3.5 hour hat

Recently, Ryan misplaced his Cousteau hat that I made him last winter. He felt very bad and was very grumpy when he realized it had gone missing. I maintain that it is somewhere hiding in my tremendously messy apartment (no time for cleaning until after finals) but he’s convinced that it’s gone for good. Since we’ve been having sub-freezing temperatures on a regular basis here, I decided that until it turns up, he needed a replacement to keep his ears warm.

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This is Close Knit Waffle Hat by by Leah Bandstra. The pattern is free and can be found by following that link. The pattern calls for bulky yarn and size 10 needles so it knits up very quickly, 3.5 hours in one night for me (while carrying on conversation and watching TV.) The pattern has a short and long option, and I chose to make the long because I prefer hats that completely cover my ears (probably should have consulted Ryan’s preferences rather than my own, but he hasn’t said anything about it’s length and this way I can borrow it if need be…)

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The yarn is Knit Picks Swish Bulky in the color Hawk which was leftover from the blanket I’m making for Ryan. It is a 100% superwash wool. I love this yarn, it’s so soft and squooshy. It does have ugly matted joins maybe once a hank though… I wish they would just tie knots instead of trying to do felted joins on superwash yarn, but at least they can be easily cut out and there’s never more than one per hank.

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Ryan does wear this, but he did inform me that it’s “borderline girly.” I never would have thought that a gray beanie would seem particularly girly, but I’ve been told that the texture of the hat seems to make it less manly… I showed him a picture of a cabled hat and he told me that it was “girly” as well, so I think he’s adverse to pretty much all texture other than plain ribbing. If the Cousteau hat doesn’t turn up in the post finals cleaning I’ll cast on a new one (in gray again…) so that Ryan can have a hat he’s truly happy with rather than one that just meets the minimum requirements of being warm (and gray.)

One Christmas gift down

Last year I didn’t do any Christmas anything until about December 20th because I was so busy with school. This year, finals go all the way until December 23rd (yeah! I know!) so I’ll have to cram in cleaning, celebrating, and gift making/buying alongside my finals preparation. While working at Yarnia, I managed to whip up my dad’s Christmas present in about 4 days.

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This is the Windschief hat by Stephen West. This is my third Stephen West knit, and like the other two, the instructions were well written and the finished product looks great.

I used a pre-made Yarnia yarn called Santos which is which is mostly rayon and acrylic with a tiny bit of cotton. I wanted to go for machine washability since my dad is a runner and will like get this all sweaty and gross on a regular basis.

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I love the color of this yarn. “Oatmeal” would be a good word to describe it, with just a hint of sheen from the rayon. I asked Ryan and he assured me that it counts as a “manly” color, so dad should like it.

I only used about 25% of the cone on the hat, so I’m thinking about whipping up some convertible mittens to go with it. One of the benefits of buying yarn by the half-pound cone.

Another hat

Back in September I got my hair cut, and got bangs for the first time since the 3rd grade. I love them, I think they look great, they totally suit me. However, they do take a modicum of styling attention… not much, but some. However, as finals creep closer and closer, I’m finding the need to roll out of bed and get out the door quickly more and more pressing. Since I usually shower at night sometimes my bangs can end up drying in some pretty weird bed-head type positions, e.g. 90 degrees from my forehead. This has made me come to appreciate knit hats in an all new way. It doesn’t matter what my bangs look like if I shove them under a hat and leave them there all day.

I’ve been wearing the Bashful that I made in August quite a bit, but as the temps have dropped, the drappy lacy open nature of the hat isn’t keeping me warm in the same way it use to. Also, I just have the one, so it limits my clothing choices on bad-hair days to things that go with purple. So I decided to make another warmer hat so that I could have more all around fashion choices.

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A quick Ravelry search led me to Slouchy Hat with Pico Edge by Jan Wise which is a free pattern. The first 25 rows are knit on size 4 needles, the rest of the hat on size 8s. This makes the part around your ears nice and snug but still lets you have the wonderful slouchy hat look. Other than a row of eyelets around the brim, it’s mostly stockinette with purl rounds every so often to add a bit of texture.

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On the day I took these pictures my bangs were mostly behaving, so I let them be in the picture. It is nearly impossible to take a picture of yourself that is both flattering, and shows off knitwear well.

The yarn I used was leftover from a pair of convertible mittens I made over a year ago. The yarn is Cascade Rustic 79% wool 21% linen single-ply. It’s medium-soft to work with, but after you wash it, it softens up much much more. This hat took less than a single skein. I wouldn’t use this yarn for anything other than “plain” projects though because I think the yarn would hide any texture/pattern pretty completely.

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When I showed the finished hat to Ryan he said, “It looks Slavic.” I would have preferred, “It looks pretty,” or “Wow, you’re a talented knitter,” but I’ll take Slavic. At least they know how to get through some cold-ass winters…

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.

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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.

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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.

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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…

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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!

Man Hat

Man, I’m actually doing pretty good with this whole “updating” business. Three days in a row! Go me! The project I am sharing with you today was meant to be a Valentine’s Day gift, but it was late… Only by 4 days… That’s not over the “bad girlfriend” line is it? Maybe if a purchased gift were 4 days late, but a knit gift? I think I get some wiggle room. Right?

Ryan was wearing this terrible beanie. I’m sure he thought it was fine, but from a knitter’s perspective, it was terrible. First, it was acrylic. I have nothing against acrylic for some projects, I believe it has its uses and I use it for projects myself. However, a winter hat, for a native Californian who is used to 60 degree winters, needs to be wool. Second, it had seams, not just one seam up the back, seams all around the crown as well, and not nice knit seams, serger seams. Yeah. Third, it had pilled so badly that it looked pretty shabby. I decided to take action. The result:

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The Jacques Cousteau Hat by Lalla Pohjanpalo. The yarn I used was Lana Grossa Cool Wool Big in a gray manly-type color sure to be acceptable. The yarn is fantastic. It’s really tightly spun. Even though it is merino and therefore fantastically soft, it has not pilled. It held up to Ryan wearing it pretty much daily for about two months and then off and on as the Portland weather demanded. Ryan has expressed to me many times how much he likes it, and was pretty distraught one day when he thought he’d lost it (it was not lost, just temporarily mislaid.)

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The front view make it look like it’s just a simple k3p2 ribbed beanie, the top is where all the action is. This could have been knit in about 2 evenings, but law school was sucking away my life at the time, and it took me about a week. So far Ryan has been very appreciative of my crafty gifts, a very good sign. This hat is somewhat boring to knit as the majority of it is just ribbing, but it’s good for a mindless stress-free knit and it has been man-approved if you need a quick gift.

The wonderful hat that I must give away

For Christmas and my birthday (also in December) my brother gave me yarn. Of course by “gave me yarn” I mean about two weeks before Christmas he accompanied me to the yarn shop, waited impatiently for me to make my selection (anything I wanted as long as it was under $80), and handed over his credit card. As far as I am concerned, this is the most perfect way for a brother to Christmas shop for his sister. Among the things I picked out were two skeins of Malabrigo Merino Worsted. One skein in the Sunset colorway and the other in Black Forest. I have grown ridiculously fond of this yellowy-orange/charcoal color combination though the yellowy-orange is not ideal for my skin tone. I actually bought this yarn with a project in mind. Stephen West’s Botanic.

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I was slightly worried that in striping the two colors I would end up looking like a bumblebee but I have been assured by several people that I do not. That is what I consider the “outside” of the hat because that is the side that you see as you knit so I think of it as the “right side” but really the hat is reversible and has no “right side.” The other side is, I believe, magical because you would never guess from the unassuming outside that such a funky bold inside is just waiting to come out.

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And, the coolest part is the crown (which I do not have a good picture of because these pictures were self-taken and it is quite difficult to take a good picture of the top of your own head).

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In short I love this hat. I love the pattern. I love the yarn. It was fun and quick to make. It’s soft to wear and fits me well. But, I must give it away. You see, there is a slight flaw. It’s not captured in any of the pictures (no one but me will ever see it) but I know it’s there. On one of the decrease rows, near the top just where the crown picture cuts off, I held the yarn to back instead of to front while slipping a stitch. This caused a charcoal strand to float tauntingly over my beautiful sunset column. I did not notice until the hat was complete, the ends woven in. I suppose even then I could have gone back and fixed the error but that is not my way. No one else seems to notice, even after being asked, “can you see an error?” Everyone has examined the hat and declared it “really cool” and “made with skill,” but I know it’s there. Therefore I will give the hat to someone who can’t “see” the error and make another flawless one for myself (the hat takes less than .5 of a skein of either color.) Oh woe is me, I must make another awesome hat in awesome yarn. My life is so hard.

The Same Thing

Remember last post when I showed you this hat?

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Well, my new FO is this hat.

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I promise, those really are two different hats. The gray yarn in the second hat is totally different from the gray yarn in the first hat. If you remember, my dad asked me to make a replica of the first hat so his running buddy could have one. I had run out of the gray from the first hat (Wave by Filatura Di Corsa) and decided to sneakily sub something from my stash for the second hat instead of buying more new yarn and breaking my yarn fast even more. In my stash I found some Knit Picks Palette in Ash and decided to just hold it double to get gauge. When I showed the Palette to my Dad the first time around he said it wouldn’t work, too scratchy. Now that both hats are done (and I told him I used the same yarn) he can’t tell them appart, except that he knows that one is a bit shorter. The first one came out a little big, so for the second I knit the whole hat on size 6 needles instead of changing to 7s after the ribbing. Both hats are Turn a Square by Jared Flood aka Brooklyn Tweed. It’s not a bad pattern, but I really didn’t enjoy making the exact same thing twice in one week.

In other news, I’ve joined the cult of Ishbel and cast on one of my own.

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I have no idea what size I’m going to make because the yarn I’m using was hand spun for me and I got it in a swap. It didn’t come with any label so all I know is that it’s 65-ish grams of lace-weight wool. My friend finished the biggest size with just over 50 grams of lace so I’m hoping I can make the big one. As of now I’m just short of the small stockinette section. I’m planning on putting a life-line in there and then continuing on till I have enough for the large stockinette section (just in case I have to do some ripping back due to yardage limitations). It’s going really fast right now but that’s because it’s just stockinette so far.

The Universe is Against Me

Why, you ask, is the Universe against me? Listen up. First of all, I’m a sucker. I will pretty much knit anything for anyone who asks me. A few posts ago we went over the assortment of crazy hats and other things that my brother has asked for and I know that I’ve related the troubles a certain pair of slipper-socks for my dad caused. Well, my father was at it again this week. It started with a seemingly harmless request: “Melanie, can you make me a hat that will keep my ears warm when I go running?” Um, I am a knitter, aren’t I? What could be easier than a hat (OK, a garter stitch scarf, but what else?) So I open up Ravelry and start showing him the thousands of hat patterns that could be his new hat. He picked the third picture down which happened to be Turn A Square by Jared Flood aka Brooklyn Tweed. Cool. No problem. I have some Noro, I have some neutral colored wool… I go to my stash and pull out the Noro (which is total male-friendly colors) and the plain wool and show it to pops. He doesn’t like the Noro, it’s light blues and greens and he wants dark colors. OK, I don’t have any dark Noro, so I ask: “Do you really care if the stripes are variegated?” Of course he does. Me: “Will this at least work for the solid color?” (as I hold up the good plain wool.) Of course not, it’s scratchy. For the record, no it wasn’t. Then dad says, “Can’t I just come with you down to the store and pick out what I like?” Sure, sure, no problem. Only two weeks ago did I swear off buying yarn for the next six months, but sure, get your coat. On the up side, it’s a pretty rocking hat.

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The Noro is Silk Garden in a bunch of gorgeous neutral shades ranging from cream to gold to light grey. The other color is Wave by Filatura Di Crosa which is a really nice Wool/Silk blend. The Wave knits up just a little bit nubbley so it the hat has kind of a rustic feel… Alright, no joke, as I’m sitting here typing this my dad comes in and says: “Melanie, can you do me a favor?” Me (looking at him out of the corner of my eye): “That depends…” Dad: “Can you make me another of those hats so I can give it to my running buddy?” Me: “Same yarn?” Dad: “Yeah, will you need to buy more?” Me: “Yes.” So I set out to write a post about how the universe is against me and obviously against my yarn fast. Here is incontrovertible proof. In the middle of the post, I’m asked to buy more yarn… Luckily I have enough of the Noro left over, I just need more of the Wave. Really Universe? Really?

Also, I’ve been garter-ing away on my Op Art blanket and have made some progress. I thought I was whizzing right along, it kept getting bigger and bigger and even though my logic center told me that it was because the blanket is knit from the center out I thought it would end up being a pretty quick project. So I call Andrew and ask him to do some math for me… If I start with 4 and I add 4 every round and I need to get to 888, how many rounds is that? Answer: 222. OK, sounds like a lot but I’ve already done over 50 rounds so I’m 25% done already. No says Andrew, that is bad math. Because each round gets bigger the first 50 rounds are certainly much shorter than the last 50 rounds. OK, says I, what percentage have I done. Andrew calculates…. 8, EIGHT! that’s it. Universe, I hate you. Also, Andrew calculated that there will be 99,012 stitches in the blanket, and that I’ve done just under 9,000.