And actually on the needles

Ok, finally finally finally we’re actually at the project stage.

Except you know what? This is actually the second cast on. This isn’t the same background yarn I used in the swatch (I’ll do yarn info in a later post). But it is one I’d used for a hat before, so I thought I could just more or less wing it based on the earlier hat and get the cast on number right.⁠⠀

I couldn’t.

I also thought maybe I wanted a rolled brim.⁠⠀

I didn’t.⁠⠀

So I got to knit an inch of plain stockinette and then rip it out and start over. But it was dark, so I couldn’t take a picture, so you’re only getting the second cast on…the one where I made up my mind about what I want and actually know how many stitches I need.

All I can say is it’s a good thing this is soft and fluffy and lovely and soothing.⁠

I hope you are also doing something soothing…preferably while you sit at home being glad you don’t have to go into work to keep everyone else safe and fed (and if you do have to go into work to keep everyone else safe and fed, thank you, and I hope everyone is behaving themselves).

Swatch 5

Ready for the plot twist? Remember the progression of swatches over the last few days? Yeah, well this was the next one.

I had the sudden realization that I did not, in fact, want to be knitting something where I had to count and do fiddly increases and decreases and manage somewhere between four and six balls of yarn (yeah, we hadn’t gotten to that point in the conversation just yet, but it was coming).

What I wanted was the most chill, relaxed, basic knitting I could manage…while still using a fuzzy yarn as an accent. So I changed course.

Now, this actually happens fairly often. Just normally I curate things a bit more. Normally I’d show you this swatch, then the project that this swatch directly turns into (and I’d save all those other swatch photos and show those to you somewhere down the road when they end up turning into a project, because they probably will end up turning into a project).

But honestly, that level of planning and organization and structure feel like a bit much to manage right now. So you’re getting the less edited, more scattered, and very much more immediate version of things.

Next time I’ll start showing you the actual project.

In the meantime, go wash your hands. If you’re able to stay home, stay home (and be grateful that you can). And if you absolutely have to go out, be alarmingly nice to the people who are still working to help you stay safe. If you’re short with the cashier or the delivery person or the bank teller or the pharmacy tech who is out doing their job as best they can under really stressful circumstances, you are a jerk and I hope you get moths. Don’t be a jerk. Don’t get moths. Stay home.

It helps, at least a little

I know I’m not the only one feeling some combination of scared and heartsick and overwhelmed right now. Which is why I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Connecting with people and doing something nice for someone else is a great way to feel a bit better for a moment. So that’s what we’re going to do today.⁠

These are some of the wonderful goodies that my friend Crystal McLain makes. Crystal is a powerhouse with more energy and good cheer than any three people should have. Art is her passion, but she also runs a massage business. She’s had to shut that down during the outbreak, so she’s focusing on her art full time right now.⁠

So the first nice thing we’re doing is getting some of you to check out the nifty things Crystal makes. She’s had her livelihood threatened because of this mess. I want to get extra eyes on her amazing work, and I’m not going to pretend otherwise!⁠

But we’re doing some other stuff too. I’ve got enough of her work here to send care packages to some of you. Because I suspect you could use something cheerful in your mailbox right about now.

But that’s not all. My plan is to send you enough stuff that you can keep some for yourself and also send some on to a friend. Because connecting with your friends is extra important right now. Even if you can’t get together in person, you can totally send a little something fun in the mail. Really, sending someone a card or a little package will make you feel great when you send it, and it will make them feel great when they get it. Try it, everyone wins.

So, if you’d like to maybe get some happy mail for you and something to share with a friend, swing by Crystal’s shop and find the thing you’d most love to send to a friend. Then come back and leave a comment telling me what you’d send and why.⁠  Later this week, I’ll pick winners (one here, two over on instagram) and contact them asking for a mailing address.⁠

There’s not much in the way of rules.  You just need to be an adult with a US mailing address. And if I email you to say you’ve won, I need to hear back within 72 hours or I’ll pick a new winner (so pretty please use a real email address when you leave a comment, no one but me will see it, and I won’t use it for anything other than contacting a winner).

Swatch 4

Are you still with me? Still following along on the Frankly Alarming Parade Of Swatches? If so, I commend your dedication.  The good news is we’re getting close.

Swatch 1 was proof of concept (the wee blobbies can be awfully cute). Swatch 2 was instructive (skinny fluffy yarn is not bold enough). Swatch 3 was also instructive (thicker fluffy yarn is good, but you need a more mellow background yarn). And now we’re at swatch 4.

Swatch 4 has an awful lot of promise. The fluff is thick enough it doesn’t disappear. The background is solid enough it doesn’t look too busy. I think this is a winner.

The only trick is I’m not sure if I want a yellow hat right this minute. I have some technicolor hair going on right now (though this staying home and missing your hair appointments is not doing it any favors), and yellow might not be my color. Plus that is a very icy gray, and I’m not quite digging how it looks with that particular yellow.

BUT…how I think I know enough about the yarn characteristics I need to bring together. So next up is swatching with different color combos to see what I can pull off.

I think I’ll go back to that blue from the last swatch and see if I have a gray that will go with it.

Hang in there. You’re doing awesome. And it is officially OK to turn off the news for a bit if you need to. I promise. It might help.