Thursday, January 29, 2009

Details on the Hat and Scarf

So, the hat is the Noro One-Skein Spiral hat. It is knit in Noro Silk Garden, colorway 241. I knit this on my 16" size 7 circs, and finished with the Magic Loop, using my KP Options. I cast-on 88 stitches, and did around 6 or 7 rows of a 2x2 ribbing, which I actually like for this hat. It's definitely a fitted hat, and I have a smaller head, so if your head is normal sized, either go up a couple of sizes on needles or cast on more stitches. The first attempt I made, I had to frog because my eyelits were stacking instead of spiraling. Turns out that I was misreading the pattern. When you actually follow the pattern, it works! I knit it to about 5 3/4" deep, and then did the decreases. I *love* the top, and it's exceedingly clever in how it's done! This is a cute hate and I'm really enjoying it! In the picture, it's sitting on my medium-sized mixing bowl which seems to be a good fit for blocking hats...I'm not sure how it'll work to block a hat with more of a brim (I'm doing a felted cloche next), but we'll see.

The scarf is from the Gentle Stripes pattern. I cast-on 28 instead of whatever she suggests (20? 24?), because I like a wider scarf for warmth. I think this pattern works really well with the color gradations of Noro. And I love the fact that the ends somehow came out almost matching! It's a warm and cozy scarf, and I've been wearing it almost non-stop.

So, still on needles we have...

1. Another Noro Stripe Scarf
2. Branching Out
3. My Cat Bordhi sock (can't remember which one it is)

And to be cast-on, my poor neglected Falling Leaves sock.

Once I get these things done, I need to focus on socks for a while. I really need more socks and winter is showing no signs of ever letting up, so warm socks are a must! I find that when I wear my commercial socks now, my feet are just cold! No good.

Oh, and my younger son has taken the felted Foliage for his own, which makes me really happy. He loves green. I can't find Malabrigo Chunky in Olive in-stock anywhere, but perhaps that's for the best.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

See, I am that into you!

You thought I was like that guy who took your number and never called or answered your texts or anything, but it's not true! I really like you, and here's the proof! Pictures! TWO FOs!!

Details to follow tomorrow because I have no time at the moment, but I was so excited to get this done! The scarf is all crumply because I've been wearing it a lot. I needed a scarf. I think the colors are much truer in the first hat picture than in the hat and scarf picture (which is too bad because I like those colors better).

Bummer, and yet, personal growth.

So, in my attempt to felt my foliage hat, I ruined it. It felted some, but not prettily, and it was too short. It did block nicely, but it looked like crap. *sigh* Oh well. I can make another easily enough, once I acquire some more malabrigo chunky. I am an idiot though because it didn't even occur to me until late last night (well after felting fiasco) that I could have just unraveled and reknit it!!!!

The personal growth piece is that I managed not to get upset or angry at myself for it. I was a bit bummed, sure, but I've got another hat I'm working on so I'll have a warm winter hat, and I can really just get more yarn and reknit it. It's not that big a deal. Sure, I'm out a few bucks and a few hours, but that's not so bad. And it's really got nothing to do with my worth and value as a human being.

And now off to order some more Malabrigo. :) Anyone ever ordered from eat.sleep.knit?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Current Experiment

(I know, I know, no pictures of the scarf! It is warm though! I'll do some when I get back from today's preschool drop-off.)

My Foliage hat is currently in the washing machine. It's just too big. I have a front-loader, and I put some wool socks through to see what would happen and they felted just a bit, so I'm hoping that's what will happen to the hat. Worst case scenario, I'm out the yarn and the time, and I'll get some more and make a new one. (Wow, I can't believe I just said that!) I'll report back as to what happens. I'm also going to experiment with using my mixing bowl to block/dry the thing. It's a day of experiments!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Promises Promises

I've got to make this quick as I've only 13 minutes of internet left tonight (my computer internet connection drops at 9:30 to keep me from staying up waaay too late every night!). I finished a scarf and I'll post pictures tomorrow! I know, I keep saying I'll post more pictures. This time, I really mean it. And I'll call you too.

Anyway, this was an easy and quick knit. I took the Noro Silk Garden 241 that wasn't working in my stripes scarf and started a scarf with it. I took a chance and ordered two more balls from Webs, and it turned out to be the same dye lot (which doesn't actually apparently mean the colors will be the same). I used the Gentle Stripes scarf (ravelry pattern here), though I cast on 28 instead of 24 stitches. I just did the pattern for a long time (just about 3 balls worth, minus the stuff I had to pull out to make the color joins work). The scarf is long enough and wide enough (oh damn, now I have to go find my tape measure, hold on). It's about 6.5" wide, which I like since it's cold where I live and I really need a WARM scarf, and it's about 60" long. Knit on size 7 Takumi bamboo straights, if you can believe that. I got to the end and bound off in pattern just to see what it looked like. I didn't do my usual slipped stitch edge that I like to do on scarves, but I like it, it contributes to a real rustic look on this scarf, which works well with the yarn, I think. It's supposed to be wicked cold (that's Massachusetts speak for "really" cold) tomorrow, so I'm excited to have a nice warm and pretty scarf. I'm going to do a hat to match, probably this one (ravelry link).

I wouldn't say I adore NSG. It's more that I *want* to adore it...this colorway doesn't do it for me 100%, and it's very different in real life than the web pictures suggest, so I really will post pictures soon. Tomorrow. But I've only got four more minutes online, so I'm going to hit post.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

FO: Baby Hat

I actually got this finished a few days ago! This is actually a different hat from the one I cast on but for some reason I was so bummed out about it, I had to frog it and restart. The fact that I'm getting NO SLEEP is perhaps contributing to the funk I've been in. I'm working on pulling out of it, it's all okay, it's just the winter, the fact that we're all sick, and that my lovely daughter has been up screaming in the middle of the night every night for the last...well, really long time. NO GOOD, as my younger son would say. Anyway, on to the hat!

As usual, I winged it, and when it looked like it was going to be big enough, I decided that it was going to be a gift to some friends who are leaving on 2/4 for China to adopt their daughter. She's older than my daughter but about the same size, so I'm hoping it'll fit her!

You may recognize the yarn, this was the last of it. Um, I'm not sure how much I had left, okay just weighed the hat and it's 39 g, and I think I had about 10 g left over. I knit this on size 7s - the original size 7 circs that I bought to knit fruit hats on when I (re)started knitting over 4 years ago. Aww, nostalgia! Anyway, most of the hat was done on those and switched to KP Options to Magic Loop the decreases as apparently I don't even own size 7 DPKs, which I was going to use! Yes, I *can* knit in the round on DPKs, I don't prefer to. I think I cast on 72 stitches, and knit it for a while until I was worried that I was going to run out of yarn, and then I decreased down to 8? stitches (good lord, I really used to have a better memory than this), knit about 30 rows, pulled the yarn through the stitches and tied a knot with it. You know, just a basic little roll-brimmed hat. (The reason I have no brain cells left is the model above. Thanks, sweetie!) It could probably stand to be a bit longer, but it's not really a hat for warmth, just for cuteness and head protection. This is the first girl after three boys for this family, and I think it's really cute. The baby shower is tomorrow, so I'm going to wrap it up with an iTunes gift card and call it a present.

So, you know you're a knitter when you say to your husband "I'm just going to step into the closet and weigh this hat" and he barely looks up from the computer and just says "uh huh." Or when he comes into the kitchen to find you measuring one of your mixing bowls and trying it on your head to see if it'll work as a hat blocker so you don't have to spend the $36 for one of these (even though these are really cool).

In other news...scarves are plugging along, maybe I'll take some pictures tomorrow. I'm cold, so I really want at least one of these done. I've got a couple of hats to do as well, and then I think I need to focus on SOCKS SOCKS SOCKS!

I also think 2009 is the year of the sweater! I want to knit myself a sweater. Something warm and yet flattering...Some of my friends have made 241, which looks pretty...Or this one...Or Vivian (except I'm not sure I have the figure for it)....Or the Central Park Hoodie...

So yeah, a sweater. MAYBE.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Perhaps I was too ambitious.

So, when I had my grand idea for my service knitting, I totally forgot that we had one of THOSE days planned. We had a play date this morning here, so I had to do some cleaning...we went straight from the play date to the "big gym" (as my kids call my gym) where I had one of those runs that just feels like you're running through molasses. Then we hit the grocery store (still on my "nothing but perishables" kick), and then we had the "Big Show" at the kids' gym. The boys are taking a sports class and today was the last day for the semester, so they put on a demo. It was terribly cute! But no knitting happened. We got home, and I had the kids while DH did some work upstairs, then clean up.

So, I cast on the thing, I knit about three rows and then my lurking headache blossomed, and I was reminded about how I got no sleep last night, what with two sick boys, a teething daughter, and the final straw, a barfing cat.

I feel lame. My new goal is that I won't knit anything else until I get this done (and it will be done by the end of the month). Now I'm taking my sleepy, achy, lame-o self to bed.

Happy MLK/National Service Day

As we prepare for the change that is coming tomorrow (and excuse me while I squeal like a little girl), I'm thinking about Obama's call to service. I started this blog in the spirit of service, and it's still important to me, I've just yet to figure out how to fit it in right now. I decided to join in with Mommy + Knitter's goal of one baby hat a month, so my plan is to cast one on today and try and get that done. I'm also wanting to do somethings for Project Linus. I think I need to scale back my plans, as an actual blanket with a simple edging is preferable to that gorgeous blanket with the complicated edging that I don't actually finish. I keep thinking about how I want my kids to act, and reminding myself that I must lead by example.

So, I'll check back in tonight with the results!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Would It Be Wrong?

To start YET ANOTHER scarf, that is? I'm nearing the finish line with Just Enough Ruffles, but I'm about halfway through my last purl row, meaning I've got another 300 stitches to purl. And it's a purl-bind-off. Why is purling more awkward than knitting? The scarf is all scrunched up on the needle, but I think it's going to be really pretty.

I just would love to start the striping scarf to see how it's going to look. I decided on which yarn to get. I have to say, the yarn looks quite different in person than on the screen. I'm not loving the colors, but maybe it'll be a gift. Ha ha, start my Christmas knitting NOW, right?

That would mean FOUR scarves on the needles at one time, that's a lot. Maybe I should finish the Ruffles.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Knitting and the Internet

I don't have much knitting content today. I knit a few rows on the Just Enough Ruffles scarf, which isn't really that interesting to blog about. I knit a bunch of stitches. I purled a bunch of stitches. I wrapped a few here and there (thankfully I reread the pattern before this, because I almost did it completely wrong). Lots of knitting and purling, not much progress, when you've got 200 stitches in a row. And that's *before* the ruffle. :)

My on-line life has always been a really big part of my actual life, since college. This is sort of cool because I actually went to college in the dark ages before there was the Web. Yeah. We wrote papers on rocks with ashes from the fires that heated our tents. My first computer was an up-to-the-minute fancy-schmancy Mac Plus. I had ONE MEG of Ram. I had an EXTERNAL DISK DRIVE to run big programs. I did write a paper here and there on it, I mean, I got my degree so I must have, right? Mainly I played hours of Tetris and engaged in the precursor to chat rooms. Some of my very best friends, over 20 years later, came from that thing. So, I've always had a fondness for internet communities. I was on usenet starting in about 1995, and have a group of friends that have migrated from usenet to a Yahoo group to a private group, as well as LiveJournal and Facebook. Today I also got sucked into Twitter and Plurk. Like I need another time sink? All this to say, the internet, and social networking are a large part of my life, and have been for a really long time.

It's amusing to me at times how big a part the interent plays in my knitting as well. It's different from the other sorts of stuff I do. I'm on Ravelry, of course, though nowhere near as much as I could be. I'm in a bunch of groups, but don't participate all that much. I read some knitting blogs (and can always use suggestions for more!). Mainly the internet provides me with inspiration for yarn, projects, and tools. I love cruising around Ravelry looking at people's projects, and it's amazing to me how much time and effort people take to share their creativity with total strangers. What an amazing gift. It's so incredible to see what people are doing, both the kinds of projects that I long to do myself, as well as the stuff where I think "man, I'd never knit that but WOW."

So, no real point to this post other than to take a moment and feel thankful, both for all the amazing connections and friends I have in my life, and for all the amazing creativity that's out there and inspires me. I'm a lucky woman.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Knitting Annoyances

So my first annoyance is that my awesome Foliage hat has grown as I've worn it (I have been wearing it a lot because it's cold in my house), so it's now too big. I've turned up the ribbed brim so it's no longer in my eyes, but now it's just a tad too short. Grr. I'm not sure what to do about this, if anything.

My second annoyance is with my Noro. Knots. And the big annoyance with Noro knots is that they make zero effort to join two pieces in color sequence, so you either have a huge discrepency in your color, or you have to cut and wind. I chose to do the latter because I knew that it would bug the sh*t out of me to have such an abrupt color change. So much Noro's genius is in how the color shifts happen, so it's frustrating. It also means that I'm down a bunch of yarn, and I've got to hope that what I've ordered from Webs will not be drastically different. The scarf is really pretty, though honestly, I'm not *adoring* this colorway (#241, for one thing, my colors look totally different in real life than what I'm seeing on the screen). It's more muddy and muted than I'm liking. I'll try and do pictures tonight.

Speaking of colors looking different on the screen vs. in-life, after I made my Webs purchase, I checked out Dream in Color Smooshy on Ravelry, and the reviews were mixed. One issue mentioned was this one, that the colors look amazing on the screen but are way more muted in person. I looked for the yarn I bought in people's projects and essentially it's a blue yarn, which is totally different from how it looks on the screen. As gorgeous as the Lunar Zazzle is on-line, if that's not actually how it looks, and if all those Rav projects are a more accurate representation, I knew I'd be wicked disappointed with it, so I called them. They haven't shipped my order yet, so I swapped out the Lunar Zazzle for the Pansy Golightly. Also looking at the Rav projects, the colors look way more muted on there than on the Webs page, but it's much more purple, which is much more a ME colorway than the bright blue. (Okay, it just occurred to me to look around in people's stash, and yeah, I made the right choice. It does look like there's a wide variation of shades in this.) The gentleman I spoke with said they'd be shipping in the next couple of I place my order on the 8th, so not having it even shipped until the 14th seems kind of a long delay. YARN YARN MUST HAVE YARN. *ahem* Man, I wish Webs carried Koigu.

I did a few rows on the Just Enough Ruffles's hard to feel motivated when it's not going to be warm enough to wear the coat it goes with for a couple months at least, probably longer.

And, in life outside of knitting (is there such a thing?), dude, I'm tired. My lovely daughter is up way too much at night and my lovely younger son has a croupy cough so he was up a ton too. I'm setting myself a challenge, to purchase only the perishables for the next month, to use up the stuff we've got stockpiled in the pantry and freezer. Tonight, I used up 5 cans from the pantry! I'm making crock pot chicken, so I used 2 cans of corn, 1 can of black beans, 2 cans of Del Monte Zesty Mild Green Chiles (wow, I just noticed how much salt those have in them, hmm), and frozen chicken thighs. About a half hour before serving, I'll add a block of cream cheese. Normally I do this with jarred salsa instead of the canned tomato things, but I had them on hand, and I don't have the salsa I normally use (Trader Joe's Peach salsa). So, we'll see how it turns out. I'm quite sure the kid won't eat it, but they can have the rice. I love the crockpot.

Friday, January 09, 2009

No self-control, no, none at all.

So yesterday afternoon, I bundled the kids up and got us out to the post office to send off some knitted love. Then we had to head out to Harvard to pick up our meat (for real, we belong to a meat CSA, just one of the many awesome things I love about living out here), and I thought, HEY, I'll just, you know, swing by the LYS to see if they have any Noro Silk Garden to go along with what I've got already." With three kids. Yeah, I worry about my sanity too. But I had the baby in my gorgeous new carrier, and there's a tiny little play room that the boys disappeared into, so it was actually not too hard.

Their supplies of Noro were really limited, and the lovely lady working there mentioned that they aren't going to be restocking any time soon, because they're focusing on Spring and Summer yarns. (Hard to believe, with 4-6 inches of snow hitting us tomorrow that Spring *is* coming some day!) I did make it out of there without buying anything (though now I'm wishing I'd gotten another needle gague because I can't find mine). So, last night I did a little shopping...

When I order from Webs, I tend to order big because of the discount, and this was no exception. I bought a bunch of Silk Garden, figuring it'll either work for scarves or felted hats or *something*. I got two different things to try with the yarn I already have, plus yarn for another scarf plus more yarn in the same colorway as the scarf I am currently making (not a stripey scarf). So, um, yeah, a lot of Silk Garden.

Then, some sock yarn just happened to drop into my cart as well! *innocent look* No really, officer, it just happened, no idea how! First this came to me, in Clematis. I'm excited to try a yarn with some Tencel in it. Then, I saw this. I just fell in love with the Lunar Zazzle color. I also totally fell in love with the Pansy Golightly, but I thought I'd try one skein first and see what I think. It gets some mixed reviews, so we'll see. And then I called back and added a couple of skeins of Kureyon too, for an hat. It's fun to spend birthday money!

So, just for my own notes, on needles (and hooks) right now:

1. Lace doily
2. Crochet edging for baby blanket
3. Noro SG Scarf
4. Casting on Just Enough Ruffles tonight
5. Second Sock
6. Big lace project that's sort of stuck at the moment until I get enough brain cells to be able to focus.

I *think* that's it. Once I get the scarf and hat obsession worked through a bit, I need to do some more focusing on socks, as I'm in dire need.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

No Noro Love Today

I took the yarn from my failed 1x1 scarf and repurposed it. The green/purple (241) is going to be a scarf for me. I've a small concern that I don't actually have anywhere near enough yarn for a scarf, given that it takes *four* skeins to make the 1x1 ribbed scarf, and I have two, but have I ever let something like common sense stop me? No! So, a scarf it is. We'll see how it all works out, eh?

I took one of the other skeins to my LYS to see if they had anything that would work, and they had one skein of something that would, which, you know, isn't enough. So I didn't get anything and I'm rethinking this. Of course, I didn't write down the number of the colorway I thought would work to order from somewhere else. I think I'm going to order a whole bunch of stuff from Webs and see if I can make something else work. These scarves are so awesome, and fun to knit...I could *even* do some Christmas knitting, right?

I'm going to order a couple other knitting related things. A hat shaper, in the bell cloche style, in a small, for me. A mat for blocking things. And this, which is technically not knitting-related, except that I drink a lot of seltzer, so well, I don't know. It's connected.

Okay, clearly I am too tired to be allowed access to keyboard. (One might wonder why I think access to a keyboard with a credit card on hand is a good idea.)

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

That second Noro scarf?

Ain't happenin'. I pulled out the yarn to start it today, got going and thought "um, these two colorways don't really work together." I kept going and thought "Ugh, they really don't work." Consulted with DH who agreed. So, I ripped it out. The issue is that 272 (listed as grey and lime) is a very cool grey, and there's a real teal in it too. Haven't found the lime yet. 241, the purple and green, is very warm, and the green is really olivey, so that's not going to work at all. I'll get to the LYS sometime and see if they have anything that might go with either of them. I'd like the 241 to go with something to match my new coat. The other colorway might go well with something really bright, that would really pop with, say, a black wool coat. Which I do happen to own. And since where I live seems to be a snowbelt (just far enough away from Boston), and I'll be here for the foreseeable future, I'm going to need scarves, lots of them.

And hats!!

Sorry about the craptastic picture, it's from my Facebook page, taken with my phone (neither I nor my house are that yellow in real life).

You can't tell, really, but this is Malabrigo Chunky in Olive (which works wonderfully with the aforementioned new coat). The pattern is Foliage, and it's an awesome pattern! Super-easy and QUICK. I am a SAHM to three kids, and I did this in ONE day, so maybe 3-4 hours total? The whole pattern in the chunky is something like 42 rows. It also is long enough for me, which isn't always the case when I knit hats to pattern spec. I think it's going to be a nice warm hat too. I did my Stella in the Malabrigo Worsted and I'm unconvinced it's going to be really warm, it just feels so thin. Of course, it sleeted and poured all day today, so I haven't had a chance to test drive it. :)

I pulled out my Branching Out and then got nailed with a migraine and had to lie down in order to avoid vomiting, so I didn't get much done on that. I am obsessed with the Noro Scarf and I'm trying to figure out if I can get to the yarn store TOMORROW to find something that might work with the purple/green. I also bought Just Enough Ruffles, since I need something pretty mindless, and anything that has you start with casting on 200 stitches and doing a few rows of stockinette is about my speed right now. Just have to wind the rest of the Malabrigo Worsted Emerald. (Which doesn't go with my coat.) (Yes, I do like things matchy-matchy, though I've eased way up in the recent years.)

Monday, January 05, 2009

FO: Trinnit Scarf

Recently, one of my internets lost her fiancé to Neurofibromatosis. I felt called to knit her this scarf, and I'm hoping it can be a sort of hug for her. It sounds odd to talk about the joy I felt knitting this, but I did, and I'm hoping some of that energy is transmitted in the scarf, and might give some comfort in this painful time. Godspeed, P.

And on to the knitting. This is the same 1x1 Noro Silk Garden Scarf that is detailed by Brooklyn Tweed, that many folks around the blogosphere have knit. Here's my humble version.

Yarn: Noro Silk Garden, 252 (black/blue) and 282 (green/purple).
Needles: KP Options, size 7, short cord.
Pattern: I did the pattern as set out by Jared. I'm not sure I did it the way everyone else did, but I was pretty happy with how it turned out. So, I cast on 39 stitches. I slipped the first stitch purlwise with the yarn held to the back (basically, so I wasn't then bringing the yarn back to start the K stitch between the slipped stitch and the K stitch). I then started with a K stitch, and did the K1 P1 ribbing. When I got to the final two stitches, I did the same stitch twice, so on the "right side" (which starts Sl1, K1), I ended with two K stitches. I then turned the work, Sl1 (with the yarn held towards the front as if to P), P1, rib to the end, and end with two P stitches. To carry the yarn up, I would bring the yarn that I had just knit two rows with to the front, on top (if that makes sense), and sl the first stitch, and then start knitting with the other yarn. I actually would swap the two balls I was using back and forth. Of these two edging pictures, the one on top is the "right side" and the one on the bottom is the "wrong side." (Yes, I'm deliberately using scare quotes because there isn't really a right and wrong side, the right side is just the one where you're starting with the new color.) To finish it, I did the last two rows of the dark and then did the bind-off row.

This was such a fun knit. It was easy enough that I didn't need a pattern, but had enough going on that I had to think a tad, but not so much that I got confused. Yes, my life is such that a 1x1 ribbing scarf really is the right level of complexity for me. I really really hope she likes the colors, as it's so personal, picking out colors for someone, especially when you know them more on-line. I've never understood before what people meant about something just flying off the needles but this did.

I won't mention the fact that I have four more balls in different colors to make one for myself.

Saturday, January 03, 2009


When I think about what knitting teaches me, the word courage keeps coming to my mind. It seems a bit of an odd thing, really. I mean, courage? Why would one need courage for knitting? My need for courage stems in part from my overdeveloped need for control in life. If you've ever heard of the Myers-Briggs, I'm a J. I really like control, I really like knowing how things are going to work, I tend (perhaps) towards anxiety. It all fits. So a craft like knitting can be a tad scary for someone like me.

Seriously, you take some sticks and some string, put in a lot of time and effort, and you might get something amazing, or you might get something that doesn't work at all. Yes, there are things you can do to minimize your chances of failure, but I am not convinced you really have complete control. Well, some knitters might, but I am not that good. For someone like me, a control freak and recovering perfectionist, this might cause some...anxiety.

For me, every new project takes the courage to try something, to put myself out there. You can't hide, you know? You can't say "well, gosh, you know, if it all works out, wouldn't it be great to have some new socks." When I start a new project, I am announcing my intention to the universe around me that, gosh darn it, not only would I like some new socks, but I'm going to make them myself! It might not work out. I might not finish them (this is always a real possibility, especially with a project where you make one, and then you have to make another just like it!). I might finish them but have utterly screwed them up. I might have done them well but just not like the way the yarn pooled. Really, anything can happen when you cast on.

The nice thing is that the stakes aren't really all that high. Suppose I do mess up those socks entirely? What's the loss? Some of my time, maybe some money. I'm sure to have learned something along the way, and hopefully enjoyed the process, even if the product fails. So, knitting gives me a place to practice the courage I need in the rest of my life. It takes courage to live authentically and honestly, to open your heart to love. It takes courage to commit to something or someone, to get married, to have kids. Some days, it takes courage just to leave the house. When you truly and deeply love, you open yourself to hurt. When you truly make yourself known, you face the possibility of rejection. But you also have the potential for something really glorious - the possibility of being truly known and loved, the possibility of truly knowing and loving other people, which is, I believe, pretty much the whole point.

So, when I knit, I am opening myself up to the possibility that I might fail. But I'm also taking the risk that I might not! Sure, I might have to start the same project two three four times. Sure, I might get most of the way into a hat and realize that it's just not going to fit the intended recipient. Sure, trying something new can be hard, it takes time to learn. But in the end, I do learn, I do get better, and sometimes I even get some really beautiful objects. Things I can give away, or wear with joy. And it really doesn't get much better than that.

Friday, January 02, 2009


Or perhaps this post would be better titled HATS HATS HATS!! (I gotta make this quick as my poor little boo is sick and just getting up from her nap.) So, I've been making hats. It IS winter, so this isn't too crazy. All of these were knit in the round on my Denise Interchangeables, and then Magic Looped on my Options.

In this picture, the top hat is for my dad. This is knit from the Marsan Watchcap pattern. I really like this pattern, but I'm perplexed by her gauge. I used a bulky wool, (Araucania Azapa), and cast on 88 stitches, and this hat will definitely fit a very large man's head with no trouble. The yarn is just delicious! I love it. LOVE LOVE LOVE it. I'm clearly in a kettle-dyed place right now. :) I didn't follow her row counts, exactly, because my row gauge was different from hers, but the essentials are the same. This is a clever pattern, where you do the cuff in the twisted rib, and then turn it inside out (and switch your needles, which I didn't realize at first because it wasn't written in the pattern but I figured it out!), and knit the rest of the hat, so your cuff is in pattern with the rest of the hat. I really like the pattern. I am really excited to send this one off to my dad. Oh, I am not sure how much of the skein I used, maybe two-thirds?

The bottom two hats are both from Stella's Hat, and are both in Malabrigo Worsted. I believe that the Blue is Azul Bolita, which will be perfect for my sister. The green is Emerald, and is for me. Each hat took just over 1/2 of the 100g skein. There are two more skeins of that which are destined to become the Just Enough Ruffles scarf. I knit the blue hat first. I made it a bit longer than I should have, so on the top decreases, I took out the four knit-all-around rows, and I think the length should be perfect! On the green one, I made it a bit shorter and put the knit-all-around rows, and I think if I make it again, I'd actually do knit-all-around rows in between all the decrease rows to get the top bigger. It pulls more than I'd like. I think I also knit these on two different needle sizes...I am thinking I knit the blue one on 7s and the green one on 8s, as it feels looser on my head. This is a wonderful hat, the yarn is beyond lovely, and the colors are just gorgeous. I just love how it looks! No, I'm not posting a picture, I need a haircut. My only issue is that I finished this and immediately went out and bought a new winter coat, which is in a completely different green, so I'm going to need another hat. This one will go wonderfully with my black wool coat, and since it's definitely a lighter-weight hat, that's fine, and the scarf will look cute with that coat too. You know, the scarf that I haven't even started yet. Gonna look so cute.

Okay, with this hat below, this was knit for my BIL (my husband's sister's husband). He also has a large noggin, so this took some work. This is also the Marsan watchcap, but the yarn is totally different, it's Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed in Ash. This comes in 50g balls, and I used about 1.5 balls. So, the pattern calls for 80 stitches for a smaller hat, and 88 for a men's large. Now, I knit my BIL a hat last year that fit my husband (who also has a huge head, huh, this is a theme amongst the men in my family), but was too small for him, so he's definitely got a HUGE head. I cast on 96 stitches and worked about 4 inches and tried it on my husband and it was just too small. So, I frogged it, and tried again with 108 stitches. Yes, 20 more stitches than the pattern calls for! I was so worried it was also going to be too small, but when I finished it, it fit him perfectly, and goes over his ears, which he wanted! I think this is a really nice hat (err, am I allowed to say that about my own work?!). The yarn is really gorgeous, it's not as soft as the Araucania or the Malabrigo, but it's pretty darn soft, and hopefully, it'll be warm for him. They live in Philly, so it doesn't get as cold as it does here (I think, others can correct me if I'm wrong). The other change I made in this pattern is that I decreased on a 6-count instead of on the 4-count that the pattern calls for.

So, now I'm still chugging on the Noro scarf (I'll post a bunch of pictures and tell how I do the edges in a different post). I don't know if I'm doing it "correctly" but it looks good to me. I've also got one skein of Malabrigo Chunky in Olive, which will look awesome with my new coat, but I'm worried it's not enough length. I was thinking of doing a simple ribbed beanie or something, since I don't think I have the length to do anything fancy. I'm pattern-hunting right now. I also got some more Noro Silk Garden to do a scarf for me too. I can totally understand the obsession with this scarf, it's such an awesome knit. Pictures to come.

Then maybe I'll get back to my Falling Leaves and my sock. And all my other projects.

I have a fairly large sum of birthday money, and while it's far more than even I could spend on yarn, I think I'm going to get a blocking mat, and possible a hat shaper, as I'm still dying to do some felted hats. I emailed them and they said these work really well for blocking knit and knit/felted hats. I think I'll get the Bell Cloche. I was lucky enough to receive blocking wires and pins for Christmas, so I'm really set in the gear department! It might be jumping the gun a bit to get some tools for items I haven't made yet...but I do love tools!