Wednesday, February 28

Chapter 22 - I Design A Rainbow Crochet Hat

Introducing . . .


a crocheted top-down hat designed by Bonnie Martin

My first FO in crochet and I had to design it myself. I am still working on a little scarf for my niece Jessica, but I bought the absolutely
most decadent yarn for a hat after my crochet class on Saturday and couldn't find the perfect pattern - so I winged it. Ann (my partner-in-crime in the class) had begun to crochet this amazing scarf in lush shades of brown. We both wanted hats from the same yarn and Shea, our instructor started us on the road with a sort of verbal pattern. I scribbled what the two of us could remember and we both started it after class. But I didn't like the haphazard look of the crown where she told us "oh,if it gets ripply just decrease a stitch here and there". The double crochet was fast but had too many holes for me. I searched online, but everything was close fitting like a ski cap. I found a pattern that was close and made a few adjustments for curly hair. I was off.

And that ripply thing gave me an idea to keep my curls from getting squished around my face.

My new hat was a joy to work on and when I decided it was too tall on my head, I easily pulled out the ruffles and a few rows with no damage to the yarn. I loved the way it had ended in the gold, so I did a cut and paste when I restarted the last row. Brilliant.

So. You want to know what it is, right? inka by GARNSTUDIO is my new favorite yarn.
This stuff is from Norway(sigh). The website is impossible to view unless you have incredible patience but I include it to give them credit. (a friend who lives there now told me about their internet system - it sounded atrocious) There are no free patterns but the website lists two of my LYS who are distributors for patterns. I have two more skeins and I know how to use 'em. I want to reproduce my pattern with another hat as a gift then I'll publish it here at tinkknitz.

Look at how the colors meld. There's no clear-cut beginning or end. While you're working the yarn a little dot of the previous or next color will appear and a myriad of shades in between. The entire skein is chromatic. I've never been fond of rainbow themed paraphernalia, but when I saw this I was a goner.

Can you eat yarn?

Wednesday, February 21

Crochet? Okay!

I had my first crochet class on Saturday. After a slow start it's not that tough. Knowing how to handle yarn and recognize a mistake quickly helps. The instructor is very laid back, almost too laid back. She didn't know the answer to a few of my questions saying "oh, it doesn't matter", or "I don't know 'cause I am left-handed". Handedness can be a real factor when it comes to which way to wrap in knitting. I wanted to know if the same was true for my most recent venture into needlecraft before I developed a rhythm. A buggered up rhythm. But mostly we got along just fine. She was full of praise at our efforts and we were chaining, and doing single and half-double crochet within the two hours.

I have, however, been labeled a perfectionist.

Yes, I admit I came home and ri
pped the whole thing out. It was too wide despite her calculations based on my gauge. I really did want a long thin scarf as a gift for Jessica or Stacey. Now that I've been at it for a few evenings, I've got even stitches. Thing is, I really am not fond of the whole crochet *look*. I do want to try it as an edge as soon as I can though - that's the whole reason I decided to take up the hook.

I finally took a picture of the Christmas gift Debbie gave me with her gift card. Bobby and I were in Kohls to return one of the pairs of slippers I got him and I spotted it in the clearance section. (Did I mention I love Clearance Racks?) A 13" dark brown cube with a rich leather-look/feel finish. There's a hinged lid tethered with a sturdy ribbon on the inside. It was meant as a file cabinet, but I could tell the bars for the hanging folders could easily be removed if they were a nuisance.

It was 60% off.

I thought about the space where I've been piling my various knitting bags, patterns and books in the living room where I sit in the evenings to knit and watch TV with Bobby. This would fit several small projects, my most used references and kit. Cool!

Bobby was a bit skeptical at first, but I have returned my knitting to it's home every night.

Wednesday, February 14

He Loves Me... and a triumph

This was what Bobby brought home to me Saturday when my crochet class was canceled. It is a Strawberry and Pistachio Tart. He didn't even know the class had been canceled. As Maria sang "I must have done something good".

This morning as he trudged off to shovel the slush, he left these on my desk. Now last night Saint Valentine decided that lovers needed a little wintery mix to encourage snuggling. All Bobby had to say was he was sorry he couldn't get the "good stuff", you know ... exotic chocolates from DC or Timonium or Swaziland.


My favorite organic dark chocolate - Bug Bites, 70% Italian cocoa, organic dark chocolate coffee beans and a single perfect Schmidt truffle. All this in a Jeff Gordon tin. (the little crispy chocolates in the shape of little race cars are tucked away somewhere he told me on the phone) And the day isn't over.

Now then.

Yesterday I completed my journey with my slubby treasure. I cast on Monday night while Jack Bauer saved the world on 24 and couldn't wait until I could get my little hands back on the needles so I started again at 7 in the morning. It is Impressive! All the colors and the rayon cord running with it give it an air of difficulty far beyond it's design. I used the free pattern 2 hour hat by Allison Blevins at tangleyarn .

My only reason to pout is that I didn't have enough string for the hat that I wanted. I had to settle for a very wide headband. My apologies to the designer for the alteration. The blasted turnip wouldn't bleed. As to the title of the hat, unfortunately her clock and mine have never met. Still, a F.O. in about nine hours of VERY casual knitting in front of the TV with several breaks is impressive for me. I was really finished by one-ish then tinkered far too long with the bind off. It has a nice stretch and I toyed with pulling it all out carefully and casting on with 5 fewer stitches to try for the hat. This would allow me to stay in pattern for the decrease.


The upswing is I am now emboldened to address my other slubby yarn - a downy soft pink from the Minnesota State Fair. There's a lot more of it in that hank, so it will be a hat. I'll use the "(more than)2 hour hat" pattern by Ms. Blevins again - since I know It fits!

I set a time limit on my 43Things to "Knit a hat with my yarn from MSWF" before the next MSWF or no plastic for me. Whew! Another one bites the dust.

I leave you with a winter pictorial of baby squirrels and pop corn.

Sunday, February 11


...after waiting thirty minutes.
And I hope that's getting it out of my system.

Saturday, February 10

Dead Scotsman

Why did the Scotsman go over the cliff?
Because he couldn't make the ewe turn.

I forgot to mention how much my backward earring pissed me off. They are sold in pairs to frame a person's face. Your left eye lashes don't swoop to the right, do they? Thus when I saw the little pewter sheep hanging on the card like a school of fish, I hesitated. Not for long mind you, the urge to own all-things-knitting is strong. But every time I put them on I tried to check on the "which ear" thing. Cruel reality would slap my hand and shove the nearest woolly into the slot.


Then in a moment of crystal genius I thrust them at Jody(in the rain no less, and with her arms full - but she is the craft goddess and I grabbed my chance) and asked her to make the ewe turn. Okay okay. Really bad use of the phrase as seen above. But I put them back in for the first time this morning because I'm taking a beginning Crochet class. Fiber folk might appreciate my sheepies. I had my glasses on and their cute little faces were like tiny bookends. Dancing in to the mirror, I took a peek at 'em.

Jody(as Ahhnold might say)
made my day.

Friday, February 9


It's called slubby yarn. Last night at K1P2 I couldn't remember that. I'll paraphrase: "You know that ...uhhhh.... big stuff, fatter and thin (pinching my fingers in the air), hand woven. And there's a string of know, colored thread ummm... polyester or something with it twisted around. Real pretty!"

Yeah right.

Click her to view true beauty.

I should have said, "It's rainbow slubby with a cord of rayon twisted with it." Now then. Doesn't that sound pretty?

Thursday, February 8

Oh yeah, my blog

I forget how it came up tonight, but I was reminded I have a knitting blog. I shouldn't neglect you so. My humble apologies. Have a cookie. I was also reminded (again) why I bring only straight knitting to K1P2. There I was doing a Warm Up America block. A simple block. Well, a garter stitch block with a tiny bit of seed stitch border to give it character. Just four tiny stitches on each end right? Piece o' cake.


Let me preface this by saying the mistake was already there when I arrived today. At the hairdressers I noticed an oops where a purl stuck it's nose in the middle of a row of knits. Bad purl, no blankie. I only carry one project at a time so I tucked my cheek between my teeth and set out to fish it back through the five rows. It was my first major attempt in garter stitch repair. Eventually my feeble brain wrapped around who goes in the back door and who goes in the front
- it took about 45 minutes. Huzzah for me! Merrily I clacked along.

Until I was faced with four alien stitches at the end of a row.

No. ::blink blink:: Nono. Nonononono.

I should be looking at k,p,k,p right now. Perky little stitches just panting for my p,k,p,k. But no. They mocked me with their kkkk-ness. I'm doing just ducky fixing screw-ups in the middle, but the turn still befuddles me. I believe the added stress of seed stitch put me over the edge.


Monday, February 5

This just in

posted with no monetary gain
humble intent to share the art of Dave Coverly with the knitting world)