Another hat and a handy tip

Danica wanted a slouchy hat that would go with most of the things she wears. I started out with a shorter ribbed band and 88 stitches.  This was a bit snug and didn’t really look like what I was going for at the bottom. 

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I frogged it, recast on with 92 and went for a 4 inch 2×2 ribbed band. This fit Danica’s head better and looked more like what we wanted.

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I got tired of juggling the two balls of yarn I am using, so whichever ball isn’t in use gets tucked into the hat while I’m working with the other ball. Genius.

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I love how the hat is turning out. I’m doing the decreases now and I have to remember to always stop just before I start a descrease row. Otherwise, I have to squint at all the stitches to figure out what I’ve done last. The pattern was written for fingering weight, which meant a lot more cast on stitches. The yarn I’m using is called worsted weight, but it’s really more like a sport weight.  I did swatch, but as we know swatches lie like dogs on rugs, so I did have to go up a few stitches.  This also means the decreases may also not work exactly like the pattern so I’m going to have to fiddle with that a bit, too. I should have put in a lifeline. 

It’s a random slouchy hat pattern I picked off of Ravelry, using Knit Picks Chroma. I don’t really need a pattern for these types of hats since I’ve made so many that are similar.  But this is the picture I looked at to get what I wanted and I thought I should list it on my Ravelry project page and give props to the designer. I had to figure out my own number of CO stitches since I was using a different weight of yarn, but the measurements for the 2×2 rib and the length of the hat were very helpful. I alternate the colors every other round and carry the other color up the inside of the hat. No ends to weave in! I want to make one for myself. I will if I can ever get out from under the pile of things I have lined up to make for other people.

A new hat, yarn bowls, and an update

Update first: I caved and bought the fabric. Then I fell in love with more fabric.

Kaffe Fasset Passion

I’m still resisting.  Barely. I seriously need to start making stuff with the fabric I already have. Where have we heard that before? I’m guessing quilters have the same problems with stash that knitters do.

I finished a hat. I made the hat for David’s Uncle Wendell. I had seen David’s uncle before, in passing, at the family Christmas parties but hadn’t ever really gotten to visit with him. I got that chance while visiting David’s grandparents. David’s grandfather (Doyle Thurston) was on hospice care and wasn’t expected to be around much longer. Everyone that could was dropping by to say goodbye. I tried to go into the room but the grief and the stress that everyone was going through hit me really hard. I quickly backed out of the room and sat in the front parlor and tried to knit because I didn’t want to burst into tears in front of David’s grandmother. I figured they were all going through enough without me being a big wuss. I’ve not ever been around someone who was in the process of passing away. I’ve always been the relative that was on the other side of the country, got the phone call, and showed up at the funeral. This was so very different. It was kind and loving and in a way beautiful but still nothing I had ever been exposed to before. Wendell and then his wife Roxanne came in and sat and chatted with me for a bit.  He is such a kind man. I remembered that he was the family member that did all the wood carving and mentioned to him that we really loved the wood spatula that he had made. We were afraid to use it. He carved these simple spatulas out of Grandpa Thurston’s favorite apricot (?) tree that had died and every family had received one. To me they were these precious objects to be preserved. He admonished me to use it, it had been made to be used and instructed me on how to care for it. So like a knitter! That’s when I had the idea of asking him for a yarn bowl. We exchanged phone numbers and I sent him some pictures of what yarn bowls looked like. A few days later he presented me with not just one, but TWO gorgeous yarn bowls. I’m so spoiled. I showed the yarn I picked out to Wendell and he thought it was great.

I asked Wendell what colors he liked and he said he liked browns. Hmmm.  Brown.  Okay. I couldn’t bear to just pick any plain shade of brown so I picked this gorgeous stuff up from JoAnns and like any responsible knitter made a swatch.

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Just so you know, swatches are lying little bastards. Or I’m bad at math. Whatever.  The resulting hat band looked like it needed 18 less stitches. That’s a lot of stitches in a chunky yarn! I cast on again with 18 less stitches and the darn thing was too small. I cast on again. This time it was just right and I got the size I was looking for. Being chunky yarn, the hat went quickly and before I knew it, it was time to start the decreases. I did 6 decreases every other round, something I would swear I’ve done for beanies in the past.

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Um, no.  No, no, no, I couldn’t present David’s uncle with what this was turning into.  I think the Yarn Harlot called this penile. I’m not going to call it that. Whatever it was, it was embarrassing. I tried again and decreased 8 stitches every round. MUCH better. Apparently chunky yarn doesn’t need a plain knit row in between decrease rows. Maybe I just have a bad memory about how I’ve decreased for other hats. I was a good kid and made faithful notes on my Ravelry project page. Deborah Norville Serenity Chunky in Chocolate. The colorway is gorgeous and the yarn was nice to knit with. I’m getting more of this stuff. I think David needs a hat made out of it and then maybe I’ll make some matching hats for my friend Joe and his lady Rosie that live in Maine.

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The fabulously fantastic yarn bowls by Wendell Cloward.

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Now, on to making the gloves.

Size matters

I know I’m not supposed to be spending money right now. But, I saw this and couldn’t help myself.

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It is, as I expected, too small.  I don’t come from Planet One Size Fits All.  Even when I was closer to a more reasonable weight, bracelets and anklets had to be one inch bigger than the bird boned people that I am surrounded by. So, do I use my mad bracelet making skills and put all these charms on a bigger bracelet? Or do I use all these beauties for an incredible set of Doctor Who stitch markers?

So, I spent a little money.  In my defense, I passed up buying this fabric:

riley blake kitchen fabric

And this yarn.

pac-mannetherlands stripe

sugar+skulls chinese+new+year+2

I’m kinda in love with these things and I’m not sure how much longer I’m going to be able to hold out. I may have to sell a kid.

Also, I don’t mind a dirty Dr. Pepper, but I really prefer vanilla. This means a trip to World Market.

Crafting and freezer meals

Today, I am both knitting and crocheting, chatting with my Mom, and playing World of Warcraft. I am decidedly multi-tasking and multi-craftual. The sun is shining and my mood is cheerful. How could this gorgeous colorway not prompt a few smiles?

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A batch of Italian sausage is defrosting in a covered pan on my stove and will be turned into several servings of my spaghetti sauce.  It takes a lot of Excedrin and Advil to get me to the point where I can do any kind of cooking project. As I wish to preserve my kidneys for as long as possible, I stay off the pain meds unless I really need to get through something. Like the funeral tomorrow and the various family gathering that will result. I’m probably going to be able to feel my hair growing.

My energy levels have been so low and pain levels so high that I just haven’t been able to fix regular meals which leaves me at the mercy of quick, easy, and bad for me carbs. I want to make a bunch of freezer meals to help with this and one of my favorites is spaghetti sauce. Yep, pasta is carbs so I don’t pour it over pasta. My sauce is so chunky, I either eat it straight like a stew or maybe have it over a steamed veggie.  I take a regular canned sauce and add in chunks of italian sausage, olives and mushrooms and let it simmer until the flavor of the sausage makes the whole thing beyond fabulous.

After the spaghetti, a large batch of stroganoff will be attempted if I have time before the in-laws descend upon me for a pre-funeral family gathering.

In between all the tasks for completing the freezer meals, a round of knitting or two will happen. I started a hat for Danica.  It was looking like it would be a little too small and once I had started the color changes, the 2×2 rib band looked like it should be longer. I frogged it and started over with a few more stitches. I’ll go for 4 inches of rib, change colors, go up a needle size and start the stripes. I think this will give me the slouchy look I’m hoping for.

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A public service announcement about common decency.

There is very little in this world that is as frustrating as wishing for justice and needing fairness and knowing it’s just not going to happen. Wishing for people that have wronged the ones you love to just stop and be decent. Wishing for people that should have your loved ones back, only find out that they really don’t and that they have absolutely no intention of changing or apologizing.

People, if you have children and are divorced, by all that’s holy communicate with your ex partner about the kids. Please. Really. Seriously. Don’t quazi communicate through the kids. They hate it. They will resent you for it. Don’t post a picture on Facebook of your son in the ER and not tell the other parent, especially when you have that parent blocked on Facebook. Don’t let another child inform the other parent, because that’s just going to spread misinformation, not enough information, and cause confusion. Don’t invite the whole family, including your former in-laws to your son’s important religious event and leave out the other parent. Don’t just hope that the child has the presence of mind to tell his father. Don’t let the father find out because a grandparent just happened to call to ask if he wants to carpool.

Communication.  It’s a thing.  Not communicating with your ex is abusive to the children. Communicating through the children is abuse. Complaining about your ex to his elderly grandmother is abusive. No one really wants to talk to their ex, but just do it anyway. Send a text. Send an email. Set up a frikkin’ Google calendar if you think you are just so fragile, victimized, traumatized and such a speshul snowflake that sending a text will cause you to melt like the vindictive witch you really are. Posting the kids events on a Google calendar will not hurt you.  And it just might show your children how to behave like a decent human being.

People, if you have siblings who are divorced, for the love of God don’t enable that ex spouse in her bad behavior and just expect your brother to just suck it up an play along. Don’t pose in pictures with someone’s ex and expect that he’s not going to be hurt.  Don’t expect that no one is going to say anything about it. Stand up for your family. Support your family. Standing passively around and doing nothing is not standing up for your family. It is okay to gently and politely say something isn’t appropriate or could cause hurt feelings. And if someone should maybe point out that you’ve hurt your brother’s feelings, don’t ignore them. Don’t lecture them for 2 hours and 20 paragraphs on their behavior. Own up to yours.  Have the decency to at least say “Oh hey, I didn’t mean to hurt him, I just didn’t know what else to do. I’m really sorry”. That, at least, would be honest.

And decent.