Monday, January 7, 2008

The Needles are Smokin'!!!

Whee! I have been so productive knitting-wise. I am *jazzed*!! Hats, mitts, more hats, and the start of my second pair of toe-up socks.

My dear knitbuds of the OOPS group started a KAL on the Shedir hat from Knitty's 2004 Breast Cancer surprise extra, beginning Jan 1. I fudged a bit, getting the 9 ribbing rows done New Year's Eve. And last night I finished the hat. Since I used Rowan's Cashsoft DK, my gauge was different from the pattern, even though I used US 2 needles. While I got close to the 17in circumference per the pattern, by the time I got to the 3rd of 5 repeats of the main section, I was already at 5.5in in depth. Row gauge versus stitch gauge!! So I skipped the other repeats and switched to US1.5 (2.5mm) needles for the decrease section. As you can see from how it fits Molly Model, this is one *deep* hat. The pattern calls for 9in from crown to brim, and it's about that. But it is soft and pretty, and someone fighting cancer will undoubtedly appreciate it. I learned to do small cables and twists without a cable needle on this project, and I also learned that this plays merry hell on my poor old wrists. Wendy and Grumperina both have excellent tutorials on how to cable without a needle. The yarn is a paler blue than this shows.

I'm pleased to help spread the news: my dear friend Grumperina got married!!! Here's the link, though it's only to a photo of the grumpy/happy couple.

Months ago, I made a Ribwarmer vest from Elizabeth Zimmerman's pattern, using some lusciously soft Cascade Cloud 9 angora-blend yarn I got last winter from Unwind's Superbowl sale leftovers. I liked the Madge hat and mitts I made for my dear friend Madge, so I decided to make them again in the soft Cloud 9. My gauge in this yarn was enough different from the Di.VĂ©. Autunno yarn I used for Madge's gift that the hat was too shallow, so after it was finished, I dithered for a couple of days and then ripped back to the last row of the main pattern, to add more rows. The mitts were done, too, but the 48-st ribbing I used was a tad loose, and I frogged them, too, going down to 40 sts. There's just a thumb slit, and there are 2 horizontal repeats of the hat pattern, 1.5 vertical repeats, on the back of the hand. Yummy!



I've finished some charity hats, 2 more baby-sized ones, from a skein of Encore Colorspun DK I bought ages ago; that makes 4 from one skeinAnd there was enough left from my last year's projects of the Bernat Camouflage yarn in the Outback colorway to make one more hat; this one is toddler-size. I really like the way the colors stripe in the Outback, and it's nice acrylic, so to speak.










Last but not least, yesterday I started a test-knit project for my Unwind friend Keri Mac. She's designed some lovely slip-stitch socks, knitted toe-up, and I volunteered to be the test knitter. I've only made one pair of toe-up socks, so this is a learning experience for me, too. I chose some Socks that Rock in the fingering weight, colorway Cobblestone Country (color seems to be discontinued). Keri knitted her socks in Rowan Wool Cotton, so her gauge is quite different, but I thought that a lot of knitters would want to use sockweight yarn. I'm making notes as I go along, but I've already decided that this yarn - and perhaps most hand-dyed yarns - won't show off the pretty vertical slip-stitch pattern. So I'm going to frog this and try a solid or semi-solid color. Look at that nice round toe! My second Figure-8 cast-on. I'm so proud, lol! (Damn fiddly thing.)

I've been working along on my pretty Misty Garden feather-and-fan scarf, and I've spent hours and hours poring over shawl patterns, trying to decide on the 'right' pattern for my luscious Lonesome Stone alpaca. OK, off to do some stash-diving in my sock yarns.

10 comments:

sk said...

Wow Barbara! Good start for 2008. Lovely Projects! SK

Wen said...

Hey! No fair that you are already finished with Shedir! (I'm still trying to figure out what yarn...the one I cast on I didn't care for)

And good to know about the cashsoft because I found some of that in a stash dive and thought it would be good.

The hat, btw, looks gorgeous.

Anonymous said...

You have been busy! Wonderful projects! The Shedir looks like a warm long-wearing hat! Who will be the proud owner? You or someone else! The knitting fairies have blessed you lately!
Jamie

Madge said...

Wow, look at all these FOs. What a way to start the year! Everything looks fabulous, esp. Shedir and your mitts/hat combo. Great for the weather we're having, and I bet you'll get as much use out of yours as I do mine.

Congrats on the test knit, too. Hope it's fun.

Christine said...

Wow, Barbara, you've been busy! Great looking hats, and a wonderful round toe. Good luck on your test knitting (you're so brave to volunteer to do that!)

Grace Yaskovic said...

Your knitting is fantastic, you have been so busy, keep it up and your stash will be gone by February!!!

smariek said...

Holey Moley, you've been busy!!! Great projects. I love the Shedir but it'll be a while before I tackle it because it's chart-only.

Cindy G said...

Whew! I think you get more projects done in one month than I do in six! I love those mitts. Really pretty and I can just imagine the softness on my hands.

Joan said...

Wow, she's a knitting machine! You did the Shedir on size 2's? That's amazing. It looks so beautiful.

mehitabel said...

Well, you've left me in the dust! I was so proud of adding a skein to my neverending shawl, and here you've gone and busted out all thee FOs!! Congrats--pat yourself on the back for your accomplishments! Oh, yes, do, since that's a good exercise to relieve the wrist pain...