[knitting] Ugly Hat

I had one ball of Queensland Collection Himalayas lying around.


It doesn't look too terrible, right? I decided to knit a hat. I had already seen some nasty color pooling that this yarn makes so I opted for a seed stitch pattern to try to tone that down...

Seed Stitch Hat

Seed Stitch Hat

I realized a few inches into the hat that it was going to be too wide. Rather than starting over, I kept on going and decided to knit it too long as well and then felt the sucker. Here's the felted version:

Seed Stitch Hat

It is Ugly. I like the cloche shape and it fits well but it's so Ugly. I blame the yarn and the Ugly colorway. I'd be knitting along, "Burgundy... Brown... Peacock teal... Peach? ... Mint?" Blah the peach and mint colors really ruined the thing. Overall, everything works together to look like barfy camouflage.

So I'm trying to think of things to do with it. I tried folding up the hem on one side and making the other side pointy (to make a Robin Hood style hat) but that just looked weird. I suppose I could attached a handle and make in bag of some sort, but I wouldn't want to carry it about in public- children would cry, dogs would howl, a solar eclipse would occur, etc. My sister suggested cutting it. Maybe cut out some flower shapes to attached to something else? For now, it's just sitting around, being Ugly at me.


[knitting] Denmark Socks

Finished the socks:

Denmark Socks


I call them Denmark Socks because I was flipping through pattern books, looking for a cable pattern to spice up the leg on a new pair of socks, when I saw something that would work in Knitting on the Road. So these are loosely based on those Denmark Socks.

Because I was using a worsted weight yarn (Cascade 220 Superwash), I only have 6 cable repeats around the leg, with a "purl 2" between each one. The leg is still quite stretchy because the 6-stitch cable is actually two 3-stitch cables.

I'm ready to cast on for the next pair of socks. I have two balls of Berroco Comfort in navy blue and I'm interested to see how the nylon/acrylic yarn machine washes and dries.


[knitting] Slippers- Ta da!

Slippers with suede soles attached:





Sewing the suede bottoms on was a little tricky. I used leftover Patons Classic Merino Wool in the olive green color and a thin-ish darning needle. Working around the heel was easy but around the toes was more difficult with my hand up inside the slipper.

All the sewing probably only took a couple hours. I think it looks uneven in a Frankenstein way but Dollar says it looks rustic in a Vermont way. He loves them and is wearing them all the time now.


[knitting] Luxe Neck Warmer

I've made some good progress on the Yoke Pattern Jacket and decided to reward myself with some instant gratification. I saw some really pretty Luxe Neck Warmers (pattern in Knit Two Together) on Ravelry, knit with Patons SWS. Here's mine, knit in one evening with one ball of Natural Navy:

Neck warmer

Neck warmer

Neck warmer

It's just a pretty feather-and-fan stitch tube to wear around your neck. It's best with a coat that zips/closes all the way to the neck, rather than a tailored one with a v-shape in the front (because the neck warmer doesn't go down that far). It is easier to wear than a scarf, you just pull it on and off like a hat, and it looks very posh on.

Since this was so easy and I had a different color SWS in my stash, I decided to make another one. What a freaking disaster.

Attempt 1: I decided to make the second one a smidge looser, so instead of casting on 72 stitches, I included another 8-stitch repeat. I cast on 80 stitches. I knit almost two rows before coming across a knot in the yarn. I cut it out, ripped back all my work and restarted.

Attempt 2: I knit almost two rows before coming across another knot in the yarn. I cut it out, ripped back all my work. Now, I know I'm smarter than yarn so I decided to re-wind the entire ball to see if there are any more knots. I got my ball winder out and wound only a small portion (probably just another two rows worth) before finding ANOTHER knot. I was able to wind the remaining ball without incident. I had another ball of SWS in the same color and was able to wind that without finding any knots (although there were a few wonky irregular spots).

Patons SWS

Attempt 3: With the larger ball of SWS, I cast on 80 stitches and was able to knit three rows before realizing I had the wrong number of stitches. The feather-and-fan pattern is a 12-stitch repeat, not an 8-stitch repeat. I ripped back.

Attempt 4: I cast on 84 stitches and knit three rows before seeing an error I made in feather-and-fan pattern and would need to tink back almost the entire row to fix it so I might as well just rip the whole thing and give up.

I took this as a sign. I had so many false starts and errors that I came to the conclusion that this yarn doesn't want to be in this pattern. I could have knit the first neck warmer in the entire time it took me to make all these errors. On the other hand, do you think this is a test? Should I be tenacious enough to carry on and force this stupid neck warmer of endless torment to happen? I say no. Instead, I pulled out a couple balls of the uber light Sublime Kid Mohair to make a tam. Now the question is, can I finish the tam in time for Christmas...

[knitting] Knitting Ornaments

Here's a picture of the Christmas tree (in the dark- it's wasn't so pretty in the bright flash photo):

Christmas tree

I like lots of different lights and a junkpile of ornaments. It should be friendly, not uptight.

And the knitting ornaments I made:

Knitting Ornament

Knitting Ornament

Knitting Ornament

I wish I had knit the Aran tree skirt from Handknit Holidays, and a couple stockings. I'll do those for next year but I should probably cast on for them right now to ensure they're completed in time.


[amy] Blur

Where did the weekend go? I woke up this morning moaning, "Nooooo. Nooooo. I don't want to go to work."

Last Thursday night I wasn't home alone like I thought I would be- my sister came down to work on her drawings while I knit and watched Angel. Also, Dollar's mother stopped by to drop off THE most BEAUTIFUL poinsettia I've ever seen. She got it at a special poinsettia place in Newport, NH. You know those puny, half-dead poinsettias at the grocery store? THIS is the poinsettia those poinsettias aspire to be. It's easily two feet tall and the flower heads are as wide across as large dinner plates, but I digress.

Friday Dollar was working the night shift so I really was home alone. My mother called and asked if I wanted to go shopping on Saturday. Um... Um... I actually wanted to spend the morning with Dollar after not really seeing him for a couple days but shopping with my mom is like winning the lottery, so... Um... Okay. She said she'd pick me up at 7 am.


I got up at my regular going-to-work time on Saturday morning, said good-bye to Dollar and came downstairs to see my mother peering through the glass of my front door at 6:50 am. We went down to Manchester, NH, shopped till we dropped, stopped into a Korean Food Store for supplies, and were back home in the Upper Valley by 2:30 pm.

I greeted Dollar and his brother (who had just arrived home for the holidays) and called my sister to have her come with me to get a Christmas tree.

That very same night we made the long haul down to Claremont to see The Golden Compass. This was a great movie and I've since pulled out the trilogy to re-read.

Since Saturday was a full tilt 6 am to 12 am day, all I wanted to do Sunday was nothing. Maybe have a leisurely cup of coffee. Knit more on the socks. Watch some Angel. ... That's about it. I managed a few chores but the big thing was decorating the tree.

Getting Dollar to decorate a Christmas tree is like getting a vegan to butcher a cow. The situation is very, "This has nothing to do with me. I hate this, why are you making me do it?" He sees this time of year as blatant consumer gluttony and he hates feeling obligated to buy stuff. Me, I see it as a time to give presents to people I love. We go around and around in circles on this. It's a holiday that he's personally not interested in but is forced to participate in.

So we decorate the tree and I tip toe around him like I'm in the middle of a minefield. I don't say, "Oh my god, like how much fun are we having right now?" because I know what the answer will be. Instead, I take out the Star Wars ornaments for him to hang. I have him help me put the Mr. and Mrs. Claus ornaments in a decidedly x-rated position. I let him do what he wants- like placing a Japanese lantern ornament on top of the tree instead of a star. WTF? I think he did the same thing last year.

We turn off the downstairs lights and admire the tree in the dark. It's a hodge-podge of confusing lights and old ghetto ornaments, but it's ours. We go upstairs and I play a game of Catan on the Xbox (I'm so addicted to this game it's a little sad) and then crash into bed. A minute later the alarm goes off and I started moaning, "Nooooo. Nooooo. I don't want to go to work."


[amy] Small domestic disputes

Dollar is going to be away at poker tonight so that leaves me home alone. I have big plans to make miso soup. Dollar doesn't like miso soup when it get it at restaurants so I'm going to make it just for moi. Fish stock, tofu, miso and scallions. How hard can it be? I might also rehydrate some dried black mushrooms to add. I've been craving mushrooms like crazy lately. Yesterday I bought shiitake mushrooms to saute and eat with rice. Mmmm, I also like sauteed oyster mushrooms with rice. Nom nom nom.

It's probably best that the boyfriend spends an evening away. I was hopping mad at him yesterday. The alarm went off in the morning and what do I see but a light left on in the other room. I threw off the covers and stormed into the game room to see the light, Xbox, tv and dvd player on. All of it was left on all night. This happens way too often and I think it's a waste of electricity. PLUS, we had just replaced the Xbox (the old one was a piece of useless crap) and on the FIRST night we have it, it's left on all night. I turn everything off and storm back into the bedroom.

I stood at the foot of the bed for a moment, with murder (or at least serious bodily harm) on my mind. Dollar breathed slowly... evenly... totally... care... free... I resist the urge to punch him in the side of his head to wake him up. I get back in bed, then immediately get back up because I'm so hopping mad. I take a loud shower (slamming doors and drawers), stomp down to the stairs to make coffee and proceed to LOUDLY do the dishes (at 6:15 in the morning), start my car to warm it up and get my bag ready for work.

So now comes the time for the kiss good-bye. Right before I go to work, I usually sit on the side of the bed, in the quiet morning gloom, rubbing his back or chest through the covers. I gently tell him I'm off to work, have a good day, and then I kiss him good-bye. This morning, I wanted to ram by knee into his groin, wrap my hands around his neck and yell, "You f*cker! You left everything on again! I hate it when you do that- I HATE IT!"

Let's pretend I leave the house without the kiss. What if something terrible happens and that's the way things end? How terrible would that be? I would feel guilty for being so petty that I withheld a small token of love because I was mad. I can't do that, so instead I stomped over to his side of the bed and gave him a mean kiss in the cheek. It was like a headbutt but using your lips instead of your forehead. He wakes up and says, "Ow, what's wrong?" I reply, "You f*cker! You left everything on again! I hate it when you do that!" I wait. He looks at the other side of the bed to see if his nice girlfriend is there. He turns back to me and says, "Sorry." I sigh and leave for work.

We eventually resolved things (most of the blame when to my hormones and viciously crazy mood swings). In the end, it's not that big of a deal. I'm sure I do things that drive him up the wall. My socks are are one thing. If my feet get hot in the house, I'll kick off my socks wherever I am. So there are pairs of dirty socks littered throughout the house and I know it bothers him because he'll pick them up and pile them in one place.

Is there anything your significant other does that makes you want to punch them upside their head?


[knitting] Project Fidelity Ended

December is here. Over the course of November, I was able to complete the following on the Yoke Pattern Jacket:

Left Front
98% of Right Front

All that's left is:

2 sleeves

Whatever, I'll get to it when I get to it. As soon as December 1 arrived, I picked up a sock project that I put down a month ago and haven't touched since. It felt weird knitting with larger needles and smoother yarn after 30 days of small needles and sticky wool.

I decided I don't like being project-monogamous. I also just cast on for a hat because I have to be doing several different projects at once.

My mom showed up at my house this weekend wearing a scarf and tam I knit for her. I always see socks that I've knit for Dollar on his feet. My sister says she loves her lace scarf (although it's beginning to stretch lengthwise out of control). My co-worker has started coming into work wearing a winter hat I knit for her. It's so nice to see people wearing and using the things I've knit for them!