FOs 2016-01-26

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FO Report: Insulate! Hat

Pattern: Insulate! Hat by Amy van de Laar (Baroque Purls)
Yarn: madeleinetosh tosh dk 56 yards Spectrum (blue) and 84 yards Maple Leaf (yellow)
Needles: 4 mm
Yardage: 68.5 g / 140 yards

I knit this for my Whovian 10 year old son, who loves it. It was really tight around his head before blocking, but thankfully, blocking did the trick. The yarn is just lovely, silky 100% merino with just a perfect barely there amount of drape.

I knit the medium size, and I followed the pattern, though I did use the It’s not About the Hat pattern‘s colour-work technique. The standard Fair Isle technique of carrying yarn behind the work has never worked out for me, my tension is too uneven, and not even blocking can save the FO. I really love this new-to-me colour-work technique; it’s actually very simple, though there are very detailed instructions in the It’s not About the Hat pattern. I may even use it to substitute intarsia one day.

Next time I knit this hat, I would do about twice as many rounds of ribbing at the beginning, as there is barely enough ear coverage for truly cold days (say, -25C and below).

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FO Report: Insulate! Mittens

Pattern: Insulate! Mittens by Amy van de Laar (Baroque Purls)
Yarn: madeleinetosh tosh dk 97 yards Spectrum (blue) and 49 yards Maple Leaf (yellow)
Needles: 3.75 mm & 4 mm
Yardage: 70 g / 146 yards

I made these to match the Dalek hat above (actually, I made the mittens first then the hat). I inverted the colours to make sure that I would have enough to make the entire hat/mittens set.

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As you can see in the photo, these mittens are getting a lot of use, especially being snow-covered, jammed into coat pockets while soaking wet, a lot of friction while damp, etc.. etc… And they are holding up really well. I am very impressed. Tosh DK is not the princess-y kind of expensive yarn I was worried it might be. They also dry very fast; my son hasn’t had to deal with trying to keep warm by pulling on wet, soggy, somehow-even-colder-than-outside slush blocks (aka ‘mittens’).

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Insulate! Mittens

I didn’t quite follow the pattern. I changed the patterning on the palm – the yellow just completely overpowered the blue, it was very unbalanced (with my colour selections). So I just did the simplest pattern I could think of – y,b to end, next round b,y to end, repeat these 2 rounds. The thumbs are knit in the background colour, then the contrast colour is duplicate stitched in. I didn’t quite finish the duplicate stitch chart; I did just enough so that pattern flowed from the hand. Duplicate stitch is just not my thing, but it’s a good idea for the thumbs, obviously.

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All in all, I loved knitting the hat and mittens, and I am so happy my son loves them too!

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WIPs 2016-01-21

I finished a WIP from last week, the Insulate! mittens, so as one does, I immediately cast on for two more projects. The Insulate! hat is actually done, I finished it last night. The photo was taken yesterday afternoon; immediately after taking its picture, I decided that I had to work on this hat. I pushed everything else aside, including this post, which should have been written and posted yesterday. It’s super cute, though a little small (did I check gauge? no, of course not) but I haven’t blocked it yet, so fingers crossed it will get larger.

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Insulate! hat

I cast on a Hitchhiker as well, I’m using Hedgehog Fibres Twist Sock, which is 80% BFL wool and 20% nylon. I love the yarn, and the colours are amazing. I find knitted speckled yarn gives a lovely gentle overall effect, but can still use many wild colours, while variegated can be hit or miss when it knits up. This shawl’s construction is fun to knit, since it goes so fast at the beginning.

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Hitchhiker Shawl

I am so close to being done with Chart Three on my Evenstar. Only 1.5 rows of patterning, and 5 rows of plain knitting, left. I can’t wait to start the bind off/Chart Four. I haven’t worked on any of my other WIPs this week, though the socks are bugging me. My daughter hates the toe seams in commercial socks; the guilt of not being a consistent sock knitter (e.g. my Monkey Socks took me just over three years to complete) is really getting to me.

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Evenstar Shawl

And yes, I did put an overturned box on my back porch to use a table / snow protector to take these photos. On a sunny day, the snow outside (it is everywhere) works almost like a light-box. The colours are accurate for once. Oh! and that overturned box was used to ship an Ashford bottom whorl spindle to me. I plan to learn how to spin, but for now I just want to get my feet wet;  I want to master the spindle and enjoy it before jumping into the spinning pool.

Carbuncles pt. 2

Project: Linga
Pattern: Linga by Gudrun Johnston
Yarn: Rowan Felted Tweed DK, colour 157 Camel
Needles: 3.5 & 4.5 mm
Yardage: 41 g / 156 yards

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It’s fitting that I finished this hat right after my Shalder cardigan. I put this pattern in my queue at the same time that I put Shalder in my queue; I was fascinated by the carbuncle/diamond motifs used for dwarven objects in The Hobbit movie. I love how it turned out; I think it will be my main hat this winter even if there is an openwork / lace motif. I originally meant to make the hat and the cardigan as a matching set because of the carbuncle design feature, but they are knit at different tensions and knitting them in the same yarn would be boring. The carbuncle lacework shows up more clearly in lighter coloured yarn, too. Now if I could just finish an idea in less than a year, instead of the nearly three years this one took me to complete.

Autumn is here!

It is very chilly here this morning. So very refreshing and invigorating. I have been knitting; I put my Evenstar to the side this month, but I did finish a hat, and I started another shawl for a KAL that started last weekend. I used Blue Moon Single Silk for the hat, it is so soft, I just love it.

Completed 13 September 2014
Elven Cloche Hat

I joined a KAL for the In Dreams Shawl, another Tolkien inspired shawl by the same designer as Evenstar. It is my first time using beads, and there are just so many of them! I got a beadle needle, super easy to use and an awesome time saver for beaded projects.
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I am only going to do 8 rows per day, to avoid mistakes. I love charts so much, I forget to check the written instructions, which contain the chart notes. So I have already made my first mistake, and I’ve had to frog back 4 rows. Not as bad as my Evenstar gaffe, but aargh.

Lastly, I am still plugging away on my Shalder. I started the sleeves, it is great to work on at the end of the day.
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Wednesday 14 August 2013

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I finished this hat a few weeks ago, and promptly cast on for a second one since I have enough yarn leftover. It will be red hat with a grey dragon, though, since the yardage might be a little tight.

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This hat is for my son, and I have been working (slowly) on his neckwarmer, I should be done before the snow arrives. If I actually get all the the winter stuff done before winter begins, that will a first for me!

Autumn Has Arrived!

At the bus stop

So I’ve been working on winter accessories. (Okay, when I’m not working on Sanagi, which is a lovely pile of straight stitch at the moment, but I should it finish soon.) I made this hat for my son according to his specifications. Since I couldn’t do a detailed picture of The Hulk, he settled for words instead. It turned out quite well, I improvised the pattern but kept it simple for once. It’s a little too big which means I might get two winters out of it. I knitted his name into the inside of the brim, so hopefully it won’t get lost at school.

The Hulk

I have another hat to finish, plus I’ll need some mittens for myself. Something super warm so I can grip the steering wheel of my car first thing in the morning without my hands falling off.

Silly pic

I haven’t given up knitting, I swear! I have been fiddling with this hat for what seems like ages:

You can see the dpns sticking out on the right side. I’ve frogged (again!) since then, because the decreases were not giving me what I wanted. I’m using the JKnit app to write (and revise) the pattern as I go. It’s a great app, you should try it if you get the chance.