Friday, November 27, 2009

Jackson's Aviator Bear Hat

I sure hope he likes it. Because if he doesn't like this cuteness, I really don't know what will impress him.

Yarn: 1/2 skein of Cascade 220 Superwash in Walnut Heather
Needles: Size 6 straights for the hat and size 6 circs for the ears
Notions: Tapestry needle
Modifications: I took out a few rows of the middle section to make it smaller. Also, obviously, the ears. I made them the same way I make a toe-up sock. Using Judy's Magic Cast On I started with 18 stitches and increased every other round until I had 42 stitches. I bound off, sewed the ears together at the bottom, and then sewed them to the hat so that the ears turned in a little bit. Oh, and I added some seed stitch for a little bit of decoration. All in all I think the ears are adorable.

I'm still debating as to whether or not I want to add any cords to the earflaps. Seeing as how I have a lot of holiday projects to accomplish in a short amount of time, I might just pass.

I can't wait to try it on this little guy. Here he is modeling my Simple Shawl.

I get to see him in two weeks and two days!

Next up, I'll fill you in on how my Nutkin knee socks are going. And I'll be starting on Jackson's first Christmas stocking tonight!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Pretty Little Thing

So, I've been feeling fairly frustrated at knitting lately. I'm suffering from chronic start-a-new-project-every-day-itis and I just can't seem to get into any of them. I'm chalking it up to the fact that I still haven't unwound from the summer season, even though I've been traveling and trying to relax a little.

Consequently, I was on the lookout for a very mindless and easy project that I could complete quickly...a project that could somehow escape the clutches of my knitting A.D.D. I finally settled on Pretty Thing (Rav it) by Yarn Harlot.
I used exactly one skein of Sarah's Yarns Mongolian Cashmere DK 4-ply in Natural White. I've had the yarn for awhile and I wasn't sure what project I'd eventually use it for. I was hoping that I'd find a project that could be worn close to the skin, as this yarn is so soft and buttery. Pretty Thing fit the bill.
I used the Magic Loop method with my Harmony interchangeable circs in size 5 with a 40" cable. Because it seemed like this pattern was written for a munchkin, I cast on an extra repeat of stitches so that there would at least be a fighting chance that I could fit my noggin through the opening. And I added an extra repeat of the middle lace pattern to increase the length a bit.

Overall, I'm pretty pleased with it. Heck, I'm just tickled pink that I actually finished a project.
Oh, and it appears that my Maplewing Shawl will have to wait a bit to get finished. While using my size 5 tips on Pretty Thing, I carelessly set my knitting on the floor at the foot of my knitting chair while I took a break. Upon return, I didn't see that the needle was sticking out and I stepped on it, breaking it in half with a heart-sinking snap.
Of course, these are the same size needles I'm using on Maplewing...and my only pair in size 5. (Maplewing was resting on its long cable, needle-less while I had an affair with the cowl.)

So, it looks like I'll have to make a quick order to KnitPicks before Maplewing becomes destined to live in the UFO pile indefinitely. And since I'm already ordering some needle tips, I might as well throw in some Swish Bulky in Squirrel Heather, because I've been itching to start this DROPS jacket for a long time now...and if I'm already getting that yarn, then I might as well try out some Imagination Hand-Painted Sock Yarn...and then...oh no, this could get ugly...

Monday, November 9, 2009

Maplewing Madness

So, I didn't get as far as I thought I would on my Maplewing Shawl while I was traveling. It turns out that there is something that I'd much rather do than knit: hang out with my family! Who would have thought?

Here's my progress so far...
I'm almost to the end of the bottom lace section, however I'm thinking I might add another repeat (or four) to make the shawl a little bit longer. Even though I'm making the tall size, I'm still worried that it will be too small. Although Anne Hanson, the shawl designer, is modeling the petite size in this photo, I'm fairly certain from other photos on her blog that she is pretty petite as well. So, I'm thinking that even though the tall size is bigger than what is shown in that photo, I don't know if it will be big enough. I'd rather knit it a little bit bigger and not take my chances that I'll end up with a neckerchief instead of a shawl.

I am, however, a bit concerned as to how those extra repeats will play out. I think I have a picture in my brain of the concept of the shawl and I'm thinking that a few more rows won't do any harm. I guess we'll see. I'd hate to rip back all those rows of tiny stitches, but if it isn't right then the tiny perfectionist inside of my brain will bug me until I do. But I have a hunch it will turn okay after some intense blocking.

As for the particulars, I am LOVING the Malabrigo Sock for this project. It is just the right amount of softness and durability. I have had recurring daymares about knitting a lace shawl with true lace yarn and then snagging it on a doorway or other object (because, let's be honest, I'm pretty klutzy like that) and crying my eyes out for days at the destruction of such a precious piece. But I don't get that paranoia with the Mal Sock, so let's all keep our fingers crossed that it holds up to regular wear.

And I can't say enough about the pattern itself. Anne Hansen does an amazing job of laying everything out in such a logical order, so it makes even the more difficult projects easy to understand and accomplish. It's written out line by line as well as charted, so you can take your pick of how you'd like to go about it.

Here's a couple shots of the stitch work. I can't wait to block it and open up the lace a little, although I am rather liking the way it is right now as well...all dense and squishy.

I will hopefully be getting some more time work on it as I will be traveling again here shortly. I'm headed to Reno for a conference for about a week and then to Seattle to visit some friends for a couple days. Of course I have already scoped out all of the local yarn store locations in both cities! I had no idea that Jimmy Beans Wool was located in Reno...and it's right down the I just wouldn't feel right if I went all that way and didn't go visit...right? I thought so.