Saturday, January 29, 2011

Man Hat

I have completed a finger! This is very exciting. Now, I'm just hoping I have enough yarn for the others (deep sigh)

I have briefly paused to search patterns because DH has for the first time ever sort of kind of requested a knitted item! I mentioned that I needed to make him a pair of socks that fit Ithe first pair are large enough to fit over his shoe!) and he said what he really needs is a hat.

A hat!? I can do that. I can do that with my eyes clothes in my sleep while reading a book and watching tv. Amazingly, I even have the perfect yarn in my stash - a gorgeous mohair merino blend. So now, all we need is a pattern.

Me: What sort of hat would you like, darling?
He: Uh, you know a hat. One that covers my ears.
Me: Yes, but stripes, beanie, cables, rolled brim, folded brim, one color, two color, three?
He: I don't know. Not red, he says noticing that I'm reaching for a skein of burgundy.

I've been able to get him to rule out anything that looks like a seed pod. Beyond that, can you believe that he just doesn't seem interested in spending hours on Ravelry paging through patterns and projects and comparing and contrasting hundreds (or thousands) of options. Huh.

He says he's a little nervous about how excited I am getting about this project. He simply doesn't understand how it makes a knitter's pulse beat faster to have a project requested. Although he did let slip today that he had contemplated buying me Yak yarn for Christmas. What in the world made him hold back that impulse! I told him that was a worthy idea that could certainly be revisted for an upcoming gift giving occasion.

Still, I'm left with the hat dilemma! I've basically discerned there are a limited number of options for men, the most common being:


ribbed for 1 to 3 inches and then stockingnet with any variety of stripes. The top is squared, rounded or swirly

ribbed all the way to the top - usually k1p1 or k2p2, but occassionally with a variation such as k2,p2,k4,p1 - again with a variety of striping options.

As for the stripes - thick, thin, even spaced, one, two, three or all the way up.

Giving these parameters, it shouldn't be too hard, right?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Rookie Mistake Number 2

I was well past the cuff and into the thumb gusset of the Bobbie mittens by the very talented Julie Muehler when the nagging feeling that something wasn't right finally moved from the back of my brain to the front.

The text didn't match the chart. I had ignored that problem for many rows figuring it was my inability to read a chart. Then I completely lost track of which row I was on. After spending way too long trying to figure it out and wondering even more why what I was doing didn't seem to follow the chart, I decided to frog back.

Since I was back to the beginning of the gusset, I decided to think harder about this text chart mismatch. I concluded the chart had to be wrong. I was about to see if I could email the designer for clarification. This is how it would have gone:

Me: Hi, I'm working on this lovely pattern that you so painstakingly wrote and likely had vetted by several experienced knitters, but I think there's a problem with it.

Her: Oh? What would that be.

Me: Well, the text says to start with line two of the stitch pattern, but that's not what the chart shows.

Her: Really? Let me take a look. Okay, the chart shows that on row 34, you start with row two of the stitch pattern, just like the text says.

Me: No, the chart starts with Row 4.

Her: No, it doesn't. It very clearly shows that you start with a slip 1 with yarn in front.

Me: Yes, but that's row 4 of the stitch pattern

Her: Lady, I think you need to take some knitting lessons - maybe next time you should pay more attention to the stitch pattern.

Yes, there on the front page, it clearly says that row 2 of the stitch pattern is slip 1 with yarn in front. Row 4 is the reverse.

Thankfully, I did not make this call.

In fairness to me, the first part of the glove didn't follow the stitch pattern exactly. Still one of the basic rules of reading patterns is that if the text and chart don't match it is much more likely to be a user error than a pattern problem!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Total bummer

Plant owner: 81 jobs at risk

Pisgah Yarn & Dyeing selling assets, will likely close

Plant owner: 81 jobs at risk

Pisgah Yarn & Dyeing was founded 40 years ago by Harold Lonon Sr. (Photo by Mike Conley/

Within the next few months, Pisgah Yarn & Dyeing will effectively shut down its operations in Old Fort.Show all

Jack Lonon Jr., president of the family-owned company, told The McDowell News on Thursday that the company’s assets will be sold to Spinrite Yarns of Canada. The sale will become final on Feb. 25. After that, the future of the business will be uncertain.

“There’s too many things up in the air,” he said. “I am not sure what is going to transpire.”

Full Story

Rookie Mistakes

I have finally decided to tackle the challenge of knitting a pair of gloves. I've been sort of kinda thinking about it for more than a year but there were always so many other things in my knitting bag. Then someone sent me some gorgeous Koigu hand painted yarn in a color called carnival. Since it's handwash only, I figured its better for gloves which I would (hopefully) need to wash less. And I found these really cute patterns by Julia Mueller.

Last night, I eagerly cast on for Bobbie, a delightful pattern that shows off handpainted yarns. The yarn is a delight to work with. The colors are amazing. The pattern is easy enough - if you don't do something totally idiotic like ignore the first thing everyone tells you about reading patterns, which is to highlight the instructions for your size so that you don't get 28 rows into it and realize you are eight stitches short.

The bright side, I suppose is that I also realized before frogging that I'd missed a stitch several rows back and in this pattern it's really obvious. I might have been able to fix it, but it would have been pretty complicated.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Bella Fun

It's cold. I need mittens. Thick, warm mittins. Here they are - the Bella Mittens from the Twighlight movie, which I haven't seen. I haven't even read the book. But I love the mittens. Except they are very long. Notice the model in the picture isn't wearing a coat. How could it be cold enough to need mittens but not a coat? The problem is that my coat has cuffs. If I have to take the mitten off to say eat a piece of chocolate (it happens sometimes) then it's a pain in the bum to put it back on again! I actually thought about that before I started, but I thought maybe it wouldn't bother me quite as much as it does. But I love the color and the mittens are super soft. Maybe I should buy a new coat with looser sleeves.......
Now I'm working on a matching hat with the left over skein. I feel like I'm in a Goldilocks story - the time I cast on, it was too tight. I've added stitches and now it's too loose! At least I think it is - it's hard to tell because I'm only a couple of inches into it. I don't want to keep going if I'm right about it being too big, but I don't want to frog if I'm wrong. I just want a new hat. Now. Please.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Snow coming

The weather reports are calling for upwards of 17 inches of snow tonight into tomorrow -

I'm ready - I just went out and bought a new sled. It's a very pretty shade of purple.

I was, however, bewildered by the abundant number of choices. Eco-friendly, saucer style, tobaggan, one-person, two-person, blue, orange, green, $10, $15 or $20. Is the $15 one really better than the $10 one? It does come with the rope attached. Do I need one? Two? I have two kids of sledding age, but we already had one working sled.

Thankfully, mine are not the type to argue over who should have the new sled, so though I was tempted to buy one of each type just 'cause it would be fun to try them all, I settled on one that can carry two people - the one that comes with a rope. Not that I couldn't supply one, but that's one that doesn't even have to get on my to-do list, which is worth at least $5!

(the sled in the photo is not ours)
Must knit mittens fast (hahahahaha)

Monday, January 10, 2011


This is the knitting that did happen over the weekend. I loved knitting this pattern - Brambles from

It's charted but the chart is so easy to follow that I now really get how to read cable charts!

I love the yarn - a verigated wool I picked up at an LYS last winter. (I think the nifty pattern would show up better with a lighter, non-verigated yarn)

But the hat itself ... that I'm not so certain about. It's quite a bit of hat and I'm not sure it's the best style on me. Still, my 8 yo says it looks great.

The head band part was very sretchy. I think I've fixed that with fleece band sewn in.

I've finished this just in time - we're supposed to get slammed with a storm tomorrow night.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Work interferes

DH wonderfully took the little ones off on a winter hike so that I could have the afternoon. First, had to get work done. Now they're were back and I've been tagged to take over as parent. Not a stitch knit. Not a seam sewn. NOT FAIR. (not that I don't love my children and not that I'm not absolutely thrilled to take care of them, of course)

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Add ImageThis is an old fo - the Calorimetry from Knitty.
I had it on and I had a camera in hand so I decided to post it all over again. It's still loose. I don't know how I think it would have changed since the last time I had it out! Still, it works okay because there are extra holes. It's perfect for a warmer cool day. It's also fun because it's a quick knit. For this one I used glittery yarn for the first and last three rows. You can't tell but We are both wearing Wisconsin sweatshirts. This makes my dad, who gave them to us, very happy.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Header photo

The photo from the header is of the fireworks on New Years Eve in Boston. That's what you get without a tripod!

The dog shots are of New Year's Day. Perfect hiking winter hiking weather - just warm enough without too much mud.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Secret Pal

I've gone and done it again - signed up for Secret Pal. I'm addicted. I love "meeting" new people and it's fun to put together surprise packages (and to receive them). Anyway, here's my profile:

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely not like? I love natural fibers – wools, cottons, etc. I love to try new and exotic yarns. I use novely yarns sporadically.
2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in? I have a couple of different cases with zippers for the interchangeables and a vase for the long ones.
3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced? I taught myself when my 8 yo was little. I’ve had a few classes since then and taught others. I would say I’m closer to advanced, although there is so much more to learn.
4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? no
5. What’s your favorite scent? Lavender is my favorite – none that I don’t like.
6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy? I like Kit Kats, malted milk balls and dark chocolate. I'm a coffee drinker and sometimes tea.
7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin? I sew and do lots of crafts with the kids. I don’t yet spin, although I have all the supplies waiting in the wings.
8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD) Yes on mp3s – popular music, Blues, classical, celtic, bagpipes – I like a wide range.
9. What’s your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can’t stand? Pinks, purples, browns and blues – not pastels, but muted. I’m not keen on bold or bright colors or jewel tones.
10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? DH; Five kids ranging in age from 5 to 18; two delightful Springer Spaniels
11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? Scarves, hats and mittens. Not so much on the ponchos.
12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? Usually smaller things because I like FOs, this includes socks, mittens and hats. I also like shawls and have made two sweaters.
13. What are you knitting right now? A scarf, mittens and a shawl for DD
14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? Definitely
15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? Primarily interchangeable – I have a Denise set and a Knit picks metal and bamboo
16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? Yes to both
17. How old is your oldest UFO? A scarf with yarn my parents bought in Scandinavia. It’s been on the needles for a few weeks. I tend to have several running at once, but I’m actually caught up for the most part.
18. What is your favorite holiday? What winter holiday do you observe? Christmas for both.
19. Is there anything that you collect? Knitting supplies – measuring tapes especially also pens. I have an affinity for penguins
20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? No knitting magazines subscriptions at the moment – books - sock techniques, Knitters Book of Wool, One-Skein with Sock Yarn
21. Are there any new techniques you’d like to learn? I’d like to do more with cables and intarsia and more with designing
22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements? I am; size 7
23. When is your birthday? June 24th
24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what’s your ID? yarnscribe