Thursday, February 26, 2009
I seem to be Single White Female-ing KK and her luscious designs as of late. I am starting to think of Through The Loops as the band whose album you automatically buy, no matter what, on the day it comes out (which apparently explains why I own Lovesexy). All the Water? Got it. Breathe Deep? Downloaded. Joni-Reykjavik-Dr. G's? check check CHECK. But somehow I missed Confection when it came out, and so stumbling upon it on Ravelry was extra thrilling, kind of like finding the 12" import with an awesome b-side...have I adequately dated myself yet? No matter. Confection is perfection.
Pattern: Confection by Kirsten Kapur of Through the Loops
Yarn: MadTosh Sport Merino in 'Poprocks', 1 skein
Needles: Size 6 addi turbo lace needles. Have you tried these yet? Unbelievable. Something about the dull finish and the extreme pointiness of the tips make the whole experience just that more sweet.
Mods: Because I went up in needle size I cast on one fewer repeat.
This is a super-fast cowl and the resulting garment reminds me of a 1950's birthday party. The hot pink is so perfect for this project, it's making my teeth hurt. I'm keeping this little sugar baby for myself;)
Next up for me is the pattern that's sweeping the nation: Ishbel. Yahaira's sent me over the brink, and after much deliberation and a lot of input from Flickrpeeps, I've cast on using a skein of my girl Wendee's Hazel Knits Euphorbia. I knew it had to be green as I'm hoping to conjur up some spring around these parts!
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Bartholomew Cubbins has nothing on me. I tallied my hat production over the past 16 months or so and came up with the startling number of 24. Whew! Even a child of the 80s given to wretched excess such as myself has to recoil a bit at that number. My first impulse was to somehow make the assertion that 'well over half of them were given away as gifts....right?' Umm, no. Wrong on that account: only five were for others. So...yeah. We gotta lotta hats around this joint. And here's one more:
Pattern: Thorpe by Kirsten Kapur
Needles: Size 8 Magic Loop
Yarn: Pigeonroof Studios Worsted in 'Pea Soup'; Sublime Cashmere Merino Silk DK in Shade for the crocheted edge
Mods: I did the first 10 odd rows in Magic Loop because I cannot for the life of me get those fiddly dpns to behave on the starting rows. I think that the gauge is slightly too tight and probably should have done the hat on size 9 needles, but I am really happy with this hat. Another TTL winner!
Many of you suggested doing something in garter stitch to highlight the hand spun, and this hat hat does fit the bill. The Curdmudgeon is always asking for a hat that covers his ears, and this hat certainly does just that.
I am extra pleased with how this hat turned out because a. my first one was such an epic fail and b. it allowed me to pop in at Stitch Your Art Out and get my pal Cynthia to help me with the half double crochet, because I am crochet impaired. She sat with me and patiently helped me get the hang of it. Once I got home I had this Youtube video open the entire time and that helped as well.
Well I hope to take a break from my hat drill as I am out of enthusiasm as well as ideas. Besides after seeing Coraline all I want to do is make these.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
The Turn-A-Square continues to occupy my thoughts as it's allowing me to both delve into the recesses of the stash for perennial workhorses like Noro while at the same time exploring new colors like my current obsession, Lamb's Pride Worsted 'Silver Streaks at Nite'. (I'm a sucker for stoopid spelling like 'nite'--guess that 'ght' is not long for this world).
Way back in the early days of being an lys accolyte at the table--you know, the table where you sit and knit and knitters that know better than you tell you everything you (never) wanted to know about their medical history and dysfunctional marriages, occasionally knitting would come up and people would make solemn pronouncements like "...never knit with black. Black is impossible to knit with". Somehow I accepted statements such as this one as axiomatic truth, because the more experienced knew so much more than me. It is for this reason that when I saw 'Silver Streaks' I initially internally scoffed at the notion, because, you know, black is forbidden and all, but upon further inspection I knew that it was destined to work. And now I want nothing less than an entire sweater out of this color. In your face, knitting trolls...
Pattern:Turn a Square by Jared Flood
Yarn: Noro Yuzen (#1), almost a full skein and Lamb's Pride Worsted 'Silver Streaks at Nite', a half a skein. The Yuzen is a new one for me, and it's a winner. Although the gauge isn't a perfect match with the Lamb's Pride, the two together worked out fine . Babs has declared Lamb's Pride to be the most undervalued yarn around, and I must say that I agree.
Needles: Size 7
This photo shoot is brought to you courtesy of the campus Botany Greenhouse, which was a welcome sight during today's sinister wintry mix. Its lush green foliage and thick, humid air were just what my model and I were needing to brighten our slog across campus. As you can see, I'm back to my trick of enlisting beautiful Frenchies to spice it up around here...
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Thanks for the walk down memory lane with all of your 70s reminiscences--just seeing the word 'Shasta' again was a pure delight. Sometimes I question how sentient I really am when I do things like see a hat on Flickr, obsess over how amazing it is, rush off to Ravelry to queue it only to find out that Oops! I've already queued that one, and recently, too! Isn't aging and the deterioration of one's mind fabulous? I suppose making Alzheimer's jokes really isn't funny for obvious reasons...Let's chalk such moments up to mucho Mary Jane in the 1980s and not contemplate other far less appealing genetic explanations, ok?
Pattern: Felicity by Wanett Clyde
Yarn: Blue Sky Alpacas Suri Merino in Seamist, one skein exactly
Needles: size 6 and size 8 needles
Mods: I cast on 90 sts and went from there. I also made a poofier top by doing an extra set of increases, but I like the Jiffy-Pop shape of it and feel that it's a hat that might be worthy of everyone's fave knockaround pal, Strawberry Shortcake.
The shape of this hat it was sets it apart from the others--it is so versatile. It seems modern and yet there is a touch of whimsy in there as well. If you're looking for some stockinette therapy, this is your next hat pattern--just make sure to choose a yarn that will flop around a bit.
I guess you could say I'm on a major roll with the whole hat thing. I figure I've got the rest of the year to fuss over socks, sweaters and shawls--right now I am 100% hat centric and am loving it. And after Felicity I have even more in the pipeline!
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
I believe I might have been a tad hasty when I said in a fit of self-loathing that I wanted to ditch my stash. Let's face it, it is because of the Ye Olde Yarne Shoppe on the third floor that the following series of events could take place:
- search on Ravelry for 'men's' hat patterns
- click on the Purl Bee blog after finding the precise type of hat I was looking for, scanning the yarns required and realizing that while I don't have those precise colors in Casscade 220, I most certainly do in Brown Sheep Nature Spun and some random Classic Elite Wings for a faux cashmere lining
- send my eager shop girl Peeperlou upstairs with a basket to fill my order
- and voilà, I am in business.
Whitney, that author of the pattern, talks about how this hat reminds her of her childhood in the 70s, and I so agree. My older brother (class of '76) always wore a hat like this when he was listening to his Bread albums on his 8-track tape player while drinking Dr. Pepper (a profoundly 70s beverage) and using his Presto Hot Dogger machine. Laura made a joke on Flickr that this hat made her want to have fondue and watch Matchgame--the Seventies possibilities are endless! I just had to make this hat for strictly nostalgic purposes...
Pattern: Whitney's 70s Ski Hat
Needles: Size 7
Yarn: Brown Sheep Nature Spun Worsted in "Goldenrod", "Orange You Glad", "Nordic Blue" and "Spring Break"; Classic Elite Wings #2385 for the lining.
This might be the first time I've made a hat for two people to share. One of the recipients (class of '78) loves the color orange so I wasn't worried that it would be too loud--and luckily they are both amenable to the sharing concept. I'm doing this type of 'two birds with one stone' knitting more often!
The Manos Silky Blend you see pictured above represents another first--it might be the first time I have purchased yarn out of sheer humiliation. While in NY, me and my large purse and even larger rear end paid a little visit to the Point. You might know this very cramped store with huge tables that take up almost all of the space in the joint from the Spiders fame? In any case, there is not a lot of breathing room in there. So as I was fondling the Manos display I made a misstep, turned around and my purse swung around and sent a gigantic display basket filled with loud, clattering hangers off a ledge and down a staircase. "Hi! Don't mine me, I'm just visiting from out of town!!". Yes--there were disapproving glares and looks of incomprehension and mild disdain. Covered in shame, you see, I had to purchase the yarn in my hands at that point--it was my only option.
Thursday, February 05, 2009
My quest to continue knitting from the stash has taken two steps forward and one step back. The two steps forward part is Ufserud, a Bea Ellis hat kit that I purchased last year during a fit of flickr envy and have just completed. When I ordered the kit I requested a bold red and a very white white. Upon inspection the colors just seemed way too bright, almost Bicentennialesque, and I suddenly became concerned that my hat was going to be utterly goy-tastic. So I put the kit away on the third floor and went about my usual monkey business. Then during the winter break and my visit to Minneapolis I came upon the full line of Dale of Norway Heilo at the Yarnery and it dawned on me that tweaking the colors ever so slightly (read: buying more yarn) would rectify the situation--so I switched in an oatmeal (#9331) for that brite white (#17) and the game was on.
Pattern: Ufserud by Bea Ellis
Yarn: Heilo in #9331 and #4137, lining Sandes Garn Mandarin #0473
Needles: Size 5, 16 inch circ
Time: about a week
Mods: There were a few. I omitted one repeat after reading about the tendency of this pattern to go gigantic--and even with this modification this hat is big (which I don't mind). I also did a few more decrease rounds at the crown for a tighter join. And rather than sewing the lining in I did the old provisional cast-on and knit the lining together with the working yarn after a few inches.
In addition to the new Heilo mentioned above, I also recently had the good fortune to obtain a super luscious skein of the much coveted Pigeonroof Studios handspun heavy worsted merino in 'Pea Soup'. I had no idea a. how unbelievably appealing this stuff was and b. how impossible it is to get your hands on it. I stumbled upon the Etsy site and there was this one skein left--my survivor/self-preservation instincts kicked in (?) and I selfishly nabbed it. Just in time for Handspun February! I have 145 yds. of this--any ideas?