Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Mad Hatter

After Christmas we headed up to Oregon to spend some time in the snow. As we were packing to leave sunny California (where it is unseasonably cold at 55 degrees) to head to sub freezing temperatures I realized something that amazed me. Astounded me really. I. Have. No. Hats! Can you believe it? Me of the ever loving, hat knitting craze? Seems I've given them all away!

There was only one solution. Quick - knit a hat! I found some very soft pink angora mix that I had used to make a hat for my niece (the one with the cool picot edging) and some great thick purple yarn and viola! A hat for me. It is a little big but works well without messing up the hair too much. Then I couldn't stop. I cast on another on the drive up. Next I used some Luxor yarn in gold. If you haven't ever tried it you should. Luxor is really cool and has a somewhat metalic look to it. I made a silver one in the summer for the chemo cap donations. I ended up making it a bit too small (I have a big head) so it will ultimately end up as a gift to someone. Then when I finished that I cast on another and another! When will it stop? I hope everyone has a fun filled, knit filled and hat filled New Years!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

We Interrupt this Knitting Blog

This one's for Bonnie! Now those of you who know me and have been reading my blog for any period of time will know that I never post sewing projects. There is a very simple explanation for that - I can't sew! But alas on a trip to Joann's with my daughter I saw the cutest pattern for a rooster apron. We were going to a holiday dinner hosted by a friend who collects chickens. I thought it would be the perfect hostess gift. So I asked Miss K if she would sew it. I needed another project like a hole in my head but sure enough, we took it home, cut it out and put it together. The ruffle was a bit troublesome so we had to call in the cavalry. That's right - MOM to the rescue. Turns out the instructions were wrong on that part but she got it together and if I do say so myself it turned out to be adorable. Our friend loved it and wore it all evening.

We also went up to Marin on Saturday for our family holiday dinner. It never ceases to take my breath away when we drive up to San Francisco, turn the corner and there you see the Golden Gate Bridge. Truly one of the most spectacular sights around. It was a beautiful, crystal clear day. I just wish I could have spent the afternoon taking photos.

I hope everyones holiday preparations are going well and that you have a joyous and love filled holiday.

Friday, December 19, 2008


I should be doing my Christmas cards, wrapping gifts, decorating the tree, cleaning the house, working on my holiday scarf, finishing my sister's present or so many other responsibilities that are looming as the big day fast approaches. So why do I find myself casting on for a cabled hat? I admired Monica's hat and she was kind enough to share the pattern with me. I found this gorgeous yarn in my stash and decided it was just perfect. She started off with the cables immediately. I decided to do a garter brim. I think if I did it over again I might do a ribbed brim - we'll have to see how it looks. I'm also thinking about casting on a different hat for myself. Why can't I focus and stay with my other responsibilities? I guess that is what knitting is for right? An escape? My wish for you is that you slow down and enjoy the rest of the holiday season and that you take the time to engage in some escapist knitting!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Yes Virginia

Yes Virginia, I really do still exist though my blog might indicate otherwise. I must say I was truly shocked to realize it has been 3 weeks since my last post. I knew I was delinquent. I guessed it had been roughly 10 days since I last posted. But I was blown away when I realized it had been three weeks. Twenty-one days! One week short of a month!!! Where has the time gone? Clearly I have been in a whirlwind that is the holiday/birthday/year-end season.

The weeks have been busy helping Miss K get ready for her Jr. High holiday faire. She and a friend made 40 pairs of flannel PJ's and shorts! They also made 10 tied fleece blankets. It was a huge amount of work but they did quite well and sold all but 3 pairs. They were very excited. A special thanks goes out to my Mom who was really the laboring oar with the help. Miss K did most of the sewing herself but Grani was there for moral support, assistance when needed and the seam ripper. It appears that much as I hate frogging my knitting Miss K hates ripping a seam. Do you think that could be genetic?

On the knitting front I have been working on a holiday scarf for myself. I had not intended to but was in the yarn store and saw the most gorgeous shades of deep red and green in Touch Me yarn. I decided to splurge but then had to find just the right pattern. I recalled seeing a cute scarf made in ribbing with two colors. The "bumps" where one color and the "valleys" were another. I knew that was what I wanted but I could not remember where I had seen the pattern. I looked and looked and looked and finally realized it was 2 color brioche. I cast on, ripped out, cast on ripped out and cast on again. I couldn't get it right. Then I tried stripes - both horizontal and vertical. Then I cast on the brioche again. I was making good progress (about 10 inches) when I made a mistake. I tried to go back but the stitches got messed up. In a fit of frustration I frogged the entire scarf. I knew I only had one more chance. Both my patience and the yarn were worn quite thin. So I went to the good ole Babs Walker treasury and found a two color slip stitch that just might work. It had the look of brioche and also the pattern looked a bit like little Christmas trees to me. It is not reversible but the back side looks nice enough. I'm now just about half way done and glad I finally found the right patern. The photos really don't do the yarn justice but you can see the stitch. I was worried that the scarf would be too short as I didn't buy much of the yarn but I think it will turn out to be about 50+ inches long so that will work just fine.

I also finished the girls holiday hats. Miss K (the wearer of all things green) got the green and red one in 2 color brioche (hey - I had to use it somewhere!) The red was really too thin - if I do it again I need a thicker yarn but it turned out pretty cute. There are some serious flaws in the decreases but luckily they are hidden where the hat folds. I was on a serious deadline to get the hat done before the town light parade and I finished about 5 minutes after we were supposed to be there! For some reason I would knit round and round and round and it didn't seem to grow very quickly.

Horsey Girl's hat is a more typical santa hat but the yarn is stretch and sparkly so it gives it a bit more pizzaz. They both wore them to the light parade and looked adorable but I'm not sure they'll ever wear them again. I hope they will. Next year I'll add one for the Little Man.

I hope everyone is enjoying the season and that your holiday crafts are going well.