Thursday, January 28, 2016

More hats

Winter finally arrives, the weather turns cold, DH goes out - no hat. Where's your hat? I ask. Left it up north, comes the response. Well, that makes sense, it's cold up north. But now it's cold here, too. So I spent the 2016 blizzard knitting hats, because I always seem to have enough yarn for exactly two hats, and DS needed one as well.

Yarn: Patons North America Classic Wool Worsted
Needles: size 7 dpns
Pattern: standard watch cap, same as here, I just increased the cast on to 96 stitches to accommodate male heads.

But then there was the problem of telling them apart. Fortunately, I had been avid to try Techknitter's trick of adding a pinstripe to ribbing after the knitting was done, and viola! It looks quite snazzy on, with the pinstripe coming up off to one side. And the reverse pinstripe from where the brim is folded up, barely visible in the photo, is a lovely small row of blue dots, amazingly cool for the back side of color work. Even though this was a K2, P2 rib, I just picked one of the rib columns to follow, and it worked out fine.

The plan is to add polar fleece bands at some point, since straight-up wool is tough on the forehead, but the streets are not yet plowed enough for shopping.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Door Prize, or Things Not to Do While on Cold Medicine

I started this hat last month, with mystery yarn I won as a door prize at last year's knitting retreat. I was absolutely in love with the pattern stitch, which is simultaneously easy to execute and magical to look at. I was momentarily stumped by the decrease directions, and a search on Ravelry only revealed that I was not the only one confused. Then I took a good look at the photo of the top of the hat in the pattern, and it dawned on me that, despite how the pattern is written, the decreases fall just before the stitch marker, for a total of six decreases per decrease round. And sure enough, that maintained the stitch pattern while decreasing the hat.

But then, disaster struck - I ran out of blue. I was halfway through a head cold at this point, which is my only excuse for what happened next.

I picked out the cast on edge, ripped out a couple of rows, then carefully put the live stitches back on needles.

Then I attached the end of that yarn to the top of the hat and continued knitting. I remember a fuzzy moment when I told my husband that I may have invented a perpetual knitting machine. Fortunately, I finished the hat before I ran out of knitted brim.

I loved making it, and am about to make another for someone else, but it's not really my style, and KD was quick to point out that it's the same colors as the Color Affection I gave her, so...

Wednesday, January 13, 2016


Step one: discover that the designer of Pocket Ted has other tricks up their sleeve!

Step two: fold a pipe cleaner/chenille stick into the properly sized armature:

 Step three: knit a cover for the armature, stitch a friendly face, cover the armature and seam:

Step four: make him friends:

Pattern: Frankie Brown's Bendy Bodies

Yarn: Patons UK Diploma Gold DK

Needles: 3.00 mm dpns

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

This is what happens...

... when you read Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle aloud to your husband on long car trips,

and that sparks an interest in cheese-making that culminates in this year's Christmas gift of Ricki Carroll's Home Cheese Making,


and he tries out his new knowledge before the New Year.


They didn't last long!