Happy Birthday, Mom!

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As it happens every year, not only is today Mom’s birthday, it’s also the FogKnits Blog 4th Anniversary!  I’m still quite pleased that I thought about this overlap in the beginning.  I’ve always got an FO post for the blog-iversary.  It’s another project with a flower.  If there’s one thing Mom likes it’s hats with flowers!

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This was a fun one! The yarn is Noro’s Rainbow Roll…aka a thick, fluffy, pencil roving.  It can be delicate and break easily so it’s not for everyone but I really love this yarn!

The pattern is Cameron’s Cap.  It’s been one of my favorites for years.  It’s a bottom up hat with a few quick short rows added to create the little ear flaps!  Perfect for winter!

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The flower is a common embroidery flower.  I’m sure someone out there has a name for it but it ain’t me, babe!  I’m really pleased with it though.  And because it’s pencil roving, it’s not heavy or burdensome on the hat.  That’s always a concern when attaching a big flower.

If I had more time, I’d share a retrospective of hats with flowers or maybe give you some blog stats.  Instead you get pics of science shit.  I got right back into it on day one!  Turns out it’s like riding a bike…

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And with that, I’m out the door for work.  Those electrons won’t manipulate themselves!  Happy Hump Day and Happy Birthday Mom!

 

Sweater Complications

Sweaters are complicated beasts!  Anyone who’s ever tried to knit their own sweater knows this.  There are many phases and emotions involved.  Finally, I think all of my sweater pains have been addressed sufficiently and are coming to happy resolutions.

The big one is this…

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I have officially reclaimed my needles & notions.  This sweater is no more.  It’s been a work in progress since June but I’m over it.  It’s a duplicate of this sweater, that I finished in the spring…

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I love this sweater.  I wear it all the time.  It’s almost perfect.   Almost!  It’s so close.  There’s just one thing that has stopped it from being perfect.  Unfortunately, much of it’s charm, also, comes from this not perfect part…the yarn, Pluto-Lopi, the Icelandic unspun pencil roving.

It’s delicate.  It’s not fragile.  The fabric is quite sturdy but I’ve managed to rub it thread bare in the armpits already.  img_1829

I’ve got spots on both arms and both sides, where pilling and rubbing have nearly eliminated the loose unspun fibers.  Hope is not lost for this sweater.  I’m embracing it’s wabi sabi and patching it.  I don’t have any of the matching yarn left but I’ve got plenty of the Noro I used for the stripes.  I’m down with funny duplicate stitch patches in my armpits.

The Noro yarn is a thicker anyhow, more fiber in the problem areas is exactly what this sweater needs.   I’m happy to keep patching it as needed.  I might even love it more as the armpit patches continue to develop and take over.  It’s a lightweight sweater, both in mass and in wearing, and yet it is incredibly warm.  It fits perfect.  It matches everything in my closet.  It’s only 8 months old…there’s no chance I’m ready to retire it yet.

But, I don’t need two sweaters like that.  So, Plutolopi sweater #2 has been halted.  I understand why this yarn is commonly held double now.  That’ll definitely help with future sweaters, maybe even held double with Einband, the Icelandic lace weight yarn.

And, with that big bag of guilt officially retired, I can, legit, think about an RBG inspired sweater!  I’ve been saying it’s going to happen since Christmas but with two sweaters on the needles, I just couldn’t bring myself to start a third.    I’ve finally got a clean sweater slate because, oh yeah..I finished the sweater I’ve been working on for Mom!

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It’s WestKnit’s Outer Space, another favorite of mine.  The yarn is an assortment of Lopi & Lettlopi.  Yes, I have a thing for Icelandic yarn.  At this point, it’ll be no surprise that my RBG inspired sweater is going to be Lettlopi.

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I spent at least two days, last spring, futzing with variations of this palate to find a fun peacock fade.  I had the sweater all planned out.  It was going to be lovely side to side number that faded from light at the cuffs to dark in the center.  I knit the whole thing…in my mind.  I had high hopes.  Somehow that all got derailed though.

Turns out, I was just waiting for the right idea.  RBG Peacock Fade…Hello 2019!  Let’s do this!    (right after I spend two more days futzing with colors again…)

It really is happening this time!  I’m ready for a new sweater!  It’s a new year.  The moons have all aligned.  I’ve cleared out all the 2018 knitting baggage.  It’s on…


 

FO Friday – All The Hats

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As I prepared for this week’s pop up event, I didn’t put all of my knitting aside.  I kept up my on-the-go knitting and it turns out, I get a lot of knitting done when I’m out of the house.   Four new hats, just in time for holiday gift giving and winter chill!

The first two are Wurm derivatives.  It’s a great free pattern.  There’s nearly 16K Wurm hats on Ravelry.  I know I’ve knit probably two dozen of them.  They’re great stash busters, if you go the striped route like I did and they knit up in no time!  Perfect last minute holiday gifts!

Of course, I can’t follow a pattern.  I change my version up at the brim.  The pattern is written with a folded stockinette hem.  I prefer to go the all purl ridge route.  This originates from my early days knitting.  The double roll brim was my favorite way to start a hat.  You can see it here, on my third hat of the week.

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All my early hats have a double roll brim.  I never liked the look of classic ribbing, especially not with a knitted cast on, which was my go-to.  The stockinette curl hides that cast on edge perfectly!  No reason to fret over doing the long tail cast on, if your edge is hidden.

It certainly started out as a lazy decision but honestly, it’s also a super comfortable way to start a hat.  It’s cozy and warm around the ears and it’s never too tight.  I’m not sure why it fell out of favor but I’m officially bringing the double roll brim back.

You heard it here first…2019 is the year of the double roll brim!  Try it out and you’ll see…it’s a lot of fun!  You’ll be screaming it from the roof tops too!  Double roll brims for everyone! It’s gonna be so good!

It’s simply 10 rows of stockinette followed by 4 rows of reverse stockinette.  Easy peasy.  Just remember if you want to go for the two-tone look, you knit 9 rows in color 1 and then knit 1 row of color 2 before purling 4 rows of color.

Now, off to finish some last minute christmas knits.  Packages don’t have to be in the mail until Monday…I can get a lot done in 72 hours!


 

FO Friday – Baby’s First Ugly Christmas Sweater

Crafternoon giveth and crafternoon taketh away.  Just as I was settling in Wednesday, for a highly motivated knitting session, I got the email.  That pop up event that waitlisted me… they were offering me a spot.  It’s in one of the biggest office buildings downtown.  There’s no vendor fees AND they’ll validate parking!  Sign me up…again :)

SO, my knitting excitement has been set aside for another week while I do a quick cross stitch restock!

I did manage to finish my Nephew’s Christmas Sweater first, though!

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Ta-Da!  Baby’s First Fornicating Reindeer sweater!  I can’t wait for the little nugget to wear this.  He’s pretty cute but I have a feeling he’s going to break the cute meter in this sweater!

I rushed through the finishing a bit.  There are a few rough spots but good enough.  It’s gonna be worn for such a short time.  The kid has started growing!  His next sweater is going to be have all the life extending tricks so he can get a lot of wear but this one is just a novelty sweater.  I’m not going to beat myself up over a few rough spots that no one is going to look at, once it’s on an adorable baby.

Killing the acrylic was, indeed, a good idea.  Check out the curl in the before shots.

It instantly vanished with a couple shots from the hottest steam setting on my iron!  Woooo!  Acrylic for the win?  Despite all my usual yarn snobbery, there really is a place for acrylic and this is it.  Perfect for baby uses!

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Pictures from my Nephew’s first Christmas in a humping reindeer sweater…Priceless!

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It’s gonna be good.  My Sister is totally on board with this.  I think this will be a good time for Baby’s blog debut.

In the meantime, I’m off to cross stitch.  There is definitely, absolutely not any super secret Christmas knitting going around here.  None, whatsoever!

Happy Friday and have a great weekend!


 

FO Friday – Christmas Knitting #1

Every year, I say no more Christmas knitting.  I never mean it, this year especially.  Obviously, with a new nephew, there will be Christmas knitting.  His first holiday package went out today,  the reversible hat (that you saw on Monday) and a new stuffed friend!

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The little friend is not my favorite.  He’s a Rebecca Danger creature using her Basic Uni-Body design.  I meant to make a blue striped monkey but once I stuffed the body, I didn’t like it enough to do the monkey add ons.  There would have been ears, a tail and a protruding snout piece.

The snout piece was just too much.  It involves picking up a circle of stitches on the face, knitting outwards while shaping into a dome, stuffing it, closing it and then embroidering onto it.  I was not in the mood, so he’s just a funny, stripey, blue thingamabob.

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Of course, because I don’t like him, I expect this will be Marcus’s favorite.  His floppy arms are perfect for grabbing and chewing!  I think those little legs are likely to get chewed on too!

I’ll attempt the monkey again something but I’ll skip the stripes.  Before that though, it’s time for Baby’s First Christmas Sweater.  It won’t be ugly.  It won’t even be tacky.  It will be a little naughty though!

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I’m halfway through the back and with a little determination, this could be done by next Friday!  Three cheers for aran weight yarn and 4 stitches per inch!  Wooooooo!


 

A Triumphant Return!

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Etsy Holiday Emporium weekend is over!  The show was a big success!  I had a really great time talking to all the people who came by.  It was so fun to see people connect with my brand of snark and laugh at all the same things I laugh.  It’s nice to have your art appreciated but this went a step beyond that.  It was a big helping of personal validation and who doesn’t like that.  Even better than that though, now that it’s over…I can get back to my knitting!

It’s been a month of virtually no knitting, in prep for the show.  I was excited to get right down to it, casting on a hat to work on throughout the weekend.  I picked a fun little slip stitch pattern that’s easy to memorize but has a big impact.

And, it’s reversible!  Spotted on one side, striped on the other…super fun!

Here’s how it works, in the round…

Round 1: With color A, K1, P1

Rounds 2 & 3:  With color B, S1 wyib, P1, K1, P1

Round 4:  With color A, K1, P1

So, really only two rows, just knits, purls and an occasional slip stitch.  Super easy!

The other noteworthy feature of this hat, is the cast on.  I’m going to tell you about it and hope you’ll try it out too.  I really love it.  This is the Alternating Cable Cast On.

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I use it as a stand in for the Tubular Cast On.  The Alternating Cable Cast On is a lovely stretchy alternative that is easier and faster to execute.  I first learned it from Wooly Wormhead and she’s the goddess of hat, if there ever was one.  Here’s her tutorial for it, because she can surely give you the steps better than I can.

The basic explanation is this:  It’s the Cable Cast On with one change.  Instead of ‘knitting’ every stitch (inserting the needle from the front) you alternate between knit and purl (inserting the needle from the back).  It’s aptly named, the Alternating Cable Cast On…just a cable cast on that alternates between knits and purls, perfect for ribbing!

It’s a minor detail but I love minor details.  It’s the sort of thing that elevates homemade to handmade.  It’s a little bit of finesse that add to the polish of the finished hat tenfold!  I highly recommend it.

Of course, one hat didn’t last me long.  Day 2 of the show required another cast on…this time, I added a third color and went for a spiral knit stripey hat!

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And, just like that, Christmas knitting has begun.  Next up, an ugly Christmas sweater for my cute little nephew and a whole slew of new stuffie animal friends for him.  It’s gonna be so good!  So, stand by as we have now returned to our regular knitting agenda!   Wooooo!


 

FO Friday – Nephew Sweater

My latest Nephew Sweater has been sent off.   Fingers crossed that it fits just right!  I’m pretty optimistic that he’ll be able to wear it for a couple months!  And, I sent him a new little October friend too!

So what’s next?  A big old holiday panic!  It’s not even mid-October anymore…it’s late October.  There’s a Christmas sweater to think about, more stuffies, definitely more hats and cute little baby mittens to make!

At least, I’ve decided no stocking.  Despite having a special heirloom Christmas stocking, crocheted by a family friend, when I was born, I do not plan to bestow that gift upon my Nephew.  No, I’m definitely going in a different direction with baby’s first “ugly” Christmas sweater.  It’s gonna be a good one!

And then, there’s this…

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I’ve been accepted into the SF Etsy Holiday Emporium!  Wooo!  I applied with my snarky cross stitch this year, instead of knitting.  I’ve been denied with knitting in the past.  They were really doing me a favor.  No one buys knitting but still, it was disappointing.  So, I’m excited to get accepted this year!  Wooo!  Now, to get to work.

It’s a month off, which is plenty of time to prepare.  The impacts on holiday knitting will be severe, though.  Knitting time will be limited for the next couple weeks.  That isn’t stopping me from swatching though.  I’m itching to get something on the needles…even if it’s just a swatch!

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