Archive for the ‘Hat’ Category

Hi there!  Yeah, it’s been a while, but I have a *really* good excuse!  Ready?

From Misc Pics

This happened.

 

Yeah, Miss Abby Never-getting-married-never-having-children Jamaca is now Abby Wife-step-mother-of-two-mom-to-be Dryer.  You may take a moment to tell me that you told me so.  I’ll try not to block you out.

 

So, moving on!  After three months of Why-do-they-call-it-morning-sickness-when-it-happens-all-day fun, I’ve finally started to find my motivation to do something other than fall asleep on the couch before 8pm.  Seriously, I didn’t have the energy to eat or drink, let alone knit.  It was quite horrible.  But now, I’m getting back to normal (thank you, modern science and 2nd trimester!)

 

So, I am somewhat embarrassed to say that I have only finished 4 things THIS YEAR.  (Does my yarn know that it’s almost April?  I won’t tell if you won’t!) First, I’ll show you the most adorable thing that has ever been made by human hands (if I do say so myself)  This was mostly knit in 2011, but I finally got around to finishing the flowers and sewing on the buttons sometime in early March.

From 2012 FOs

I am totally in love with this thing, and really hope that the recipient gets a lot of use out of it. (and to the recipient’s grandmother, I’d love a modeled shot for the blog!)

I also tried to make a hat to match the dress, but as the title of this post says, I have a problem with hats.

From 2012 FOs

I think the hat is about as big as the skirt. It fits ME. This kid will be wearing this hat WAY after knitted bonnets aren’t cool anymore. whoops.

Then I finished another hat. This one I made specifically for me, so you’d think that it would fit me, right? Wrong. I refer to it as my silk alpaca bucket, because it looks like a bucket on my head. (although it is warm, so Chicago Winter doesn’t win as many battles against my ears)

From 2012 FOs

 

Now here’s my most embarrassing hat failure so far. A friend of mine recently had a baby, and I tried to design a hat for him (before I knew it was a him). I tried to pick a gender-neutral-but-still-cool yarn, so I pulled out my shibui sock yarn and picked up my favorite knitpicks needles. I looked up a few patterns to see how many to cast on, and added a few, because the last baby hat I made (other than the purple one) looked like this.

From Baby Stuff

Yeah, that poor child had a red ring around his head for a while after that particular outing. I wanted to avoid such head trauma for this child, so I made it a little loose… or so I thought.

From 2012 FOs

Yup, that’s a baby hat. On my head. And it’s loose.  This goes quite a bit beyond  ”loose-fitting baby hat”…

This wouldn’t be too embarrassing, but the truth is, due to my aforementioned ‘condition’, it took THREE MONTHS to make this hat. Seriously. THREE MONTHS to make a hat that HAS NO CHANCE OF FITTING THE RECIPIENT FOR AT LEAST A DECADE.

Yeah, awesome.

I’m working on a pair of socks now for Ed… I constantly check the size on his foot, so I know those will fit. Based on my current 2012 speed, he’ll have socks sometime in 2013. Woo!

Since my last post, many things have happened.  First, I quit my job.  I got a very good offer at another company, and after much soul-searching, and career planning, I decided to take it.  Today is my last day here.  (sadness)

 

However, since I was leaving, I had to make sure that I lived up to my promise of making a hat for a co-worker who has been very supportive of all my knitting adventures.  He is very happy with it, and even likes to wear it inside out sometimes!

From Hats
From Hats

 

I also finally got around to making the fishie hat to go with my butterfly hat.  Unfortunately, it didn’t come out as big as I had anticipated (largely due to me strangling the yarn in the back, creating ‘waves’ on the front)

From Hats
From Hats
From Hats

 

I now only have two things on the needles, and both are big.  One is the train scarf that, because it is a scarf, NEVER ENDS!  I am almost halfway done with the second (and final) passenger car, then I need to do the caboose, then I’m DONE!  (although I’m not sure that will ever happen…)

From Train Scarf
From Train Scarf

 

I also put my sweater back on the needles.  The length wasn’t right, and I have PLENTY of yarn left over, so I’m going to keep at it until I run out of yarn.

From Fun with Sweaters

 

Jason has asked for fingerless mitts, so I think that will be my next ‘travel’ project… we’ll see!

So when I went to California, I had presents with me for my two nieces and one nephew.

From Misc Pics

 

Also, I finished the hat for Ashur.

From Baby Stuff

 

I was spending some quality time with my niece, and she was writing on her newly-acquired paper-sized white-board.  Out of the blue, she asked “How you spell the word please?”   I encouraged her to sound it out, and then realized that it is a difficult word to sound out and spell correctly, so I told her it was spelled “PLEE- AY-ZEE” and we worked through the proper spelling.  She wouldn’t show me what she was writing, though – so that added a challenge.

From Misc Pics

 

A few minutes later, she proudly turned the white board over so that I could see her writing

Will you please mack me sumpin?

 

I said “Sure!  What would you like?”  She said she wanted a really REALLY long scarf.  I’m fairly certain everyone here knows how I feel about scarves.  They NEVER. END.  …and a really REALLY long scarf  really REALLY never ends!  Nevertheless, she is my niece, and I will make what she wants… So we started talking colors.  We reviewed the colors of the purses that I made for her last birthday, and she said she wanted a dark pink.

 

About 10 minutes later, she said “Or you could make me a hat like Ashur’s!  Then we could be TWINS!”

 

And so… Dear Morgan… this is almost on its way to you!

From Hats

 

Right after I figure out what kind of embellishment to put on it.  What do you guys think of this button-thing?

From Hats

 

So I’ve been doing a lot of writing (although not here) and a lot of working (also not here), but I’ve also been doing a fair bit of knitting.

 

I finished Ashur’s hat, using some scrap cashmerino wool for the top.  He didn’t mind

From Baby Stuff

 

I flew to California for a family visit, and managed to get in some good Train knitting on the Plane.  I’m now almost done with the first passenger car, and I’m getting very excited about it!

From Train Scarf

 

While I was in California, my sister-in-law asked for a hat, and after much debate about ‘good yarn’ and ‘yarn stores’, I agreed to *try* JoAnn Fabrics (I’m a bit of a yarn-store snob).  I found out that Lion Brand Yarn makes Cashmerino!  After the store, I cast on as soon as we were in the car, and 4 hours later, Natalie had a hat.

From Hats
From Hats

 

I also finished a bonnet and pair of booties for a friend of a friend who had a baby girl.

From Baby Stuff

 

I’m still working on my fingerless gloves.  Every time I think I’m close and try them on, I realize that they are NOT done.

From Adventures in Lace

 

However, sometimes, I need some simple knitting, and my shrug-bolero-thingie just wasn’t long enough… so I ripped out the cast-on edge and I’m gonna at least finish another skein of yarn before I decide what to do with it.

From Fun with Sweaters

 

 

 

I have been going through the stash, since most of my yarn budget is going to Dance Class, and decided to make a hat for Ashur using the last of his yarn.  It looked like I had enough for a baby hat… and I probably did… but I decided he needed this hat.  With flaps.

From Drop Box

 

And now I don’t have enough yarn to finish the top.

From Baby Stuff

 

From Baby Stuff

Well… at least I’m using ALL of his yarn on stuff for him!

 

argh.

For someone who *hates* Chicago Winter as much as I do, you’d think that I’d be elated that Summer is here… and I am, don’t get me wrong.  But I can’t knit in this heat!  After walking for 5-20 minutes in Chicago heat-midity, it takes my hands a good 10 minutes to get dehumidified enough to be able to handle yarn with any sort of realistic tension.  I’ve discovered that THIN yarn works the best for Summer Knitting.  (I’ve finished Ed’s socks, but have no modeled photos yet, so you’ll just have to wait until he can put WOOL socks on….)

 

I’ve been making great progress on the fingerless “office” mitts.  I need them in the office for when someone decides that an office needs to be anywhere between 10 and 40 degrees cooler inside than it is outside.  Ridiculous!  You come in all ‘damp’ from walking in the outside heat-midity, then are flash-frozen as soon as you near your desk.  Simply absurd.  I have a space heater for the SUMMER!  Think of all the dead dinosaurs that could be saved by using LESS energy to cool a building.  SAVE the Dead Dinosaurs!  (or knit fingerless mitts…)

From Adventures in Lace

I feel like this looks like a dress right now… but it’s too big for barbie, and too small for anyone that I know… so fingerless mitts they shall be!

 

I’m making fast progress on them, so I’ve started thinking about what other Summer Knits I could do.  I went through my stash today and started pairing things up:

 

A hat for the baby Ashur.  This is the last of his yarn from his ‘going home outfit’, so I figured he needs a new hat

From Misc Pics

 

A pair of socks for me.  (I’m not looking forward to them because it feels like a long-term investment, but they will be AWESOME when they are done)

From Misc Pics

 

Another pair of socks for the only grown person on the planet who would wear what I have in mind for this yarn

From Misc Pics

 

A hat like my butterfly hat, but with fishies instead (this feels like an autumn project… but it’s been on my mind for a while)

From Misc Pics

 

*Something* with these.  This is the leftover yarn from my Autumn Cowl and some other leftovers from last year’s Christmas Adventure.

From Misc Pics

 

I decided to use up the rest of my cotton (from my first attempt at a sweater a year and a half ago) and make a zig-zag washcloth.  I am now DONE with cotton.  It makes my hand hurt.  I’m sticking to animal fibre from here on out.

From 2011 FOs

So I was getting up to write a post about how I finished the socks that I’ve been working on… but I saw a link to my brother’s blog, and saw that my nephew is coming home today!

 

Look at what he’s wearing!   Those were his official ‘going home clothes’!   How awesome is that?!

From Baby Stuff

I’m so very glad that I decided on a hat pattern that could ‘grow’ from a ‘newspaper boy hat’ to a ‘skater boy hat’. He might have another day or two of use out of it…

From Baby Stuff

….and look at those FEETIES!

From Baby Stuff

Welcome home, Ashur! I’m glad that you had nice clothes to wear on your very first car ride. :-)

…back to our normally scheduled programming…

 

I “finished” the sugar cane hat.

From Sugar Cane Yarn

 

I have the word “finished” in quotes, because while the knitting is done, and the ends are woven in, this hat is far from completed…

 

This yarn does not want to be a hat.  It wants to be a shawl, or a wrap, or a drapey cardigan.  It doesn’t want to hug or grip, or maintain shape in any way.

From Sugar Cane Yarn

 

I was sort of afraid that this would happen – in fact, I *knew* it would happen when I was able to wind the last skein of yarn with both ends together without much hassle.  Seriously, this yarn LOVES to tangle, so why would it not take advantage of the fact that I was removing it from it’s factory skein, taking the end from the outside and the end from the inside, forcing them together while I wound an entire new ball of yarn?  It should have been more difficult, but it wasn’t.  It was barely even a challenge, and that’s including Tux trying to figure out the best attack angle while I was winding it with the ball-winder.

From Sugar Cane Yarn

 

No… this yarn knew what was in store, and it couldn’t wait for me to realize what had happened.  It gracefully wound itself up so that I could finish the ‘hat’ that the yarn *knew* wasn’t going to work out. I know I heard giggling when I started to cast off. I thought it was me – giggling from the excitement of being *this close* to a finished project. It wasn’t me. It was the yarn.

From Sugar Cane Yarn

 

Cheeky yarn….

So… the curse continues. [bum bum buuuuuum]

 

I had to work late last night.  It was a big deal, but most of my job was hitting the refresh button over and over again to make sure that the website hadn’t crashed.  I lasted for about 35 minutes before I pulled my knitting out (with the approval of the team, of course)

 

Let’s just say – it is not a good idea to publicly announce that you have this particular yarn under control.  It will find new and interesting ways to mess with you.  For example, it will refuse to remind you that a yarn-over is required, and let you try to fix it 5 rows later… laughing at you for your insolence while tugging the dropped stitch further and further down your decrease row.  When it was all said and done, after FIVE HOURS of knitting/working, I had knitted 5 rows, tinked back 5.5 rows to fix the mistake, then re-knit 7 rows.  If I had not awakened the curse of this yarn by posting about it on my blog, I very well could have finished this hat last night.

 

However, I maintain that my knitting sacrifice made everything at work go relatively smoothly, so that’s good.

 

Anyway, here’s the hat, and here’s the cool zipper-bag that it is still tethered to.  Someday, the curse of this yarn will be lifted, most likely when it is OUT of my stash!

From Sugar Cane Yarn

 

From Sugar Cane Yarn

When my stepmother was in town, she was drooling over the hat that I had made for my grandmother.  I  think if my grandmother hadn’t protected the hat with her life, my stepmother would have stolen it right off of her head!

From Sugar Cane Yarn

 

Instead, she requested that I make ‘the very same hat’ for her.  I happen to have some more Sugar Cane Yarn that I would love to not have anymore… I swear this stuff is cursed!  Remember?

From L’Ace Tank for Morgan

 

So when I decided that it was time to start on the hat with the super-soft yarn held double, I predicted that there would be pain.  However, I had managed to actually finish something with the yarn, so it couldn’t be *too* bad… I just needed to remember to use wooden needles and not fiddle with the yarn too much – as it loves to tangle all over itself.

[Enter ominous music]

 

Let me preface this by saying that I knew better.  I have learned from experience MANY times that this yarn loves to tangle.  I also know that center-pull balls of yarn tend to tangle up on themselves inside the ball and ‘spew’ yarn instead of contain it inside it’s yarn-ball innards.  I knew this going in.

 

However, when I looked at my two balls of yarn, I opted to have one center-pull ball.  The tail was already well positioned and ready to be pulled.  I could have re-wound it so that the tail would hide itself, but I had only just recovered from the past ball-winding experience with this skein… it had taken two days to be wound into submission.  I couldn’t risk it.  My sanity was at stake, and all I really wanted to do was start a hat.

 

So I put the yarn cakes (one center pull, one not) into my handy-dandy zippered yarn-storage bag that has a hole in the top to allow the yarn a single place to escape without rolling all over the place (thanks to the in-laws for Christmas).

 

Then it happened.  The so-called Yarn Barf (YB – a real technical term).

From Sugar Cane Yarn

When the tangles that used to be contained within the yarn ball spew themselves into the light of day.  I was annoyed, but not surprised, so I kept knitting.  Then the working yarn started tangling itself around the YB, so I kept having to un-zip the bag, un-tangle the yarn, then keep knitting.  I managed with that for a few days.

 

Then, all of the sudden, at lunch one day… I couldn’t do it anymore.  I needed to know how much time it was going to take to knit through to the end of the YB so I wouldn’t have to stop knitting to untangle this mess.  The YB was longer than I thought, and all of the sudden my lunch hour was over.  I had turned a slightly annoying bit of YB into a pile of yarn spaghetti.

From Sugar Cane Yarn

 

I gingerly placed it back into its zipper bag and placed it into my backpack until I could get back to it on the train ride.

From Sugar Cane Yarn

 

Waiting for the train proved fruitful, and then it only took a few more minutes of train riding to have two proper outside-pull balls of yarn.  One hand-balled, the other done with the yarn-ball winder.

From Sugar Cane Yarn

 

The hat is coming along quite nicely now, but I won’t say anything because this yarn loves to be cursed, and I refuse to jinx it…

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