Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hats, hats, hats

You know what? Making hats is really addictive. They don't take up that much yarn - with a simple pattern (like the one I chose) you can just knit and knit and knit without even looking down very much. They're portable, easy for me to truck around town, and there's always the added hilarity of onlookers trying to figure out what I am knitting. I had a great conversation with a very hungover homeless dude yesterday who was marveling at how fast I knit. If I see this guy again, all he has to do is ask me one more time about my knitting and I'm giving him a hat. Because that's what happens when you ask questions about my knitting. :)

Oh, so the turquoise striped hat was Hat #4, and there below is Hat #3:

My personal favorite and the one I plan to keep for myself. :) I used this great Alpaca yarn for Hat #3 and #4 - it's kind of spongy and springy and squooshy. Yes, I'm liking all of those adjectives in reference to a hat. :)

Here is Hat #2, and my other favorite:

I added a few more stitches on this one, because my stitches are pretty tight. I used a really nice merino wool that I found at Kid N Ewe:

It's so soft and totally non-scratchy, and it feels so nice to work with. Anyhow, that hat now lives with my best friend and her husband, and since it looks cute on both of them, I should probably make her another hat so she'll stop stealing it from him. :)

I'm using my knitting as an excuse to catch up on bad television - I knitted my way through Season 4 of Dexter, Season 3 of Lost (I made the mistake of getting my mom ADDICTED to that show), and I'm halfway through Season 1 of The Vampire Diaries which is way campy. I'm always irritated by shows that make teenage characters wear too much makeup (yeah I'm just glossing right over the teenage promiscuity, drugs, and drinking - it's THE MAKEUP that bothers me :) Seriously - I get so irritated when characters roll out of bed wearing a pound of makeup, and have perfect hair. I know teen shows are no place to seek verisimilitude, but still. :)

Aside from that, I'm enjoying the brief bits of cold that settle into south Texas in the fall. One morning I'll wake to mid-40's and wind, and it will almost feel like NYC. :) Thanksgiving was cheerily chilly, because there's nothing more lame than a hot, humid Thanksgiving. But I love how the sun and the heat are never far - there are never those days like the kind you get in NY, when you feel so, so, cold, and it seems like you'll never be warm again. In San Antonio, all you have to do is wait a few days.

I pulled out my novel, and I'm starting to gingerly add to it. How about all of you? Has the holiday funk hit you yet or are you keeping busy?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Knitting the hat

modeling the new hat

So here's my first hat! I did a lot of griping and cursing when switching from the circular needles to the double-pointed needles at the end, but I muddled through it ok:

top view

I was rather stunned to look down at my hat and see it looked, sort of ok! I was so sure I was going to mess things up. Because, ugh - the stitch markers kept slipping off, I kept cursing and combing the carpet for them, etc. etc. Anyone have advice on working with slippery stitch markers and double-pointed needles? I also tried tying little bits of yarn, but those slipped, too. :(

the back

So, the back of the hat is what I'm least happy with - at some point the stripes stopped lining up correctly - not sure how that happened, by the way.

Oh, and HA HA:
did I mention my first hat is wonky?

Luckily, I have a knit/crochet expert who lives nearby, so I will ask her what I did wrong. But, overall, I'm pretty happy with my wonky first hat!

Any advice on my hat or hats in general? Patterns you like?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Bring on the knitting

red and gray stripey scarf

It's official, I've become a knitting fiend. Although I guess that's not a huge surprise, as I tend to obsess over whatever hobby I occupy myself with. I've squirreled away an embarrassing amount of yarn in my room, but I am actually knitting with it as well! I promise!

See, up there - that was my first skinny scarf, knit up while on the city bus to and from my new volunteer job. I LOVE how much heckling I get when I knit in public - I've been asked if I have grandchildren, if I am aware that only grannies knit, or if I am sane. As I'm all kinds of sarcastic, I specialize in comebacks. To the drunk guy on the bus who made the granny comment, I said, "Your grandma was once young and hot, too, you know." Judging from the disgusted expression on his face, I gave him a mental image that would haunt him for the rest of his days. That's what you get, drunk guy! I love, love, love sassy drunk people on the bus. :)

Anyway, that stripey scarf was simple, just knit one row, purl one row, on and on until the end. That's called - eh - stockinette stitch? Hey, go easy on me, hardcore knitters, I am just a beginner. :) But that curls up on the edges, so I used some internet advice and steam-blocked it by sticking it under a wet pillowcase and ironing. Some red fluff from the yarn did transfer over to the gray parts, but overall it looks pretty good. Still curls, but about half as much.

So, I loved that gray yarn so much, I started another one, this time with a purplish yarn stripe:

I'm almost finished with that one, because in between, I decided to knit a hat! I'll show you some pictures of that soon - it's finished, but wonky. But hey, it was my first hat, knitted without any supervision.

Oh, and my apologies to anyone clicking through my Flickr stream, you'll also notice I photographed my entire yarn stash:

Yes, I know there's no excuse for this type of behavior, but of course I did it to put on Ravelry. By the way, knitting is a real hit at the bars! Drunk people love to stare at knitting. :) Sadly, I am not even kidding. :)

What's the weirdest place you guys have knitted? Do you guys get heckled when you knit? What are your comebacks? Is there anywhere you wouldn't knit? :)