this happens every year…

earlier this week, i finished my christmas knitting:

"giraffes" pullover for little e!

i thought.

then i decided that i have time to whip up one more project. i am going to make mittens!

i have to laugh because i had assured myself a while ago that once i was done little e’s sweater, that was it for christmas projects, and i was congratulating myself because i was done so early this year.

every year, i follow this same pattern! as christmas edges closer, i think “i have time to do just a little more gift-knitting.” so, i buy my yarn and power-knit, feeling under pressure, but kinda liking the excitement of a looming deadline. two years ago was the best! i decided to make little clothes for the dolly we were giving to little e. i set a date-limit of december 23rd and knit as many little outfits as i could by that date (the best way to use leftover/scrap yarn is doll clothes!). luckily, doll clothes go super fast (although they’re a bit fiddly to sew up and finish) and i had a good collection for little e by our family celebration day!

anyway, back to this year. i’m feeling no stress whatsover over the new mitten project – i have a month exactly til christmas and i’m using my tried and true mitten recipe:

i've been using this same patons pattern since i was a teen! note the well-worn edges!

size notations written in the margins!

happily, i can fly through mittens thanks to having written down the exact number of rows i need per size.

the mitten recipient shall remain a secret for now, but this person genuinely appreciates my knitting, and after several complimentary comments over the past couple weeks about previous knitting i have done as gifts, i am psyched to do up these mitts. it’ll be a fun surprise!

pumpkin orange yarn! the future mitten-wearer's favourite colour!

now, just to jump back to little e’s giraffes’ sweater – i purchased the kit, containing yarn + pattern back at the knitter’s fair in september.

it’s from mary maxim, and they have a plentiful assortment of kits for kids and adults that you can purchase online or at their outlet in paris (ontario). i’ve made numerous mary maxim kits, over the years, and here’s my feedback:


~ clearly written and easy-to-follow directions in the patterns:

cover of the pattern

~ they give you smaller amounts of yarn, enough with which to complete your project. if you were to buy all the different colours in full ball amounts, you’d pay a lot more, and have tons left over:

so cute, those little balls of yarn!

~ reasonable price points for their products – this kit cost just over $30. if i had to buy a pattern, and all the yarn separately, the cost would be easily doubled.

~ mary maxim is canadian! i like to support local retailers.


~ the yarn is cheap. this yarn is 100% acrylic and i can sure feel the difference between the quality of this yarn vs my splurges from shall we knit or the purple purl. however, i think that 100% acrylic is perfect for kids’ clothes: you can washer-and-dryer it, it’s not itchy, and because they grow so fast, it makes sense to NOT spend an arm and a leg on expensive yarn.

one of my favourite mary maxim kit designs, ever!

what d’ya think, zo?! [i made an adult version of the kittie-cats for mom when she taught kindergarten, then one of her colleagues hired me to make it for her young daughter. i had a lotta yarn balls going at once, for this one!].

i’ll end for today – gotta get knitting!

holiday shopping: do you shop early or leave it to the last minute? i am virtually done – just need to purchase a jacket for g’ma.ย  my goal was to finish in november because i have other enjoyable christmas prep to do in december. i have never left my shopping til december 24th!


happy thanksgiving to my american friends and readers! enjoy your holiday and celebration time!



november thankfulness:

(for wednesday november 23): yesterday i was thankful for the chance to see the two sweetest faces on this entire earth – ok, maybe i am biased!

what a wonderful visit!

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  • Lisa  On November 25, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    Sweet girls! How cute are they!? ๐Ÿ™‚

    Love the sweater—it looks amazing, and little e is a lucky little lady to have such a caring auntie.

    I don’t do much shopping, but I ended up going out with joe’s sister and his mom last night for black friday shopping—we went to wal-mart (which always makes me twitchy…and it was crazy!). I got lots of great stuff for matthew, and then we went to the outlet mall where I bought myself some things (including a donut pan that I’m so excited to use). Joe’s sis got some fab deals for her kids (she has a 6 yr old, 4 yr old, and twin 2 yr olds!).
    Got home at 3am…and it’s safe to say the only shopping I have left to do is online!

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    • 1970kikiproject  On November 25, 2011 at 8:04 pm

      ahhh!! your shopping trip to walmart sounds like a BLAST, lisa!!! ok – i would LOVE for a new experience this year to be “go shopping to walmart at midnight” (they’re the only 24 hour store around here)..but it ain’t going to happen. now if i could have tagged along with YOU guys… ๐Ÿ™‚ anyway, i think it’s great that you got out and that you all got some winning deals. i hope you had a chance to sleep in today!!

  • Gina Unger  On November 24, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    Oh, too funny to see that mitten pattern! That’s the one I photocopied from you in high school and used to knit mitts for my whole family! And just this past Sunday my mom-in-law took out her knitting patterns to show me and I actually shouted aloud because THIS EXACT one was among her pile! ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s an oldie but goody, eh?
    The giraffe sweater looks adorable! As are the little cuties in your final photo! Way to go again, Cath!

    • 1970kikiproject  On November 24, 2011 at 3:31 pm

      ah!!! that is too funny that your MIL has the SAME pattern (I love the photos i have seen of her projects, btw!) – it is seriously the BEST pattern, i swear. i had forgotten that you had borrowed it! now i remember! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Zo  On November 24, 2011 at 10:02 am

    First of all, the giraffe sweater is adorable…the kitty is one too, but I’d probably cringe if someone gave it to me (cat lady)! I’m just envious of how talented you are.
    One of my goals for the month was to get 50% of my Christmas shopping done…and right now I’m at 0%. Yikes!

  • Juanita  On November 24, 2011 at 8:23 am

    I wish I had your talent. I have a giraffe lover in my house who would have LOVED that sweater. I still get her giraffe clothing now that she is almost 11. I’m sure its owner will love it.

    • 1970kikiproject  On November 24, 2011 at 8:27 am

      thanks, juanita! there are some super cute giraffe-themed decor things out there (wall stencils, etc) – i bet b has a few?! too bad the sweater only goes to size 6 – and i guess 11 is a bit *old* for that design! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Stephanie  On November 24, 2011 at 6:41 am

    Are those your nieces? They’re gorgeous! I love the giraffe sweater. So cute, and so unusual. I knit a scarf once. It took me seven years. There’s NO WAY I’m ever giving it away. When I live within driving distance from home, I like to do my shopping in late November or early December, before it gets too busy. Crowds make me a bit twitchy. When I live away from home (like now), I shop online and have items delivered to my parents’ house. I guess I’d better start browsing!

    • 1970kikiproject  On November 24, 2011 at 6:51 am

      yes, those are the little darlings, cutie c and little e. and have very sweet personalities, too! oh, i hope you framed that scarf, stephanie. i take it that was a once-is-enough experience for you?! twitchy -> perfect word choice! if you shop online this weekend, maybe you can score some deals thanks to black friday?? i notice it’s infiltrating canada more and more!…

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