I found a new favourite pattern. It has a silly-ish name, but it’s well written and works up quickly: Balls Up ! by General Hogbuffer. I’m always on the mission to use up those left over bits and bobs of yarn; a few endevours have been my sock yarn memory blanket, the Ex-Boyfriends shawl, and socks that I’ve lovingly referred to as my ‘ugly’ socks, an inappropriate moniker because they are one of my favourite pairs to wear. Why ugly socks?
There are four different remnants of Opal sock yarn being used in these socks, all joined together with the Russian join method. It’s a little bit of a colour cacophony, but I kinda love them.
With the holiday season in full force, I wanted to expand on my knitted ornament collection, which is where I found the ‘Balls Up!’ pattern, and my goodness is addictive! It’s especially satisfying when using self striping yarn, because you get the pattern without any effort. Also, when I say it’s a quick knit, boy is it ever! I can get one knit throughout an evening. It is a wee bit finicky, specifically the beginning when you’re knitting in the round with only eight stitches, and it’s awkward knitting at the end after you’ve inserted your ball form.
Last week I wrote about hats that were seemingly flying off my needles, one of which was the start of the Pathways hat, inspired by a hat worn on Once Upon a Time. Well, that hat certainly flew and I was able to cast off and even wove in the cast off tail. What a mistake. As soon as I was done weaving, I tried it on and it fit rather small. I’m a tight knitter, and other people on Ravelry found that the pattern as written ended up a little small. We all know how much I like frogging my projects *insert the largest eye roll here*
If this is a project you’re hoping to undertake (and I would ultimately recommend it because the finished hat is super cute and made with worsted weight makes it cozy), what worked for me was making the ribbed brim with 4.5mm needles, and the body was made with 5.5mm. The hat was simple, with sections of cables, stockinette and seed stitch, and once I adjusted the needles I used, it made a really cute hat.
It’s now going into the pile of finished gifts, put aside for the end of December.
I know I’ve already professed my love for bandana cowls on this blog, but it bears repeating, I think. I love this accessory, so much so that one of my latest projects turned a shawl pattern into a cowl. Any that I’ve made before have all been patterns for this particular style, but there aren’t a lot of patterns on Ravelry, at least, not a lot of patterns easily found with searches.
Knowing the basic structure of the cowl, I took a shawl pattern and adapted it to become a cowl. In a nutshell, I knit flat, increasing 4 stitches every other round until a certain length, then I joined in the round, increasing 2 stitches every other round, at the centre of the cowl.
It worked really well with the Jocassee pattern, a free shawl by Kemper Wray. It features garter sections and drop stitch sections, and because it didn’t involve any super fancy stitch designs or lace, it was a good shawl to experiment with. I’m rather happy with the finished cowl but am looking forward to cooler weather before I can wear it more often. It’s far too hot here in Canada for any extra wool around the neck!
I’d also like to try this again, perhaps with a more complex stitch design and see if I can replicate my results.
I’d like to know who is propagating the myth that Canada is a cold country, because for the last week or two, southern Ontario has been hit with a heat wave. Temperatures are in the 30sC and feeling like 40sC (which, thanks to a handy conversion online, I can tell you is high 80s/90s in Fahrenheit). It’s hot. It’s especially hot for someone who doesn’t have air conditioning, and while I was able to fare quite well in the first few days, I very quickly lost the battle in trying to keep my house at a normal, comfortable living temperature. New fans have been purchased, I relish my time at work with AC, and I’ve gone to a movie or two to escape the heat. It was also quite lucky that we got a reprieve over the weekend and it cooled off somewhat, but summer has most certainly arrived, and she’s come with a vengeance!
This heat has also affected my knitting behaviours. My Doodler shawl, made with wool blend yarns, had to be put aside because working the the fibres was like a strange form of cruelty to myself. Instead, I’m gravitating towards cottons. My Boxy sweater has come along with me to a few movies. It’s knit in the round over what feels like a bazillion stitches, and right now I’m working towards almost a foot and a half in plain stockinette. It’s a perfect movie project, being worked in Berroco’s Weekend. Also getting some attention as of late is my Sanibel Cowl, worked in Cascade’s Ultra Pima Paints. I’m so in love with these colours, which is why I bought the skein to begin with. I also adore how soft Ultra Pima feels, with excellent drape. I’m looking forward to finishing this project, although I have a feeling wearing it won’t be possible until the first few autumnal days.
So, to that person who goes around asking Canadians if they live in igloos and take their dog sled to work, please, come visit the Greater Toronto Area. Not an igloo in sight, although one would be a welcome relief from the heat.
I’m done Section 1 and am well on my way with section 2, and all in all I’m really happy with this project. That is, I’m happy I’m no longer playing Yarn Chicken, a game I woefully lost.
Remember weeks ago, when I wrote about my Captain America shawl and didn’t pay attention to required meterage? And remember when I had to frog almost half a hat because I, oh that’s right, didn’t pay attention to meterage. Well, I wasn’t about to do that again. Pattern called for 325 metres. I had 345 metres in my skein of Mineville Wool Project. I’ll be great, I foolishly thought. Only a handful of rows to go, and I ran out of yarn. A trip to the yarn store later, I find a skein that’s as close of a match as I’ll be able to get, so I work a few rows, and the new yarn sticks out like a sore thumb. It was painfully obvious that the skeins didn’t match. So I frogged the entire wedge, rows and rows of work, and I re-worked the wedge alternating the two skeins. It worked, and with the cabled edging being worked along the top, I don’t think it will be as noticeable.
After two painful instances of not paying attention to meterage, I thought I did good and was in the clear. Maybe this is my trend this year. Oh I truly hope not…