Thursday, October 30, 2008

More Elf Hats

This is the first in the coming parade of Elf Hats for kidlettes.

I knit this with plain old "Bulky" instead of "Super Bulky" since it's supposed to be for a newborn. I think it looks more in proportion, but now I understand why the pattern calls for the really thick stuff.

The long pointed end on this hat is just a wee bit... flaccid.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Dancing Grannies Hat

I knit in color like TV,
No black and white nor monochrome,
And all that's best of brown and green
Meet on the white of granny hat.

For some reason, when I want to be pretentious and overblown, Byron comes to mind. So apologies, Lord George, but your copyright's long since expired.

She walks in beauty like the night,
Of cloudless climes and starry skies,
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meets in her aspect and her eyes;

Actually, I think that stanza is one of the most beautiful in poetry.

The first full size color project has been knit.

And knit just a wee bit too big.

When I plopped it onto my head, it hung down to my chin. Oops. The pattern, Dancing Grannies Hat, from The Knitting Man(ual), should have told us innocent followers to knit the ear flaps and bottom, textured, part of the hat on a size smaller needles than used on the color work areas. The bottom belled out like a blueberry flower.
I wasn't a Girl Scout for nothing. I'm resourceful. I can come up with workarounds. So I decided to felt Granny to make it fit a normal human head.

Took it down to the washer, set up a low water load, hot wash, cold rinse. When the washer was filled I added a trickle of Woolite and Granny Hat.

Checked it every couple of minutes.

Nothing happening.

Kept checking.

Nothing happening.

Got distracted...

You have to know what comes next...

Granny felted. Oh yeah, she felted like a yurt.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Bad, Bad, Bad Yarn Junky

Went to JoAnn's today to get inexpensive machine wash and dry yarn for baby hats. This is really kindof bizarre for me, baby hats...

Anyway I've already knit one elf hat (see last post) for a four-year-old. It was quick and easy, so I decided to do one for a friend's baby who's due to make her initial appearance on the 10th of November. Then I thought I should make one for S's one year old boy. Oh, I has a one year old girl. Crum, I can't make a hat for I's baby if I don't make hats for L's two granddaughters (one still in utero), their desks are right next to each other. Geeze o' pete, that makes a total of six baby hats.

That's why inexpensive yarn from JoAnn's. The machine wash and dry requirement is due to the nature of babies. (I don't have to have a baby to know about that.)

So I blithely waltzed in to JoAnn's Moonlight Madness sale this afternoon. Okay, rock me back on my heals, fifty bazillion women with small children running amuck with green grocery carts. But I'm brave, so I grabbed a cart and plowed into the milling masses.

Onward to the yarn department!

Of course, it's not possible to go to the yarn department and not push my cart up and down all of the aisles. Nope, not possible.

Wowzer! Cosetta on sale 75% off. So I went through the whole bin and got the seven that had the same dye lot.

One skein of Moda Dea in a loverly color, looking so lonely rattling around in its big bin.

Pacaboo, what the heck's Pacaboo? Feltable... wool, alpaca and bamboo... cool. Just one skein to experiment with, that's not much.

I hadn't even gotten to the baby yarns yet.

Ah well, I guess $45 for 15 skeins of yarn ain't bad. And I smuggled it down to the basement before the Engineer got home to make editorial comments on my excess too.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Baby Hats

There are four little kids in town who I think are in need of Christmas hats. Warm and cozy Christmas hats. I've found the pattern. It knits up fast, it's cute and out of the ordinary.

Elf Hat #1

Now to decide on the colors for Elf Hats numbers 2 to 4.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Two Colors, Two Hands?

When I saw that Blazing Needles was offering a "Basic Two Color Knitting" class, I decided that the time had come (as the Walrus said) to learn how. I called up, signed up and showed up Wednesday night.

Now, I've got to say that I am right handed. Been right handed all my life. Though I'm neither hopelessly unidextrous like my Mom nor ambidextrous like Dad and my brother (Dad can wiggle his ears too), I definitely favor my right hand. Which, to me, makes it rather surprising that I cannot knit English style. I am simply unable to purl if I'm holding the yarn in my right hand; it makes no sense to me.

Left handed -- easy-peasy.

So I got to the class, pulled out my number 7 circular and dpns and selected two shades of practice yarn. Then the teacher, Terri, gave us the bad news...

We had to learn to knit using both hands.


Main color in dominant hand, second color in other hand. Alternating. Not dropping the whole assemblage.


First Terri set us to knitting several rounds of the main color with our "other" hand for practice. Thank goodness there was no purling involved. The other students were somehow able to toss the yarn over the needle without swinging their whole arm. Not me. I had to pinch the yarn between thumb and forefinger and move the hand in a circle around the needle. I tried to do it like the rest of them, but that was a sure recipe for dropping at least the yarn if not yarn, needles and all.

After I'd managed to knit about three rounds, the teacher announced that it was time to take main color in dominant hand, other color in other hand and knit two, knit two.

Evil Language!

How could it be so hard when I'm right handed?

But I persevered. It wasn't easy, but I did manage to knit with two colors, one in each hand.

Then I went on and committed cute. (I'm so ashamed.)

Ah well, at least I know a four year old who probably needs a dolly hat.

Monday, October 6, 2008

SEX In the Rain

A very strange thing happened here over the weekend. It rained. All weekend long. Weird.

But I am an addict, I went out into the cold and damp to visit the Great Basin Fiber Arts Fair. I slogged through the mud and breathed the aroma of wet sheep, goats and alpacas. I met some Ravelrousers and was given my very own Ravelry button, ooh, ahh!

It was a small arts fair, maybe a dozen or so tents and no food vendors other than a honey guy. Amazing the fragrance three sheep, two goats and three alpacas can generate. Of course, I've always liked barnyard smell. I went to an agricultural college my first time around and always enjoyed it when the breeze was coming off the cow barns.

And as for the SEX...

My stash was enhanced with my very first local handspuns.

Two skeins of
grey undyed llama.

Four assorted skeins of undyed alpaca neck and leg fiber.
And three skeins of hand dyed alpaca.

Yarn lust once again made me sucumb to the temptation I led myself into.