Let The Games Begin!

The Olympics have begun!!  Wooo!  I’m excited!  Before I dive into all things Olympic (or Ravellenic) though, there’s a few loose ends to tie up.

Specifically, these loose ends…

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Striped Asymmetry is off the needles and ready for a blocking.   That little circle is the key feature of this little wrap.  It’s a keyhole to feed the other end through.  Perfect if you’re prone to losing shawl pins!

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It needs to be blocked.  It really did not want to cooperate for pictures.  The alternating garter & stockinette stripes, combined with the cinch of the keyhole really encouraged it to bunch and curl.

I couldn’t even get my usual fence shot because a big ass spider decided it was her fence.

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I politely asked her to move on.  She pretended like she didn’t hear me.  She, finally, started to see things my way after I took down half her web.  I didn’t want it to be too traumatic though so I left her alone after that.  I’ll go back tomorrow, to check her progress.  It’s a 30 foot fence.  She can have any of the other sections.  She’s a cool spider so hopefully she will stick around.

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With that tangent finally over, I can get down to the real business.  Olympic business!  The opening ceremony isn’t until prime time but I’ve started my people watching already!

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Looks at all those people in HATS!! Yes…I’m ready!  I am going on a major hat binge! The goal I’ve set for the Ravellenic games is a baker’s dozen…13 hats.

I’ve scoured Ravelry for inspiration.  I’ve sorted my yarn.  I think I’m ready!  I just need to pick a bag…

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The sorting was a few weeks back so it’s a random grab at this point!  Some bags contain single skeins that are brand new and ear marked for a project.  Some bags contain a heap of scraps for the mixing.  Some bags have patterns in them.  Some bags have enough yarn for six hats.  Anything could happen…

Your guess is as good as mine!  Stay tuned, the Parade of Hats is about to start…


 

 

Work In Progress Wednesday

All signs point to new project cast ons this week!  The holiday knitting is done and I’ve only got 4 WIPs on the go right now.  I can start two new projects and still be within my strict 6 project limit!  Woooooooo!

The secret holiday projects have been hats.  Specialty hats, definitely not every day hats and definitely not enough to scratch the hat itch.  It’s time for a hat binge!

First up, I’m digging into the stash for yarn from Rhinebeck 2016.

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I’ve been holding on to this fun gradient kit, waiting for the perfect pattern.  I think a lot of us have this ‘problem’.  Awesome yarn, languishing in the stash, unused because it’s ‘special’ and needs to be ‘perfect’.

I’m here to say…PSHAW!  That’s nonsense.  ‘Perfect’ is not about excellent execution of something so precisely correct that there is not one single flaw to be found.  Perfect is about adjusting one’s mindset.

For me, in this case, perfect was the idea that I wanted to use all of this yarn, to its fullest, in one single project.  The yardage isn’t really enough for my ideals of a scarf or shawl and it’s too much for a hat.  It’s too nice to use for a baby garment.  Always too something…

All I needed to solve this problem was a simple attitude adjustment.  Who cares if I use it all in one go?  I love scraps!  My favorite thing is having leftovers to add to the scrap pile!  Hat binges and scrap piles go hand in hand!  Why have I spent 15 months hung up over a few scraps??

And so, with a little bit of soul searching, I decided, I would be happier to knit this yarn into several hats than I would be watching it sit, lonely and untouched, on the shelf.   Duh.  Obviously.  I bought it to use it.

And so, the hat binge has begun in earnest.

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In a fortuitous moment, I remembered this neon green, fur pom-pom.  Another bit of stash being saved for the ‘perfect’ hat.  In this case, perhaps perfection will be achieved, after all.

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In the most bizarre turn yet, this could be perfect AND trendy?!?  If I’m doing the big fur pom, I might as well go all the way and make it a fade too.  These stripes are just too fun.  I sat down for one brief moment, to just finish turning the hem and here I’ve nearly finished it.  I do love a good hat binge.

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I started with a provisional cast on and a turned hem.  It’s a finish I love but don’t do often enough.  If I’m selling a hat, it’s a lovely detail that slows the process down, unnecessarily.  If I’m keeping it though, this is just the type of detail I want to wear.  An uninterrupted field of stockinette stitch at the brim of hat makes me so happy.

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Even the jobless stripes are making me pretty happy today!  My preferred technique is to knit into the row below, at the first stitch, of the second round of each color.   Once the ends are woven and it’s blocked a bit, I think this will be as near to perfection as possible.

And then, I’ll get to do it all over again because I’m definitely going to have enough yarn left over!  Perfection, Indeed!


 

Don’t Quote Me on That

Last week, while embracing the idea of non-head shaped hats, I may have said something sort of like ‘Almost only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades and hat shaping’.  It should come as no surprise, therefore, that my next hat was as perfectly head shaped as a hat can get.

It’s perfect (except for the whole pink, angora part…go figure that it would fit perfectly but I’ll certainly never wear it.)   Once again, the shape is due to short rows.  This time, I’ve stacked the short rows directly on top of each other instead of staggering them around the hat.  The result is a more spacious forehead and a flatter back.

The garter ridges are my short rows.  I’ve done two short rows, the first one is 90% of the row, the second one is 70% of the row, followed by 3 rounds of stockinette stitch.  I repeated the short row-stockinette sequence over and over, until I got the length I wanted, then closed the top up…Viola!  Perfect Pink Hat!  <- Click for details on Ravelry

Of course, all these short row hats have had one common theme, stacking deep or long wedges to build a hat.  What happens when the shorts rows are short and shallow?  Here’s one possibility…

This is the most conventional hat in terms of shaping.  It’s essentially a stockinette beanie with stripes.    As I was knitting the stripes, I threw in single short rows of 4-6 stitches at regular intervals.  I was able to close the hat with standard decreases, (K8, K2tog followed by K7, K2tog, followed by K6, K2tog…etc)

Here’s the Ravelry Details!

For anyone looking to attempt a short row hat, this one is a great place to start.  You can adapt any basic stockinette beanie.  Whenever you feel like it, just do a wrap and turn, knit as few or as many stitches as you feel, place another wrap and turn, and you’re back on the right side of the hat, continuing along as though your row had never been interrupted!

I did several short rows per stripe, but maybe you only want one short row.  Maybe you want to stack your little short rows or maybe you want to stagger them so they bias across the hat.  Maybe you want them to be completely random.

Rest assured, I’ve got all these options on my list!  The urge to make hats is finally waning though.  For the first time in over a week, I finished a hat and did not cast on the next one right away.  Who knows, I might not do any hat knitting today?!?