Oh hey look, more swatches

Yup, somehow there are more.  I think I’ve found a stitch I like…this is both cute and awfully fun to do.

But I’m hesitant to use that yarn combo (it’s yarn from two different companies, and I’m trying to lean towards using yarns from the same company in any one piece).  I love the blue (it’s from Dream in Color), but can’t seem to get my hands on a gray from them.  So, a quick stash toss revealed another promising combo.

I will, of course, need to swatch it too (are you sensing a theme?), but I suspect it will work out just fine!

Chamfer

I have some bad news.  It’s January.  It’s cold. It’s dark. And it’s probably going to be like this for a while.  If I could help, I would.  But the most I can do is offer a distraction, so it seems like the perfect time to bring Chamfer back out.

aThese are more fun than they have any right to be.  The stitch pattern is marvelously orderly and easy to memorize (which means they’re way easier than they look, which is always a plus).  And I know I shouldn’t be so easily amused, but I really do love how nicely the cuff and toe flow from the main stitch pattern.  Tell me I’m not alone in thinking that’s vital to true sock happiness!

bOf course a good pair of socks can’t just be pretty and fun to make, they need to fit well too. And these totally do.  The lace is delightfully stretchy and the ribbing provides just the right amount of structure.  The combination works perfectly.

cSo if you need something to take your mind of the unfortunate January-ness of it all, these might be just the thing.  You can use the code HOW LONG TILL SPRING to get a dollar off the price (good through the end of the day Friday, January 22).  Maybe by the time you’re finished the crocuses will be in bloom!

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Push and Pull

So I think I showed you finished pics of both variations of the hats, I don’t think I ever showed you both together.  I’m rather taken with them.

hats I think they’re a perfect example of how very tiny changes in your knitting can have surprisingly big results.  These use exactly the same ribbing, exactly the same increases, and exactly the same kind of basic decreases (ssk and k2tog).  But by shifting the relative positions of the increases and decreases, you get two totally different looks.

One where the ribbing stays straight and a band cuts across it.

hat 1And one where the ribbing and the band go careening into each other.

hat 2But the charts for each are surprisingly similar (and kind of awesomely easy, which is sort of what I want in a hat sometimes).  And don’t worry, when they’re on a head, the stop looking like cartoon bullets and instead look quite like proper hats.  I promise pictures on people some time after the weather gets appropriately wintery!

Told Ya

I know you were worried about the hat.  I had a moment of being worried about it, too.  But I was pretty darn sure it would be cute in the end.  And you know what?  It totally, totally is.

finished hat 1Oh and yes, the top is cute, too (no point in doing a hat if the top isn’t amusing).  I’m fairly smitten!

finished hat 2And there’s just the tiniest bit of yarn left.  I may try and make the shortest cuffs ever.  Or I could be a normal person and call it done (or, just possibly, order more yarn…that’s more likely).  I haven’t quite decided yet.

Stages

There are several common stages in the creation of a hat.  The tricky bit is that they don’t come in any particular order, so you are likely to be surprised by them, no matter how many hats you’ve knit.

For me, there’s almost always a ‘this is way way too big’ stage.  It’s often followed by a ‘this is too small for any living human’ stage.  Popular variants on those two include ‘it’s too short’ and ‘it’s too tall.’ You may also encounter ‘I bought way too much yarn’ or ‘I’m so totally going to run out of yarn’ somewhere along the way (often both).

There’s also a tradition of sneaking a ‘this is clearly a hideous mistake, I’ve wasted my time and should rip now before anyone sees it’ stage in there somewhere.  I’m in that one right now.  If I wasn’t awfully sure this will be cute in the end, I’d think something had gone seriously off the rails.

DSC_2047It looks a bit better with the cuff turned up, but it’s still definitely in its awkward adolescent phase.

DSC_2042But never fear, this is going to be awfully spiffy when it’s done, promise!  We just need to give it a bit more time to grow up.

Perseverance

So I want a nice deep folded brim on this hat (skinny ones make me look like a fire hydrant, if I’m going to fold a brim, it’s going to be deep).  Alas, that means I have to knit about fourteen miles of ribbing.

DSC_2034Actually, it’s something closer to five inches, but it might as well be fourteen miles.  I want the brim to be about two inches deep when it’s on my giant melon head, which means it needs to be about five inches high on the needles (2 inches folded up, the 2 inches that covers up, plus an inch to account for the length you lose when you stretch it out in blocking).

DSC_2038This, in turn, means I have lost all will to live and will be knitting forever.  Send tea.

Change of Plans

A hat appeared, fully formed, in my head.  I knew pretty much everything about this hat: how it would be patterned, how the decreases would work, even how the sizing would work.  Everything except the yarn.  So I did the normal thing.  I tossed the stash, found nothing, and then ordered more yarn.

DSC_1578The yarn came, it was lovely.  I swatched, I did math, and I cast on.  But alas, it wasn’t right.  It’s not the yarn’s fault.  It is awesome yarn and will undoubtedly find its way onto my needles at a later date, just not now. DSC_1581So I went back to the stash and had a long chat with the skein I initially considered and then decided against.  After long consultation, we decided that we’d give it another try.  I think it’s going to work out rather well. DSC_1575

Adumbrate

The revamped and rereleased pattern for Adumbrate is now up on ravelry.  Pics first, but do read on, as I’ve got yarn to give away!Adumbrate fingerless mitts by Hunter HammersenThese are another of my early patterns, and I was delighted to redo them.  We all know I’m a sucker for fingerless mitts (seriously, I have a whole wardrobe of them, some to match all of my pajamas, and I wear them all winter long).  These are quick and fun to knit (they’re the ones that did the neat three-pronged thing when I was knitting them), and I am pretty sure most self respecting stashes have a perfect little bit of DK weight yarn waiting around to make them.  You could totally have a pair of these finished by the end of this weekend.

Adumbrate fingerless mitts by Hunter HammersenI made mine out about 130 yards of Dream in Color Everlasting DK leftovers, but I’m totally going to hook one of you up with a skein of the same yarn to make your own (the color I’m giving away is Tidal, instead of the Raincloud I used here, but both are lovely shades of blue).  To enter, either leave a comment on this post telling me how you feel about fingerless mitts (pro, con, not yet properly introduced…there is no wrong answer), or pin one of the pictures in this post (either click the pinterest button at the top of the post or you can click on the ‘Pin it’ button that comes up when you hover your mouse over the picture itself).

Comments left and pins made between now and the end of the day (eastern time) Saturday, August 2, 2014 will be entered to win.  I’ll pick a winner, contact them to get their address, and arrange to send the yarn their way.  If you’re leaving a comment, be sure to use a real email address so I can contact you if you’ve won (I won’t do anything with those email addresses besides notify the winner).  If you win by pinning, I’ll leave a comment on your pin letting you know you’ve won.  If I do get in touch with you, I need to hear back from you within 72 hours or I will pick a new winner and contact them.  Sorry, but I can only send prizes to US addresses.

adumbrate accent smallP.S. The winner has been notified, thanks to everyone who left comments!

Upcoming

Next up in the the ongoing (dare I say never-ending, all-consuming, perhaps even frenzied) project of rereleasing old patterns, Adumbrate.  These will be going up this coming week. adumbrate extra smallFolks on the mailing list will get an announcement (and usually some sort of coupon or other goody) as soon as it’s up.  Now every time I send something to the mailing list, I get a few very nice emails from folks saying they didn’t know about the mailing list and could they please have whatever the special offer is anyways.  And that’s always awkward.  So in the interest of having fewer awkward moments, I’ll be all smooth and remind you that you can sign up for said mailing list right over here.  It’s super easy, I promise.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a sock on the needles…an actual real live sock that I’m knitting myself and that’s not for a book and that I can take pictures of and talk about and everything.  I’m going to go spend some time with that so I can show it off properly in a day or two.  I’m sure you understand.

Book Yarn, Part VII

KCC3 is debuting soon (this month, eep!) and I want to take a bit of time during the lead up to show off all the delightful yarns I’ve used in the book.  So without further ado, yarn.

7These charming bits of yarn are from Dream in Color.  Dream in Color, not surprisingly, does amazing colors.  I swear I’ve not seen a shade I don’t like.  So as you might expect, it finds its way onto my needles often.  There are last year’s knitty socks, two other individual socks, a hat, and some socks from the first book.  And well, I might possibly have my eye on one of their new yarns for an upcoming project too.

On the left, you’ve got Everlasting Sock in Bitter.  Everlasting Sock (and its big brother Everlasting DK) is one of my favorite sock yarns.  Sock has eight tiny plies, and DK has 12.  They’re 100% merino, which would normally give me pause in a sock yarn, but the tiny plies are so tightly twisted I’ve never had any problem with them wearing out.  The Sock is a classic fingering weight, and the DK makes delightful thick socks.  And both show off fancy stitch work perfectly.

On the right, you’ve got Smooshy in Pansy Golightly.  Smooshy is another 100% merino, fingering weight yarn, but it is quite different than the Everlasting.  With three plies, it’s quite a bit sproingier (yes, that is so a word).  And you can see each ply (and the shadow it casts) much more clearly (you can see that in the picture), which gives a different texture to your knitted fabric than the smoother strand of Everlasting.  It totally works for socks, but here I’ve made it into an absolutely adorable mitt that I think you’ll love.

If you’re looking for the other yarns used in this book they’ll show up here as they are posted.