Tuesday, November 20, 2007


There is something about an earflap hat that just seems fun and joyful. I see that they are also quite practical, but mostly they just scream out playfulness to me. I learned so much doing this hat - it was my second ever fairisle project and a wee bit more complicated than my first - the Center Square Hat. But still, pretty simple, and this hat knit up quickly as well. Only thing is, it came out a little too big, even for hubby's man-sized head. So, I decided to give it a little felting - ran it through the washing machine, inside a pillowcase on a short cycle on hot water. Still too big. So I stuck it in the dryer with a damp towel. That did the trick. It came out nicely sized and I really like what the felting did to tighten up the stitches and create a little fuzziness. Plus it'll be super water-proof now. So I guess it's about time for us to take a trip to the snow!

Here it is before felting:
Pete's Earflap Hat

And after:
Pete's Earflap Hat

Now isn't that fun?!
Pete's Earflap Hat
Pattern: Ryan's Hat from Interweave Knits (Winter '05 - staff project)
Yarn: Valley Yarns - Berkshire in Coffee Bean, Stone Blue and Mistletoe
Needles: US 9
Modifications: None, aside from the felting at the end to shrink it a bit. I'm not super thrilled with my color choices - the green and blue are a little too similar so the pattern doesn't stand out as much as I'd like. But overall I'm pleased with how it came out.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Finished A Wisp

I finished a Wisp, from Knitty.com. This was such a quick and fun little lace project. I happened to have a bunch of brushed alpaca laceweight in my stash - not as fuzzy as the Kidsilk Haze (which I haven't yet had the pleasure to work with), but it has a nice, soft halo about it. And I think it worked nicely. It knit up in a couple of days and will make a nice, lightweight (but warm) scarf for a holiday gift. I think I may make more of these!

Lavender Wisp
Pattern: Wisp from Knitty.com
Yarn: brushed alpaca laceweight (a gift from a friend who purchased it in Argentina) - I used maybe 300-400 yardsNeedles:
US 9Finished Size: 60" x 13"
Modifications: I skipped the eyelets along the size, since I wasn't planning to add buttons anyway, and that was just one more thing to keep track of. I used a larger needle size and it blocked out to be larger than the pattern intended, which was fine with me since it will be used as a scarf.

Also, my yarn arrived from Webs today - it's Valley Yarns Berkshire and it's for Pete's Ryan's Hat. The brown is a little darker than I pictured, but I still think the colors will go together nicely to make a lovely hat for my hubby.
Yarn for Pete's Hat
Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Target Practice

Recently my husband asked me to knit him an Andean-style earflap hat. Now, since he's never really asked me to knit him anything before, there's really no way I could refuse. I gave him some patterns to look at, and he liked Ryan's hat from Interweave. Only trouble is, I have never done fairisle, or stranded knitting. So I had some learning to do. And I thought maybe I should learn on something other than his hat, get a litle practice first. So I looked around for the easiest fairisle project I could find, and I came up with Center Square from Knitty.com. This turned out to be an awesome first fairisle project! Super fast and easy - it knit up in less than one day. And it really helped me build my confidence about stranded knitting. I ordered some yarn for the earflap hat and now I can hardly wait for it to arrive so I can get started.

Center Square Target Hat

Pattern: Center Square from Knitty.com
Yarn: Paton's Classic Wool Merino in red & white
Needles: US 9 (the biggest knitpicks options tips I have. I have since ordered 11's as called for in the pattern)
Obviously, I did not mean for my hat to look like a Target ad, but it totally cracks me up that it does. It just happened to be the colors I had available. I will definitely make this hat again in more carefully selected colors.

Now I'm inspired to try other fairisle projects too. Like maybe the We Call Them Pirates hat. I'm not into pirates myself, and it seems like that particular trend must be fading, but maybe my 11 year old nephew might like it.

While I wait for my yarn and needles to arrive, I decided to start on another holiday gift - Wisp from Knitty.com. This is such a great, fast and easy lace scarf/wrap. I started yesterday and it's now about half done. I'm using some lavender alpaca laceweight yarn that my friend Katy gave me. It's got a little fuzz to it, so it works nicely with this pattern, though I bet it would be even more beautiful with some actual Kidsilk Haze.

Lavender Wisp
So that's all I've got for now. I just downloaded an audiobook from Audible.com to keep me company while I knit. It's called "The Short and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao", and so far I love it.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Parsnips are our friends

The Parsnip-Apple Cupcakes were surprisingly delicious. If you ever find yourself with some parsnips you don't know what to do with, I can recommend this recipe.

I finished my Shedir last week, but only just had some pictures taken.
Pink Shedir

The top of the hat is especially lovely. When I wear it out in public I will be sure to keep my head down so people can admire the top of my hat.
Pink Shedir

Pattern: Shedir, from Knitty.com
Yarn: Rowan Calmer, 1 ball (with almost none leftover)
Needles: US3
Modifications: I elminated one of the cable pattern repeats. Otherwise I would have run out of yarn.

Next up...my husband wants me to make this hat. I, however, have never knit any fairisle before. For some reason this technique has always intimidated me. So, while I'm waiting for his yarn to arrive, I decided I should try a simpler fairisle hat, for practice. So I cast on for the Center Square hat from Knitty.com. Turns out the fairisle thing is not too hard at all. And this hat is awesome. It knits up very fast on two strands of worsted weight wool. It will make a thick, warm hat too. I think I'll be done in no time at all.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Slipper Gifts

So I decided to try these felted house slippers from Knit 2 Together. It's really my first felted project and ohmygoodness I am in love with it! They knit up so fast and easy - 2 days, lickety split. And it was super fun watching them grow, and then shrink. And I think they're pretty darn adorable, and a great way to use up the stash yarn. This is my new favorite little gift knit.
Felted House Slippers
Pattern: House Slippers from Knit 2 Together
Yarn: Patons Classic Wool Merino - red - 3 strands held together (1+ balls)
Knitpicks Merino Style - cornflower - 4 strands held together (1 ball)
Needles: US13 straight and US 9 circular

So, we belong to a CSA (community supported agriculture) farm co-op thing, and we get a bin of veggies every other week (because we split with a friend). And, this week, among other things, our bin contained parsnips. And I suspect that might be something we get often during the winter months. Now, I don't know about you, but I've never cooked with parsnips before, and frankly don't have a clue what to do with them. But I found this recipe for Parsnip-Apple Cupcakes, and now I'm dying to try them. Doesn't that sound fun and different? So tonight's baking project is cupcakes. Also roast chicken with yams. I love this farm basket program because it makes us try out different vegetables and diffrent recipes.

It's nap time for me. So have a great weekend everyone! Don't forget to leave me a comment. Other parsnip ideas would be appreciated too.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Friday Sock Wrap Up

I am not a fast sock knitter. It always takes me at least a couple weeks to finish a pair of socks (though I rarely work exclusively on socks). These took closer to a month I'm afraid, but I quite like them now that they're done.

Hedera Socks
Pattern: Hedera, by Cookie A. from Knitty.com
Yarn: Knitpicks Essential, Dusk
Needles: Knitpicks classic circular size US 1

I'm still working away at my Shedir. I'm pretty close to half done. I'm starting to freak out a bit about whether I'll have enough yarn. I'll decide after I finish this repeat if it might be long enough to skip one repeat. Right now I'm thinking probably not. It's a very cool pattern. I think I'm going to be very pleased with the end result, if I don't run out of yarn that is.


Have a great weekend all!