Unconventional Tools

As a result of knitting, I know about how long my hand is so that I can use it as a rough ruler for my WIPs. 

For example, I am knitting a slouchy hat that needs to be about 10 inches. That’s a hand and a half. 

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Finished Project: Basic Baby Hat

After meeting my former coworker’s handsome baby, I started knitting this hat. You see, he came in wearing the hat I originally made him and it was far too big. So I decided to throw together a simple little thing from some stash yarn. The yarn is Berroco Comfort DK in Tea Party. I’m not crazy about the weird zebra-stripe way the color patterned out. However, the yarn is nice and soft and it will keep the little gent’s head warm for winter. The pattern is just some free, basic baby hat I found online and apparently didn’t save.

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Finished Project: Escargot Hat

I finished this hat the other day and it has already been given to my coworker. She is having a rough time right now because he kitty is sick and I thought it would look good on her.

I did have to stretch my skills just a little to make this one because it uses a cable cast on, which I hadn’t done before. I really like how it turned out. It is knit all as one piece, which was great. I did have one issue that is concerning, the red dye ran when  rinsed it. The color coming off was so bad that my hands turned pink as I knit. If anyone has tips for how to handle this in the future, I’d be happy to hear them, because the yellow did get kind of stained.

The yarn is Sundara’s Aran Silky Merino in Raspberry Ripple and Lemon Drop. The pattern is Escargot by Veronica Parsons, which is available for free. It’s escargot because of the snail like pattern on the hat (escargot is French for snail).

I have yarn left over from this that is enough to make another version of the hat with the colors reversed, but I may do a different pattern.

 

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My Pretties!

My yarn from Sundara finally came in! It’s so soft and the colors are gorgeous and deep. I got the Aran Silky Merino in Raspberry Ripple and Lemon Drop. And look at the adorable kitty tag!

image_1I think I’m going to make hats with them because I saw a pattern where someone made two hats from the same yarns (just different colors) and they’re really cute. The pattern is Escargot and the two skeins should be enough for two hats, one in Raspberry with Lemon trim and the other in Lemon with Raspberry trim.

Finished Project: Turtle Set

Finally! I can post this!

The reason things have been so quiet around here is that all my knitting time has been devoted to finishing a cardigan and matching hat. One of my coworkers and his wife are expecting their first baby this fall. He’s taking a new job to be home with the kiddo so I had to quickly finish the set to get it to him today. I didn’t want to post anything about the project until I had given it so it could still be a surprise.

So now… the big reveal!

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Sorry for the poor picture quality. I was trying to snap the shots last night while dealing with an injured and very drugged out dog.

Look! The buttons are turtles. I was determined to have teal buttons to match the yarn.

The sweater pattern is Buttons Cardigan #606. 

The hat is the Myshka Tuque except I did the edge in garter stitch so it would match the sweater.

The yarn is Debbie Macomber’s Wild Meadow in color Juneau.

The pattern was very easy to work. It’s knit top down in one piece with a garter stitch edge.

Overall, I was incredibly pleased with this set (although I’m worried the hat is too big) and I hope the parents-to-be get good use out of it.

Green With Frustration

I finally worked on my green hat again last night and managed to finish it. I sat and watched The Odd Life of Timothy Green (I have a green thing going) while I tackled the decreases on this hat. I had attempted to start the decreases the other night and, after an hour of frustration, gave up. The way this little tam works up, the decreases form a star shape at the top of the hat. In order to keep the sections of the star straight, the author of the pattern suggests placing stitch markers. Now, I became so frustrated with how this was working out I was about ready to send the designer a nasty message along the lines of “Why would you have us place markers if the stitch count of the next row doesn’t line up with them?!?” Luckily, I was smart enough to first second guess myself. No matter how many times I read the pattern I could figure out why my stitch count wasn’t coming out the way I needed it to. As it turns out, my mistake was not on my current row, but the one before.

The pattern had something along the lines of (K1,P1) 11 Times Place Marker.  Being so brilliant like I am (ha ha), I read this as though I should knit and purl for a total of 11 stitches then place the marker. This, of course, was wrong. So it was no wonder that, on the next row, the stitches for each section were going past the markers. Now, had I been doing the second row correctly, I would passed by one marker and hit the second one, right? Because I had twice the markers I need. Except that the next row at (K1,P1) 8 times for one part of the pattern and I was reading that as only 8 stitches. I have no idea where my brain was that night. I was tired, I know that. I had a headache, of course. All of my knitting knowledge must’ve just taken a vacation.

So after completing 2 rows of decreases incorrectly, it finally dawned on me (or hit me like a ton of bricks) what I had been doing wrong. Which meant I had two rows to rip back and do over. Which would’ve been tedious, but easy enough, except that the decrease method used is S1K2P, which is a pain in the butt to tink back. Plus there were some K3tog in there as well.

So after an hour (at least) spent doing the two rows wrong, tinking them back, and redoing them- I gave up.

I took me a full 24 hours to feel like I was willing to sit down and torture myself with the hat again. I had already been reluctantly working on it because, as I previously stated, I hate switching between knit and purl, such a seed stitch or ribbing. Then with the counting catastrophe, I was feeling really burnt out on this hat.

But I did it. This project is rife with mistakes. I mean, bad. There is a whole row in one of the sections that turned into ribbing instead of seed stitch because I started with K1P1 when I should’ve P1K1. No matter how many times I counted, recounted, and counted again, the number of stitches in the sections kept getting off. I finally gave up on ripping anything back and just charged forward with my flawed work. Somehow, I ended up with a little hole in one spot. No idea how. I didn’t notice the hole until far too late, so I’m just accepting it.

All in all, the yarn for this project was lovely, I’m sure the pattern was great, but it made me ant to rip my hair out.

Here's the cat looking disapproving either of my sloppy knitting or that I was watching Dirty Dancing.

Here’s the cat looking disapproving either of my sloppy knitting or that I was watching Dirty Dancing.