Managing Expectations

I said one thing about this weekend, I would definitely have enough time to finish my Hitchhiker.  Naturally, that means I didn’t.  That’s gotta be one of the corollaries to Murphy’s Law, declaring one’s intent is the quickest way to ensure something won’t happen.

I did get lots of other little tidbits done though.  I added a cute little bill to my recent Grateful Dead hat.  I wasn’t sure the colors I had left would work but turns out, it was meant to be!  I love when stashbusting turns out like this!  It’s for a friend who accidentally felted an alpaca hat I gave her years ago.  I’m pretty sure she’ll agree, it was worth the wait!

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I embellished the stupid black hat, as well.  I love it now!

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The idea of a bluegrass festival full of 70’s glam rock fans tickles me pink!  And the pom-pom is the proverbial cherry on top, just in case anyone missed the humor of it before.  I have no idea if this one will be well received, but as usual, I’ll be happy to keep it for myself!

After that, I got the crazy idea to cut up a dress my Mom tie dyed for me years ago.  It’s been my staple lounge wear for a long time, to the point of decay.   It developed a gaping armpit hole but I couldn’t just throw it away.  I dismissed the idea of mending it, instantly.  Clearly THAT was too much work.   Cutting it up into ‘tarn’ struck me as brilliant though.  I couldn’t get the scissors in my hands fast enough.  Three hours later, I’m not even half done.

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I think I’ll have enough for something garment like though!  It’s a floor length, shift dress, so no seams to get in the way!  Just a big flat piece of fabric to be cut up.  I can’t wait to give it a new life!  But first, I’m finishing that Hitchhiker!  Maybe ;)

Taking Stock

There’s been fiber flying over here for several days now!  I ignored the 10 project limit for a few days, I knit completely out of order…rules be damned!  These things happen on the weekend.  My days of beer binges have slowly been replaced by knitting binges.  One might think the hangover would have improved, with the exception of the headache though, they’re quite similar.  Waking up disoriented, strange articles of clothing strewn about, memories of where they came from lost to the haze of the wee hours.  Finally, on Tuesday, recovered from the weekend, ready to address the issue and take stock.

This weekend brought me 3 new hats (if you count an orange kitty mohawk, which I definitely do!) and I’m within the 10 project limit!  Phew!  I thought the knitting police might haul me away at any moment.

The other two hats are Grateful Dead 13 point lightening bolts for my Etsy Shop.  Just in time for Fare Thee Well, the band’s anniversary/reunion/retirement tour!

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I really love the instant gratification of hats!  I may even love wearing them, after this blue one!  Maybe one of my favorite hats I’ve ever made.  It was a no brainer where everything just fell into place perfectly, the perfect bits and bobs from the stash, just the right colors, perfect colorwork yarn, yummy soft to wear.  Added a touch of elastic for the perfect fit…pretty much threw the kitchen sink at this one and it all worked just exactly how I wanted it too!

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and now I’m going to sell it!   I always say things like I can just make another…famous last words indeed!  I should be making myself a cashmere cardigan!  Wish me luck in re-focusing!  (I pulled more scraps from the stash late last night…ooops! Hats are so hard to resist!)

Eleven

There may never be another FO Friday from me ever again.  I’m thinking of becoming one of those people who only cast on.  Despite having a very strict rule about only having 10 projects on the needles at once, I cast on #11 last night.  oops.

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It’s for my Etsy shop, so that’s all the rationalization I need!  “Work” knitting should definitely not count.  Just like yarn that never actually gets stashed doesn’t count.  Cast on right away and it’s okay!  This is just a little hat, it’s half done already so even if it did count, it would only count little.  Like none at all.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

Stop Everything and Knit!

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Just when I think I’ve got my startitis cured and my WIPs under control…a (good) excuse to start a new project pops up!  A custom order for my Etsy shop!  It seems like this is going around…custom orders for handmade goods have been popping up all over!  It’s encouraging to see people interested in handmade!  Sometimes it seems like we’re preaching to the choir with our blogs and especially our Etsy shops, nice to know we aren’t!

(While we’re talking about handmade appreciation…anyone else enjoy the Game of Thrones scene this week where Sansa Stark mentions she sews her own dresses!  Me Made May for EVERYONE!)  Okay…back to the knitting…

This project is one of my favorites…a Giants themed Grateful Dead Steal Your Face hat!  Like previous hats I’ve done…only with extra slouch this time!  And of course, it’s hard to do anything the same twice, so I’ve tinkered with my chart to make it even better! That’s really the best part of this, a chance to improve an old favorite even more!

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Having my stainless stealie friend to help didn’t hurt either!

Stash Happens!

I was really hoping to have the next yarn bomb easter egg ready to share today.  Maybe tomorrow…turns out each one of these pieces is like knitting a scarf.  It’s taking a while!

So, here’s the recent stash acquisitions.  Somehow yarn always manages to find me!

This is from a friend’s destash, I couldn’t resist the colors! It’s heavy fingering, maybe sport weight.  I’ve got 3 50 g balls, I’m thinking Hitchhiker or maybe one of it’s cousins.

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This next yarn was a total impulse buy…It’s Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino.  I don’t need it but I really loved the bright green, it’s appropriately called Acid!  and of course, it needed some friends, so Mist and Ultra Marine came along for the ride!  I’m thinking it’ll be something shawl like…we’ll see, a baby something is a possibility.

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and last but not least, a couple Louisa Harding Kimono Angoras for a top secret project.  I’ve said too much already!

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and oh yeah, I changed the blog layout!  I did it Friday, which seems about a million years away right now! Hopefully this one is easier to read.  This should be easier on the eyes :)

Armenian Knitting

Armenian knitting is my new favorite color work technique!  I’ve always loved to knit color work hats!  According to Ravelry, I’ve got 297 projects in my hat folder.  Of those, 111 have some sort of color work…stripes, intarsia, fair isle, duplicate stitch…and my new favorite…the Armenian hats!

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Armenian knitting is a technique that gives you the look of intarsia but allows you to work in the round.  Of my 297 hats, I’ll bet fewer than 20 of them were knit flat and seamed.  A seam leaves an unsightly lump in hats.  I’m not a fan.   I do love a good bit of intarsia though.  The trick to this technique is carrying both colors throughout the entire garment and trapping the unused color in the back ever couple stitches to eliminate long floats.

The result is a thick, tweedy fabric.  The thickness comes from the extra strand carried along the back and the tweed comes from the way the traps show through the fabric.  Instead of labeling the bits of color showing through a flaw, in this case we call it a design feature!  I love it!  It’s a really super fabric!

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Here’s a quick video featuring Eunny Jang demonstrating the technique.  She’s a bit more ambitious than I am, trapping every other stitch.  I trapped every 3rd or 4th stitch.   I also work my yarns reversed…main color – continental/left hand, contrast color – english/right hand.   To trap in that fashion, you insert your right hand needle into the stitch on the left (as normal), then you wrap your contrast color from the right hand (don’t knit yet), then you wrap your main color from the left hand (still don’t knit yet), then you unwrap the contrast color from the right hand and finally, you knit your main color as usual.  It’s extra steps in the wrap phase but it allows me to knit continental most of the time.

Part of the reason I’m drawn to this technique is the two handed style.  After many years (decades really!) knitting english, I’ve switched to continental.  It’s been a nice way to bridge the two styles!  I’m putting together a tutorial on the technique because I love it so much.  I’m on a mission to convert every knitter I meet!!  I’m also writing up the pattern for the hats I’ve been making so stay tuned for more Armenian Knitting!!

(My cassette tape nostalgia goes on…)

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(Shameless Self-Promotion:  The B&W hat is available in my Etsy shop, if you’ve also got cassette tape nostalgia!)

FO Friday – The Dude Abides

Definitely got my instant gratification fix with this one.  This hat was a breeze from start to finish!  I’m very pleased with the results, except I don’t think the photos do it justice.  It’s a lot cuter in person.

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The original request was a hat with a bill to keep rain out of the eyes.  The secondary request was soft, soft, soft.  I used Cascade’s Highland Duo, at 70% alpaca, I accomplished the soft part.  Not sure how well this yarn will really do in the rain, time will tell.  The bill is on the small side, a function of the alpaca.   I could have used a plastic insert as structure for a larger bill, but I dunno…just wasn’t feeling it.  I did run four strands of 1 mm elastic through the ribbing to help it keep it’s structure.  This is twice the elastic I normally use.  I expect it to get a lot of use so I want it to hold up!

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Complete details on my Ravelry Page

Previously Seen:

And So It Begins

Nearly FO Friday

(Almost forgot the most important part…if you aren’t familiar, the motif on the hat is based on The Dude’s Sweater from The Big Lebowski! It really ties the outfit together!)

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