Tassels

Right…so the hats are adorable on their own.  They are and I won’t let you talk me out of believing that.  But they are made even cuter by the shameless addition of tassels.

Now, much as with pompoms, making tassels is easier with the right tools.  I use this little gizmo.  And while I probably wouldn’t have bought it if I was just going to make one or two, I found myself very glad to have it when I wanted to make piles and piles and piles of matching tassels for the hats.

It makes it easy to make them uniform.  Which is deeply satisfying and pleases the part of my brain that thrives on order.  I mean not quite as satisfying as the tassel making step where everything looks pretty much exactly like you’re making your own tampons…but enjoyable none the less.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go make quite a pile of these!

 

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Unabashedly Floofy

Look, these just are not a serious project.  If that’s what you’re looking for, go make a sweater.  Or a giant lace shawl.  Or maybe even some socks.

These are a few dozen yards of pure unbridled frivolity.  And I should probably apologize for that…or like pretend it’s got more significance than it does.  But really it’s just cheerful and easy and non-threatening, and that’s sort of what I’m looking for in the world right now.  That, and an excuse to make tassels.

I’ll do a post about those here shortly (because really, the make the hats about a zillion times better).  But for now…for now I’m playing with the tiny soft pretty things and that’s all there is to it.

If you need some distraction of your own, the pattern for these should be out at the end of the month.  As always, the mailing list is the best way to hear about it (and to get a discount on it when it drops).

 

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Crabby

Yeah, so the outside world feels big and dark and scary.  And while I probably should be doing something to at least pretend to try and help with that, today I’m really not.  Today I’m picking crab apples from the trees in the yard (so tiny, so pretty, so sweet).

 

 

Then I’m chopping them up, and burying them in sugar.

In a few hours they’ll have released a ton of juice (seriously, all that sugar will dissolve and there will be liquid in the bottom of the bowl).  Then in a day or two I’ll add some apple cider vinegar (the live kind we ferment our selves from raw apple cider) and the whole thing will bubble and ferment and fizz and fume and just generally look like (and, briefly, probably smell like) a terrible idea.

A day or two later, I’ll strain out the fruit and then I’ll leave it on the counter (covered with a dishtowel to keep out dust and cat hair but still let air in) for a week or two at least.  Eventually I’ll move it into the fridge, where it will keep getting better for months and months (we’ve got jars that are at least three years old, they’re astonishingly good).

Then I’ll enjoy it in cocktails and in seltzer water and in pretty much anything I can think of.  Because it’s universally amazing.

And no, it is absolutely not sterile.  In fact, I’m sure it is full of all sorts of weird microbes (as is beer…and cheese…and yogurt…and kombucha…and sauerkraut).  And I’m totally not telling *you* to go out and do this.  But I love doing it and I love drinking it and it feels like pretty much the only thing I’m going to do today.  If you want to do it too, you totally can.  Or if you just want to take a nap, that’s ok too.

Thither

Working on the theory that accessories are better in sets, allow me to introduce Thither.

It’s the perfect companion to the previous pattern, Hither.  Because really, half the fun of being a knitter is having the cutest, most perfectly matched, accessories you can imagine!  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Just like the cuffs, the hat uses a really beautiful leaf pattern and plays with putting it just a bit off center.  The leaf panel is just on one side of the hat, and I’ve been wearing it with the panel off to the side (over my ear is probably the easiest way to describe it).  Though I’ve seen other folks wear hats like this with the lace running up the back, and that looks equally fetching!

Alas, the yarn I made these from (Ysolda’s Blend No. 1) is discontinued.  But the good news is that the pattern will work beautifully with most any sport, dk, or fingering weight yarn (yarns with wool respond well to blocking, and the lace looks best when it’s blocked, so you’ll want one with some wool or other animal fiber in it if you’re as much a fan of blocking as I am).  I think a solid or semi solid shows off the lace best, but if you have a more colorful yarn you love, you can totally try that too.  There’s lots of nice mellow stockinette where a more colorful yarn can have room to shine!

I was feeling nervous about having enough yarn to finish the hat when I knit mine (I made the mitts and cowl first…so I was working with the leftover bits of another project and in a discontinued yarn…that’s pretty much asking for a yarn catastrophe), so I did a few little things to get the most out of the available yardage (no folded brim, stockinette body, nice relaxed gauge to give a drapey fabric).  It worked out beautifully.  I got the hat and the cuffs from one, 345 yard skein of yarn.  Though if we’re being honest, I felt nervous the whole time I was knitting the hat.  So my official recommendation to anyone else would be to have a second skein of yarn on hand if your skein is shorter than 400 yards and you want to make the set.  Plus that extra skein of yarn will look perfect as the matching cowl that will come out to complete the set in a few weeks!

Oh, and because the folks at ravelry are super cool, they make it easy for me to bundle Hither and Thither together as a set and give you a discount on them.  For the first few days this is out, you can get the pair of patterns for $10.90 (that’s a savings of $4.00 off the price of the two patterns individually).  You don’t need a code, ravelry’s system is totally cool enough to just make it work on it’s own.  Just put both patterns in your cart and you’ll see the reduced price in your cart.  Oh, and if you bought the mitts already, whatever you spent on them when you bought them will count toward the price of the set (as long as you were logged into ravelry when you make both purchases).  Or, if you just want the hat and totally don’t want the mitts at all, you can use the code LEAFY to take 10% off the hat by itself.  Both those discounts will work until the end of the day eastern time, Friday October 5.  After that the individual discount expires and the price for the pair of patterns goes up.

And don’t worry…the cowl is coming very soon!  We’ll have you all bundled up and ready for fall by the time it gets properly cold!