Saturday, December 06, 2014

Remaking an Old Friend

A long, long time ago, on a planet very far away, Sheepy made this very warm hat.

Now, when I say very long ago, I mean about 35 years. And when I say very warm, I am talking double layers on the crown and 4-layers thick over the ears.

It's a perfect hat to wear while walking in the winter, or using the snow blower.

But, it's 35 years old and exhibiting some wear (especially at the color changes).

Here's the inside/reverse side.

I'm thinking that the inspiration (or more likely the pattern) was in a McCall's Needlework magazine from the 1970s. Back then, I was a blind follower.

And how is it that I can date this cap so precisely (or at least get in the circa for it)?

Note the lime green, burgundy, and cream yarn in the hat.

Now, lookie here:

The family Christmas stockings, pre-Purple Warrior Princess. The third stocking from the left is the first one I made. In 1977. To mark the birth of the PWP's daddy's first Christmas. Leftovers from that stocking and a sweater or two wound up in my hat!

And now, I am seriously due for a replacement.


Original: 4 stitches/inch, worsted weight ack, Bernat or Berella, most likely.

Replacement (eyes left): 5 stitches per inch Filatura Lanarota Puno  (100% alpaca), so it will be thinner (I increased to more stitches) but at least as warm (probably downright hot).

I'll be throwing in some stripes of mulberry (for sure) and cream (probably) and charcoal and black (let's see how that goes!) for the reverse side.

Here's a recipe (reverse engineered from the original):

Materials: bunch of leftover yarn that goes together (or not). Appropriate size needles (I probably used 8's or 9's on the original. I'm definitely using 6's on the remake), set of dpns and a 16" circular.

Cast on 29 stitches. Join. (do I need to spell out the part about joining not twisting??)

Increase to 87 (worsted weight) or 116 (DK weight). (Work one round, then increase by kfb in each stitch to the end of the next round. Repeat these two rounds twice more for worsted and 3 times more for DK.)

Knit forever (24"). Decrease by k2 tog all the way around, knit one round even until you are back at 29 stitches (3 decrease rounds for worsted; 4 for DK). Draw up, fasten off.  Fold double with the purl side out, tack the beginning to the end. Fold up a cuff.

Stay tuned. This may not last unworn until the fair in the late summer. If we have a repeat of last winter, I'll be wearing it by Christmas.

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Monday, December 01, 2014

What Has Sheepie Been Weaving?

Here's a bunch of stuff that got woven during the summer, and finished (hemmed) today.

Three dishtowels, cotton chenille. The pattern may look vaguely familiar. It's a variation on the cover project of the November/December Handwoven. Same warp on all three. different weft on each: green, blue, mauve (top to bottom).

I left out the pick up stick patter.

Another set of 3 dish towels these in cotton, plain spun for the warp, a thick and thin for the weft.

I don't know if the embiggen feature will show it,  but there's an almost "argyle" (diamond) pattern formed by the thick parts of the weft.

And the latest on the 10" Cricket: a scarf in alpaca, warp and weft.

The yarn is Filatura Lanarota Alpaca DK Splash from Smiley's. It's not on their site any longer. Don't bother to look. It's well-aged and yes, I am stash busting.

I probably have enough of this colorway to make a second scarf if I use a solid for the warp or weft. Or I might knit a beanie to match.

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Sunday, November 30, 2014

What has Sheepie Been Up To?

Serious apologies to my follower. It's been a very hectic fall here in Sheep World.

 Well, the Mitered Sock Yarn Blankie (you'll have to do a Ravelry search) is finally finished.

I lost track of the number of different sock yarns I incorporated, but there's even one square of a tiny bit of leftover Noro Sock. This is most assuredly another memory blankie.

After 3 years in the making, I know it needs a wash and block. There is one yarn that concerns me (a hand dyed that I did myself with Kool-aid). Gonna bite the bullet later today.

And later today, I'll be working on this one. It's a log cabin variation that I am enjoying a lot.

Based on 10 stitches, yarn is Easy Wool from Smiley's in denim and cream. Well-aged stash.

Tiny Prince Original (who is now 7 and knows this stuff) pronounced the denim "itchy" in the sweater I made for him.  ::le sigh::

Perhaps as a blankie. . . Meanwhile, it's mindless car knitting when I am the passenger.

And here, the precious Tiny Prince Two/Too and Purple Warrior Princess model fall hand-knitted sweaters from Mammo.

TPT requested that his sweater be "orange." We compromised on dark orange (rust) because, well, the orange yarn in my stash was hand wash only, almost lace weight, and not sufficient to the task. This is a lovely washable wool (Moda Dea) and probably long discontinued. PWP's is also washable, Berrocco Vintage, I think, and available.

Both Patterns are in Carol Feller's Contemporary Irish Knits. I am looking forward to making other designs in this book.

Click on the photo to embiggen.

I would like to promise that I will be more faithful as a blogger, but that would probably be stretching the truth.  I'll be back with updates when I can.

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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Walk This Way

These days, I am walking for my health, and though my mile is still 18 minutes, it's getting faster (slowly, if that makes any sense at all).

My path is not flat. We live close to the highest point in our small town, which means that while the walk out may be downhill, the walk back is not.

This morning I watched squirrel races as I walked on the paved area near our elementary school. (Click to embiggen so you can see one of the racers.)

Yesterday, I spotted these which appear to be fall-blooming crocus. (from the web, search on fall-blooming crocus) Crocus kotschyanus (formerly known as Crocus zonatus) is a somewhat weedy species usually flowering in October. It has a bad reputation not only because it is a rampant self-seeder, but also because many forms have flowers that are woefully undersized. There is a form in commerce that appears to be badly infected with a virus, as the flowers are not just small, but seriously deformed. A good form of Crocus kotschyanus with flowers of reasonable size is worth having, however. In some lights the flower color approaches a delicate pink, and one can forgive a self-seeder of such beauty.

And a few days ago while walking at lunchtime near where I work, I spotted these.

I'm pretty sure they won't flower or go to seed (seem to be a bit "seedy" already, though).

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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Another Batch

Here are another few of the fair entries for this year.

At right, an adult cap. This was the first item I finished since the last fair, and truthfully, I nearly entered it as fair isle.

Yarn is a blend of wool and ack. Pattern?? Who the heck can remember?

This year's Red Scarf Project scarf.

Baby set (2- or 3-piece) using a very old pattern from Spinnerin (c) 1975 The New Wee Moderns (so, before I was knitting for my own kids) for the hat and booties. The sweater is a basic top down with the same texture knitted in.

Yarn is Cascade Cherub (all synthetic) that I am dearly glad to (finally) be rid of.

Cowl from (I think) an IK special edition. Yarn is Fibranatura Baby Merino, another one I'd love to be done with. The color is called Johnny and is blue, tan, and olive drab.

Felted "other," a cute little vase knit from the last of some Noro Kureyon that I had stashed a good long time. Pattern from one of the newish Cascade books.

This one was fun to knit and felted up quite nicely. I will probably use it just for show. Perhaps with some dried grasses.

Felted purse. Needs a button in the center of the flower, I think. Too late now!

Yarn is from SERRV (fair trade non-profit). Want more. No longer available. Drat!

Lap robe in the Mason Dixon ball band dishcloth pattern.

I used Decor/Encore odd balls in 3 colors.

So now you have seen everything I photographed before dropping my stuff at the fairgrounds. And now, I wait.

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Saturday, August 23, 2014

It's Time For the Fair!

The Great Allentown Fair starts next Tuesday. It's a tradition that goes back only a very few years. The old tradition was more of a harvest fair, in late September. Now, it's the last hurrah before school starts. I am thinking that the new tradition has something to do with kids skipping school to go to the fair. . .

Also, traditionally (in a tradition that goes back about 8 years), I enter a number of knitted items. This year, that number is 30.

Only a sampling is shown here, and since I have dropped everything off at the fairgrounds (yesterday morning), more pictures will have to wait until the results are in and I pick up my stuff.

First up, a dressy shawl in organic cotton. IK pattern, I think.

Followed by a scarf from one of the One Skein Wonders books in Noro sock yarn, stashed for a good long time while I looked for the perfect pattern.

The pattern is deliberate bias and the long stretches of color show it off well.

This is Adult Scarf, fine yarn.

The sweater I finished earlier this year in Puno (alpaca) color mulberry. The yoke is patterned, the body and 3/4 length sleeves ribbed (really wide rib). This one is for me.

And I look forward to wearing it this fall.

IK pattern.

Fair Isle, any garment in a variety of odds and ends of wool. The pattern is from Anna Zilboorg's 45 Fine and Fanciful Hats. This is one of the berets in the book.

I'm pleased with how even my stranding is.
I fell in love with this pattern the first time I saw it on Ravelry: Sheep In the Meadow pillow cover in odd bits of wool/ack blend (Encore, Decor, Easy Wool).

I had vowed not to buy yarn for these projects and I (mostly) kept that vow (see below), so my cover is smaller (the pattern calls for chunky yarn, I used worsted weight) but the size is perfect for the form I had on hand and for lumbar support on my desk chair.

These little ladies made me break my promise as I had no washable yarn in suitable skin and hair colors in sufficient quantity to make the knitted doll I had in mind.

So off I went to Joann's (coupon(s) in hand) to buy flesh (I was looking for peach) and something suitable for hair.

Vanna's Choice for the skin in the only even close to pinky flesh tone I could find (and believe me, I looked). WoolEase  in a medium brown made up the hair.

This project brought me right down to the wire. I was embroidering features at 8 pm Thursday.

Jean Greenhowe pattern.




Sunday, June 08, 2014

Trying to Catch Up

I'm afraid to look to see how long it's been since I posted. I report in weekly on one of my email lists and promise "film at 11" but never seem to get around to 1) taking pictures and 2) posting them.

This is an attempt to get back up to speed.

Afghans for Afghans is having a baby shower this month. Needed are socks (real socks with turned heels) and baby hats for the approximately 85 new babies born each day in Kabul.

Imagine! 85 new babies all entering the world, stark naked!
I'm really pleased with the way the self-patterning pair came out! No, they aren't identical, but they are close and that's what I was hoping for.

Here are all of my offerings. Baby sockies are so quick to make. If it weren't for other deadlines looming, I'd devote my summer (or at least June) to baby socks!

And here's one of the deadline projects.

This one is destined to be a fair entry then it will be the Purple Warrior Princess's Christmas sweater.

Buttons are coming. The pattern suggests toggles. I am tempted to go buy them, but my button stash is probably bigger than my yarn stash, so I am considering faux leather or some cross-cut antler. I think it needs something more natural than plastic.

On the health front, my spine surgeon has cut me loose. The Physical Therapists, ditto. I have to continue exercising and walking, probably for the rest of my life. The pain in my legs (except for the arthritic knee) is gone. I'll take it!

On another note, I am seeing a cardiologist regularly to deal with my blood pressure (not a new issue) and atrial fibrillation (that manifested during surgery). Three new medications and it is getting under control.

Getting old is not for the faint of heart!

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