Sunday, December 28, 2008

secret gnomes love cashmere

In my office's "secret gnome" gift exchange, I pulled a co-worker who I thought would appreciate a little cashmere something. Luckily, I had a great skein of Plucky Knitter Aran Cashmere that was waiting for a project. Unluckily, I only had six (very, very busy) days to crank something out. So I turned to my old favorite, the Odessa pattern by Grumperina. Not to repeat myself yet again, I decided to forgo the hat's decreases and turn it into a little neckwarmer. It's as if I knit something different, right? Right? (Deets on Ravelry if you want them.) Having very little time to finish this project meant that I had no time to get decent pictures, but here's one to show off Connecticut's first snowfall of the season:

As someone who is technically from Wisconsin, I can authoritatively say that people in Connecticut do not know how to drive in the snow.

Posting about this Grumperina pattern reminds me that I never posted about my last Grumperina hat, also knit in Plucky Knitter Aran Cashmere. (Maybe this is what Wamps means when she talks about me overdoing it with the aran cashmere hats...) Anyway, here's my Weather Report hat, the name inspired by the combination of its lovely color (the Golightly colorway) and a pattern that reminds me of precipitation:It's Grumperina's latest hat pattern, Tretta, modified for the bulkier yarn. (Mods here) I probably don't *need* two cashmere hats, but I'm keeping this one for myself because I can't find last year's. (It's in a box, somewhere, I'm sure.) Even once I find that one, I think I can justify keeping both, since that one was a little baggy when I wore my hair down and this one is too short when my hair is in a ponytail. Indeed. What a justification. But the top of this hat also makes me really happy:I've knit quite a bit for holiday presents this year, but the secret gnome gift is the only one that's actually made its way to its recipient. Perhaps I'll post about the others in the new year. While three of the yet-to-be-posted projects are repeats of past projects, only one of them is a repeat of a Grumperina hat....

Monday, December 22, 2008

Baby Cole's sock yarn sweater

Baby Cole's Thanksgiving Sweater

Cole - age 2 months - is wearing the sweater I knit from a skien of hand died sock yarn I bought at Stiches East, a knitting EXPO in Baltimore. The theme of the EXPO was "Knitting Outside the Sox" - lots of sock yarn and ideas for things to knit with it besides socks. Size 12 months - but it just fits!
(Cole is the child of one one of Emily's grad school friends from Emory. She lives in DC ad we've adopted her and her husband for Thanksgiving.)

Duomo Hat

I love this hat and this yarn and this pattern!

The yarn is called Florin (yes, the city-state) and is an amazing aran cashmere by the pluckyknitter. The pattern is Brooklyn Tweed's Koolhaas, and together, they produced this warm, soft piece of headwear that reminds me strongly of the red roofs and church dome in Florence.

When I bought the yarn I had in mind a kind of Renaissance decorative stitch pattern, because I'd imagined it would be golden orange, but the actual hat turned out to have shades of brown that I absolutely fell in love with.

I've also been wanting to knit one of Brooklyn Tweed's patterns for a while now (his blog and the photos there are like knitting candy) and given how Miss HEB has been reworking hat patterns for her skeins of plucky aran cashmere, I thought I might try my hand the Koolhaas.

I knit most of this hat over Thanksgiving and during the drive up the coast from balmy southern CA to rainy northern, and then finished it up after my studio presentation. I will admit that, due perhaps to diminishing amounts of sleep, I did manage to forget where I was in the pattern at one point and never completely figured it out until after I'd taken a guess and moved on. Stitch marker for anyone who can identify the "oops" correctly!

This last shot is just to add a little atmosphere. I left my camera in California (also the reason for the dated pictures) and had to retake these hat pics here in Texas. You can see my sister's goats to the right, and beyond that fields and fields of other country happenings. It's been cool and grey here pretty steadily since my plane landed (5 hours late!) in Austin on Friday. I have to admit, even without the big Texas sky, these softly rolling hills and misty grey-purple trees and brush warm my heart just a tad. A cow just mooed very loudly in my direction to remind me to add: yes, there are also cows!

Gracing my neck is a little bit of self-indulgence (I'm giving the hat away! I deserve it!) that I think I'll be ripping out this afternoon. More on that once the yarn and I figure out what it should be.