Archive for the ‘hat’ Category

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The simplest things…

April 9, 2008

…often turn out to be the biggest pains in the ass.

Okay. Purl Beret. About as easy as a hat can be without being a roll-bottom beanie, right? Apparently I can’t do simple right now because I’ve had to rip the thing back to the end of the body THREE TIMES. One was me being completely stupid and trying to mess with the decrease pattern. Resulting hat didn’t fit at all and looked dumb, so I ripped it back to a three inch body (as stated in the pattern), and then proceeded to screw up the decrease order another two times. What the hell is the matter with me? I’d just say “screw it” and move on at this point but the Koigu is so pretty and so expensive and I’m SO stubborn. But now the hat just feels like it’s in the way sicne I swore I would not start the Flutter Cardigan until it was finished.

On the other hand, the knitted lace border is going shockingly well. My numbers are a little off on the side loops, but if I fudge the numbers I should get what I need out of it. And if the first corner is a bit off, that’s okay. I’ve never done anything like this before, so imperfection is to be expected and accepted. But now that I’m doing the border it’s hit me that this lace thing is really really fun! I picked up some Kidsilk Haze for the extremely popular “Melon Shawl” in a nice bright green that I think will go well with a dress I have for wearing to a wedding this summer. Sadly it took me two trips to get all the yarn for it. Victorian Lace Today apparently has a history of being a bit short on it’s yardage calculations and thanks to Ravelry I found that I needed 4 balls of KSH, not 3. I should have been able to figure that out with basic math (3 balls of KSH does not add up to 700 yard).

Speaking of Ravelry, I gotta say it’s a bit sad to see that the Drama Llamas have managed to make some of the more general boards a bit….well, dramariffic. But frankly, I still feel that there’s no one on that board trying to pull the kind of schoolgirl style Mean Girl Games most of us went through not too long ago. Seriously, all these people who are saying that the Ravboards have turned in to little vitriol fountains should absolutely NEVER go look at other bbs systems like Fark or Something Awful. The internet is predominantly for Haters, but Ravelry seems to manage a variety of sweet to balance the sour and even outweigh it to a point. Sure we like to focus on the bad, but seriously if you go anywhere off the big general boards you start tripping over good vibes. Maybe I’m just jaded from all the Fark reading, but I’m hesitant to all this any kind of apocalypse.

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Hatpocalypse

March 20, 2008

After a partying related hiatus from my knitting (there are worse things in the world. Happy belated St. Pat’s), Slouchy Gretel is done.

 I am neither as orange or as surly as this photo wouls suggest

And man alive is it slooooouuuuchy. It’s huge! I forgot that Ysolda’s “regular” berets are pretty slouchy, so the shoulchy version is practically a dreadlock tam. I could, in fact, fit all of my hair in there with no struggle. But I really do like the way it turned out. Rowan Kid classic cables up…uniquely. The cables themselves are much more subtle than they would have been in something like, say, Malabrigo. Less of a contrast between the raised stitches and the background stitches. The halo around the hat is also very nice. It’s interesting (at least to me) to see how this wool/mohair blend produced such a different fabric than the Lamb’s Pride I used for Estella. The fuzziness of Estella just makes it seem more sturdy and warm, but the Kid Classic Gretel is a soft little poof with lattice work on it.

 There is, however, some tragic news. My nice light brown tweed Le Slouch, the hat I wear so often it’s practically a part of my hair…has met with misfortune. It went the entire St. Patrick’s Day weekend without a mishap…but then my mom decided that I was taking too long to unpack my overnight bag and threw the contents in to….

THE WASHING MACHINE!!

 …If it’s any consolation, Classic Elite Skye Tweed felts very nicely in to a soft fabric…but more to the point my favorite hat has now shrunk and turned to a loose felt…I really just don’t know what to do? I know I could make another one, and if I were willing to cannibalize another project, I could even make it from the same yarn…but it won’t be *that* hat…

The poor thing is currently being stretched across a dinner plate…maybe it’s salvagable.

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A need for focus

March 11, 2008

I was so proud of myself for finishing the Wishbone sweater. It’s big, it’s warm, I can tuck my legs in to it if need be…it’s exactly what I wanted out of this sweater! Since I finished it a few days ago, it’s been serving as  nice alternative to freezing my butt off in the basement. No “in action” shots yet because I was such a mess this morning when I took the pictures. No one needs to see medusa hair and red eyes on a knitting blog.

My guilty bit comes from the fact that, instead of finishing the sweater and buckling down on the lace scarf or the second sock that has been languishing, I cast on for (surprise surprise) another hat. But in all fairness it’s a really really cute one. The pattern for Gretel is, as usual for an Ysolda pattern, phenominally well written. It’s amazing just how much quicker a project goes when you have a detailed set of instructions to work with. I’m already lapping the “regular sized” version and headed in to the slouchy.  Moreover, this project lead me to learn an all new tublar cast on that I’ll probably be subbing in on any future hats. It makes a great edge that looks very clean. The yarn is also new to me: Rowan Kid Classic in a stormy blue that I love. It’s also much softer than I expected.

So there we go. This hat will be a happy diversion at which point I will devote time in front of the TV to that lace scarf (not even halfway through the center panel and the edging is nowhere in sight), and the sock will get done on the usual schedule of “when I’m on the go/away from my TV project.” Kinda sad, though. I haven’t had SSS this bad in a long time…

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I have a bumpy head

February 15, 2008

But in a good way! I got through all the trinity stitch and bound of for a great looking hat a few days ago.

 

This is a really good pattern with a very clever four stitch decrease that is almost invisible on the hat itself. It blends perfectly without interrupting the pattern. Think I went to the straight up k2tog decreases a little early because the cap gets pointy and weird if I don’t lay it right. But when I do it looks very nice, is very comfortable and warm to wear, and best of all it fits my head snugly. Malabrigo is, as usual, fantastic and I feel like this was the perfect colorway for me to dip my toe in to the red-spectrum. Remember that song from the 90’s called “Blue?” My tastes are kind of like that, but without the repetative techno beats and French vocalists.

I’m also hard at work on the Hartshorn Vest. I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing, but the result seems to be coming out vest-shaped so I’ll run with it. I’m about to start the v-neck on the front and still have the whole back to do. Don’t have a CLUE how it’ll fit, but if nothing else I’ll be able to say I made it all by myself with only the cable having been prewritten. Let’s just wait and see, shall we?

And socks are on the move as well! The pattern for Toujours Pur is beautiful. I pick that adjective carefully and really mean it. There are cool sock patterns, nifty sock patterns, clever sock patterns, cute sock patterns, pretty sock patterns and many many more. This pattern, when combined with the yarn, is beautiful. Like a pair of old fashioned elegant lady’s stockings. I’m already thinking of getting some elastic to sew in to the cuffs (which are a nice break from the k2 p2 norm, by the way) so I can make them nice and tall. I always end up with so much leftover anyway that I might as well try to get the most I can out of this.

Here’s the deal. I *love* turn of the century style. I like looking at fashion from when women wore pretty things and it wasn’t weird or “Ooo you must be going somewhere fancy tonight.” Victorian style had layers and an overall prettyness that I really appreciate…even though I can’t bring myself to come anywhere close to it. Chalk it up to not wanting to buck the social norm too much and laziness.

Along those lines, I treated myself to a new book: Victorian Lace Today. I’ve got some nice red-ish Zephyr and I’m going to make the Victorian Ruby scarf. I’ve read plenty of charts before, so once I figure out the actual grafting and turning techniques, I think I’ll be okay with it. It seems like half the battle with lace is figuring out how to read a chart. Or maybe I’m just trying not to psyche myself out too much. Whatever. I figure I’ll start the lace after I finish the Hartshorn vest, which seems like it might actually be in the near future.

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Just because you don’t need it…

December 18, 2007

…doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make it.

 For example, I had absolutely no need for another hat. I have a ton. I probably have a hat to go with every type of outfit in my arsenal. Plus I have Christmas knitting left to do.

So clearly I had to devote a ton of energy in to making the Estella beret.

 It’s pretty much the kind of knitting experience you really hope for when starting a new project. It starts with a solid technique, moves in to a stitch pattern that is fun to make a looks great, and the pattern holds your hand through the decreases. And all the while you get to look at a beautiful hat taking shape.

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“Well there’s your problem”

November 20, 2007

“What a cute hat!” my mother exclaimed on seeing the completed Odessa.

 “Thanks,” I mumbled halfheartedly.

“It’s such a pretty color! Is it part of Ryan’s Christmas gift? It’s a bit big for a baby hat, but I bet she’ll grow in to it soon.”

“Not supposed to be a baby hat,” I grumbled.

But, sadly, there is absolutely no way this is going to fit on my head. Not with my hair. The yarn is very smooth so it slides right off, on top of the fact that it’s too shalow and too small around. I got gague. I don’t know what went wrong. But look at it! It’s the size of my hand! Now I don’t know what to do with it…

Heir of Slytherin Coriolis…what can I say? I did the socks really really terribly wrong…but I don’t mind. The second one is almost done and I’ll have some wonderfully warm, neat looking house socks (they’re not gonne fit in any of my shoes). Just a few inches of the leg and some 1×1 ribbing left to do before I show them off. The third shipment, Prizoner of Azkaban, came in on Monday while I was stranded at home from work due to bad weather. The colors are DEFFINITELY ones I would buy for myself, and I like the included pattern. It’s a bamboo blend, which I’ve never used before, but it feels so smooth and nice. I’m looking forward to getting the Heir off the needles and digging in to the new yarn.

Speaking of yarn, I haven’t actually purchased any new yarn at all this month. None! I’m not counting the sock club since that was set in motion months ago. I’ve been mainly stashdiving and making presents for people with yarn that was bought ages ago for just that purpose. No new yarn…that’s so strange. And I’ve even thought about it too. When I decided I wanted a heavy version of the Luna Moth Shawl, I was thinking of hitting my new favorite LYS (The Down Loft in Basking Ridge. It’s AMAZING in there) for the materials…when I looked in my stash and found some perfectly nice undyed Cascade 220. This was perfect! I love natural colors of wool and figured it would make for  nice, versetile shawl. Never done a real lace pattern before, but so far it’s really fun. Plus I’m kinda cheating as the yarn and needles are so big.

I also have a very fancy new coat that I hope to have a picture of soon, and it requires a black hat fancier than my beloved Glaistig (which probably gets worn more than anything else I’ve ever made) to go with it. I’m thinking some kind of beret (I might fancy up a basic pattern) out of the Black Lamb’s Pride I have stitting in stash. See! I’m being good!

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Success helps

November 15, 2007

Thank heavens for Urchin. It was a quick hat with some interesting new things to learn that used a full skein of yarn and looks completely unlike anything I could have bought in a store.

It’s exactly what I needed.

This thing took no time at all to make. I don’t think it looks half bad, either (though I know I’ll never look as good as Ysolda in it)! The short row shaping was fun, and I learned how to do a provisional cast on *and* garter stitch grafting! Hats are also like comfort food to me. If I’m feeling low about my abilities, my best bet is to make a hat. In fact, I was feeling so much better after finishing the Urchin, that I got down to the business of overhauling the cuff of the Heir of Slytherin Coriolis.

This was serious surgery. I was ripping back like a full inch and a half, so I did the “put needle in right arm of stitch to hold it in place and frog away” trick. I only grabbed the wrong stitch in a couple of places, but managed to fix that with some crochet thread, a tiny hook, and a lot of profanity. A few rows of 1×1 ribbing and a sewn bind off later and I finally FINALLY have one sock completed. I was trying to finish before the next shipment from the sock club came in, but apparently it’ll be here any day now. Even at top speed I’ll probably be a little past my goal, but I think I really understand this pattern now. But I gotta say, the New Pathways patterns are not for people who don’t like math and thinking. The coriolis pattern itself, however, is great for handpainted yarns like this. I wasn’t really jazzed about these colors when I first got the yarn (not the pallette that I would pick myself), but I’m really growing fond of them as the play out in this pattern. Really looking forward to what Carrie does with Prizoner of Azkaban’s cover. It’ll also be my first time knitting with a bamboo blend. Is it weird that this is so exciting to me?