Monday, December 26, 2005

Joe's hat

After handing Ronan his double hat, he put it straight on. Joe saw it and loved it, so I felt that I had to make one for him too. I made it in record time (no probs with size, no frogging and superfast knitting helped) so that I could hand it to him Christmas eve. However, thanks to the bar actually being closed (yeah, we were shocked), he didn't get it until Christmas day. I think he likes it.

My only concern is that the red was a different yarn, with a smaller gauge (you can see in the double picture), but the hat is still wearable, and what Joe doesn't know, won't hurt him. Btw, the red in the picture is really not as intense as it looks, although it is a 'true' red, it's a little warmer, the green is also not as pale. I have trouble taking true color pictures at night with a flash, but you get the gist.
Little update: I've seen Joe close to a week after gifting the hat, he was still raving about it, his girlfriend says he wears it all the time, all a good sign of a good gift.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Double Hat

Here are the pictures of the too-big-hat. It's a double hat adapted from the sockyarn hat by Dawn Adcock. I used an Italian double-knit acrylic (handwash only - which I found unusual). The colors did not have names, but were an orange, grey and smokey gray. The brand name is Luxor which I bought from school products in NYC.

Here's my adapted pattern, which you are free to use for personal or non-profit use:
For a size 21-22 inch hat (average adult).

Using the smokey grey (or color of choice), provisionally cast on 104 sts on circular size US5 needles.
Mark the beginning of the round with a stitch marker
K1, P1 rib for 1.5"
change to size 6 circs then K (st, st) for 1 1/4"
Switching to the orange K 5 rows.
Switching back to the grey K 5 rows.
Again K 5 rows in orange.
Back to the grey (for the rest of this side of the hat), K until entire piece is about 6" long (you can make it longer or shorter depending on how long you want the hat.
You will need to switching to dpns when there are too few sts to go around the circular needle):
*K2tog, K24 sts; repeat from * until one round done
K next round
*Double Dec (slip 2 sts tog as if to knit, Knit 1, pass 2 slipped sts over), knit 22; rep from* around, forming 4 sections for top decreases, (8 sts decreased). Knit 1 round
Continue to do Dec Round every 2nd round, but having 2 less sts between decs after each dec round, until 36 sts are left. Then do Dec Round EVERY round until 4 sts are left.
Draw end through last 4 sts and weave in end on wrong side.
This will make a fairly rounded hat.

Second side of hat:
Pick up the live stitches from the provisional cast on.
Using the orange yarn knit one round from the right side (outside facing out again)
NB: If you have one less st due to picking up and knitting in the opposite direction, increase one st on first round to make 104 sts.
K1, P1 rib for 1.5" in the orange.
K one more row in orange
*switch to green and K 5 rows
switch to orange and K 5 rows; repeat from * until the piece measures 6" from the beginning of the orange ribbing then start decrease.
Decrease is the same as the other side of hat, except that you should still change colors ever 5 rows (until there is less than 36 sts, I ended on green).
I finished off the hat by pushing one side into the other (hoping it would fit) and sewing in a little stitch at the top to connect the two hats in one.

Big hat now fits and Strike over, yay and yay

Phew, phew and phew. Gifts nearly over with, the double hat now fits a normal human being now, and it looks pretty cool, even if I do say so myself. That's one phew. Hope that Ronan likes it, I will hand over his and Maureen's gifts (grasshopper stained glass scarf) this evening when we meet for a pre-crimbo drink as they will be off visiting family for the hols.

Most gifts are done now, just a fringe to do on another stained glass scarf and a little gifto for dh (he already has a biggie coming). That's the second phew.

The transit strike, which I've not had chance to write about, was called to an end around 3:25pm when the excutive board took the advice from the TWU leaders (the last phew). Big fines for the union and workers to follow and still no contract! I was one of the lucky few who was granted permission to work from home, due to the difficulty of travelling around Qns from Manhattan - not easy on a normal day. I had plenty of paperwork do do, phone calls to make and even did a home visit for one of my Manhattan co-workers. My paperwork is caught up and I can (hopefully) get back to normal just before the holiday weekend.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


Okay, the rumors of strike are over, the strike is happening - REALLY happening, I kept saying that I really thought it would happen, but from the shock I experienced on hearing that the TWU voted to strike, I guess I just didn't believe it. Oh well, I've been working at home and will continue to do so as long as needed, I figure I have enough paperwork to keep me going 3-4 days, also can do visits for those that have pple near me. My biggest challenge is ignoring my knitting during the work day, it keeps looking at me!!! I feel for the masses that don't have the option I have, they are walking/biking/getting into cars with random strangers in the bitter cold. Images of people walking across the Brooklyn Bridge look great, but it doesn't really show all that's going on (there are a few other bridges ya know). Anyway, the stories of riots reaching other parts of the world are grossly exagerrated, NYers shout and scream when their pissed at poor organization (thinking Penn Station), this does not constitute a riot okay? Okay, back to the needles...

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Big Hat

What the hell? I just can't get the hat right, I can only make them too big (just like the hat that won't make it - which I still haven't had the heart to frog yet). I am in the process of decreasing this double hat that is looking quite good, and I realize that it is far too big (by about 2 inches). Okay, I have to frog this and try not to cry while I start all over again.

As for the strikes, it seems that there are a lot of empty threats going around. No strike has happened, and if it does it will be the still little bus strike just like they had in Queens a year or so ago (lucky me eh?). They say that they will strike fully on Tuesday if they don't get what they want/demand. I say, just do it or don't, you're pissing off the NY'ers by messing them around like this, pple don't know if they will get to work (or, worse still, get home again). I imagine that people are losing money out of this already, not a good way to have the city on your side TWU!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The Supple Rib and transit strikes.

I've nearly finshed my second ever own design of an armwarmer. It's knit in supple rib using knitpicks "shine and twist" in Green Apple. I'm writing the design as I go, I will publish it (and the link to it here) once I know for sure that it's going to work - i.e. once I do the second one.

On another note, the MTA strike is looming, I wonder if it's going to happen? It will certainly have a pretty devastating effect on the city. I know that I won't be able to get to work since I do the reverse commute (New York to Queens) and bridges & tunnels will be closed in that direction for the morning rush. On the bright side, I have plenty of paperwork to do at home for at least a few days, so it won't be a total waste. Fingers crossed for everyone else though...

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Bad knitting day today

Yup a bad day for me today, first of all I have *just* figured out that I just don't have enough yarn for my latest project (Robert the bear - such a cute 'intellectual' bear), he will be an arm and 1 1/2 legs short (quite a lot to be missing if you ask me). But while looking around the internet inbetween body parts, I find this site!

WHY OH WHY did I have to see that AND read it??? Now, just when I started falling in love with some beautiful natural wools (Robert the bear included) I'm going to feel guilty about it, but I'm pretty good at not thinking about these things for too long (a good example is that I was a vegetarian for about 6 weeks). Oh well.

Another happy note is that I am in the process of knitting another set of wristwarmers/gauntlets/fingerless mitt things (another pattern of my own) using "supple rib" and I'm excited about this, think they could be pretty cool (yarn is grass green and 60% modal and 40% cotton, pretty). More about that in a few days when I see how it goes.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Wrist warmers.

I had some of that homespun left over from the earthy scarf and have been wanting to knit a pair of wrist warmers for me. So I decided to write my own pattern for some. These were pretty quick and easy to make since it's such a thick yarn. DH hates them, says that I look like a bag lady, not sure it it's the color or just the fingerless thing....

I'm posting the pattern free for others to use if they want, this is for personal or non-profit use only.

Pattern for wrist warmers.
With Sz 10 needles, cast on 24 sts (wrist end)
Switch to sz 9 needles
1. k1, p1 rib (ws)
2. k1, p1 rib
3. k1, p1 rib
Switch back to sz 10
4. K (rs)
5. P
6. K
7. P
8. K
9. P
10. K2tog, K to end
11. P2tog P, P to end
12. K2tog K, K to end
13. P2tog P, P to end
14. K2tog K, K to end
15. P2tog P, P to end
16. K
17. P
18. K
19. P
20. K1, inc1, K to last 2 sts, inc1, K1
21. P
22. K1, inc1, K to last 2 sts, inc1, K1
23. P
24. K1, inc1, K to last 2 sts, inc1, K1
25. P
26. K1, inc1, K to last 2 sts, inc1, K1
27. P
28. K1, inc1, K to last 2 sts, inc1, K1
29. P
30. K
31. P
switch to size 9 needles.
K1, P1 rib for 3 rows,
Cast off on 10, or 10.5 needles (i.e. loosely). (finger end)
Sew sides tog, try on the warmer and work out where the thumb gap will be, sew about 1/2" together for thumb.
copyright Cathy Bechler

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Blue Man's scarf

Not to be confused with the famous blue man group. Here is the blue version of the homespun scarf, I can't get a completely accurate representation of the color but it's close enough. It's the same as the previous homespun scarf, but I cast on an extra 20 stitches as I wanted the extra length. Now I have to decide which is better for Ronan.

Man's Scarf

I finally dug up the Homespun and decided to knit a scarf as I was having so much trouble to trying to find out what I could make for Ronan's present, since the double knit hat didn't work and another shadow knit scarf just doesn't seem right for him. Anyway, this is one of the scarves (the other is a different color and 'in progress' right now) I'm going decide between. The color is one with greys, greens and deep reds, it looks almost a brown color, it looks great. I don't have the color (it was one of those bargain buys) but looking at the website I think that the color is Creole, but I'm unsure if it's Ronan's color. The other will be deep blues and greens, pics to follow. Oh, and the pattern was VERY easy. I cast on 140 sts on size 13 needles then switched to size 11 needles and knit every row, casting off (on the 13 again) after the width was satifactory to me (approx 5-5 1/2 inches).

Monday, December 05, 2005

Skull Illusion Scarf Complete

Scarf from head on (just stripes).
And from the side (there are the skulls).

Not only is this my attempt at first illusion knitting, but my first attempt at blocking - blocking is absolutely essential with this scarf if you want to have a flat scarf. I'm pretty proud of myself, it's finished!! And it's another Christmas gift down. The pattern was thanks to Ysolda Teague.

Oooh, and for those that are curious, here is a picture of the back of the scarf (something I wanted to know about when I first saw the pattern). The back is NOT illusion, but as you can see, the skull pattern is still on the back (in reverse).

On a side note, I gave Lisa a stained glass scarf (in "Caribbean") for her belated birthday celebration (her birthday was actually on Thanksgiving day, poor thing, sharing her birthday with Turkeys) she loved it.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Woolspun Hat & Scarf

Here is a quickie set I made with Lion brand woolspun, the color is dusky mauve, unfortunately this yarn is discontinued with Lion brand, but I managed to buy it (in person) from Smileys yarn I also saw it at herrschners in limited colors. After playing around with swatches of the yarn I decided to stick with a very simple k1, p1 ribbing which really showed off the variation and depth of the yarn. The hat is also a k1, p1 rib but it is too big, I haven't gotten around to frogging and re-starting since I've been so busy knitting Christmas gifts.