Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Oh Happy Day!

My shipment from kyarns came today! Oh, Koigu Kersti #621, you complete me.

And of course you brought friends...Koigu #622, you beautiful pink thing!

And KPPM #433, with your turquoisey complexion and lavender highlights, you sing your siren song to me.

Koigu Kersti and KPPM, there will always be room for you at my table.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Anna of Green Cables

Get it? Anna of Green Cables? Anne of Green...okay, it's lame, I know.

Because St. Patrick's Day is coming up and there's a green hat KAL and all, a green cabled hat made from one hank of Knitpicks Sierra.

It fits my 23" head, but since it's cablicious it also fits Mary's head with the brim folded up and Anna, whose head is a bit larger than mine (She actually said it was snug, although I don't see her eyes popping out or anything. Instead, that same sort of amused expression she always gets in one of my hats...the look that says "Other moms go to work, or drive a soccer van, or drink a bottle of white wine in the mom has a knitting blog."). I was going to show you how well it fits me, but the day I took this picture I was wearing my Old Navy camo pants and a black hoodie, and when I put the hat on all that was missing was some of these.

You can add length to the hat easily by adding more ribbing at the bottom. I personally don't like anything folded up on my ears, hence all the beanie-style hats I like to make.

Yarn: Knitpicks Sierra, 1 Hank.
Needles: 1 16"circular & a set of dpns in size 7, or whatever size gives you gauge (I knit big, so knit a swatch! The needle size on the ballband said 9-11)
Gauge: 3sts/inch in stockinette (To see this hat in a smaller size & gauge, check here.)


Please note: if you downloaded this pattern before 12/5/07, there was a missing purl stitch after the p2tog in the 2nd round of the Third Cable. This has been fixed.

CO 72 sts on the circular needle (switch to the dpns during the decreases) and join for working in the round, being careful not to twist. Place marker to indicate beginning of round.


Knit 10 rounds of K2P2 ribbing.

First Cable

Round 1: *Slip next 2 sts to cable needle and hold to back, K2 from left needle, K2 from cable needle, p4. Repeat from * to end.

Rounds 2 through 5: *K4, P4. Repeat from * to end.

Second Cable

Repeat Rounds 1 - 5 as in First Cable.

Third Cable - In which you start the decreases.

Work row 1 as in First Cable.

Round 2: *K4, P1, P2tog, P1. Repeat from * to end. You have 63 sts now.

Rounds 3 & 4: *k4, p3. Repeat from * to end.

Round 5: *K4, P2tog, P1. Repeat from * to end. 54 sts remain.

Fourth Cable

Round 1: *Slip next 2 sts to cable needle and hold to back, K2, K2 from cable needle, P2. Repeat from * to end.

Round 2: *K4, P2tog. Repeat from * to end. 45 sts remain.

Round 3 & 4: *K4, P1. Repeat from * to end.

Round 5: *K2tog, SSK, P1. Repeat from * to end. 27 sts remain.

Fifth Cable

Round 1: *Slip next st to cable needle and hold to back, K1, K1 from cable needle, P1. Repeat from * to end.

Rounds 2, 3 & 4: *K2, P1. Repeat from * to end.

No round 5 on this cable!

Sixth Cable

Round 1: *Slip next st to cable needle and hold to back, K1, K1 from cable needle, P1. Repeat from * to end.

Round 2: *K1, K2tog. Repeat from * to end. 18 sts remain.

Round 3: *k2tog. Repeat from * to end. 9 sts remain.

Break yarn and thread tail through remaining sts, pulling tight to cinch closed. Pull tail through to wrong side and weave in ends.

Copyright 2007 Lydia McNeil - You may not use this pattern for profit or reproduce it for profit; you may use it to knit hats for yourself, for others, or most certainly for charity, but not to sell.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Fake Isle

I was inspired by g-girl's recent blog posts about what's on her needles (although - yo, where are the pictures? You'll have to be satisfied with her travelling vines scarf, I guess!) to turn the frogged scarf of underestimation & shame into a Fake Isle Hat). It's a great pattern, although again - my gigantic knitting probably warranted sharper decreases at the top. Hmmmm...what to do with the rest of the Noro, though...perhaps some Fake Isle mittens.

I do have another FO to post about, a cable knit hat of my own design, but I have to wait for the girls to get home later so I can stick it on someone's had and snap a photo. I haven't figured out how to take a picture of my own head very well yet, a skill a lot of other knitters have mastered.

In a completely different vein (that has absolutely nothing to do with knitting) I saw this article that appealed to my love of all "when worlds collide"-type tales about Jose the Beaver (I kid you not, his name's Jose, despite the fact that, estoy pretty segura, he's not Hispanic! El coyote, si, Hispanic. The beaver, not so much.) in New York. He's the first beaver to appear in NYC in 200 years! I like how the biologist says he's sure people will see more and more beavers now....I guess Jose's texting them.

I wonder why Anna always looks so amused in one of my hats?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

When Will I Learn?

Above, the before picture.

Below, the after.

This isn't the natural order of things, but it's been that kind of day.

I ran out of this Kureyon about two-thirds of the way through this scarf, which wasn't even very fun to knit. Said scarf then sat in a drawer for six months next to finished objects, where I'm sure it was teased mercilessly. Yarn can be cruel.

Now look at this:

I ran out of Kersti 7 rows too soon - can you believe that? This is the purly bump side of the Falling Leaves shawl from Lavish Lace. It will block flat in a diamond pattern, just as soon as I get more Koigu.

Monday, February 19, 2007

The Hardships of Winter

Dateline La Jolla, CA: Severe weather rocks San Diego County!

That's right folks...while you might be trapped on a plane for 11 hours where you live, here in Windanseaville these oranges have been on the ground for at least 8 hours while their owners wonder when the drizzle will stop long enough to go outside without getting their hair all frizzy.

And lookie here - the umbrella!

Okay, John says I have to stop before I jinx us. Wouldn't want to do that - I liked getting to go to the beach over the weekend - Mary even swam yesterday.

Anyway, I'm knitting away on another Shedir and also a shawl from Lavish Lace using Koigu Kersti, which I'm truly enjoying.

In other knitting news, my sister finished her first circular-knit hat, which turned out pretty cute. She's knitting a PICC cozy right now.

Speaking of which, Tami T in CT asked for a PICC cozy pattern. There's one at Knitpicks, but I'm working on a few possibilities that I'll post pretty soon. The first one I made was super simple:

1" of K2P2 rib over 32 sts in the round on dpns.
Switch to stockinette, inc to 36 sts, knit for 6".
1" of K2P2rib, and bind off.

See it here on Fiona's arm? Truly, her arm doesn't usually look like Mary-Kate Olsen's - this is just bad photography.

Basically, if you know your gauge and the measurement of the arm above and below the elbow, you're knitting a sleeve with two cuffs. If you don't know the measurements, it should just fit an adult arm. Also, I used washable yarn, because I was thinking that might be useful. And it shouldn't be scratchy - cancer patients have enough to make them uncomfortable, no?

Anyway, like I said, I'm thinking about other designs and will post them as soon as I have anything.

Here's something else: Sarah-Hope, designer of the much-admired Santa Cruz Hat on Magknits, made my Horseshoe Hat for a very handsome friend! I love seeing people's pictures of patterns I've made up - the yarn they choose, the alterations they make - it's cool. One of these days I'll make a list of links because I know you're out there, my friends, but not today. Today's perfect for just knitting.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Britney So Totally Copied...

Holy cow, it's been almost a week since my last post! Lest you think I haven't been knitting, I most certainly have. It's just that I don't have anything newly finished to show, so I had to drag the salmon-colored scarf out just for this post. If you're curious, it's the ostrich plume lace pattern flanked by some garter stitch on either side.

When I first posted a picture of this scarf being blocked, Harriet asked for an ultra easy lace pattern to get over lacephobia. I think I'd have to recommend a feather and fan pattern - that was my first lace; I made Misty Garden out of Scarf Style but any feather and fan will teach the yarn over, K2tog type of rhythm that makes up a lot of lace patterns. Also, Branching Out - a lot of people knit it as their first project. Here's mine from last year some time.

Let's see, what else is new.....Okay, here's something. Wednesday night I shaved my niece's head, because something happened that we weren't expecting, being new to the whole cancer thing: her hair actually hurt when it started falling out. You know the feeling of having a really tight pony tail all day, and then when you take the elastic out your hair kind of hurts? That's what it felt like. It bugged big-time, so she elected just to get it shaved off.

I used the clippers John trims his beard with set to the shallowest setting, and while my sisters drank wine I took my niece on a hair tour of the 80s & 90s, going from Flock of Seagulls to Bow Wow Wow to GI Jane. And in a turn of events that I guess isn't all that shocking considering the source, we now find that Britney's been totally scamming her personal style. Although to my knowledge my niece has no tatoos and also wears panties.

Then Thursday we went up to the Cancer Center and had her PICC line inserted - and guess what? The nurses were super impressed with the PICC cozy. So, all you knitters out there - knit a PICC cozy and donate it to your nearest oncology ward. They'll appreciate the heck out of it.

Friday was round two of chemo, which for me translates to a lot of knitting time. Not only that, but I got to teach someone else a new skill - my sister, who, like me, learned how to knit the way all my Spanish relatives knit, with a long needle tucked under her right arm, wanted to learn how to knit in the round so she could make a PICC cozy too.

I set her up with a baby hat to start with - easier on a 16" round than a bunch of double pointed needles, I think. Today she had about 4" of hat done, and she'll be ready to switch to the dpns tomorrow. And once she learns that, the knitting world will be her oyster.

Today we knit on the beach...what a glorious day it was, warm and sunny. And Fiona got her hair cut - very chic, don't you think?

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Horseshoe Hat

Remember this?

You may also remember that I said I would write up a pattern once I figured out what I did...Well, I guess my mind hasn't been completely lost, because I found a piece of paper amongst my non-knitting things with notes about this hat!

Of course, I didn't write down what kind of yarn it was, but it was something bulky and a little hairy. It was 95% wool and 5% something else, if I recall. I'm not sure what this inability to save a ballband means, but I'm sure there's some kind of meme out there that would tell me. (What kind of knitter are you? Um...the non-swatching, distracted, ballband-loser kind, apparently.)

Here's what I did.

Gauge: 4 sts/inch

To start:

CO 80 sts & join for working in the round, being careful not to twist. Place marker to indicate beginning of round.

Make the brim:

Knit K2P2 rib for 4 inches.

Make the first Horseshoe:

Rnd 1,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 (all rounds except round 2): *P8, K12. Repeat from * to end of round.

Rnd 2: *P8, slip next 3 sts to cable needle and hold in back, K3, K3 from cable needle, slip next 3 sts to cable needle and hold in front, K3, K3 from cable needle. Repeat from * to end of round.

Second Horseshoe:

Repeat rounds 1 through 5 as above for first Horseshoe.

Rnd 6: Here you will decrease by 8 sts in the purl sections. *P2tog, P4, P2tog, K12. Repeat from * to end of round. You have 72 sts now.

Rnd 7,8: *P6, K12. Repeat from * to end of round.

Rnd 9: You're going to decrease again, but in the knit sections this time, and by a total of 16 sts: *P6, K2tog, K2, K2tog, SSK, K2, SSK. Repeat from * to end of round. You have 56 sts.

Rnd 10: *P6, K8. Repeat from * to end of round.

Third Horseshoe:

Rnd 1: *P6, K8. Repeat from * to end of round.

Rnd 2: *P6, slip next 2 sts to cable needle and hold in back, K2, K2 from cable needle, slip next 2 sts to cable needle and hold in front, K2, K2 from cable needle. Repeat from * to end of round.

Rnd 3: *P6, K8. Repeat from * to end of round.

Rnd 4: Decrease in the purl sections. *P2tog, P2, P2tog, K8. Repeat from * to end of round. You have 48 sts now.

Rnd 5: *P4, K8. Repeat from * to end of round.

Rnd 6: Decrease in the knit sections. *P4, K2tog, K2tog, SSK, SSK. Repeat from * to end of round. You have 32 sts.

Rnd 7: *P4, K4. Repeat from * to end of round.

Rnd 8: Decrease in the purl sections: *P2tog, P2tog, K4. Repeat from * to end of round. You have 24 sts.

Rnd 9: Decrease in the knit sections: *P2, K2tog, SSK. Repeat from * to end of round. You have 16 sts.

Rnd 10: Deacrease all around: *P2tog, K2tog. You have 8 sts. Break yarn, draw the tail through the 8 sts, and draw them together. Pull the tail to the wrong side and weave in ends.

That was pretty much it - if you knit this hat, drop me a comment so I can see the final product - Love that. And if you find I wrote it down wrong, let me know!!

Copyright 2007 Lydia McNeil - You may not use this pattern for profit or reproduce it for profit; you may use it to knit hats for yourself, for others, or most certainly for charity, but not to sell.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Still Too Big

Even after the shrinkage, the shedir is a little too big. Maybe if it's worn with the brim folded up a might work. And just look at it, lying there all innocent-like.

I did love, however, knitting with Calmer - it's awesome. The hat, even after washing & drying pretty roughly, feels like the knees of your favorite jeans. It's soft and velvety, and the yarn has a little elasticity, so it should knit to fit unless you're a gaugiot (that's gauge-idiot, i.e. someone like me).

Speaking of Calmer, I was down at The Grove last week, browsing (There isn't a ton of yarn there, but what they have is good quality and they have a multitude of cool stuff for ribbon embroidery, books, cards, and assorted other inspirations; plus it's across from Rebecca's) - they had an unbanded ball they let me have for practically free. It's sort of a light lavender so maybe it'll be a shedir for Mary. (Which will probably fit John if I haven't learned my lesson, and I guess he can wear it to the Gay Pride Parade and people will wonder just what kind of marriage we have, exactly. Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

And today, even more Calmer. A brickish red, bought at Knitting in La Jolla (my LYS, lucky me) along with size 1 addi turbos to start that new shedir. I'm a little afraid of the addis for this yarn - it's kind of slippy. John suggested surfboard wax, or possibly a little steel wool action, to which I said, "Yeah, no." I'll just try to be a little more careful.

Clearly, Patty believes in being Calmer herself.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Ho Hum.

I've just finished a lace scarf that I knit mainly to be able to invoke the OO/OI rule. I'm not crazy about it - we'll have to see if it grows on me. Here it is pinned to my carpet. I used some yarn that was pretty in the ball but only so-so knit up - it can't decide if it's apricot or salmon, so instead it's just unappetizing.

In other breaking news, I finished my first shedir. Because I hate gauging (Dear baby knitters: Please knit a gauge swatch. You can be a better person than I am. But if you can't, take comfort from this ) I just launched into it, figuring the stretchiness of the yarn and stitch pattern would cover my usual multitude of sins (by which I mean the giganticness of my knitting).

Shedir is now in the drier, getting the bejesus shrunk out of it so it will fit, oh, ANYONE I know. Cross your fingers.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Alpaca Father/Daughter Hat

So, as a result of the chemo, which, by the way, rocks - I mean, it sucks to have to go through it, but thank God we have it - we are expecting my niece's hair to go on sabbatical. She has long dark hair, curlier than mine but just as plentiful.

This is a modified Father/Daughter Hat in a larger gauge than I normally knit it. It's Plymouth Baby Alpaca Grande, in the light denim colorway. This yarn is so wonderful to knit - it feels so good as you slide it through your fingers - but I will warn you that it pills. I made several pairs of fingerless mitts from Weekend Knitting out of this yarn, and a lot of little alpaca fibers knocked themselves out having a pill party. But I think a hat will be okay....

Anyway, I was thinking about how cold it would be without your hair, and how tender that skin is. If you've ever sunburned your part, you know what I'm talking about. And that's your part - not your whole head.

So this FDH has a longer ribby part (3"), to fold up a little and cover the neck a bit more. The gauge was 10 sts/3" on size 8 needles, and I cast on 80 sts to start. YMMV, so check your measurements and swatch (In other words, do as I say, and not as I do!).

PS Maybe this is a teenager thing, but notice how Fiona can manage to hide her entire body under a single hat. Or maybe she does have super powers.

Just in Time for Valentine's Day...

...something to love.

I am captivated by anything with depth, saturation of pigment, hidden meanings of color. Beet, garnet, crimson. Ocean, sapphire, indigo. Pine, lime, pea. And even the orange I've rhapsodized over before.

Rich colors tell a story. They draw the imagination in and take us far afield from home - to rows of poppies, the seashore, the forest.

Apparently I was feeling a need for reds: behold my first yarn purchase of 2007.

You are looking at two selections of Koigu: some Kersti in colorway 621 and KPPM in 602. And the Malabrigo, so soft and delectable, is appropriately named Amoroso. Just in time for Valentine's Day.