Thursday, June 30, 2011

30 Days Later

6 hats and pair of socks!

I finished up the terracotta version last night--(close to midnight) and that makes 6 hats knit in June—and virtually all of them identical except for color!

Aqua, fushia, multi blue/white and violet(the least successful) buttery yellow, white and now a creamy orange!

It's rather exceptional! I knit my socks 2 at time—because I usually dislike re knitting the same thing twice. My early attempts at sweaters all resulted in vest—I never got 2 sleeves knit –not for the longest time.

I admit, June's socks were a repeat of a design I've knit before. But there were changes—the swirl socks have been knit 3 times—and each time the cast on has changed. And the first few rows/or rounds, too. And this last time there was the added change of beads.

And I'll admit there are minor variations in the hats—but really 6 identical hats in 30 days is some sort of record!--And while I will take a break and knit some bottle socks—I do plan to make some more hats –while the summer is still in full bloom. I still have 2 skiens of black yarn, and several skeins of violet—and of course, the blue! I think I might have enough white cotton for an other white hat (since there are plans afoot to give hats away, 2 in the same color isn't a problem.)

6 lace hats in 30 days! I wouldn't have believed I could do that!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

White one Done, Terracotta one

Still a work in progress. It's on the longer circular needle, and a few rounds of the brim have been worked—It should be finished tonight.

A good thing, too, because after knitting a half dozen almost identical hats (I have made some minor variations—some have deeper crowns, some shallower, etc) I am finally growing bored.

A short break for the bottle socks, and I'll be ready to do another pair, and then I think I will be done for a while.

Some are going to be given away—not just the terracotta (orange) one to Stephanie, but one to my DIL I think, and one to my sister (if she wants one). Wait let me clarify--I have 3 sisters, D (older than me) G, (younger than me) and M (the youngest) my brother S is wedged between G and M.

G sent me the superfine peachy yarn for my birthday—and while the hat I knit with that yarn is, I think a failure—or perhaps just an 'also ran'--it was a failure that lead me to the successful pattern. And like me, G wears hats.

I've always loved hats, and worn them since I was a teen. Back then, Hats were mandatory for church—a little lace doily, or worse, a large square scarf, folded and tied under your chin or at the back of your neck were scandalous. (Jackie-O helped change that.) But I liked hats all the time, not just for Sunday and church.

I remember the first hat I bought for my self—a bright cherry red velvet hat—in a shape not too different than the sun hat. I was 17 I think, and had bought a grey frock coat for the winter, (a great neutral color I still love) and wanted a bright hat and scarf to go with it. I don't still have the scarf (it was a synthetic, and well at some point, it got tossed) I still have the next year's scarf—an olive green print one. A huge silk square -(my daughter wore it as shawl for her prom 20 years later!) but I don't remember the hat that went with it—but I know I had an olive green hat. Funny how your mind works, isn't? I wore that grey coat a few years—and every year changed the look with a new hat, and scarf and gloves.

For a 3 or 4 years when my kids were young, I wore a bowler—and at other times in my life, I've had other signature hats. Lately--(i.e.,before the G Class Star Sun hat) was wearing baseball type hats. Plain ones. Before that, I had a collection of sun visors (I manage to lose a few but i still have a white, a yellow and pink one)

So my current obsession with these hats is not really anything new—just an other phase in a life long obsession. You can join me--
buy the pattern and knit it up!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Hemmed in? No Done In.

Well, the hem not completed. And the stiffening wire is not yet hemmed in.. I've a few stitches done, and I was done in.

I find it impossible to sleep late in the summer—I am always wide awake before 6 PM—and sometimes with dawns first early light. I try to get a nice hour of exercise every afternoon in the pool. I don't swim laps—but I do work out for an hour or so using flotation weights (my arms are trimming up) and I do leg lifts and cross country skiing using a noodle.

But the real problems is staying up late—a few days of getting up at 6 am, going to bed at 1 AM and I collapse--(last night and today!) in exhaustion.

Yesterday I did finish the knitting of the brim, (of the white hat) and I did start the hem—but that's it!
Last night and this morning, I had no energy at all (and napped between 11 am and 1pm)

I'll put my nose back to the grindstone this after noon—and have something to you tomorrow—and more again on Thursday.

Monday, June 27, 2011

First White, then Terracotta

As I came to the brim—I divided the hats—I needed to. Most often (90% of the time or more!) I buy circular needles about 29 to 32 inches long--(look, see, below. I've been doing this for a long time!) but every once in a while, I do buy shorter ones.

When I went to grab a second size 4 needle to do the 2 hats, 2 at a time, on 2 circ's I managed to pick up one of my few 20 inch long needles. And things just got a bit crowded on the shorter needle. It was easier to divided the 2 hats onto the 2 available needles- (than to get up and find the needle photographed to right.--Can you see the price? $1.50!)

Right now, the short needle is acting as a stitch holder for the terracotta hat—and the white hat is nearing completion on the 32 inch long circ.

I've laid down a dark green drape for contrast (I really dislike it when someone takes a picture of white lace on a white background!) Just a few more rounds and the brim will be finished!

Yesterday I got the sides of the hat knit while gallivanting about—Skinny Cow had a perfect cup event--all about cups— Skinny Cow and the other great cups in a woman life—Bra's! And I got to go--(thank you Jennifer!) --while there were some lines--(it was all lines!) they were fast moving, and well organized. Kudos to the planners!— with all the lines, it never felt strung out!

There were lines to get in, and lines for free samples of SkinnyCow, and lines for free drinks (what's a party with out a glass of wine?) Lines, too for being fitted (my fitter was very impressive(not))—she decided I should wear a D cup—when in reality, I barely fill a B.

But she listened to me, and found a lovely Warner Bra that came in my size (40B) and after another short, fast moving line, I had a coupon for a free bra and goody bag! (I fit into the bra better than the model—who is showing a bit of muffin top-and spillage at the sides--I didn't show the least!) Maybe the style is supposed to have a bit of push up (and it's not, appearances aside, muffin top) but the B cup fit me close and smooth—and that's an OK look for me.

It was good spending time with my daughter--(who also knew her correct bra size—36C) and doing something different. Look at the goody bag, with a T shirt, and clear plastic make up knitting notion bag, a tube of lip gloss and a sample Skinny Cow snack bar-as well as the bra (and other coupons)


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Twice The Fun—and No Where Near Twice the Time

A percentage of time knitting isn't really spent knitting (ie making stitches) –a percentage is spent turning work, and moving stitches to the tip of the needle, and mentally 'positioning' ones self (Ah, I am at row (round) X—and it's an increase R—and I need to..)

Making two hats at a time on 2 circ's—just like making anything on 2 circ's or magic loop—involves a larger than average amount of time to position the stitches for the first few round.

But each round (or rather on average, every other round) is bigger—and physical positioning take less time and mental position takes less time, too. So very quickly—the progress seems quicker.

I didn't get around to starting the hats till early yesterday afternoon—and by dinner time—I has reached the last increase round in the crown. After dinner, I completed the crown and hubris and I had a meeting. I had to tink just 1 round. By bedtime—the first third of the side of the hat(s) were complete.
At this point—they pretty much fill the shorter (24inch) of my 2 cics—and can't both be seen stretched out.

That's were I am now—Today want to finish the sides and the hat bands, and maybe even start the brims The brims are bigger (more increases) but its always to encouraging to be that close to DONE the work will be quick.

Doing both hats at once still seems faster—but really it's easy lace(Yo's and toghters are closely paired) —and it's such a happy hat--(and I am so greedy in wanting a wardrobe of them!)--and for the past few days in NY—its the only sun to be seen (3 of grey sky's, and thunderstorms are 2 days too many)

After these, I still have some bottle socks to knit—Knitty.com has a pattern for one a few years ago—suggested for a wine bottle. But I love bottle socks for water bottles—those lovely, easy to wash, wide mouthed (easy to stuff ice cubes into) metal bottles—some with key rings attached, some with pop up, easy to drink from spouts, ALL green—refilled with tap water, no wasteful plastics. Wool is an excellent insulator—it keeps humans warm on cold days—but it also keeps ice water icy on hot days.

Even with my gunboat sized feet—I almost always have left over sock yarn—and bottle socks are small—and a great way to use up left overs.

The directions (do you need directions?) cast on 10, increase 10 more,every other round till you have a small flat disk about the same size as the base of your bottle. Turn work (knit on the wrong side) for 3 to 5 rounds--with no increases—these purls on the front of the work make a natural “turn” and give the sock some shape—turn again and work even till you run out of yarn, or till the sock is as tall as you bottle. Ribbing for the last inch or so, or a set of eyelets (YO, K2to) to thread a cord through are nice touches. Most of my bottles are about 7 to 9 inches tall—so 1 bottle sock is equal (in time, in effort, in material) to about ½ of 1 sock (or ¼ of a pair of socks.)

If you are me, you'll end up spilling thing on them (black coffee, ice tea, juice and fruit punches) and you'll need a few. If you have a family–and a collection of bottles—you'll need lots of them. It's a good think they are quick to knit!

PS--Gayle wants to know where I will wear all these hat--and the answers anywhere and every where! Like lace shawls--these hat are at home with denim just a much as with silk--but I think they would be lovely hats for a wedding party, don't you? Think of a bevy or brides maids at a outdoor garden party wedding all decked out in lace hats! (Even the bride should have one--if not for the ceremony, for the reception.)

Friday, June 24, 2011

My Work is Complete! (For the moment)

June socks done before June is! I finished them (but they were partially finished days ago) last night. All the knitting done and ends woven in by 9PM or so.

I am—in spite of a few small errors in my knitting—pleased with these socks. It's always a gamble with you change something—and beads are a big change—but they worked out. The socks are prettier than I hoped—which is perfect for me. I always want to admire a finished pair of socks for a few day, (or weeks, or months sometimes) –and it's warm enough in the NYC area that I have no desire at all to wear socks—I can admire these till September easily!

My reward to my self was two fold. I rooted around, and found a second circ—and packed a project bag with Patons Grace in Terracotta and in White (or at they call it, Snow) –I am ready to go with still more G Class Star Sun Hats.

I have another 2 defective pop up hampers—I could knit 8 hats with the supples on hand! Maybe not all with the Grace cotton (but I do have 3 skeins of violet—and if I mixed colors --a bright yellow crown, and marigold yellow brim, for example) I do have plenty of Grace cotton for a few hats—and I have some silk—that is about the right weight (and just a so -so color) I could make a silk hat!

I am putting the beaded version of the sun hat off till next week—I love the look of beaded knitting—but truth is—it is a bit slow and tedious. First the is stringing the beads (and having done both pre-stringing and crochet placing—I think I like the pre-stringing better—but not by much though) and secondly—I have to plan how and where to place the beads! I think I might need a second tube of beads, too. (And since the hat uses 2 skeins—I am thinking about how many beads to string on each skein.)

Finally—I have a range of colors all packed up—and I am looking forward to making a colorful pair of italian ice socks (in July—but then July is just around the corner!) Next after them? I think some lavender flower socks in the sock yarn I dyed in various shades of violet/purple last month—Some lacy ones—Not knee hi's (like these) but and definitely something that looks floral.

But this thinking is influenced by the purple yarn being out where I can see it, and my other sock kits being out of sight (and momentarily forgetten!)



Thursday, June 23, 2011

Inching Along

Really—hot weather, some chores, the pool—so many distractions-so little knitting done.

It's not really that hot—but its very humid—the smallest effort works up a sweat.

So—an inch--(and now half a foot is equal to 6 inches!) is some progress.

Here, on The Legs—where they look much closer to being finished than they actually are. And in this second image, (more than most) you can see the lovely shades of blue--this semi solid is really quite lovely--the various shades make it very rich looking.

The Legs have are smaller than average—with narrow ankles and calves, and narrow (US) sized 6 feet. (I have larger than life Triple E, US sized 9 feet.)

Today is another hot (well warm 80°) day with heavy wet air (its cloudy, and overcast, and the weather reports promise more thunder showers) but I'll work at getting another inch knit. And—Then!—it will be time for the swirly patterned toe. The toe will go fast! They always do—every round is smaller and smaller and then they are done!

I have an idea too—maybe the next hat will be a pair—2 hats at a time, done on 2 circ's! That way I can knit one for me, and one as a gift!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Full 5 Inches

In sock math—is more than half a foot! I need about 9inches (well 9.25) and the last 2 inches are toe (and every an ever decreasing number of stitches) –and my beaded blue swirl socks are more than half done.

The sole of the sock (measured from the first row of the turning) was already 4inches long by the time I finished the gussets—I like the way socks fit with deep heel flaps and long gussets—i have a high instep and this feels better (and fits better) though it does make the sock knitting a bit slower. Decreasing from 55 stitches back down to 31 stitches is 40 rounds! Once its done, the 62 stitches of the sock seem like nothing!

Today—the weather is unsettled—the sky's are intermittently cloudy—the forecast is for thunder showers –intermittently Maybe I'll get the pool—maybe I won't. Maybe I'll get some knitting done—maybe I won't. Maybe I'll get some sewing done—I am wearing a 're-formated' outfit today—a cotton/linen blend camp shirt and shorts—but the shorts never fit right—last year the shorts got cut down, and had a solid denim skirt added—and Voila! A set that is very wearable.

I have a ton of fabric to sew—and I love having new clothes.. But if the sky's clear—you'll find me pool side!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Busy with this, busy with that

Mostly busy, editing the pattern for the hat (yesterday). But that's done. Sadly the gussets on the Beaded Blue Swirl socks aren't. Almost. But almost isn't done!

They are extra deep--(as a way of an excuse) I did a half round turning, and ended with 17 stitches, and picked up 19 on each flap-- (or 55 stitches on the heel side of a 62 stitch sock! ) And yes, I did do the heel (flap and turning) working with an odd number. I will likely go down to an even 60 stitches after the gussets complete.

The top hem of the sock started with 68 stitches cast on, and was worked as simple double knitting—an extended tubular cast on—for 4 rows (yes, rows, not rounds)
I joined into a round and started 2 by 2 ribbing. As a general rule, I don't like they way 2 by 2 ribbing looks with a tubular cast on—It is, I think barely passable if you do Judy's Magic Cast on—and then IMMEDIATELY change to 2 by 2 ribbing.

But—I like the ways the contrasting purls appear –pushing out of arched gaps in the white. I don't think it would look as good in a single color—I think the contrast--and depth added by the blue yarn makes a difference.

The first time I made this pattern--(yellow and grey) I used a 2 color long tail cast on--and it was worked too tight—in retrospect! Followed by 1 X 1 corrugated ribbing. The socks are a bit snug going over the ankle.

In version 2, a tubular cast on, (the Italian style cast on) and 2 rows of simple 2 color double knitting, that morphed into 1 X 1 ribbing—the fit and ease was much better --the raspberry swirl sock are 2 inches taller than the yellow and grey swirl socks—and easily go over my heels.

But--the swirl pattern is a 2 X 2 pattern,, and I wasn't as pleased with the change from a 1 X 1 2 color rib, to a 2 X 2 stocking knit pattern.

These socks are the 3rd try—and this time I got it right! The 2 by 2 ribbing changes into a 2 X 2 color spiral--(OK so the beads obscure the pattern—and I made a mistake in round 3 of the pattern) but I am not producing (well not now) perfect socks for a show—just fun socks for me to wear when ever.

Maybe—(when? I still have a dozen other ideas for sock I want to try!) if I make them again, I'll get them perfect—the best cast on, with the best look when changing to ribbing, and perfect spirals with perfectly placed beads.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Ta Da!

Done, done, done!

The pattern for the G Class Sun Hat is now complete, and available for sale on my Ravelry Shop--the file has been edited, compacted, and had photo's added.

So far--I think I like the Butter yellow version best.

It's a quick to knit hat—but it does take a bit of skill—as does all lace. I hope you like the pattern enough to purchase and make yourself a half dozen versions!


Mean while—by Beaded Blue Swirl Socks?

Leg done, flap done, turning done.
Stitches picked up for the gusset—but no gusset rounds or decreases—YET.

I love this design—these socks are the 3rd version (version 1, yellow and grey, version 2, raspberry and grey)of the basic swirl design—and the first version with beads. Will I make them again? Maybe—but no time soon.

Yesterday—at the pool—a non knitter commented—Beads? Beads on socks? Why?

The answer is: Why not? Why buy fancy lingerie, (vs plain cotton panties?)

Why not have special socks, pretty socks. Who care if they are seen, or not. Why not lace socks, or silk socks, or any sort of fancy sock? Any day can be a special day when you are wearing special socks!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Quick Progress Report--

4 inches—all swirled and beaded. And a bit more.

Now just some plain knitting, a heel, a foot and final swirls (a beadles one) for the toe.

The blue is so pretty—It doesn't really match any thing in my wardrobe—but it will go well enough with denim, and well enough with other blue clothes.. An effort was made to have a semi solid, and its a pleasure to knit and see the subtle colors.

I have an errand to run—and then I grab my bag (already packed) and schlep off to Brooklyn to one of the last WWKIP events—on the steps of the library, at the Grand Army Plaza.

I'll be wearing my hat--(the aqua one) and having a great time (the day promises to be nice—warm but not overly hot, and breezy. (one of my errands is stop at the ATM—there is a farmers market at the Grand Army Plaza –so WWKIP day is farm fresh veggies day, too)

Of course, one of my still to come lacy hats is almost the same shade of blue..(but its a rare day I knit a sun hat and wool socks!)

A Quick Progress Report--

4 inches—all swirled and beaded. And a bit more.

Now just some plain knitting, a heel, a foot and final swirls (a beadles one) for the toe.

The blue is so pretty—It doesn't really match any thing in my wardrobe—but it will go well enough with denim, and well enough with other blue clothes.. An effort was made to have a semi solid, and its a pleasure to knit and see the subtle colors.

I have an errand to run—and then I grab my bag (already packed) and schlep off to Brooklyn to one of the last WWKIP events—on the steps of the library, at the Grand Army Plaza.

I'll be wearing my hat--(the aqua one) and having a great time (the day promises to be nice—warm but not overly hot, and breezy. (one of my errands is stop at the ATM—there is a farmers market at the Grand Army Plaza –so WWKIP day is farm fresh veggies day, too)

Of course, one of my still to come lacy hats is almost the same shade of blue..(but its a rare day I knit a sun hat and wool socks!)

Friday, June 17, 2011

In Spite of Best Intentions

These socks are making very slow progress!

They look nice—but beading plus color work makes the knitting slow going...Thank goodness there color work is only for the first 20 rounds or so... and then the socks become super simple solid, single color stocking knit.

The beads are threaded on the white yarn—and once the white color work swirl is finished—so it the beading.

OK maybe, just maybe, I will dot a few on the solid blue part of the leg.. but if I do, it will be very few.

The toe will echo the color work—but no beading in the toe (D'oh!)

I could make a thousand excuses and explanations.--running back and forth to the garage (I have a new car--(No I don't)—I just spent half the cost of it on repairs)—and it rides like new—shock, struts and brakes—plus something (some sort of drive linkage in the front) else, and a few minor repairs, (a thermostat, a directional signal)--Next month is inspection time—and everything that might need to be done is done.

And there has been time in the pool—it's almost never too cold for me to hop in for an hours worth of a light weight work out—leg lifts, and arm curls with under water weights. And I've been getting some sewing in too...

But blue (and beads) and white, and black, and a ginger green, and creamy orange (terracotta) skeins of cotton are all waiting to be come hats.

Pam has made a good start (with just one clarification needed) and Katherine should be reporting in any minute (yesterday at this time she was about to start the brim) –so very soon I hope—a fully proofed pattern for sale.

Debbie—who started knitting this time last year (with a spool knitter) is 3 inches in to her first pair of socks—toe up, 2 at a time—and while far from perfect—making good progress. Maybe I'll bring my camera to the pool tomorrow to show you her progress.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

2 for 2!

Messed up both cast on edges of my new socks! Its just the fancy cast on edge--(and 3 rows) but its off to the frog pond and a do over!

Here are some images of me in my G Class Star sun hat—one image in each of the solid colors (I've decided I really don't much like the lace in the multi color yarn—I wear the hat occasionally, but I think this hat and lace looks best in a solid or semi solid.. or maybe, in a yarn with long, slow color changes—but not in a yarn that changes colors ever 10 to 12 stitches.


I want some more images before I settle on one for an avatar.


But enough! I need to get back to work on my sock, and finish them, so I can make a blue hat, and a white hat, and maybe even a black one. I might even have to go to the dollar store and find another pop up hamper!

And Robyn--the brims are about 3 inches deep--they can be a bit deeper--but too deep, and the stiff wire in the brim makes the hat want to become airborn in a strong breeze--A broad brimmed hat can become an un-intended frisbee.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Ask and you shall receive

Robyn asked for a photo of me modeling my one of my hats.

Here's the first of few.. Eventually, one (the best!) will be singled out and will become my new avatar image—On Facebook, on Ravelry, on YouTube....

Well, just about everywhere. I will phase out me fun and silly image of me with my spiky sea urchin hat and replace it with one of me wearing one of my G Class Star hats!

Oh, yes, you're right—that me in the newest version—a soft butter yellow. Finished last night, early enough for me to spend some time threading bead onto my sock yarn for my beaded blue sock.

Oh, yes, I am—I am going to knit socks, and I am going to knit like a speed demon—because I want to make an other hat—a blue one, with shiny blue beads! Curses, Judy! (but you know I really wanted to any way, as soon as I thought of it.)

This sort of hat (a nice brimmed hat) is a style that suits many faces.. Rose Kennedy always wore one (she pointed out, the brim made it easy for photographers to crop others out of the image, and just focus on her!)

I love hats—I knit 100 for every one I wear—but these hats? These hats will get plenty of wear!

In addition to the beaded blue version, I am thinking how to make a double knit version—with a fine lacy top, and more substantial lining, in a 2 shades of wool. The more substantial lining can't be too heavy (worsted would be too heavy!)

It has to be be fine (sports weigh? Lighter maybe fingering weight?) with a fold up or down ear flap or some sort of ear cover or.. I don't know what to call it, but I know what I want! I want something fluid and draping, and fine enough to tuck into the crown for dress wear! But also big enough to cover the ears and the back of the neck for cold days!

The same wire in the brim to give the hat some shape.. maybe even a lacy unlined brim with a double layer crown. Oh, its going to take some planning! But what a hat it will be.


Monday, June 13, 2011

1 More Time? Or Time and Time Again?

Saturday evening saw the finishing bits of hat 3, in fushia (or as I think of it, cherry red).

Sunday afternoon? Yellow yarn jump onto the needles! By 6 PM, the crown, by 9 pm, the sides, by bedtime, the most of the band was knit.

Here I am Monday morning, about to start working on the brim of hat 4.

This is the last of these hats! .. I think. Maybe..

Definitely! I am starting socks—Blue and white socks with beads. As soon as this yellow hat is done.

But...I was thinking.. I have extra blue beads (remember, I bought 2 tubes? Not sure of which would be a better match to the sock yarn?) and I have some skeins of Grace cotton in a matching blue--OK I am just showing one, and truth be told, there a 3 very similar blues, and not 2 skeins in a single color/dye lot.

Wouldn't it be pretty to have not just lace beading, but beaded lace? Wouldn't it bring the hat design over the top to add beads to it? Shouldn't I make just one more hat?

NO, no, no! No more hats! Socks! I am going to knit socks, and take some left over sock yarn and knit a bottle sock or two.

I bring ice water--or more accurately big chunks of ice-- frozen in reusable metal bottles—with me to the pool. (The ice manages to become ice water all on its own!) And I go to the pool most ever day, even if just for an hour. My 2 bottle socks get soiled pretty quick. I have a bunch of bottles (4 metal ones, and a few plastic ones) and just 2 bottle socks. The bottles cycle into and out of the freezer. The bottle socks are very useful; 1—they make the bottles more comfortable to hold, and 2—wool is, as we all know, a good insulator.

Water (ice) bottles with woolen socks keep the ice icy and the water colder much longer than naked bottles—especially since some of the bottles are (what was I thinking?) dark (black, grey. green) heat absorbing colors. Bottle socks are easy—they are shorter than real socks, and shapeless—no heels needed!

So here is the plan: 1 pair of Blue and white swirl sock, with blue beads, 1 pair of bottle socks (a mixed pair) and then, and only then, a 5th version of the G Class lacy sun hat. And, come July, well a new plan!

And for Robyn—I'll bring my camera to Tuesday Knitting at LIC-and get some nice photos of me (and perhaps others) wearing the hats.. But Hey, why don't you come? Even if for a short while with the girls? Manducatis has great pizza and gelato, as well as knitting!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Again and Again, and 1 More Time

This cherry red (or if you want to go with Patons designation, fushia) hat is number 3—in a series.

And I am still thinking (not as energetically--but) that I want a dozen—one in every color, and then some!

Actually, the yarn –Patons Grace DK mercerized cotton comes in 23 something colors.. So one in every color would be almost 2 dozen. But I don't much like the multicolor mixes—they obscure the lace, and don't add enough other interest to make them desirable.

Sticking to just the available solids (and the colors available do change—I don't think there is a fushia in the mix any more—but there is another bright pink-wildberry) I think I would grow bored (and run out of summer time) if I just knit this hat design over and over again.

But—I really do like the pattern, and I love the hats. (There is some yellow yarn jousting for position--it wants to be the next hat!)

Speaking of the pattern—it's been edited and practically re-written-- line by line.
In doing so, I lost 2 pages of text (at this point, with out any photo's or a glossary of terms, its 7 pages long! Down from 9!)

There are no charts—just text—but each line is clear (and there is a lot of separation between the line). There are hints on the best places to put in life lines, and the directions are broken down into motifs. There is a lot of white space in those 7 pages.

Every time there is an increase, the pattern notes the new stitch count--so you can quick check and make sure you got the increases right—and not discover it a few rounds latter.

The Beginning of Round marker moves a few times--That's about the hardest part of the pattern.

The skills needed are Knits, and Purls, and Yarn Overs, SSK's and K2tog's and a few Raised Center Decreases. There are tucks, and hems, and a eyelet cast on. Not a beginners pattern, but nothing to hard for anyone who has ever done any lace.

There are 2 pages of instructions about the wire for the brim--(some tools are needed—but nothing unusual—If you have a rotary tool (I LOVE MY ROTARY TOOL) in the house, you'll have all the tools you need. But that's not knitting--its hardware!

My test knitter is starting soon--(any minute!) and I should be ready to release the pattern next week.

Keep watching for details. —You, too, could have a lace hat for the 4th of JULY!

Wait--I have some true red, and some white, do I have any navy yarn? Should I make a tri-colored hat for the holiday?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Done—and Now, Another One!

Whee! I Am Knitting Hat 3!

About 3 hours after I finished hat 2—the multi color version (version 2.1) of my lacy hat, I started with a third hat. This time, I am going to try for a second (documented!) copy of version 2.0—and maybe I will pair the two patterns and sell them as 1-- (1 hat pattern, 2 versions of the brim).

And I have decided—it is a lacy sun hat--(not a flowery hat). Those point are like the stylized ray of the sun, not stylized petals of a flower. The sun makes a better basis for the hat since there are 6 rays, and 6 rays, and then 10 rays--(and these are not Fibonacci's numbers, as would be found in nature!) And besides, while we call our local star, the Sun, stars do come in a number of colors--and this hat is shaping up to come in a bunch of colors.

My newest version is a bright cherry--(is it cherry red? or Hot Pink?)--I think at some point I might become bored with knitting this hat—but not yet! I love how it looks in different colors—and beside, I HAVE to knit at least 1 more after this cherry one.

Once I decided it was a lacy sun hat—it became –The G Class Star Hat-- (our sun is a G Class Star) and G class stars are considered yellow. Scientist choose a color for a star is based on temperature—(We have all seen a candle flame, and seen a blue center, (by the wick) the hottest part of the flame, and light yellow (and much cooler) flame tips)

G Class stars are smaller (and cooler) and considered yellow stars. (I am told, really discerning eyes can see different colors to stars—but since I only see a few stars on any given night—I will have to take their word for it.)

Getting back to the name, (A G Class Star Hat) if I am going to NAME this lacy sun hat for a G Class star—I should make a YELLOW version, too, don't you think?

So far, my color choices have been pretty simple—What colors of Paton Grace so I have 2 (or more) skeins of in my stash? Aquatic? Yes (1 hat) Lavender (the multicolor)? Yes. (A second hat) Cherry? Yes. (Hat 3, to be.)

I also have some yellow, and some orange, and some medium blue, too. And I have 2 more ripped and useless el-cheapo pop up hampers--(8 wires available to me!) A potential wardrobe of lace hats!

It's all good-- till I get bored. Then I will drop the lace hats cold, and go back to knitting socks.

The yarn, all bagged up, for the Beaded blue swirl sock AND the yarn for the multicolor Italian Ices socks are whimpering and crying to be knit--(but I haven't worn a pair of socks in a week or more, and these lace hats are so much fun!)

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Down to the Wire

Really! The hem is being done, and soon (today) the wire will be added and version 2.1 is done and documented.

It's version 2.1 because the lace in the brim is slightly different—can you see? The little rain drop between the petals(rays) are smaller, and the rays(petals) are slightly different too.

Are they petals? ( Is this a flower hat?) Or are they flaming rays of the sun (a sun hat?)I haven't decided!

Well, version 2 (the multi-colored yarn) is the documented version.

But as Michele (aka PDX) said in her comment, (2 days ago) a pattern is not carved in stone—it's OK to change the pattern to make the petals/rays smaller (or larger) or lacier, or to add more rows to the brim to make it deeper, (or to knock a row or two off, to make it shallower) A pattern is supposed to give you a set of directions that works—and then once you've done it once, Do it again and tweak the design to make it just the way you want.


Pam MacKenzie is doing me the great favor of knitting up a test pattern--I just completed the documentation today—but I gave her a start (the crown) a few days ago--So.. if things are 100% OK --The pattern will done it will be a week or so.
But-- likely—things won't be 100%--but will need a bit of tweaking. But it will still be done soon--(and before July 4th!)


Goodness knows, I've tweeked it. In version 1 (peachy lace hat), I sewed the hem down (BIG MISTAKE—it took too long, and was too tedious) and in version 2, I picked up stitches to make the tuck (again too much work). Version 2.1 has easy way to make the tuck, and an easy way to make the hem!

The only challenging bit is the eyelet cast on--but that's not too hard, really! This isn't going to be a be a beginners lace hat--but its not a very hard one either (I even added reminders of when and where to put in life lines--and there is one not too obvious place where small corrections can be made (and be hidden from sight). And best of all, its knit an wear--no blocking required, no stiffener required.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Knitting is EASY

Designing, even, is easy.

What is hard, is documenting a design so it can be easily replicated!

I am knitting hat 2, (version 2.1)--not quite the same as version 2.0)
Some details are refined, some techniques have been replaced with other ones (easier ones!)

I'm a few rounds into the brim--Knitting and note taking.. and they typing and correcting, and then knitting some more! Progress is slow.. but hopefully it will be worth the effort!

Not much to show for my effort right now.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Hello World!

If there is one thing I wish I had done more of, it's travel. I love traveling. I love to go to other cities, and see how each has solved the same problems that exist in cities everywhere (and that have existed, since cities started.)

Like parking-- On the street parking is very limited in NYC—and rarely free. Off the street parking? Expensive.

But NYC isn't unique. In Singapore? Every car has a transponder -like the ones now more and more common in US for highway tolls. (In the NYC area it's EasyPass—but I know there are other brands of this technology.) In Singapore, the transponders track parking as well as tolls. There is NO free parking, (and no meters, and no meter maids) The cost of parking and overstaying a time limits when one exists is all done via the transponder record!

You might think parking is a modern issue—but not so. In medieval times, it was just as much of an issue. On market days, farmers came to the walled and gated cities—with wagons full of goods, and where could they park their wagons?

And where could they leave their horses or oxen, who needed fresh fodder and water (and who left behind, great big road apples—which were no use at all to city dwellers!) Anyone who's ever visited the “old city” anywhere knows—narrow paved streets, few court yards, and less grass or open park land than modern cities. Parking a wagon, with a draft animal wasn't easy!

But—While I haven't traveled near as much as I would like-- I am blessed in two ways.
--I live in a worldly city (this is old new to any faithful reader) with small enclaves scattered through out it, that host people from all over the world.

NYC doesn't just have a ChinaTown, it has a Korea Town (actually several of both!) and a host of other such towns.. Want Japanese food or books, or crafts or anything Japanese? It's not quite as easy as being in Tokyo—but it's not hard to find all things Japanese.

Want Indian food? Pick a style—there are restaurants that feature generic Indian food, or ones that specialize in the food of Bombay (Mumbai) or Goa, or Delhi, or the other countries of the Indian sub continent.

Growing up in NYC, it's easy to find places that feature ground nut stew (a west African stew)--and every country, be it Ghana or Gold Coast or Toga, has a restaurateur's offering of the BEST version.--They are all great.

Specialties of every South American cuisine can be found –and special foods, too. It not unknown (or even uncommon) to find roast guinea's pig on the menu, among other specialty foods.

This international smörgåsbord's has been available to me most of my adult life—and where there is food, there are specialty shops selling all sorts of realated good—clothing, specialty cookware, jewely, book and art work, and all sort of other stuff.
(Oh the newspaper stands! Does your home town have a single newpaper in Hungarian? NYC has 2!)
But now, the world comes to me in an other way.

This morning, a quick check of my blog's site meter showed visitors to my blog—from Germany, Lithuania, Kenya, India, Australia, in addition to the more usual compliment of visits from US, Canada and UK. This on top of yesterday visitors from Poland, Iceland, Norway, New Zealand, South Africa and Finland. (These last few have likely "fallen off" --you'll only be able to see the last 100 entries.)

Thank you, all! I might not get to travel, and see all the sights of the world, meet all the wonderful people in their home lands, learn their customs, and marvel at the many ingenious solutions each as come up with to the common problems we share—but I am thrilled to know they come to visit me.
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I didn't get much knitting done this weekend—the second version of the lacy summer hat is still band and brimless—but the crown is finished right up to where the band begins. The lace is a bit more evident stretched out on HEAD.

But—if there wasn't much knitting, at least my pantry is stocked, my laundry is clean—and fold (and OK, it's not yet all hung up and put away, but) and best of all, the world is my oyster!

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Second Sock Syndrome (of a sort)

I have it. I knit my socks 2 time, because in general, I DISLIKE knitting 2 of anything back to back. (Thank goodness twins don't run in the family!)

But occasionally—I am so entranced with a pattern or an idea—that I can churn out a couple of dozen candy corns, or half a dozen eyeballs, or a few lace hats--before getting bored.

I finished the aquatic blue (Paton's name for the color) summery lace hat last night (before dinner!--OK, OK, it has 3 ends still to be woven in, but...) and right after dinner started right in on a second version!
I have the top done--and I am starting in on the sides. (Easier knitting with no increases, and no tedious counting stitches).

This time, a variegated color way of the Paton Grace. For me, variegated yarns are always a triumph of hope over experience—They look so pretty in the skein, (hope) and somehow, almost always manage to disappoint in the fabric—(experience) )

The colors are lovely. So far, no pooling or generally ugliness. But they do obscure the lace pattern. Especially here on white background. But I don't care. These colors suit me, (and will go well with a chunk of my summer wardrobe) and I HAD them.

I think the lace will be more evident when on my head (with its mix of dishwater blond and grey) and certainly the lace will be prominent on the brim—especially when the light shines through. .

OH, wait, I did mention above that I finished the aqua Lacy Summer hat—do you want to see?

The patten is being proofed now, (and test knit) and this re-knit is helping with the proofing. Hats are quick knits, and this hat is no exception—but it is exceptional!

It makes it easy to overcome second anything syndrome--I want a dozen of these hats. One in every color of the rainbow, and a white one too. I think I will get bored long before I knit more than a few. But for now....

Friday, June 03, 2011

Working On the Brim-

Still more to go—on the way to this point, some came and went.

While putting away the cotton I hauled out to photograph—I FOUND more cotton. 7 skeins of a cotton/rayon blend, (Plymouth's Cario De Luxe) and a bunch of other skeins (2's and 3's) of more mercerized cotton—some of it worsted weight—that I had totally forgotten about.

That's problem with stash, isn't it? Out of sight, out of mind! I could (I might) knit some double open mess grocery type bags with some of this left over (and much of it is left over partial skeins). Last summer I knit a bunch of small scarves and cleaned up odds and end of stash that way. (What do you think? Enough for a mesh bag?)

Not that I need bags—My oldest shopping bag is an insulated one—from 1983. It dates from when I worked at a coupon magazine. In a former life, I put a lot of effort into being a coupon queen—(I still use coupons and shop frugally)—but back in the late 1970's early 1980's—when inflation was rampant—I went all out!

I now have a large collection of heavy plastic (6) and another large collection (6 more!) of cotton/machine washable bags—which are always to be found on the back seat of my car, or in the trunk. Some of the cotton ones are beginning to wear out--(they are 10 or more years old.)

Cotton mesh shopping bags? Not so much my style. But—well I could always change! I suspect if I knit them (and had them) I use them. And if not, I could give them away! To be honest—I have some heavy twill (remnants) that I planned use to make into new cotton bags to replace the old. Well one day, when the beginning to wear out bags actually fail!

I recognize that I hoard yarn—I love it, and I want it, and if I knit it up—it will be gone! I forget that if I knit it up, I will still have it—as scarf, or as a sweater, or vest, or a pair of socks, or something.

But my stash has also had many donations—like those 7 skeins of Cairo De Luxe) I wonder: Is it enough to make a T? Or a Tank? I don't want to make 70% of something—and run out of yarn. There is no more of this yarn around! Knitting with donated stash has its disadvantages. Sure the price is right—but-- will it work out?

At some point I should photograph, and add it to my stash on Ravelry—and see what—if anything—someone else has made—and how many skeins it took. But not today.

Today, a finished brim, and Hat.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

A Small Pillbox

That's the shape of the new lace hat—Especially because the sides are slighty ribbed—lace fagoting with columns of purl stitches between them.

I ended last night with some plain ribbing—and I am still thinking about what I am going to do for the band.. (A tuck I think!) and then the brim.

The little pill box stretches out nicely—here on HEAD—and on my bowling ball head too—where the lace design is even more open.

It's a happy little hat.. I am still not sure if this is going to be the final version—I like the fagoting lace much better—but I keep thinking—I could do better than this.. I could...

Well I have LOTS of cotton—not just the Grace, but Tahki/Stacy Charles cotton, Lane, some Cleo Egyptian cotton, and others. (see below, right)

And there are some cotton (and wool, and some cotton and acrylic, and some textured boucle like ones, and, and, and... (there is no end!)

Not photographed are the 900 yards of some lovely milk chocolatey brown, or the 1200 yards of black!

Most of my collection of Grace cotton is left overs with just one or two balls. They are left over from this--a size 4 cotton jacket for my granddaughter (now a tween!) knit many years ago.

The image is pretty poor--but that because I have gotten better at at taking photographs of FO's. --and so have my cameras--It's from 3 camera's ago—and while photographic skills have improved (a bit) --the Camera make the real difference!

Some of the cottons (a good deal) were, for the most part, supposed to become place mats.. but that's not likely to happen any time soon.

Some had been envisioned as summery tops, too, (not by me—When you inherit other knitters stashes, you also inherit their unfull-filled dreams for fiber.) I recently semi organised all of the balls—What a collection! I could do something with all these cottons!

So for now, its back to work-making this idea for a hat work!

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

More Lace—Slow Progress

While I can (as I did) still stretch the knitting flat and disk like—there have been almost a dozen rounds since the last (and for the hat crown) final increase, and it's now beginning to cup—instead of laying flat.

I'm now working on a second petal motif (another set of 6) and between the petals, ribbing and lace fagoting. Once the petal motif is finished, the fagoting lace will continue. No more rounds of beading till a simple set at the base of the crown, before I start the band.

The lace/open work knitting provides plenty of ease—but this hat has
1—more stitches in the crown (96 vs 90)
2-- it is being worked at a larger gauge.
So it should fit a lot better!

I like the color better too! I have 2 swimsuits with aqua blue trim—and lots of summer clothes with the same color--(and if I get cracking and get this hat done—I could knit a wardrobe of summer hats!)

I didn't get much done (knitting wise) yesterday—I spent an hour (the longest I have spent in YEARS) at the DMV--I forgot to mail my registration renewal—and I am way to middle class to let things like registration or insurance lapse—I might end up wasting an hour on the last day of the month—but it's gets done!

I think I am going to get more than the expected amount of knitting done pool side—it's day 3 of the season, and already there is drama. The petty spats of last year started up on day 1 (I missed day 1 – and on day 2 I missed the pettiness, but I heard all about both days on day 3!) It's picking up as if there were just 12 hours (not 9 months!) between Labor Day (September) and Memorial Day (May).

It takes 2—and truthfully—I just don't care! I get in the pool and do my water aerobics, and when someone makes a snide remark? I become hard of hearing! Besides, my 'problem' is the I “hang out” with the “real trouble makers”--Well that's what the gossips tell me.

What I do is watch—I watch the petty gossips—and I watch the poor woman being gossiped about (it bothers her that she is talked about—and the gossips enjoy that they can rile her!) Its all jockeying for position—and status. (What position?! What status?!)