Beautiful Knitting

Where Mt.Mom knits, crochets, designs, and seeks Beauty as food for the soul.

Archive for November, 2007

2 Hats

Posted by mtmom on November 28, 2007

One is done, and pleases me.  The other is not, and does not — at least, not so very much.

First, the happy hat!  This child-sized Zig-zag Cap is based on Arenda Holladay’s “Zig-zag Socks” pattern in the Nov. ’07 – Jan. ’08 issue of CastOn magazine, published by TKGAZig-zag cap

It’s very stretchy.  I particularly like the 5-pointed star pattern that emerged as I decreased the top in-pattern.  Top of zig-zag cap

Can you see it?  It is a bit subtle. 

I see a tiny star at the very top/center, and then , offset between its little points,  longer arms reaching out, over past the edges of the top and continuing on down the sides.  To highlight this serendipitous feature, I’ve bought some silver-lined clear seed beads, with an eye toward embroidering them along — or between — the spines of the star.  What do you think?

Jane Davis has written several books on beads and knitting; I have one here to check for technique guidance.  Perhaps I’ll also write to Ellen of EarthFaire (yarns, beads, patterns, etc.) seeking tips.  She’s always been very nice and eager to help.  (And she carries some cool stuff, too!  NAYY)

The other hat I’ve been working on is based on the Spiral Skullcap pattern from the book The Knitting Way, by Linda Skolnik (founder of Patternworks) and Janice MacDaniels.  (BTW, that book was also the source of the pattern for my Moebius Neck-cozy.)  I finished the spiral, bound off, and sewed it up.  A bit tricky, but I got the joins to be even and not gap or pucker.  Still, I was not delighted with the Nautilus seashell-like final result.  bloopy top to spiral skullcap 
And since I used acrylic yarn, and not a natural fiber, I will not be able to block out the non-circularity.

I then picked up stiches all around the outer circumference, adding a couple of short rows (blue, in the above photo) where they seemed to be needed, and have begun working downward in a garter stitch tube, to make the hat (hopefully) fit better. 

It doesn’t look too bad from the other side. . . . other view of cap top  Perhaps a pom-pom? 

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WIPs must wait

Posted by mtmom on November 18, 2007

Well, what can I say?  The gift-knitting bug has finally bitten Mt. Mom.  So, although I have been knitting, there is, as the Tsarina would say, a “stealth factor” involved in displaying photos of some of it.

The Fair Isle sampler is on hold, as are the knee socks.  Here you see their current states.  Border and most of first motif, band 4

Foot & ankle of second knee sock

May I show you more of my work so far on the second knee sock?  It has been a pleasing project.  Here you see my increases for the instep:  Instep increases

And here, the decreases at midline (to compensate for the earlier increases) and back (to hug my narrow ankle):  Decreases at ankle


And now, on to gift-knitting.  I’ve begun a hat/cap that I currently think will be a good fit for dd Cherry — though it could also fit older dd Kathy.  The pattern is adapted from Arenda Holladay’s “Zig-Zap Socks” in the Winter 07/08 issue of CastOn Magazine.  I went up to worsted weight yarn (Patons Decor “Aran” colorway) and needles (KP Harmony 16″ US size 7), and added one pattern-stitch rep (18 more stitches).  Very stretchy!  One vertical repeat of chart

And, an experimental adaptation of the “Spiral Skullcap” pattern from The Knitting Way by Linda Skolnik and Janice MacDaniels.  I’m hoping this will ultimately produce a cap I can give to the local elementary school for some cold, hatless student, as well as some enjoyable hours of new knitting.  Spiral, to be made into cap-top

The spiral I’ll curl up and seam.  And, if it turns out OK at that point, I plan to pick up stitches and add deeper sides — either vertically in the round, or horizonatally, joining on a panel as I go around.  Anybody out there done such a skullcap pattern before me?  I’d like to see one, and hear how it went, but it’s not listed on Ravelry.

I have also  made a first prototype for a Christmas miniature — last year I made tiny sweaters for use as tree ornaments.  This year I’m thinking. . . oh, but it’s still a secret!

Here are some of last year’s goodies.  6 tiny sweaters from 2006

Chloe has alot to learn about being a boon knitting companion.  Cat bites yarn

“Ah, c’mon Mama.  It was twitchin’.”

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Addendum: Terminology poll

Posted by mtmom on November 11, 2007

As an addendum to the previous post, I have a question:

When do *you* call an item of headwear a “hat”, and when a “cap”?

I find that, when speaking, I (almost?) always say “hat”, but when I write I sometimes use “cap”.  Does it have to do with the existence/lact of brim?, or stretch/rigidity?

What say you?

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Caps, caps, caps!

Posted by mtmom on November 9, 2007

With the weather getting cooler, we at chez Mt.Mom have pulled out the winter hat/scarf box and rummaged through it.  I found several caps from my knitting past, some too small for even the smallest child of the house to wear.  I plan to hold onto a few, but I found 2 that had not been worn — too small by the time they were finished, or else underestimated from the start — for which donation seems the best destiny.

These are on their way to this weekend’s charity Craft Sale:  Blue Pink flowers cap

While these need to find a place of storage:  3 early capsBell-shaped brioche cap

Also to the Craft Sale went this cap, which I began only 3 days ago –fast and fun, but too small for its originally intended purpose.  Gansey cap

The textures don’t show so very well, but there are seed-stitch diamonds, 2-stitch cables, and travelling-stitch Celtic knots.  The pattern reproduces in worsted weight a sock pattern designed by Janine Le Cras, resident of Guernsey, for the 6SoxKAL yahoo group.  [Thanks, patternwhisperer Jeri, for this conversion idea!]

Also on the cap front, I finished the Intarsia Panelled Cap.  (whew!)  dd models intarsia cap

I was ready to be done.  In the mood for a change of pace,  I immediately switched to the little Gansey pattern.  Very different indeed!

I wonder what will be next?

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Fair Isle viscisitudes, and other knitting struggles.

Posted by mtmom on November 4, 2007

I’ve changed my mind about the “missing” color in Sarah Don’s jacket; I now think we see the blue and don’t see the orange.  Here’s why:  close-up of jacket peeries and border

See the groups of 4-blocks-each, between the “chains”?  Well, according to my chart, more of Don's chart that “C” pattern is in “pale blue” and “orange”, just like the border “J” pattern below it.  We see the blue blocks, but not the orange dots.  They must be there. . . .  I’m wondering:  why would she put in colors that hardly show?

I have now moved on into one of the main patterns.  I wish I had a color photo for reference; I’m not  seeing the logic of her color choices.  The background keeps to colors of the same value (darkish) but different hues (dark red, dark blue, and dark green).  The motif foreground colors, also, are all light-valued, but hue-wise unrelated.  I want to see a progression, or relationships between the colors, but I don’t; seems choppy to me.  She utilizes two color schemes for main patterns:

Scheme A:                                     Scheme B:
  blue/yellow                                   blue/ochre                            wine/pink
  wine/beige                                                     wine/pink
  blue/yellow.                                   blue/ocre.

She has more contrast in some MC/CC pairs than others:  cream on dark green compared with beige on wine, for instance.  That’s work-with-able, but she puts the greatest contrast sometimes in the center (B), sometimes not (A).  That’s what I meant by “logic” that I’m not perceiving.  Hmmm. . . .  I’ll wait to form my final opinion until after I work more of the design and see it in wool, but I’m thinking I’ll choose for my next band a more traditional Feitelson pattern.

Good progress on the knee socks — past the instep increases and the heel and the ankle decreases, into the straight part of the calf.   But, since this post is focused on “struggles”, I think I’ll save that for another post!

I have definitely been struggling with my intarsia.  the join between intarsia panels  See that joining line? 

My edge-stitches are not as even as I want them to be.  Sometimes, trying harder makes a tension problem worse. . . .  Part of my problem here, I’m sure, is the short, firm cable on the circular needle I’m using — my hands have to work a bit to get the tips together, esp. for purl stitches, making everything harder.  I’ve ordered another needle in this size that I expect will be nicer, but it hasn’t arrived yet and now I’m done with the intarsia portion {hurray!}.  If I were to do this cap over again, I think I’d work the intarsia back and forth flat, and then seam it up the side.  But for now, I’m not sure how much of the unevenness is due to needle-fighting (to be fixed by hardware replacement) and how much comes from my lack of skill (to be improved upon by practice and attention).

My assistant has certainly been doing her best to help keep the multiple strands -errr- untangled. . . .  Chloe helps with intarsia

For more kitty cuteness, try the video link here

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