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.
Yes, Porkins, I know, to destroy the death star I must stay on target. But I must confess, 2012 saw me un-doing projects as much as I began them. I started two sweaters – ambitious projects, I realize – but even after making some serious progress, I realized that I’d done one of the following:
– picked the wrong yarn
– picked the wrong needle size
– picked the wrong pattern/lost interest/didn’t care
Points 1 & 2 could have been helped by checking gauge. But isn’t that for weenies? I’ve made some great stuff by winging it, but I guess when you’re making the jump from super bulky accessories to finer yarn making things that you’d actually wear, you must also check gauge. I’m all growns up.
This example to the left is an example of all three (yarn, needle, pattern) being wrong, and potentially the movie I’m watching the in background. Is that the Exorcist?
No, no, no. None of these are working. Help me say it right, Consuela:
How is this possible? Nearly an entire year since I last posted? Well, as usual, it’s because big, strange things are afoot at the Circle K. Last we met, I was living sometimes in Brooklyn, but mostly on an airplane, working at a beer company. Today, I sit in an apartment in San Francisco, working for a silicon valley media company, and petting a gigantic black labrador (squee!). Rocky dog!
As it happens, I actually have been knitting. I travel roughly the same amount as the last gig, if not more, but mostly domestic travel (and lots back to NY, which is nice).
Am I getting better? I think so? I tried more interesting things in the past two years, and in 2012 I made my first non-accessories item that I’d actually wear. SF doesn’t have the selection of yarn shops that NY or even Brooklyn does, but two stand out as pretty solid: Atelier Yarns, on Divisadero in what I suppose is Lower Pac Heights or maybe Laurel Heights? They also have a bigger store in Marin. Small, but super helpful and a decent selection of books and patterns. They tend to carry more premium yarn brands (rabbit fur yarn!) and the prices can be steep. The other good shop is ImagiKnit in the Mission, which is huge and has a big selection of all kinds of yarn, from the cheapie to the cashmere.
And now let me make the usual overtures to myself that are tied up with New Years Resolutions, that is, I will blog more, remember to photograph more, knit more etc. et alia. blabbity blah. Give me your paw and let’s shake on it.
I am not talking about the Mormon wonder.
Several months ago, I responded to a blog post from one of my favorite yarn shops in Brooklyn, Stitch Therapy. Maxcine is a phenomal instructor, yarn procurer and nice lady, and every other Sunday night, she holds knit alongs or sessions on a topic. This particular one was for learning the Magic Loop, which I’d read and heard about before, but never really understood. In addition to the joy of being held in Maxcine’s shop, the class featured cool local ladies and the inimitable Kris Percival, author of Knit Knack Kit and other tomes.
Here’s my opinion of Magic Loop – it only gets magical after 8 rows. It is really challenging for that first part! But I learned, via Maxcine and Kris, a mitten pattern called Chevalier, which is available for free on Knitty (click the link for the pattern). This feels like my first foray into potential Fair Isle territory, which is terrifying and exciting all at the same time. Like Ralph Wiggum, seen to the left, I’m happy AND angry about it.
Anyway, I made two pairs, a gray pair which I promptly lost, and a fuzzy white pair using Martha Stewart’s line of craft yarn from Lion Brand in Alpaca Wool.
I gave it to my friend Devon for the holidays – Devon who is a tiny person with very petite hands. I think she uses them as oven mitts, seriously. But anyway, second time around to knit the somewhat complex pattern ensured that it was nearly flawless! Nearly. Now I patiently wait for some of her famous Gougeres right out of the oven.
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.
So, the holidays have come and gone but I did do a bit of work prior to ensure that I had some home-knitted things to give. Mostly, babies of friends since roughly 90% of my friends had babies this fall. And they are, by far, the cutest snuggle buns ever.
First, Miss Ryan, who is the longest, palest string bean this side of Jack and the Beanstalk. She was something like the 130% percentile in height, and if they did the same for white-ness, she would achieve that too. I made her a baby blanket using String Yarns pattern and their yarn as well.
In 2007, I joined String Direct, their pattern program, where they’d send you a pattern of the month and give you a discount on the yarn used in the pattern. Cool idea, right? Except my grandma must have thought these patterns frump-o-matic. The only redeemable patterns were the Origami jacket (more to come on that front) and the baby blanket, which looked so cool and cozy. I also wanted to buy the right yarn, so I trekked up to the upper east side and bought the yarn – holey moley. Beautiful yarn, but my god, will it give me eternal life? Why so esspensive? My husband said I have some essplainin to do.
I bought it in off white, and it took a few long trips to South America and such to finish, but I did do it in time for her baby shower. Turned out great, and hopefully is something little Ryan Mae will enjoy! Or at least, not vomit directly on it. On purpose.
Additionally, I thought that my godchild would like toys. Soon, I am going to introduce her to the wonders of Lego, but I figured a newborn would probably like something soft and squishy. In More Last Minute Gifts, from the awesome
Joelle Hoverson of the awesome Soho yarn shop Purl, there is an utterly adorable and sweet pattern for vintage toys. I made the bunny. I hope my little lovey Ryan loves it as much as I loved knitting it. I’d never done this before and it was awesome!