Tag Archives: hats

Hats n’at

fragile

The mood around here is still fragile as is the bulb for our UV water filter that thankfully arrived unscathed despite the mail carrier’s disregard of descriptions…

(Tick one more learned home routine maintenance task off the list and have an extra cookie for not paying a ridiculously inflated service fee… And pray to the water company that one day soon they’ll put in lines up here…)

early spring

Despite over two feet of snow and ice and more snow and gallons of rain within the last month, Spring has been determined and strong…

turnsquare-thickstripe

The hats are nearly all done – and all done with Cascade 220 superwash scraps, a yarn which I’ll no longer buy now that it is manufactured in China, but I’ve yet to find a suitable replacement – something soft, comes in a array of colors, washable, and reasonably priced…

redbubble-bag

And lest you forget my Redbubble shop (I did) but after over a year, I finally sold one floor sander sticker and was reminded of it. But I won’t get paid for said sticker until I earn at least $20. Curious about the quality of their products, I finally ordered my own tote in the veggie weenie series (it’s the medium size 16″ x 16″).

redbubble-bag detail

And it’s a good thing – not great, but useful and much better quality than those 99 cent weird fabric-ish grocery bags, though not as sturdy as canvas, but very lightweight. It’s a woven poly lined in a poly that at first glance I thought was cotton… The photo is somewhat soft and abstracted this large, but perhaps less titillating for it which could be good if easily embarrassed, but then again, it’s just a carrot for chrissakes. They’re made in USA, but I don’t know the fabric origin, nor much of anything about the company, so I’m not going to crow about it too much. But I like it for carrying packages to the post office and it’s held up well so far.

I’ll probably shut this shop down in a bit though – kinda pointless to keep it up since it was mostly a gag to begin with…

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New year, new projects

I don’t love this time of year with its certain few months of icy doom yet to come, but it’s my favorite change that happens in a year when the afternoon sunsets get pushed back little by little into their proper, later position.

finished-early dusks

I used to take off a week this time of the year, not to celebrate a holiday, but to work on and complete a major project – fixing/painting something around the apartment, or a quilt, or a major reorganization, cleaning, and purging – a defucking so to speak. It was a time to stay at home, away from shoppers and germy gatherings, garish decorations and terrible music, and enjoy some solitude, naps, Chinese food delivery, and the satisfaction of something large or looming being accomplished. But I haven’t done this for several years for various reasons, though I still have the twitch to accomplish something (even though the last several years have been nothing but fixing up houses…)

The tiling job earlier this month gave me a good dose of a similar satisfaction, and the rest will just have to come in the form of smaller-scaled projects finished and started in these weeks.

A couple of weeks ago, I finished up the gift hat I started on vacation:

finished-selbu for k

And that pair of socks I started last June despite some issues with the yarn:

finished-fancy feets

I cast-off them off a few rows prematurely (and I’m still on the fence about overdying them in yellow) so I could immediately start on a new pair based on my doubling experiments:

newyear - new sock

(And I’ve already lined up the yarn for the next after these).

And I’m just about to start a pair with a single strand on smaller needles.

And then I couldn’t wait to start yet another Lacy Baktus:

newyear - lacy baktus

This was also one of the very few yarn purchases I made in 2015 – I pretty much stopped buying yarn except for an immediate project need – and it was from a big Pigeonroof Studios seconds sale – high twist sock in an unnamed color, 2 skeins so I can make something extra large and squishy.

I’m also going to continue to not really buy yarn this year, or basically for the foreseeable future – I have a big enough stash, and I’m slowing down.

I’ve started to re-assess some old projects and will probably frog a few and get monogamish with some others and set those smaller socks aside for waiting room/travel knitting only so those probably won’t make their way on my feet until the light begins to come back next year…

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Late winter burn out…

I’m just a little bit tired of winter.

Rather, I’m really just tired of the lingering dirty snow and ice and its hazards, and now, a cold snap.

Normally this time of year would have me tearing at my breast and howling with rage at the season, but I’m semi-coping – I think I hate December much more anyway…

The tired snow is showing the well-trod path of our neighborhood deer through the side yard.

deer stomp

And their antics at night in the backyard.

deer frolic

And they’re getting hungry and bold and starting to lurk about during the day as well.

deer brush pile

(We just got more snow, and then some more snow, so it’s back to looking fresh and solidly winter again.)

I’m getting antsy to be finished with organizing my crap, but it is slow going… our basement looks like a well-stocked thrift store with 95% cool stuff.

I finally found the missing box of stash yarn.

stash box found

And it had all possible variations of yarn and notions, so I had to partially undo and redo my massive organizing job of last month.  (And I may have done a little cramming, which is how the messes start in the first place).  But I found some slipper bottoms I forgot I had too, so those will be put to good use… soon?

I finally finished a pair of gift socks I’d had on the needles for months but only worked on sporadically – I can usually crank socks out at a decent pace, but these took a little longer than I expected – especially at the dash to the finish which usually goes quite speedily, but this time was more slow and steady…

giftsocks

(The color isn’t right, they should be less pink – it’s an older ball of my favorite ONline Supersocke 6-fach yarn, and a reminder that I prefer fraternal twins for socks).

And I made five Botanics (some with fold-over brims, some without) in the last couple of months – really burned out on the pattern, but it’s still an easy and good one.

botanic-the last

I sewed a few more curtains, yet five more still need to be hemmed, and four need to be replaced with something more interesting… burned out on those as well.

 And our water line froze (but we didn’t know that was the problem at the time) just before the weekend started, so we just had several days without water and went ahead with some sloppy smelly house projects – think I might need to actually burn the clothes we’ve been wearing…

 (Don’t worry carolsinspring, I mailed those socks to you when I could still bathe and after I gave them a good soak!)

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The hat with the incurable case of wanderlust and amazing feats of reproduction

We got a surprise in the mail last week.

botanic is back

N’s favorite hat came back after being left behind in our August vacation cabin.  I wasn’t too terribly upset when he lost it – I felt sympathy for him, but not anger because he lost something I made.

(And this isn’t the first time he left it behind somewhere – it regularly has alone time far away from us.)

It was the first of a series of Botanic hats from Stephen West that I’ve made over the years.  N picked the pattern too – riffled though a big box of printed ones while I tactilely browsed in a LYS in the state where we now live, but haven’t been back to since (it’s a good shop but a bit far away still).  But when I made it, I messed up by making an unnecessary and unsightly seam where you alternate between the two colors – in fact, I messed it up on more than one hat, but this was the first before I knew it was wrong, and the one that didn’t get ripped out.

botanic with seam showing

And though I love knitting with you, oh Malabrigo, you really suck in the long term.  I pay too much for you to collapse in a miss-spent pile of pills, though I did get this batch of yarn with my customer loyalty discount (meaning I’d spent too much previously) at my old beloved LYS.

And the pattern has a weird habit of scrunching upwards and flailing outwards – so even though it’s long enough just off the needles, a few weeks later it exposes the ears.

So even though I have to routinely pick and brush and shave the hat, I was willing to make him another in the same yarn (I have some left anyway) only this time without the mistaken join seam thing that annoys the hell outta me every time I see it.  But he didn’t want a longer brim on the new one – this is mostly an indoor hat to keep his hair out of his face and take off a bit of chill, and to wear to bed which is where it usually likes to go rogue and fling itself between the wall and the bed frame.

My other Botanic hats were one for one of my brothers out of Cascade 220 superwash in two shades of green.

(And yes, my blog banner was on this same chair with the yarn for N’s first hat).

botanic in progress

This is is the unnecessary seam issue I’d had (you have to drop the the old yarn before picking up the new rather than wrapping around it) so this hat got ripped and re-made.

botanic mistake

And I had enough yarn left for another for N, though he doesn’t like this one quite as much as the other – but I like it more since the yarn is virtually pill-less, though more prone to stretching out…

botanic -green

Then one for me.  Oddly, the grey of the ribs is the same as the non-rib part in N’s first one – it’s my favorite colorway in the yarn – “Pearl Ten” – and though the color is greyish, tanish, lavenderish, in his hat it turned tan, and in mine it looks grey (and he calls his hat his “brown hat”).  I think the peach color in mine is “Applewood.”

Botanic-me

One day I might add more length to the brim, though I too like to wear mine indoors or only when it is just a little bit cold – I can’t tolerate exposed lobes even within 15 or so degrees of freezing…

botanic in the mist

And finally, one for an old friend at work who underwent chemo.

botanic for coop

I didn’t know if he was a wool person or not, so this is a synthetic blend, and though a single color defeats the purpose of this pattern, the texture is still interesting, and it is especially soft when the ribs are worn on the outside.

If you count the green one I ripped and re-knit, I’ve made this hat 6 times – my most knitted pattern besides my vanilla sock recipe.

So I’m slightly relieved to not have to make a replacement hat for N, but can you truly replace a “favorite” something anyway?  A new one might be a little more tight or loose or feel generally different without the several years wear (and probably not enough washing).  So I have to deal with looking at that ugly-ass seam again.

But I do enjoy making this hat and really like that it is reversible, so I’m sure another will find itself on my needles again…

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I went on vacation and all I got was this [not lousy] hat…

newhampshire -bag

We finally had our summer vacation – a week in a shack on a pond in the White Mountains.

My knee is still mostly out of commission, so I planned accordingly and packed several knitting and sewing projects along with bathing suits and sun wear to occupy my time while N was on the peaks.

What I hadn’t really planned was it ended up being cold as [insert favorite anaolgy here].

The forecast called for cool nighttime temps, so at the last minute, I luckily (and brilliantly I might say) packed our down duvet and one of our down bags along with that trickster ball of handspun* I just finished in case I wanted to whip something up out of it.

newhampshire-hatball

I quickly determined to make a hat since I neglected to pack one, and needed to wear one immediately.

(I wound the skein into a ball on the way up which didn’t induce as much car-sickness as I thought it would).

newhampshire-hathalf

I also had a few basic patterns with me just in case, and I loosely based it on the Purl Beret, but with a much smaller/tighter brim.

I finished it on the second day after hours of otter watching.

newhampshire-otters

There were also many murderous birds – a greedy heron, harriers that picked off the sweet warblers in the marsh grasses, kingfishers bombing around the dock, and less successful eagles and ospreys.

newhampshire-hattop

We even saw a moose – I’ve been patiently waiting to spy one of those for some time now.

newhampshire-hatunderside

I’m a little embarrassed to show the hat in its very wonky unblocked state, but the cool misty weather made the colors pop.

And the yarn was cooperative this time, though it had the last laugh by leaving me with an orange nipple on the top.

The hat could have been a little larger, but I was afraid of running out of yarn and I figured it would stretch since it’s superwash.

newhampshire-orangenipple

And after a month of physical therapy, I can at least ride a bike again (though not really uphill).  So we enjoyed a few pretty awesome  and underutilized bike/recreational paths, as well as tooled around the pond in a canoe.

newhampshire-bikebar

I worked on another long-suffering knitting project that is nearly on its home stretch, though I wasted a few days when I messed it up and had to undo and redo, so I will say no more about it until it’s done.

newhampshire-biketrail

And I never got to the sewing project or casting on for a new pair of socks that I though were must-dos for the week…

We really needed another week…

*There’s still enough left for a few token stripes on a pair of socks, and that little 2ply skein remains untouched.

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Curse of the redwood roving

I buy economical roving seconds from an American yarn company – I could name the company and my source, but I don’t want to give away what I feel is my own personal secret stash that I don’t actually own.   The roving is easy to spin, comes in some nice colors, and makes a durable yarn.  I haven’t had much desire for spinning a solid-colored yarn since I want my yarn to look handspun and unique, so I usually blend colors.  I have a background in art, I am good at picking out pleasing paint palettes for rooms, and I am in no way colorblind or challenged, though I do like some challenging colors.  I bought a pound of what appeared to be a soft, slightly dirty red, the warm color of redwood and the innards of cedar.  When it arrived, I was pleased, and it was the pleasant not-too-reddish hue I hoped it to be.  However, whenever I put it with other colors, it turns a nasty raspberry – I have nothing against raspberries, I like raspberry sorbet, not berets, unless it’s a song, but I don’t really like the song either, just the artist, well, sort of but really, in the past maybe, but I don’t like that part of the past very much… So yeah, raspberry reminds me of the 1980s, and those being my years of middle school and other childhood angst and trauma of being a geek in a backassward rural town, I’d rather not go there again.

I figured this first glimpse of the evil that this raspberry roving becomes is my my fault entirely.

fugly original

I don’t know what I was thinking, but I think I was thinking of the American Southwest – turquoise in a desert sunset or something stupid.  I stopped spinning when I knew it was clearly awful.

fugly hat

My mom needed a birthday present, and she had some purplish fuchsiaish eyeglasses that I thought would go with the yarn, so I whipped up a hat.  A hat only a mother could love… but this isn’t some stupid crayon drawing that can be ignored until something conveniently spills on it, so I don’t think she wears it much, and wouldn’t model it, but N is a good sport.  The hat is warm, and though the pattern was improvised, I jotted down the recipe for future bulky handspun use, so at least it had purpose.

A few months later, I bought some gorgeous hand-painted roving from Scarlet Fleece at my then LYS in a colorway called “easter egg.”  To me, it was all of the lovely colors of autumn, so I’m not sure what they were going for in the name, but the gorgeous colors were the important thing.  I wanted to make a small shawl from it, but only had four ounces, which could have been just barely enough, but I wanted more, I wanted bigger.  Enter the bastard redwood.

fugly roving

This picture really does show it being a bit berry, but trust me, I didn’t photograph it well, and see the reddish tone in the multicolored roving on the left end?  Yeah, it does match.  My other choices for blends were a saffron yellow that seemed a little too bright, and a coppery brown (see hat above) that brought it down into dinginess.  All my little samples and tests in indoor and outdoor light led me to believe the redwood would be the perfect match, so I went with it, and kept going with it even though I could see it was an utter mistake after plying the first few yards…

fugly yarn

So, now I know I suck at color when it comes to spinning and I ruined the perfect subtle warms oranges in the other roving.  It is raspberries with lemons and grapes.  Hello 1980s, hello fugly-ass yarn. It looks like one of those vomitous swirly lollipops.

Maybe I’ll make a shawl out of it for my mother…

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