Friday, January 4, 2008

Onward, young stash buster!

Ok, maybe not so young, but I am in a stash busting mood! After completing a few large projects, I always like to throw in several small projects both for their stash busting benefits and the instant gratificaton that comes from a couple days of knitting.

I made the Super Yak Scarf from 101 One Skein Wonders with some leftover Shetland Chunky, but when I ran out of yarn to finish the Cabled Cap, I frogged it. I didn't like it anyway and I adore the hat, so it was a good trade off. I also started the Sock it to Me scarf from Designer 101 One Skein Wonders with the Opal Rodeo leftover from my Coriolis socks. I'll probably just wait until there's more leftover sock yarn lying around and make it a mish mosh of colors.

I still have some Violet and Slate Cotton-Ease so I'm going to try to make a couple more Mason-Dixon Washcloths since I love those so much and don't want that yarn to go to waste. I'd also like to get through all my UFO's. I have an Hourglass Sweater in the works as well as a new cabled sweater for Ben. I love to see yarn get used up. I feel productive and I feel like I'm doing something beneficial for my household - reducing clutter. (psst, then I get to buy new yarn too!)

Now, I'll share the story of the epic hat for my daugther. She got a new winter coat this year - I'm sure many of you have seen it. It's from Kohl's and the brand is Arctic Zone, I think? Black, with skinny white and green stripes along the arm, across the chest, and down another arm.

A. wanted a hat to match and since I love knitting for her, I was happy to dig out my Holiday 2006 edition of KnitSimple. That magazine had several hat patterns, in varying gauges, sized for preemies, babies, toddlers, children, women and men. I'd made her a 2x2 ribbed striped hat last year in the child size and she loved it. In fact she wore it so much that she eventually lost it.

I set out to make a 2x2 rib hat in black, white, green and blue stripes. The first attempt had to be frogged because I neglected to account for a brim length when I measured the total length and the hat ended up being about the right size for a Cabbage Patch Kid. The second attempt had all the right measurements for a woman's hat, but still ended up looking like it might fit a 2 year old. See the hat on the left.

Even though A. specifically said she wanted the 2x2 ribbed striped beanie hat, I made the executive decision to make her a striped Cap Karma. I thought the cabled pattern would be warmer than the 2x2 rib. I followed the basic Cap Karma pattern and then went with Jared's decrease in pattern instructions. I love it and it looks so cute on A!

Isn't she darling? What's that? Did she like it, you ask?


I could tell she tried to be tactful about it, but she said she really liked the other one (2x2 style) better and really didn't like the cables "or whatever" on this hat. CRAP! I should have known. Departing from what's expected or wanted really hasn't ever worked out for me. Oh well, now we'll have another hat to throw in the bench as a standby.

On another note, I started something that I've wanted for myself for over a year now. I started the Spiral Hat and Mittens Twill Set by Sharon Shoji from the IK Holiday 2006 issue.

I always have a little anxiety when I go to a yarn shop. I'm a thrifty person who rarely buys yarn from a yarn shop for my projects. Typically I'm going to Michael's or Jo-Ann and I've never bought a sweater's worth of yarn from a yarn shop. However since I knew that this would cost me less than $15 bucks, I went ahead and bought Lamb's Pride Worsted in Clematis and Wildfoote Luxury Sock Yarn in Elderberry. The photos don't do the color justice. It's beautiful!

I know I'll finish the hat today. It's a fast knit and the twill pattern is one of my favorites. I can't stop touching this hat and squishing it between my fingers! The sock yarn gives it just the right punch of color interest and I hope it finishes up and wears as well as I hope it will!

On that note, I think I'll get back to my knitting. I also need to get back to work, but this hat is addictive, as is any quick project. I keep giving my self a cut-off point when I'll stop and do laundry or work or something, but it's so tempting to keep going!

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