A Story of Frogging

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):

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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.

Frogging is always such sweet sorrow.

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It’s a PineHatpple

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

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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.

A Few Finished Objects

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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

The PussyHat Project aims to:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

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Please visit their website and read more about this initiative.

 

Mindless Knitting

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.

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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.

What’s been keeping you busy these days?

Soper Creek’s Yarn Challenge

A few weeks ago, I posted about one of my LYSs hosting a Yarn Challenge, a truly engaging and inspiring idea.  They pick the yarn, you buy the yarn, you create with the yarn, they display your creation, and people vote for their favourites!

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Well, I finished my project a few weeks ago, and voting ended a few days ago, so I can now share my project!

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Tadaaaaa!

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.