Thursday, January 25, 2018

Wee Little Girl Gnome Hat

A few days ago I went to search in my stash for a skein of yarn for a new project. In the process of sifting through the bins I found a long forgotten project bag. This little project was cast on long, long, ago. I could tell that I cast on for some sort of baby hat but there was no pattern in my bag which means I was likely going to knit a rolled brim hat. Since the hat was nearly half complete, likely abandoned because at the time I was indecisive about how best to begin the reducing rounds. 

Sometimes I am baffled by my knitting decisions. Why didn't I just go on and choose a method and finish the hat?

I sat pounding this project. Really trying hard to imagine the best hat then I decided to try something different. What did this yarn want to be? Elfish things seemed more in line with this Musique yarn from Crystal Palace. (45% acrylic, 40% wool, 15% cotton) The color is called Valentines. I used nearly the whole 65 yards of this skein. I used US 11 dpns knitting and reducing every 3-4 rounds until the hat looked pointy and gnome worthy. 

And just like that a wee little girl gnome hat came off the needles last night. It's adorable. Now to find a little gnome who needs a hat. 

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Golden Honey Hat Finished

The ladies at Knitting for Breakfast who created the pattern wanted it to be an autumn hat and were inspired by honeycombs. I just love that so!

This hat was such fun to knit. For the first time ever I knit a hat for myself before making any for other people. Typically I find a good pattern and make the project to give away. Although if we can be a little bit honest here, I did at first sight think that this Honey Hat would be perfect for my oldest daughter, Leah. She loves yellow and this simple elegance of the pattern would suit her quite well.

Then I began to realize that I did not have a good winter hat of my own. I made a few last year that were fine but they just were not right for me. Possibly the color, because really, there is far more to color than we all like to admit when it comes to things we wear. I like many colors but not all the colors I like look flattering on me. So I tabbed this pattern as one to knit as a Christmas gift for the daughter then I simply got busy as mothers are. One night I cast on for the hat in a moment of desire. That pattern has been calling to me for weeks! I began the hat making it to the beginning of the cable repeats before setting it aside to work on more gift projects. I picked it up every once in a while but never worked more than 1-2 rounds at a time.

As Christmas was approaching I was pondering what to make or if to make something for the girls. I discovered some other knits for the older girls that looked lovely. In our conversations about knit gifts they let me down easy by saying that they had enough knits for the season. I pressed on with the holiday preparations setting aside those gift ideas. I didn't have time to work on the hat although I desperately wanted to get it done. About a week ago I decided that this hat needed to be done. The deep cold weather in our area had been more than enough motivation to get me started. I needed a hat to wear. Now that it is done I have been wearing it frequently. The deep cold has passed but there have been some days where the hat has been needed.

About the project:
I used 16" circular needles in US 7 (4.5mm)

The yarn the authors used Morbidone Merinos Extra Superwash. This Italian yarn is more tightly spun giving a denser yarn. The color is a gorgeous butter yellow. I debated on the color of the hat. I think what drew me to this pattern is the cheerful golden yellow. I think a nice natural color yarn would perfectly suit this pattern too. I decided to only knit this project with stash yarn because I had plenty of worsted weight yarn to use. But that YELLOW! Oh that yellow is so warm and inviting. After sifting through the stash I remembered I had some of Barrett Wool Co.'s Home Worsted weight yarn in Humble Gold in my stash. This turned out to be the perfect yarn for this hat. The color! The weight! Yes! This yarn was a perfect partner in the project.

I followed the pattern as written but made notes along the way. I did try on the hat a few times to make sure the size was correct. If I make this hat again with this yarn or any squishy worsted yarn I would not repeat the cable pattern 4 times. I think based on my head size and this yarn that 3 full repeats would have been plenty before beginning the decrease rounds. The hat fits very well, a bit longer than I typically like, covering my ears fully with little extra. I could fold up the brim but I prefer not to do that when wearing hats. The length can be tricky to personalize especially on the first try. Too long or too short is often the case with pattern repeats. Overall it is an excellent pattern. Well worth the time to make and is just lovely to wear. The fit is perfectly comfortable. I highly suggest this hat as a great gift project, even if that means the gift is for you!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Victor Talking Machine

Let me introduce you to our liquor cabinet. 

This unique piece was found with the help of a local antique dealer. It was in need of some work but was in fantastic shape for being close to 100 years old. It is a Victrola “Victor Talking Machine” cabinet. This upright model of victrola cabinets were discontinued in 1925. The turntable and horn had been removed years before and the cabinet with multiple shelves inside was likely used for general storage. 

 When I laid eyes upon it I knew this was the solution to our liquor storage problem. A clever way to store liquor out of sight in a beautiful cabinet. Previously all the liquor had been stored in the dining room china cabinet. While that was a fine idea for many years the need to put actual China in that cabinet has been put off too long. The antique dealer cleaned up the cabinet added new hardware and brought the natural oak tiger wood back to life.

 I didn’t need shelves or anything extra built inside just the space this cabinet had to offer. I store the liquor in the top with an easy to open lid for access. The small upper doors can open to access cups and other small items. I use the lower portion to store all of our stemware and small plates. Possibly larger bottles of liquor will go there too. 

It’s rather spacious for its footprint and looks so delightful in our living room. I have been fascinated by the antique cabinet that was once a center of someone’s home. The joy it brought to families long ago with its music is now having a second chance of being a part of a home. 

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Caitlin Cat Set

My 2017 knitting resolutions included finishing the countless UFOs laying about my house. So.....that didn’t happen last year. Now that it's 2018 I'm not off to a good start. Do I stick to that old resolution and try it again for 2018? Not a chance. Instead what do I do? Start new projects! YAY! 

This one is a new gift project and is just the cutest. The pattern is the Caitlynn Cat set by Heidi May. I’m a big fan of her chunky hat sets. They knit quickly and are such great gifts to give. 

 I made the Failynn Fox Cowl in 2014 and it was such a fun gift to make my daughter. I highly recommend her patterns they are well worth the time to knit. (Plus being in chunky weight these are fab last minute gifts!) 

My quest around town looking for a good large wooden button had taken longer than I expected. Who knew that it would be so hard to find a button? Just when I was about to give up I finally found one. It's perfect and the recipient was so very pleased. 

(A big thanks to my eldest girl for being my perpetual compliant model.)

Sunday, January 07, 2018

A hat in process

About a month ago I cast on for this hat. It's called the Honey Hat by Knitting for Breakfast. These lovely sisters from northern Italy are lovers of knitting and coffee. They write patterns that are so beautiful. I recently discovered them and love their work. I have a few more of their patterns in my queue.

When I cast on I was thinking I would have more than enough time to get this hat done by Christmas. As you can see that didn’t quite happen. No worries! I had other little gift knits I was working on that took more time than anticipated. On this very cold Sunday afternoon I am right back at it with this lovely hat. A hat for me! I can’t tell you how much I needed this hat these past few weeks full of bitter deep cold. As I look to the forecast and see the temperatures are looking to near the 60s by week’s that just makes me laugh. I guess I better get this hat done soon! 

I have not updated my notes in Ravelry so far I will do so when the hat is complete. If you are wondering about the yarn I am using Susan B. Anderson’s Barrett Wool Co. Home worsted yarn in the color Humble Gold. This yarn is so wonderful to work with and the color is an absolutely perfect cheerful yellow. If you haven’t tried any of Barrett Wool Co.'s yarn yet you need to get yourself a skein. 

Saturday, January 06, 2018

Christmas Wrap up

It always brings a feeling of sadness to begin the process of putting away our Christmas decorations. 

Of all the seasons and holidays Christmas is the one that will always be the focus of family. A coming in together being wrapped up in the feeling of love with whispers of new beginnings and knowing here is where you belong. 

For some of us this experience takes years to finally feel in our hearts the way it is meant to be. As I have traveled and been far from the family of my childhood most of my life I realize that my vision and expectations have changed. 

Before marriage my family were the people in my dorm, coworkers, friends, and the random person I knew needed to have a place to be. And now I have a blend of it all. 

Building your family is a life’s work. Through it all the same holds true. A coming together, being in each other’s company, soaking in all of the joy of these people you love share with you. That is the gift of family.