For Christmas, I made my sister the Katie Beret, which was rather appropriate seeing as her name is Katie. Here it is, finished (although it’s my head being the model):
It became a lesson in being mindful of yardage, not just weight, when buying yarn. The yarn I initially bought was Indigodragonfly’s DK Matter in the Patina Fey Colourway. Yes, it was the DK weight I needed, but a few rounds into the main body pattern, I realized I may not have the yardage I needed to finish the hat. I took a deep breath, suppressed the sobs, and ripped.
A day or so afterwards, I bought a new skein, this time Malabrigo Arroyo yarn, a sport weight with enough yardage to finish the hat.
The name my sister gave to this project. We’re both uber dorks.
A friend from the Museum Studies days was having a baby. This friend and I started working in the same city within a few months of each other, at different cultural organizations, and even after she moved on to a different opportunity in Toronto, we would still get together a few times a year for dinner, drinks, and to catch up. She is notorious for her pineapple collection. When I found out she was having a baby, how could I NOT knit her something pineapple related.
Here is the PineHatpple
Finding the right pineapple hat on Ravelry wasn’t easy, and I ended up combining elements from two different patterns, following the lead of others who did the same thing.
The hat was made from the Pineapple hat pattern by Becky Veverkar. It was knit in the round with the wrong side facing you. As you knit the hat, the inside has the wonderful bobble-y texture taking form, and before you add the crown, you turn it inside out. The crown was made from pineapple tea cozy pattern, linked here. If it looks a little dodgy, don’t worry. Both the hat and crown patterns have been ‘archived.’ The yarn used was Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash.
Not long after the hat was sent to my friend, I got a lovely text back with her new daughter wearing the pineapple. I couldn’t have been happier with how it turned out and that I was able to make it for a good friend.
Last week, I wrote how I had a major case of start-itis – symptoms of which include being unable to stop casting on new projects, despite how many WIPs a person has on the go. This start-itis isn’t showing signs of being cured, having started three new projects last week. Seriously, I can’t stop finding new patterns and going through my stash to see what I can use.
The good thing about so many projects on the go is that I was able to finish three objects last week. The first were these Cableship socks. I started them in October as a knit-a-long by KnitPurl Hunter. The first sock was finished early November, but this second one was put into hibernation until after Christmas knitting was complete. In the week after Christmas, I struggled my way through Judy’s Magic Cast-on and a few weeks later, I was able to wear the newly finished pair of socks.
Also finished was a slouchy hat for my dad. Fun story -the wool is 100% Peruvian Alpaca, and we ventured to a local Alpaca farm to by the yarn. My goodness, alpacas must be some of the freaking cutest animals around. When we arrived at the farm, we were greeted by a herd (is that right, herd?) of Border Collies who were obviously working dogs, and we also got a peak at their pigs. They had to be the fattest pigs I’ve ever seen in my life. So that’s the story of they yarn for this hat. Dad received it yesterday. It fits and he’s happy.
Finally, on Friday, I bought yarn and cast on a Pussyhat. Have you heard of this? If not, I HIGHLY recommend heading over to their website and reading more about this movement. In a nutshell, there will be a women’s march on Washington on January 21, and marchers are encouraged to wear these knit hats, the name taken as both a play on on the word pussycat and as reference to how the US President-Elect brags about sexually assaulting women. As stated on their Ravelry page:
Provide the people of the Women’s March on Washington D.C. a means to make a unique collective visual statement which will help activists be better heard.
Provide people who cannot physically be on the National Mall a way to represent them- selves and support women’s rights.
A Facebook friend of my sister’s asked for a hat to be made, and I happily obliged. It knit up VERY quickly; I cast on Friday evening and by Sunday I had it finished and ready for my sister to give to the recipient.
Please visit their website and read more about this initiative.
This weekend, I cast off my Sockhead Hat, and I am so happy with it. A friend through my knitting circle has made several of these, and I can understand why.
Firstly, it’s comfortable and oh-so-cute. I’ve worn it every morning since completing it.
Secondly, it’s a mindless pattern. Four inches of 2×2 ribbing, then nine inches of stockinette. The pattern describes it as “great TV, travel or zen knitting,” and it is. It is a wonderful project for picking up when you want to turn the brain off. The ribbing did get tedious after a few inches, but once the stockinette section started, it was round after round of good ol’ knit stitch.
The yarn I used is Manos del Uruguay Alegría in the Night Sky (402-A) colourway. If you haven’t knit with this yarn before, go now and buy some! It’s soft and gauzy, and the company is a non for profit organization, created in 1968 to provide with jobs to the rural women in their hometowns in Uruguay. The tags tell you who dyed your yarn. My ‘Yarn Artisan’ was Graciela. A fabulous yarn going towards a fabulous cause. Win-win.
I’m already itching to cast on another hat, one that could be gifted away, because the pattern was just that great of a knit. It’s a simple hat, simple pattern, and a great go-to project.
Well, I finished my project a few weeks ago, and voting ended a few days ago, so I can now share my project!
For the challenge, kits were prepared with 90 grams of Diamond Luxury Tradition, Worsted/Aran weight, although participants could have bought more if needed. I used almost all the white from my kit and still had quite a bit of blue and green left over.
The pattern was Fake Isle Hat, which gave me a chance to TRULY try my hand at stranded colourwork. Main colour was thrown with the right and contrast colours were clumsily held with the left. I truly felt like a knitting pro when I was shaping the crown, two strands being worked over four DPNs. How I didn’t end up in a big ol’ tangled mess, I’ll never know!
I loved this yarn. I loved knitting with it, I loved the colours, I loved the contrast with the colourwork. Ultimately, and maybe the saddest thing for a selfish knitter, is that the hat is just a little bit too small for my head. I’ll try stretching it a little more, because it truly will be a great hat for early springtime, and the thought of parting with it breaks my heart a little because I do love the colours and I’m proud of the colourwork.
Some holidays knits were months worth of work, some required thought, planning, and charting, like my brother’s Argos Hat, while with others I turned the brain off, followed the pattern, and completed the objects fairly quickly. All were labours of love and I was so happy to make them for people I love. Today, I’m showcasing the fast and finished objects, or as I’m dubbing them, the Short and Sweets
For my grandparents, their gifts fall into Short and Sweet category. Grandma asked for a pair of fingerless gloves (as they keep her hands warm while her fingers are still free), and Grandad received a watchman’s cap (or as Grandma asked for, “a hat that won’t make your grandfather look like a pixie and stick up on his head”).
Both of these projects knit up very quickly. I love the yarn I used for both – Grandma’s mitts were made with Berroco Ultra Alpaca Chunky, and Grandad’s hat with Berroco Ultra Alpaca. Apparently I was in an alpaca mood for my grandparents, but then, how can you not love alpaca? The mitts are the Fast and Fearless Fingerless Mitts, a pattern that truly lives up to its name, and the hat is ChemKnit’s Generic SkullCap. This is the same basic hat as Brother’s Argos hat, and I love the way the top finishes with a swirl, so I knew it would be a great pattern for Grandad. I modified mine by making the ribbing longer so that it could have a folded brim.
My best friend has twins, and I love being able to shop for gifts for them. It’s so much fun buying clothes and toys for mini-humans. She said that they needed PJs, so PJs they received, but what set of PJs would be complete without matching slippers? I didn’t get pictures of them, but I made the twinkles each a pair of Aunt Maggie’s Slippers in colours that would match their new jammies. I’ve made the adult sizes countless times, and the child sizes came together surprisingly fast.
The last project I’m featuring in this Short and Sweet round-up is the scarf I made for my mother. It technically isn’t a short and sweet project because it was in the works for a month and a half, but besides loving the pattern and loving the yarn, there isn’t much to remark about it. The pattern was compliments of a yarn company based in Mississauga, Dye Version, after I bought two skeins from them at the Toronto Knitter’s Frolic, and the yarn was bought in Waterloo during my day there with my sister. It’s Cascade Yarns Avalon Multis, a lovely sturdy cotton, and as soon as I saw the colours I knew this yarn was destined to be something for my mother. She loved the scarf, loved the cotton, and as I intuitively knew, she loved the colours.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone! I hope you have been enjoying this season of merriment! I had a lovely few days with my family, ate a lot of food, visited with friends, and am currently enjoying a few days off from work. All is very well right now.
Even with the holiday behind us, I’m still knitting up a storm! My largest gift, which I’ve been working on intermittently since September, is still on going, but Dad now knows he going to receive a lovely forest green sweater. It is a sleeve and a half away from completion, and I’ll feature it once it’s finished.
As I’ve been hinting for weeks about my various WIPs, I thought I would write a few posts highlighting the finished objects. I’m starting with the gift for my brother: the Argos Hat.
My brother is always the hardest for me to gift. Since he’s been old enough to work, he’s been able to buy himself whatever he wants and needs. He’s a simple guy who likes gaming and sports. As I know less than nothing about gaming, I tend to give him things related more to sports and/or experiences. Tickets seem to go over well.
Last year for Christmas, I made him a hat, ChemKnits New England Patriots Hat, appropriate as his favourite NFL team is the Pats. It wasn’t my first project with colourwork, but it was by far and away the most complex. Brother loved it. As I’m completely unoriginal, I thought I would make him another hat this Christmas, although with a closer-to-home motif.
I used the basic hat structure that ChemKnits designed, but I designed the colourwork pattern, the Toronto Argonauts logo. (Side note for context: in Canada, we have our own football league, the CFL with nine teams. The game basics are the same, although our field is longer and there are only three downs, not four. The Argos are our local team. Context complete). Whenever he can, Brother goes to games, often with Dad, and whenever a game is playing, chances are it’s on a TV somewhere in the house. Knowing Brother appreciated the Pats hat, I thought a matching Argos hat would go over just as well, and sure enough it did.
Charting the logo proved to be slightly more challenging than I expected, but all in all, I was happy with the chart and happy with the finished object. My design is simpler than the actual logo, but a fan knows what it is and my brother appreciated his gift. I’m still not great at colourwork, and I’d like to spend more time in 2016 practicing this technique.
As this will be my last post for 2015, I’d like to say thank you to everyone who has followed my blog, who reads my posts, or if you’ve just stumbled across this for the first time on the world wide web. It’s been a great full year of blogging, and I cannot wait to continue sharing my stories, my current projects, and my historic knits, in 2016!