Cabled Hat for Adult – a free pattern

Ed wears hatAt last!  I can post this now that my husband has received his hat!

Worked with  Socks That Rock Heavyweight (Blue Moon Fiber Arts) which is about a sport weight.  Or DK weight.  I don’t know.  The colorway is Chanticleer (nice for fall).  I’m working it on a 16″ US 6 circular needle with a gauge (in stockinette stitch) of 5.5 stitches to the inch.  Finished size is about 23″ circumference, which should comfortably fit an adult head but still have a bit of stretch if needed.

The corrected version of the pattern is now available on Ravelry.

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The Goose is Getting Fat

I was going to entitle this “Christmas is Coming,” but then I remembered some little song I’d learned a long time ago.  It was a round, I think.  The words are

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat.
Please put a penny in the old man’s hat.
If you haven’t got a penny, a ha’penny will do.
If you haven’t got a ha’penny then God bless you!

So, I am working on getting things done for Christmas.  The following are finished:

Cabled Hat on needles

Cabled hat for an adult.  (Obviously this is not the “finished” photo, but it is done.)

Socks Done

Socks for Ed.  I’m feeling especially clever that I figured out where to start each time (InLine 150g ball, US 4 needles) so that they would actually match.

Scarf done

A purposefully scrappy scarf worked from 4 odd balls of Wool of the Andes (50g each ball, US 7 needles), worked in 1×1 ribbing.

Not done yet:

Scarf not Done

This wonderful UFO among my stash.  It’s an early version of Manos del Uruguay, still in that thick-and-thin texture.  It’s 1×1 rib (again) on US 10 needles and it’s about 1/3 finished.

I have started and frogged several attempts at socks — it’s like I’ve lost my sock mojo, but I hope to get two pairs of socks knit before Christmas.  I think, however, that these will take a back seat to other projects (like more scarves).  We’ll see.  At any rate, Christmas is coming and I’m going to be a little bit ready for it.  Always a good thing. 🙂

Being Human

There are days like this.  Days when, no matter what I try to do, I fail.

Witness this little ball of yarn.  YYarnBallou have already inferred, I am sure, from the ramen-like quality of the thread that this little ball of yarn is the result of undoing a few stitches.  Actually, it’s from undoing a lot of stitches:  16 rows of the border of a triangular lace shawl, to be precise.  I tried to take it back just 8 rows (which would have been to the point where the error occurred), but it turns out I am about as skilled as a three-toed sloth playing cat’s cradle when it comes to undoing a few rows when those rows contain eyelets and double decreases and everything else.

I tried.  I really tried.  I tried picking up the stitches and working back bit by bit over what remained.  It turns out I am hopelessly lost when it comes to figuring out the order of stitches where even the simplest of lace patterns is involved.  Cables — yes, I can figure out cables if I dropped a stitch; lace — no.  I suck.

The other thing I suck at is proofreading my own work.  I emailed a PDF of some design samples to a prospective employer, one who I had just spoken to on the telephone this morning.  I had told this prospective employer that I had spoken with one of his peers and had learned that he likes to surround himself with only the best people, so I told him that I would definitely be in that category.  And then I emailed him the design samples.  And then I took a look over those samples and I discovered two typos.

On top of that, I completely forgot about an appointment that was to have been today at 2:00 p.m.  I’d been awake around 3:30 a.m. and working.  At 10:00 a.m. I decided I could have a bit of a nap.  At 2:05 p.m. I awoke and realized what I had forgotten.

Honesty and humility go hand-in-hand for me.  I have to be honest with myself and with other people, and being honest means I have to admit that I am not perfect.  I make mistakes in knitting.  I make mistakes in proofreading.  I make mistakes with my schedule.  I make all kinds of mistakes.  Mistakes are what make me human.

I don’t like them.  I truly do not like making mistakes.  I do not like making mistakes and I certainly do not like finding out about mistakes some hours after the mistakes have been made.

I worked through an entire eight-row pattern repeat before I saw the error in the lace border.  It wasn’t an obvious error, and it was only on one of the two triangles that make up the shawl so I was thinking that perhaps no one else would notice, especially if I photographed it just right.  But I couldn’t do that.  It wouldn’t be honest.  It’s a shawl I plan to submit for publication, and it wouldn’t have been honest to submit a flawed item.

So, as hard as it is to admit that I am not perfect, as hard as it is to have to email a prospective employer with a corrected PDF, as hard as it is to call someone and admit that I was sleeping instead of remembering the appointment, and as hard as it is to start again on the border of the shawl, I have to admit that the honesty about all of it actually helps me to feel free to start again.  The prospective employer might strike me off his list.  There were a lot of hours of work lost on the shawl.  I won’t get that appointment made up until next week.  But I am human, and I’m learning to be OK with that.

Northern Pines Lace Scarf

This pattern is available now on Ravelry.   It is a reasonably simple lace pattern consisting of only 8 rows with the wrong-side rows worked in purl stitch.  I worked this with 5 balls of Jojoland Rhythm Superwash; finished size is about 9″ wide x 84″ long.  It can be made shorter quite easily; the pattern gives instructions for using only 4 balls of yarn (about 440 yards) for a scarf that will be only about 72″ long.

Absent but not forgotten

I cannot believe it has been 10 days since I last posted to the blog.  Things at my office have been rather crazy, and I have felt extraordinarily stressed.  I would come home in the afternoon and sleep until evening, having something for supper, and then sit and knit while watching television.  It was all I could do to hold myself together.

On the knitting needles at the moment is a pair of socks for my husband (I finished the first one today at last), the cardigan (previously photographed and blogged) and a new cardigan design which has just one sleeve and a button band to go, but I want to have the intended model try it on first.  I have also picked up yarn for yet a third cardigan, this one from a bulky weight yarn, and I am still in the swatching phase to decide which gauge gives me the feel of the fabric I’m looking for in this one.  Oh, and I worked a swatch for a pullover, but I’ve not gone further than that with it.

As the sewing machine is in the basement and as I didn’t care to be alone during this stressful time, I chose to sit upstairs and knit in the living room with my husband and the dogs for company.  And television.

I don’t know about you, but when I’m stressed I can find craft work either soothing or more distressing.  When I’m working on my own I end up being alone with the thoughts in my head, and that’s not a very nice place to be.  Thus, I find it nice to be knitting with the television to fill up my head with a distracting story line.  It has the added benefit of needing to let the dogs outside periodically, plus my husband is handy in case I start losing my grip.

So, apologies for the absence.  I’ll try to post more this week.

Sidetracked Again

I swear at times that I must have some form of creative ADD.  Or else it’s that there is some sort of compounded output of ideas that occurs when I’m in the middle of creating things.  I’m nearly finished with a cardigan that I want to submit to Knitty; I just started figuring out a quilt for Bree (the wedding isn’t until October, so it appears I’ve got time), and then today I got the idea to design a cabled pullover for another friend, Jos.

The cabled pullover is something of a gift.  I will submit it to Knitty when I’m done with it, and God knows the idea for this particular cable has been brewing for some time, but it really comes because I wanted to do something nice for Jos.  He’s a gifted photographer and he recently did some photos of me and my DH and our dogs that fill my heart with joy whenever I look at them.  So I wanted to give him something, something from me and my hands and my particular talents that would give him joy.  And then I remembered this one design that’s been swimming around in my head.

And then I sat down to work on the cable design this evening.

And then I had an idea of how to improve the design so that it was as robust as the image that inspired it.

And I can’t post a damned thing about it!  Alas!  I’d love to show it to you, but these things have to remain hushed up until the Knitty editors accept or reject it.

Trust me:  It will be beautiful.  It all came together tonight.  I’m going to knit a swatch now and start doing some numbers.

Until the time comes that I can post photos of the pullover, enjoy this wonderful photo of our dog Chance.  He’s a black Lab and he’s hard to photograph because his coat is glossy black.  But Jos did it.

Snippets_0002_Chance

For promis’d joy!

In honor of Robert Burns we have today’s title.  It’s actually after the lines about how … “The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft agley, / An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain, …” but I’d really rather not dwell on that part.  Yet.

Service Cardi Progress sm

This is my progress to date on the Service Cardigan but it is worked with a dk weight yarn on US 6 needles.  I knit the sample (you can see a bit of it in the above photo) with Cascade 220; fortunately, I know how to recalculate to get it close to the size I need to work.  At any rate, I am up the back panel and ready to make decreases for the back armholes.  I am constructing it in the manner that is traditional to the period, which is to start at the back hem, work up to the shoulders, then continue down each front.  I strongly considered just working it in a modern fashion, but I’m doing this for Pauline at WAG Screen, so it needs to be much like the original.  She gave me the yarn and I promised to knit it.

But, in the words of the poet, my best plans don’t always come off smoothly, much to my distress.  I had the idea for another cardi and I hoped to get it submitted to Knitty for the First Fall issue (deadline is 1 March, I think, but it might be 1 June).  I have only to work the sleeves, collar and front band, and then I’m done with the knitting part.  Also, the pattern is nearly all written.

Except that Valentine’s Day is coming up and perhaps I could knit a pair of socks for my DH?  I played around with a pattern and that got me to having about 1/4 of the first sock done.  That’s three projects on needles, and I have only two hands.

And then I remember that my dear friend Bree is getting married this year.  (Where is that postcard with the date on it???) I thought I should make a quilt for her.  I went through my fabric stash because the one I had started was all reds and blacks and browns — not really colors for a wedding gift, if you know what I mean.  Besides, I don’t think it would be a very big quilt.  So I pulled out the ones that are turquoise and teal and I started cutting.  About halfway through I realized that this wouldn’t work, either.  And then I found the bundle of fabrics that would be perfect for a wedding quilt: ten 1-yard cuts of whites and creams and ivories with a bit of tan thrown in.  Except that I’m far too tired tonight to start in.

For promised joy, I will start cutting that fabric tomorrow when my mind is a bit fresher.  Until then, I am going to sit upstairs and watch some television while I knit a bit more on the Service Cardigan and go over some numbers for the quilt blocks in my head.