Thursday, October 25, 2007

Completed project: center square hat


Pattern: Center Square hat
Yarn: Cascade 220

I knit this Center Square Hat in just three hours! Ok, to be truthful, I spent an entire evening knitting the hat on size US11 needles all the way through the fair isle pattern only to try it on and discover it was slightly too big. And sure enough when I checked gauge mine was a few stitches/inch off. Gah! This is the first time I have ever had my gauge be larger than what is called for in the pattern. The next night I knit a second hat (the one pictured) on size 10.5 needles, got the right gauge, the hat fits nicely and only took three hours to knit. I think it went faster the second time because I had memorized the pattern :)

The hat fills two purposes: it matches the fleece jacket that I'll be wearing nearly every day until the temp gets below zero (Fahrenheit) and it was good fair isle practice for the anemoi mittens I hope to make. Previous fair isle attempts include a yellow hat with a Charlie Brown stripe which was woefully small due to my not leaving enough slack in the carried strands. The second (and only other) fair isle piece I've made was the felted skull and crossbones mini tote. Let's just say it's a good thing that project was felted, because the backside was not pretty.

So, this is my third and most successful attempt at fair isle. I think it's a great beginner fair isle pattern because you only have to carry yarn for at most 5 stitches before switching colors. I think frequent color changes help maintain a consistent (and adequate!) ease with the carried strands on the backside. I'm extremely happy with how this hat turned out! The first pic shows the part of the hat where the stripes jog. I tried to correct the jog with an assortment of jogless stripe methods, but none of them worked very well. Some of them even left a hole between where the jog would've been and the next stitch, or left a bumpy, extra big stitch where the jog would've been. I'll just take the jog, please.

It's still pretty warm here (see the thermometer at 55 degrees!) so I won't be wearing this hat for a while.


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Completed project: ribs and lace tank

It's done!


I finished my Ribs and Lace Tank about a month ago and finally got around to taking a picture of it. I used KnitPicks Shine Sport in Hydrangea. I had nearly one full ball left over, plus small remnants from two other balls. I added a few inches of ribbing to the top of the shirt in the back but otherwise followed the pattern. I did have to redo the increases and decreases for the bust numerous times, but I finally learned the difference between right-leaning and left-leaning increases. Good stuff to know for the next project! I steam-ironed the ribbed part of the tank top, which really helped it fit and look better. I haven't blocked the lace portion, and I don't think I will. The straps are at kind of a wonky angle, I had to sew the straps of my undershirt to the straps of the tank top to keep the two together. Aside from that, the shirt fits great and I'm looking forward to wearing it again in the spring!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


A complete stranger returned my hat to me this morning on the bus. She said she'd been admiring my handiwork the other day, and wanted to make sure that I got the hat back. How sweet!

Thursday, October 11, 2007


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Last seen at 4:30pm October 10th, 2007, on a seat near the front of the 558 express bus.

Yarn: Rowan Cashsoft DK
Beads: Matte metallic with blue undertones

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This week the weather went from being 85 degrees on Sunday to being 55 degrees on Monday. It's finally fall here. Fall has the potential to be one of the best seasons in Minnesota, when it's sunny and the leaves are turning and the sky is full of fluffy clouds and it's 60 degrees outside I think it's perfect. But I think we've skipped that lovely portion of fall and went directly to the cold, cloudy, windy, rainy portion of fall. Bleh.

At least the dreary portion of fall gives me a reason to wear all the hats and scarves and mittens I own. And I own a lot of them. Most of them are unmatching or mismatched at best, I never buy or knit a matchy-matchy hat-scarf-glove set. So I've been thinking this fall about what sorts of hats, mittens and scarves I could knit to combine (and match!) with stuff I already own. I've been contemplating the Center Square hat, the Chapeau Marnier hat and the Foliage hat from Knitty and some colorwork mittens like the Anemoi pattern from Eunny Jang.

Then yesterday I lost a hat. One of only two hand-knit hats that I made for myself. A hat that matched my fetching mitts. My Odessa hat! I left it on the bus on my way home from work last night. I called the lost and found and (not surprisingly) it has not been turned in. I hope it's found a good home.

Now my plans for new hat patterns (and mittens) have been put on hold. I really, really miss my Odessa hat. I put hours and hours of work into that hat. It's the only hat I own that matches my fetching mitts, and without it I will probably never wear them. So I need to knit another hat with the same yarn. I have two choices I guess: knit another Odessa hat or knit a new hat pattern in the same color yarn. I don't know which I'll opt for. I'll decide after I'm done mourning the loss of my hat.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Miscellaneous finished projects

I've been trying to use up (some) of my fabric and yarn stash lately. I've actually finished quite a few things, only a few of which I've managed to snap pictures of. Since we're down to less than 12 hours of daylight here, and it's been stormy lately, I've not had many opportunities to take pictures.

I did manage to snap a picture of this envelope clutch that I made with linen and scraps of Amy Butler fabric, lined with some orange cotton that was leftover from a quilt back.


And this Elisa's Nest Tote is a Christmas present for a family member, made from one ball of Rowan 4-ply cotton.


In addition to finishing things, I also cast on a pair of toe-up socks. I'm knitting both socks on one long circular needle. I was really looking forward to this, thinking it would make sock knitting so much easier. What a disappointment! It's just as difficult as knitting with DPNs; but it has a different set of problems. Rather than having DPNs poking out at weird angles, you have two balls of yarn getting tangled up in the giant circular needle, and the circular needle needs constant readjusting and repositioning. But, the good thing about this method is that you can try the socks on as you go and get a much more accurate fit than with DPNs. Also, both socks will be done at the same time. So, while it's no silver bullet for sock knitting, I think this will be my preferred method for sock knitting from now on.