This Christmas marks the 11th year (if I’m doing my math right) since I learned to knit. The knowledge, and a lovely pair of size 11 needles and gorgeous ball of wool, were a gift-that-keeps-on-giving from my college friend Lauren, of the awesome blog VeganYumYum. What was an idle college hobby has turned into a more serious pastime in the intervening years, and I love being able to plan and give personal and homemade presents. I’m thankful I can say my skills have improved somewhat over the years; that first Christmas I gave my dad a scarf so poorly and tightly knit that I’m sure it felt like a woolen snake was trying to strangle him. How about the year I splurged on expensive yarn for a scarf for my mom, only to find out I couldn’t afford enough of the yarn for a full scarf, and it ended up being little more than a neckwarmer?

Or the year I knit a tea cozy for a friend whose teakettle I apparently thought was giraffe-shaped?


Too tall tea cozy, in pink.
Tea cozy for giraffe tea!

And let’s never forget, the year I knit a legwarmer to such poor gauge, my sister ended up tying it off and using it as a hat? (Thanks, buddy, for playing along!)

"Legwarmer" big enough to wear as a hat ...
“Legwarmer” big enough to wear as a hat …

I’ve luckily done better in the last few years, especially with a few projects from a KnitPicks pattern set featuring a variety of teeny-tiny ornaments and garlands, knit on what felt like toothpicks. I think the effort was worth the result:

Knit garland of mini popcorn and cranberries
Popcorn & Cranberry Garland
Knit garland of miniature Christmas lights.
String of Lights