Thursday, June 27, 2013

Jane Hat & Other New FOs

The last few weeks have been full of FOs! In fact, in June I finished four different projects (so far), which is pretty decent for summertime knitting. Lets get to the show off part..

First up we have the WIP from last entry, my Jane hat. Made with Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece (which is so comfy), I finished this up in a knitting sprint over the weekend. I followed the pattern pretty closely, my only real deviations were waiting until the end to sew the brim together and adding a few extra rows so it would be super slouchy.
I've been wearing it nearly every single day since I finished it, it's my new favorite hat. I will absolutely be making another one, it was a great pattern and an even better FO. I'm glad I added the extra repeats (I think I did 2 full extra repeats), as its real slouchy and I can even wear it when my hair is in a ponytail. Niiiiice.

Up next: a Cherry Garcia that I named my Puppy Day Cowl Remix. This one has history. I first knit my Cherry Garcia named the Puppy Day Cowl back in January of 2009, with a skein of beautiful Manos Classica Wool. However, the yarn and the needles used were a little under gauge so the resulting cowl was a bit on the tight side. I wore it a bunch anyway, but after awhile decided to stop wearing it because it just wasn't very comfortable. A few months ago I decided to frog the years-old FO and start again, so I did, and here is the result:
I used the same yarn and same needles, but modded the pattern to add a full extra repeat, so instead of CO 80 st, I CO 100 st. It's definitely more comfortable this time around, and I used much more yarn than the first time. It still needs a bath/blocking, so sorry for the ugly picture. I'm excited to wear it this fall! :)

The next thing I worked on was A Hat For Eudora, which is an Alex Tinsley pattern. She is my new favorite designer, and I don't dislike really anything that she comes up with. Luckily, she's coming out with a book soon (!!) which I'm definitely going to pick up. This was the first thing I actually knit of hers, but I have many of her hat patterns already in my library.

Not only was this a great pattern in general, but it was my first time doing both welts and a provisional cast on. Both were fairly simple concepts and it didn't take long for me to catch on. My favorite thing about this hat is the integrated contrast hem/brim. It's so beautiful and special. The hat is made with Plymouth Baby Alpaca Worsted, left overs from "The Warmest Mittens" I made a few years ago (note: the first time I wore those mittens, I lost them on the damn bus). It's heavenly soft and warm and absolutely cannot be worn in the summertime, so I'm looking forward to this Fall. My boyfriend also loved this pattern and this FO, so I might make him one at some point.

With all of these new FOs, so far in 2013 I’ve used 2465 yards of yarn! Last year I used 3634 total, and I'm at 2/3 of that and we're only halfway through the year. I'm hoping to knit a good chunk of my stash this year, even at my slow pace. Last night I CO for a new pair of socks though, and the weather is supposed to turn this weekend to 80s (hello, Summer!), so I don't expect much yardage out of the next month or two. We'll see. :)

Friday, June 14, 2013

Meet Sir Octavio Inkwell, Esquire

Please meet my newest FO: Sir Octavio Inkwell, Esquire.
I finished him the day I wrote my last blog post (he was mostly done at that point). I had to try out a few different yarns for the hat, but decided on this creamy-white KP Wool of the Andes that has been in my stash forever. The body of the octopus is made with Cascade 220. The black trim is Berocco Ultra Alpaca, leftovers from a linen stitch scarf I made 2 years ago. I love him, and right now he's sitting at my desk at work, hanging out.
I did buy 3 more mustache buttons (one large, two small), so I'll be making a few more of him in the future, but I needed a break from all that leg knitting.

After I finished him, I finished the first sock I was working on (see last post), as it only needed the toes sewn together. Then started on sock 2, which right now is also languishing because only the toe decreases are left. I need to just sit down and finish that, and I'm thinking I'll do that this weekend. I will definitely have enough yarn to finish, but I'm thinking I'll probably only have 5-10 yards extra after all is said and done. We'll see!

In the meantime, while I ignore the last two inches of my socks, I've been knitting a Jane hat. It's coming along pretty quickly, as I'm trying to complete a repeat every night (I don't have much knitting time during weekdays, maybe only 30-60 minutes). Last night I finished up body repeat #5 and started working on #6. If I go on a knitting binge, I should be able to finish this in the next few days, but I'm not in a hurry.
Here is a WIP pic from yesterday. I'm knitting it from some Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece that I've had in my stash for a long ass time (4-5 years I think?). Here is the best part, I have four skeins of this stuff, in two different colors, and I've never even used it! I've been hoarding it (albeit, a small hoard), but never even bothered to test it out and see if I liked it or not.
When I discovered Ravelry back in 2008 and realized just how many different yarns there were out there, I went a little crazy. I wanted to try ALL THE THINGS at once, which led to a huge increase in stash in a very short period of time. I knew I didn't "need" all this yarn, but despite knitting for many years, I was inexperienced with all this new and beautiful yarn and really wanted to test it all out. Now I'm finally getting through a lot of it, and finding that while I do love a lot of it, there is a large chunk of my stash that I just don't like or will never use. I've tried to be really honest with myself about it, to marginal success, but have been able to part with a lot of stuff recently. The more frustrating part of this, though, is realizing that I have so much more to go through before I will allow myself to buy new yarn. First world problems, right?
Anyway, back to the Jane hat. I'm loving the pattern so far, so we'll see how it turns out. If I like the end result, I might make another for one of my friends (they all love slouchy hats), but maybe not.. as I found another really pretty Jane Richmond pattern recently. Hmmm...