Yes, I’ve Been Knitting, Too…

It’s been a long time since I’ve actually posted here. I’ve been in a knitting (and thus, blogging) funk. But this year I have decided to try to fix both of those things. But, none of my knitting of late has been making me, well, happy. And what’s the point of knitting if not for the zen and happiness of it?

So I’ve been struggling along for weeks, trying to find the perfect project. And then my husband said that he thought he should buy himself a Jayne Hat. To which, I said, “I can knit that!” And so I am. In all the years I’ve been knitting, he’s only affected a mild interest (to keep me happy) and has never asked me to make him anything. So, he finally asked for something, and I said I could do it. And I can, really… except this particular hat has been subject to much opinion and debate as to how it’s made. I am following this pattern, but am finding the analysis of the hat on this site to be most helpful.

Of course there is some debate about the actual color of the hat, because it is often seen in deep shadow. But I see it as a sort of pumpkin-orange and goldenrod, with brick red earflaps. With two strands held together and a combination of colors from the stash, and adding a couple of other shades with the help of a store credit from The Loopy Ewe, I think I will be good to go. What do you Firefly knitters think of my color choices?

five shades of orange and yellow yarn

Jayne Hat yarn

As you can also see, if you’re visiting this blog, I’ve done a bit of work here, too. I’ve decided that this is the year I’m going to really focus on my photography skills, so I wanted a blog format that would allow me to easily build photo pages. And this one called out to me. I’ll be building my photo galleries over time, but you can check them out, here: Photo Galleries.

For tonight’s photo of the yarn I experimented with my flash. I generally hate flash photography because of the washed out colors and harsh shadows I usually get. But, since my whole house now is full of energy saving (but ugly as sin) fluorescent light bulbs, I figured I’d better start making friends with the flash. So for this photo I mounted the flash on the camera, but added a Gary Fong Universal Lightsphere diffuser, to cut down on the harsh shadows. Not bad, eh? And the yarn colors are accurate and vivid. Of course I am a bigger fan of natural light, but when none is available, this setup might just do.

As I was writing this post, my kids were behind me, laughing. And this is why:

Clyde the grey tabby peeking out from under a sheet

Clyde is hiding

Clyde had run under the chair where I had set up for photos, and got himself draped in the sheet I use for a backdrop. And stayed there, at least long enough for my daughter to snap a few kitty selfies. Never a dull moment around here, I’m tellin’ ya.

We’re expecting a boatload of snow tomorrow so I’m hoping that means lots of knitting. Stay tuned for Jayne Hat updates.

FO Report: Going in Circles Hat

Going in Circles Hat, Completed

Going in Circles Hat, Completed

Project Name: Going in Circles Hat
Source: My Own Improvisation
Yarn Used: Vanna’s Choice Worsted
Needle Size: G,E crochet Hooks
Date Started: January 20, 2012
Date Completed: February 18, 2012

It took me something like 10 years, but I finally created the hat I’ve been seeing in my head all that time. I once bought a hat at a craft fair. It was simple, crocheted with basic acrylic yarn. At the time I hadn’t yet discovered any other fiber so this didn’t seem unusual to me. What I liked about the hat was its shape, and how it was stiff enough to hold its shape, despite ridiculous amounts of abuse and years of being balled up in the hat and scarf box at the bottom of the coat closet.

I tried, over the years, to emulate that hat, but never succeeded. Until now. It is crocheted, with two strands of worsted weight yarn held together, with a hook I would normally have used for only one strand of that same yarn. It was hard on my hands, but my goal was to create stitches so stiff that the hat would hold its shape on its own. And I did it.

My mother-in-law chose the velvet ribbon and flower bow and helped me by sewing them on. For that I am grateful, because I am so terrible at sewing!

And now I am making a second one, so I can be sure that the idea for this hat wasn’t luck, but logic, so that I can write up the recipe and share it. Look for that soon, I hope. (Yes, it’s a recipe and not a true pattern; I made it up as I went and can be made to fit by taking measurements and then crocheting until the right size has been achieved. Therefore, a typical pattern with exact sizing and numbers of rounds and stitches just won’t work in this case.

Either way, stay tuned. It’ll be soon.

Bye for now!

More Fun with Hats

Well, I’m enjoying working on hats so much that I’ve decided to do another:

Going in Circles Hat, the second

Going in Circles Hat, the second

This one is coming out better because I put markers into the circle very early on, ensuring that it was symmetrical. When it’s done this time, I’ll definitely be posting my “recipe” for this hat. It’s not really a pattern per se, because how many stitches, how wide one makes it, and how deep, etc., will depend largely on the size of the intended wearer’s head. But when the time comes, I’ll be explaining all that. So, stay tuned, and I’ll be crocheting happily for just a while longer.

Bye for now!

Hat Progress

I’m tired tonight, but I wanted to pop in quickly and show you what my blasted crocheted circle is growing up to be:

Hat in Progress

Hat in Progress

I’m so happy so far. I love the shape, and I love that I made it big enough and deep enough to go down over my ears. I’m working on the brim now, and hope to be done by the end of the week. I am determined that 2012 is going to be a good year for finished projects. And I’m almost there with 2012 No. 1!

See you soon.