Wednesday, March 30, 2016

FO:  Irish Hat

This will forever be my Irish hat. If I ever make it back to the Emerald Isle I'll be sure to bring this along, just to make more memories.

What I love about this hat is the textures. I mixed cables with a variation of moss stitch (my favorite basic stitch pattern). I've mentioned before that I was just winging it, and I'm so surprised that it didn't turn into a total disaster as is usually the case when I do that. The only part I don't like is the large patch of purls visible on one side. This came about because the honeycomb section was going to be larger but I noticed my miscalculations a few rows in. I had to undo everything in the middle of a row and it seemed easiest to just have a larger patch of purls separating the woven cables and honeycomb. Unfortunately this section was between double pointed needles as a I knitted, causing ugly laddering. Fortunately from the outside it's not too noticeable, and I was also able to sew from the inside for a little extra tightness. Next time I do this I'll probably just make it a moss stitch section.

Speaking of, I'm already working on a second version (with the fixed column). If I ever learn how to write a charted pattern, I might even publish it!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

A Pinch of Green

This is me finally using the yarn I got in Ireland. (Also pictured is my sheep mug, also purchased in Ireland.) I purchased this 100% wool yarn from the Aran Sweater Market at Inis Mor in the Aran Islands. The store was full of beautiful knits, but sadly the beautiful sweaters were a little a lot out of my price range. It's a shame too because they looked so warm and my SoCal self was so so cold. Luckily the store did have hanks upon hanks of lovely wool! There were tons of color options, but of course I had to get this more budget-friendly yarn in green.

I've been wanting to use this yarn for ages but I couldn't decide on what, and I was too scared to even gauge swatch so as not to waste and inch. I knew I wanted a hat because wool is very itchy so it would never get much use as a scarf or gloves. I also wanted a cabled pattern because after looking at all the cables in Ireland it seemed like a shame to waste this yarn on plain stockinette. I didn't need specifically Irish cable patterns, but cables at all seemed appropriate. However, after looking at tons of patterns and not really feeling any that were *right* — and also really feeling the urge to have something for St. Patrick's Day NOT GONNA LIE — I decided to take the plunge and just do SOMETHING.

Starting a with a base of 96 stitches for the ribbed brim I began knitting. I didn't even gauge swatch but I figured it would fit snugly, but a the ribbing would give the elasticity needed. When it was time to knit the body I decided on blocks of textured knits and cables so that I wouldn't be fatigued trying to do cables all around. I have a very love-hate relationship with cables. I have two strips of honeycomb cables, one block of moss stitch, one block of double moss stitch, and one block of cables resembling a woven pattern, with purl columns separating each. Annoyingly, I do have a block of purls that is bigger than I intended, as a result of changing the pattern a few rows in. This was the first time I've ever gone into a cable pattern without having a clear plan. It was always somewhat a fear of mine to start cabling without a pattern, so I'm glad to say Fear Conquered!

I really love the way this beanie turned out and I'm so glad that will actually be ready for St. Patrick's Day! The finished product still needs some blocking but I'll be sure to show the results later. I also have plenty of yarn left for a second take of this baby.
I'm including this post in Yarn Along. Looks like a great way to see what people are working on!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Current Projects

I generally like to finish a project before a start a new one — barring large projects that I know I'm in for a million breaks. Lately, however, I've been developing a case of startitis. I keep adding projects on my hooks and needles, half of which I abandon halfway and frog.

Some of the ones that have made it to the cast-off stage on the knitting front:

This hat, for which I finally got to use my large-size pom-pom maker.
This hat was attempt number 123905^4 at making a flat-knit garter stitch hat, without a pattern. I'm getting close to the perfect size.

In crochet, I'm back at it with the dolls:
If you're a fan of a certain popular musical you'll recognize these sisters, and know that there's another one on her way.

This will hopefully turn into a shawl, but I'm on my last skein and the yarn is discontinued! #crochetproblems