[vermont] This is why I knit...




I can't find the yard stick so I can't say exactly how much we got but it was at least 2 feet with piles of snow from the plow, shoveling and sliding off the roof reaching 4 feet.


[knitting] A Hat for a Cat

I used a wee bit of leftover Noro Kureyon to knit Murderface a hat:

A hat for a cat

Getting it on was a challenge:

A hat for a cat
"I don't want it, I don't want it, Get it off."

But doesn't it look so cute on him?

A hat for a cat
"I'll kill them in their sleep."

It doesn't stay on that well. The next one might have holes for his ears.

And a chin strap.


[knitting] Berry Difficult Hat

I am working on a tam for me:

Berry Pattern Tam

The stitch I'm doing is a "berry pattern" and it's near murder with this single-ply, mostly acrylic yarn. It's:

Row 1: *p3 tog, p1 k1 p1 in next stitch (repeat from * around)
Row 2: knit
Row 3: *p1 k1 p1 in next stitch, p3tog (repeat from * around)
Row 4: knit

I like the look of both sides of the resulting fabric and I think this tam is going to be reversible but the p3togs are killing me. I can only stand to do 4 rows at a time before I have to set it aside to work on something more fun. Like a hat for Murderface ;)


[knitting] Wavy Seas

Wavy Feathers Cowl

Pattern: Wavy Feathers Wimple

Yarn: Jojoland Melody, one ball

Needles: US 6

I bought two balls of Melody in a calming Caribbean colorway and the cowl only took one (although I was only able to repeat the pattern 3.5 times rather than 4 as written). I'm going to see if I can exchange my second blue ball (I'm sorry but... hahahhahahhhaha) for one in a different color. This was a surprisingly fast project to knit. I managed to block the cowl around the outside of a cardboard box.

In retrospect, I think this pattern would have worked best with a solid or semi-solid yarn. While I wouldn't call the color changes stark, they are noticeable. I don't know, do the stripes add depth or detract from the lace? I guess one good thing is that it helps to hide mistakes :)


[knitting] Teddy Toque

My father's Christmas present:

Handspun Toque

The yarn is my own handspun of teddy bear colors.

There is no pattern for this hat, per se. I just cast on 100 and k1p1 forevers. The decreases for the crown were p3tog (between two knits- to retain the ribby-ness of the pattern).

I loved the resulting hat so much, I had to cast on for another (softer) one for myself using Suri Merino:

Suri Merino Watchcap

I've done too much to turn back now but I think I should have gone down a needle size for this one- the stitches are a little too open for my taste. I'm thinking of knitting a swatch and throwing it into the washing machine and dryer to see how much it shrinks. Then I shall finish my toque accordingly.


[knitting] Zeebee

For the December edition of Hat Club at White River Yarns:


Pattern: Zeebee

Needles: US 10.5

Yarn: Louet Northern Lights: Picasso. (Yes, I was making mittens with the yarn but they were turning out dense and weird. They had to be ripped out.)

I don't think I'll knit this pattern again. It was a joy to work with yarn I spun myself and I think it was a good match for this pattern but I didn't enjoy the pattern itself. It had so much going for it:

- It's popular on Ravelry
- I thought that the construction was interesting (garter stitch short rows)
- It can be tailored to work for any gauge and any size head

I guess what turned me off is the writing of the pattern. I thought it was too wordy and confusing. Plus, the designer didn't include instructions for sewing a garter kitchener stitch. Which, I thought, if the pattern is going to be pages and pages long, just include the instructions. I don't know, maybe the pattern is meant for Beginners. There are step-by-step instructions for putting your cast-on stitches back onto a needle when all I needed was "pull out the crocheted cast on. slip live stitches onto smaller needle".

I'm not entirely sure but what with holiday knitting and feedback on the pattern from others, I think I might be the only one to knit this month's hat. Oh well.


[knitting] Musk Ox for my feet?

No new knitting content at the moment, although I have been busy and I'll have lots to show off next week. I like to include pictures but it's dark by the time I get home from work and I can only take decent pictures during the weekends.

I have a shmazillion projects I want to start but I just saw these slippers and I'm obsessed: Oomingmacks. The proper spelling is actually Oomingmak and it's Inupiat for "the bearded one", which is what the native Alaskans call musk ox.

While I was in Alaska this past May, I went up to Palmer to visit a musk ox farm. That's when I fell in love with these gentle beasts. The slippers are great because they perfectly capture the nature of the long guard hairs and the innocent facial expression. Sigh. I love.

[misc] Classic Rock? Yes, please.

[reading] A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin had been sitting on my bookshelves for ages but I only recently read it. I loved it. If you enjoy fantasy and well-written, full-realized other worlds (like Tolkien's Middle Earth), this should be right up your alley. The adventures of the Wizard Ged in the first book are many and take place all over Earthsea. I ordered the next two in the series and finished The Tombs of Atuan last night. This book didn't have quite as much going on as the first but I enjoyed it just as much because the story and female character were compelling. A few things that happened in the first book are explained and referenced in the second, which I liked. Onto The Farthest Shore...

[watching] I can finally use my Mac at home to access Netflix's "Watch Instantly" selections. What's even better is that we can now use our Xbox 360 to watch things through Netflix via Xbox Live. I added all kinds of random movies and shows. Seriously, I added titles like Teen Wolf, The Ice Pirates, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, etc. You know, just some kitschy stuff to pick and play. Some of the instant titles have expiration dates, so I've got to mind that.

[playing] Puerto Rico. This game is going to get a lot of play. We've had it for a while but people didn't want to play for one reason or another (it looks a lot more complicated than it really is) but we all had fun when we finally sat down and I explained the rules. Bonus: I found an official two-player variant online.

[knitting] I have a lot going on but I feel my knitting mojo waning... I'm taking the bus down to Boston and back with my sister on Saturday and that's, like, 6 solid hours of knitting time.

[spinning] I haven't sat in front of my spinning wheel for weeks :( I need to get on that. Last night I didn't feel like knitting and I was whining to Dollar, "I'm bored... I'M BORED..." like he's supposed to fix it. I should pull my wheel into the living room and do an hour every night.

[listening] I made a new Pandora station that has been playing songs like from the artist Boston. I've been listening to Boston, Def Leopard, Journey, Styx, Asia, Queen, Scorpions, ZZ Top, Heart, Foreigner, 38 Special, etc... I think I really like Journey... But if I hear someone coming, I switch it to my Jay-Z station and start rapping "Fo' shizzle my nizzle used to dribble down in V-A..."


[knitting] Diagonal Cross-Rib Socks

I finished socks for Dollar:

Diagonal Cross-rib Socks

Pattern: Diagonal Cross-Rib Socks by Ann Budd from Favorite Socks

Yarn: Mondial Merino Plus (from the discount section at Hodgepodge Handicrafts in Newport, NH)

Needles: US 7

Mods: Obvious modification was choosing to use worsted-weight wool instead of fingering. I just used the chart in the book to figure out how to do the diagonal cross-ribs. Also, I didn't mirror the ribs. The left-cross twist was (in my opinion) way more difficult that the right-cross twist. Which, I think, makes this a pair of two right socks? Dollar will never know.

I have a wee bit of yarn leftover and I think I'll undo the girly frilly tops of the socks where I cast on and knit up some ribbing. Which should make the socks look a little more professional. I don't know why I completely blanked on the ribbing at the start...


[knitting] Great (Big) American Afghan

Some super-bulky yarn came to White River Yarns and I had to go check it out. Lois and I flipped through a copy of The Great American Aran Afghan at the shop and when I got home, I pulled my copy of The Great American Afghan. The premise is simple- use worsted weight yarn to knit 12-inch squares. When you have a pile, sew them together and wah-lah: afghan. There are dozens of different squares, all by different designers.

I picked a square, sat down with my super-bulky yarn and made:

Square for blanket

It's only, uh, slightly larger than 12-inches. Here's the block with a ruler for scale:

Square for blanket

More like 26-inches. Which I am okay with because 6 squares will make a generous blanket that completely covers a full-sized bed. The only sucky part is that it takes a little more than 4 balls of the Encore Mega to make one square; there are going to be lots of ends to weave in. I wish they sold Encore Mega on cones.

I'm having a hard time trying to decide which block to make next. The one above was easy and I love the button stitches (roughly the size of a quarter each)- it's a great texture to run your hand across. Maybe cables next? I don't think I should do bobbles since they would end up being as large as clementines.


[misc] Murderface Monday

The holiday weekend was so great. Lots of family and friends and food and games and chillaxing to the maxing. Murderface's current favorite spot is on a green fleece blanket:

Weekend Murderface

It's nice to get up early on a day off, let him out, make coffee, figure out what knitting I want to work on, let him back in, and hang out with him in the living room.

Weekend Murderface