Sunday, January 11, 2009

And so we begin . . .

With the first of my plans for the new year done and dusted. As promised, I finished the driving cap for ToolMan.

I used the Mikey Cap pattern which I found on Ravelry but I made some modifications to the pattern. The pattern called for Mountain Colors Bearfoot but ToolMan has specifically requested a hat from my hand spun. I had originally thought I'd use some brown alpaca from my fiber stash to spin yarn for this project. Turns out alpaca, or at least that alpaca, and I don't exactly get along well yet. I spun samples of it every way I could think of: woollen, worsted, high twist, low twist, singles, two ply, three ply, ad nauseum. None of it was what I had envisioned for this project. So, I went back to the stash and pulled out a two-ply I had spun last year during Official All-Pajama Weekend.

Because I didn't use the required yarn, I had to modify the pattern to fit my gauge, rather than the one called for in the pattern. I also modified the brim to make it deeper and wider, added interfacing, a sturdy hidden band for structure, and silk lining. It still needs a band of grosgrain on the inside, so I'll have to take it with me to shop for the right color. After several try-ons, modifications, adjustments, steaming, folding, and fussing, we have at last the final finished object, modeled by a grateful, if reluctantly photographed, recipient:

I had thought that I'd enter this in the Washington County Fair, but after finishing it today, I think I'll do another one to enter. I want to completely re-write this pattern, to include a deeper back, the larger brim, adding the interfacing for body, and lining.

In an effort not to drive myself completely nuts doing gift knitting for next year, I joined the Christmas 2009 Monthly Make Ahead Group on Ravelry. The group will be knitting different items every month so that, hopefully, by next December all our gift knitting will be done and we can cross "Christmas Shopping" off our lists. The projects for January are "Ornaments and Miniatures". Perfect oddball knitting and perfect train-commuter knitting! I've done these since New Year's:

These are from some very small balls of leftover Lion Brand sock yarns.

I had bought a ball of Fortissima at Dublin Bay on last year's Seattle to Portland Yarn Shop Crawl. I used it for a shawl which was donated to a charity auction last year, but had a little ball left over. I knit up the sweater and still had over half of it left, so I added a skirt and scarf. This little trio will be gifted to a co-worker's daughter, who has just discovered the allure of Barbie dolls. These take no time at all to knit, so she may be acquiring quite the wardrobe for her dolls.

And I made some progress on my other resolution: the Queen Anne's Lace Shawl. Behold, a big lump of white lace:

I just finished row 149 of 160. I had 4 balls of Paton's Beehive Baby; that's the last ball there in the picture. I began to worry that I might not have enough to finish, so I went out shopping for another ball. I couldn't find Beehive Baby, but I did find Beehive Sport. The weight difference is very slight and it'll be only on the last few rounds and the bind off, so I think it'll be OK if I have to use it. But these rounds now take about a hour each, so it's doubtful that I'll finish it this week. It on my Boye Needlemaster set; I'm using the 3 longest cables, but it looks like I might have to add the last one before I finish. This thing is going to be huge; it's supposed to be 5 - 6 feet across. The next problem will be: Just where am I going to block this thing?


  1. You could block it in a room with a door so that Andy Rooney doesn't go tiptoeing across it. Across a bed or on the floor? Set up a box fan at the end of the bed and you might have the use of it back by bedtime, if you start in the morning.

  2. The hat absolutely ROCKS!! Toolman is a lucky, lucky boy. I am SO impressed. That's a master work.

    Blocking a six-foot shawl? Hmmm. Could you pin it to the ceiling? Block it in sections? On a dry day, I have stapled things to the side of the house in desperation.

  3. That hat is PERFECT, in general and on ToolMan.


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