Friday, November 20, 2009

Is that a Frog on your head, I'm a slave to my cat, and other random thoughts

Every morning we go through the same routine. Fresh water, layering the pillows on the bed in just a particular way, downstairs for breakfast and back and forth from my office to the bedroom to play at least 3 times before 10am. This is not my schedule, but rather my cat's schedule that I have the privilege of following. It seems that she thinks I'm at home everyday just to fulfill her every fancy. I don't mind though; she is a joy, and her quiet meows and purrs fill my heart with love. ~ Excuse me while I make my 5th trip back to the bedroom to make sure the bed pillows are placed just right for her to nap behind. ~

So, have you ever wished you could be the one to sit around and come up with the names for all the colors of paints, crayons, nail polish, yarn? What a fun job that would be. My kitchen is red, but the paint color is called "Summer Pudding". The nail polish on my toes is pink but the color is "Blushingham Palace". The yarn for my recently knitted creation is called "Lily Pad" and it does remind me of frogs and lilies floating on the pond water. I hope you enjoy this easy pattern which uses one of my favorite stitches: the seed stitch:

Seed Stitch Alapaca hat

Difficulty: Beginner familiar with working in the round

Finished measurements: Head measurement 20-23 inches
Yarn: Misti Baby Alpaca Chunky hand painted (100% Baby Alpaca) - 1 hank = approx 109 yards
Needles: size 10.5 circulars and 10.5 dpn
Notions: stitch marker, tapestry needle

Stitch Glossary:

1- Seed stitch - K1 P1 for 1 round, then P1 K1 (in other words, knit your purls and purl your knits)[ x - knit, o - purl : example : round 1 - xoxoxoxo , round 2 - oxoxoxox ]
2 - K2tog- knit 2 stitches together.

Using circular needles, cast on 66 stiches using long tail cast-on. Join for working in the round and place marker for beginning of round. Begin seed stitch for 5 rounds. The pattern will work as follows ** Explanation: because this is an even number cast on, when working the seed stitch in the round, at the beginning of the next round you will have to knit or purl twice in order to create the pattern. So, if round one started with a knit and ended with a purl, round two would do the same, which would NOT create the seed stitch. Simply knit or purl the same stitch you just ended with and start the new round with the appropriate stitch:

Rounds 1-5 : seed stitch
Rounds 6-10 : knit stitch (which will form stockinette stitch when worked in the round)
Rounds 11-15: seed stitch
Rounds 16-20 : knit stitch
Rounds 21-25: seed stitch
Knit next 3 rounds then

Begin crown decrease: Switch to DPN when work becomes too small for circulars

Row 1: (K9, K2tog) 6 times
Row 2: (K8, K2tog) 6 times
Row 3: (K7, K2tog) 6 times
Row 4: (K6, K2tog) 6 times
Row 5: knit
Row 6 : (K5, K2tog) 6 times
Row 7: knit
Row 8: (K4, K2tog) 6 times
Row 9: knit
Row 10: (K3, K2tog) 6 times
Row 11: (K2, K2tog) 6 times
Row 12: (K1, K2 tog) 6 times
Row 13: (K2tog) 6 times

Cut yarn leaving an 8 inch tail. With tapestry needle, thread yarn through remaining stitches. Weave in ends.

And watch out for frogs. They will be very tempted to jump on your head!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Can you ear me now? - Alpaca headband

One of my favorite sites to find knitting patterns is, and I've always wanted to publish a knitting pattern of my own. However, as I only consider myself an advanced beginner in knitting, I decided that I didn't want to be the cause of alot of knitters pulling their hair out trying to knit some concoction that I might come up with.
But, I'm not opposed to trying something simple. This headband will keep your ears toasty warm and you'll look great too! So, here is my first attempt at my very own pattern - albeit very, very simple.

Alpaca Headband

Yarn: Misti Alpaca Hand Painted Chunky; 100% Baby Alpaca - Color: Havasu
Amount: approximately 40 yards
Gauge: 3.5 stitches per inch on size 10 needles.

Finished Dimension: (approximate) 2.75 x 18 inches (will fit up to 23 inch circumference when worn as pictured above)

Please note: I used size 10.5 needles for this headband.

Cast on 11 stitches

Work back and forth in knit stitch - slip the first stitch in each row knitwise to produce a nice edge.

Work until approximate length

Seam the two ends using preferred method. This web site offers several techniques for seaming:

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Darling, you thrill me

Small balls of Angora, Silk, Mohair. Jewel tones, muted browns, spicy reds. It's more than the eye can behold, and each time I visit my LYS I know I'm in trouble and will not be leaving empty handed. Today, Jenna was there and she gets as excited about the yarn as I do, showing me new patterns, new yarns, always the expert on how to exchange one yarn for another and still get the same outcome. She's always understanding when I say "Oh, I can't possibly spend $30 on one skein of yarn", and she happily takes me to a more affordable option. Sometimes however, well, more often than not, I end up being drawn back over to that pricey skein of silk - I swear sometimes I can hear it calling me. Today was no exception. I had 6 balls of yarn in my arms before I even realized what I was doing. I always pick up more than I plan to buy, that way when I leave the store with less, I feel like I've sacrificed something and it seems to make the purchase more bearable. Now don't think for one minute that I begrudge spending the money on yarn. It's a hobby I thoroughly enjoy and it keeps me home, safe at night, snuggled in next to hubby and kitty. Another successful and well enjoyed trip completed with dreams of next time.
Now, should I start on something new with my new found loves or put them away for now and finish those other 'works in progress'. Who knows.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Tuesday in November

A short visit from dad this morning; a nice break from the humdrum of work - albeit a very slow day on the job. I have so much to do, but I have no choice but to sit shackled to this desk and wait until the clock ticks down the minutes until I'm free to do what really matters to me. And by that time, I'll be so tired of sitting here that I won't have the energy to get anything else done. The cat is asleep under the covers in the bedroom and the house is quiet. I'm researching for a new knitting project (although I have 4 unfinished projects that I can think including some Christmas gifts - time is ticking fast on the deadline to get these done). Found a great beret at - the February Beret. I'll be drawn like a magnet to my LYS before too long to touch and feel all the new yarns, delighting in trying to pick out which one I will use for this project. I think I've figured out the joy of knitting is finding that perfect pattern and then buying the yarn!
Welcome to my blog spot.