Thursday, March 10, 2011

Knitting Emergency!

Man, this has been a rough couple weeks of knitting.  I don't know if I'm getting fussier or sloppier.  Whatever it is, I've seen an awful lot of knitting go into the black hole of ripping.

Honegart seemed so wonderfully straightforward, until I noticed that the gauge in the top section wasn't giving me what I needed.  I ripped the top seven times before settling for the result.  It's like they say, eighth time's the charm, right? After the fact, I realized that my first problem was that I didn't check my gauge and make allowances for the earflap part.  The pattern was so wonderfully straightforward and I was so delighted to work with this yarn that I skipped gaily ahead. Well, for better or worse, I'm letting this one be.  And while I love the proportions on Stephen's original pattern, I like this hat well enough.


On Friday I came across a tutorial that I knew I had to use; I immediately began to whip up an i-cord for my iPod earbuds, partly because I needed better knitting mojo, and partly because I'm sick of the tangles. No complaints there.


As you may notice, I'm wearing a different hat in the picture above.  It's Jared Flood's Habitat. As you can see, it's a gorgeous hat, especially worked up in his new SHELTER yarn.  Once again, poor preparation led to hours of woe.  This time, I got into the first chart before realizing I had inadvertently chosen the smaller size.  I decided to forge ahead, and I even applied an extra twist to make up the 4-row difference.  However, I realized that my attempt to salvage the hat had made it another hat entirely, and it lost the beauty I so admired in the pattern.  So, I ripped back to the ribbing--something I had initially been afraid to do.  I knit the larger size this time, and it went smoothly.  But when I tried it on, I felt like I was wearing a yarmulka!  It's too short.


See?  I was crushed.  I'm not about to rip this sucker out again.  After the initial grieving period, I collected myself and began to ponder...if I could only knit down from the brim to add some length...but I've tried that, and the stitches all shift over a half stitch.  Nope.  But then, the light bulb went on... I think--I hope-- that I can perform surgery on this hat, and no one will be the wiser!

Here's the plan: Cast on for the hat and work some more ribbing.  Cut into the ribbing on the hat, revealing live stitches.  Going by sight, graft the new brim extension onto the current hat.  Sounds great, right?  Wish me luck, and please don't tell me I'm crazy.  It's gotta work!

Other knitting, hopefully not doomed to the same fate as the hats:
Mom's top-down sweater vest.  This one's finally cooking again, after lots of procrastination.  I'm down to only two balls of yarn and three circular needles dangling from the little monster.  I already thanked my mom for having much smaller shoulders than Dad.  After a lot of fussing over a design to go down the front, I consulted my mom again and got a new direction that is, I think, going to do what I want visually.  I can't wait to see it turn out.  And it will turn out!

The mittens I've been itching to knit all winter long.

I'll save the gushing for another time, when I have the second mitten done and I know if I have enough of the variegated yarn for the cuff.  I really don't think I will, but I'm not ripping this back. I'm just not. What I am doing is polling for button opinions.  Yours, please? (metal, plastic, or coconut? or ones that you want to mail to me?)

Random goodie:
Hey, did you know I'm famous?  Check out Stephen West's new book...somewhere near the back you can find me hanging out.  I was delighted to testknit for Stephen, but this is icing on the cake.  It's a great book, and I heartily recommend it.  These mittens are my favorite pattern from the book, but I've been really impressed by all of them.

There's more to say, but it'll have to wait for another time.  I'm knitting up a storm and beginning to count down the days until the Men's Spring Knitting Retreat.  Last I heard there were only two spots left, but that may be old news by now.


  1. Those mittens are fantastic and you look damn sexy in that habitat whether you think it's too short or not. I love that cowl, too.

  2. I feel your ripping pains. I frogged Herbivore 4 times before figuring out I was over analyzing the simplicity of the pattern. I am well over half way finished now. Good luck on your mom's vest.

  3. As always, you have me laughing. I love the woes and the creativity! Both hats are wonderful and I think that you can very successfully add to the latter....I can't wait to hear about this adventure!

    As for the Stephen West book....I have been waiting and now that my famous friend is in it I will have to grab a copy!

    PS....I have my yarn to make Boneyard - FINALLY.....wish me luck, as it will go with me to a special retreat that the other half wants us to attend....

  4. I'd go with the coconut, the green ones may get lost in the CC color. Hey if you're famous, does that make me famous too?

  5. Oh famous one :D ..I think your very brave about ripping back your hat, sounds like a good idea that you've concocted and if it doesn't work.. no doubt I'll be hearing about ;D

    You know what I think about your "no more tangles"

    The mitts are so organic looking, I love them ! ..I think the coconut buttons look great, that's my vote :)