Now that I have some crafting years under my belt, it turns out that visiting people we care about also means visiting beloved projects of the past, which is awfully fun!
This quilt is possibly my favorite yet. I had no access to new fabric at the time, so I hauled out all the pink, purple, and yellow fabric from my stash... and discovered that I hated most of it. Remembering that one excellent quilter (and good friend) believes that every quilt needs a little "poison" to make it really good, I forged ahead and made pinwheel after pinwheel with random match-ups of the prints... and hated most of them. With no other materials to work with, I kept going, laying the blocks out in several variations and finally...
I also love Harry Potter. And I had a lot of fun two Christmases ago making a Gryffindor scarf for my awesome potterophile brother-in-law.
I knitted it as a tube (stitched closed) so that both sides would match and I did the lions in duplicate stitch when it was all done (because it was kind of last minute and I needed time to fiddle with the design - a simplification of the Heraldic Lion from the New Carolingian Modelbook - but it also isn't a pattern well-suited to stranded knitting in the round).
If I ever did it again (not bloody likely!), I'd leave more space for the lion to be rampant on (he needs some breathing space, especially at the bottom) and I'd try to make him less squat. (I think a big tassel fringe would look good, but many opinions concurred it would be insufficiently manly.) All in all, for a first result knit in less than one month (the second lion had to get finished after presents were opened on Christmas Day), I was pretty happy with it. And I'm really happy to have some photos of it finally!
One more gift I gave before getting photos - last Christmas's Esme hat for DiDi (she asked for "smokey grey"). I experimented a little and came up with this flower to use instead of a button and I really love the three-dimensional effect it has. Pattern below for you! Can't you think of a million things you'd like to put a nice curly-petaled flower on?
Pretty Pointy-Petal Knitted Flower Pattern
(My usual caveats apply - these are basically my notes to myself from the ONE time I knitted this. I think it's accurate, but let me know if you discover mistakes, please!)