Winter endeavours

Winter 2016 has been most interesting. As ever, it started off quickly, with a return to school on January 4th, and all that that entails. On the 5th, I had to report for jury panel selection. That case was cancelled, but, in Toronto, jury panels must be available for one week, so I had to go back two days later for selection in another case. And I was selected as juror #2! For four weeks, I was a member of a jury. It was fascinating to have this glimpse into our justice system, not to mention playing a role within it. Sequestration for three days of deliberations was not so fun, but the process was illuminating. Throughout, I amused myself by engaging in a new hobby: knitting!

My neck warmer, made of Malabrigo Rasta.

My neck warmer, made of Malabrigo Rasta.

I took a class at Eweknit in December, just before Christmas, and completed my first knitted project: a neck warmer. It has been very cozy and much less bulky than a scarf. I made one for Mum, too. I subsequently decided that I wanted to make hats. I love hats! They use small amounts of yarn and time, and are very useful for one whose head is always cold!

Completed hats

Completed hats (and my neck warmer!).

So far, I have made seven hats. (I have actually made eight, but my hat class hat is hidden so well that I have failed to locate it.) It was tremendous fun to make all of these, and I have learned so much in making each one. I have made repeats (and a three-peat) in my ensemble of hats. The first hat I made was a Barley hat, from Tincan Knits.

My first hat! Using Cascade Eco Duo in Chicory.

My first hat! Using Cascade Eco Duo in Chicory.

It turned out well, if a bit large for me. Still, I’ve worn it many times and it is very warm. The yarn is an alpaca and merino blend, which is very soft. I love how the yarn striped in the body of the hat, but that the colours remain neutral enough to wear with either of my winter coats (one is black, the other camel). I learned how to use my gauge swatch to get more accurate sizing for my particular measurements, although I really did not need to do so with this yarn. I did the math correctly, but the yarn is more elastic, so the hat is a bit large. Oops!

I liked the Barley so much that I made two more! In Riverside Studio Merino (blue/brown) and Brooklyn Tweed Shelter.

Barley three-peat! In Riverside Studio Merino (blue/brown) and Brooklyn Tweed Shelter. 

As with so many of my garment fabrics, my yarn choices tend to be in shades of blue and brown. I am not, however, exclusive to those colours.

A pair of Sweetpea hats in Loops & Threads Charisma.

A pair of Sweetpea hats in Loops & Threads Charisma.

I made the Sweetpea hats as part of a Craftsy class. They are very cute and I may make myself one in a non-acrylic yarn. I really disliked the feel of these yarns as I was working with them, but they served their purpose of helping me in my knitting journey. These will likely go on our hat/mitten tree next winter at school. For these, I learned how to do an eye cord (I cord?) tail. I think the tail is my favourite part (if a bit eccentric for a woman of my age to don!).

Colourwork! Insulate hat in Berroco Ultra Alpaca (grey/fuchsia) and Baable in Debbie Bliss Blue faced Leicester aran.

Colourwork! Insulate hat in Berroco Ultra Alpaca (grey/fuchsia) and Baable in Debbie Bliss Blue faced Leicester aran.

I decided to try stranding. The Baa-ble hat is tremendously popular and for good reason: it’s so adorable!

 

Baa-ble unfolded. 24 rows of ribbing!!

Baa-ble unfolded. 24 rows of ribbing!!

I love the little sheep grazing in the meadow. This hat was fun, once I got past the enormous section of ribbing. It is very warm, and the Blue faced Leicester yarn was lovely to work.

Insulate! My Dalek hat.

Insulate! My Dalek hat.

I may not have made another Baa-ble, but I tried another hat with stranding. You may remember that I am a Doctor Who fan, so when I saw this pattern, a Dalek hat was inevitable. I learned a new decrease and really enjoyed making the hat. The Ultra Alpaca was a pleasure to work with, and the hat is so soft and cozy!

Thus ends the hats of winter 2016. I did knit some washcloths as well, as a way to practice stitch patterns.

Washcloths for practice.

Washcloths for practice. The blue one is a TARDIS!

Starfleet washcloth.

Starfleet washcloth.

These were early projects, so my finishing is not great. Corners are a little wonky, but they are usable! Again, we see the blue/brown trend in my colour choices.

So, knitting! It has not supplanted sewing, but I do have to balance my hobby time among the different types of projects that I wish to pursue. I like the fact that, in knitting, not only am I making a project, but I am also making the fabric for it! However, I see myself staying small in my knitting projects, due to the time involved. (Having said that, I DO have a sweater quantity of Malabrigo Rios in my yarn basket…)

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4 thoughts on “Winter endeavours

  1. Your Grandmother would be proud of you Chera. She was a beautiful knitter, as well as a beautiful person. Love Margie & Laureen

    • Thank you, Margie and Laureen. I think of Nan too and wish she were here to give me wise counsel. She taught me to knit when I was young, but it didn’t stick then. I hope I can become a fraction of the knitter that she was and get past my fear of larger projects.

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