I made seasonally inappropriate Christmas presents for my mum and sisters this year. After a couple of mild years, we are finally having a proper hot summer. We might even be edging into a heatwave. The current forecast is for over a week of consecutive days over 30 degrees, with a few in the very high 30s.
Anyway, Christmas will always be in summer, so I didn't worry too much about it. I had certain things I wanted to knit for them, and each of these projects was a follow-up in some way to a previous project this year.
Sister E's purple cabled cowl sat so nicely at first, but after a couple of wears it rolled up into a large doughnut, and she has to use a brooch to keep it positioned. We had settled on the cowl idea after talking about what she likes in a small scarf - something she can throw on and not have to pin, tie or arrange - so I was really disappointed (though she insists she still likes wearing it).
I showed her a few pictures and we both liked Sev[en]circle by Kirsten Johnstone. After the doughnut problem, the way this pattern uses the rolling tendency of knitted stockinette fabric was an added bonus. It's a really clever, and simple, pattern. All the circles are joined at the back - I forgot to photograph this, but you can see many examples on Ravelry. There is lots of casting on and off, other than that, beautiful mindless knitting, so it was a good travel project. It's also very easy to customise. Once you see how it works it's easy to amend it to have shorter or longer loops, or both. And I think I only did six circles. I also found (like others have) that eight rows was enough to make a good roll - the pattern calls for ten, but I was trying to make the yarn (Patons Romance merino/cashmere) go further. I've just finished another one for me, and now everyone else wants one too! I think I'm likely to start another when I take a trip somewhere, or need a simple project in between other things.
Then there was the Teal leaves scarf, which is wearable, but in the smaller gauge it wasn't really what sister D had envisioned. I went in search of bulky wool and did it again (so quick!) as the designer intended. It's Naturally Harmony 14ply on 8mm needles. I was really looking for a colour, not white, but decided I could give it to her for Christmas and then offer to dye it later. But she actually liked it that way it is (and it looks good on her).
The pattern for Mum was easy to choose too, because she had originally pointed it out to me - not something she has really done often. These are the Mica Mitts by Laura Nelkin (sans beads). I had enough Katia baby merino leftover from Mum's Chadwick shawl, and I liked the idea that the mitts would match the shawl in colour, though not particularly in style. I don't like things to be to matchy-matchy.
This is a great pattern too, and the lace motif looks pretty fancy for how simple it really is to knit. Mum's not too much of a lace person, but these really suit her.