Let’s not talk about the weather, OK?

Here’s what I am working on today.  It is going to be hugely warm as I am using Lamb’s Pride Bulky.  Not what the pattern calls for, but what i had near at hand in a generous quantity.  I had to seriously adjust the number of stitches, making the rows are nice and short, and the end product will be warm as can be. We won’t talk about why that is a good thing.

I have never done double knitting before, but when I saw this cowl by Lisa Myers in Interweave Knits,  I decided to give it a try.

double knit cowl 2 25

And I have been playing with black and white the past few days, coming up with an idea for a hat based on what I see out my windows – trees and that which we will not talk about.  This just fell right into place with those thoughts and after I master this type of knitting, I plan to invent a hat and maybe cowl pattern.  I already have a name for it, but no pattern yet.  Creativity knows no order.

Maine woods in winter is what it will be called, and it will be beautiful and warm, unlike Maine woods in winter. (Winter is not weather, so it is OK to say that much. However, when you put winter and weather together, you come up with something I definitely do not want to talk about.)

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the hat

There is a blog I follow, slipped stitches weblog, the author of which writes screamingly funny posts about her knitting adventures.  The fails often make the pages more than the conquests, but her writing is what makes it fun.  The other day I left her a comment that I was embarking on an adventure the likes of which she writes about.

The woman (let’s call her S) who runs the little shop that has so nicely carried my things the past few weeks asked me if I could knit a hat for her to give a friend, a woman I have never met.  She had bought one of my hats, and wondered if one could be had with a floppy brim. S knows that I am wiling to try most things, decided to order one for her friend.  Here’s what she told me.

There is a netflix show that has a woman wearing a hat with a floppy brim that she likes.  Her friend has brown hair and bright blue eyes, so either something gray or blue, no green, please.

I did what any sane woman would do and lost myself in Ravelry for hours, using the search “brimmed hats”

There are some.  🙂

I was really curious how one gets a knit brim to not be hanging all around one’s head so that one looks like a blind Gilligan.  It turns out it is milliner’s wire.

I decided I didn’t want to fiddle with that if I could avoid it, but I printed out a free pattern using the wire.  Then I found a free pattern with the brim tacked up rakishly and printed that as well.  I took them into see S, and she ADORED the one that I wanted to make anyway.   Check it out here.

Only:

She didn’t want the pleated accent on the side.  And she wants it pretty fast.

No problem – I don’t have to learn a new technique, right?  I’ll just make the hat.  Blue or gray.

So I merrily came home and went stash diving.  I have no blue or gray worsted weight yarn in a quantity sufficient to make the hat.  I have blue and gray sport weight and blue and gray bulky.

I have other hat patterns that call for bulky, so I know my gauge, and it should be easy to adapt the pattern.  I settled right in with my gray yarn (because I have lots of it), calculator, pencil and needles.  All evening I knit away, working hard to forget that I hate seed stitch exactly as much as I hate 1×1 ribbing (because isn’t it the same damned thing when you are knitting it?) and I made that hat.  I worked out the decreases on the new number of stitches and I finished it last night.

Epic fail.

The brim was too big and floppy, The hat itself fit fine except it was a couple of inches short. So the whole floppy thng perched on top of my head, looking hideous and not keeping anything much warm.

I ripped it out.  With Lamb’s Pride Bulky, you get to do that once before the yarn is fit only for cat toys.

This morning, I got right back at it.  New numbers.  New way to decrease. New hat. 25 rows at least before decreasing at crown.

It’s not done yet, but I can see that it is much better.  I’ll keep you posted and show a photo of the end product as soon as it is done. And maybe I will make it again in blue, maybe with the pretty pleats?

I know I am not as funny as Slipped Stitches,  but I learned you don’t need to be funny to make a mess with yarn.  🙂

What I did on my summer vacation in photos

Well, mostly photos.  I can never resist a few words.  🙂

A few touches for the screened porch – the lantern a tag sale item, the flower pot an IKEA special.

Before:

painting before

 

During:

 painting during 2

painting during 1

and after:

painting after 1

painting after 2

 

Then there was knitting:

5 hats

I made these 5 hats in a couple of days – 4 side button hats, one Alpine Topper.  The Alpine still needs to be blocked to stop that curling edge.

Those side button hats need buttons, right?  I have been scouring yard sales to find some that are big enough, unique and special at reasonable prices.  I found these this summer:

buttons 1

Then, one day I was in a local artisan collective shop, killing time, and I found these babies.  They are made by a young woman who owns a quarry nearby.  She makes these stone buttons from the local granite, and the beach stones and tumbled china ones as well. And the shell – I love that shell! They are VERY reasonably priced, considering just how unique they are, so I bought several, and  expect I will get more someday. Maybe today… buttons 5

buttons 2

buttons 3

buttons 4

Now, how to choose?

choosing 1

choosing 2

choosing 3 

This is just too much fun, but I hope they sell!  I don’t really need ALL of these hats.  🙂

 

 

Vacation update

You know, except for the part where I have to keep checking in with work and taking care of things, this has been a really good vacation.

A is away, which is a bummer on one hand, but on the other – I can make a big freaking mess and not have to clean it right up.  I can leave the dishes in the sink for a few days (excuse?  we ran out of dish soap.)

So what have I been doing?  Well, puttering mostly, with lots of down time.  I finished a little pebble landing area at the base of the screen porch step – a spin off from the pool project.  I am always tracking sand into the house, even with two mats between inside and out.  So I figured if there were some pebbles at the bottom of the step, that could really help.  And I have all these pebbles I am getting from sifting dirt in the pool area, so why not add one more thing to the project?

It turns out pretty well – there weren’t too many pebbles in the sand by the step, so I got an extra load of sand for the pool area, and I used lots of little rocks that I would have just piled in the woods.  It didn’t add too much to the pool project, just head in a different direction with the wheel barrow full of stone. I can see that I will some day want to do a whole path like this, but not yet.  

Pool progress doesn’t show in the short term – kind of like a stockinette blanket that way – work fr hours, no difference.  But then when you look at the whole project, suddenly, you can see progress.  I still have a long way to go, but I think I am almost through a slow bad section and I hope the work will speed up a bit.

this morning I finished emptying out the guest room and giving it a thorough cleaning – like window washing and curtain washing kind of cleaning.  It is amazing to me just how much stuff we had stashed away in there that has nothing to do with guests.  It was OK when people were just passing through for a night or two, but if someone not feeling well is coming for a few weeks or more, the room should be calm and welcoming, right?

So, by 10 am, I had already got it emptied and cleaned, and now comes the hard part.  What to put back, what to do with what doesn’t go back?  This is where it is good A isn’t home yet as the living room is now a mess.  That’s how I know we have too much stuff that doesn’t have a true “home” – when cleaning one room completely messes up another.  A is a good one for everything looking neat, but she is one who puts things away out of sight, instead of where they belong.  Especially if it is something that we don’t know where it belongs! I am much more likely to put up with clutter than to put something where it doesn’t belong, but when I clean, I rip things apart and really clean.   And some things that DO belong in there, in general, can’t go in there now.  Like, the vacuum cleaners (one regular, one for the pellet stove)  They live in that closet, because nothing hangs there.  But, we need to allow for the fact that L might want to unpack – so I cleaned off a little set of shelves in the craft room, and put them in the closet, and that leaves a nice amount of space for some hanging things, should she want it.  But who wants a dirty old vacuum cleaner or two in there with your clean clothes?  I know I wouldn’t.  So, I will have to find a temporary home for those two things. Somehow we muddle along OK, but I still say it is good she isn’t here right now.  🙂 

I have also been knitting a lot. How’s the Hitchhiker coming along, you ask?  and the newest socks?  Well, I can say i have stuck to the rules of the Sock KAL and have done at least a row each day, but that might be all.  And hte hitchhiker has been abandoned for a brief moment.  I broke all my rules, but for a good reason, really.  I have made 4 hats in two days, and cast on another.  I have had this yarn kicking around fr a while, intended for hats for the craft fair in November.  And it suddenly occurred to me that it is September.  When, exactly will I be making these hats?  So, I went through my whole stash, sorted it out into hat projects, filled a big bag and brought that down into the linen closet (again,, good A wasn’t home to see that) and dug out the box of Lamb’s Pride I bought just for this purpose, and set to work. I had hoped to finish up all the lamb’s pride before A got home, but that wont; happen.  Still, I should be bale to make two more hats today, and that will put a good dent in it.  I am mostly making two patterns with this batch of yarn – Kaleidoscope’s Super Bulky Button Hat and Halcyon Yarn’s Alpine Topper.  The Button hat calls for bulky yarn held double, so it knits up REALLY fast.  The Alpine Topper is slower to knit, as it has color work, but it uses bulky yarn held single – good for all the leftovers from the button hat.  I haven’t added these as Ravelry projects, but I will get photos when I am done.  I made several of the button hats with leftovers from the stripey yarn CAL I did last summer, and so have some of those to add to my craft fair pile as well.

With the stash yarn, I will play about a bit more as none if it is really bulky.  I expect I will make some cable hats, and swirly hats and probably some plain old roll brim caps. I notice that all my yarns are in the same colors – mostly blues and purples and sea-foam type colors.  The Lamb’s Pride I ordered is several shades of gray and some red.  So I think I need to get my sister to choose some colors for me to work with , to broaden my array of hats – I never ever choose earth tones, but I expect that some people who might want to buy a hat would want to buy those colors, right?

And wait until you see the buttons I have for the button hat – Oh, I found such great ones at a local store – a young couple who owns a quarry makes stone buttons!  Just slices of beautiful granite.  Photos of those to come eventually as well.  🙂

Well enough about what i have been doing, I have hats to knit and rooms to put back together – A is coming home tonight!

I’ll catch up with you later, and maybe have photos as well!

quickie post

whacky internet all weekend – I could get on Ravelry, but not WordPress, except to like. No posts, no comments.

Now it is Monday, a tax day, so I am at the library with the high-speed nets. Yahoo.

So. I finished the red sweater. Pictures will come when I block it. Still not sure I like it, I feel like the Michelin Man in it, but it is cheerful and warm!

I worked on the sock, but did not finish it – I made a necklace instead. 🙂 I’ll post photos of that, too.

Game night was fun, but I was there until after 11 – home by midnight, very late for old me. 🙂 So Saturday was a low energy day. A was still recovering from her cold and a long week at work, so we did not do much Saturday, beyond the chores that had to get done (dump, etc)

Sunday was only marginally more productive – if you call sitting on the couch knitting productive. 🙂 I did fill the bird feeders and do a few outside chores while the weather was nice and the quantity of ice somewhat reduced. 🙂

Then it was all sports all afternoon – women’s basketball until the big game. I chose the Seahawks in our home bet to make the game slightly more interesting – $20 for the yarn stash – go team!

A is off to “the County” (Aroostook) for the week, so there is no telling what creations I will make in the evenings. I SHOULD be making valentines, we will see if that happens. 🙂

Off the camera

Good morning! Back home again, living in comfort if not luxury. 🙂

I tackled the camera this morning and I managed to get photos out of its clutches – so here are some photos of things I have mentioned in recent posts – yarn from webs, yarn from Halcyon, progress on socks and red sweater. Enjoy!

yarn from Webs

yarn from halcyon

wip red sweater 2

socks with sarah #1

socks with sarah #1 in process

whoa! It’s Friday again.

I guess I am not all that great with doing my lists on time when I am on vacation. Sorry about that.

Today:
Make jelly with all the berries that had to thaw when there were no lights.
Make cookies to take to A’s family gathering this afternoon.
Go to A’s family gathering this afternoon.
Take photos of all the things I finished knitting this week. Well, the one thing, but this item should be motivation for me to finish the last couple of inches of leg warmer, right?
Knit on the big red sweater that I cast on yesterday. You might remember it, it is the one I made last winter, then frogged because I didn’t like where the bobbles were. Now I have altered the pattern, no bobbles. 🙂
Plan the next mobile project for when I finish the leg warmer. I know that first there will be a hat, but then what?
Laundry.
Always.
Where does it come from?