Sunday, February 10, 2013

K'done x 2: Manly hats

Waaaaay back in the summer of 2011, we were on vacation, in Victoria, BC, and we happened to walk past the Beehive Wool Shop, and I expressed a desire to have a quick look inside. About 45 minutes later, I emerged with a small amount of yarn - a skein for some socks for me, and a skein to make a hat for Someone Else, who had begun to indicate that he would appreciate a hat wrought from my hands.

The yarn came home, and was petted and stashed away, because who needs a hat in the summer? Fall came around, and in October or so Someone Else started in on some gentle teasing about whether the hat would ever come into existence. Spurred on, I rooted around in the Rav pattern database for a good, simple, manly hat, and finally settled on Lorne's Hat, by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (aka the Yarn Harlot). I cast on, chugged away, consulted with the hat's recipient here and there, and ended up producing this:

Hat has not been blocked, but it has been worn.

Pattern: Lorne's Hat, by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
Yarn: Punta Yarns Merisoft Space Dyed, in SPD310
Needles: 4.5 mm / US 7

I didn't follow the pattern to the letter - I winged the decreases, because the hat's recipient didn't want a pointy-ish hat, so I ended up with fewer rounds overall in the decrease section. The hat is also shortened a bit, as its recipient expressed some concern over how long the tube of fabric was getting before I started working the decreases. Ultimately, he likes it, but it is a bit shorter than he'd like - he wears it, but he'll often pull it on, give it a few tugs, and then mention that it really should have been a wee bit longer - like, a centimeter.

So, in January of this year, I grabbed some more yarn and tried again.

Again, hat has not been blocked, but has been worn - not as much as hat #1, but still, some.

Pattern: Lorne's Hat, by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
Yarn: Gedifra Extra Soft Merino Grande, in Dark Grey
Needles: 5.5 mm / US 9

Second verse, same as the first - well, almost. The yarn was bulky, not worsted, so I knit it at a different gauge - the aim was to get a hat, not a helmet. I also knit this one longer before doing the decreases - a bit too long, as it turns out. When he said, one more centimeter, I figured I'd better play it safer and add a bit more, and ended up adding two inches before doing the decreases the same way that I did the first one, just worked over fewer stitches because of the gauge difference. I realize that two inches is a whole lot more than one centimeter, and now he says he likes it, but it is a tad long - he figures there's a centimeter of extra length. It just means the brim gets folded up a bit more, which is totally fine.

It took me forever to get pictures of these hats - particularly the first one - and they're not modelled, since I'm not sure how he'd react to me asking him to put on the hat so I can take a picture. It's okay though - at least now I've got finished shots for both of these, and in the case of the second hat, I now have one less project staring at me with a WIP label in Ravelry. There's still a couple of things that are really done, just need to be documented photographically. Really, there's only nine things that are truly in progress right now.

But there's nothing wrong with that number, now, is there?

Friday, February 8, 2013

Embracing multiplicity

I realize that I'm way overdue on a post about the sweater I finished up most recently - I've been wearing it, it's great, but my work schedule in conjunction with the fact that it is still winter here in Canada means that by the time I'm home to take a picture of myself wearing it, it's pretty darn dark. So far I haven't worn it on a weekend, but it may come to that just so I can get a decently lit shot.

In the meantime, I'm still knitting, but not a whole lot is getting finished up because I'm getting pulled in about fifty directions all at once. I've finished the knitting on that cowl for my sister - the thing needs its ends woven in, and a good blocking, and buttons sewn on, but I don't have any buttons, so I have to go buy some, and, well, see above about work cramping my schedule a bit. I'm not exactly sure when buttons will be procured.

I also have now twice attempted to wear my Damson shawlette to work, but both times, I wrapped it about my neck in the morning, looked in the mirror...and saw myself wearing an enormous bib. Not exactly the professional image I'm going for. I don't think it's the shawlette's fault - I've successfully worn it to work in the past, and not gotten the same infantile vibe, so it's just something about my wrapping mojo - I just can't do it right now, for whatever reason.

Instead, I reach for my Impatience cowl, and take a few moments to reflect on how great it would be if I had a few more cowls in my collection, so that I wasn't always wearing the same one. I don't want to get a reputation at work as the weirdo who always wears that knit cowl that must be fairly filthy by now. A little variety is good, right?

So. I've got some yarn wound up. There are two skeins of Madelinetosh Tosh Sock ready to be turned into two different cowls, and I'm just about to wind up some Claudia Hand Painted Fingering for a third, and my current plan is to just cast all of them on and work on them all.

Which, of course, is a pretty poor plan, given that I only have two hands, need both of them to knit on any single thing, and my knitting time is sort of limited.

Oh, I also cast on for a hat the other night.

And there's that sock rework for my sister. And another sock I started a while back.

And there are a few sock patterns that have come to my attention more recently that have started taking up some rather significant real estate in my head.

Plus a sweater. Did I mention my sweater plans yet? I want to make Kittiwake. I'm having some trouble deciding on the yarn - I've got two batches of Dream In Color Classy available in my stash, but I just can't decide on which colourway would be the best choice. So in the meantime, I intend to make Caramel.

Are you keeping track? That's now, um, let's see, three cowls, a hat, an unspecified-but-definitely-plural number of socks, and a sweater with another one hot on its heels.

Yep. Gonna do all that, with these two hands of mine.

I'm not finishing anything for a while, am I?