Came across my Ask Jean archive the other day - six years of Q&A for the UK magazine Knitting. Thought it would be a good idea to republish some of the relevant columns every so often on the blog. As Christmas is coming here's a couple of seasonal questions:
Andrea Brooks, California, USA
- buy a tiny doll and make a doll size version of the sweater to give the idea of what the finished project will be like
- create a cute card with the original swatch you knit for the project promising the actual item by the end of January/February/March depending on exactly how many unfinished projects you've got
- tie an IOU a sweater/socks/scarf/whatever tag onto a ball of yarn
- give a gift certificate from the local yarn shop and let the recipient choose the yarn/pattern.
Couture Knits by Jean Moss (Guild of Master Craftsman), Oct 2006, ISBN-10 1861084048
Rhiannon in Artesano alpaca
Q Help! My partner and I are travelling south this year to spend Christmas with his sister and her family. Her home is very warm, so I need something lightweight, new and different to wow the non-knitting family members. I hate red for Xmas, it’s such a cliché, but I just don’t want to wear sludgy colours. What colours do you recommend for the party season? For Xmas day I need something colourful but serviceable too as I am helping to cook lunch for the whole clan of twenty-five. What do you recommend?
Sandra Reston, by email
A Red, black and gold are hard to beat at Xmas – cliché or no cliché, guaranteed to get you in the festive spirit! By the time December comes around, we’re all pretty fed up with the drab and dreary weather and need warm colours to keep the spirits up. Xmas is a time when even the most shrinking violet can let down her hair and throw caution to the wind fashion-wise. Whilst we all want to look good and feel comfortable, there’s a little more slack in the dress code as everyone knows it’s Xmas and stressful. To stay cool in the kitchen, wear a sleeveless top like Rhiannon and take along a shawl, cape or cardy for later. Here are a few further thoughts on how to eliminate sartorial stress:
- go for warm colours - if you’re tired of red, try rust, apricot, purple or magenta instead. If you stick to jewel colours you can’t go far wrong
- block colour has been on all the catwalks this autumn so either go the whole hog with just one shade, or layer different tones of the same colour
- add sparkle with fun, bold jewellery. Knitted copper bangles and necklaces always look good at Xmas and are quick to make. Add pieces of turquoise, jade, amber or coloured glass for contrast
- don’t forget the slap! Glam it up with emphatic eyes and lips - there’s nothing Santa likes better than a smear of good old lippy on his cheek!