Wednesday, January 30, 2008

FO: Wonderfalls Hat!

Instead of posting about the many FO's I've taken pictures of but not posted about, here's a quickie FO I did over the weekend. Literally. On Friday night I finished the last episode of Wonderfalls, the best show you never watched. To celebrate the sadness I wanted to make something whimsical, and so I give you....The Wonderfalls Hat**! I used some random stash yarns, and based the hat (loosely) off the Earflap Hat pattern in "Weekend Knitting."

The centerpiece of the hat is a glittery ribbon yarn I picked up on a whim, and I used a blue Manos dos Uraguay leftover for the main color. White alpaca and green Cascade 440 round out the colors.

I'm considering redoing the earflaps, because I feel like the color changes get muddied with the garter stitch and in such a small space. I might just do them in all blue, but we'll see.

As you can see from the top and the back - I had color join issues. I realized halfway through that I could probably google it and find a solution (I remember reading something about slipping a stitch or ktog'ing) but I decided to keep going. (Yes, I'm an impatient knitter!)

One thing I didn't like about this hat is all the ends I had to sew in - I tried carrying the colors up, and succeeded some of the times, but carrying four yarns up got bulky. And I couldn't figure out how to carry the yarns on the earflaps. Not only was I decreasing every row, but also both sides of the earflaps are pretty visible and I didn't want the carried yarn to be seen.

**In the second to last ep of Wonderfalls the main character, Jaye, wears an earflap hat (with matching scarf) that look like they're made from recycled sari yarn. I didn't have enough sari yarn to use, so I opted for whimsical. I wanted to call it The Jaye Hat, as a subtle nod to The Jayne Hat, from the Firefly fandom (they're even the same type of hat). But I decided against it, and hence The Wonderfalls Hat!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The First of Many Christmas Gift Posts

I can't decide which Christmas gift to spotlight first so let's go with the Argosy, since I mentioned it previously. It's the first Christmas gift I've knit for a coworker and she seemed to like it alot. Heck, I liked it so much I didn't want to give it away. These pictures are bringing back tearful memories!

Like my Claptois (Just finished! Love it!), I found this scarf pattern very easy to memorize once I got the hang of it. It's the perfect scarf for people who don't like knitting scarves, because it's just complicated enough to hold your attention, but not so complicated that you have to consult a lace chart every row. I can't knit if it disrupts my television watching, as we all know.

Ok, for the record, this picture to my left shows up correctly on my computer. Once I uploaded it, it rotated and I can't fix it. So sorry! But it gives a good view of the length of the scarf, as well as my WGA picket sign in the background :) (Solidarity!)

I loved working with the bamboo yarn - it feels like a dream, and the color is beautiful and vibrant. It has some major splitting issues, though the "pros" definitely make up for this "con" in my book. I wound up fixing minor stitches as I went, because only half the yarn would be in the stitch with the other half hanging off in an unsightly blob.

This project also marked a major milestone in my knitting career: It's the first time I steam-blocked my knitting! And I'm completely in love! I had been cautioned against wet-blocking bamboo, so I bought a new iron (my old $5 iron, believe it or not, didn't have a steam option. Shocking!) and tried it out. Before blocking my scarf had curling issues, and most of the yarn overs weren't very pretty unless they were stretched out. Once blocked it laid flat as paper and every stitch was clearly defined.

So, bottom line: Love the Argosy. Love bamboo yarn. LOVE steam-blocking!