Here's the update on the advent calendar: 15 of 25 complete! As you can see this is getting to be quite the project. I took the inspiration from the hats and mittens advent calendar that I saw in Garnet Hill magazine. I really wanted to purchase this one for my family, but couldn't justify the cost - especially since I am a knitter myself! So instead I resolved to wait a year and knit one myself. Here are some of my project notes so far:
*I have decided to go for a more uniform look and do 25 socks, rather than a combination of mittens and hats.
* I haven't numbered them. This is mostly because I don't have an order determined yet, but I also prefer the look of the socks as is. I am not sure how I will compensate for this in the presentation.
* To get these perfect little socks/stockings, I modified the "sockadelic" knit child's two-color and striped socks pattern from the spring 2008 issue of Lion Design (free from LionBrand.com). However, I did find a great deal on Lion Brand Wool-Ease (the recommended yarn for this project) from Joann.com and went crazy on the color selection.
* I am casting on 24 stitches over 3, size 6, dpns. I start with 6 rows of k1p1 rib stitch for the cuff, 14 rows of st to the heel, do heel shaping with short rows, and another 14 rows of st to the toe shaping. The toe is finished with alternating k2tog and k1 sl1 k1 psso every row to 8 st remaining. I graft these last stitches together.
* I let my older daughters have their pick from the box of yarn and knit up some of the socks with their color choices. For 2 1/2 year-olds I have to say they have an impeccable appreciation for color and design!
* These are a quick knit too! I have found that I can cast on and complete one sock in just 2.5 hours. The perfect remedy for those days when it feels like I can finish/accomplish anything (whether it be reading for class, edits to various manuscripts, getting my daughters to use the big girl potty, or the laundry).
* I have consulted my husband about how to display the finished socks and we haven't come to any agreement yet. I could hang them from a line (like the one in the catalog), but we could also hang them on a board from numbered hooks or something. We've agreed to wait awhile on making this decision or brainstorming further.