It’s Easter Sunday, which means I get to indulge in lots of things that are usually forbidden: swedish pancakes, champagne in the morning, deviled easter eggs, a BBC marathon and knitting. Pretty much everything I want in life, so thanks Jesus. And there’s nothing like dyed easter eggs and marshmallow peeps as a gorgeous spring pallette for inspiration, even if all the yarn I own is black, gray, white or tan. Come to think of it, that’s consistent with my wardrobe too.
Speaking of the tan yarn, I started and then abandoned a capelet a few years ago, but kept the pricey yarn. The pattern haunts me from the back of the yarn closet, but the yarn is a really lovely Filatura di Crosa, which I think is part of the Takhi Stacy Charles empire. What to do with this yarn? And so much yarn…enough yarn to make a “capelet”, which sounds small but is something that Gandalf would find cozy. Let’s start with something small, and adorable, and huggable, and spring-like.
Lucky for me, a lovely friend from work gave birth to a sweet girl named Wesley (what a great name!) a few weeks ago. She (both mom and daughter) are small, adorable, huggable and spring-like. So I made baby Wes a small, adorable, huggable and spring-like toy: a floppy eared bunny from Joelle Hoverson’s More Last Minute Knitted Gifts. These patterns (there’s an elephant and a bear too) are modeled on vintage toy patterns, and are fairly uncomplicated designs. It’s also pretty fun to play with stuffing, and it was an interesting challenge to tackle. I made one version about a year ago for baby Ryan, but this yarn is much finer, making some of the sewing and increases and decreases a bit more tricky. Still, all in all a fun Easter pattern for a small, adorable and huggable creature in springtime. Ryan the mom even sent me a photo of Wesley, who looks ready for adventure dressed as the Red Baron! With bunny rabbit beside her, she’ll be ready for anything. Squee!
I’ll refrain from mentioning the Tyler the Creator song, and also the Fred Astaire song, because I don’t like either of them. But I do like the hi hat, and I made a high hat. More importantly, I made a pattern that is on the COVER of a pattern book! The pattern was done in pink, and on this adorable child on the front cover, it’s super cute. I found similar yarn to hand jive, which is yarn that’s thick and thin in different spots – the only other pattern I’ve seen that calls for this yarn is Ysolda Teague’s Urchin pattern, which is also a good one. But I made mine – two different ones in slightly different sizes for my nephew (Griffin, age 8 and Thea, age 3).
Of course I neglected to actually bring these to Christmas, and they’re still sitting here in our apartment. As I look at these, in a nice creamy white, soft, unusual yarn, I am proud…and then scared. Jesus, are these big wizard hats? They look a little Saurumon, but wait – maybe they’re Gandalf? Ok…ok…Gandalf the Good, Gandalf the Gray. Whew, catastrophe averted.
I’m mostly posting this just so you can see an Elf Hat in action. The lovely and talented Sarah was kind enough to don an elf hat on her infant son, Jackson, who is also a neighbor. She swung by last weekend during our football playoffs extravaganza (go NY, go SF). Sadly all the babies I knit this hat for grew out of it almost instantly, but Jackson got a photo in edgewise.
Man, what’s cuter than babies at Christmas? Nothing. What’s creepier than naked Santas in a Finnish nightmare about the legend of Santa Claus, aka Rare Exports?
Me, crazy old lady, the only non-breeder in Park Slope, knitting things for my friends adorable childrens.
Hopefully I’m not as creepy as him. Actually he’s not even Santa. But watch the movie, it’s adorably creepy and very Spielbergian. In the best way possible.
In any case, I found a great pattern that inspired me to knit for the babies Ryan, Jackson, Barrett and Jacob. Best thing about knitting for babies? It takes about 2 seconds, or one long flight across the country or to another country (except eastern Canada). Actually, I take that back…I might have completed one to and from Toronto.
How cute did this turn out? I got the yarn at Seaport, using hand dyed Malabrigo Silky Merino in Natural and Ravelry Red. I doubled the yarn to get the best effect and it worked great (I used size 7 round and DPNs as well). Cute as pie and fun. Will post some photos of the kids wearing them; the pattern comes in several sizes for several size baby craniums.
“Badly done, Emma!” I have been a poor blogger these many months, but since it is the end of the year, and the last time I updated this blog was roughly a year ago, it seems good to recap the knittings etc.
A new job, with global responsibilities (and thus long plane flights – so far no one has restricted knitting needles, even the Ukraine) has taken a bite out of knitting, but oddly enough, not as much as the last job. If I could find a one-word theme for knitting in 2011, it was “chunky”. Pretty much goes for me too, but mostly on the yarn side.
Why do I like this yarn? It’s intensely satisfying to knit up – so fast, so easy, I actually don’t mind knitting with big needles (all the way up to 19). It’s usually on the softer side, it’s cozy, and I don’t see it as being more expensive per gram or hank or anything (although I don’t do much math when it comes to purchasing). The downside: everything I knit sucks as a finished product, exceptions being scarves, some kinds of hats, and blankets. I would like to graduate beyond that, but if I had a second theme for 2011, it would be the unraveling of finished projects that never went anywhere, that is, projects I either never wore myself or didn’t think worthy to gift to another person. Even now, looking at the posts from 2010 here, I have been in love with super bulky yarn for a long time. First was buying Twinkle‘s books and then her yarn, and I did graduate a bit to bulk/super bulky in Lion Brand Yarn after they opened a cool NYC showroom. I highly recommend shopping there, by the by.
My 2012 knitting resolution: divorce yourself from super bulky! Be not tempted by the quick and easy path! To the dark side! Sorry, it’s Christmastime and my darling husband is out, so I’m watching Star Wars while knitting and drinking. And, as Jane Austen said, “I am afraid that the pleasantness of an employment does not always evince its propriety.”
In no particular order, the next couple of posts will feature highlights of my Chunky year. And thus, my path to learning finished objects that are *not* chunky begins…you must unlearn what you have learned:
I came home from a long day’s work to find my fabulous husband not only cleaned our house (and took out the trash), but bought a Christmas tree, decorated it, and strung lights on our non-working fireplace. He is a prince among men, truly. So it’s fitting that I finished the hat that I did tonight, as we watch Avatar on our tv under the glow of multicolored lights and the afterglow of Zinfandel. I completed my 1897 cap.
I say the 1897 cap because it is reminiscent of this very cool version of Twas the Night Before Christmas that my parents always read me on Christmas Eve. I can’t find the illustration, but the “mama in her kerchief, and I in my cap, had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap…” had this old guy with a long, trippy cap and an actual nightgown.
Unfortunately for me, I was trying to make a beret. On Ravelry, I found this cool All Day Beret pattern, and the left and right diagonal stitches are quite nice. I cast on 54 stitches (you need a multiple of 4 for the pattern), and while that was fine from a gauge perspective, I didn’t use the larger needles once I finished the ribbed brim, and thus it never really ballooned out quite the way a beret should.
So, next time I’m going to increase the brim to 58, and way increase the beginning of the actual hat, like to maybe 80 or something. By the by, I’m using a lovely Plymouth Yarn called Paca Tweed in color #100. It’s sort of an oatmeal color with flecks of charcoal and caramel. I doubled the yarn to get gauge and it was still pretty soft. Greg is nicely modeling it in this photo here, he liked it even though it was an 1897 hat vs. the expected beret.