Friday, October 9, 2015

Falling Stars Hat

I've owned the Falling Stars kit from Knitpicks for.... a long time. It sits on the shelf and pleads with me whenever I walk into the yarn guest room.

Recently I knit a laceweight sweater as a test knit. I decided if I could knit a LACEWEIGHT SWEATER and then put it in the mail for someone else to enjoy, I surely could knit myself a fingering weight sweater that I'd get to keep.

I decided not to knit the hat that they suggest you knit as a swatch to get comfortable with the colorwork. Then I decided I was a) too lazy to knit a proper colorwork swatch that would then get frogged, and b) not stupid enough to start a very frightening sweater without doing a little bit of prep.

So I knit the hat.

The colorwork is beautiful.

Despite that, I have been looking at it for a month, and I still don't know how I feel about it. I'm not sure I like the purls. I'm not convinced the result is worth the hassle of four thousand yarn colors tangling around one another. I'm not sure I want to try intarsia bobbins even though I own them. (I know. It makes no sense to me either.) I'm afraid the sweater won't fit. I'm worried the neck is too high, and the wool will be scratchy on my delicate self. I am filled with trepidation and can't seem to move past it.

Plus, there will be a steek. Terrifying.

So, I put the hat where I see it all the time and the rest of the kit back in the yarn guest room. It's only been a few years. Maybe I'm just not ready yet.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Zig Zags

I made myself a Zig Zag Chevron Hat. A friend tried it on and then requested one for herself. I borrowed her winter coat, took a trip to Nomad Yarns and bought some Ella Rae superwash.

This is a seriously cute hat and a lot of fun to knit.

Zig Zag Chevon hat (mine ravelled here),
knit in Ella Rae Classic Superwash, colors 11 and 28

Here's a close-up of the hat, because I can:

Can you hear it whispering, "Maaaaaake meeeeee."? I thought so.

I had yarn left, so I looked for some fingerless gloves to go with it and found the perfect pattern.

Do you see how there's one pink stripe that's bigger than all the others? Totally a mistake. But I mirrored it on the other glove, and now I call it a design feature. 

Rachel was happy and looks adorable!

Footnote: Hats are lovely to knit. I knit so many socks and fingerless gloves and mittens, and you'll notice that all of those come in pairs. Hats? Just one. Let me know if you need a hat.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Rainbows all around!

Holly, mom to the adorable kid, and I have been friends since the third grade. (Second grade was rough for us. I was super jealous of her.) She lives in Germany and is in Indiana for a visit, so we pretended yesterday was her birthday even though it's not for another six weeks.

She's asked for a hat:

Ann Budd's Basic Hat Pattern with picot edge, 
using polka dot chart from Hilary Smith Callis' Dots Cowl
(mine ravelled here)

a cowl:

(mine ravelled here)

and Totoro mittens:

 All were knit in Cascade 220 Superwash in 854 Navy and Knit Picks Chroma Worsted in Carnival.

I don't know Totoro, so those didn't strike a cord with me, but I love the hat and cowl A LOT. I'd wear them myself in a heartbeat.

Happy birthday, Holly!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Dinosaur Hat

A friend asked me to knit her son a dinosaur hat to match his mittens... which I apparently never blogged. The fact that her kid is adorable is a bonus.

Dinosaur hat, knit in Kelley Green Vanna's Choice 

I used Ann Budd's Basic Hat pattern for 18 months through 4 years. The yarn pretends to be worsted, but the gauge is closer to a bulky. I had to frog and reknit because it was much too big the first time around. (That's what I get for not swatching.)

For the dinosaur spikes, I used this pattern and sewed them to the top of the completed hat. It was cute when I finished it, but it's much, much cuter on Luke's head!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Please do not exterminate.

As a rule, I think you should avoid celebrating the villains. Don't wear a Darth Vader shirt. Don't make a Weeping Angel that will then send you back in time and eat your life force. Don't crochet a Gargamel; that guy's an asshole.

But I knit a pair of socks called Dalekanium. It's an easy stitch pattern and looks great in self-striping yarn. I was powerless against them, which is exactly what they want.

They're toe-up, another thing I usually avoid, However, I was knitting a gift for a guy with big feet, and I didn't want to run out of yarn. It's happened to me before.

They have a teeny-tiny gusset and a short-row heel. I didn't pick up the wraps, and I like the way the heel looks. 

The stitch pattern itself is easy. There's a slipped stitch every fifth stitch on the top of the foot and all the way around the leg. It makes charming loops on the fabric. 

It also makes the sock run VERY LARGE. I ripped back and ended up knitting the smallest size for my friend's man feet. For some reason, the pattern doesn't count the slipped stitches as part of the stitch count. If I knit these for me, and I might, I'll go down to 55 stitches (plus the slipped stitches). The size small is written for 60 stitches. 

Dalekanium socks (mine ravelled here),
knit in Knitpicks Felici, Rustic Cabin colorway 
(discontinued, because Knitpicks hates me)

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Thanks but no!

Recently a very dear friend send me an e-mail:

We're getting Mom and Dad's house ready for their 60th Wedding Anniversary Party on Sep 6. The house should look pretty good in time for the millions of people to arrive. I didn't send you an invitation because I love you. You're welcome.

It is so fanstasic to have people who know me well enough to know that, while I love them very, very, very much, the idea of going to a party crowded with strangers makes me want to crawl under my bed until the event passes.

Rebecca Lynch has made an app for "introjis," which are emojis for introverts. You can find them here. It's one of the few kickstarters I've supported. She gets me.

"Not going, but thanks for the invitation!"
copyright Rebecca Lynch--buy the app here (Android) or here (Apple)

Thursday, September 3, 2015

In Case We Doubted...

In case we doubted the benefits of compost, behold the volunteer tomato plant growing out of my compost bin. I have done nothing but ignore it and whack it back when it looked like it was going to take over the air conditioner.

Compost works!