I’m up to my tits in wordpress fuckery – hate the new editor, hate the IG pics disappearing, then when trying to replace those my text disappears..??? So I’m kicking myself for using this as my notebook – should have stuck to analog, or should have kept this in a tidy little doc on my own pc.
But figuring it out will be for another day or never.
In the meantime, catching up, I made a Burton Vestigan by Ela Torrente last fall and love it. It took me a loooong time to finish – I’m not a fast knitter and moss stitch slows me down even more. The yarn is Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride bulky in oregano, but I bought the yarn over a decade ago in a seconds batch, so the color might not quite be the same as today. The collar opens up to a wide one and looks good that way too.
I’m thinking about making another, though I’m not eager to do all that moss again, but if I do I need to remember to size up, way up – don’t know if my gauge was messed up or I just prefer a looser fit. (I think I also used 10.5 needles instead of the 10.75 or whatever that in between size is in metric that falls in the middle of US 10.5 and 11). The armholes could be a little wider too, though blocking helped (I think I might have sized them up even more though? I definitely made the pockets larger and sewed fabric ones instead of knitting them, and added more buttons. (Note: top button needs to be high, or maybe don’t make V as deep – it’s okay now, but if it stretches more it will be weird falling further underboob. Overall the pattern was a good one – there may have been some weird stitch counts and/or starting and stopping a row with a knit or purl when it didn’t make sense, but all of that was probably me not paying attention.
Hat knitting is starting to get jabby elbows at my sock knitting. For the past few years I’ve liked to make a hat during a cabin vacation – usually have it cast on and a few rows knit to make sure all is well before leaving, then knit furiously for a couple of days and be wearing it by the last couple while there. But in the year of no vacations, I snuck one in, and had little to no other travel & waiting room time, so my sock knitting lagged and then took on meaning that it really doesn’t have. And my sock drawer is a little jammed (but my hat storage isn’t much freer) so maybe I should build some new furniture – a nice chest or something instead, but you can’t shove lumber in a bag and go.
I missed the two fall wool festivals this year – partly because of being away (for the local one) and I’m still not cool enough with covid and all the other back-to-school cooler temps germs to go to the big one. So I used my $30 annual festival budget at Green Mountain Spinnery on the way home for some of their Sylvan Spirit tencel & US wool yarn. I had a shawl-ish sort of thing in mind but couldn’t swing a third or fourth skein, but then the pleasant floppiness wanted to plop on my head.
I also did the thing where I selected a color just out of my comfort zone, though I think purples are entirely in my comfort zone now, but this one ended up a little too pale for my mug and I also wanted to add a little more warmth.
And so while staring at a cheery mum on a unseasonably warm autumn day after a grim day back in the cube farm though not back full-time yet though maddeningly setting restart dates and rescinding over and over, I remembered this ball of thrifted mohair from a few years ago. It is this stuff (probably – you can’t always trust that the label matches the yarn when buying used) and the color ranges from fuchsia to orchid-y purple depending on the light (but not the candy red as below).
So the two of them held together worked – deeper color and extra warmth.
Then on to pattern searching – it had to be utterly uncomplicated, autopilot knitting – I had a few oldies, I searched for a few newbies, I couldn’t use rav for more than a few minutes, so I spent a little more time on the web searching and landed on Drops’ Winter Smiles Hat. I nearly abandoned it when the needle size wasn’t what I wanted and didn’t want to recalculate, but thankfully the stitch count for the small/medium size (I usually take a large) matched or was close enough to my trilobite hat which was on needles two sizes up. (That hat has since become a favorite though as a slouch, so the fun trilobite part ends up smurfy or condom-tippy.)
And despite knitting for days, I didn’t get it quite finished – I never remember how slow I am at 1×1 ribbing (or moss stitch as I’m still plodding though a years long vest, or linen stitch which I love/hate/love). But it quickly wrapped up a couple of days later and I’m happily wearing it now. I’m slightly concerned it might stretch out a bit too much eventually but I’d be willing to reknit it. (Also might add a small and/or lightweight easily removeable pompom…?)
1+ skeins of Sylvan Spirit (and maybe 20-30 yards of the second?) and 1 ball of Aloft (some leftover yarn, but not much, but I don’t think it was a full ball to begin with) so somewhere around 200-220 yards of each held together.
US 6 needles throughout.
Cast on for S/M with the stretchy CO I learned from J that isn’t cabled, but close to it, and I don’t know what it’s called.
I started making masks out of fabric I already had – the largest, ugliest pieces were 3-5 yards of $1/yard cottons that I bought a few years ago on a trip to Maine to use as foundation fabric – inside unseen stuff, for practice with dying/printing/whatever, or quilt backing if I couldn’t afford better later. This fabric became miles of bias tape for mask ties.
The face parts were made from a decent collection of fat quarters and half yards I’d collected over the years to line felted bags (that I used to sell at craft fairs). I chose the patterns that I liked the least or didn’t have something else in mind for them. All of these were the pleated surgical style and I was always left with a piece just a bit too small.
The second round of masks had me sacrificing prints I really liked, figuring they’d make me a little happier to wear, and more likely for recipients to wear. Many of them were souvenir fat quarters that I could remember buying from places I didn’t know when I’d visit again (there’s some Brooklyn, New Hampshire, and my original hometown in there) and with them came happy/sad/apocalyptic feelings, but ultimately it was good to let some go. But I still used the same three or four bias tape ties as before.
For the third round of masks, I treated? myself to some new fabric – most of these are the boldest geometric prints, and the skulls. I took to wearing the skulls exclusively and scared a little kid at one point, but at that point little maskless kids should not have been out in that particular public place, and there were scarier things going on. This was also the time I met my doppelganger in the supermarket muttering profanities under her mask with the same cadence as I was. I began experimenting with different styles and shapes of masks, so my scraps started to become jagged and swooped, and more wasteful.
The fourth round were smaller batches here and there, special requests, or us wanting one or two more of a newer style, better fit. By this point I finally ditched the bias tape and switched to elastic ties and toggles and sewed in little pockets for aluminum nose inserts.
And now all of those masks are mostly unused, since we switched to commercial ones with better protection.
(Which are now starting to pile up and I can’t just feed them to a landfill, so until there’s a good recycling option, I may turn them into a dog mat…)