Three hats, in fact.
Even though I don't celebrate Xmas, I feel swept up in the spirit of the cold dank weather and whip out gifts to my non-knitter friends. My stack of hats is slowly diminishing as I send them to the four corners of the earth in time for the Winter Solstice. Which is still a month away! I don't even know how the days are going to get any shorter, but apparently they will. This is the furthest north I've spent a winter. I feel like I'm atoning for enjoying summertime so much. I'm actually having a really hard time waking up in the mornings, and one recent weekend, I managed to sleep until 10:30. Seriously! That's half my day, gone. It just wasn't light enough outside for my body to convince itself that it was indeed morning, and nearly afternoon.
I made a Whale Watch Hat from New England Knits.
It's all scraps- mostly Knit Picks Pallet. For the price, it's a really nice yarn, similar to Jaimison's spindrift in weight and hand. I was thinking of making the Whales a bit darker, but I kind of like them in the lighter shade of blue- they look kind of abstract, and probably more acceptable that a grown-ass adult might pull this off.
Speaking of which...the trend of grown-ass people wearing spirit-animal hats...why? Kitten ears and giant false eyes are cute on toddlers, a bit weird on adults who aren't on their way to support a sports team. Enlighten me.
Last fall when I was in Dublin, I visited a cute knitting shop and nabbed a couple skeins of Studio Donegal Tweed merino. They knit up perfectly into a set of hats- kind of a his-and-hers affair. The same, but different enough to not nauseate casual observers if they happen to leave the house together wearing them:
A masculine cable hat called One Bourbon, whose recipient has a smaller head size than my beau:
The brim will actually fold up when it fits properly.
And a lovely lace hat called Magnolia:
Oh! And here's a shawl:
I usually do a better job of photographing these beastly shawls, but it's been raining like crazy every morning this week, and I needed to get this in the mail. So you get to see my interior windows.
It's the Cladonia Shawl by Kristen Kapur. It's written to have stripes and a looped bind-off, which looks fantastic, but I thought it gave it a much different appearance to make it plain and solid. The yarn I used is Brooklyn Tweed Loft, and it used every last inch of yarn. In fact, I ran out the very last bit- I needed about 10 inches more. Panic! Freak out! I tinked back a few more stitches and then, gasp, SPLIT THE PLIES. So there's one edge that has slightly thinner yarn in the bind off, and it survived blocking like a champion. Honestly though, I couldn't think of anything else to do in that situation.
The yarn is not my favorite. The stitch definition is a bit muddled, which can be used to nice effect here with just the small bit of lace. The one thing that does irk me is that if you tink back at all, the yarn will sometimes just un-spin itself and you are left with a broken strand. It's lofty and loosely spun, making it great for warmth and texture, but it doesn't hold up to multiple mistakes. Not that I ever make them.
One of my favorite blends to spin and knit would be Blue Face Leicester sheep wool blended with silk. The BFL is a long, silky soft wool that has beautiful drape and lustre. Add some silk with that and, oh, I become enraptured. It begs you to hold it close.
While I loved the colors in this skein of Codex- gold and near-black- they pooled up terribly. I tried and I tried to do anything with this- spirals, garter stitch, lace, broken rib- and I just couldn't get it to stop with the ugly pooling. Disappointed, I was.
Ah, wait. I know how to crochet. A quick search and I found something well within my abilities- the Chi-town Cowl.
That's not so bad, is it?
I made a moebius cowl. Easy as pie, it used up almost the entire skein and only took a few hours. It's soft and silky and if you have a small-ish head, you can loop it around twice comfortably.
Now, to bring back the sun...I understand why the 21st December is such a celebratory affair.