Wednesday, November 30, 2011
I am amazed at how fast Christmas comes each year. Apparently faster and faster, with every passing year! But I know that this is just a common place illustration of the relativity equation. With only one Christmas season under my belt, the next one took forever to arrive. With 50-plus under my belt, they're a bit more commonplace these days. . . .
I like this season. I like it perhaps better than any other season because it brings magic and wonder back into our lives as possibilities.
In that frame of mind, I present to you this year's act of whimsy: the Christmas elf hat. Yes, I've made one for my grandson, that magical wee man!
I used Lion Brand Cotton Ease - and (giving due credit to Elizabeth Zimmerman, whose Snail Hat was a basic inspiration) -
HERE'S THE PATTERN:
Spirello, the Elf Hat. . . .
With size 8 double-pointed needles cast on 65 stitches and distribute amongst your needles. join and knit 5 rounds for roll-up brim.
Begin spiral pattern as follows:
Row 1: *K 10, M1 (which means= make one stitch using backward loop method), P 1, P2 tog - repeat from *.
Repeat that row 15 to 20 times - or until you wish to start decreasing. Here, suit yourself as to how fast to decrease. The fastest decrease is simply to omit the "M1" in Row 1. What I did was to start a bit slower, omitting the M1 in one Row 1, then working 4 or 5 pattern rows before again knitting a Row 1 without the M1.
Things get a bit complicated when the knit sections get down to 2 stitches and below. . . . You can either keep it to a K2, P2 tube, or continue a spiral by working K, Kf&b, P, P2tog. Decrease further as you think best - I did: K2tog, P2tog - and worked in K1, P1 ribbing for a bit before cutting the yarn and running the end through the remaining stitches and pulling tight.
I worked the ball in sock yarn, using #1 dp needles, and this pattern HERE, posted by "Em-En" at I Like Lemons.
I only increased to the K4, Kf&b stage - then knit 3 rounds - and then decreased starting with K4, K2tog. I stuffed the ball with fiberfill before the opening got too small, and then knit the remaining rows and fastened off. I also picked up the stitches directly on the hat, rather than casting on separately and then sewing the pom-pom on. . . .
I like that they will stand on their own:
And for those interested in EZ's Snail hat, you can find it in her book Knitting Without Tears - which is a game-changer for most people who knit and who've read it. . . .
Saturday, November 26, 2011
I've been an abominable correspondent. No excuses. I have nothing to point to that has kept me so busy I couldn't write. In short: it's not that I can't write - or couldn't write - the fact of the matter is simply that I haven't written. sigh. Here's were inertia sets in, and months of not writing can weigh you down to another half year of silence, which inevitably leads to a year and more of silence, and then. . . .
Well. Better dust myself off and get going, then!
The summer has come and gone. Yes, I know that the "Current Season" stayed at "the height of the summer" on this page until just today - November 26 - two full days after Thanksgiving. I have firmly resisted the urge to skip straight to winter just in case I don't get back for while. No, I've changed the "Current Season" picture to the one above, for fall: "Greenwood blackbirds". This time of year, they gather together and flock in our woods by the thousands. What a whoosh they make when the take off in concert and wheel about!
Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, thoughts of what to make for Christmas occupy my mind. Here's one project I came across that I hope to make for the Greenwood tree inside: Edgar, the Raven, by Stacey Mead, who blogs over at The Goode Wife of Washington County. I LOVE her whimisical designs!
I can just see several of these fellows in our tree this Christmas. . . .
You can order her patterns at this link: Raven's Haven Patterns.
Tell her Queenie from the Greenwood sent you. I think she's incredibly cool.
Meanwhile, it's not quite dawn yet - so time for some more coffee before the day begins. For today, it's back to the herbs for me, and putting together this year's herbes du bois vert. I also have several elephant ear bulbs to dig out of the ground and winterize. . . .
More inaction to keep me from writing! Here's hoping to overcome inertia.