Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Some Selfish Knitting

I know I said I was going to post about the Wilkes girls' Christmas sweaters, but on the off chance that my mother checks in before then, I won't post them until after Christmas.  I want her to be surprised!  I'll have some Christmas ornaments to show you next week after my exchange recipient receives them.

Speaking of Christmas, new look!  Do you think it's too dark/hard to read?  Let me know and I'll fix it.  I was just noodling around with it the other night and thought it looked dramatic with that star.  Now that Thanksgiving is over, I'm all excited about showing my Christmas spirit wherever I can. :)  I'm watching Rudolph as I type this.  We've even got a tree this year, even if it's currently sitting in my parents' garage waiting for us to have the time to set it up...

Speaking of Thanksgiving, Walker and I just got back from a lovely visit with his family in Athens, GA.  It was sooo relaxing to be able to spend some time with his family and not worry about work or the laundry or anything, really.  They were all so friendly and welcoming and the food, ohmygoodness.  There were THREE pumpkin desserts (cheesecake, pumpkin roll, and pumpkin bread) plus all the other savory goodies Walker's mother made us.  It was heaven.  I am glad to be home, though.  Our kitties let us know just how much they missed us the last couple of days.  It's nice to be missed, even if by furry critters, but you all know how much I love our furry critters.

And since we didn't have hardly any responsibilities while we were away, I had plenty of time to get some knitting done.  I meant to bring the materials to make Walker's replacement argyle socks, but I forgot the gray accent color, which meant I just had to work on some selfish projects for myself--oops. :)  I promise I will have his socks done before Christmas (they're the only project I have left), but now I have a lovely new hat and pair of gloves!

I started by delving into my Palette stash again, this time the Delta and Cream.  I really love a blue and white combination and the Selbu Modern Hat was just the pattern to show them off:

Here it is just barely streetching over the recommended 10" plate.  It was a little too snug before blocking and now it fits over my ears with just a little bit of ease.  It looks a lot harder than it really was.  It's a straight-up fair isle pattern with the longest floats at 7 stitches.  The only thing that (I thought) made it difficult was working the initial ribbing on teeny tiny size 0 needles.  I imagine you could go up a couple of needle sizes or even yarn weight for a slightly slouchier hat without so much blocking and that would make the pattern a little easier.  None of the decreases are particularly difficult.  You just need to be able to read a chart and to strand in the round (way easier than working stranding flat).  The pattern is free and it only required about half a ball of each color of Palette. Give it a try and you might surprise yourself!

My other project over the break was a much-needed pair of thick gloves.  My stranded ones just don't cut it for a cold Maine morning.  What better yarn than Knit Picks City Tweed?  Not only is it beautiful, but it's incredibly soft and toasty enough for the coldest mornings.  The following color is "tarantella."

The pattern is Ringwood by Rebecca Blair and featured in Knitty Deep Fall 2010.  Lately I've been a little disappointed with Knitty's patterns--they've either been a little too boring or they looked a little too "homespun."  Ringwood is just the right amount of classic pattern with some interesting details, like the button cuff.  I've been wearing them to work every morning since we got back and haven't even felt the frost I had to scrape off the car (boo).  I would definitely make these again. 

My only caveat is to check your gauge in the Ringwood pattern before you start.  I thought my stockinette swatch would be enough, but my first attempt on the recommended needles turned out much too big for my dainty hands and I had to rip back to the cuff.  I ended up using needles two sizes smaller than the recommended size. 

Yikes, this is getting a little long.  More Christmas projects/decorating next time. 

What are you doing to prepare for the season?



선미 (Sunmi) said...

Oooh that is a very pretty hat (I, too, love the combination of blue and white). I wonder if the TSA would allow bamboo knitting needles? My hands are fairly itching to knit something, and it would be nice to have something to do on my way home for winter break. :)

Reine du Monde said...

I took both bamboo circs and metal dpns on our flight to GA and the TSA didn't bat an eye at them. Their website expressly states that knitting needles are allowed in carry ons.

They were all really nice to us, actualy. I think they're on damage control at this point. Maybe print out their rules and take that with you so you can present it to them if they put up a fuss?

I would love to see how yours came out if you do try a hat :)