Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 - Year in Review

For the first time since taking on this project I failed to make my goal of 24 hats. Although I do feel that I have a good reason given that I started the new year out wearing a cast on my left hand. The reconstructive surgery of my left thumb that I had in November of 2013 kept me in physical therapy for five months before requiring an additional surgery in late June. Thankfully I didn't require another cast, but did have a metal pin holding my thumb in a stationary position, and of course, more weeks after of physical therapy. This unfortunately left me with little mobility to work with my yarn. I have found that knitting gauge has changed and I am unable to hold dpns or cable needles in my left hand like I once did. I've made accommodations to my knitting habits, but it certainly slows down my speed.

All this aside, I did manage to create several hats I was happy with and would like to showcase once more in my year-in-review.

The #5 favorite hat: Green Drizzle
My most recently finished hat I like the way the darker band contrasts with the brightness of the overall green. The added lacework gives the hat a touch of pretty.

The #4 favorite hat: Autumn Meadow
A new colorway of Simpliworsted yarn that made this super easy pattern look really good. This hat only took one skein of this nice soft comfy yarn.

The #3 favorite hat: Bluebell
Super silky yarn made into a crocheted hat designed by my friend Laura Krzak. I'm not the best at crochet, but I enjoyed making this pattern and I liked the results.

The #2 favorite hat: French Country Aqua
Another crocheted pattern with a fun embellished silk flower. It looks very dressed up. I think its the flower.

And my #1 favorite hat for 2014: Fluff - 
both Marshmallow and Toasted (I couldn't decide)
Another original design that I'm quite happy with now that I have the directions written in such a way that the bobble section makes sense to others. (I'm still figuring out how to communicate with others, LOL) The two versions look very different, but I like them both equally.

So that's my selections for this year. I'm a couple of hats short of my goal of two hats per month but I did still manage to give away some hats, so I should be happy. I think of all the hats still needed every time I go with my dad to his oncology appointments, so I know I'll keep making hats, but I also know I need to take a bit of time and actually knit for myself. I never have. Not once. So I'll be changing things a bit for 2015. Although I'll still be looking for new patterns to share, 2015 will be all about using my stash yarn and if the pattern is new and different. Perhaps in doing so I'll have a few minutes to spare for personal knitting. 
I hope your New Year is healthy and happy. Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

December #1 2014 - Green Drizzle

This was probably the longest I have ever taken to finish a hat. Not because the hat itself was difficult, it was actually not bad (even if it was in a DK weight yarn), but because the process was interrupted by my second hand surgery back in June. Yes, June. Which of course meant no knitting again for several months. By the time I was able to hold my needles again, I was getting ready to head back to school and all the craziness that that brings with it. I simply did not spend the usual amount of time knitting.

Unfortunately when I put the hat down I also did not make any notes as to where I left off. I'm certain I thought I'd remember (what the heck was I thinking?). Therefore, I was confused and honestly I didn't want to take the time to figure it out, I just wanted to finish (and could you blame me?). So, instead I opted to modify the pattern, omit the lace work at the crown, do one even decrease round so that I could start my  basic decrease pattern at 88 stitches. Simply and effective. If you didn't know the pattern you wouldn't realize anything was missing.

Catching up

Yes, I'm catching up on back posts. It seems rather silly to post an October hat after I posted one for November and since it is already December. Honestly. I have been rather bad these past months, haven't I?

So instead of having a series of oddly dated/named posts, I'm just having this one with a bunch of hat updates. Don't get too excited, I think I kept putting off posting about this particular hat because I'm not very happy with the end result.

You know how it is when you get something in your head and you can't let it go? Well it doesn't always work out. I saw this Ski Bunny Headband by Drops Design in the September 2010 Creative Knitting and I thought it was very cute, but obviously I wanted it to be a hat. So I decided to adapt the pattern. I followed the pattern as written through casting off and then went back and picked-up 88 stitches along the top side of the headband, knit two rows and started a basic decrease pattern. I used Berroco Comfort in Grape Jelly on a size 7 16" circular needle and a set of 7 dpns. Stitches used are knit, purl, k2tog and pf/b.

I'm fairly certain the reason I'm not happy with the outcome is my yarn choice. Because the hat is intended for chemo patients I like to use non-wool yarns, but then the yarn often doesn't keep its shape and tends to be a bit floppy in some patterns. The finished hat doesn't look bad once you put it on, I'm just just that sold on the final look.

Work has been excessively busy for me this fall and I find myself working from home instead of knitting. I miss the stress relieve that knitting provides, but I haven't found a solution just yet. I did manage to quickly knit up some simple hats for November. Nothing special, nothing new.

Dream is the Button-tab hat pattern that I've made before and is knit with Berroco Comfort in Chalk and Barley on a 16" size 7 circular needle and a set of size 7 dpns. Stitches used are knit, purl, and K2tog. 

Fall Folliage is knit with Cascade 220 Superwash in Ruby for the band and Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted in Glenwood for the body on a 16" size 7 circular needle and a set of size 7 dpns. Stitches used are knit, purl, and K2tog. I simple c/o 88 stitches of the Cascade in a 1x1 ribbing for 1.5 inches and then knit another round since I think it makes for a smoother color change. I then added two rounds of a mystery yellow yarn before switching to the Shepherd Worsted for the remainder of the hat. I knit in stockinette for six inches before beginning a basic decrease pattern.

I have some changes in mind for both my project and this blog. Hopefully they will result in more hats and more postings.