Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Salunga Beret

My mother-in-law requested a red hat to wear at Christmas. I wanted to use fingering weight yarn so it could be worn indoors if she wanted. I spent some time wandering around Ravelry until I found a pattern I liked, and pulled a barely-used skein I had in the stash.

The knitting went smoothly, but I had problems with the bind off. I used a different set of instructions for the tubular bind off than I've used before, and it ended up way too tight. I couldn't get it to easily frog, and I was in a bit of a temper after working at it awhile. I ended up with this:

That hat messed with the wrong girl. 

The next day, I did a bind off using these instructions, and everything went just fine.

Perhaps I am easily amused, but I love seeing the difference in lace before and after blocking. This hat called for blocking over a dinner plate, and it added the helpful instruction to weave a piece of waste yard between the ribbing and the main body of the hat. Once it was on the plate, I pulled on the waste yarn to cinch it a bit, which meant that it dried without the ribbing being all stretched out.

It's cute on my head, but it's more stunning in its blocking form.

I think I'll recommend Karen occasionally carry it around on a plate and show it off that way. I'm sure she'll see the reason in the request.

Salunga Beret (mine ravelled here),
knit in Knitpicks Stroll Tonal, Gypsy colorway

Monday, November 9, 2015

Hospital Socks

It's been a rough couple of weeks. A close family member had serious surgery that went pear-shaped. She's now in in-patient rehab, and we're not sure what her recovery is going to look like. The day before she moved from the hospital to rehab, one of my bffs went into the hospital with an abdominal abscess we have named Absalom the Destroyer. He's a bastard, and she's still waiting (four days later) to learn what the hospital is planning to do to deal with him.

I tried to work on a sweater, but it's not enjoyable. I haven't been able to figure out why I'm not enjoying it, but I hope it has something to do with the needle. I might try to switch to a longer cable. (I'm grasping at straws. Let's pretend that's not true.) The sweater has potential, but I'm having a heck of a time helping it to fulfill it.

Dalekanium Cardigan (ravelled here),
knit in Mineville Wool Project DK Merino

Of course, I had backup yarn 'cause this ain't my first rodeo. I was amused to see how well the sock-in-progress matched my friend's hospital gown.

Hospital Teacups (ravelled here),
knit in Knitpicks' Felici, Teacup colorway

My hope is that both of my loved ones will recuperate quickly and fully, and the clearest memory we'll have of this difficult time is a pair of lovely, striped socks.

So say we all.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Best Effort

Dear knitting gods,

I knit multiple swatches, washing and pinning the final one.

I read through the entire pattern, making notes so I wouldn't miss any "at the same time" nonsense.

I've done my part. Please make sure you do yours.


Friday, October 23, 2015

The Gate With Mood Swings

A lovely blessing...

...unless the left side of the gate is open. 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Mad Dash to Stash

At the end of my post about the Zig Zags, I put a call out to anyone wanting a hat. My sister said her two boys would like one. We discussed, and I started on a blue dinosaur hat for my 4-year-old nephew.

It was way too big, and instead became another hat for my friend with the big head. (The bigger the head, the more room for the brain, right? Right.)

Ravelled here

Then I tried again on the dinosaur hat and got it right:

Ravelled here

My 8-year-old nephew decided that dinosaurs might be a bit too babyish for a world-weary gent like himself, but color was good. Got it:

Ravelled here

When I thought the first hat might be big, but not SO big, I sent an e-mail out to see if anyone wanted it. My other sister thought my 16-year-old nephew would like another hat. Okay:

Ravelled here

At this point, I was fairly sure I was done with hats for awhile. I'd move on to a nice, juicy sweater.


Except we were taking my mom's dog back to her house after dog-sitting for a week. Then we were headed to the airport to pick up Andrew's family from vacation. That was a lot of time in the car. It didn't lend itself to trying to swatch and figure out a sweater.

Do you know what it did lend itself toward?  Yep.

Baa-ble Hat (mine ravelled here),
knit in Cascade Yarns Pacific (cream), Lang Yarns Silk Dream (blue), 
Ella Rae Classic Superwash (navy--looks black enough for me), 
and Stitch Nation by Debbie Stoller Full o' Sheep (green)

This one's for me! I wanted to make myself this hat as soon as I saw it.

I feel like this post should go down in infamy. EVERY ONE of these hats was knit with yarn I already had in my stash. That never happens. I have more yarn than any one human being has a reasonable right to own, yet I always end up buying yarn for new projects.* I'm fairly sure I've used up all my stash karma and will find that I am 20 yards short for anything else I try to knit from the stash, but that's to be expected. I'm just going to enjoy the moment.

And maybe cast on a pair of socks.

*Actually, now that I think about it, socks are an exception. I have enough sock yarn in the stash to---let's not think about it. Let's just agree that I have a lot of sock yarn.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Sparkles for the Five-Year-Old

I was never a big doll fan as a kid. Stuffed animals? Yes. My Little Ponies? DOUBLE YES. Dumping my giant box of crayons out on the floor simply so I could then put them back in organized by color? A THOUSAND YESES. Dolls? Not really.

But my five-year-old niece is, and therefore:

American Girl Lace Dress (mine ravelled here),
knit in Universal Yarn Star Light, color 101

It's knit from the bottom up in a simple lace pattern. You decrease a bunch of stitches for the bodice and knit that in stockinette.

There are two tiny buttons on the back at the neck. The pattern says to crochet loops and sew them on, but I just did simple yarnover buttonholes in the edging. It works great and you know how my crochet skills are.*

The pattern also calls for poofy sleeves knit in the same lace pattern. I chose to do simple short sleeves, edged in garter stitch to match the bottom of the skirt (and hopefully keep it from curling).

Here's a closeup of the lace:

There are tons of patterns written for this size doll, and something in worsted weight would have gone a lot faster than light fingering weight. However, I decided that all dolls need a sparkly, lacy dress (the white has sparkles in it that you can't see in these photos), and I might as well go big if I was going to do it at all. Well, not big-- go small.

You know what I mean.

One Christmas present down!

*Practically nonexistent

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Boot Cuffs

Knitting is many things. Instantaneous is not one of them.

This is about as close as it gets though,

knit in stashed Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted in cream

My niece asked for boot cuffs, and I churned these out in one evening.*

I used scrap yarn, weighing it periodically so I'd get the cuffs to match. These are shorter than the pattern calls for, but they work just fine.

I feel grateful she wants boot cuffs and not kilt hose. I think she's going to want more of these.

*It's hilarious that I think one evening is practically instantaneous. How knitting has altered my perception of normal.