E. did open her parcel before Christmas. I received a rather excited text as a result. I made her a pair of bangles as I knew she'd love the combination of fashion and knitting. No pattern, but this is what I did: I bought two large-ish bangles from a well-known high street shop. I used some bulky pure wool which I knitted to a very, very tight tension on 3.5mm needles (this is rather hard on the hands, I should add, but the result is great).
I experimented with how many stitches to cast on but settled on 14 stitches before knitting away rather happily. Throughout I measured the length of my knitted strip against the bangle - I wanted a snug fit, so I kept pulling at it. I cast off using my usual lace cast-off method which allows for elasticity.
Then I sewed it all together: cast-in/off edges first and then the long edges with the bangle inside. The sewing-up was hard on the hands, but I found using a safety pin helped me enormously by keeping the edges pinned together as I worked around the bangle.
There are some rather amazing jewellery patterns on Ravelry, actually. I spent a lot of time this month looking for inspiration and quick-yet-substantial knits. Some of my favourites include Bevy of Bangles (felted and embellished), Knitter's Brooch (which I have seen retail for up to £10 at craft fairs!), Blooming Rose (utilising the natural curl of stocking stitch), and Braided Cable necklace.
I have one more handmade Christmas present up my sleeve - except I forgot to take a photo of it before I dispatched it to .. er .. somewhere else. Meanwhile there are five pressies in my living room all wrapped in "woolly wishes!" wrapping paper. I think that means they are for me! Ooh, the excitement!
Today is Winter Solstice and while you can take a girl out of Scandinavia, a Scandinavian girl will always love her pre-Christian pagan holiday traditions. So, I'm off to light some candles and pet my straw yule goat (julebuk). The days are getting longer, finally!