Friday, March 30, 2007

Argosy complete

Thanks for all of your amazed and encouraging comments about my intense curves. =) Nine days until the due date!

Yesterday, I spent naptime recording the podcast, and completed an episode. Very unfortunately, the entire episode bit the dust when our power went out. Hopefully I'll get a chance to record sometime this weekend, or Monday. Of course, if I don't go into labor first.

Moving on to brighter things:

Argosy is done! It's actually been blocked since last Friday and I've been wearing it often, but I'm just getting around to posting pictures.

As you can see, I've blocked out the edges all pointy, because that just seemed like a good idea to me. I do realize that the pattern calls for a more blocky look. Maybe if I ever have to wash it, I'll block it differently if I'm in a different mood.

I knit 29 repeats, and although it's lacy and light, thinly spun BFL, it feels so cozy and warm wrapped around my neck twice and tied.

As you can see in the picture though, we've had a few days that are rather warm, which of course is the rule for whenever you finish something cozy that you particularly like.

Pattern: Argosy
Yarn: Berry Pickin' BFL from Spunky Club, handspun by me into a DK weight 2-ply.
Needles: size #6 KnitPicks Options circulars
Cast-on to cast-off: the knitting of this took me about 4 days, and then a day to block.
Notes: This was easy to knit, easy to memorize lace pattern. I would recommend this for those beginning to learn how to read a chart, and knitting lace.

Husband Socks update: I've now got 7 inches into the cuffs, and still the yarn does not run out. Holy. Crap.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Huge and round. Oh, and socks.

It's the belly to take over the world.
As of today, I am 38 weeks pregnant. With my first baby, I was 8 days early. With the second, I went one day early. I'd like to think that it's not just getting later and later, but only time will tell. I certainly feel ready, but then again, who doesn't at 38 weeks?

To the curious, yes, those are "regular" jeans that I'm wearing. I almost never wear maternity jeans, because they just fall off of me. Instead, I go up a size in regular, stretchy, low-slung jeans and call it good. Often if I'm not going to go out, I wear yoga pants or similar (also not maternity), because they actually do stay up and are the most comfortable.

Here are the Husband Socks, back on the needles.
The reason why they were taking a time-out was because I had knit a short-row heel and the foot ended up being a few inches too short. Then I started thinking that maybe a short-row heel wasn't the best idea anyway, since I want these to be as comfortable as possible for Mr. Fiberflash, and sometimes that type of heel tends to slip off of the foot. I was thinking about the reverse heel-flap method from Widdershins, but since that involved screwing around with the numbers to make it work for a man-sized sock, as well as learning a new heel method...well, the idea of doing that after ripping out some knitting was just a bit much for me at the time, so I put them aside.

I've become convinced, however, that this baby will not be born until the socks are done, so I have a sudden urgency to complete them right now.

As it turns out, the heel was not complicated at all, and even with all the changing around of numbers, I was still fine. I'm becoming less and less certain, however, that I can present you with a neat, orderly "pattern" for these; you may have to settle for a "recipe" instead. In face, the way things are going right now, that's the plan.

I am so relieved to be past the heel now, and all that I have to do is to go round and round until I run out of yarn. No more figuring anything out, no more counting stitches, no more consulting patterns or making little notes in my knitting notebook. The only thing left to do is decide if I should continue with this pattern all the way up, or change to a 1x1 rib for the top edge of the cuff. I would prefer the former, but I have a feeling that the Mr. would like the latter.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Fat Bottom Bag

Pattern: Fat Bottom Bag by Julie Holetz from The Happy Hooker by Debbie Stoller.
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton (no idea how this cotton differs in any way from Sugar and Cream or Peaches and Cream) in Hot Pink.
Other materials used: Leopard print stretch twill for lining, cotton Amy Butler print for fabric yo-yo flower, pink-and-brown argyle printed ribbon. Wooden handles "rescued" from thrift store bag.
From start to finish: Two days.
Pattern notes: Bag is worked side-to-side, and is very simple.
Modifications: I decreased a little more for the purse flap, because my handles were so much smaller than the ones reccomended in the pattern. I slip-stitched the handle flap closed around the handles instead of sewing them.

I love it when something is done so quickly that I don't even have time to post about it. Somehow, I always forget just how quickly crochet goes. I started the bag yesterday, and was done with it, embellishments and all, by this afternoon. Crazy.

One of my little sisters is turning 9 in a few days, and just so happens to be coming to visit, so she needed something extra special. When I was flipping through The Happy Hooker the other day, this bag stood out to me and I realized that I just had to work it up.

Let's take a quick look at the interesting construction of this bag.

First, it's crocheted sideways, with increases and decreases in the beginning and end to give it a little bit of a cupped shape.

I thought that I was doing something wrong until I was about half-way through, and then I "got" it. Aha. Right. It would have been helpful if the pattern notes mentioned the whole sideways thing.

Then you pick up stitches from each long edge, and bunch them up with single crochet decreases all along.
(That's obviously after I've only done one side.)

The directions say to break yarn after crocheting the handle flap, then go back to sew it down over the handle. I thought that was needless, since a good slip stitch can do the trick with a more "finished" looking result. And I had the crochet hook in my hand anyway, so...

The handles are much smaller than called for, but they were the only ones I could find at the thrift store -- attached to a rather ugly bag, and only a dollar!

Of course, I realize that crocheted and knitted objects have a tendency to stretch, and things can fall through and all, so I dove into my little fabric stash, and came up with this.
Can you see the little pocket? I added it to the lining before the lining was sewed into a pouch shape -- always much easier than trying to sew it in later!

I paid a lot of attention to the details when finishing this. All of my hemmed edges are folded under so there's no raw parts, no threads to come loose, and it all has a very clean effect.

On the outside (as you saw in the first picture), I created a fabric yo-yo flower and stitched it in place over some brown-and-pink argyle ribbon that I wove through the top of the bag.

I love every over-the-top girly feature of this bag. Rachel's birthday is always fun, because it's the only time that I really get to go all out "little girl" with my projects, and she appreciates them to the fullest. It only happens once a year, so I look forward to brainstorming each time. There is one or possibly two more things that will be created for her in the following days before she gets here next week.... and none of them involve knitting (gasp!)

Since this is a knitting blog, here's a pic of the Husband Socks, which, until yesterday, were taking a time-out for bad behavior.

They're back on the needles now, so I'll post progress soon.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

auctions nearing a close...

Hey everyone, if you were interested in anything in my stash sale, remember to bid now -- the auctions end early tomorrow morning!

Nearing the end on Argosy...I might be able to block it out tomorrow. Pictures to come!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Scarfing it

Argosy. As it turns out, there's a lot of buzz

surrounding this particular pattern (check this out), and now I understand.

I was looking through my handspun, and found this skein, which is very dear to my heart.

As we were getting ready to move here to Germany, I carefully packed "comfort" items that would hopefully last through the trip. We had several weeks between the day that we moved out of our apartment in Georgia and the time we needed to arrive in Germany, so we spent the interim with family and friends, visiting and saying goodbye.

One thing that I packed was some Spunky Club roving that I hadn't even wanted to touch before, it was so pretty. It's handpainted in the "Berry Pickin" colorway, 100% BFL wool.

At my parents house, I started spinning it. I spun while I visited with my blogging partner Sarah, while I hung out with my family. I pulled the wheel out to spin a few more yards while we stayed in the hotel, even when I was too overwhelmed to knit, after arriving in Germany. I took my time with it, and finally finished it up at our new apartment.

(The following is how I chose the colors, so if you don't spin and don't want to read about it, feel free to skip to the next bold words in parenthesis.) =)

When I laid the roving out to study the colors, I noticed that much of the green/brown was concentrated in the first third of the length of wool, and the rest was purple.

I split the roving down the middle lengthwise, as evenly as I could, and then pulled the green/brown section off of each. I proceeded to rip all of the roving into thinner strips lengthwise, then worked carefully at drafting each strip out, and rolled them into fluffy little balls.

I ended up with the same number of purple and green sections (the green were shorter, of course), so I began to spin them alternately, to create a self striping yarn. (The singles were spun as thinly as possible -- fingering to laceweight -- to give me as much yardage as possible.)

I spun half of this on one bobbin, and half on another then plied them together. Surprisingly enough, for the first time ever, my singles matched up at the end, and I only had about one inch of excess on one of the bobbins. This has never happened before or since. (!) Another surprise was that the color sequences largely matched up to each-other, purple with purple, green with green.

This ended up as a fingering/DK weight

(OK, if you were skipping down past the techie spin stuff, you can start reading again now.)

This yarn will always have memories of The German Move, it's challenges, excitement, stresses, emotion. I needed to do something with it that would show it off to it's fullest potential. Suddenly, I remembered the Argosy scarf, from the winter edition of Knitty. I am bored with straight stripes at the moment, and the extreme diagonal looked perfect for this. I calculated the length of my 4 oz skein, and was pleased to find that I had the required 260 yards. (Plus, with a scarf, you can always stop whenever you need to, so it would have been okay if I'd run a little short.) What a happy thing!

I started knitting it, and was relieved and pleased to find that the pattern was easy to memorize, and grows like crazy! I cast on for this three days ago, and I can't even believe how much length I've got already.

I highly recommend this pattern for a soothing knit that has great results without being too brain taxing, yet is not boring either.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Itty and Bitty: the hats that will rule the world

Thank you so much to everyone who offered up their yarn for trade. I've accepted the offers that I was interested in, and am now posting the rest on eBay. Look for a post later today with the auction links if you're interested in helping me clean up my stash a little. =)

I've talked about knitting some of the hats from Itty Bitty Hats in the podcast, but I don't think that I've posted about them here at all. Somehow they kept evading the camera. Today, after a stern sit-down, I lined them up on the ledge and took their beauty shots.
(I'm only going to get closer and closer to lunacy as the due date closes in, so get used to it now or leave. Oh yeah, I also get less patient and tolerant and nice. I don't sound like a very pleasant person right now, do I?)

Patterns: (From left) Rosebud, Bunny Tail
Yarn: RYC Cashsoft (less than one ball for each)
Modifications: For white hat, I omitted the flowers. What if it's a boy, and I spend all of that time on the flowers? Also, what if this warm weather continues and having wool flowers all 'round would make it unwearable? So many questions.
For light brown hat I knit the ears much, much shorter. I wonder though if I did something wrong, and somehow knit them too close together? Thought that I was following the directions exactly, but anythings possible.

My favorite part of the white hat is the slightly gathered looking spiral at the top.

Currently in progress:

Inca Snowflake

Needs white crocheted edging, embroidered snowflake, fleece lining.

And this:
Marshmallow Bonnet

Have to knit about one more inch on the chin strap, work the bobble and the little pink splashy things for the top.

You can get the RYC Cashsoft Baby DK and RYC Cashsoft DK (the same yarn, but different colors) right now on clearance at Webs by clicking here and here. Not that you need more yarn, but just in case you have a Cashsoft emergency. You never know when that might happen.

Because I know that it's all about the pr0n, here's two portraits for you of something I'm working on right now:

More details on what this is and what it's becoming in my next post.

Baby Bolero

I've just compiled a handspun gallery. I think that I've spun a bit more than this, but it's all the pics I could find at the moment. When I figure out how to, I'll add the link to the sidebar as well.

Today, I finished blocking the Baby Bolero from One Skein. It was, indeed, knit out of only one skein of my handspun. I had spun up 200 yards of 3-ply, light worsted weight merino/organic brown cotton (50/50 blend called Golden Fleece by New World Textiles), and was a little concerned that I might not have enough. No worries -- I still had maybe 10 yards left when I had cast off. (The pattern calls for a 250 yard skein of Blue Sky Alpaca Organic Cotton in the same color.)

To create this yarn, I spun from the fold, which was the only way I was able to keep a relatively consistent singles. Spinning from the fold is rather easy and almost magical, like it's drafting itself, but the trouble is, you have to keep wrapping new little bits around your finger over and over. I streamlined it a little by ripping off thumb-sized chunks of the roving ahead of time, and keeping them stacked next to me while I spun. I've found that my spinning is much more even when I can keep my rhythm going, and this helped with that some.

Since there is no baby yet to model the knit, I've called upon Purple Bear, who probably has similar measurements to the little person, although certainly better posture.
I loved the squishy feel of the three-ply, but the garment softened even more with blocking. Now I want to knit everything out of this blend. If only it wasn't so time consuming to spin!

Pattern: Baby Bolero from One Skein by Leigh Radford
Needles: Knit Picks Options sizes #6 (for the body) and #7 (for ribbed edges)
Yarn: My own three-ply cotton/merino handspun
Notes: This was a simple and satisfying knit. Unfortunately, I made my brain work a little more by insisting that first I spin the yarn myself, and secondly that I exchange the eyelet motif on the back for an embossed snowflake instead (modification of stitch pattern from Vogue Stitchionary Volume 1). Normally I love tweaking projects to my own specs, but my brain is feeling like so much pudding at this point in the pregnancy.

Let's go ahead and have one more look at the back, shall we?
Ah yes, this little sweater pleases me much.

Note to baby: Remember what I said about all the projects I was trying to accomplish before you show up? Never mind about all that. You can feel free to say hello to everyone at your earliest convenience. And anyway, your sweater's ready.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Swap Strikes Again

SWAP UPDATE #2: I have accepted all of the offers that I was interested in, and have now posted the rest of the goods on eBay. See this post for links to the auctions if you're interested (I've also added a hank of Schaefer Yarn "Elaine")

SWAP UPDATE: all of the Koigu has been swapped. Still available are the Inox circular needles, the handspun Monster Mash yarn and the two blue skeins of sock yarn (Mountain Colors Bearfoot and Briar Rose Fibers Sweet Freedom).

ETA: Inox sock needles

Today I was going through my stash again, and found some more yarn that needs a new home. I realized that, although I have an emotional attachment to all of these for different reasons, I will never knit them. All eight skeins are fingering weight sock yarn. Swap, anyone?

(I've done my best to photograph these as true to their colors as possible, but please give me a little room for shade-error!)

From left: Briar Rose Fibers Sweet Freedom -- DISCONTINUED! "3011" (75% superwash wool, 25% nylon, approx 400 yds/365 mts, 100 grams), Mountain Colors BEARFOOT "Glacier Teal" (60% superwash wool, 25% mohair, 15% nylon, 350 yds, 100 grams), Koigu KPPPM "P30859" (two skeins), Koigu KPPPM "P211 190" (two skeins), Koigu KPPPM colorway unknown (two skeins that I wound into balls and then re-skeined, sans labels).

I have three pairs of unused, still new in package Inox circular needles that also need a new home. They are as follows:
Inox 2.25mm (US 1) 24"
Inox Express 2.25 (US 1) 29"
Inox Express 2.00 (US 0) 29"

Also, I will throw in these two skeins of my handspun (dyed by Spunky Eclectic in "Monster Mash" colorway). It's approx 223 yards total of thick and thin bulky weight singles, 100% Falkland wool. This wool is as soft as Merino, but somehow seems even sproingier/spongy. Perfect for a pair of mittens or hat. Some parts are over/underspun, as such is currently the beauty of my singles. =) I will wind these into center pull balls if you wish.

Here are some more beauty shots just to give a better feel for the true colors.

What I really want to trade for are solid or semi-solid sock yarns, esp. Koigu, Lorna's Laces, Sundara, etc., but suggest anything you think will push my buttons. If you've read this blog for a while, you can probably guess at the kind of stuff I like. I'll even consider fiber, because I am always willing to add to the fiber stash, so give me an offer!

There are 10 skeins total. I will split these up if need be, and of course German chocolate/snacks are included in the deal. (And all of that Koigu is just begging to be knit up into a Charlotte's Web or similar. Can't you see it?)

I will ship US or international. For those in the States, I have a US address you can mail to.

On to some actual knitting content!

For some reason I haven't actually blogged about them until now, but this is a pair of socks I'm knitting for my husband.

He is picky, and I'm picky, so I ended up having to come up with a pattern myself. As it turns out, Ann Budd must be in my head more than I realized, because this is something of a reinvention of her Herringbone Rib ladies' pattern (available for free download at Interweave Knits to subscribers).

This is my first pair of toe-ups, and my first "two-at-a-times" as well. I had to cast on for them 7 or 8 different times and ended up having to reskein and wash the yarn so that it would even be knitable for my final successful toe choice. My husband is not impressed by the usual wedge shaped toe of many hand-knitted socks (I think it makes him feel panicky to imagine his toes being crowded into there, although I find them rather comfortable myself), so I had to come up with something that would work for him.

First I used the method in the Kelly Petkun's KnitPicks pattern Two At Once (essentially the Magic Cast-On), but the toe shape wasn't round enough. I tried several different stitch counts to remedy that, but finally worked Wendy Johnson's short-roe toe from her toe-up sock pattern, and all was finally well with the world. Now if I can just decide on the right heel, maybe I can see a little more progress...

Monday, March 12, 2007

Three plies

The perseverance with the butterscotch fiber (Golden Fleece) was worth it. This is the squishiest three-ply I've ever spun. The drape is beautiful because of the cotton, yet the yarn is light on account of the Merino. Even better is the way that it's knitting up.

I cast on for the Baby Bolero from One Skein (by Leigh Radford) two days ago, and have gotten this far. I'm modifying it with an embossed snowflake on the back instead of the lace detail. I'll post a clearer shot later.

You can see the skein of two ply in this picture as well. That will be for the Fiber Trends hat and booties which I will cast on for next.

This fiber blend is working up into the perfect fabric for an April baby. It'll be light and breathable, yet warm and serviceable at the same time.

As I knit, I keep thinking of the soft, peachy little body that will model this in just a few weeks!
My midwife was here today, and says that she thinks the baby will be a few days late, but I'm hoping she's wrong. The baby has already gotten uncomfortably low, which I know doesn't mean anything, but I can always wish...

Friday, March 09, 2007

Butter and spinning butterscotch

Butter. I've always taken it for granted. Certainly I've always preferred it to margarine or any type of "butter flavored" spread, but up until recently, butter was butter.

A few months ago, a listener of the podcast emailed me and suggested that next time I shopped the cheese truck, I should ask for French butter with salt. I did so, and the same day went to the grocery store and purchased German unsalted butter, and Irish unsalted as well (Irish Gold, I think, which also happens to be sold in the states). We had American butter already at home (both Organic Valley and Land 'O Lakes), so I also got a nice crusty baguette and we conducted an Official Taste Test. To my utter surprise, they all tasted completely different (you didn't see that one coming, did you?).

Five butters, five distinct flavors.

The Land 'O Lakes was tasted both first and last, since it's the "regular" standard in this house. At first bite, it just tasted normal, like butter should. After all the others, it had a slightly off flavor. It reminded me of when you leave milk out and re-chill it, and that "warm", ever so slightly sour edge it gets.

Organic Valley was quite good, with a balanced creamy butter-fat to salty flavor.

The German was pure and sweet, and we decided that it was "good".

Irish was not only sweet, but it was the creamiest butter I've ever tasted. The fat melted quickly on the tongue, and when I made Irish Soda Bread the next day, it was an absolute match. This butter never needs to be left out to soften. It would never tear bread, and has the highest percentage of butter-fat in the sample group.

And then we tasted the French butter. Oh my. It tasted of fresh cream and cheese and salt and... well, would you be shocked to find that it stood up to the baguette perfectly? And who wouldn't love something that comes packaged like this, anyway?

For about a week now I've been working on the butterscotch colored Golden Fleece cotton/merino, and this is as far as I've gotten on the second bobbin.

I have one more to spin before I can start the three-ply. My plan is to fill the third bobbin half-way, then create a three-ply skein (worsted weight), which should be enough yards for the Baby Bolero from One Skein (by Leigh Radford). I'll then make the rest of the singles into a two-ply and use the resulting DK weight for Fiber Trends Baby Basics hat and booties with the lace edgings. If this baby ends up being a girl, I may find a way to thread a silky pink ribbon through some of the lace. Or maybe I'll just leave it as is, not sure.

Regardless, I am now bored out of my mind spinning this monochromatic singles, and I just want to get to the knitting!! Even though the color is exactly what I was in the mood for, it's still not enough to keep my interest after a full week of the same. So here I am blogging, thinking that if I procrastinate a bit, that will help. Right. Back to the wheel...

Thursday, March 08, 2007

What "Quark" actually is, etc.

This crochet/knittting mockumentary is cracking me up today.

Apparently, it is possible to find out about "qwark" online, when you spell it thusly: "quark".

Jennifer has purchased this quark in Montreal.

Elemmaciltur found it on Wikipedia.

Thank you to both!

I'm currently spinning up the merino/cotton, but no pics yet...

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Some German Fun

As mentioned in Episode 10 of the podcast, my husband and I recently had a wonderful weekend in the city of Kaiserslautern. We stayed for two nights, and my sister Hannah watched the boys for us, so it was just the Mr. and I, and we really needed the time together. It's kind of funny when holding hands becomes a novelty again. ("Wait -- I don't have to hold onto a little person! I think I'll hold onto you instead.")

The hotel was cute and comfortable, with a breakfast like none we've ever had at any place we've stayed at. Besides eggs and bacon (made to order when you step into the dining room), there was also endless coffee, tea, and a spread that included (but was not limited to) this:

Grainy bread with plum butter, muesli, creamy qwark ("w" is a "v"), stewed prunes, chocolate slices

The muesli, qwark and stewed prunes didn't sound as though they'd be good together, but it was incredibly tasty, and so filling that neither of us really wanted anything other than a little snack between our late breakfast and dinner. Amazing, since we are both usually starving almost as soon as a meal is done.

Someone's going to ask, so I'll just tell you now: qwark is some sort of a thick dairy product that tastes like a combination of yogurt, sour cream, and creme frech, although not really any of those things at all. Isn't that all kinds of helpful? Yeah, and you won't even get much more from Googling it either. But you can try.

At the round-about ("traffic-circle" for those in the US), there was this group of soccer player statues:

Back view. Notice the spectators sitting on the overpass.

A closer view.

I know, strange. Then after you go beneath the overpass, there's a field next to the police department with an entire game blocked out with statues.

I realize that what follows is the ultimate touristy thing to do, and we got some looks from passing cars, but we couldn't help ourselves.

There is a large shopping district (which in Germany means that there are "walking only" streets paved in cobblestones with little shops all along), and we spent several hours on Saturday walking all around until my back and legs couldn't take it anymore. (It's hard to carry this much weight on the front end!)

During our travels, we saw this guy:

He stood as still as a statue until people would drop money into his tin cup, at which point he'd bow or something to thank them. My question was, why are we paying this guy? I understand the random coins thrown to street musicians and the like, but how do I know if this guy is entertaining me? How can I make that decision while he just stands there, barely breathing? I suppose that all this wondering was entertaining in itself, but we still didn't tip him. There was another dude, who was doing the same thing a block or so up, so it must be the popular thing to do there. No idea why.

I also noticed this statue in the middle of one of the walking streets:

It was some sort of a guy, I guess, and if you look closely you will notice that someone had graciously given him some pretzels.

Dinner on Friday was at an Italian place with "ok" food, but on Saturday we went to the highly recommended restaurant "21", which is on the top floor (happens to be floor 21. Didn't see that one coming, did you?) of the tallest building in the city. Our appetizers were stellar (Mr. Fiberflash got a thin creamy lobster soup -- not bisque. I had tomato and grilled eggplant bruscetta.), and Mr. F's main course of fillet was incredible. My meal was rather tough baby lamb chops, but because of the language barrier, I didn't feel comfortable sending it back to the kitchen, and just choked down one or two of them in spite of the fact that I had to essentially swallow them whole.

For dessert we had a very interesting sampler platter of both stewed and fresh fruit, various chocolate things, and a large square of tirimisu.

View from the restaurant:

This photo and the one below were taken at the same window. This one with the regular "auto" setting on my digital, and the other with the "night" setting.

(Can you see me?)

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Episode 10 is live

New podcast episode is up!


Blogger had me tagged as a spam blogger. My gosh. Well. After an "official review" by their tech team, they've determined that I'm actually a real live person. What a relief! I now have Blogger validating me as a person!!! Hurrah!

Ok. On to a way overdue write up of a finished knit.

Gorgeous hat on a gorgous guy. What's there not to like?

This Shedir was completed right after the New Year, and I am just now getting around to posting it. Part of the trouble was that bad weather made it difficult to do an outside photo shoot, which I insisted on for this one.

This was a pretty fussy knit, since the cables are so intricate. I'm pretty sure that my gauge was off, since I had to knit an extra repeat of the cable columns, and still it's not, by any means, a "long" hat as is suggested by the pattern. However, I found it very difficult to check my gauge on a twisty set of cables, so I just trusted that the hat would stretch as needed, which it does. Plus, I really liked the particular fabric that was coming off of my needles, and didn't want to change it.

Check out the crown decreases.

If that doesn't make all the fuss worth it, I'm not sure what does.

Now one of my brothers, Jom, wants this hat in burgundy for his birthday, which is at the end of April (read: very soon after baby's birth). Maybe he'll get one for Christmas, if I feel particularly giving.

Shedir from Knitty's breast cancer awareness mini-issue PDF download (go to "archives" and look just below "Summer 2005")
Yarn: Rowan Calmer in Coffee Bean colorway (as seen at Brooklyn Tweed). I used less than one ball.
Needles: Knitpicks Classic Circulars, 32" size 3, magic loop technique.
Cast on to cast off: I can't totally remember when I cast on for this, but it was completed on January 3rd. I think it took me about 2 weeks.
Modifications: One extra repeat of cabled columns
Notes: I did use a cable needle, and it was really slow to start with, but after a while I became adept at using it quickly. I would highly reccomend being comfortable with following charted patterns before attempting this project. However, I did find this to be a good foray into the category of "Extraspicy" rated projects, since it's so small. (This is why I didn't cry when I had to rip back several repeats all the way back to the ribbing.)
Other posts I've made about this: Casting off and casting on, Resolute
Extra info: There is one tiny bit of errata in this pattern. I think that it's row 54 or 64. It has to do with the first stitch, and I'll edit this post later if I can find the pattern copy that I was writing on as I knit. If you're knitting this, you shouldn't have trouble figuring it out when you get to it.


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