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.

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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!”

 

Christmas, New Years, etc. January 3, 2010

Merry Belated Christmas & New Year!  Christmas presents have been completed, which took a while since I was mailing some and decided not to bother with the post office until after Christmas.  But now that all presents have been received, here they are:

For my mom, I made Woolly Wormhead’s Mayrose hat in King Cole Mirage.  The stripes in the yarn worked out really well with the pattern and each stripe worked out almost perfectly with swirly pattern repeat.  It was hard to part with once I finished, but I have enough from the left-overs to make another for myself.*

I also made cross stitches, which seem to require a lot of explaining to everyone except the recipients.

This is a Buffy cross stitch from the episode Hush in Season 4 where Giles is telling the story of the Gentleman via drawn pictures on an overhead projector because everyone lost their voices.  Here is the original picture from the show:

The pattern came from a fellow Buffy Swap participant on Ravelry, so I can’t take credit for the awesomeness of the pattern.  The cross stitch was for my BFF and she put it on a book shelf in her living room at the cost of looking like a psycho to everyone but me.  Although, it might prove to be an excellent conversation starter.

My husband is a big Alan Partridge fan, so I attempted to recreate his face for this cross stitch – it could be worse.  Sadly, but not surprising, it would appear that Americans are not familiar with Alan Partridge, so the reaction I got from people at home could be summed up with, ‘Why is that man shouting Jurassic Park?’  Fortunately, my husband really likes it and could tell it was Alan Partridge and not just some man shouting ‘Jurassic Park.’

The Brokeback Mountain cross stitch was for my other BFF.  There are too many layers of inside jokes to explain and make sense of to someone who doesn’t know us, but I’m really pleased with the result, all inside jokes aside.

I also had time to make a hat for myself over the Holidays.  The husband and I were surprised treated to a trip to Chicago to visit some family, so I whipped up Woolly Wormhead’s Everglade hat in, big surprise, King Cole Mirage!  As the weather in Chicago is significantly colder than VA Beach in December, a warm hat was needed.

I also made my dad some Illini pajama bottoms, but forgot to take a picture of them; you would probably just be blinded by the bright orange anyway.

I don’t ever make New Year’s resolutions, but I’m going to kick off 2010 by only knitting from my stash and completing unfinished projects.  This isn’t a year-long resolution, but when the lease on our flat is up in 6 months, it would be nice if I didn’t have so much yarn to move.  Wish me luck!

*I feel like I should say that I don’t do mother-daughter outfits.  I probably wouldn’t make one for myself, except that I know we won’t accidentally wear them out together since we live on different continents.