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!!


 

A Re-FO’d Hat

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I reknit Mom’s hat easily!  A few short hours of knitting.  Followed by three days of indecision over the decorative touches!  This is an on-going theme lately.  On the original hat, the bling was all on the fur band.  The little crystals got lost in the long fur so this was my chance to remedy that!

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I was pleased with the improvement but not wowed!  After three days of deep thought I decided to change it.  Now I’ve got this…

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Again, happy with the improvement but it’s not a Eureka! moment.  Whatever, maybe I’m over thinking it.  That’s certainly advice I give knitters all the time.   So I officially declare, it’s done!  It’s a lovely hat.  My idea of perfect is the only thing that needs to change here.

On the other hand, I also say, if you aren’t happy with it, change it.  Just do it.  You don’t like it, just change it.  Why finish something you aren’t going to like or wear.  With that in mind, I’m changing the buttons on my sweater.  I’ve been dithering over that for too long as well.  Enough wishy-washy nonsense!  This week has no idea what’s about to hit it…I am making decisions!  Watch out!

FO Wednesday – Gnome Hat

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Instant Gratification Woooo!  I meant to start this hat so I’d have something not neon green for WIP Wednesday.  Turns out, bulky yarn (handspun bolivian llama, handdyed by Mom!), 10.5 needles and a bit of late night knitting were just the thing I wanted yesterday!  Poof!  Instant Hat!

I don’t think it’s really done though.  I want to spice it up with something…maybe some surface crochet vine/leaf motifs or something to make it even more gnome-y, a toadstool applique or a butterfly or some other garden thing.  Another excuse to stash dive, in any case!   Any Suggestions?

FO Friday, In Which I Turn Into My Mother

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I’m making lots of knitting progress…The Friday FO trend continues! The yarn was the motivator here, hand spun and hand dyed by a friend!  Upon further inspection, I seem to have stuck to the original plan?!?  A top down hat with a dark i-cord bind off!

I went top down to use up every inch of the yarn and to avoid doing a real swatch with math.  I just worked increases on alternating rows until the top of the hat looked big enough. I added a few purl ridges and spirals to the body for visual interest.  And then, I went all the way with the i-cord…provisional cast on for first 3 stitches, then grafting them to the last 3 stitches for a seamless finish! I usually take the lazy way out but this practically fell off the needles on its own, it was worth a tiny bit of effort for the one little detail!

And then I turned into my Mother.  It happens to everyone on occasion.  I’ve learned to just go with it until the feeling passes.  In this case, it wasn’t going to pass until I made a flower for my hat.  I’ve made a lot of different flowers over the years (most of them for Mom, she likes flowers. a lot.)  This one is just about the easiest!  You cast on, work one row that’s mostly binding off and then cinch your remaining stitches into a cute little flower! Done!

You can customize this flower in several different ways cast on more stitches to make it larger, cast off longer segments to make the petals longer or even cast off in shorter segments to increase the number of petals!

Here’s what I did:

Cast on 45 stitches. I used the long tail, it’s a good one because it has enough structure.  Knitting On would be a bit floppy and weird.

Knit the first stitch, then bind off the next 7 stitches, this leaves one stitch on each side of the bound off segment.  Knit another stitch, then bind off the next 7 stitches. You now have 4 stitches on the needle.

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Continue down the row in this fashion, at the end, cut yourself a tail, pull it through the remaining live stitches, give it a cinch and you’ve got yourself a groovy little flower!

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Of course, if one tiny little flower is cute, then two is even better!  I have a feeling Mom approves!

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FO Friday!

With a little luck, I can use FO Friday as my title every Friday!  This week I hit that goal with a new hat for the shop!  With 4 days until pitchers and catchers report for spring training, I’ve got the SF Giants on the brain!  And I’ve always got Jerry on the brain, but especially these days with all the chatter about the Grateful Dead 50th Anniversary shows this summer!  It’s been a busy week, I needed to kill two birds with every stone so…

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BAM!  Giants, Dead, Stashbusting, Queue Clearing and Shop Stocking all in one!  This beauty was knit from the bottom up in Cascade’s Highland Duo.  The Steal Your Face was added by duplicate stitch and the brim was reinforced with a touch of elastic to give this hat years of wear!  It can be yours now, just click here!  It’s gonna be slow to ship, won’t go out until Tuesday so shipping is free if you order this weekend!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!  (I did not stick to yesterday’s plan…come back Monday to see how it turns out…I’m curious myself!)