1898 Hat – A different construction

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1898 Hat in Cascade Eco Duo

The 1898 Hat by Kristine Byrnes is a free pattern on Ravelry. We sell a lot of yarn for them at my LYS, Yardgoods Center in Waterville, Maine. It may help that we have a great sample, in hat and headband form, right near the cash register!

I’ve been in Maine now for three winters. Winters are cold here. Hats are a must for my husband, in particular, because he has no hair. I almost always wear a coat with a hood which is enough for me but I have been known to wear a hat, too. All of this is to say that I am shocked that I haven’t knitted this hat before now.

A few weeks ago, a woman came into the shop when I was working and she wanted to have someone knit a 1898 hat for her out of some lovely Cascade Eco Duo alpaca yarn that she had bought. I’ve never seen this hat in alpaca before. I offered to knit it for her. When I called her to have her come pick it up, she asked me to make another in Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride.

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1898 Hat in Lamb’s Pride Worsted

Both hats are wonderful. The alpaca was so soft and the Lamb’s Pride Worsted is so squishy. AND the knit was fun for me, too!

IMG_2313The headband is knit flat in garter stitch with increases for the ear flaps. It has a provisional cast on – I used a crochet cast on. It’s knit in garter stitch on either side of three slipped stitches on the wrong side (they’re knit on the right side) which makes it fold in half to make the headband double thickness and really, really warm! You graft the ends of the headband together with Kitchener Stitch (if you do it properly it’s completely invisible!) and then pick up the stitches from both sides of the headband to make the rest of the hat in the round like any “normal” hat.

One hank/skein/ball of worsted weight yarn worked for each hat. I KNOW my sweet hubby needs one of these hats. He works outside. In Maine. In the winter. It’s really, really cold. He has no hair. Did I mention that he has no hair?

Gone Knitting!

 

 

Laughing All the Way

I have had a wonderful experience teaching three wonderful students a stranded knitting class. We made “my” Four Needle Snowflake Mittens. These are my favorite mittens to date. I love knitting them. The pattern came from my colleague and teacher, Bette. It’s an old and often-copied pattern but it’s a great one!

At our last class, I was explaining the difference between mittens that are the same (can be worn on either hand) and mittens that are knitted specifically for either the left or right hand. I pulled out my finished pair of mittens to show the ladies what I was talking about  and …img_7658

Do you see the problem?

How about now?

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Ha! Ha! Ha! It’s so good that I have learned how to laugh at myself! I realized that I had knitted TWO LEFT MITTENS!!! What a teachable moment! Even the teacher can make mistakes!

I’ve shared this story with everyone at work, my other classes and just about everyone that I have spoken to and every single time I laugh. Out loud! I still find it hilarious!

Since these were to be a Christmas gift for a very special person who happens to have a left and a right hand, I have had to finish a third mitten … this one is for the other hand! LOL. My students continue to teach me as much as I teach them!

Now, I’ve got them fixed – and the fourth mitten will be finished after I complete another pair. Wait until you see them!

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Today’s lesson learned – never take yourself too seriously!

Gone knitting.

WIPS Wrestling – Ravellenics 2016

imageRavelry has a wonderful knitting challenge during the Olympics and I’ve chosen to be on the “WIPS Wrestling” team and challenge myself to finish several projects during the Olympic Games. I’m proud to say that I have challenged myself to finish, and have finished  four projects so far.

Rustling Leaves Beret

Rustling Leaves Beret

I had a commission to make a lace hat for a customer. Her hat was begun just before the Olympics started. I knit Rustling Leaves Beret by Alana Dakos. It’s a fun knit and pret quick to knit up as well. My customer bought Cascade Yarns Heritage Sock yarn in a navy color. Now, all knitters worth their salt know that dark colors (particularly black but any dark color) are difficult to see your stitches. The biggest challenge for me with this hat was counting, or more specifically, dividing stitches. You begin the hat casting in stitches and I used DPNs. Needless to say, I divided wrong the first time and came up with 30 stitches short. It was going to be a very small hat! The hat is delivered and my customer has requested another hat just like it but in a little brighter blue! I blocked the hat, as directed, on a dinner plate and it was just gorgeous!

Drachenfels - times two

Drachenfels – times two

I also finished my Drachenfels Shawl. I really enjoyed knitting this shawl. I had chosen yarn based on a sample that I saw knitted up at the Maine Fiber Frolic in June. Green is not usually a color I knit with but I loved the three colors together. Drachenfels is by Melanie Berg and is a slightly “off kilter” triangular shawl knit in garter stitch with an Icord bind off. I knit mine with a dark gray, a medium blue and a deep apple green. I loved knitting it and I love e finished result. The sport-weight yarn makes it a quick knit and the shawl is a good size! Two other women in my Froday class are/have knitted this shawl and it’s really fun to see the results in different colors.

Number 2 Pencil Socks

Number 2 Pencil Socks

The wonderful and fun Number 2 Pencil socks are also finished. This was yarn that I waited for for what seemed like forever because the first shipment was lost or stolen in transit. When I finally did get it, it went immediately into my stash to be used as encouragement for me – encouraging me to finish some other projects. It was a very fun project and I can’t wait until it’s cooler and I can actually wear them! The yarn is hand-dyed by Yarn Enabler (she has an Etsy shop). I had seen in on Susan B. anderson’s blog or Facebook page  and it was a total impulse buy but totally worth it  I bought the pattern from Yarn Enabler, too though truth be told, I only partially followed it  I used a heal flap heel rather than a FLK – but I’ll attempt the Fish Lips Kiss heel another time for fun!

4 Needle Snowflake Mittens

4 Needle Snowflake Mittens

Last but not least, is the second pair of Snowflake Mittens. This pattern is a very old pattern gifted to me by my friend and colleague Bette. I made myself a pair and this pair is for my friend. I’ll make a third pair for my sister-in-law in Massachusetts. I typically have a rule to never knit two of the same thing. This pattern is an exception and I fully plan to knit it repeatedly! I used Brown Sheep Company’s Lambs Pride Worsted in White Frost and Navy Sailor. I love the contrast in the colors and I love these mittens. I avoided color work for years but this pattern made me begin to think about conquering my fear of color work. I think I have succeeded. My favorite part of these mittens is the pattern on the inside of the thumb. Isn’t that silly?

The only other thing I’d really like to compete is the Aran Sweater that is sitting in a bag in my studio. It’s been swealtering hot the last few days and I could not sit under it. It was too darned hot! Tomorrow I head to the beach in Virginia with my college girls for a few days. Friends for 40 years, we always have a wonderful time together and Virginia Beach is gorgeous for a little R&R. I may choose to drag it with me and try to seam it in air conditioning. I really haven’t decided.

Next another hat will go on the needles.

Gone knitting!

WIP(s) Queen Bee Style

I have a few projects on the needles. It’s just the way I roll … some days I don’t feel like thinking about knitting and so I need some “mindless” knitting. And some days I want to challenge myself and for those days I need something on the needles to stretch my brain. Some projects have to be portable. Some need a bag of their own (and I have a good collection!)

I am working on a Dr. Who scarf that I hope to have finished in February … it’s quite boring as knitting goes. Garter stitch all the way. I’m weaving in the ends as I go so I don’t have to do that later. I started out thinking I was smarter than the average bear and decided to add one row to each color/stripe so there would be no “wrong” side. I didn’t like it so I have stopped that. Hope it’ll be loved even though I didn’t frog the whole thing from the point where I changed my mind. The colors are not exact but I decided to use Paton’s Classic Wool which I could get in my knitting bag in a day … lots of yarn and it requires a bag of it’s own! 😉

Dr. Who Scarf WIP#1

Dr. Who Scarf WIP#1

I have a Valentine’s day project that I’ve started. Some left-over red cotton and my beautiful new red Signature needles and that’s all it took to get me going. Needles were a wonderful Christmas gift from my number one son! Dish cloths are perfectly portable! I love to pitch a project in my plastic zip-locks for my purse! (alliteration!)

Valentine's WIP#2

Valentine’s WIP#2

Plugging along on my Downton Abbey Mystery KAL with Jimmy Beans Wool. I love the yarn that I chose (Malabrigo Silky Merino #856 Azules) as an alternate to the Lorna’s Laces which would have been here way too late to begin the KAL. I also love the color way. We know that final project will be a shawl and that’s all … that’s why it’s called a “Mystery” KAL (knit-a-long). I still have one week of work to do to catch up before tomorrow’s episode. Check out the JBW blog … it will be a written pattern at the end of it all. This is a pay attention pattern. Except for the garter stitch sections, I have to concentrate – not to be knitted while chatting!

Downton Abbey KAL WIP#3

Downton Abbey KAL WIP#3

I’ve got the big (boring, stockinette stitch) panels done for my “Just So Bag” tote. I just have the lace “ends” left to finish. I must confess, that I have frogged these ends more than once because I didn’t keep track of where I stopped. Not a wise choice when you’re knitting a lace pattern. Even when the lace is being knitted in a heavier weight yarn (Lambs Pride Worsted in charcoal grey). I have a wonderful collection of Interweave Knits magazines that I can’t bear to part with … so it was a free pattern for me. This pattern needs to be knitted in my atelier. No talking. No TV. Lots of counting. Since my super quiet time is somewhat limited, I haven’t even cast on this project (again) yet.

WIP #4 Lace Panels (two) not on the needles yet!

WIP #4 Lace Panels (two) not on the needles yet!

My sister-in-law and brother sent me a wonderful Zauberball (Color1564, 100g) sock yarn ball for Christmas and I love knitting socks. I am on a mission (sort of) to knit a whole drawer full of socks and this pair will add to it, I’m sure. They’re super portable which is what I love about knitting socks. I had thought to do a cuff-down pair but I think I’ll do two-at-a-time from the toe up just for kicks! That means I have to split the ball (or I’ll have a mess!) I’ll let you know what I decide.

Zauberball Socks WIP #5

Zauberball Socks WIP #5

Last, but not least, I have some odds and ends of worsted weight yarns that I have been knitting into tiny trees (with wine cork “trunks”). Patterns are Pint Sized Pines by Julie Tarsha. This is a free download on Ravelry … mine aren’t as colorful (yet) but I do love them! Just so happens that I have saved a few corks … this is a great quick knitting project and they’re so cute. Plan is to add some beads, etc. to some of the trees making them look like Christmas Trees.

Tiny Trees WIP #6

Tiny Trees WIP #6

There you have it! All of my WIPs and my reason (excuse?) for having so many on the needles at one time. I have enough yarn for three sweaters in my stash that I want to start next … and I’m trying to hold off from casting on until I have finished at least the February deadline projects. Must get going!

Gone knitting!