So, the Christmas knitting is done! The niecelets hat and scarf sets have been knitted, finished, washed, blocked, wrapped, labelled, parcelled up and sent off to Warwickshire.
Here's two pictures of them - both badly lit - last weekend when they were finished and I finally had the chance to photograph them, it peed it down all weekend so the pictures are not great!
Still you get the idea. They are made from Drops 4ply alpaca yarn, I used just over 50g of each of the two main colours on each set, plus a few grammes of contrast colour for the trim on each set.
The pattern for the scarf is a basic knit about 40 stitches wide on 3mm needles or thereabouts. I mixed stocking stitch and garter stitch - stocking for the rows where there were colour changes to avoid the 'wrong side' effect you get with garter, and garter for the rest, to keep it from rolling up.
For the hats I cast on about 120 stitches on two circulars (2.75mm I think) and did about 8 rounds of 2x2 rib. Then I changed to knit only, and went up rapidly to about 180 stitches over four rounds (alternate increase rounds with knit rounds), after which I knitted on these 180 stitches for a few inches to give the depth for the head. (striping as I went).
The decreases for the top of the hat went like this; firstly four rounds of rapid decreases back to 120 stitches (alternating decrease rounds with knit rounds) and then decrease more slowly to down to the middle of the hat. I think I did something like K10, K2tog, repeat to end of round; K a round; K9, K2tog to end of round; K a round; K8, K2tog etc.
The aim is to keep all your decreases at the same place so that you get the nice tidy lines rather than some kind of unholy mess. When you get down to just a few stitches, draw the yarn through them, pull tight and sew in the ends.
Sit back and wonder if the niecelets will actually like the items or will hate them and have to be made to wear them when Auntie comes to stay....
More Christmas knitting to come - just waiting for a bit of light so I can take a photo before I wrap the other item. Grrr!