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 – 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 Care Package

 

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My little nephew Marcus is 4 weeks old today!  Wooo!  He’s such a sweet little thing.  It’ll be a while before I get to meet him so I’m sending him a long distance hug, in the form of yarn, naturally.

I’m so excited about everything in this pile.  A dinosaur birth announcement.  An ‘only in San Francisco’ onesie.  I didn’t make it but I love the tripping hippie vibe.  It’s the kind of thing you can only get from your crazy California aunt!

Then there’s the cat toy mushroom rattles, such fun!  The pattern is from Purl Soho’s blog.  A great little stash buster project with super results.  (disclaimer:  my yarn and gauge is completely different, so these are actually a heavily modified version of their pattern, if ya know what I mean.)

Then, there’s the hats.  Even though it’s still August, I’m sending five hats.  Might as well teach him young, this is what I do.  I hope you like wearing hats, kid!  I’m making them regardless.

These came from the knitting Olympics back in February.  It’s such a fun collection.  I’ll never stop making goofy hats but now is really my time.  He won’t be wearing goofy hats forever!

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And finally, Baby’s Second Blanket.  He got the first one before he was born, a cotton blanket for summer.  This is one is the wool blanket for cooler days.  It’s the true pièce de résistance…

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A Honeycomb blanket, complete with fringe.

I knit it as a tube, to avoid purling and then cut it open.  Using the cut edges to create fringe, I avoided the dreaded end weaving.  After that, I added an applied i-cord to the top and bottom edges.  and POOF!  An Heirloom was born!

I hope Marcus likes it.  Obviously I made something I like but I thought about him a lot too.  I picked colors with high contrast and textural interest so it can help his little eyes develop.  The fringe is for a tactile experience, something for his little fingers to figure out.

It’s pretty amazing to see how much he’s changed already.  I can’t wait for the all the developmental challenges to come.  I totally appreciate being a casual observer to the miracle of life.  Human bodies…wow!

..AND, I have plenty of yarn left for all those amazing occasions.  5 Skeins of Miss Babs Yowza is gonna get me a lot of coordinating accessories.  The blanket put a dent in it, but just barely.  It’s time for sweaters and an army of stuffies!!

Welcome to the world, little Marcus.  You have a crazy knitting aunt (and that is the best kind!!)

When it rains…

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It’s raining FO’s here at the FogKnits headquarters.  After many finish free weeks, I’m suddenly finishing everything I touch.

If you recall, back in May, I started this hat but ripped it out because the ‘apple green’ mohair I was carrying as my second strand was reading yellow and I don’t like yellow.

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Ugh.  Yellow?  I really wanted green so I ripped it out and changed my mohair strand.  Instead I used a lovely purple that became this hat.  These are happy dance colors!

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Purple is soooooo much better.  And, now that I’m looking at this photo again, I can say with a high degree of certainty, I’ve had this color palate on my mind for a while.  LOL.

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Completely unintentional and yet, certainly, not?

Anyhow.  Back to yellow.  Yuck.  Nothing good comes of yellow but I had yarn left over so, begrudgingly, why not knit the second hat. Some people don’t find yellow to be offensive.  Some people even like yellow?  Weirdos, to be sure but they are out there.

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So, as I was running out the door to a music festival, I needed some easy knitting.  This hat fit the bill perfectly for a small project, with easy stitches, no fuss, just do it.  It was the no-brainer I needed and it turned out to be right choice (in spite of all that yellowness).

I cast on early in the day while I watched the Black Sheep Brass Band.  And they had super cute stickers.

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Meant to be, clearly.  And by the end of the evening, I had a finished hat.

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Giving this hat an interesting distinction, it was knit almost entirely standing up.  I’ve knit hats entirely on buses, while riding in cars and even on airplanes.  Always seated.  This is the first FO that was mostly standing.  I did sit for a bit to finish the last six rows, so maybe that was 5-10%.  Still, close enough for me!

And, there’s still an FO (or two) left for tomorrow!  Woo!  When it rains, it pours!  :)


 

FO Friday – Purple Haze

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This week, Queen Elizabeth is my spirit animal!  Did you guys see her outfit at the royal wedding, last weekend??  An inspired color choice, as always.  I absolutely love it.  Seeing it, reminded me of a skein of yarn I’d picked up a while back.

It’s a skein of Silk Cloud, from Shibui, in color Green Apple.  Their mohair/silk blend.  Perfect for spicing up the uninspired swatch I was working on.  Off I went.

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I cast on a hat and made quick progress.  Unfortunately, I hated it.  My lovely sour green haze was reading yellow.  I hate yellow.  Me and yellow will never be friends.  EVER.  I’m okay with that.  As long as yellow stays waaaaaaaay over on the other side of the room.  Across the hall is actually preferable.

Somehow though, yellow had crept into the room and hopped right up on my needles?!?  WTF? I was not having it.  I swatched a bit of purple but that was really a formality.  I knew I was ripping that horrid yellow out.

Soon enough, I had this…

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aaaahhhhh.  So much better.  So lovely and soothing.  I’m even one of those people who enjoys a bit of pooling.  This was happy place knitting, for sure.  I even got to put a literal cherry on top!

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I’ve been trying to put that green pom pom on something for years.  Nothing every worked but finally, it was meant to be!  This is what I’d been waiting for all along!  It’s perfect!  I’m pretty sure Queen Elizabeth approves.

I wonder, though, about that yellow.  It’s kind of nagging at me…everyone else liked it? Maybe I shouldn’t have been so quick to judge?  And, it turns out, I have enough yarn for another hat, easily.  I haven’t been on a hat binge in a while.  It’s a three day weekend.  Everyone is out of town.  I’m left here, all alone…things might get a little crazy?!  It’s only friday…I’ve got plenty of time to destroy the evidence if it doesn’t work out!

I think I’m going to knit a yellow hat this weekend.  Hope your weekend is equally as interesting!


 

Back in the SF groove

Took a few days but things are just about back to normal around here.  Re-entry is always harsh after vacation but it took me a few extra days.  It was really nice being in New Mexico where the population density is zero.  Coming back to the crowds of San Francisco has made me cranky.  It’s like I forgot how to suppress the urge to slap people while saying ‘get it together, idiot’.   So, it was a rough weekend but, I’ve got it under control now.  Getting back to the knitting routine was imperative!

I knit in public, on several buses and even managed a few FOs. The purple hat is just a basic beanie with a little garter ridge relief kind of design.  Something for the gift box because invariably when a random birthday arrives, everyone’s favorite color is purple, yes?

I put the sleeves on my nephew’s first sweater.  He’s due in July, so he doesn’t even need them.  They were really just a few rows of formality.  I washed it and got ready to block it.  Definitely didn’t need all the blocking mats for this wee sweater.  It’s so tiny!  They call this size 0-3 months.  If it fits him on day 1, I’ll be amazed!

My current WIP is the other dotted rays.   Of the two, this one is definitely my favorite.  I knew it wouldn’t languish, alone, in a corner, after vacation and it hasn’t.  It’s been growing at a rapid pace since I got back.

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So, with all that progress, it’s definitely time to cast on something new.  Here’s my pile of vacation yarn…

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The first thing I grabbed to wind was the Dream in Color.  I got Jilly & Smooshy both with Cashmere.  Obviously.  With Cashmere is always the answer.

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I wanted to cast on the Local Yarn Shawl from Local Yarn Store Day but I don’t think I’ve got the right colors.  At least not right here.  I’ve totally got the right colors somewhere…I just need to get the yarn out and spread it all around.  Any excuse, right?

Any excuse!!