Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Awesome things:

1) I am back at school, but it is the first week back so there is no way I am doing any work this week. February Lady Sweater, here I come! (Almost finished with the body and then it's on to the sleeves. Assuming I can find my size 8 DPNs, which is by no means a sure thing).

2) While I knit, I have a new episode of Stash and Burn to listen to! FINALLY.

3) Guerilla Knitters. Doesn't it look like at least some of the yarn she's using in the picture is Noro Kureyon?

That reminds me, actually--in class yesterday I was sitting right behind a guy wearing a handknit sweater! He said that his grandmother made it for him, which is incredibly cute. It was a great sweater, sort of Aran with lots of cables and seed-stitch panels (I know this because I stared at it throughout the entire class). After feeling the sleeve (trying and probably failing not to seem like a total freak) I'm pretty sure it was Malabrigo.


Thursday, January 8, 2009

An Easier Knit

Remember Gretel? Remember how I screwed up a million times and tore my hair out and that stupid hat took WAY longer than it should have and it was really hard?

Yeah, this was nothing like that.

I came. I knit. I finished. And it was awesome.

Pattern: Habitat, by Jared Flood. Amazing. This pattern is so cool, and do you know why? Because it's unexpected. It starts out like a regular old cabled hat, but then it's not! The cables behave in unexpected ways! They entwine and split off to form new cables! I know, I shouldn't be assigning anthropomorphic qualities to little loops of wool! And I'm using a lot of exclamation points! But it's just so cool!

Yeah, so thumbs up on the pattern then. Also thumbs up on the yarn, Malabrigo Merino Worsted in "Surf." (I think. Lost the tag, of course). Oh man so soft. Oh man. I just want to bury my face in it and snuggle.

Also, supercute on the recipient; much better than it looked on me, it must be said, which made it easier to give away. I looked like a cancer patient and she looks adorable.

The Gretel Saga

This was not supposed to be this hard. Of course, it was never going to be as easy as I thought (remember when I thought I would finish this hat and wear it in England! Hah! Haahaha!) But I did not help myself much.

First, I ignored the instructions, and it looked like this:

Lesson learned: smaller needles for the band are your friend.

Plus, when I finished it was way too big. Not just the band; the whole thing. It looked like I should be stuffing my dreadlooks in it and singing "Buffalo Soldier." Not cool. (Also not pictured, so use your imagination).

Sooo...I did a little surgery.

Hold your breath; are you ready to see the carnage?

Yeah, I chopped that up. It was drastic, I know, but there was no #$%!ing way I was going to pick out every single insidious little stitch if I ripped back from the cast-on edge, and also no way I was going to rip and reknit, so chop chop. I cut off a good two inches, including the accursed band, and then picked out the bits of fluff and picked up the resulting live stitches (hooray for extremely sticky, fuzzy wool yarn). A little messy and there were a few stray ends, but I just tacked them down and you can't tell the difference. Hah!

I knit a couple of rounds to get myself settled, decreasing rapidly as I did so--except not quite rapidly enough because when I finished the ribbed band v2.0 (on the proper size of needles this time!), the hat fit...but the band was still too loose.

(At this point, fed up with the whole thing, I wore the hat for a couple of days and attempted to convince myself that it fit just fine, and that the band wasn't too loose, and it was SUPPOSED to slip off my ears like that. My mother, fed up with my constantly debating out loud, made the decision for me. "If it's going to bug you that much, just fix it!")

Enter the elastic (gold because it's all I had, not because I like the bling. Well, kind of that too).

Which was fine for about fifteen minutes, after which I decided it bugged me, and since I had some yarn left I should go ahead and knit a facing for it (next on the slate for Skills to Learn: Quitting While You're Ahead).

So I picked up stitches around the bottom of the ribbing, knit in stockinette for an inch, cast off, sewed the facing down, and because the cast-off was so tight I couldn't get it over my head. (No pictures here either, because I was too busy screaming into a pillow to go find my camera).

But after awhile, I picked myself up off the couch, gritted my teeth, picked out the $&%^#@!!! seam, picked out the cast-on, sewed the resulting live stitches to the inside of the hat (yeaaaah, sticky yarn!) and...

I have a hat.

It caused me no end of (entirely self-inflicted) grief, it took about twice as long as it should have, and if I am entirely honest it's actually a little tight around the ears, but I'm ignoring that.

But I think it's a cute hat.

Final verdict:
Pattern: two thumbs up.
Yarn (Noro Cash Iroha): One and a half thumbs up; gains points for great color, shine, and and refusal to drop live stitches. Loses points for extreme thick-and-thinness in places that made cabling a wee bit tricky.

But I have a cute hat!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


First I made Gretel.

Then it was too big.

Then I did surgery, and after a lot of cutting (gulp), picking up stitches, and reknitting, it was smaller.

But then the band was too loose.

So I sewed in some elastic.

But then I didn't like the way it looked.

So I picked up stitches and knit a facing.

But I cast that off too tightly.

And now I can't get it over my head.