Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Third time's the charm

This will be the fourth winter I have known my sweetie.  We met in November of 2005--it seems like I've known him forever, but it's really been a short time.  When Christmas came, we had been dating about seven weeks, so I didn't know what to give him.  I knit him a hat.  I had only just started knitting, and the hat was the first thing I ever just made up.  Alas, because I didn't know him well, I did not yet know he is a pinhead: the hat was wayyyy too big for him.  When he wears it, he looks like the kid from Fat Albert, whose pink hat comes down over his face and all you can see are his eyes and mouth.  

The second winter, I knit him the fabulous Mets/Rangers hat.  I still love this hat, but again, it was too big.  Not too big around, at least, but too deep: my sweetie could easily pull it down over his eyes.  Even my doormen made fun of him when he wore it.

Last winter, I didn't knit him anything because I had a sore shoulder and was trying not to knit.

This winter, my sweetie requested another hat.  God knows why, since I clearly don't have the knack for fitting his head!  But I took a deep breath, knit it in the round, and made him try it on periodically while I made it.  Things are easier when you're not trying to keep it a surprise :-).

I made it out of Noro Kureyon; I have a few balls lying around from a moment of madness.  I was inspired by the Noro scarves the Yarn Harlot has been knitting: you alternate balls every two rows in order to get a graduated striping effect.  Since I didn't want to use two halves of two balls, I simply alternated ends of my single ball, which made for some more subtle striping in the middle, especially as this particular colorway is not as wildly varying as many Noro balls.  I think it looks very masculine, no?

Happily, my sweetie loves it.  And I have to admit, I do like the Noro colors.  Kureyon is not the softest of yarns, but my sweetie is not sensitive that way.  And it knits up into a nice dense fabric, so it is pretty good in the wind.  I guess the third time's the charm.  I'm sure it helped that this time, I wasn't overly ambitious: it's a pretty basic hat :-).

One ball Noro Kureyon, knit on size 7 needles.  About 4 stitches per inch.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A refresher lesson in gauge

I have been knitting like a fiend lately.  Partly because it's cold.  Partly because I am stressed (WaMu: they suck).  Partly because Christmas is coming and knitting presents from stash doesn't cost any money.  Although I have only knitted two things as Christmas presents, so I guess the last reason is more an excuse than a reason. 

Anyway, here's a pic of the Hemlock Ring Blanket, which was a really fun and very quick (just two weeks) knit:

I knitted this out of Lion Brand Fisherman's Wool, which I really like.  It's surprisingly soft, and comes in 465-yard skeins for $9 at Jo-Anns (which means if you're more patient than I you can wait for a sale or a coupon and get it for less).  Knitting this blanket took only a little over one skein, which probably should have been my warning, since I knit two pattern repeats more than brooklyntweed calls for and yet used less yarn. Oh well.

Yes, I was a bad girl, I didn't check my gauge.  Two years of knitting experience, and I still have a love/hate relationship with gauge.  I figured since this wasn't a garment, gauge was not critical.  (For what it's worth, by the way, Lion Fisherman's Wool is really 5 stitches per inch, not 4 as it claims on the band :-)  Alas, I forgot, as always, about row gauge, so my blanket is much smaller than I wanted.  I wanted something over 4 feet in diameter, and I had to really push it in the blocking to get it to be even 40 inches.

If you look closely, you'll see through the holes that the fabric isn't even touching the blocking board: this baby is stretched taut.

I still think the blanket is pretty.  

But alas, it's not a baby blanket.  I actually knitted this for a coworker who is battling cancer.  Before, she was famous in the office for always being hot.  Now, she is always cold: not a good sign.  Unfortunately I think this blanket will be of very little use to her, since it will cover her lap and not much else.  I'm bummed.  I will probably still give it to her, but I really wanted it to be more useful.  I should have checked my gauge.  Feh.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Fuzzy cellphone pic

Today my sweetie and I raked leaves.  It has been a very long time since either of us have done this--I, at least, have not done it since high school, possibly even earlier.  We only have two trees in our backyard that drop leaves, but boy, that was plenty!

Seattle collects "yard waste" as well as trash and recycling.  They are supposedly quite draconian about the yard waste: you are even supposed to put your vegetal kitchen scraps into yard waste, and if they catch you putting it in the garbage, they say they will not take away your trash.  Yard waste cannot be put in regular old black plastic leaf bags, because those are not compostable.  Therefore, all the hardware stores sell giant brown paper bags for yard waste.  We filled up seven, and I got an idea for my Halloween costume next year.

That's right: paper bag puppet.