Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Monday, December 2, 2013

use it up

I have a lot of yarn. I like to make mittens. The combination works.

Here's what you can do with those sock yarn leftovers, or the single 50-g skein you found in the sale bin (or, mysteriously, unaccompanied in your house). By joining a strand of sock yarn with a strand of worsted, you get a slightly thicker yarn, slightly thicker mitten, and slightly faster knit -- and a mitten that is much more interesting.

My favorites so far are the bright blue with rainbow flecks over there on the right.

I am using my basic mitten pattern, available here. I follow the one that starts with a cast-on of 32 stitches and get a size that fits a medium-to-large large woman's hand. Use one needle size larger than you'd use if you were knitting with the worsted alone.

Monday, November 25, 2013

one for every letter of the alphabet

If you refer back to this post, you'll see that we made two promises at the beginning of 2013. We didn't do too well on "post more often." But we did complete the "13 in '13" promise, making a baker's dozen of hats apiece for Hats for the Homeless in New York, and that one's way more important. And we finished early, which really amazed us! All hats were made from yarn we already had in our extensive collections.

Ten days ago, we got together midway between our houses for a photo shoot and packing session. Each of us brought our 13 hats and gift tags. Pat brought the camera; I brought boxes and tape and Sharpies. Here's what happened:

Displaying photo.JPG

Displaying photo.JPG

After our very patient models put up with our photo session, where we laid them down on all sorts of cold surfaces, we repaired to a friendly local Starbucks to add tags and box them up (the tape dispenser was L-O-U-D -- sorry, everybody). It turns out there's a post office just a block away, so the boxes hit the road immediately.

Now Hats for the Homeless in New York has 26 more hats for their annual gift giving (in addition to the gifts of meals they give year round), the weekend before Christmas. They don't take monetary contributions, but there's still time to knit or crochet a hat -- the address is:

Hats for the Homeless
905 Main Street
Hackensack, NJ 07601

Maybe just one more. . .

Friday, October 18, 2013

Yeah, It's Been Awhile...

The last time I posted was May, blogging isn't my strong suit.  Don't worry I have been knitting!  I haven't been working on the 13 in 2013 project as diligently as I should have but I've got two hats to post about today and another that's nearly done (in only four and half months...) Where does the time go!?!  I've put all other knitting in a holding pattern until I get my last 5 hats finished; completely knit, blocked, photo'd and blogged.  It's a hard decision to make but I'll get 'em done and be back to my regular knitting feeling like a new person...well, maybe not new but special...maybe not special but get the idea.

Hat number 6 (but who's counting) is a standard, folded brim hat.  It's super warm, made of wool, functional and should appeal to most anyone who is cold and needs a hat.

Hat number 7 is a beanie.  Most of the young guys in my life really like beanies, I assume that folks that are down on their luck and living rough might enjoy a beanie too BUT I don't think they keep you anywhere near as warm.  You can't pull that brim down further on a cold night and cover more of your ears or your forehead... it worries me so I don't make a lot of these to donate to folks.  That's just my thinking on the matter of the beanie.  They take but a few evenings to make and so are really quick.  Ah, the pluses and minuses...

Finally, I know you all must be wondering where Glass Head lives when he's not being carted around the yard, modeling hats for me.  So, I've include this photo of the side table in my living room.  Glass Head happily resides on the far end of the couch, sporting my latest knit creation and keeping me company when I read.

Thursday, October 10, 2013


This may not be exactly how I thought my sister would wear her new hat:

I had so much fun making this -- the yarn is Malabrigo worsted, color Glazed Carrot (the most perfectly named yarn ever). Cell phone photo in not-the-best light does not do it justice. The pattern is here on Ravelry, and a good tutorial on intarsia in the round is here (I tried a bunch, and this one worked best). 

The face is a little bit scrunched up because my yarn worked at 5 sts/inch rather than 4 sts/inch -- but all pumpkins are different anyway.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

May Hat

For May I opted to knit a Tam.  I love knitting tams and no I've never worn one.  My daughter and her friends love them and look super cute in tams!  This is the Windmill Beret pattern and I used Lamb's Pride yarn.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Christmas is coming

Now that's a scary thought, isn't it?? It's kind of a chronic condition around here, though. . . so on vacation last week I thought I'd get a jump on some Christmas presents. I started a pair of these slippers:

I've used the pattern before, to make a pair in size women's S, and they worked really well. This time I tried to make the largest size -- and even though I was (uncharacteristically) using the yarn the pattern was written for, they came out way too small. And yes, I had done a gauge swatch and was getting the correct gauge. Virtue unrewarded. I am going to rip out and start over using needles two sizes larger, in hopes that will work. But this should teach me not to get big ideas about working ahead!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

a diversion

Someone showed me this pattern on Tuesday afternoon. I finished it Thursday morning at 9.

Berroco Comfort DK Print (acrylic/nylon blend); colorway is called Kittens

Yet another not-so-great cell phone photo. I have lots of hats for the H4H hat-of-the-month project to photograph with my nice new camera, and I'll get a new one of this hat too. I hope to get to that next week. It just seemed time to stop in here and say hi --  it's been a long, long time.

Friday, April 26, 2013

April Hat

It's April and I'm from the South, where it's spring time now.  OK, flowers are blooming here but where's the warm weather?  I'm sitting here at the kitchen counter, writing you while wearing a sweatshirt.  Beyond the obvious ( I'm not wearing a hand-knit sweater) what's wrong with this's cold out, sunny, things in bloom but FLIPPING cold outside!  Enough said.

The April hat for our 13 hats in 13 is from a print pattern that I've knit a few times.  I really like it, it's cute.  I've used left-over Noro yarns to make it.  It will keep someone's ears nice and warm.  No I don't remember the name of the pattern but if you really want it let me know and I will dig it out and find it on Rav.

March Hat

Note to self: Publish your hats when you finish them!!  Don't wait till your four long, cold, dreary, winter months behind...don't be so darn foolish.

OK, here's my March Hat for our 13 hats in 2013 project.  Yes, Elizabeth, I'm still knitting my hats!

This hat started out life as one of those scrunchy hats the kids are wearing now...but soon I made "adjustments" to the pattern.  Yep, thinking for myself is a long shot, design/knit without pattern, without a swatch, without writing anything down is a bad idea.  I glanced at several patterns, made some mental adjustments and started knitting.  Anyhow this one isn't really scrunchy but it's warm and it's a hat!  It looks cute on Glass Head...I  guess it's OK but I'm not in love with it, fair enough?

BTW, how do you get the text and the pics the blog entry looks cuter?

February Hat

Yep, I'm making up for lost posting time today!

Here's my February Hat...made with mystery yarn from some mystery sheep on some mystery farm.  The yarn still had a bit of the farm in it as I knit but once soaked in hair conditioner and washed with wool wash it fluffed up and became really nice and soft.  I made it using Elizabeth's standard worsted weight hat pattern.  That is text E, tell her that you have size 7 needles and some worsted weight-ish yarn, that you are on your way to Syracuse and you need to knit, you need her help, you need a really simple hat pattern...wait a bit and voila, she sends you the number of stitches to cast on, rib pattern, and depth.  From there I added 10% more stitches when I switched to stockinette and knit for 8" or so, decreased (again following dear E's excellent advice) and cast off.  End of story.

A4A Mittens

Wow, I haven't written ANYTHING since January.  Color me, embarassed!

Here's my donation to the current A4A campaign.  Going to send these off as soon as you've seen them.  They were all knit from the same skein of Ella Rae yarn.  Yes, they do all look different...who knew.  I used Elizabeth's Mitten Pattern.  Should be everyone's go to mitten by now!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Alma Lou

Alma Lou is my new favorite thing.

Unless, of course, my new favorite thing is the Mountain Colors Bearfoot yarn I'm using. . .

(cell phone photo, slightly brighter than reality)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Beware the Ides of March!

Which are (is?) tomorrow. I just realized that the month is half over and I have not yet cast on the March hat. It's true I made two in February, but one was kind of accidental, so I am not counting that one. . .

Pictures will appear once these two have been bathed and feel up to posing prettily.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Elizabeth's January hat

This hat was finished midway through January, but I kept trying to think of a clever way to photograph it. (Pat's photo skills keep me intimidated, let me tell you!) Finally I decided that the old iPad photo on a pillow would have to do:

This is the hat pattern I keep in my head, and it's really useful if you have not quite enough to make a whole hat, but too much to throw away. I had two colors of Encore, charcoal gray and light gray, that worked well together. Cast on 88 and rib for -- a while. This time I did 5 inches, and I wish I'd made it 6; I like a deeper cuff when it's folded over. You could also use a little bit left over and just rib for 2 inches, then complete the hat beanie style. Then you switch to your other color and work in stockinette for -- a while. I tried it on my (admittedly large) own head, and started decreasing when it seemed plausible. Here's what it looks like opened up:

I am writing the pattern up a little more formally, and will post it here soon. This is the first one in the box where I will be keeping my hats for our Baker's Dozen in 2013 project.

first crocus

I missed the first snowdrops, but these are definitely the first crocuses:

Although I truly like winter, much of it here in southeastern Pennsylvania looks like the lovely brown and gray surrounding these flowers, so those first pops of color are really welcome.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Pat's January Hat

Elizabeth and I are knitting 13 hats in 2013.  We think we will donate them to the homeless in NYC but we will decide for sure by the end of the year after we've had time to consider all the options.

This is my January hat...I had to go to South Carolina unexpectedly at the beginning of the month and on my way out the door I tossed this yarn and size 7 needles in my knitting bag.  It's lucky I did as within a few days I needed a new knitting project.  I texted Elizabeth, describing yarn and needles, and she sent me back a very cryptic pattern.  Viola!  Thanks to Elizabeth, I've finished my first hat in 2013.

Monday, January 7, 2013

solstice hat

I have  a friend in New England who does not like the early darkness of winter. Every year I make her something to commemorate the winter solstice, when the days start lengthening again. Here is this year's offering:

This is an emergency cell phone shot, taken just before the hat went in the mail. I will remember the tissue paper background trick!

Pattern: Button-Down Alpaca-Wool Hat, designed by Cheryl Oberle;  in Durant J (ed): Luxury Yarn One-Skein Wonders
Yarn:  Berroco Ultra Alpaca
Buttons:  Danforth Pewter 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Hats off to 2013

This was supposed to be our traditional New Year’s Day post, but my Internet provider was having some problems . . .

This year’s official Two Left Feet project is to knit a hat a month (plus one, to make 13 in ’13) for Hats for the Homeless  in New York. Pat and I have knit for them before; we decided to make it official this year. We really like what they do.

In 2013, we intend to post a little more often. We’ll never be like those every-single-day bloggers, but expect to hear from us more often – maybe even once a week! And here’s hoping this shiny new year treats everyone a whole lot better than last year did.