting Pretty, and the Estonian Lullaby Baby Blanket from Fiber Trends. The sweater is made out of Encore DK and the main modification was a huge reworking of the gauge (I used size 2 and 3 needles as recommended, but I had a wildly different gauge so I did the math for the gauge I was getting and it worked out fine. I think I would have had to go down to size 000 needles to get their gauge, which would have made the knitted fabric much too stiff).
Christmas in July progress: my grandfather's birthday socks are complete (pictures tomorrow), I'm hoping to finish my dad's birthday socks today as well as my brother's birthday hat. I also cast on for my uncle's birthday socks and those should be done by this weekend. I'm figuring out more presents and placing my Knitpicks order today as well. However, I've been thinking about making more presents that aren't necessarily knit. Partly because knitting with wool in July is uncomfortable and partly because I can't find good presents for people (thinking specifically about that person, what they would wear or use and what they need or want) that are knit. I would rather give a good present that they will appreciate and enjoy than something that I enjoyed making but will sit around, sad and unused.
I have also changed my mind about my reward: I am going to buy the pattern and hardware to make the backpack tote from Liesl at disdressed. I realized (because I spend a lot of time thinking about my stash, and how to use it, and how to use it in the patterns that I love in the books and magazines that I collect like it's going out of style) that I have the yarn to make the floaty tank with the crocheted yoke from the Summer '07 Interweave Knits. Woot. (Also, the bag will be really useful and flattering, as opposed to a tank top I might not wear and am not sure would look good on me so I should not spend the money on the yarn--I'm thinking of a different pattern in the same issue, not the one I'm planning on making as a stash-buster).
Lastly, and this may sound as though I have fallen off the wagon but I haven't, I cast on for the Lace Rib Cowl from the Purl Bee last weekend. As explanation for why I cast on for a new project when I promised I wasn't going to do that, only for Christmas presents, I needed a break from the Treeline Striped Cardigan. I finished the cardigan last weekend, but it is a little wonky in places and needs to be blocked (and it needs some sort of closure--I'm thinking cotton snap tape like they suggest). Anyway, at first I wasn't sure that it was going to fit well, and the only other project I had was my dad's socks and he was home (how dare he? haha). So, I needed a project, and there was the remainder of my Jade Sapphire silk and cashmere from my Rose and Wine mitts (from the Winter '07 Interweave Knits), looking all beautiful with its soft shades of light, dark, and medium pink, and there was the free pattern on the Purl Bee. What's a girl to do? Cast on, of course. It's lovely, and it's taking awhile, so it will be my at-home-when-other-people-are-home-too-and-I-can't-work-on-their-presents project. And it's the last one, I promise.