Tonya and I have a healthy competitive knitting relationship. This is because whenever I want to knit something, and I've chosen the pattern and the yarn, I discover that Tonya has already started the same project. For instance, I fell in love with this sweater from Blue Sky
And I had enough Organic Cotton in this pretty brown color. Guess what Tonya made? (To be fair, a lot of people have made that sweater. Whitney is teaching a class on it this August.)
So when our competitive knitting got on the subject of Christmas stockings, a race was suggested. In the beginning, it was insanity. Knit three heirloom quality, intarsia-riddled Christmas stockings in the month of July. June 30th, get your patterns and materials together, on your mark, get set, and midnight morning of July 1st, go!
But it seemed selfish to keep the fun all to ourselves, so I posed the challenge to knitters at the store. Choose that elaborate handmade Christmas gift that will plague your holiday season (we all say we won't do it, but what knitter hasn't spent the already stress filled weeks of December knitting away on Grandma's Aran sweater only to wrap the damn thing up on the needles so that you can at the very least work on it in front of her and maybe just maybe get it done before she returns home to Ohio? Not me to be sure...) and anticipate your procrastination! Knit it during the month of July. Those who complete the task are rewarded with the chance to win a $100 gift certificate. Those who fail at least have half of the present already knitted.
So while I'm only a third of the way through my argyle Christmas stocking (but at least Tonya is too distracted by Leo's arrival to even try to compete with me), we already have some folks who have finished their Christmas in July projects! (Note: If you are related to Colleen, Mylea, or Ruth, please stop reading this post!)
Colleen was actually the first to finish her project, but I unfortunately didn't snap a picture of it. She made a beautiful eyelet shrug with a double strand of Mission Falls 1824 wool. I know the pattern is on the internet somewheres, but I forget what it's called and googling "free shrug pattern" is not helping narrow down the search.
After a few false starts on another sweater vest, Mylea finished this cabled vest (with yarn procured from our May yarn swap) in about a week. Way to go!
Ruth has made not one, not two, but a few felted bags. Check out the strawberry patch! This pattern is from the Spring 2007 issue of Knitscene. Holly served as the inspiration, having made this bag a while ago, but Ruth really took it to the next level by making FOUR bags so as nobody in her family feels left out. Furthermore, she put the left over Lamb's Pride to good use and made two Buttonhole Bags for good measure. I'm sure she'll be glad she did considering Baby Bennett is due in October and knitting felted purses will probably be down on the list of things to do.
Cindy's birthday is coming up and she declared that if she wasn't standing on the beach then life wasn't worth living. So off to the beach we go! The sale this past weekend was a wonderful success, so we can guiltlessly leave the store in Whitney's capable hands. Thanks to everyone who stopped by for the incredible deals.