Saturday, January 24, 2009

Finished: Inga Hat

This hat was my first foray into stranded (two-color) knitting, and I'm going to call it a success. I was fairly competent with the whole knitting-with-both-hands-at-the-same-time thing, but my technique was shot every time I need to twist the yarns together to prevent long floats. (Explanation for non-knitters: If there is a run of stitches just in one color, you have to twist the yarns over each other in the back so that there isn't a long strand of the opposite color on the back, since it could get caught on something. Like your ear.) I'm sure there's a way to handle the yarns for this, but that epiphany has yet to come to me.

The pattern is free and can be found here. I noticed that a lot people did not knit the whole chart, since the resulting hat would be super tall. I can't remember what row I started on, but I'm guessing it was somewhere around 20. You can see how the bottom of the first row of diamond shapes has been cut off. I wasn't a huge fan of the top decreases, since they resulted in a decidedly pointy shape.

You may be saying to yourself, "But Sarah, you have been complaining for months about how this hat was going to be too small, and yet you have managed to get it onto your head!" Ok, you probably aren't saying that, but yes, I have been complaining that the hat was too small. What you can't see in the pictures is the nice firm hug the hat is giving to my head. It did grow a little in blocking, but it will need to stretch out a bit more to be officially comfortable.

Oh yarn, someone always asks about yarn. The yarn is 100% wool and was a gift from a friend traveling through Finland. I'm pretty sure the label is somewhere on the floor of my trailer in Yellowstone, so that's as about specific as I can get. I used a size 4 needle, but I probably should have gone up to a 5 to eliminate the head squeeze of death.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Color Week: Plaid/Stripes


Today's theme for color week surprised me: stripes and plaids! I have very little plaid around the house, mostly nasty fleece blankets that really need a good washing. I found stripes on my couch, in my kitchen, and on our guest bed.

Today is, sadly, the last day of color week. I had a lot of fun hunting around the house for color, and this project has definitely made me more aware of the color around me. Although it is months in the future, I'm really looking forward to painting our new house.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Color Week: Pink


I'm not a pink fan, so I really had to look hard for some. Luckily, pink book spines popped out at me from my bookshelf. I love my pink scissors - they cut fabric and paper so smoothly! My mom always is fiercely protective of her "good scissors", and I totally understand. These stay on my desk, and my husband has been refused their use on occasion. (He wanted to use them to open hard plastic packaging!! The horror.)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Color Week: Blue, Purple, & Yellow

I just found out that Curious Bird is hosting "color week" - the simple concept is to take photos inspired by a certain color each day this week. I'm a little behind, so here are my catch-up photos.

Can you tell I have a thing for dishes? (And patterns, for that matter.) I have a plate collection, devised one day while in Pier 1. I saw a plate I loved, but I already had a whole set of dishes. Then it dawned on me: Who says dishes have to match? Since then, if I see a plate that I like, I just buy one. I've had to stop recently though, due to running out of cabinet space. But, one day I hope to have something like a china cabinet so I can collect superfluous dishes to my heart's content.


I didn't think purple would be difficult for me to find, as it is one of my favorite colors. I even have a whole wall painted purple in my house - but as it turns out, it insists on looking brown in every picture. So, I had to go to my closet. Wow, I really have a lot of purple shirts...


I'm not a fan of yellow on its own, but lately I have been painting everything orange/blue/yellow. I'm not really planning on giving up my love for Mexican folk art when I move away from the southwest, so I'm hoping yellow continues to appear in my home.

Tomorrow: Pink(!)

Monday, January 05, 2009

Year-End Wrap-Up: Knitting

This has definitely been the year of hats. Out of the 16 projects that I completed, 8 of them were hats. I also finished 3 pairs of socks, a pair of mittens, a stuffed rabbit, one sweater, one shrug, and a little teapot jacket.

At the beginning of 2008 I decided to learn colorwork, knitting with two colors of yarn at the same time. And I did... but I haven't finished that hat yet, because as I said, I know it won't fit so I have lost all motivation. I only have about 10 rows to go, so hopefully it will be done sometime soon. The important thing is that I learned a new knitting skill.

I also discovered this (past) year that I love cables! I hope to knit a fairly complicated cable project in 2009, perhaps the Bayerische Socks. Having only knitted two pairs of socks for myself last year, I definitely need to remedy that situation. I have a number of great patterns in my Ravelry queue that are serving as motivation. I also hope to knit more sweaters, since I only finished one last year.

The great news about my impeding move is that I will once again be within reasonable distance of yarn stores, and will be able to attend Maryland Sheep and Wool this year! I also hope to join a knitting group again. I greatly miss my Delaware Knitters, who provided such great conversation and inspiration with their knitted projects. There's a lot coming up this year, and I am trying to look forward with excitement instead of stress.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Evangeline Mittens

Christmas knitting revealed! When my brother's girlfriend started dropping some significant hints, like she needed new mittens and "always loves a handmade gift", I knew I needed to knit her some mittens. We've actually never met, but I am told that she is crafty, and that's qualification enough for a knitted gift.

For some reason there are TONS more fingerless glove patterns than mittens out there, so I decided to convert the Evangeline fingerless glove pattern to full-on mittens. Don't ask me how I did it, because I just did some random decreases until I looked right.

The pattern, which was originally published in the now-defunct Magknits, is now a free Ravelry download. I used Cascade 220 Heather, which is 100% wool. I had never used this yarn before, but now I understand why it is seen as a go-to yarn among knitters. It's sturdy and warm, and while it's not super super soft, its not scratchy like a lot of other pure wool yarns. I'm glad I bought a skein too many, so I can make something in the same color for myself!
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