FOFri #46: All I Finish Are Hats

I seem to have finished knitting hats, and only hats (ok, except for one pair of gift socks), since November. Eight hats in five months, two of which you can find here, one here (which I knit twice), one more here, and the remaining three in this post.

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Speckles for baby and me.

Happily, all the plain stockinette that’s involved in knitting a Sockhead Slouch Hat (designed by Kelly McClure) is totally worth it, because I adore the finished product. The colors are my favorite, the speckles make me happy, the ribbing is super cozy, and the length is just right for a good amount of slouch. I modified a few things in my version: I used a sport-weight yarn (BMFA Socks That Rock Mediumweight), cast on fewer stitches (136), and knit to a shorter length (10.5″ total) before the crown  decreases. This removed some slouch and is just right for my head. I will update my project page with measurements later, as I did not get a chance to do so yet.

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For the wee one.

Because I COULD NOT RESIST, I knit a wee baby hat for Hatchling so that we could be all matchy-matchy. I really should have done longer ribbing for the rolled-up brim, but alas I did not. I used the same yarn and needles (2.75 mm) and cast on 88 stitches in a gauge of 7 sts/inch, for a hat that should be approximately 12.5″ around after blocking, unstretched. Newborn heads are typically 13″ or so, but with the stretchiness of the fabric and the fact that I can roll the brim down as the kid grows, I’m hoping the hat will continue to fit for a while, because that little i-cord loop at the top is just too damn precious.

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Frida for a friend.

I had intended to make this hat (Fidra, designed by Gudrun Johnston) for my friend’s December birthday. However, it’s March, and it’s still sitting in my house. It went through a failed iteration with inappropriate yarn, and then waited weeks for a pom-pom, and now I just haven’t gotten around to mailing it. Despite that, the finished product is pretty fabulous. Knit with the called-for yarn (BT Quarry) and needles, it’s actually a little snug, so I hope she likes it as I know she likes her hats on the bigger side. If you’re finding the Quarry yarn difficult to work with (it’s basically unplied pencil roving) I’d recommend going up a needle size or using metal instead of bamboo. Going up a size would give everything a bit more room to move around and the size would probably still work out fine.

So there are my hats! Sorry none of them are modeled, I haven’t had time for proper photoshoots lately. When the kiddo arrives I’ll be sure to take a mommy-and-me shot in matching hats, middle-of-summer heat waves be damned. 😉

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FOFri #34: Double Whammy

You know it’s been a good week when you get to Friday and realize you have crossed off everything on your to-do list. THAT NEVER HAPPENS, GUYS. I’ve even finished things that weren’t on the list! Which is why I have not one but two finished objects to show off today. Although I apologize in advance for the quality of these photos: mornings are dark, the lighting is terrible, and it’s crazy hard to focus a DSLR when it’s on a tripod and you’re a few feet away. (Still learning with my new toy, obviously.)

Wine-y Lucy Hat:

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Blurr-tastic! Click for project page.

This hat is my faaaaaaaaaaavorite. Seriously. I love the yarn, the shape, the style, the fit… everything. The pattern is Lucy Hat by Carina Spencer. I really admire Carina’s designs. Her aesthetic aligns perfectly with what I actually want to wear, and her patterns are well-written and usually fun to knit. I’ve made her Regina hat, Whippoorwhill Shawl (which was a bit of a slog because it involved so many stitches but the shape is perfect and I wear it constantly), and no fewer than three Zuzu’s Petals cowls (and I’ve been itching to make another recently).

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Pre-finished, but shows the colors well.

I am really happy with my yarn choice for this project, too. I used Verdant Gryphon’s Zaftig (worsted weight 70% superwash Merino / 20% cashmere / 10% nylon), which is a nice round yarn with a soft hand from the cashmere content. The main color is Russian Sage, a nearly-neutral pale lilac, and the contrast is Kiss of Cabernet, a perfect wine color that I’ve been really digging lately. I was imagining the main color as more of a khaki tan, but I think the lilac is light enough to still be worn with a brown-ish outfit without screaming HEY GUYS, LOOK AT MY CLASHING PURPLE HAT, and it coordinates perfectly with outfits on the grey end of the spectrum. (Yes, I really do debate this much over whether or not things match. It’s important! Or OCD.) I will likely knit another of these someday in a different combo, probably involving teal.

Sweet Codex Shawl:

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Fringe-tastic! Click for project page.

These perfect skeins of silver Sanguine Gryphon Codex have been waiting to become a shawl for a long time… since 2012!  I waited and waited, changing my mind about a million times, wanting to use it for an intricate lace masterpiece (but having no time to actually knit such a thing). Finally, the need for a grey accessory became overwhelming and I cast on for a simple shawl that I had made before and knew that I loved.

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Makes a nice couch cover, too!

The pattern is Sweet November Knit Shawl by Caryl Pierre and it is the ultimate in stylish simplicity. It’s really nothing more than YOs, k2tog, and ssk’s combined with a fun little fringe. It’s epically wearable and looks great in both solid and variegated colorways. It can be knit with basically any weight and amount of yarn. I knit mine on US 10 needles (a bit smaller than called for since Codex is sort of in between DK and worsted weight and is rather slinky from the silk) and continued until I had 223 stitches on the needle (instead of the 171 called for) using less than 460 yards. I bound off on the WS with the recommended stretchy bindoff and added 33 fringes of 4 strands each. The shawl measures 66″ across (I like ’em big!) and 26″ down the center spine, not counting fringe.

Here are some horrible photos of me wearing it. I promise, it looks way better IRL.

I think that taking a little break from my NaKniSweMo project to finish these two accessories was totally worth it, don’t you? Plus, I have a road trip ahead of me this weekend so there should be plenty of knitting time to make up for my non-monogamous transgression (this is why I suck at KALs, y’all). I hope your weeks have been productive, as well, and Happy Friday!

FOFri #33: Need An Extra Foot?

Somehow, even though I knit and blocked and measured a gauge swatch, and calculated an approximate length I wanted my cowl to be and cast on the appropriate number of stitches, I ended up with a cowl nearly a foot longer than I had intended.

Pre-work, dusty mirror selfie is all you get.

It’s a wee bit large: 63″ circumference, 8″ tall. I don’t hate it, though I’ll never wear it long like that. I’m currently wearing it doubled up around my neck and it has a comfortably loose drape. I can also wear it tripled for increased warmth.

My ‘almost being choked by knitwear’ face.

My blocked swatch had a gauge of 5.5 sts/inch, so I cast on 285 sts to arrive at hopeful finished length of 52″. My swatch was small, which might have had something to do with it, and while I did knit it in the round, I did so on bamboo DPNs, rather than on the KnitPicks harmony wood circulars I ended up using for the cowl. I suppose those changes could have resulted in a project gauge of 4.5 sts/inch (285 sts / 63 inches). Let this be a lesson in the dramatic difference one stitch per inch can make!

Inglenook Fibers batt spinning.

I am still spinning for #Spinzilla, but sadly had no time at the wheel last night. I’ve been piling up the singles on my Russian spindle, though! All of that is the result of just one of the eight little batt poofs (batt balls? batt sections? batt muffins?) from Inglenook. I’ve yet to spin a large project on my supported spindles, so far I’ve only just sampled and then andean plied the yarn off the spindle into a 2-ply. Does anyone have tips for singles management when you only have one supported spindle? How to you spin and organize your singles for plying for an entire project?  I need to figure something out, since promptly after shooting that photo, Darwin ran off with my spindle and tragically separated the cop from its rightful place on the shaft (bad kitty!). The single appears to have maintained its shape so I’m hoping it won’t be a total mess to wind up later.

What was your worst ever gauge miscalculation fail?

FOFri #31: In The Bag

While my active WIPs are exactly the same as they were a month ago (as stated in my last post), a tiny finished object did make its way on and off my needles before ever appearing on the blog:

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Baby Bugga Set, click for project page.

A coworker of mine (the same one who designed my logos!) is having a baby in September and she requested a little hat for him. I used a bunch of Bugga leftovers (Common Emerald Moth, Yellow Fringe Doris, Blue Lobster, and Dog Days Cicada) in a somewhat randomly-striped slipped stitch pattern. I then made a couple of mismatched, color-blocked booties. I wasn’t sure how the color-blocking would work out but I admit that I’m charmed by their mismatched-ness! The whole shebang used up 46 g of leftover bits, which is pretty awesome.

I also wanted to blab about a few new project bags that have come my way recently.

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From Lizard’s Bazaar.

This pretty bag was made by Amanda of Lizard’s Bazaar. This is the large size. I originally bought a small size bag thinking it would work well for sock projects, but the unique triangular shape of the bag actually did not fit my large-ish ball of sock yarn (let alone the project to go with it). When I wrote to Amanda about this she was very gracious and let me exchange my bag for a larger size. I’m still not sure I’m in love with the triangular shape (it makes the bag appear much larger than it actually is on the inside) but the fabric is pretty, it seems well-made, and Amanda provided great customer service so I’ll certainly give it a shot!

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Made by Clever Clementine, via Indie Untangled.

A while back, Lisa from Indie Untangled teamed up with That Clever Clementine to offer a special Indie Untangled project bag for sale. Since Sweet Sheep is part of the Indie Untangled Marketplace I had to snag one, and I’m so glad I did! The bag is really well-made and a lovely size. It has a couple of slip pockets on the inside, a cloth string cinch, a nice cloth handle, and even a little string inside with a clip attached. I often clip my knitting bag to things so I think this will be a handy feature. (P.S. There’s a great giveaway happening on the Indie Untangled blog right now for a skein of yarn from Pigeonroof Studios! Just your basic enabler’s alert…)

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Dry sack from L.L. Bean.

Finally, I discovered something awesome on my honeymoon: these dry sacks from L.L. Bean make really great sock project bags! They’re made of rugged but lightweight nylon, and when they’re rolled up and clipped closed they are waterproof.

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Closed.

I admit I love the clip most of all. It was super handy while flying to just clip this bag around the strap of my carry-on so my knitting was secure and easy to reach at all times. I would recommend using some sort of needle protector, though, you don’t want the tips poking through the fabric if you want your bag to remain waterproof. I’m using a fabric DPN holder by pokdej that is doing the trick.

What’s your favorite project bag? Do you tend to use one type or different types for different projects? Is there a particular feature you requre?

Check out more FOs at Tamis Amis!