Sunday, September 28, 2008


I'm sure that you've all experienced that feeling of obsession when you have run into something truly wonderful.  For me this wonderful thing was a combination of Malabrigo merino worsted and the Kiwi Hat.  (Sorry non-Ravelry readers, I couldn't find a link outside of ravelry to the pattern).  The yarn speaks for itself - anyone who has ever knit with it knows what I'm talking about.  It surprises me that it has taken this long for me to jump on the bandwagon, but I'm sure glad I did (although my checking account begs to differ).

I like the simplicity of this hat pattern because it allows the eyes to focus more on the beautiful colors of the yarn rather than the intricate stitches.  I have now knit four of these hats, but sadly only two are going to remain in my possession.  The first one I knit, the orange one, is a birthday present for my brother, who incidentally turned 20 today (note to self: put hat in box and bring to post office).  You may recall me saying that I didn't mind parting with that first hat because I don't like the color orange, but as fate would have it, I have fallen in love with said hat and don't want to see it go.  I think it might be my favorite of the four I made!

The second hat I made is this blue one using the Bobby Blue colorway:

It turned out a bit small.  The first one fit so perfectly that I just held this one up to it until I thought the stockinette section was about the same length before starting the decreasing.  It turns out I was wrong.  Now, I do have about half a skein of this yarn left, so I could theoretically rip out the decreases and add a bit more length to it, but I don't know if I'm going to.  I may just send the hat home for it to find a new owner.  I also know for a fact that I was stressed out whilst knitting on this one, so it is tighter than the first as well.

I learned my lesson from knitting the second and actually counted the rows I did in plain stockinette before decreasing at the top.  29 is the magic number.  I made sure to keep my tension relaxed as well and I came out with two perfectly fitting hats.  Yep, I have mastered this pattern.

These hats are in Dusty Olive and Seleccion Privada "R", respectively.  I have a skein of Tortuga and one of Emerald that I got intending to make even more Kiwis, but somehow the magic has worn off.  I am now in search of something new.  Wish me luck.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Something Old And Something New

Let's start with the old stuff first.  As you may remember from "x" number of weeks ago, I thought it would be a good idea to work on a colorwork project to get more comfortable with the technique.  Well, a few days after my last post I finished the first mitt, but I never got around to blogging about it.  Thanks to everyone who commented and sent me the link about how to weave in ends as I go.  I was more than halfway through with this one before I got those messages, so I decided to continue the way I was doing it for the first and then weave in as I go on the second so I could compare the look.

I haven't gotten around to knitting the second one though, so no comparison has been made.  Instead of weaving in all the ends on this one, I ended up tying ends together, snipping them short, and calling it a day.  I imagine that if I ever give these to someone, they will be a non-knitter and will never know that I cut corners.

To recap, this is the Snowflake Fingerless Glove and I knit it using KnitPicks Palette in Black, Navy, Mist, Blue Note Heather, Pool, Sky, and Tidepool Heather.  Size 2 (2.75mm) needles.

Here's a new thing that I just started (and finished) a few days ago.  I had never knit with Malabrigo before and my sister kept urging me to do so.  All this time I have had a skein of it sitting in my stash (it was intended for something else, which is why I hadn't used it yet, but that fell through).  I searched Ravelry for a hat that I could make with it and came across the Kiwi Hat which I thought was simple enough to show off the tonal variations in the yarn while still having a fun twist (no pun intended).

I have fallen in love with Malabrigo and have a sudden urge to cover everything in it, or at least make enough hats for me to have five for every day of the year.  The only glitch with that plan is that I don't wear hats because I look terrible in them.  I'm sure they would be mighty helpful while braving the Minnesota/Wisconsin winters though.

This hat I will not be keeping as I can very confidently say that orange is my least favorite color.  Never fear, one of my brothers has a birthday coming up this month and he is absolutely obsessed with the color orange.  I love the way things work out sometimes.  I have another skein of Malabrigo being shipped my way right as I speak in a much more "me" color, so I have no qualms about giving away this squooshy piece of Heaven.

Oh yeah.  I used size 7 needles.  I don't know what the colorway for this yarn is, but even meinen colorblind eyes can tell me that it's orange.  The pattern says to knit the stockinette section until you have 6" of knitting from the cast-on edge, but I knit until I had  a little less than 7".

I now have a fun adventure to share with you all that has nothing to do with knitting.  Read on only if you have time to kill.

I went home this past weekend to spend Labor Day with my family, which was fun and crazy as always.  I got to hang out with my 6-month-old nephew, who I swear doubles in size every time I see him.  (Of course, I have now seen him twice...).  One of the reasons for my going home was to pick up a car to take back to school with me to make going home easier.  Of course, said car is not only going to act as transportation to and from my Minnesota home, but it is going to double as a "quick trip machine", capable of bringing me to the yarn shop within five minutes of leaving my residence.

Whilst I was driving the five hours back to campus after Labor Day, I encountered the (second) worst weather I have ever driven in, the first being the drive home during a blizzard which took my nine and a half hours.

The rain was so much that at times I couldn't see past my windshield and I had to pull over multiple times in order to let the storm pass.  The strength of the wind was enough that the semis were swaying every which way and I think... yep, I'm fairly certain that I was driving through a level six hurricane.  I know, it sounds unbelievable, but just ask any of the dozens of motorcylists huddled under the bridges and they will agree with me.

Well, the only trouble with pulling over and waiting for the rain to die down a little is that the storm and I were both traveling in the same direction.  I would pull over and let it pass, only to catch up with it again in a few minutes and repeat the procedure.  I eventually passed the storm and entered into much more relaxing driving conditions.

A while later I saw a sign pointing me in the direction of a "Geographical Marker".  I see this sign every time I drive to and from school, but never have I been driving alone and this time I was in no rush to get back.  I had all the time in the world, so I decided to go see what this was all about.

I turned onto the road and saw another sign indicating that the marker was only four miles away.  I thought, "Sweet!" and drove on.  It turns out that the marker was not four miles away, but another sign pointing me down another road.  And then another... and another.  After driving down a dirt road through cornfields in the middle of nowhere for what seemed like an eternity, I decided to give up my search and turn around.

Upon turning around I saw a sign, "Geographical Marker", and an arrow pointing in the direction from which I just came.  I do believe someone was playing tricks with me, for I saw nothing that looked at all like it would be a Geographical Maker during my first drive through.  I retraced my path and saw a small sign hidden in a corn field that may have been what I was looking for, but I didn't think it was worth stopping for, so I continued on back to the highway.

My curiosity got the better of me and I turned around yet again telling myself that if I had already gone through all this trouble, I might as well see what it was for.

Here is the sign that I was looking for, hidden in a corn field:

...and then it started to rain.