Irresolute

The pattern for Irresolute, the delightful, reversible hat and mitt set, is now up on ravelry.  I’m completely taken with these, and I suspect you’re going to be charmed by them, too.

IRR main rib smallYou know those bits of knitting where you’re not actually doing anything tricky, but the finished piece looks like you’ve done some kind of magic trick?  I sort of love those, and I suspect you do, too.  And this set totally falls into that category.

IRR hat cable smallAdd in that it’s reversible (the side you see above is what will be facing you as you work, but it looks like the picture below if you turn it inside out), and you pretty much look like a genius while you’re making it!

IRR hat rib smallAnd, because you’ll still want more when you’re done with the hat, there are mitts to match.

IRR mitt cable smallAnd of course they’re reversible, too.

IRR mitt rib smallAnd yes, if you happened to want to make them for Valentine’s Day, you’ve totally got time to get them done.  This set happens to be for The Boy, but I’m pretty convinced it works equally well for guys or girls.

hat cable smallSo if you’ve got a few hundred yards of worsted weight, and a few hours of time, I’ve got just the pattern to make you feel like a magician!  Use the code GOLDEN when you buy it to get a dollar off through the end of the day Friday.

Close Call

After asking here, on twitter, on pinterest, and on ravelry, the answer to which pattern to put out next seems to be the hat and mitts.  The votes were very close, but the idea of getting the hat out while there was still time to make and wear it this winter won out.

hat cable smallSo, look for this pattern on Tuesday (and if you were cheering for socks, don’t despair, they will be out early next month).

Oh, and if you want an email when this (or any other pattern) comes out, be sure you’re on the mailing list.  I always send a message out as soon as something new is up, and there’s usually a coupon or discount of some sort in there too!

Decisions, Decisions

So, I’ve got finished knitting, I’ve got finished patterns, all I need is photos.  Luckily, I’ve also managed to flee my snowy, freezing home and come somewhere a bit warmer (not warm mind you, I’m still walking around bundled up in woolies, just warmer).  Looks a bit like this.

riseEven luckier, I actually managed to bring the knitting in need of a photo shoot (on the theory that it might be easier to find a spot to take pictures here than at home).  I intend to press my willing victim into service and get two patterns worth of pictures while I’m here.  So now, all I have to do is decide which pattern should come out first (one will come out next week, the other the first week of March).  What do you guys want next, socks?

socksOr a hat and mitt set?

hatNow full disclosure, if something goes wrong, or the pictures don’t cooperate (or if editing them is too much of a bear on the laptop), I reserve the right to be all contrary and ignore your sage advice.  But if you’ve got a preference, I’d love to hear it!

Perfectly Normal

Someone reassure me that it is perfectly normal to have ‘block the knits you plan to photograph on the trip’ as a step on one’s adventure planning checklist.  Everybody does that, right?

DSC_2336That’s the blue socks you’ve all been asking about and the purple hat and mitts from last winter.  That hat and mitts are totally totally done (as in the pattern is written, laid out, and tested).  As soon as I have proper pics slotted in, I’ll be ready to release it.  And The Boy (it’s his hat) and I are off to somewhere both picturesque and chilly here in the next few days, so I’m pretty sure I can manage to grab those in the next little while.  I’d look for that in early November…maybe November 3.  Sooner if the stars align.

Tip Top

I really should be telling you about all the other stuff (slippers, that little experiment in gauge, a book or two) that’s making progress in the background.  But I’m not going to do that.  I’ve been taken over by this purple hat and its reversible nature.  It seemed dreadfully important that I come up with crown decreases that were every bit as reversible as the rest of the hat.  I’m sure it’s immodest to say, but I think I nailed it.

Side A:

purple hat crown, side aSide B:

purple hat crown, side bIt’s all so marvelous tidy even I am impressed.  The Boy continues to profess his love for side A, and I continue to point out how much more entertaining side B is.  I think the obvious solution is for me to make some matching mitts, which I will wear with side B out (the mitts will be mine because The Boy has not yet seen the light when it comes to the glories of fingerless mitts…something about them being itchy, which I totally do not understand).  That, and to show off both sides of both things when I take pattern photos.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some mitts to play with.

Growing

I’m loving this more and more the taller it gets.  This is three days of knitting.  (The rounds are longer than you’d expect.  Those cables are rather big and draw in the knitting a fair bit, meaning you need more stitches than you’d think to wrap comfortably around your head).  I’m absolutely itching to have it done and have already hatched plans for a set of mitts to match.

purple hat gets taller, side a

purple hat gets taller, side bBut I do feel like I need to mention something.  Come here.  Right up close.  This is important.  Listen carefully.  Please do not get in touch with me and express your concern that I’ve picked yarn that is ‘too purple for a guy.’  First, I’m not even sure what that would mean, and there is a grave danger that I’ll ask you to explain why, precisely, you think colors and genders match up in a particular way.  Second, he picked out the yarn.  Third, he’s been watching this hat grow from one day to the next and is well aware of all aspects of it.  So really, please don’t do that.  It will make me awfully cranky.

Non-linear

If I were feeling oppressed by the tyranny of a linear chronology, I would show you some of the things I worked on at the retreat.  But I’m really really not.  I am, instead, feeling incredibly distracted by the shininess of the new.  So I’m showing you the hat I cast on Sunday night.

purple knit hat, side aThat’s one side, and the other side looks like this. purple knit hat, side bI truly have not decided which is the outside and which the inside (and since it is The Boy’s hat, I suppose he gets to make that determination for himself).  So while it’s not reversible in the sense of ‘looks the same on both sides,’ I do think it looks rather nifty on both sides.

The yarn is some I got at the Great Lakes Fiber Festival in 2012.  It’s from Steam Valley Fiber Farm, and The Boy picked it out for the astonishingly purple nature of its purple-ness.  I fear I am not properly emphasizing the eye-searing nature of this purple.  I want to make some sort of totally inappropriate remark about the personal habits of Grimace every time I pick it up, but in the interest of discretion I will leave that as an exercise for the reader.

Gnomon

I’m not quite sure how to say this.  I haven’t knit in, well, days and days.  I think Wednesday was the last time I knit.  That’s four whole days with no knitting.  Not a swatch, not a hat, not a sock, nothing.

Part of it was that I burned my hand a bit (it’s almost completely healed now, no worries).  Part of it was that we got a new dining room table this weekend and spent nearly every waking moment either hauling it in and setting it up, cleaning up after that rather destructive process, playing games, or preparing and eating tasty food.  It was good to take a little break, but I’m ready to get something back in my hands.

In the meantime, so you don’t die of boredom and abandon me forever, I’ll put out this pattern.  This was The Boy’s birthday hat.  We picked out two yarns (a solid gray dk weight and a fairly wild blue, purple, and gray sock weight) that worked well together.  The cable pattern is simple to get the hang of and satisfyingly unisex.  A slightly smaller scale version of it is used for the mitt.  These work at a variety of gauges and each project needs less than 150 yards of yarn, making them perfect for using up those single balls lurking in your stash.

If you want to cast something on for your sweetie, or for yourself, you can find the pattern here.

Not A Jellyfish

I think I (scandalously) neglected to show you an on-the-head pic for the blue poufy hat.  Bowl shots more or less work for round hats, not so much for poufy hats.  We took a little stroll through a local park on Christmas and got pictures of the red hat and the blue hat and The Boy’s hat. Apparently my hair is pretty much exactly the same color as leafless willow branches.  Who knew?  I’m still having some internal qualms about how to wear a poufy hat…my inclination is to send it off to the side, but the proper way seems to be to send it straight back.  I will likely decide I don’t care and just wear it however it happens to fall (my general approach for hair, so why wouldn’t it work for hats).

We did not, alas, get pictures of Truckle.  I’m trying to wimp out and find a way to take those inside.  It’s cold here and taking the pictures takes a surprisingly long time.  I foresee cannibalizing all the lamps in the house and seeing if I can pull it off in a warmer location.

And now for a brief scheduling note.  The pattern for the red hat and mitts should be out right at the beginning of January.  A week or so later (depending on the success of that lamp plan) Truckle should be out.  Then, in February, The Boy’s hat and mitts and the blue hat and mitts seen here will be out too.  And then?  Then?  I’m gonna make some more socks.  Wouldn’t want to forget how!

A Lovely Few Days

Went quiet for a few days there, sorry about that.  We were holed up playing at hibernating.

We did a bit of ice cream making.  We are, by the way, ice cream geniuses.  Our first batch is some of the tastiest ice cream I’ve ever had.  That swirl is salty caramel.  Because I like you and want you to have a happy and productive life (and because I don’t want your pants to fit any better than mine) I will tell you how to make it some time in the next week or two.  We atoned for our caramel-y sins with lots of soup and salad the rest of the weekend.

As promised, we also played rather a lot of board games.  Agricola, Dominion, and Pandemic are old favorites, and we were also lucky enough to add Arkham Horror to our roster over the holiday.  You’ve got to love a game with a 30 page rule book, right?  If the first round doesn’t take three hours and at least a dozen consultations with the rules, the game isn’t complicated enough.  It’s starting to seem like we might need a bigger dining room table though.  Ours gets rather full when we have a nice long game underway.

There was also a little bit of knitting.  The Boy’s hat got a roof.  Then it turned out the whole thing was a weeeeeeeee bit too short, so I ripped back the top and made it about half an inch longer.  It is now the proper length which is, according to The Boy, ‘almost but not quite to the bottom of the ear.’  I personally find this too long.  I like my hats to just nip the tops of my ears.  Any longer and they come perilously close to encroaching upon my eyebrows.  It seems his his eyebrows are better up to fending off hats than mine are though, and the newly elongated hat passes muster.  We took it for a walk to make sure it worked.  It seems to, though I foresee more testing in the future (just to be sure you understand).  A pair of matching mitts are on the needles now.  These will likely be for me though, as he finds wool to be itchy if it’s pressed up against his wrists.  I would complain, but it means I get to keep the mitts, so it’s not exactly a hardship.