Sunday, December 7, 2014

Josephine in her flying machine

It's almost ready to share, readers!  I've been plowing through my Home Alone hat this week to get a pattern produced, because 1) I want to get my feet wet with pattern writing, and 2) I want to wear this hat.

I've taken serious notes while I did my knitting, and I'll be sitting down to write out a formal pattern to share with y'all this week.  The hat is 95% done, and here's what it looks like:

The bottom is quite long, because I plan to tuck it up inside the hat for double warmth.  If you stare long enough at a screen shot of the hat in the movie, you will notice that there is a smooth, unbroken edge of knitting that goes up inside the hat.  I wanted to make my version of the hat as true to the original as possible, so I tried out a few ways to accomplish that.  Originally, I cast on and knit some extra rounds to be tucked inside, then a purl round, then got going with the hat, and I didn't like the little ridge the purl round created at the edge of the hat.  I know this makes for a natural folding line in the world of tucking up a lining inside a hat, but I didn't like the effect.  Also, the way I started it involved knitting the cast on edge together with a round of live stitches (to avoid sewing it in place later), and I hated how obvious that round of stitches became.  So I ripped it out and started again.

The hat you see in the picture above was started with a provisional cast on, so now that the hat is complete, I've gone back to pick up those stitches and make the lining.  I have far more red yarn left than the grey at this point, so after a few rounds, I switched to red to make a fun contrasting lining.  And when I say lining, I actually mean that I'll be going as far as the backs of the reindeer, to fully cover the wearer's ears.  Again, if you stare intently at a screen shot of the hat on Kevin's head, you can see a slight line at the top of the reindeer's back where the lining ends. 

In good progress news, the chart worked out beautifully in the round, as I had only ever done the chart as a test knitted flat, which sucks for colourwork.  I played around with my gauge to fit my mammoth woman head (I'm a solid 22" around, just like a man), and the pattern will be written to fit a larger head size.  My next post will be just the pattern for the hat, and if I can figure it out, I'll link it to Ravelry so others can find the pattern.

And since it's been eons since I posted, let's recap all my knits since July:

I finished Slim Jim's reindeer legwarmers.  For the final chart repeat, I added an extra stitch between each reindeer repeat around to account for the calf (craftily hidden in the white space between the reindeer).  When I got to the ribbing at the top, I snuck in a few extra stitches again, for extra stretchiness.

I made a pair of octopus socks, featuring yarn from Woolverine in downtown Kitchener:

Stash's Christmas socks are complete, in a handsome pattern called It's a Guy Thing.  This puppies are folded up and waiting on my gift wrapping table to be wrapped for Christmas.  Fuzzyhead was the foot model for this picture.

From my trip to the Knitters' Frolic in April, I impulse purchased this skein of purple sock yarn because it had a cat on the label.  I earmarked it for a pair of socks for my non-knitting cat-loving coworker (I know, I know, that's a risky move, but she has said more than once that she LOVES hand knitted socks)

The socks were a great mindless knit over the summer, and I really hammered home the cat thing with a pattern called Paw Tracks.  The gift will be presented with the tag so that the cat connection is very obvious.

My current socks project is Hermione's Everyday Sock, also made from sock yarn I scored at the Frolic.  This Sweet Georgia deeply discounted yarn translates beautifully into fun stripey socks.

These are still a WIP, and they're a perfect thing to bring along to knit night or in the car.

I made use of the last half a ball of heavyweight sock yarn I bought at Rhinebeck in 2013.  I made a pair of fingerless gloves for Fuzzyhead earlier this year, and there was still so much of the yarn left that I needed to do something with it, so I made a hat.  Since the yarn was more like a sock yarn than anything else, I knitted with two strands held together to make Jason's Tweed Hat, as it calls for a chunky weight yarn.  Once I finished the folded over ribbed section to cover the ears, I was running seriously low on yarn, so I cut it back to a single strand and finished the hat.  From a distance, you can't even tell, and all the warmth anyone cares about is around the ears, so no harm done.

I finished Rockefeller, and I love it.  The picture on the left is when it was almost done, and the one on the right is the shawl all blocked and beautiful.  It's such a nice piece to wear all bundled up around your neck and shoulders.  I wear it with a shawl pin to hold the ends in.

I ran out of the blue/green yarn as I was starting the second wing, so I started to taper off the blue and increase the number of orange rows.  Then I started running out of orange, so I said "screw it" and I made the second wing shorter and round than the first (which is long and skinny and goes to a fine point like a triangular shawl wing).  It really makes no difference when I wear it, because I put the shorter end down first and wrap everything over top of it. 

I made a pair of Northman Mittens to replace my tired looking red Olympic mittens from 2010.  I wore those things down to grubby, filthy nubs, and I darned and patched them more times that I care to admit.  These mittens are my new deep winter double-thick mitts.  They are glorious.

I made them with worsted weight yarn knit on 2.25mm needles, which makes for this deliciously thick fabric.  Even without the lining, these would have been fine for cold winter needs, but the lining cleans up the inside and makes for a fun surprise when you peak inside.  I severely modified the lining mitten to make it fit inside.  When I followed the pattern as it was written, it was so cramped and crowded inside the mitten that it gave my hand a headache.  I ended up ripping it back and redoing the lining three times before I got it right.  My inner mitten has a lot fewer stitches, and I began the decreases for the finger tip area a lot sooner.  If you pulled out the inner lining and looked at it, it's quite pointy and ugly, but it fits beautifully inside the mitt.

I hammered out a pair of tweed cabled socks in a delectable golden hue.  These are Fall Mystery Socks, knitted up in my very first tweed yarn purchase from Rhinebeck.

Fuzzyhead's friend had her stomach removed because of cancer this year, so I made her a fox cowl hood so she could keep warm and toasty this winter.  This is an awesome pattern, and a quick knit.  All I want to do is knit these for every small child I know (which is none, I don't know any small children).  I knit this up in Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick and Quick, and I used every last scrap of yarn from two balls to make this.  Every.  Last.  Scrap.  I had 10" of yarn left to sew on both foxy ears, and that was a struggle.

 I started and finished a shawl for Slim Jim using the yarn I won at the 2012 Adjudicated Show.  This lovely ombre yarn was calling for a delicate lacy shawl, and that is was I gave her.  Enter, Out of Darkness

I included beads, because why not?  I purchased four little tubes of 6/0 glass seed beads from Michaels and only had to go back once to get more (I needed almost exactly 5 tubes to finish, with less than 20 beads leftover).  I blocked this beauty on the back of my purple couch (even if the day ever comes to get rid of that couch, I'm going to keep it for blocking purposes).

I used almost all of my pins to block all those pointy point points.  I finished the shawl quite late one night, and even though I was pumped to get it blocked and finished, I couldn't bare the idea of pinning all those points when I was anything but perky and well rested.  Slim Jim will likely receive the shawl next year, maybe for her birthday.

I made a Ninja Bike Mask, perfectly fitted to my face shape.  I used worsted weight yarn (in crappy acrylic, because I intend to wash this a lot, because, you know, sweating) and the instructions were clear and easy to follow for modifying.  It was really written more as a set of guidelines than as a formal pattern, which I appreciated for making it with whatever yarn I had lying around.

I got my entrelac on with this quick little knit, which helped me use up some Noro Silk Garden Sock.  This handsome little fellow is Grey Gardens, and it's super cute when my hair is up.

And finally, my other current work in progress is the Honey Cowl, featuring sweet sweet discounted Briar Rose DK yarn from Shall We Knit? in Waterloo.

This will be a gift for my other coworker, and it's also a lovely mindless knit for knits when I don't want to think. 

Up next for this kid, trying my hand at writing a pattern, and asking nicely that a few people try it out and tell me what you think.  Stay tuned!

No comments: