Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Hats of Christmas 2011

I had four hats here in my home that I knew that I would probably never wear.  I wanted to gift them for Christmas, but I did not know who would like them.  My eventual plan was to show them to my youngest sister and her two daughters when they came to visit from Vermont.  (The girls are older now, and this is the first time we had the pleasure of their company for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.)  I had other presents to give them, so the hats were "something extra".

My sister loved the entrelac cap that I made for a class sample last winter.

My younger niece tried on the first #77 Dream Hat (a photo is in my last post, so I will not add one here) and said that she would like it.  I offered to make her older sister a new #77 Dream Hat.  I showed her the four color choices of Wool Clasica that I have, and she selected the pewter, which was one of my prize skeins.

I will be making this hat as soon as possible.  (Perhaps my niece will take it with her on her semester abroad in Copenhagen.)   I am sooo fortunate to be working on yet another super secret design project!  But after its January 5 due date, I will cast-on.  I think that hats are the fastest and most fun kind of knitting that there is.  I am happy for them being worn in Vermont!  And maybe in Denmark!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

#77 Dream Hat Pattern

Just as if it were a Christmas present (for me), the pattern for my #77 Dream Hat was released late last week.

This design won first place in a contest I wrote about in early September.  Thank you for your votes!  I won ten skeins of Wool Clasica which I blogged about here.  A very busy tech editor named Jocelyn (introduced in my bananas post) did a fantastic job in formatting and editing the pattern for Fairmont Fibers which distributes Manos del Uruguay yarns.

The hat uses one skein of Manos del Uruguay Wool Clasica.  For more information, see the #77 Dream Hat Pattern page on Ravelry.  The pattern is a free download available on both the Fairmont Fibers website, here, and at my Ravelry store, here.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Midweek Meditation

"Properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit, and it doesn't hurt the untroubled spirit, either." 
                                                                     ~Elizabeth Zimmerman

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Day

"One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day.  Don't clean it up too quickly."    ~Andy Rooney

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Knitting?

I do not really do "Christmas Knitting".  I always have entirely too much to do this time of year to add that to my list.  I like to enjoy my knitting time.  I do not like having knitting deadlines.  I save them for design projects that have due dates, and knitting for teaching, when necessary.

I must paraphrase here (I could not find the exact quote) from Jared Flood's Brooklyn Tweed blog post of a couple, or more, Christmases ago.  In that remembered post, he said that he does not really do Christmas knitting -- he just looks around at what he already has made, and decides who to give it to.

Not everyone on my gift list needs or expects a hand knitted gift (every year).  And several would not appreciate one anyway (on any year).

I do plan to give my aunt the original pair of my original TATU socks.  I do not think that she reads my blog, so here is a photo.

You probably saw these socks before.  A photo of one is on the cover of my original TATU Sock pattern.  My aunt knit her very first pair of socks this year for her son-in-law.  She will like and appreciate these.

The scarf, made from my Both Sides Now pattern, will go to my niece.  The moebius cowls, both knit as samples for a not yet released pattern, will go to a sister and a sister-in-law.  Not one of these ladies have previously received a hand knit gift (from me).  I do hope that they like them.

The hats have me wondering...Who?  I like to knit hats.  I find them to be fast and fun to knit.  But I am not a hat wearing person.  I only wear them when I go snow-skiing or snow-shoveling or for walking the dog when it is really cold out.  I have four hats that I could give.  Here are two. And I am still pondering...Who?

Happy Christmas Knitting!  Happy Christmas Gifting!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Vacation Knitting

This was my vacation knitting for Grand Cayman Island.

I did actually knit a wee bit on the beach.  I always, even on vacation, begin each day with some knitting and coffee.  And I do like to end the day with some knitting and maybe some wine.  With a total of six flights and four layovers, I had a lot of hours to knit.

The TSA officially allows knitting needles (however, any individual TSA officer may take them away if they feel that they are a threat).  I have taken knitting like this on planes many, many times and have not once been questioned.  Two things that I do, though, are to put my scissors and backup needles (in the same sizes) (just in case) in my checked-in bag, as well as any extra yarn I might need.

I was kind of proud of myself that I fit a whole lot of knitting, on two different projects, in a very small bag.

The yarn for both projects is Schulana Kid Seta (70% mohair and 30% silk).    (Purchased at The String Thing Shop.)  It is lace weight and light as air.

The first project was the two 'neckline frills' (307 stitches x 3.5", and 245 stitches x 2.75") for my Agatha pullover named Timeless.  This is the smaller of the two.  (Since I have been home, I have already attached the larger frill to the sweater.)

The second project was my Thundercloud Cowl, which is now roughly halfway finished.  (This project will take a very long time.)

It is pretty, though.  But not easy to get that in a photograph.

I had one challenging project...the 40 row lace pattern with beads.  And one mindless project...the almost endless rows of stockinette.  I think I did a great job packing for my trip!  And the clothes I packed were just fine, too.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Midweek Meditation

"Christmas gift suggestions:
To your enemy, forgivness.
To an opponent, tolerance.
To a friend, your heart.
To a customer, service.
To all, charity.
To every child, a good example.
To yourself, respect."
 ~  Oren Arnold

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Seven Mile Beach

I had a four night vacation on Grand Cayman Island and stayed on Seven Mile Beach.

I found it quite interesting that Seven Mile Beach is not actually seven miles long.  In one tourist guide, I read that it is 5.3 miles long, and in another, I read that it is "five and a half miles (to be precise)".

I like that it is named "Seven Mile Beach".  It is a much better name than "Five and a Half Mile Beach".  I am very fond of the number seven, and it was paradise to me.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Where Did I Go?

I was in place far too warm to wear my new sweater.  The name of the place has my favorite number 7 in it.  Of course, I took some photos.

Another clue: it is in the Caribbean.
I will tell you more next time...

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Midweek Meditation

"And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so?  It came without ribbons.  It came without tags.  It came without packages, boxes or bags.  And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore.  Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before.  What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store.  What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more."           ~Dr Seuss

Have you seen the Singing Lambs Video?  It is too cute to miss!
I hope you are enjoying your holiday preparations!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Back with an FO

I am back.  I have been traveling.

Just before I left on my trip, my daughter took pictures of me wearing my latest Finished Object.

I do prefer photos without my face in them.  The first photo has brightly angled sunlight, but I like how the texture shows.  The second photo probably shows the fit better.  Which photo do you think is best?

It is a comfortable sweater.  The pattern is A New Neckdown Pullover by Diane Soucy and the yarn is Manos del Uruguay Wool Clasica Naturals.  I made this sweater while teaching the "My First Sweater Class" at Gosh Yarn It!.