The Virtue Of Knit Hats

Just in time, my Cold Snap Hat is done.

Cold snap

It knit up, I promise you, in no time at all.  And it looks good on everyone, even our sweet doggie.


Best of all, it matches my Olivia wrap.  I'm wearing them together, all week long, with everything. They're delightfully warm and soft, and everything that knitting should be.  Knit hats have such great virtue, especially when the temperature dips down into the teens or even single digits.  There is nothing I would rather have and I'm glad this one is done.



Olivia At Last


I'm done with Olivia!  Despite some last minute, late night concerns about finishing the short rows and some early struggles with fisherman's rib, I'm finished and really very please with the result.


I like the color.  In case you've forgotten, since it's taken me months to do the knitting, this is the Plucky Knitter's Holloway colorway on her Primo Aran yarn.  Lovely.


Let's be candid.  Because we are all friends here.

There are mistakes in my Olivia.  Mistakes I did not fix.  I struggled to fix mistakes in the rib, so I finally decided that the two places with mistakes needed to stay.  And I needed to embrace them because, well, Olivia is not perfect and neither am I.  Good reminder of my limitations.


I love her despite, or perhaps even because of, her mistakes.  She's so warm and scrunchy, even though the yarn grew and softened with a good wet blocking.  I'm hoping my model will give her back to me at some point.  It's been hours, but she still shows no signs of returning Olivia to me.


I've got almost three-fourths of the last skein left, so I've cast on a hat to match.  I love the host of cables. Hopefully with a three day weekend, there will be some time to knit this up.


Knitting Catch Up

With apologies — my long lovely weekend with this child


kept me from blogging.  But, not knitting.  In addition to reporting that she thoroughly enjoyed visiting Georgetown and had a great time auditioning at the Washington Ballet, I have some knitting progress to share.


One thing I have come to accept about myself is that although I can pack a week's worth of clothing in a carry on bag, my "personal item" — the second carry on airlines allow — is exclusively devoted to knitting.  For this four day trip, I had four projects along with me.


Top to bottom you can see my newly cast on Tipperary Shawl, the French Laundry colorway  portion of my Sugarloaf Cowl peeking out, a wee bit of my Vodka Lemonade sweater in the bag with the green zipper, and Olivia, which grew a lot on this trip.


I'm indulging my inner geek here, and sharing my Da Vinci drawing style Dr. Who meets the Daleks project bag, which is Olivia's home.  


My big knitting news is finally finishing the fisherman's rib portion of Olivia, and moving on to the short rows.  For some reason, short rows and I have never been friends before, but we are getting along famously this time.


There was, however, the predictable knitting disaster without which no trip would be complete.  Forgive the late night/hotel room/bad lighting photo, but it portrays the exact moment at which my lurking suspicion that the game of yarn chicken I was playing with my third skein of Plucky Primo Aran was going to end badly.  See the little bit of yarn that trails across the right front side of Olivia?  That would be the 12" of yarn left from my last skein.  And, at this point, I still have 50 short rows left before I get to the lengthy cast off row.

This was the first project I cast on with Plucky yarn, and I didn't stop to realize that the yardage for the pattern yarn, Plucky Traveler Aran, is different than the yardage for the Primo Aran that I substituted. Several other knitters noted the need to shorten the rib when knitting in Primo to conserve yarn for the garter portion of the pattern, but apparently oblivious, this girl knit a fulsome seven inches of rib and then came up short on the garter.

Thankfully, a kind knitter has already put one of her precious skeins in the mail to me.  I'm hoping for a good match and a bit of time this weekend, as I'm ready to wrap Olivia's squishy goodness around my neck. Love, love, love this pattern.


Fisherman’s Rib

I'm still knitting Olivia. For the record, that's almost seven inches of fisherman's rib. It has taken me just about all of two skeins of Plucky Primo Aran (more like a light worsted weight that an aran) to get to this point.

It has been a long slog, as you all know, because it's just about all I've blogged about for weeks. But it is so worth it. Nothing, absolutely nothing, is as cushy as fisherman's rib and I can't wait to wrap Olivia around my neck. That is, if I ever manage to finish.

Fisherman's Rib


A Weekend’s Worth Of Knitting

I seem to be having a glut of "welcome to the new year, everything is going crazy" overtime at work and insanity with kids, but despite that, I did find a bit of time to knit over the weekend.  And especially, a big thanks to Downton Abbey, when everything in my house comes to a halt and I can knit and indulge.


I devoted my knitting time this past weekend to Olivia.  Olivia is the first project I ever cast on in yarn from The Plucky Knitter.  It's Primo Aran in the Holloway color, a delicious teal.  This is the first time I've ever done a Fisherman's Rib, and the number of mistakes in this project (I've found the rib almost impossible to rib back and make corrections in) attest to my learning process.  Although it's slow, I've reached the point where I really enjoy it.  I'm about four inches into what needs to be seven inches of rib.  

For the next couple of weeks, I'll probably have painstakingly slow photos of "oh look, I've knit another half inch of Fisherman's Rib" to show you, so in an effort to make up for that in advance, I'll share this odd but intriguing cell phone video my daughter shot in her ballet class, because she knew I would like the music.  It's grainy and off kilter but really moving.  If you're interested, she comes in midway through in a black unitard with a white top and sleeves.  Yes, it has absolutely nothing to do with knitting, but imagine all the warm ups you could knit for those dancers, if you really put your mind to it!





Works in Progress

The week I go back to work after the holidays is always a bad week for knitting (as much as it is good to be back with good friends and getting the job done).  I manage to get in a bit of knitting when I wake up and a bit at night, so this week wasn't a total knitting loss.  But progress was slow.


Thea Coleman's  Vodka Lemonade pattern is my most challenging project at the moment.  It's a sweater pattern knit in The Plucky Knitter's delicious Crew yarn, a merino/cotton blend.  That is the collar that you see above.  It's knit in seed stitch. I'm in the decided minority of knitters who enjoy knitting it.  It's slow going and time consuming, but it's very pretty.  At this rate, it will take me quite some time to finish the collar before I get on with the body of the sweater, but I don't mind at all.


Paddle Mitts are a Tin Can Knits pattern.  Like the other patterns I've knit from this designer, the pattern is straightforward and the finished item is utilitarian.  And I have managed to create a small disaster with what should have been a simple project.  I decided to use my favorite skein of yarn, this beautiful skein of Plucky Scholar, which is a worsted weight blend of cashmere and merino in a rustic spin.


That would have been just dandy, had I seriously contemplated the fact that Scholar was a bit heavier than the yarn the pattern was written for and sized down, but no, I did not.  That was okay in the body of the hand, where the ribbing made it work.  But there was drama with the thumb and I overcompensated with rapid decreases after picking up the stitches for it.  I've pulled that all out and am starting over for a thumb that works with the rest of the mitts. This will go into the man-sized pile for gift giving, darn it.  I hope I have enough yarn to do a second pair for myself.


When The Plucky Knitter introduced her first collection of patterns, All Bundled Up, last weekend, I enjoyed looking them over and admired several enough to add to my Ravelry queue of patterns to knit this year.  I even contemplated buying yarn for one of the sweaters in the near future.  But then it hit.  The Sugarloaf Infinity Scarf pattern was so tempting.  It was written for my favorite yarn, Snug, and it just so happened I had the perfect colorways for it in my stash.  So on my needles it went, and it's unusual little rib was an enjoyable knit while we watched a move on TV last night (The Life Acquatic with Steve Zissou, which you should watch if you haven't seen it and like slightly snarky, self-indulgent humor).


I have plans this weekend to work on my Olivia wrap, and I wanted to get in more work on Vodka Lemonade's collar, but I'm afraid Sugarloaf has captivated me, and may end up as the attention-getter in whatever time I have this weekend.  Fortunately, it's cold outside and there is a lot of appeal to sitting inside where it is warm and this is hot tea and I can knit.