Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Fair to Middling

This is going to be one photo-ey post 'cause I gots lots to report. So here goes:

A boy, his hat and his dad's handknit sock, in their natural environment: the slide at the park. You would think I could dress him in something fancier than his pajamas and a hoodie, but you'd be wrong at 7:30 a.m. I wanted to get some good light on a few of the FOs I'm most proud of. The boy first, of course. At his 9-month checkup last month he weighed 17 lbs. 13 oz and was 28 1/2 inches long.

The Conehead hat was actually completed a while ago. After the too small top-down one (gifted to my cousin's baby), I started a brim-up one from Kids Knitted Hats by Cabin Fever. I used some Brown Sheep Company Lamb's Pride in worsted weight. It was originally intended for illusion knitting, but that ain't ever happening.

Here was my dilemma: The boy's head. It is big. Big like his momma's. Mine's 23", his is 18", by my measurements. This is the same size as a 2-year-old's, according to knitting patterns, though his pediatrician has never said, "hey, your kid's head is freakishly large for his age." Which come to think of it, is probably a good thing.

The pattern called for worsted weight wool to create a baby-size hat, and larger needles and chunky weight wool to create a larger hat for an older kid, which I thought would better fit. So a couple of awkward calculations later, and I came up with a modified pattern to use worsted weight and still create a larger hat.

I didn't quite get the hat height thing, though. For some reason, I thought I should knit straight for twice the amount of the Fair Isle patterning before decreasing. Thus, the conehead look. And the fact that he'll still be wearing the hat when he starts elementary school, if his father doesn't lose it before then. Oh well, bigger is better than too small, right?

And yes, I did say Fair Isle. This is my first Fair Isle project. And I know knit-iquette demands that I show the stranding. It's a little too tight, and it pulls up the garter stitch brim. Thanks to Ms. Stoller, I figured out how to do the two-handed Fair Isle. So technically, this is also my first "English" work, too. Cool, huh? However, I don't think I got the yarn dominance trick down yet. That'll have to come in my next Fair Isle project.

Daddy's sock was next off the needles, thanks to Karida at Stitch. I tried to follow this pattern, but somehow ended up with an ankle hole that barely fit three fingers. So I signed up for an in-person class, which I cannot recommend enough, particularly at Stitch. Marie, Karida and Brigitta and the whole crew there are so welcoming and sweet. It was great.

I started the sock class with Lorna's Laces worsted in rainbow, which I love, but it was a little too much for hubbo. They will probably end up as a gift to my MawMaw. So I went back to using the Patons Classic Wool in deep olive, thinking that would help him fit in a little more around the campfire. Apparently, though, that was all the thinking I should have done.

The prospect of K2,P2 ribbing sounded incredibly boring to me after the excitement of turning the heel and ending up with an ankle that would fit a normal human foot. So I thought he might like it if I spiced it up a bit with the Purled Ladder pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks (a simply sensational book).

If you ever think a man who isn't gay or otherwise stylish wants something fancier than the basic, ribbed, storebought sock you were basing your very first sock on, you'd be wrong. Oren's not crazy about the Purled Ladder pattern. I think I fantasized about too many Nancy Bush socks, and there was no way a plain ribbed sock would do. So now I'm working on the ribbing of the second, and I hope to have it done by the end of the weekend. I want to make one from this book next with some of this yarn I found at Stitch.

Off the needles next was a long-standing WIP. After I finished the previous top-down hat and sent it to Hadley, I wanted to make one for baby Claire, the next new cousin in line for a handknit. So I started it, but let it sit for awhile as I tackled other projects. I figured if I didn't get to it soon, she'd outgrow it and the season would be too warm to wear it.

I used the same great pattern, which I love for its ease. This time I used TLC Cotton Plus because I thought it would be lighter for summer. I modified the pattern and added an eyelet round just above the stockinette roll brim. I used I-cord to make a ribbon bow. You can see what Malcolm thinks of it, but I like it.

I do hope it fits her.


I have been busy. I haven't even mentioned the reading, the writing, the planning, the visiting.

Woof. I gotta go to bed.

1 comment:

EvaLux said...

Hiya, I wandered over from the stashalong blog...
Your boy looks real cute in his hat and I don't think it looks like a conehead hat at all :)

If you want to learn a different technique for fair isle, where you have no stranding that gets too tight, you should go to this site:

You can see a live video of a really great way to do fair isle. The video is only visible if you have IE. If you use Firefox, you'll have to get the IE add on so that you can view the page as if it were in IE.

cheers Eva
sweetpea at sweet-p dot net