I Dream Of Crafting Blog

the super cool stuff I make

Let the Hat Revolution Begin! January 3, 2011

There’s a woolly hat revolution and it all started with Misti Alpaca Chunky.

It all happened by accident when Wild Fire Fibres and I were simultaneously knitting hats.  Since it’s been so cold this winter, I’ve taken to wearing hats inside to keep warm.  Unfortunately, all my hats are pre-Purl City Yarns, so I wanted to knit something in a Purl City Yarns yarn to wear at work.  So, I started knitting Woolly Wormhead’s Waffle Slouch hat in Mirasol Akapana and Wild Fire Fibres was, unknown to me at the time, creating her own hat design, which I get to test knit!

I was completely taken with the Akapana as soon as I opened the box, which says a lot because it doesn’t come in pink.  Nevertheless, I’ve been wanting something a bit more neutral and the colours are lovely, with the tweedy flecks adding just that little something extra.  It’s also an absolute dream to knit with and wear!  The Waffle Slouch is also a great pattern; all you really need to know is how to knit, purl, yarn over and knit 2 together and you have a great slouchy hat to keep you warm this winter.

Around the time I was finishing the Waffle Slouch, Vikki came in with a hat of her own creation in Misti Alpaca Chunky.  I’ve never seen anyone so happy to be wearing a hat, and I believe the main source of happiness came from the pom-pom, which to be fair, makes the hat.

I’d had my eye on a particular shade of blue Misti Alpaca Chunky and shortly after seeing and having a feel of Vikki’s hat, Ysolda Teague announced she was putting her Icing Swirl Hat on sale.  The first thing I thought was how cute the hat would look in the blue Misti Alpaca and immediately bought the pattern.  The final sign to confirm that I needed a blue Misti Alpaca hat came when I read the Icing Swirl Hat materials, “Approximately 100yds / 90m chunky / bulky yarn.  Shown in Misti Alpaca Chunky [my own emphasis] (100% alpaca, 108yds/ 99m, 3.53oz / 100g).”  It was meant to be.

I made a size small Icing Swirl Hat and still have some yarn left over.  I’ve heard from various people, and read on Ravelry, that the larger size takes EXACTLY one skein of Misti Alpaca and you will only have a string left after you bind-off.  My Icing Swirl doesn’t seem to be as slouchy in the back as it looks in the pattern photo, so I will probably add an extra round or two to my next one.  It’s also an insanely fast knit!  Seriously, it took a matter of a hours; I think I possibly watched two movies and it was done.  And, Misti Alpaca Chunky is like butter to knit!  I spent the entire time knitting thinking of how I wanted a blanket or a body suit made of Misti Alpaca because it’s that soft and amazing (I think I thought about it so much I couldn’t even tell you which two movies I watched when I was knitting it).  I just want it next to my skin, all the time.

That’s how the hat revolution (aka hatolution) began.  So far, it’s a small revolution, but Vikki and I have been trying to persuade Rubbish Knitter to join, and you should too.  Now I look at hats as an accessory and think about what clothes I have that will look nice with certain hats.  I even plan on knitting another Icing Swirl Hat in red because a red hat would really bring a lot of my outfits together, with the added bonus of staying warm.  You just can’t go wrong with utilitarian fashion accessories.

 

Think Pink November 25, 2010

First of all, happy Thanksgiving!  Among other vastly more important people and things I am thankful for, I am also thankful for my favourite colour, pink!  If you know me, you will know that I LOVE pink!  So much so, that when TweetDeck recommended that I follow P!nk, the musician I do not particularly like, I actually thought someone was tweeting on behalf of the colour pink and got extremely excited, followed by disappointment.  Instead, I decided to follow Barbie, because who is more qualified to tweet about the colour pink?

What I’m trying to get at is that I love pink and have a few pink projects to share.  The first is Woolly Wormhead’s Vernalis knit with Six Swans English Wool 4ply.  The colour, Barbie!  I bought this at the Manchester Yarn Day last year and out of all the beautiful, squishy yarn, I choose this one; I don’t think I need to say why.

Vernalis is a really gorgeous design and I love the lacy cables.  It’s also a lot easier than it looks, which is one of the things I really love about Woolly Wormhead’s designs.  Her patterns have a lot of thoughtful detail which make them look really complex and hard, but I find Woolly Wormhead’s patterns extremely accessible to all skill levels, challenging, yet surprisingly easy at the same time.  I don’t know if that makes sense, so you’ll just have to knit one of her hats to see what I mean.  Obviously, Vernalis is not the fastest knit in the world with all the cabling, but it is was much faster than I thought it would be.  I love the Barbie yarn so much I have been really picky and particular about what I was going to knit with it and I’m so pleased this is the project I chose.

The second pink project I have been working on is Whimsy from Louisa Harding’s Dream Catcher.  It’s the first thing I’ve knit exactly as the pattern says in Rossetti yarn.  Since it’s a cute pattern in pink, knit in just two pieces, a front and back, in a bulky yarn, there was really no reason not to knit it as it is shown in Dream Catcher.

This pattern would be nothing without the cable ribbing, which adds a touch of charm to an otherwise boring design.  Rossetti also has some little contrasting bobbles that give the finished product a nubbly texture.  I’m told this does not make Rossetti a good yarn for crocheting, but it was really lovely to knit.  The only problem I’ve encountered is that in the book, the model is wearing a long sleeve undershirt and I have not been able to find something that looks nice to wear underneath to keep my arms warm.  It might not be a bad thing as Rossetti is a really warm wool and I’ve almost overheated in the dressing rooms layering up.  And, as it turns out, I have a perfectly good jacket to keep my arms warm.

And my final pink project for the time being is actually a work in progress.  I’m currently back in the good old US of A (where there’s been loads of sun and warm weather!) visiting my parents, hence the nice pictures with flowers and a suburban backdrop, and was able to get my hands on Debbie Stoller’s new book, Stitch ‘n Bitch Knitting Superstar and fell in love with a pattern called Sweetheart Sweater.

When I was a little girl my favourite shape was the heart, and yes, my favourite colour was pink, hot pink to be exact because it was the 80s after all.  Hot pink aside, not much has changed since then; I saw this pattern and thought, “This is SOO cute!  I want this sweater now!”  Whilst the vast majority of yarn at Michaels is mostly acrylic based, if not 100% acrylic, I did stumble upon Debbie Stoller’s Bamboo Ewe, fell in love with the Snapdragon colourway and thought it would make an absolutely adorable heart sweater.

I’ve finished the front and am almost finished with the first sleeve.  I’ve had plenty of time to get knitting done since I’ve been home and I’m hoping I’ll keep my knitting momentum when I get back to Manchester to finish the Sweetheart Sweater in the next couple of weeks.  In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a few of @BarbieStyle’s pink related tweets.

“One tiny word brings this doll an unbelievable amount of joy everyday: pink.”

“My style MO? Pink goes with everything!”

“I didn’t realize how easy it’d be to color coordinate my closet. Just one of the many perks of so much pink!”

 

Autumn is here! October 5, 2009

Filed under: embroidery,Knitting — IDreamofCrafts @ 5:54 pm
Tags: , , ,

This morning was the first morning I could feel a chill in the air when I woke up and thought it would be better to stay wrapped up in the duvet.   The chilly morning was followed by a rather cold day in an old drafty office and I’ve come home from work to a cold apartment.  So, I feel completely justified in starting some autumn and winter accessories, starting with Chunky Slouch Cap by Melissa ‘Missa’ Hills, which I’m knitting in Debbie Bliss SoHo.

Chunky Piglet Slouch Cap

Chunky Piglet Slouch Cap

Along with my decision to knit some warm accessories, I also decided that I needed more pink in my life.  Other than the fact that I LOVE pink, the pink variations in the yarn also remind me of Piglet.  I grew up with Pooh and listened to Chapter 7: In which Kanga and Baby Roo Come to the Forest and Piglet has a Bath every night as I went to sleep, so it’s a double win for me.

I’m using two strands together to get the ‘chunky’ part because even though it’s bulky yarn, the thickness varies throughout.  It’s easy enough to knit quickly and the lace pattern is easy to remember and keep track of without being boring, which is a particular plus when you have to frog, as is the case with my hat.  I knitted the smaller size hoping it would fit because I only have the two skeins, so thought I would run out of yarn with the bigger size.  But since there are only a few rows left and I still have quite a bit of yarn, I think I’m safe to make it bigger for my massive head and will probably add a row or two more to make it longer and slouchier.

Experiements in Embroidery

Experiments in Embroidery

I have also been playing around with embroidery, which is much easier than I thought.  I’m really rubbish at hand sewing, so the act of needle working has always been a major turn off for me, although I do find needlework aesthetically pleasing.  Here are a few of my ‘doodle stitchings’ experiments from Aimee Ray’s Doodle Stitching.  More to come in the embroidery department – maybe a wall hanging.

 

Busy Bee: Buzz Buzz September 27, 2009

Filed under: Knitting — IDreamofCrafts @ 9:08 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

The last few weeks have been quite hectic as I was trying to finish a cardigan for my mom before she went back to the States – mission accomplished.

Mr Greenjeans Cardigan

Mr Greenjeans Cardigan

The pattern is another Knitty pattern, Mr Greenjeans and I used James C Brett Pure Merino.  It went by really quickly after I finished all the big stockinette stitch parts.  Even though the temperature was fairly mild when I tried it on and I get hot quite easily, it’s really warm and I think it will make a good winter cardie.

It would appear that the only things I knit are from Knitty because I’ve had another Knitty pattern,Calorimetry, in my queue for a while and decided to finally cast on since the weather is getting cooler.  The idea behind the headband is that it will keep your head warm since that is where the most heat is lost, while also being able to keep your hair pulled back, which is very difficult to do whilst wearing a hat.  It’s pretty much a dream come true for me as my long, thick hair acts as a scarf and I’m often too hot when I wear a hat and can’t comfortably pull my hair back, or it’s just really windy and my hair blows in my face and I can’t see.

Cotton Candy Calorimetry

Cotton Candy Calorimetry

I used King Cole Mirage for this project, and bought this particular colour as an impulse buy because I was blinded by the pink; it reminds me of cotton candy.  I’m thinking of making some matching fingerless gloves with the left over yarn (Mirage is a BARGIN with 343 yards/314 meters per 100 g).   I used a little whale button for the back, which I think is super cute, but a little too small and the tail keeps catching on the yarn when I try to button and unbutton it.

To prove that I knit things from other sources besides Knitty, I have also finished knitting the Fresh Bite Scarflet and just need to find some red buttons.  Although the creator of the pattern was inspired by Twilight, I feel that I need to clarify that I made this scarf as part of a Buffy/Angel swap and I hate Twilight.*  I used King Cole Comfort Chunky, which was probably a mistake because it’s a bit too chunky, but oh well I guess; it’s soft.

Fresh Bite - before it was finished

Fresh Bite - before it was finished

I still have a few more things to make for the swap and am SO excited about them!  Although, I should say that my excitement is based on an assumption that the other handmade items will turn exactly how I have planned them out in my head and the little sketches I’ve made of them.

I also knitted the letter ‘W’ for the Poetry Society’s ‘Knit a Poem,’  though there is no picture of it because it was a rush job and looks pretty bad.  Sorry Poetry Society!  I’m hoping that the final poem will be something ridiculously long like Waste Land; I would love to see that.  Along with a few other 8th Day Cafe Knitters, I’m using my veg out time to knit up some squares for the Macmillan Comfort Blanket campaign.

Wow!  I’ve been feeling like I’ve been really lazy and slurmulant lately, but just realised I’ve been quite the busy bee!  No wonder I’ve been feeling like I’m losing my mind in craft projects.  My sewing machine is coming out next week and I will be sewing up a storm!

*Admittedly, I was sucked into the first three books and first 100 pages of Breaking Dawn.  I even own the first three books, but won’t sell or donate them because I don’t want to put them back out into the world.