Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Bohemian Princess

My style is a hybrid hippie-preppy- California comfortable. I think the CA comfortable style is a hybrid hippie-preppy style in itself. One thing I can tell you I am not is a bohemian princess. I may not be hip and boho enough to pull of my newest knitted creation, but hey, I totally love it anyway. And I will wear it. Hipsters will judge me, and I won't care. I will be wearing a wool hat and flip flops.

Bohemian Princess Hat
Pattern: Star Crossed Slouchy Beret by Natalie Larson
Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted in Turquoise
Needles: Size US10 and 11 bamboo DPNs

The cables are fun, the yarn is awesome, and the decreases look purty. The yarn originally intended for Short Row Glory, but that road did not end in Glory. It ended about 1 gagillion miles south, in massive failure. I did not want to subject the yarn to another attempt, in case that failed too, and another ripping was necessary. I can't bear to waste the lovely Malabrigo on repeated froggings. Must buy more Malabrigo, and try short row hat again!

Have I mentioned my undying love of Malbrigo? This was my last skein in the stash. I am now longing. Thinking, brooding. I stare at my remainder skeins listening to U2's "with or without you." Then I comfort myself with a few rows of the Clap with Handmaiden glory. Enough yarnporn for today.

I totally recommend this pattern! Easy, fun, pretty, sassy, boho, matches my flip flops, and very quick. Instant gratification quick. I needed this after my unsuccessful short rows. That, and my other projects on the needles have been there for a while, and I needed the satisfaction of a finished product. A little fix to convince me to pick up Pomatomus again.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Does this look like a hat to you?

Cause it sure does not look like an effing hat to me:

Its not the raised up diamond shaped pouches or the pinched in part along the cast on that bugs me I suspect those could be taken care of with seaming and blocking.

It is the GIANT holes.

Giant. Gaping. Holes.

Part of the awesomeness of Veronik Avery's pattern is that there are no gaping holes in her short row technique because of the use of clever decreases that eliminate the holes.

But I have holes.

I hate holes. They make a hand-knit look shoddy and sloppy. Its totally my fault, too. I have seen two of these bad boys, made by Kristina in person, and countless others in pictures online. Those hats do not have holes. No gaping, giant holes. My YOs must be too loose or something. I knit on the looser side, and have noticed before that my YOs can be a bit loosey goosey.

No question about it, this is getting frogged asap. I have pulled all my hat patterns out of my big ole pattern binder, and this yarn will become a new hat. I really love Veronik Avery's pattern, and the results I have seen with it in solid colored yarn. I don't want to knit this up again in the same Malabrigo in case I have to frog again-- I do not want my lovely Malabrigo to get yucky from repeat frogging. Off to frog and re-start afresh.

Arboretum, Davis, CA:

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

New Techniques

I have been plugging away at my Clapotis, which is shaping up nicely, and got the urge to cast on a project that would allow me to learn some new techniques. Last week I decided on my pattern, Veronik Avery's Short Row Hat, and grabbed a skein of worsted Malabrigo and wound it into a ball. This week, I cast on.

This pattern uses two techniques new to me: the provisional cast on (invisible cast on) and short rows. I have done short rows in socks, but not in a hat. I am have not yet completed a full repeat of the diamond pattern, and I am excited to see how the short rows unfold into diamond shapes. I already love the pattern's strategic decreases that eliminate the holes created by the yarn overs.
The provisional cast on took a few perusals of the demo video on (very clear and helpful, as always) and a couple practice tries before I got it down well enough to actually cast on for the hat. I used a cotton yarn as my spare yarn, which I think was a mistake. The figure 8 twists were a bit tight in the cotton yarn, and took some finagling to get things in order.

As always, Malabrigo is a treat to knit with, so smooth and lovely. The pattern is clever, and is knitting up quickly. This seems like it will be a instant gratification project!
Spring roses from my mom's backyard:

Friday, April 17, 2009

I love Udon

FO: Udon Scarf
Pattern: Improvised, with a 9 stitch braided cable
Yarn: Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick and Quick
Needles: US 13 Bamboo Straights

Another chunky white scarf! This one is for me, to match my red pea coat. Most of my scarves are blue, purple, green, pretty colors that clashed awfully with the red coat. I wanted something to warm my neck, and this creamy white yarn fit the bill.

A quick knit, I kind of cast this on impulsively. I did not have anything easy peasy in the works, so I just picked up this yarn and started tinkering with cable patterns. I have been working on it here and there, and it finished up a couple weeks ago, and then spent a couple days blocking. The air here is quite humid and the yarn was very thick, so drying took a while.

Jess named it the Udon Scarf, due to the giant yarn's resemblance to udon noodles. She came over for a craft night, and I made an udon soup for dinner. Sure enough, the noodles and the yarn are quite similar in size and color!

Since this scarf is meant to go under my cropped pea coat, I did not want a long scarf. Something to warm the neck, but not necessarily to wrap around my neck. The scarf is chunky enough to keep my neck warm without needing to be wrapped around my neck.

Easter at Doran Beach:

Monday, April 13, 2009

Odessa Hat

FO: Odessa
Pattern: Odessa, by Grumperina
Yarn: Rowan Cashsoft DK
Needles: US 5 Bamboo DPNs

I loved this yarn and this pattern. Quick, easy, and attractive. Unfortunately, the tight beanie style hat does not flatter my large, egg-shaped dome. I think this hat will eventually make its way to the Ukraine, to grace the head of a 4 year old cousin of N's.

I hope to knit this again, with a chunkier yarn. I used the DK yarn called for in the size called for. I think a chunkier yarn and a slightly larger, slouchier Odessa would look better on me.

The yarn is springy and works up very nicely in this pattern. My K2Togs on the decreases became quite pronounced--raised up. I could not get them to smooth down while knitting, or in the blocking process.

Hellllooooo handsome:

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


This morning my beads and beading tools saw a little action. The Clapotis requires more stitch markers than I had on hand, so I whipped up four more, and continued knitting.

Now my Clapotis is strutting its stuff with a ton of bling:

Secondly, I told a friend months ago that I would re-string her bracelet. I will be seeing her this weekend in sunny San Diego, so I thought I should get to work, and not miss another chance to get her bracelet back to her!

The bracelet and the bejeweled Clapotis became friendly. I love the deep blue next to the gentle shimmer of the shell beads.