The Sock You Cannot See

I’m working on some socks for The Boy (compensation for his efforts in the giant book shipping extravaganza that he’s about to participate in).  I’m using a lovely brown yarn with subtle hints of green and red.  It is lovely, and in the right light you can see all the glorious tints and shades it has to offer.  In the wrong light, you cannot.  It’s Cleveland, it’s December.  The right light is hard to come by.  This picture does not do it justice at all.

boy sockBut it’s knitting.  I’ve been skimping on the knitting of late, and for the love of wool I’m going to show it off when happens.  So please pardon the less-than-stellar picture, and rest assured I will show it off better if the clouds ever break.  It’s pretty enough it deserves to be seen at its best.

As Promised

Despite that wee bit of pre-trip knitting that resulted in the unexpectedly early completion of the hat and one mitt, I did manage to save some knitting for the trip.

DSC_2366As proof, I offer the mitt on the needles on the conveniently photogenic moldering log located beside the place we are staying.  It will be done with just a few more minutes of knitting, and then that lovely great pile of remaining yarn will get turned into some sort of snuggly neck thing.  I am fairly sure it will be delightful.

Persevere

When last we left the hat, I was wrestling with the perpetual brimmed hat question…will my laziness win out? Or will I conquer the deep folded brim.  Four full inches of 1 by 1 twisted ribbing later, I can proudly say I was victorious.

hat brimIt looks ridiculous when it’s left unfolded of course, but when it’s turned up, it’s adorable.

hat midNow comes the too short/too long/too short/too long dance that marks the final few inches of every hat.  I have high expectations for this one.

How to Knit a Hat

The hat is underway.  The hat, destined as it is to have a nice deep brim, begins with an almost interminable stretch of 1 x 1 twisted ribbing.  The hat is whispering to me how much more interesting life will be when I start the patterned bit, and I am firmly pointing out that it will be more fun to wear with a deep brim.  I’ll let you know how the conflict ends.  In the meantime, I thought I’d tell you how to knit a hat.

DSC_22911) Decide upon yarn, pattern, and needles.

2) Knit a nice swatch and, armed with a firm knowledge of both your head size and basic math, figure out what size you should make.

3) Cast on for the appropriate size and start knitting.

4) Become convinced that there is no way this hat could ever conceivably fit a human head; it is far too small.  Continue to knit.

5) Become convinced that there is no way this hat could ever conceivably fit a human head; it is far too small.  Continue to knit.

6) Become convinced that the hat is far too short.  Continue to knit.

7) Become convinced that the hat is far too tall.  Continue to knit.

8) Do some decreases.  Remain convinced that the hat will never ever ever fit.

9) Block the hat.  Try it on.  Be amazed how well it fits.

This is the process I have followed for every single hat I’ve ever knit.  I’m on step 4 now.  At least I know what to expect.

Protective

The blue thing has grown (erm, it’s all lowering clouds and sunset glow here, hence this seeming to be a rather enthusiastically different color than in the last picture…I don’t love you all enough to fiddle with the color on a blog picture, sorry).

DSC_2257This is tremendously uncharacteristic knitting for me.  I don’t usually do blue (turquoise yes, blue-y blue like this, no).  I don’t usually knit flat.  I don’t usually knit on big needles.  I don’t usually knit wraps.  But this simply needed to be done.  It’s cold outside.  This is warm.  The world at large seems exceptionally abrasive just lately.  This is soft.   I’m in the middle of about 8 hard work things.  This is easy.

I should finish this off the next time I sit down to knit.  Then will come a vigorous bit of blocking (like all lacy things, it looks like a pile of mess right now) and then perhaps a of a picture.  I’m looking forward to it.

Forethought

This weekend, for the first time this season, it was well and properly cold.  Not cool.  Not brisk.  Not chilly.  Cold.  As in, the temperature in the house was markedly lower than where we keep the heat set in the winter.  Of course be haven’t turned the heat on yet (I’m pretty sure we had the AC on a week or so ago, and I firmly believe there should be a significant period between last use of AC and first use of heat).

So, like any reasonably well prepared knitter, I reached for the woolies.  I put on my slippers.  When that didn’t quite do it, I grabbed a cowl.  That more or less took care of it, but I was still a bit chilly.  So I did that somewhat perplexing thing we knitters so often do when we’re cold…I grabbed some yarn and some needles and started knitting.

DSC_2255Now, the reasonable part of my brain knows that this isn’t the most efficient way to get warm.  But somehow I was unable to resist.  The good news is that it’s fat yarn (carousel by knitcircus, now sadly discontinued) and fat needles (size 13, I swear it’s like knitting with ski poles) and so should be done fairly quickly. The bad news is that it’s supposed to warm up by the end of the week.  We’ll see if the motivation holds out.

Small Steps

Knitting teaches us the importance of small steps.  Do the math.  That hat?  That sock?  That shawl?  They all have an alarming number of stitches in them.  So many that, if you stop to think about the numbers involved, you may go a bit weak in the knees.  So today I am declaring it enough to have started the second of these socks.

startSure, I’d like to be turning the heel or heading into the toe.  But those things won’t happen until I start.  And start I have.  So I’m calling that a step in the right direction and taking my victories where I can find them.

Inside out or Outside in

As promised, a quick look at both sides of the stitch on the mitts.  The one on the left is what we’ve been calling side B, and on the right is side A. The finished mitt has been blocked, so I’ve stretched the partial one over a bit of cardboard to give a better sense of what side A will look like once it’s blocked too.

DSC_9739

I continue to be pleased with them.  I think I may have to play more with reversible cables (hint, the answer is ribbing).

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.