I've kept my knitting pretty selfish to start but I did squeeze in two little projects to give to my husband for Christmas. It was fun watching him open them up and ask, "When did you make these?" Luckily he pays no attention to what I knit at all. I don't think I ever worked on either one with him in the room, but there were several times where I quickly-but-not-too-quickly put it down and picked up another project when he appeared.
The scarf is the popular Noro Striped Scarf written up by Brooklyn Tweed. It calls for 4 skeins of Noro Silk Garden, but since I had 2 skeins and wasn't too pleased with it, I used a solid maroon (Knit Picks Gloss HW) that I had in my stash for the alternating stripes. Noro drives me nuts. The 2 skeins I had had 4 joins with drastic color jumps. I ended up splitting them all up and reordering them into an order that made sense to me. One section wasn't even from the right colorway! Really. As beautiful and mesmerizing as I find the color changes, I'll never buy any Noro yarn again.
The pattern is very simple, just a 1x1 rib. The great thing about it is that it ends up looking just like stockinette, but double-thick and the same on both sides. Perfect for scarf. The downside is that it's incredibly boring to knit! Definitely have something else interesting to jump to when you just can't take it anymore!
And one last pic of me modeling it. I think I took this the night I finished it. Raveled here
The hat is another popular (and free!) Brooklyn Tweed project called Turn a Square. Raveled here
The way the decreases work creates a square pattern on the top of the hat in the stripes.
Pretty basic design but I did want to mention the jogless stripe. When you're working in the round and creating stripes you really need to do something to avoid those jumps called jogs that occur when you get to the end of the round and are switching colors. You don't want to actually see where that end of round is in the finished product. So there are various techniques to deal with it. There is one method written up with the Turn a Square pattern but it made NO sense to me because the result looked even worse than if I had done nothing. So I turned to the TechKnitting blog for help and she didn't let me down. Love that site!!