My husband used to joke about a guy I used to work with, whose name, when said aloud, seemed to command the title, “Male Prostitute.” I never knew what the reference was, and I imagine he’s probably forgot it anyway. But one always seems to stumble upon great names that requires another great employment title. Trapper John, MD, is a good example. My best friend grew up in Orange County and knew a “Thomas Thomas”, or Tom Tom, and the inimitable Becky Doubledee, who was also lucky enough to have a giant DD sized set of cans.
In the same fashion, my husband often applies those sorts of titles to the knitting projects I’m working on at any given time. This particular project began with a visit to Seaport Yarns in the financial district, where I used to work and would often spend a quick 20 minutes or so during a slightly slow afternoon, whenever that happened. Seaport Yarns is a great store – lots of selection, and the lady who runs it is incredibly knowledgeable about yarn and gauge and all that crap. For example, I was looking for a Tahki Stacey Charles, and she suggested an alternative yarn, which has since become a favorite with me: Plymouth Yarns. The Baby Alpaca Grand, which is, of course, a chunky yarn, is so soft and delightful and much easier and less essspensive than the TSC, it was an easy choice. Plus, she had lots of nice colors at Seaport, and I selected a pretty dark heather gray, color 403, to make my Lacey Throws. The pattern was found easily and for free on Ravelry as the Happy Birthday Throw, by Emily Ivey, using Lion Brands Thick & Quick…to be continued in the next post.
But for now I give you the Happy Birthday, Lacey Throws, you naughty thing, you’re soft and comfy, and while you do tend to leave some lint on the couch, I like you anyway. You were fast and fun.
It’s technically spring (although you wouldn’t know it from the NYC weather we’ve been enjoying), and with a little hint of a temperature close to 50 degrees, I have a hankering for a spring cleanup. This also means spring cleanup of my yarn, which is a Sargasso Sea of crap that I hide behind our couch in the den. It’s like a scene from a horror movie when people come over and accidentally peek behind the couch. I can’t even post a photo – this is a family blog.
So, in addition to taking stock of current yarn and tossing some crap I can’t remember purchasing, let alone remembering why I purchased it, I took a look at some old finished projects I abhor and never wear. One was a huge sweater from Twinkle’s Weekend Knits, a great book with lovely items made for tiny, skinny women. Every time I don a super bulky sweater made with yarn of the same, the effect is sausage-like. So, I undid an old sweater made from a couple of hanks of Twinkle’s super bulky and figured I’d knit up some accessories right quick. That is a huge benefit of bulky yarn – for people without patience, it’s a godsend.
So, with hanks of Twinkle’s Soft Chunky (bulky weight) in Icy Blue and Kelly Green (which doesn’t appear available on the Classic Elite yarns website, oddly), I made two hats and a cowl, I guess it’s a cowl?
The first hat was from a pattern in Knitty called the Shroom hat, ostensibly due to the close comparison to a mushroom. They were careful to men
tion a particular kind of bulky yarn, but I threw caution to the wind and used Twinkle. The result is pretty cute, but the bright green made it seem more broccoli than mushroom. Either way, if you don’t think specifically about broccoli, it’s an okay/wearable hat.
Second up, on Ravelry I saw a cool cowl made with bulky yarn in a nice acid greeny/yellow, called the wham bam thank you ma’am neckwarmer, I believe because it’s made quite quickly. I made it with the icy blue chunky yarn. It’s warm, bodering on hot, when you’re wearing it but hey, it does get cold around here sometimes. I bet it’s probably
pretty good for skiing. It’s currently being modeled on my cupcake plate! One problem to solve for the future, I didn’t do a great job of hiding the knots where I needed to join pieces of yarn together. Hmm.
Lastly, I just threw together yet another version of the Urchin hat from Twinkle’s Weekend Knits. It’s cute and floppy, but beret-like so it looks fairly polished for work. The green is a nice bold energetic color and I think it works. I wore a version I made in a very light gray for most of this past winter. And now, I’ve gotten rid of all my green and a big portion of the blue. A small victory in stash busting.
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.