Friday, 31 August 2007

Yet Another Hat

Once again Mr. Bear does his duty and models my latest hat. This one is for me and I love it! The colour is actually a bit darker than in the photo. It's more of a clear blue and has less grey. I did try and make the strobist box that Mari knit liked me to, but that failed miserably. Well, it turned out, but has since wilted in the humidity and won't stand properly any more. So, I'll just have to make do. The next thing will be a matching cowl in the same yarn since there were leftovers enough.

Details of the pattern: it's the Coronet hat from Knitty. It's a relatively easy pattern to make and is a nice cable. Unfortunately / fortunately, I realized too late that I was meant to have knit the top so that the coronet band should be flipped up for extra warmth around the ears. I didn't do that, but it turned out all right in the end since the yarn is really too thick to do that anyway. I used a cotton blend because I wanted a hat that was warm, but not too warm. It should be good for the fall. I also changed the crown decreases a bit to suit the shape of my head better. I rather think the decrease pattern would have been just fine with a different, more springy yarn, but this one is stiff, so the shape matters a bit more. However you look at it, I love the thing and can heartily recommend it.

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Not Much New

Several days ago I finished the Celtic Cabled Hat . It’s a brilliant pattern. Really well written. I’ve never done complicated cables before, but the instructions on this pattern were so clear that you just couldn’t go wrong. I like patterns like that. Correct patterns are your friend.

Unfortunately, the hat itself will have to go to charity. It’s not deep enough for me, although the circumference is fine, so I’m going to eventually redo it with a second repeat of the middle cable. That should make it deep enough to cover my ears a bit.

I actually waited (or forgot) too long to make this entry, because now I can’t remember what all I was going to say about this. I sure there was something I wanted to write down for future reference, but you know, brain + sieve = me.

I’ve started on the Coronet hat that I liked so much. I’ve also got two different pair of phone socks on the needles at the moment. One dark blue self striping in wool (probably for me) and another of the cotton for myself, but in grey this time. I also really need to get at least two pair of wool done for my aunt and grandmother for Christmas. Plus I just got the measurements for the doggy sweater for Riley - my aunt’s very spoiled Schnauzer. I am not, repeat not, knitting for my dogs. Not going to happen. Nope. Not that I don’t love my dogs, but a sweater for them would be the size of a sweater for a large male and I’m not going there. Besides, I really don’t put much stock in doggie clothing unless you really do live in a very cold and snowy area. Needless to say, California does not qualify, even though auntie dearest doesn't believe this. Plus, they don’t appreciate self-knit anyway, so you might as well buy it if you’re going to clothe them. It’s probably cheaper. Anyway, she asked (my aunt, not the dog. The dog is probably secretly puking in the background and wondering how fast she can destroy it) and I’m knitting. Things we don’t do for the people we love.
I am beginning to wonder how I’m going to get this all done before Christmas, and if it’s even worth it. I’m not even certain I can go home this year. *sigh*

Thursday, 23 August 2007


Those of you who know my dogs will want to scroll on by *jumps to the side to avoid running masses*. I just figured since I signed up for the Purling Puppy Knitting Ring I should probably put something substantial in here about my dogs and cats. There's T (a.k.a. Tiron), 6, and Biscuit, 3, and Mildred the cat who thinks she's a dog plus Sydney who uses the dogs as her own personal body guards. T (the brindle) is a third hand Great Dane who is very grateful to have escaped his last home with 12 other dogs where he didn't get enough personal attention. Biscuit (the fawn), also a Dane, and Is from a friends litter. She is a lovely little ray of sunshine whom everyone loves to bits. How could you not love a dog who's mastered the Full Body Wag? Sydney (second Picture) is my oldest addition and was rescued from a mean old drunken farmer who was going to shoot her. She's shy as he tended to kicked her around; thus body guardness. Mildred (first picture, note relation of body size to amount of space taken) is the last addition to the family, and she came from a nice farmer who let her children and dogs play with the cats so she's just not afraid of anything. She firmly believes her rightful place is in the middle of the dogs giant bean bag and no one is going to tell her any different. They're all lovely and now rather inseparable. They also all hate the fact that I knit as it takes away from petting time. They exact revenge by raiding my knitting supplies on those rare occasions when I forget to put it away before going to work. This morning it was the cable chart key from my Celtic Cable Cap pattern. Very endearing, oui?

Tuesday, 21 August 2007


Oooo! Just whippin' out the projects. Nothing like a little instant gratification :0)

I've finished the cowl (took a whole two hours). You see it here on the left, very obligingly modelled by Mr. Bear, T's should have been toy. Poor T. The sacrifices he makes for my knitting *dramatic gesturing* Anyway, the cowl is basically a straight tube, as seen in the other picture. It can either be doubled up for more warmth, or scrunched up, as seen on Mr. Bear, and pulled over the chin for warmth. The idea was taken from HAD Headwear, (sorry, that was the best picture I could find) which is popular here. I love them for walking the dogs because they don't fall off when you bend over like scarves and can be pulled up over the chin to keep your face warm and they'll stay there. They can be worn under or over things and if you get too hot, you can take it off and stuff it in a purse or pocket. This you can't always do with a scarf. /HAD advert. The pattern for this is based on the Winter Femme pattern and was made to match the hat. It's out of the same yarn, it's just a different bit, so the colours are slightly different. It's also not double knit like the hat, because I didn't have enough yarn. Besides, that might have gotten too warm. So, now we just have to hope she likes it!

Sunday, 19 August 2007

Phone Socks

Yep, post #3 for the day. I just finished my phone socks and *gasp* now have nothing on the needles. *gasp* I will soon. I'll cast on more socks (of course) and the cowl tomorrow. In the meantime, I've got the socks on and LOVE THEM. They're really soft and comfy. Must make more of these.

Cabled Hat

I know, I know, two posts in one day, but hats=instant gratification :D Modelled by Mr. Bear, T's new toy from my foray to the second hand shop yesterday (no, he hasn't had him in his mouth yet), it's double knit, so it should be warm and I'm sincerely hoping the recipient will be happy with it. I'm hoping I have enough yarn left over to make a tight cowl sort of scarf. Handy because it keeps you warm without falling off when you bend down to pick up after your dog :P Disgusting, but true. It's base on Winter Femme, but I had to change it because the yarn is too thick to get gauge. I should have used smaller needles, but I'm not going to reknit it. Either she likes it, or it's going to charity.

Jaywalkers Update

The Jaywalkers are finally finished. Actually I finished on Thursday. I wanted to see if I could get some better pictures, especially of the colour, in natural light. Unfortunately, the sun decided to da a disappearing act just as I was getting the camera out. It's supposed to be pretty much cloudy over the next few days, so I opted to go with what I could get. Otherwise I'm going to have to save up projects to photograph on the weekend, when the sun just happens to be out. Picture me on the balcony with 6 weeks worth of knitting laying on various pieces of furniture trying to get it all photographed before the sun disappears. The neighbours would have a field day with that. It would become a weekend past time for the whole village. "Watch the crazy American try and utilize natural light for knitting pictures" time. Since I might eventually actually try and get my Swiss citizenship, just because it might come in handy one day, like if another Bush ever gets into office, I'll have to pass on providing weekend entertainment for these people. They are, after all, the ones who vote on whether they will give me citizenship or not. - Switzerland is a direct democracy. Everything gets voted on. This includes people who live in the village and want citizenship. Your neighbours quite literally vote on whether they will allow you to have citizenship in their village or not. Too many nays, and you can forget it. You also can't just up and move to another village and have a re-vote. You have to live in a village for 3-5 years, depending on the village, in order to apply. This is after you have already lived in Switzerland for a total of 12 years. Unless you're married, then it only takes 5. I could have actually gotten citizenship when I was married, but didn't bother. Now I haven't lived long enough in one place to get it. - The point being, that if you are even remotely considering going for citizenship, it's recommended that you don't out and out prove your insanity to your neighbours before they vote on you. After that, you can do what you like. They can only revoke citizenship if you become involved in actual criminal activities. Knitting doesn't yet fall into this category so unless you begin wielding knitting needles in a dangerous manner in public, you're safe. Just never knit anything more complicated than a garter stitch scarf when out and about and you should be OK.

Back to the Jaywalkers. I'm fairly happy with them, although I have to admit that I prefer the plain ol' phone socks for daily wearing. They're more comfortable and stay up better. I might adapt the pattern for ankle socks so that the pattern is really only on the foot part and just do a ribbed ankle cuff. It won't make much difference to the average observer anyway since no one ever sees more of my socks than the foot part, and even those who do don't care.

is going to have a filed day with this, since this is the second time that I have to admit to really liking a yarn that has pink in it. I might even buy more of this one if I can get it this winter. It's 4-ply Regia Nordic Color Bergen. I'm hoping they might have it in 6 ply this winter. 'Twould be nice anyway. It's a cheerful colour. I'd love to be able to extract a couple of the colours in it, like the blues and purples and make a sock yarn out of that. That would be brilliant. Alas, I can't/don't dye my own yarns and Schachenmayrs are probably not going to be making a TheBlackSheep yarn any time soon. Even if I did dye myself, I'd probably get it wrong so we'll just stick to the commercial stuff anyway.

I've now embarked on a hat for a friend's birthday. I'll also be continuing work on my phone socks. It's actually quite likely that I'm always going to have one of those on the needles at any given time, if only to render my conscience a little less guilty for spending hours on the phone.

Monday, 13 August 2007

Columbine Peaks

Since she now has them, I can finally write about the Columbine Peaks I've been doing for Pen. It's a pattern from Cat Bordhi's book Socks Soar. Although I think the final outcome is pretty, I was not happy with the pattern. I guess it's OK if you know what you are doing, or don't care if it doesn't turn out exactly the way she intended, but the pattern itself lacks clarity. Of course, so have all the others I've done from that book, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised. One thing I will say for it, once you've gone through it all, you've gained a lot of experience you might not have had you not been through the mistakes. First of which is trust your instincts when you think "this isn't quite right". Stop knitting and think about it before continuing. Trust me, it's worth it.

Having said that, I think and hope Pen is quite happy with them, so that's all that really counts Pics on Ravelry. I wanted to go for something other than my prerequisite Phone Socks, which are comfy, but plain. I tried several different things first. One of which was the jaywalkers, which didn't turn out because the yarn is too thin. Then I tried to do swirly ribbing, which was actually quite good, until I tried them on. Unless Pen shrunk her foot several sizes, to like the size of a 6 year old, she'd never have gotten them on. swirly ribbing isn't as stretchy as normal ribbing and I couldn't even get the thing on over my heal, so that was out. I actually totally frogged those before remembering that I could have finished them and given them to Lisa for Christmas, which is a shame, but that's what you get for not thinking. Anyway, the Columbine Peaks was just what I was looking for; pretty without being too fussy. It also went well with that yarn, imho.

By the way Pen, have you played "spot the mistake yet"? There is one, or at least one, that I just couldn't bring myself to go back and fix since it would have required me to redo the entire gusset. Why is it that I never notice my mistakes until it's waaaaay too late to go back and fix it? OK, too late for a sane person to go back and fix. I do try and repress my inner Hermione on things like this and console myself with knowing that I'm just never going to be perfect anyway. You've now got hard evidence of this, please don't use it against me :P

Sunday, 12 August 2007

Jaywalkers Update

The first sock is done. I'm not quite happy with it as I found a mistake that was "too late" to change. When I saw it, i.e. recognized it for what it was, it was already about 3 inches back and I decided against frogging. They are for me after all, and shouldn't need to be perfect. It bothers me, but I'll just have to get over it. I'll start on the second one this evening. I somehow managed to increase a stitch in the foot part and wound up with a shift in the "seam" between pattern and foot. Blah.

Wednesday, 8 August 2007


Once again I'm trying the Jaywalkers, only this time with Regia Nordic Color. This yarn makes me think of thepinksheep more or less constantly. It's got quite a bit of pink in it, and is otherwise bright and cheery. I think they'll be quite pretty (despite the pink :0)

This has also taught me a lesson I should have known already. The yarn has to be right for the project. The cotton yarn is really too thin for most patterns. It might be all right for lace or lacy type patterns, but not for something that really needs to show up. It's too thin and the colours aren't right. Even so, I do like the cotton yarn and am making me my first pair, but just phone socks, nothing fancy. I can't wait until they're finished. Phone call anyone? :D

I'm still resisting the urge to go to the yarn store. It's going to have to wait a while. At least until next month.

I'm also still (im)patiently waiting for my new knitting books. Why is it that things take longer when you're expecting them? If I had thought they would take a while to get here, they would have arrived by now I'm sure of it. As it is, I'm hoping for tomorrow.

In other news, it's raining cats and dogs right now. This is, of course, just fine by me. Good knitting weather. I'm also hoping that it means that summer is largely over. I'm sick of the hot sunny weather *ducks*, even if most people would tell you we had a horrible summer. There was enough of it for me anyway. Fall. I want fall. A nice, long, lovely fall with rain every few days. *sigh*

Friday, 3 August 2007

Knitting Meme Gacked from Mariknits

Bold for stuff I've done/am doing
Italics for stuff I plan to do someday
Normal for stuff I'm not planning on doing

Afghan/Blanket (baby)
Garter stitch
Knitting with metal wire
Stockinette stitch
Socks: top-down
Socks: toe-up
Knitting with camel yarn
Mittens: Cuff-up
Mittens: Tip-down
Knitting with silk
Moebius band knitting
Participating in a KAL
Drop stitch patterns
Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn
Slip stitch patterns
Knitting with banana fiber yarn
Domino knitting (modular knitting)
Twisted stitch patterns
Knitting with bamboo yarn
Two end knitting
Charity knitting
Knitting with soy yarn
Toy/doll clothing
Knitting with circular needles
Knitting with your own handspun yarn
Graffiti knitting (knitting items on, or to be left on the street)
Continental knitting
American/English knitting (as opposed to continental)
Designing knitted garments
Cable stitch patterns (incl. Aran)
Lace patterns
Publishing a knitting book
Teaching a child to knit
Knitting to make money
Button holes
Knitting with alpaca
Fair Isle knitting
Norwegian knitting
Dying with plant colors
Knitting items for a wedding
Household items (dishcloths, washcloths, tea cozies…)
Knitting socks (or other small tubular items) on two circulars
Knitting with someone else’s handspun yarn
Knitting with DPNs
Holiday related knitting
Teaching a male how to knit
Knitting for a living
Knitting with cotton
Knitting smocking
Dying yarn
Knitting art
Knitting with wool
Textured knitting
Kitchener BO
Knitting with beads
Long Tail CO
Entrelac Knitting
Purling backwards
Machine knitting
Knitting with self-patterning/self-striping/variegating yarn
Stuffed toys
Baby items
Knitting with cashmere
Knitting with synthetic yarn
Writing a pattern
Knitting with linen
Knitting for preemies
Tubular CO
Freeform knitting
Short rows
Cuffs/fingerless mitts/arm warmers
Knitting a pattern from an online knitting magazine
Knitting on a loom
Thrummed knitting
Knitting a gift
Knitting for pets
Knitting with dog/cat hair
Hair accessories
Knitting in public