Wednesday, November 25, 2009

K'done: Grace Hat

Continuing with our theme of non-gray knits for decidedly gray cold winter days.

Pattern: Grace Lace Beret, by Elizabeth Eisenstein
Yarn: Noelle's Noodles Handpainted Merino - Aran weight
Needles: 3.5 mm (US 4) for ribbing, 5.5 mm (US 9) for the rest

I made a few changes to this one. For starters, I switched the provisional cast on for a tubular cast on - I don't know how to do a provisional cast on, and while one might see this as a learning opportunity, when I cast on for this I was recovering from a flu, which means my energy levels were on the low side, which is not terribly conducive to learning. I was a bit dubious about whether the change in needle size would actually work out to give me a snugly stretchy ribbing band and slouchy hat, but work out it did. I believe I made a small error in the last round before cinching the top shut, but it's not glaringly obvious to me, which means I can't figure out where my flu-addled mind messed up, so I couldn't fix it - the mistake remains, hopefully hidden.

The photo was taken after a light blocking - I found the hat had a pokey, pine cone like effect right off the needles. If one were to block it more severely - say, with pins, or stretched out over an object of the appropriate size and shape - the lace would open up more, and those points would be gone. Since I blocked the hat very lightly, it kept some of its crumpliness, but most of the pointiness is gone - what little remains disappears once I actually get the hat on my head.

All in all, a pretty quick little knit with pleasing results - I'm pleased with the way this hat fits, which tells me that my Ice Cream Stella hat is probably too big and slouchy, so I'll try that one again with fewer pattern repeats sometime. This pattern will definitely be reknit, as little Christmas gifts. I've got to make three of them, but they're really the only Christmas knitting I've got planned for this year. That should leave plenty of time for me to work on more socks for me, more sweaters for me. Oh yes.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sock ennui

Or something.

I've finished one of my Shur'tugal socks. I've got a decent start on the second, since I took the yarn and needles with me on a couple of little plane rides at the beginning of the month.

I enjoy the pattern, I really like the yarn - Tinsel Toes, by the Unique Sheep.

And yet, my mind strays to other projects.

I really think this has to do with the fact that I was sick with the flu and tried to work on it while sick - I totally have an aversion to this sock now, even though nothing about it really offends me.

Still, I want a wearable pair at the end. So I've imposed a limit on myself - I'm not going to cast on for anything new until this sock is done.

This would get things wrapped up a quick like, except that I've got a sweater on the needles. It's already on the go, so it's exempt from the no-new-casting-on deal. Oh, and should I start in on the three hats I'm planning to knit as Christmas gifts, that wouldn't count either.

This sock might be sticking around for a very long time.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Where's my Focusyn?


On October 30, I fell ill with a flu. Not sure if it was the dreaded H1N1 or not, but I had a fever of about 102 F (roundabout 39 C) and was super tired and moving as though I was wading through molasses.

When a person feels that drained, knitting is no longer a comforting activity. It suddenly feels like a chore. Then again, getting up to go to the bathroom is also a chore, as is eating, so I guess I shouldn't have been surprised. I was part way through a Shur'tugal sock when the flu hit. There were a couple of moments when I sort of half-heartedly tried to work on the sock, but the flu was having none of that - I actually got a bit woozy while trying to do the heel.

So when the flu left me about a week later, I picked up the sock again, but did not want to work on it - all those negative associations had come to actually be part of the sock.

So I knit a hat instead. A Grace Hat. I got it pretty well completely done in a couple of sessions - it's now off the needles, but it needs to be finished, then blocked - right now it sort of looks like a pine cone, so blocking is a must-do.

But I needed something for the plane ride to Vancouver on Friday. The sock in progress still didn't appeal. I cast on for a sweater - a Francis. But sweaters aren't exactly portable.

So I cast on for the second Shur'tugal sock.

I now have four projects at various stages of completion, and two of them are identical.