Seasons Hat <– ravelry project page
Pattern: Seasons Hat by Jared Flood
Yarn: A bunch of unknown brown yarns that were gifted to me. 100% alpaca, or majority alpaca blends, mostly sport/dk weight. The darkest brown was heavy lace/light fingering held double.
Needles: I’m not sure… US 4 and 6, I think? (3.5 & 4 mm)
Notes: I pretty much just grabbed the colorwork chart from the seasons hat, and plugged in my own numbers, since the gauge was different. As with last time I knit this pattern, I had to do a bunch of swatches to see what color sequence I wanted. As with last time, I’m very pleased with the final outcome.
I wasn’t sure which color I wanted at the very edge of the brim, so I did a crochet cast-on and knit the body of the hat first, then unraveled the crochet and knit down the brim. Which took forrreeevvvveeerrr. But I knew I wanted a long 1×1 rib, and my cousin Sara was around for some of it, and would work a few rows when I was feeling done with 1×1 ribbing. Knitting down the brim also allowed me to do a sewn tubular bind off, which I *very much* prefer to a tubular cast-on. I couldn’t tell you exactly why, it just feels so much less finicky.
This hat was finished in 2014, and the pictures were taken in the foothills around Ojo Caliente in December. When I look outside right now, there’s something like 35 inches of snow on the ground.
Chunkeanie <– ravelry project page.
Yarn: Brown Sheep Nature Spun and a bit of leftover Manos del Uruguay
Needles: I’m keeping very poor track of what needles I use recently… That’s not great. Probably US 6 & 8? (4 & 5 mm)
Notes: My friend Craig lost the last hat I made for him, so he was resorting to wearing store bought non wool hats. I think all knitters will understand how that is a PROBLEM. The solution of which is to make him a new hat, of course. I had a bit of yarn left from the last hat I made him, so I paired it with another yarn and made him a striped reversible hat. I’m not sure there’s much more to say on the subject!
Incidentally both of these hats were made for youtubers. So I think maybe we ought to do a little video show and tell?
The seasons hat was made for Rob Scallon, who is a talented musician. His style ranges allll over the place, but here’s a lovely meditative piece that he shot in the same warehouse that we have used as a location in PoPS (Damon’s warehouse, for the curious):
Check out his channel here: Rob Scallon
Craig is Wheezy Waiter on youtube, and his style tends more towards humor, but last September was his 1,000th video, and it’s something a little more special:
Oh, man, I’m such a softie… It makes me misty eyed every time. Craig’s channel is here: Wheezy Water.
FO: Candyfloss Socks <–ravelry project page
Pattern: None. Just 56 stitches, cuff down. More details below.
Yarn: Hedgehog Fibres Sock in colorway Villain.
Needles: US size 2, 2.75mm
Let’s talk deets! I tend to prefer toe up socks, so I thought I’d vary it up this time and make these cuff down. I visited Hedgehog Fibres in Cork when I was in Ireland and got to meet the lovely Beata. While I was there, she showed me the beautiful sample of the Vestigial Socks, and I decided on the spot that one of the skeins I purchased from Hedgehog would be turned into mistake rib socks.
I was on the look out for one of her crazy bright yarns. She’s made several pairs of socks in super colorful yarns that I have just adored. With the ridiculous acid/candy color riot happening in this skein, I couldn’t resist. Even though it’s fairly far from my normal color comfort zone. But socks are good projects for that, because they are so easy to cover up.
I pretty much made the heel turn up as I went along. I think it says a bit about how many socks I have knit at this point in time that I am able to just wing it with a heel turn. That has always been the point where I’ve gone running back to the pattern to consult in the past. So… yay! I love the look of the pattern continuing down the heel flap, and as it has yet to be the first place my handknit socks have ever worn out, I don’t have many reservations about it.
I did a wide toe for this pair, for which I consulted my Knitting Vintage Socks book by Nancy Bush. It’s a very comfortable toe, but I’m not convinced about it aesthetically, so I can’t say how likely I am to return to it in the future.
Yay! New FO! I blocked a hat at the same time as these, so that should be up soon, and I’m quite close to finishing another hat, as well as starting the featherweight cardigan you were all kind enough to lend me an opinion about, and chugging away at the crochet blanket.
FO: when in doubt, go to the library <-ravelry project page
pattern: hermione’s everyday socks, knit with modifications from the humble sock goes toe up, as well as my own!
yarn: pagewood farms chugiak in mardi gras, purchased in san diego at the grove
needles: US size 2
these socks began their journey last autumn as simple two by one ribbed socks, but i decided that was way too boring, and i was at that time deeply engrossed in re-reading the harry potter series, so i switched courses for hermione’s everyday socks, which i think suits the yarn better. the name is of course, about hermione, a quote from harry potter and the chamber of secrets. it’s no secret that there’s scarcely a character i don’t love in those books, but hermione is quite high on the list. this sums it up pretty well. i have several pins dedicated to HP in my bookish board, in case you happen to have a sudden need for more harry potter things.
i’ve pretty much stopped following original sock patterns… i’ve found that 56 sts on US size 2’s give me a comfortable fit, so if the pattern doesn’t call for 56 sts, i make the necessary adjustments. for a long time, preferred toe up because it allowed me to knit the socks from a single skein without worry that i would run out of yarn before finishing the pair when i didn’t have an electric scale to make sure i had the yarn in two equally sized balls. now i have an electric scale, but i prefer my socks a little shorter than most patterns call for and have never once run out of yarn for socks for myself, and i’ve kind of gotten stuck in my comfortable groove. which i’m totally fine with, so onwards i trot in a similar fashion as the way i came. maybe one of these days i’ll shake it up and try out a few more sock techniques. in the mean time, well you know what they say: ‘if it ain’t broke…’ etc.
i’ve probably mentioned it before, but the humble sock goes toe up is my favorite toe up pattern, both because it is infinitely adjustable, and also because it has a gusset, which i like a lot! short row heels feel tight on me, and i feel like i am placing stress on the knitted fabric of my socks when i’ve made short row heels. (oh i definitely have, in fact just the last time i finished a pair of socks!)
i was drawn to this yarn for it’s deep jewel like tones. pagewood farms excels at these, and i’ve admired them for years, but they are just rare enough in yarn stores, and i always seemed to have other priorities when i did see them, that i had never purchased a skein before this one. it’s very tightly twisted, and knits up a little too defined, a little loosely, but it fluffed up and filled out nicely with a blocking. i suspect working with size 1 needles would fix it, too, but man, progress really seems to slow down between size 2 and 1. it might be more about perception than reality, but that’s how i feel on the matter.
i finished these in ireland, knitting on trains, and in restaurants, and on buses. they were the perfect mindless, easily portable project for that. it took me my typical eons to block them, and then my camera battery was drained for another month, but now! now i have a new pair of hand knit socks! huzzah!
i have already documented this sweater fairly extensively, so if you feel like reading the whole history: swatching & casting on, getting part way through the body only to tear back to the yoke, finishing the body and finalizing color choices, steeking, grafting on the button band & finding the right buttons.
pattern: classic raglan pullover by barbara walker
needles: size 8 (5.0mm)
yarn: patons north america wool worsted in oatmeal (natural mix is technically what it’s called. it looks oatmeal to me)
cascade ecological wool in a medium grey (leftover from these slippers)
brown sheep lambs pride worsted in tahiti teal (leftover from this hat)
berroco ultra alpaca fine in turquoise mix, held double (leftover from this sweater)
some random navy worsted wool
and a little bit of lion brand wool-ease in apple green
i cast on for this in january, using the standard pattern for knitting a raglan from the top down, from barbara walker’s book knitting from the top, though it was obviously heavily modified. that is the joy of a pattern like this, though! it’s quite easy to apply any modification you can imagine. i knit it as a deep v-neck pullover first, and then steeked it into a cardigan. i knit the button band separately and grafted it on, placed the buttons and then made afterthought buttonholes. there’s a column of 2 purls running down the inside of each sleeve and the sides of the torso to mimic seams (which i stole from julie’s red sweater) and to give it the tiniest bit more shape and structure.
there was a lot of ‘winging it’ involved in knitting this. i didn’t have the strictest plans for my colorwork patterning, or color sequencing, but i went in expecting i was going to have to tweak it and pull back and replace things in post with a tapestry needle (basically duplicate stitching while pulling out the original color. a little on the time consuming side, but somehow more acceptable to my brain than pulling back and re-knitting). and i did all of those things. i pulled out knitting, replaced about four different parts, re-calculated the entire sweater, you name it, i probably did it.
i started this sweater in the hopes of using up some of my stash, namely the oatmeal base, and a lot of most-of-the-skein leftovers from other projects. slightly on the annoying side, i didn’t actually finish ANY of these skeins. i still have most of an oatmeal skein leftover (which i may still use up, see below), and a not teensy amount of most of these skeins. ah, well. at least i have a beautiful sweater to show for my efforts!
so, while i am definitely calling this done, and wearing it around and such, there are a few small things that i may change in the future. i have not quite mastered how to make button bands that i approve of in cardigans. they are already warping slightly, and this makes the sweater look quite ‘handmade’, but not in a way that i like. so i’ve bought some ribbon to back the bands, give them more structure. is there any other method you guys suggest?
i also had a deeper shawl collar in mind for this sweater, so i might knit some extra depth for the top portion of it and graft it on later… thus hopefully using up the leftover yarn.
this cardigan turned out so well, i’m incredibly pleased! it’s thick and squishy, it could practically be a coat in spring and fall, and another super cozy layer in winter.
see those misty looking lumps of land out on the horizon? those are the aran islands. we didn’t get there this trip as we had time for one excursion from galway and we chose the cliffs of moher, which i don’t regret in the least. but i’m definitely hoping to make it to the aran islands one day! and i couldn’t resist getting FO pictures of my sweater with such a icon of knitting history in the background!
on a side note, i found out on this trip that the history of the aran sweater is a created history, like the scottish tartans. i’m of two minds about this, where the accuracy loving historian part of me is frustrated by this ‘created culture’ and the ‘don’t let the facts stand in the way of a good story’ part of me thinks it’s actually quite interesting. what are your thoughts on created culturalisms?
did i not promise you a cute child? look at those cheeks! can you stand it? i finished the hat quite early in january, but i wanted to wait to post it as an FO until i had pics of this handsome chap wearing his new chapeau.
FO: pom pom kid <– ravelry project page
pattern: none. my own. this was the inspiration. i’m not 100% certain, but i think i cast on 80 stitches, and knit 2×2 ribbing for an inch or so, then single row stripes, decreasing by 8 every other row when i’d reached a good length.
yarn: berroco ultra alpaca for the blue, elitespun fingering in charcoal held double, and some worsted oatmeal yarn, maybe patons?
needles: size 4 for the ribbing, size 6 for the body of the hat.
i made the pom pom with the assistance of a pom pom making tool, because my natural abilities don’t extend to full fluffy pom poms without a little help.
as is inevitable when you’re dealing with a toddler, this happened:
21 finished objects: 13 hats, 2 sweaters, 2 scarves, 1 cowl, 1 pair of mitts, 1 pair of socks, 1 toy. a slightly ridiculous amount of hats. an unprecedented amount of sweaters. 1,561 yards, though that is a very approximate conjecture. as opposed to last years 16 finished objects: 4 cowls, 4 hats, 2 mitts, 1 pair of socks, 1 pair of slippers, 1 pair of legwarmers, 1 camisole, 1 sweater, 1 baby blanket. so less diversity than last year, but more FO’s.
goals for 2012:
publish one pattern
knit one sweater (doesn’t have to be for me!)
finish 20 knits
knit for pleasure
go back to spinning. maybe 6 skeins?
welp. i failed at a few of those. no patterns published, as i never could choose one to start pursuing! and i didn’t spin 6 skeins, though i did actually start making headway on that goal! i think i got 2 skeins spun up? but the balance on my spinning wheel got a little wonky, and i still need to get that looked at.
but i accomplished more goals than not! 21 FO’s, one more than i hoped for! 2 sweaters! knitting for pleasure and knitting selfishly. this was kind of a big deal for me. in 2012 i experienced a bit of… knitting malaise. primarily due to taking on projects i did not have enough interest in. so i tried to be more careful about the projects i took on this year. i tried to make sure that even when i was knitting for others, that i was making choices consistent with what i wanted to be making. and it worked out! i’m still knitting a little less than i used to. but my peak was when i spent a minimum of 10 hours on a train every week. i don’t commute by train anymore. and now that i’m more active in the producing of PoPS, i don’t know that i can expect my output to equal those heights. and that’s okay. it’s just an adjustment.
this next year:
– de-stash. i want to have a stash that inspires me, not weighs me down. i don’t mind how i de-stash. it doesn’t all need to be knit up, i can donate, gift away, whatever. right now my ravelry stash claims i have 93 yarns in my stash. let’s aim for… 85 by next year? i would also like it all to fit in the closet i have allocated for it.
– try a new technique. i made a toy for the first time this year! one of the things i love love love about having knitting as my favorite hobby is that there are always new ways to challenge yourself, to learn more. if there’s a ceiling to what you can know about knitting, i’ve never glimpsed it! that said, i certainly can get sucked into remaining in my comfort zone. so this year, i want to make sure there’s at least one adventure! maybe brioche stitch? i’ve never done that. or stranded colorwork with more than 2 colors per row? maybe it’s time to get over my intarsia aversion?
– work from some new designers. while i was doing the round up, i realized how many designers i admire but haven’t knit from! so i’d like to try at least one design by joji and alicia. i’ve admired both of their styles for quite a long time now, but never made anything they’ve designed!
and i’m keeping the following:
– knit 20 objects. this is just a goal, not a resolution. i’d be happy with less, if they were a little larger in scope this next year.
– keep spinning. i was really loving getting back to it before i got interrupted.
i think that’s plenty to accomplish, honestly! i wouldn’t mind publishing another pattern, but i’m still not sure which one to pursue, so i’m not going to toss it on the official list. what did you knit this year? which was your favorite project? are you making any goals for the new year?
FO: turn a square <–ravelry project page
pattern: turn a square
yarn: paton’s classic wool, moss heather, leftover from slow news day, and some manos del uruguay de-stashed from a friend.
needles: US size 6 (4.0mm) and US size 8 (5.0mm)
this was a quick and mindless knit that i cast on for to have some movie theater knitting when we went to go see catching fire (sooooo good! i had low expectations based on the first movies and my love of the books, but i really really loved this movie. are any of you hunger games fans? anyone else see catching fire?). it served the purpose beautifully, used up some partial skeins, and jake got a new hat to boot!
FO: mistake rib hat
pattern: of my own devising
yarn: various. berroco ultra alpaca, and ultra alpaca fine, and some unknown worsted & aran weight orangey-reds.
needles: US size 6 and 8
another scrap busting project! i brought my crate of scrap yarn when we went to the family farm for thanksgiving, and this is what i worked on. i made it up as i went along. i cast on 88 stitches, knit a 1 by 1 rib for as long as i could stand it, because i knew i wanted a brim long enough to fold back. i switched to larger needles and mistake rib (row 1: *k1, p3*, row 2: *k2, p1, k1*). i am totally enamored of my decreases… so tidy! i had to rip back quite a few times, trying to get the color transitions just right. i really like what i ended up with.
and…. the last knit of 2013! finished on the last day of the year!
yarn: takhi yarns sedona in dark olive, leftover from jake’s big bear beast (which, by the way, i just finished some alterations on, so probably a post about that quite soon!)
needles: US size 4 (3.5mm) and US size 6 (4.0mm)
there’s not as much to say about this one. i picked the pattern for a friend, thought this yarn would suit his style! this is a fun knit, though the twisted rib did seem to drag on and on for much longer than i would’ve thought. i made no changes. i like the single column of alternating knits and purls on either side of the ‘bough’ pattern, it adds a texture that i like and never would have thought of. and you know how i appreciate a tidy decreasing in a hat (see above!).
there is at least one knit that i very nearly finished this year, but it still needs some finishing touches. i anticipate it will be the first knit of the new year!
how was your new years eve? we spent ours very quietly. i just finished listening to the harry potter audiobooks, so now we’re working our way through all of the movies! we paused order of the phoenix at midnight, and cheers the new years in with our glasses of wine. i hope you guys had lovely new years eves.
cheers to the new year!