FO: Boxing Day Hat

Boxing Day Hat 2

After a December of crocheting toys, a cold that would just not let me go and some changes in my plans, I didn’t really feel like I had accomplished much.  After binding off Flukra, a lace shawl I have been working on since August, I felt like I had earned a quick project.  After seeing the nice hat Carla made for Jim’s sister for Christmas and remember I had brought along the skein of indigodragonfly MCN Worsted I got as my October mystery skein with me to Parry Sound a plan was formed.

This hat worked up very quickly and is fits pretty well as either a slouch or as a tight toque with a folded up brim.  However, I might not get the chance to wear it.  My mom, who is more than knitworthy and has hosted me for Christmas going on 10+ days now, who does not seem to own any hats asked if she could have it and I have a hard time denying her a new knit now and then.

Boxing Day Hat

I need to tuck the ends and give it a gentle blocking and see if I can get another skein of nice sproingy MCN worsted to make another one for me!

– Details –

Project Name: Boxing Day Hat

Pattern: The Big Easy by Vivian Aubrey of spindleshanks

Recipient: Well it was supposed to be, but I think it will go to my mom

Yarn: indigodragonfly MCN Worsted in Rusty the Rooster (a deep archive Special Edition)

Modifications:

  • None

New Skills:

  • None

Feedback:

  • Yarn: This is my first time using a non-fingering weight indigodragonfly yarn and it is a nice sproingy MCN.  I got a bit of dye on my fingers as I knit (I have harsh body chemistry), however I don’t expect any bleeding when I send it for a bath.
  • Pattern: Clean, simple and a nice FO, what more can a person ask for in a pattern.

Re-Knit?: Yeppers, I want one for me!

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FO: North Plum Hat

North Plum 2

Yet another story of girl sees pattern, girl buys yarn for pattern, girl realizes she doesn’t like pattern, and girl wonders what she will do with the yarn for that specific pattern.  Thanks to the Sweet Georgia Pattern KAL I found a pattern that went nicely with Sweet Georgia Merino Silk Fine and I no longer had to feel guilty seeing it in my stash.

I’m finding I really quite like slouchy hats, I just need to figure out how to wear them properly so as not to look like too much of a doofus (which is a risk for most people and knitted hats). North Plum

– Details –

Project Name: North Plum Hat

Pattern: North Wind Hat by Felicia Lo of Sweet Georgia Yarns

Recipient: Me

Yarn: Sweet Georgia Yarn – Merino Silk Fine in Black Plum

Modifications:

  • None, but I should have gone down a needle size for the brim ribbing, after blocking (read: soaking and laying smaller) I found it a bit too large, but still quite comfortable.

New Skills:

  • None

Feedback:

  • Yarn: Merino Silk might not have been the ideal yarn for this project, it is warm and comfortable and I need to run some elastic through the band.
  • Pattern: Felicia has well written patterns with excellent layout (which doesn’t really affect the knitting pattern, but does make using the pattern more enjoyable).

Re-Knit?: Maybe, hats get lost so I expect to be remaking this hat some day.

FO: Forest Baby Flying Duck Hat and Mitties

So several weeks after asking the question “What to Knit for a Baby Boom” I am starting to get some answers.  You have seen what I came up with, the Legwarmies and Vertabrae combo and now the Duckie Sweater and today’s matching pieces, a hat and mitties.

These little projects were unplanned bonuses, after finishing up the Duckie Sweater with nearly 50g of yarn remaining I thought a hat and mitties would be perfect for the remnants. After finishing up both I still have about 15yds remaining, so I managed to get a nice gift set out of a single skein of DK weight.  And with DK being such a good option across some of my favorite hand dyers dyers, Tanis (Yellow Label), madelinetosh (tosh DK or tosh merino DK for a single) and SweetGeorgia Yarns (Superwash DK), and they all happen to be superwash which can make life so much easier for new moms and dads (or whoever gets the short straw and has to do laundry).

So I would say that I have a good answer to my question about what to knit for babies, I enjoy making little sweaters, but not from fingering weight and legwarmies and mitties are a great way to bust some stash without committing to something too large.  I will wait to hear back from new mom about what was the best part and what can be improved upon.

– Details –

Project Name: Forest Baby Flying Ducky Hat AND  Forest Baby Mitties

Pattern: Aviatrix Baby Hat by Justine Turner of Just Jussi AND Baby Mitts by Susan B. Anderson for Spud Says!

Recipient: Forest Baby

Yarn: SweetGeorgia Yarns Superwash DK in Tourmaline

Modifications:

  • Mitties – Did 1×1 rib to match the sweater and hat

New Skills:

  • Hat – Overlapping shortrows (ie. eating up some gaps while still creating more), I am not certain I did them correctly but the baby will be cute enough no one will notice.

Feedback:

  • Yarn – As seen in my effusive praise on the sweater I am a HUGE fan of the yarn and the color and am excited to use some of the other SweetGeorgia in my stash.
  • Patterns – Both were fine, although the Hat pattern seemed needlessly complex in places.  I don’t love the hat but I will be on the look out for other helmet shaped hats.  The mitties were straight forward but the pattern made it easier.

Re-Knit?:  Probably not the hat, it was more fiddly than I would like but the mitties are cute but seem super small, I will find out how much too small when the baby is born and I will modify the pattern accordingly.

FO: Dad’s New Year Earwarmer

So on Christmas morning, upon opening his matching hat/mitts set made by my sister and me, my Dad gave the appropriate amount of thanks and then mentioned that he would really appreciate an earband.  With the amount of yarn, TFA Green Label, remaning, the recent release of the Tabata earband pattern by Anne Hanson of knitspot, and the TFA January KAL starting on January 1st it was like a perfect storm of yarn, pattern and inspiration.

I managed to get this headband started and finished on January 1st, making it the first FO of the KAL (as far as I know). While it was a nice quick knit, it took me two weeks of procrastinating to get it blocked and gifted

– Details –

Project Name:  Dad’s New Year Earwarmer

Pattern: Tabata by Anne Hanson of Knitspot

Recipient: Dad

Yarn: Tanis Fiber Arts Green Label in Olive

Modifications:

  • Adjusted Gauge for heavier wool and a denser headband.

New Skills:

  • Making an ear band … other wise nothing really.

Feedback:

  • Yarn – As always Tanis has beautiful color, personally I find the Green Label a bit too tightly plyed, and sproing-y, for my taste, but it makes beautiful cables.  It certainly has it uses and it worked well in this pattern.
  • Pattern – This was my first time getting all the way through an Anne Hanson pattern, I frogged two different lace scarves by her quite a while back (that was knitter failure not pattern failure).  What she lacks in graphic design she makes up for in tech-editing (which is superb).  Although the sheer extent of the size range can make  the pattern a bit tough to make sure you reading the right number.

Re-Knit?: Maybe.  It is an attractive, quick pattern that makes a very functional item. I might be tempted to use the shape and switch out the texture pattern to make it more interesting on a re-knit.

Where does the time go?

Wow, how on earth did it get to be the 19th of January?  I have been somewhat lax in keeping y’all updated on my fibery doings.  That is not to say I haven’t been up to all sorts of crazy things.  We are now more than halfway through the Tanis Fiber Arts KAL, and I have finished up two of my items and have two more on the go.  However, neither of these were the items I planned prior to Jan 1st.

This was supposed to be my WIP Wednesday shot, yesterday

The socks, still made out of Aquarium, aren’t the Aquarium pattern any more, but rather the Pomatomus pattern by Cookie A from Knitty and instead of making Itasca out of Blue Label in Frost, a beautiful pattern that I don’t think I would really wear that often, I’m saving it for a pair of Cookie A club socks that won’t be released until October. Instead I’m started the Imogen Cowl from the luscious TFA  Red Label in Brick that was a birthday gift from my sister.

I have two FOs from the KAL and I will be doing FO pages at some point (hopefully soon), but if you want to see other finished items from the KAL check out THIS POST over on Tanis’ blog which has so many pretties.

My second finished item for the TFA KAL. Nothing like getting the knitting year started off with so many FOs

I managed to get this done on the first day of the KAL, nothing like a WIP that only lasts one day!

Oh and not only have I been knitting, I am also now “qualified” on a serger. I helped out my sister Carla get the last few baby quilts done so she could open her new Etsy Shop with lots of stock.

Why, yes, that is a whole lot of quilts!

By the end of the weekend I had serged the edges of many of the minky-backed quilts and had some plans to start doing some quilting myself.  I’m getting the materials to make a pieced Moda layer-cake quilt and matching materials to make a cotton/minky adult security blanket.

It’s not as though I need more hobbies (or materials to stash), but quilting is an activity that I would like to be able to do, even if I don’t make it my life’s work.

On TFA and KAL

Top L to Bottom R - Olive, Shadow, Aquarium and Frost

So way back on December 1st (hey, it feels like a long time ago) Julie (knittedblissJC) announced a knitalong (henceforth known as a KAL) starting on January 1st using Tanis Fiber Arts yarns.  I have stashed away a year’s worth of the Year in Colour club and a skein of Green Label in Shadow I picked up at Stix and Stones in North Bay and the leftovers from the mittens I made my Dad for Christmas.  I also have some Red Label that Carla got me for my birthday, but I am saving that till after the KAL so I can savor the experience.

So, starting yesterday morning I will be working on nothing but projects in TFA yarns till the Feb 1 cast off deadline. They are as follows …

  1. Tabata Ear Band by Anne Hanson of Knitspot in the leftover Green Label Olive for my Dad
  2. Buttons Cowl by Tanis Lavalle of Tanis Fiber Arts in the Green Label Shadow
  3. Itasca Shawl by Tanis Gray for the Year in Colour Club in Blue Label Frost (the club yarn)
  4. Aquarium Socks by Patti Waters for the Year in Colour Club in Blue Label Aquarium (the club yarn)

I have no idea if I will get this all done, but the two green label projects are quickies and all of them will fit in my purse so there is hope!

FO: Olivia

Another day, another finished object. After the serious knitting dry spell I went through this summer/fall I am back with a vengance.  I have been trying to make a hat out of this madelinetosh tosh DK since the spring, but it wasn’t till I found this pattern that everything “clicked”.

I find I have trouble with hats, because I like having my ears covered in these cold Ontario winters, so earflap hats are my favorite, but they look goofy.  I like the look of berets but they don’t stay on my head. Beanies look silly and don’t cover my ears.  This hat is the perfect balance of decent look and ear coverage.

This and Winter are my two most favorite hats (and I haven’t had either of them very long), I look forward to lots of wear in the future.

– Details –

Project Name: Olivia

Pattern: Hefeweizen by Larissa Brown in Stitchmarker

Recipient: Me, all me

Yarn: madelinetosh tosh DK in Olivia

Modifications:

  • None

New Skills:

  • Hops Stitch Pattern (the ribbed band section)

Feedback:

  • Yarn: tosh DK is a great yarn, the color is fabulous, hand is a nice combination of flop and twist, and it is ever so soft.  I have yet to have a disappointing experience with tosh DK.
  • Pattern:  This is my first time using a Larissa Brown pattern, I am impressed by the pattern, the photographs of the Hops Stitch Pattern was very helpful.  I have been looking at her other designs to see what else I can get into!

Re-Knit?: Maybe.  I like the proportions of the hat so I might one day use it again but change up the band for something different.

FO: Winter Hat

So after projects just dragging on forever, I decided I needed a warm hat and quick knit.  My sister had been talking about these amazing hat patterns she had found and the one called Autumn seemed to fit the bill.  Jane Richomond, the designer of the hat, has some fantastic patterns and you can tell she is Canadian because the hats are both functional and attractive. I find so many of that hats designed by people in places where a hat is more of a fashion accessory than a necessity are never long enough or warm enough to be useful to me. This one is warm, well fitting and fun.

My attempts to get photos of the back of the hat on my head

I managed to get these shots on Tuesday, the one sunny day I managed to be home from before the sun went down, and even getting home at 4pm the sun was nearly gone.  The one thing you might notice in these shots is a distinct lack of snow.  We have been having a very atypical December, every time we get snow it is gone within 3 or 4 days because of warm weather and rain.  Its not clear whether we will have a white Christmas, something that has people here out of sorts.  I’m fine with no snow, I spent most of my childhood in Pennsylvania and Texas where a white Christmas was special in the former and improbable in the latter.

A better shot of the top

Overall, a great hat designed by a Canadian, by a Canadian out of Canadian yarn.  I am really enjoying wearing it and it will still be perfect once the snow starts accumulating.

– Details –

Project Name: Winter

Pattern: Autumn by Jane Richmond

Recipient: Me

Yarn: Fleece Artist Big Merino in purple

Modifications:

  • Increased the number of cast on stitches to make the hat denser and warmer while still fitting.

New Skills:

  • None

Feedback:

  • Yarn:  Very soft, but very easy to felt.  This yarn will makes a big, warm … something, but I wouldn’t use it for mittens because it doesn’t feel very abrasion resistant.  I am seeing big bulky cowls and nice warm hats.
  • Pattern: Nice short pattern. Very clear and well designed.

Re-Knit?:  Very likely.  I like having a nice warm hat and this one is great.  Although I would likely make mods and try different stitch patterns on the hat portion.