Knitting in the Wild

All the rain we've been having lately (more than seven inches in January) have transformed the hillsides:


The change seems quick sudden and shocking, though it has been happening, I am sure, for some time. This photo doesn't even do the landscape justice. The green grass in the sunlight is so incredibly lush and verdant, especially after days and weeks of grey clouds and mist. Temperatures climbed into the low 50s as well today, so I thought I'd take advantage of the fair weather (it's supposed to rain again this week) and go for a quick walk (about 3 miles) in the hills of Briones. This time I started at the staging area at Reliez Valley Rd. This has an extremely tiny parking area (including, weirdly, a handicap spot (there is absolutely no level or paved ground associated with the trail at this point)), and I was lucky to get a spot. Blue Oak Trail though is really nice, a bit steep at the outset (though not as steep as the trail in from the Lafayette Staging Area, I don't think), but there were sections of it that were nestled snugly in between the hills and supremely quiet - no traffic noises whatsoever. It was lovely. I think I prefer this entry to the Lafayette Staging Area even though it is a few miles further. Some sections of the trail were perfect, though the trails on north facing slopes were muddy, sloppy, slippery, slidey messes. I have a feeling they are going to remain that way until the sun creeps a little higher in the sky and dries them out from all this rain. It doesn't look like that's going to happen any time soon.

I took my knitting with me, just in case.


I'm at about the 12" point of the back of Le Lapin Noir (the argyl-ly project from last week), 4" into the stockinette and about 4 1/2" from when I have to start thinking about armhole shaping (I think)


What the Heck?

I was prepared to get all crafty and show more photos of additional knits in progress, I really was. I also needed to do laundry today, and since I only have a total of five pairs of tights, one of which I was wearing at the time, I whipped them off to add them to the basket. (I also wanted to wash the black knee socks I was wearing since I have only one pair of really good knee socks). I reached into my sock drawer to replace them and encountered this:


I have not been wearing my handknit socks recently, and this is more than a little worrying. I recently had another sock exhibit the same odd hole, and this one was the first of a pair (ie not even finished yet). It's possible that the hole could have come from Mary, who has a taste for yarn (no lie). It's possible it could have been the result of carelessness on my part (some sharp object in the vicinity of my socks). Or, heaven forbid, it could be the result of something far more sinister (cue "horror" music)...

I now fear for all my hand knits. Come to think of it, Salina also has a hole under the arm (though it is right on the seam, and, given that was the first sweater I ever made, it's reasonable to think that my seaming wasn't quite up to snuff - though at the time I was rather proud of the job I did). I want to check all my socks (I only have nine pair total, including the above socks (which apparently aren't socks any more)) but at the same time I don't want to. The implications are frightening. What to do?!?



There's one more gift being crafted currently, or rather, being procrastinated-upon, but I have no photos to share. Two years ago when my sister visited she greatly liked Absorba, the Bathmat, so I took it upon myself to make her one of her own the following Christmas. Alas, the following Christmas came and went and I never even got around to ordering the Peaches and Creme double worsted I wanted to use instead of the evil Sugar'n Creme worsted I used last time. Fast forward another year, to around November 15th (or so). The bug to knit another Absorba strikes again, and I quick order the yarn. No problem, I've got more than a month, right?


Absorba still is not finished. I had hoped to make it even bigger than mine, but right now it's a bit smaller, and I'm seriously considering just binding off and shipping it off. Heavy weight cotton still kills my hands.

It's the throught that counts, though, right?


Spoilers (4)

Last but not least in the hat roundup is my sister's gift, Julia's Cabled Headband:


Of course, my sister's name is not Julia, but whatever. :) This yarn is Manos del Uruguay Wool Clasica that I got quite some time ago, around the same time as when I got the yarn for this scarf, but it isn't the same colorway though (that I can remember, I can't find the tag and I didn't write it down).

I made here some little wristlets in 2x2 ribbing to go along with it with the leftover yarn:


Mary just had to get in the picture there. (She looks mad, like I disturbed her or something, but really she isn't. She jumped up on the table and parked herself right in the middle where she saw me mucking about with the camera.)


Spoilers (2 and 3)

The name of the game for men folk is simple. This the Fisherman's Watchcap from Knitting With Balls.


It's made with Brown Sheep Nature Spun Worsted that was left over/ the same as what I used for the Basketweave Scarf I gave my father for Christmas last year. In order to get enough bulk out of the yarn I knit it held double. This hat has a nice shape, plus uses a really squishy brioche stitch for the ribbed brim. I'm expecting it will be quite warm.

For the sister's boyfriend, a Classic World War II Watch Cap with cables:


This one is also knit with the same Nature Spun held double. The ribbing is a simple 2x2 and the cable a simple six stitch pattern. I'm hoping that the recipient's head isn't too much bigger than mine is, because there isn't a lot of room in this one!

I couldn't get very good pictures this time around - it's so dark and grey in winter!



Spoilers (1)

Is it a spoiler when the person the item is for doesn't know about the blog an therefore does not read it? Marching along in our tour of Things I Have Made Recently But Not Blogged About is Exhibit A:


This is the Banana Republic Hat Knockoff and it is for my mother. It's made from some of the Debbie Bliss Merino DK yarn (held double) that was intended for a sweater from Vogue Knitting a few years back but I never finished it (or apparently Raveled it) because it turned out too small in the body and it was looking like it was going to be difficult to modify without reknitting the entire thing. I am rather enamored this hat, and if my mother doesn't like it I'm taking it back!


What I really wanted was a nice circular pin for the hat, something like a starburst, but I couldn't find one anywhere. This piece of costume jewelry from Michael's (can you call it costume jewelry if it only cost $3.49?, or is that just junk?) came the closest. I didn't sew the flap down yet (the pin is the only thing holding it together!) in case my mother's head is bigger than mine and she needs more room.


All in all I think it is a nice knit, warm, and stylish!


Not Very Sporting

Well it wasn't very sporting of me to poke my head up in here last Friday and then disappear again without a trace for over a week was it? I'm not sure if anyone is even still stopping by periodically to see if I have rematerialized, but if so, hi! I'm back, and with a vengeance.

I started back knitting after a nearly year long hiatus right before Christmas (of course). This year ended up being the Year of the Hat (last year was the Year of the Scarf), but sadly I don't have photos to show yet (and even more sadly, the presents are still sitting on my kitchen butcher block waiting for me to finish one final item so that I can send them off...) A lot of other handknits have been finished, started, or frogged in the meantime though, so in order to keep things interesting and maybe persuade me to post more than once a week let's focus on one at a time.

This is my newest love:


That's Jamieson's Shetland Spindrift 2ply and oh my do I love this yarn. The skeins are tiny (25g!) and expensive, but the colors are lovely. I bought a bunch of Jamieson's at the local yarn establishment and started swatching, swatching, swatching...




Though I love all three swatches the winner was this last one, Moorgrass (green) and Sand (very light pink) on a field of Peat (dark red-brown). And you can see I have some rather argyl-ly intentions. At first I was only going to use two colors. This morphed into wanted to use three colors, which led to careful swatching of the three color combinations. I am back to thinking about two colors (in this case, the Moorgrass and Peat) because I'm trying to decide if I want to add some other design element to the piece. You never know though, I'm fickle. I might change my mind back.

At any rate, I cast on yesterday and knit and knit and knit...


This was after only three inches, but I'm up to seven now. The ribbing is knitted on the unbelievably tiny US size 00 needles and the unbelievable gauge of 32 stitches and 40 rows per 4" square over stockinette.

Do you want to know the craziest thing? I am loving the tiny needles and the tiny stitches and the tiny gauge.



(tap tap tap...)

Is this thing on?