Wanderer Cap

This week I knit a hat in 2 days.  Really, I could have easily done it in one day but I didn’t have my dpns on hand the first day to finish the crown.  I love instant gratification projects.

I love the book Weekend Hats that was released in the fall.  It’s got some amazing hats in it, and this one is no exception.  This is Wanderer Cap by Jared Flood.  It’s pretty simple.  Mostly garter stitch with 6 slip stitch cables that twist around the crown in a spiral.  The pattern is only charted, not written.  I found that after a few rounds I could “see” where the pattern was going and didn’t have to refer to it every row.
The yarn I used was amazing.  It was Elsebeth Lavold Baby Llama, 100% llama, colorway dark brown.  (Sometimes I like it when colors have obvious names rather than fanciful ones.)  It’s amazingly soft.  Ryan loves Alpaca and this has the same silky smooth texture.
Since I know that other camelid fibers like alpaca can lose shape I knit this hat entirely on size 6 needles rather than the 7s and 8s called for.  It looked very small coming off the needles, but after washing and blocking over a balloon it ended up the perfect size.
Man do I love that smile!
Ryan says it is the best beanie I have made for him yet.  This sounds like a challenge.

Oh Hi

Oh Hi blog.  How are you?  It’s been a while… I started a new Job at the beginning of June and I can’t believe I’ve been there a month now.  waking up at 6:45 every morning is not fun, but the job is good and the work can be fun.  The real reason I’ve been derelict in my posting is because I moved in the last two weeks of June and I’m still trying to settle into my new place.  The packing up and getting out of the old place wasn’t so bad, I had lots of help from Ryan and Adam.  It’s the unpacking and trying to get the new place set back up that’s killing me.  Have to find a new place for everything, have to figure out how this place wants to be set up, ugh.

I did finish a knitting project in the midst of all the tumult.  A friend of mine got married last weekend, and the invitation suggested that “cocktail attire” would be most appropriate… So I went shopping, found a dress, found some shoes, found some earrings, and a necklace.  The dress was strapless, the wedding was in the evening, and the “summer” that Portland has been dishing up lately hasn’t been very warm.  This was my solution:


The pattern is Lacy Hug Me Tight from the Knit2Together book.  I managed to finish it in just under a month (and on the night before the wedding.)

The pattern is exceedingly boring to knit.  First you knit a giant block of 2×2 ribbing, 21″ worth of ribbing to be exact.  Then you knit three strips of lace, two to go around the sleeves and one to go around the body.  The strips are about 20 stitches wide.  The lace is not charted, so you either have to chart it yourself (which I did after the first repeat) or try to follow written lace instructions.  Then you fold the body and add a little seam.  Then you sew the strips of lace around the edges.  It’s a lot of finishing work.  I do like the result though.


At the wedding there was a sort of photo booth set up and everyone there got the password to access the photos.  The company is located in WA but I guess they do shoots in Portland too.  I’m holding a cardboard cut out top hat and Ryan is holding cardboard bright red lips.

The yarn is Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy.  41% Cotton, 34% Hemp, and 25% Modal.  I love the finished project, but this yarn is hell to work with.  It’s so rough on your hands, there is no give at all, it’s not at all soft before it’s washed.  After it’s washed it blooms like mad and becomes super drape-y and soft.


Here’s the back view.  Excuse the wet hair.  I thought it might be a bad idea to ask the professional wedding photographer to focus on the knitwear rather than the wedding guests…  And a close up of the sleeve lace:


I focused my knitting attention on this pretty exclusively to get it done in time for the wedding and now I’m feeling the backlash in the form of some major knitting ADD.  I can’t settle down to any one project I do a few stitches on one a few on another.  I’m super tempted to start something new but I’m trying to finish my old project.  I have a few that have been lingering for far too long.  I’m working on the finish two to start one system.  Now that this is finished I have to finish one more before I can cast something else on.

Portland Yarn Crawl

This past weekend was the Portland Yarn Crawl. It’s exactly what it sounds like–a bunch of crazed knitters hopping from yarn shop to yarn shop and getting drunk on yarny-goodness. There were 20 (yes TWENTY!) yarn shops in the greater Portland area that participated this year. The point was to try to get to all the shops in one weekend. Each shop had a basket full of awesome goodness that they raffled off (no, I didn’t win) and most of the shops had special sales and door prizes going on as well.

I had to work at Yarnia (it was packed!) on Saturday and Sunday so I had to get all my crawling done on Friday. I hit TWELVE shops in one day. It was amazing! There was so much yarn (and I bought bunches of it) and so many knitters. If you don’t want to see what I got, stop reading. This post is all about the new stash I acquired.

Stop 1: The Naked Sheep. I got this bag. I can’t believe how cute it is. I love the color, I love the sheep, it’s wonderful. The shop was small, and the selection was small, and this bag is blatant advertising for the shop (which was only a mediocre shop) it’s so cute that I just don’t care if I lead people there unintentionally, at least they can get a super cute bag.


And this Elsebeth Lavold Baby Llama (it’s so soft!) I’m thinking a slouchy beret type hat. Or a cowl. I don’t know. I think Alpaca is super soft on the skein but next to my skin sometimes it drives me nuts. Since llamas seem pretty close to alpaca a cowl might be risky. We shall see, I may throw caution to the wind.


Stop 2: Close Knit. I got this yarn. It is called BFF B Sock. The color is called Anzu (which means apricot.) It is hand-dyed by a woman in Vancouver, WA (just across the river from Portland) and it’s so springy and happy and it was a gray drizzly day and I could not let go of this yarn once I picked it up. The dyer was there and I chatted with her and she was wonderful and you should check out her etsy shop.


I also got this Malabrigo, colorway Cypress. It’s malabrigo, do I need to justify this purchase any further? Ryan has already claimed it as “beanie yarn” (the man loves beanies). It’s greener than it looks in the picture–basically a black-green (such colors can’t normally exist but in Malabrigo they can.)


Close Knit is one of those yarn shops that’s stuffed with yarn. There’s so much yarn that there’s not much room for people (especially on a day where all knitters in the greater Portland area are out hunting yarn) It’s all the way across town from me, but if I lived closer I would probably stop by to pet the yarn frequently, it’s basically jumping out begging to be petted.

Stop 3: Gossamer. This isn’t what I would call a “yarn shop” in the strictest sense. It’s more of a “craft shop.” It’s got a little bit of everything. I do mean a little bit. Very small selection. They do have fiber though and there are not that many shops that carry spinning fiber (which is weird since it feels like there are a ton of spinners in Portland.) I was one of the first 20 customers so I got this skein of Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece as a door prize. It’s a good thing I like pink. I think I’m going to make one of the Rebecca Danger Monsters with it.


I bought this fiber. It’s 3 little 1.5 oz batts of corriedale wool in a natural-undyed brown. I’m going to try to spin it for socks. We shall see if I can make a nice Navajo-plied 3-ply.


Stop 4: Twisted. The sock yarn wall is pretty impressive (it is an entire wall covered in luscious hand-dyed sock yarn.) Maybe this store has just been so built up by all the ravelry hype about it, but I was sort of disappointed. I was expecting some sort of knitting Mecca based on the way I’ve heard this store described by adoring patrons, but really I didn’t think it was any more special than some of the other perfectly wonderful shops I hit. That didn’t stop me from picking something off the sock yarn wall though. This is Dream in Color Smooshy in colorway Strange Harvest. I’m always so drawn to this scummy yellow-green-brown color. I think it’s pretty and ugly at the same time.


Stop 5: Happy Knits. Easily my favorite stop on the crawl. This really is a happy place. It’s a very good thing I don’t live closer–they only carry the pricey stuff. Here I got Stephen West’s new pattern book. West Knits Book Two. I also spent about 15 minutes gushing with the man behind the counter about how awesome Stephen West is and how amazing his patterns are. Oh, and I bought this.


A cardigan’s worth of Cascade Eco + in colorway Butternut Squash. Can you see what kind of a color mood I was in on Friday?

Stop 6: Yarn Garden. I’ve decided I don’t really like Yarn Garden. This is the second time that I’ve been there, and each time the shop has felt very unwelcoming. That didn’t stop me from buying something though. This is… I’m not quite sure, the label is in German. It seems to say Järbo Garn Gästrike 1-ply. I can tell that it is 100% wool and that it is 600 meters of laceweight.

That is half of my adventure. I will post about the second half later in the week. If you found this post incredibly dull, don’t bother reading that one either.

Great hat pattern

Hi friends, I’m so excited that I can finally share this project with you. It’s been done since August, but I’d been sworn to secrecy until the pattern was publish! (Well not really sworn, but asked politely.) This is Bashful, a new hat pattern by Marlaina Bird. I was lucky enough to be a test knitter for the pattern.


It took me about 3 days of mild knitting to finish this hat and it took just one skein of Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool (though I only had about 1.5 feet of yarn left). The yarn is 45% wool, 35% silk, and 20% nylon. It’s nubby and squishy and wonderful. The nubbyness gives the hat a softer look. If you look through the patterns, the lace on some peoples’ hats has a much more crisp defined look.


The yarn already has a lot of drape, but when knit on size 8 needles (larger than recommended for DK weight) the result is a very slouchy hat.

I’m always so surprised when I see what my nose looks like in profile!

This is my go-to hat when I’m having a bad hair day, which now that I have bangs seems to be way more frequent… I will probably end up making more in other colors because as it is I have to plan my bad hair days for when the shirts that match this hat are clean. DK is not the most common yarn weight it my stash, so I may have to go yarn shopping… Damn…


By the way, this is the 2nd FO from the challenge I presented myself with back in August… Clearly that didn’t motivate me at all… Mostly because I’ve pretty much decided to buy yarn when I feel like it (without putting myself in the poor house). I live alone, I have 3 jobs, I answer to no one financially, and I can have a closet full of yarn if I want to!