Well stocked

Today’s Yarn Love Challenge prompt was multiples.  And it seemed like a fine reason to dig out some of my DPNs and show them off.

These are just my long ones (like 12 inches and up), and they’re grouped by size, 2s, 3s, 4s, 5s, 6s, 7s, 8s, and 9s. You can see that I have several sets of at least a couple of those.  Especially the 3s as I find those are my favorite for hats and cowls (and I’ve got an extra set of 2 and a new set of 1.5s on the way).  The pile of short DPNs is even bigger.

But really…having the right needle for a project is just as important as having the right yarn.  I like to have metal, a smoother wood, and a grippier wood (or bamboo) to pick from if I can.  I get a different gauge with each material, and sometimes switching needle material (instead of needle size) is the way to get the fabric you want.

You can find me on instagram over here, and you can find the Yarn Love Challenge festivities over here if you want to follow along.  I’m having a great time seeing what everyone comes up with!

 

Tiny giants

We’re having a KAL for Palpitation, and I’d be delighted if you joined us!  I find I want to knit a few more of these, but it feels like some sort of breach of etiquette to knit in my own KAL.  So I’m going to pretend that what I’m doing is using a few more hearts as a way to talk about some finer points of making these.  But we all know what I’m really doing is indulging myself and making a few more.  But don’t tell anyone, ok?

knitalong

PALPITATION

Join Us!

Now I know Valentine’s day has come and gone, and perhaps now the fascination with the fuzzy hearts will fade and we’ll all come to our senses.  But just in case any one is still playing (or in case any one wants to do these next year), I had one more thing I wanted to talk about.

One of the things lots of folks wanted to do was to make either giant versions of the hearts (think couch cushion sized!) or tiny ones (I swear some would fit on a quarter).

I didn’t go for the giant option (I’m lazy…very very lazy…I do not love you enough to knit a cushion for a blog picture).  But I did find myself indulging in a tiny heart.  Mine is just a hair over two inches (which is small enough to be adorable, but in no way the smallest one I’ve seen in the KAL).

Now there are two ways to change the size of something.  Change the size of your stitches, or change the number of stitches.  You can do either (or both) on the hearts.

For the giant ones, reach for the biggest yarn you can manage.  Some folks were using bulky, and some were using several strands of bulky held together. For the tiny ones, go the opposite direction.  I saw some done in lace weight and some done in crochet thread.  Whichever way you go, you’ll want needles to match (I did my tiny one on 000s).  Just remember you want to make a tight enough fabric that your stuffing doesn’t show through.

But in addition to changing your yarn/needles, you can also change your stitches.  The pattern comes in three stitch counts.  But they’re all aimed at being sort of hand/pocket/envelope sized.  Even with a super bulky yarn or a lace-weight yarn you may not be able to get as large or as small as you’d like if you’re aiming for something dramatic.

Luckily, the pattern is easy to modify.  You can continue to increase until you get to the size you want if you’re going big  Or you could work fewer increases to go smaller.  In either case, be sure you’re increasing or decreasing by multiples of 8 from the stitch counts the pattern gives you.  And of course, if you make changes, your stitch counts will be different from what I give in the pattern.  You’ll just want to work your knit front/back on the middle stitch, and then divide left and right for the top of the hearts.  If you change the bottom, you may need to do a bit of experimenting to make sure you like the shape and proportions you’re getting on top, but from what I’ve seen, they all come out adorable!

 

Persevere

I know in my secret heart that I am happiest with a nice deep brim.  I know, I really really KNOW that this means a minimum of five inches of ribbing (which when you fold it in half and stretch it onto your head turns into more like two and a half inches of brim).

So why am I trying this on now.  Now when it is clearly not yet five inches.

Because that right there is the quickest way to ensure a hat languishes at the bottom of the hat bin, never to be worn.

Maybe some day I’ll learn to not even start to get my hopes up until I’m a full five inches in.  But today is not that day.

Yarn Love Challenge

Are you guys following the #yarnlovechallenge festivities over on instagram?  If not, you totally should be!

I love following it (even if I only occasionally manage to post to it).

But it seems I do write an awful lot on instagram these days (often more than on the blog), so if you’re looking for more of my blather, that’s the place to get it.  You can find me right here.