*nibble nibble*

The Christmas cards I sent out earlier this month have been trickling in with all my friends, and two small gifts I sent along arrived today! I’m very stoked that both recipients are happy with it. Although I should probably say three recipients. 😉

1390619_1203218103039775_57815231788020909_nThe first good news I got this morning was from my friend Shannon whom I knit a Jayne Hat for.

New hat, pretty cunning don’t you think? Woman walks down the street in that hat, people know she’s not afraid of anything.

Damn Straight.

Sanne look what showed up this morning! omg its super nice and it fits great. ty so much!

It was a bit of a challenge to knit this one. There are licensing issues that make it hard for people to sell these, and patterns are quite varied and inconsistent. I did my best ‘freehanding’ this. It turned out a little big, but my friend doesn’t mind it. She prefers it that way over being too snug! I’m just glad I was able to give her a Christmas gift that made her happy. 🙂

The second good news came in the shape of a video posted on Facebook. Meet Mr. Truffle! He’s a guinea pig belonging to my friend Kim. He has quite a tragic backstory which you can read about here. Fear not, for he now lives happily with a very knowledgeable and generously kind owner! My friend knows a lot about piggies, so a few months ago I asked her: can piggies have knitted blankets to sleep on?

She wasn’t sure how that would work out with this little clumsy nails, but we agreed that a 100% cotton yarn would be safe for him in case of curious nibbles. I told her that if she found during supervision that the blanket wasn’t suitable, she could reuse it for something else or donate it, no big deal. Thus I set to knit a very simple garter blanket. And I mean very simple, it’s just a basic patch estimate to proper measurement for Mr. Truffle, but simple seemed like the best option!

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Mr. Truffle didn’t waste much time before he inspected the blanket, sniffing each stitch individually shortly before taking a big powernap! My friend was very kind to take a video of the first time the Truffler found his new blankie. There appear to be no issues with his feetsies getting caught and he seems to like it a lot! This absolutely made my day and I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to knit for this little guy. ❤

Feeling a bit… stranded!

I finished it! And it turned out perfect. 🙂 I’m so happy with the tension on the stranding and the final look! I might make several of these and sell them as they work up so quickly and are interesting and fun to make. I never thought I’d be doing this so quickly (it’s only been 2 years since I made my very first stitches) but bam, here we are!

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I followed my own advice and knitted an extra 7 rows of stockinette after I finished the chart, and it was definitely the right thing to do. It fits me properly now without being too tight or short, which is a problem I have with my Moss Stitch hat. I guess when you’re a 6’1″ amazon lady you have to keep in mind that your head is also bigger than the average adult’s!

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There’s just enough room at the top of the hat to make it not look like it’s been vacuum sealed to my head. Hooray! (And yes that mirror needs a serious dusting, holy crap.)

Now that it’s done I’m trying to work my way through writing Christmas cards at… oh, almost 3 in the morning. I have five cards left to go, and one package with the Jayne hat to include with the sixth card. My hand is so cramped up from writing it’s almost embarrassing realizing just how little I’ve actually written this year.

It’s pretty exhausting though. I’ve been participating in an event on RPR that encouraged you to write something nice to people on the site. There are a lot of people I have so many good things to say about and I’ve been trying very hard this week to write something to all of them. The impact on the community is massive; over 700 of these kudos and still counting have been given out and we’re still two days away from the deadline of the event! I’m getting close to 50 kudos and then having to write individual Christmas cards on top is making me nothing short from dizzy.

I’m going to take a good night’s rest after I write my last cards and then tomorrow I’m going on a trip to the post office… wearing my new hat!

I need some opinions!

I know I’ve been blogging a lot lately and I hope you’re not tired of me yet! I finished the chart for my slouchy ombre hat already (no, my needles didn’t catch on fire lol) but I’m running into a small problem.

I had to adjust the CO for my size. The pattern is for a 22″ head circumference, and mine is at least 23.5″. So I added 4 extra stitches so I could repeat the chart one extra time in every row to make up for the difference, which has worked out well cause it fits fine! My problem is that my head is just big. I want this hat to be slouchy, but I know that if I start the decreases now, it probably won’t be unless I wear it uncomfortably far back on my head. My head shape is not made for that fashion statement.

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168001_medium2So this is where I’m at. I’ve worked the pattern exactly as it tells me (length-wise) and this is the end of the chart. I would begin decreases now, but I’m strongly considering working several extra rows in the cream color. Should I? How many would be good? I’m thinking 5-10, perhaps more.

The original picture included with the pattern (on the right here) shows that the decreases don’t add much more length to the hat, which is why this makes me unhappy. I’ve read comments complaining the hat was way too big for them and I can’t help but feel their gauge was either off or they have tiny heads.

I’ve never knit a slouchy hat before though, and when I look at this hat I just can’t see it being slouchy unless your head is small. :/ I think that’s why I’m so insecure, I don’t know when it would be too long and go from slouchy to ridiculous. If anyone has pointers on this, I would appreciate it immensely!

That said, I’m super duper stoked about my stranding. My tension isn’t 100% because it’s my first time working with two strands at the same time (one in the left hand, one in the right hand) but I took care to knit loose. I desperately wanted to avoid puckering and I think I succeeded!

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I contemplated on whether or not to turn the work inside out based on tips people have given others, but it really wasn’t necessary in the long run. My secret? I watched a crapton of YouTube videos on stranding before doing it. Plus I’m advanced enough with my knitting to eyeball certain things. (Which makes my panic over how long a slouchy hat should be kind of hilarious!)

My biggest accomplishment? Being able to knit at my near regular speed with two separate yarns, using a throwing method I never used before. I was the “hold, wrap, pull through and drop” kind of gal when I first started knitting. At some point I held on to the yarn but I never wrapped the yarn around my pinkie or otherwise worked comfortably. I essentially mirrored my continental hold for my right hand and it… worked. I’m amazed, and proud.

I really needed this accomplishment pick-me-up!

About that break

“I’m taking a break from knitting!” said Sanne with all the best of intentions. “I made a swatch for my sweater!” said Sanne only an hour later, completely going against her own advice. “I made another swatch for this hat pattern I want to try, and I recalculated the pattern for my size!” said Sanne who basically just went “fuck that shit” at the whole taking a break from knitting thing. “LOOK I’M ALMOST DONE WITH THE SOCKS!”

So, uh. Apparently I’m not very good at keeping my word when it comes to knitting abstinence. Then again, abstinence in general has been scientifically proven to be useless as shit, so I should have known! I guess the good news is that I’m less than an inch away from finishing my mom’s socks. I joined the knitting-in-elastic for that last inch in the 2×2 rib.

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Socks with a ribbed leg always look so weird to me but I know my mom loves these kind of socks. They slow me down though.

Anyway! Besides that sweater swatch I blogged about, I also made a quick swatch with that discontinued yarn I snatched up. I’ve been looking for a fun hat pattern that uses colorwork, which is something I’ve never really done before (duplicate stitch ftw!) but I needed to know my gauge to adjust the size. I have a 23.5″ circumference and the pattern is written for 22″. That 1.5″ matters for fit when it comes to hats, I’ve found. It just gets uncomfortable otherwise!

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Isn’t this combo lovely? I’m very excited to start on it! The pattern is The Easy Ombre Slouch Hat and the chart is 4 stitches wide, which means you don’t have to bother with locking/weaving floats yet. 🙂 I think it’ll be a great introduction to stranding. My gauge perfectly matches the one in the pattern so all I have to do is cast on 4 extra stitches to repeat the chart one additional time and voila.

Each skein of this yarn is 50 grams so I took the opportunity to smoosh both cakes into my Yarn It to see if it works. It took some fiddling to get the yarn all squished in there, but if you pull from the center it works out perfectly. Hurray! No more twisted yarn inside the globe.

I’m going to finish the socks tonight since there’s no reason not to. I’ll have to hold off on casting on the hat though… The last pair of socks simply have priority, but the hat will be a nice project to start and finish before I cast on my sweater. 🙂 Wish me luck!

To all the Dutch people out there, I also wish you a Vrolijk Sinterklaas feest! And if you’re not Dutch, then just have a glorious happy weekend~

The Spiral Socks

I finished my 70 stitch vanilla sock the other day. 🙂 They turned out great! I’ll have to put more care into my bind-offs in the future, mine are super tight but just barely big enough to fit my foot through. Got to make sure other socks don’t have that problem. I used Liat Gat’s Invisible Ribbed BO but I’m considering a loose Elizabeth Zimmerman BO too. All that needs to be done is less tightening when I cast off each stitch.

I don’t have any sock blockers and frankly, I can’t justify spending extra time blocking them after each wash anyway, so the crumpled socks will have to do. Nobody can tell when I wear them anyway. The yarn is Lana Grossa – Meilenweit Relax in colorway 2905.

20151018_015140I was surprised by how much yarn I had left. I’m a size 44/45 EU (11-12 US) and expected to not have enough yarn out of my 100 gram ball. After finishing up a lengthy leg and a 1″ ribbed cuff, I still have 15 grams left. As I’ll be knitting more socks in the future and I hate wasting yarn, I’ve started project Frankensocks. I’ll be collecting all scraps of sock yarn and put it in my baggy over time until I have about 95 grams of yarn total. Then I will knit a new pair of socks with all the leftovers, regardless of whether or not the yarn matches! We all need a little crazy in our life, right?

20151018_020900With that behind me, I started knitting a cunning hat for my friend. She loves Firefly and I was happy to knit her a hat. I ordered some super bulky yarn in almost matching colors and made this monstrosity. I didn’t use any existing pattern, I just winged it. I knit it fairly large cause she measured between 23-24″ and would rather have it a touch too large than too tight fitting. I also didn’t know how the yarn would behave once tied together at the top. To my understanding, Ma Cobb never decreased to make a neat finish at the top, so I didn’t either. With super bulky yarn…. that got iffy!

I may have overestimated the length of the total hat, but my friend said “IT’S FINE!” in all caps so I guess it’s time for the flaps and pompom. 😀

But wait, there’s more! Now that I found a pattern that works for my socks in fingering weight yarn, I can also knit socks for my boyfriend. We’re the exact same size which is awesome. After asking which colors he wanted, I tried to find an orange/yellow only sock yarn at my LYS but only found one that included gray. Which is fine, I’m sure it will look nice either way. The yarn I picked is Lana Grossa – Meilenweit Bronx in colorway 6703. I cast on the toes and will be trying out a new ‘pattern’ when I’m done increasing.

Another friend of mine gave me a Dutch sock knitting book. It’s been badly translated from the German original so I’m not going to be working too closely out of it, but this spiral stockinette/inverse stockinette pattern is simple and looks very good to me! I’ll be knitting only the front half in this pattern to avoid discomfort on the sole, but after the heel the rest of the leg will spiral with it. Aww yeah.

I really should be finishing up other projects, but these are the only ones that are keeping my interest at the moment. I’ve been really sick with a bad cold and my heating unit is nonfunctional, and I apparently have a nonfunctional landlord too, so who knows when that’s fixed. With snow having fallen earlier this week I’m trying to stay cozy with my gas heater, but god knows how long I can use it until the flask runs out of gas.

Either way, I’m trying to keep my focus on portable and easy to manage projects right now.