Friday, August 10, 2007

A Couple 'o Hats

Longtime readers may remember my post about this year's Sedalia Spring Fiber Festival back in April. Way, way back in the sweet, sweet springtime, back before the earth flew too close to the sun and scorched in summertime temperatures that reached 107°F.

(Yes, that's what my
WeatherBug told me we hit on Wednesday, although the "official" high was "only" 104°F. Hottest I've ever seen it get here in Rivah City. But not the hottest I've ever been. That would be two summers ago when I was working in Palm Springs, CA, when it got to 115°F every day, and it was still 100°F at midnight. Bleh. But I digress.)
Anyway, you may recall my Spring Fiber Festival purchases:

Including some Kid Hollow Farm Wrapped Yarn:

Which, for some reason, had a catnip-like effect on my Ali:

yarn wrastlin'

I think the residual smell of cedar on the yarn does that to cats, maybe.

So, I finally got around to knitting up that yarn into a couple o' hats for a couple o' nieces with summer birthdays. Just some simple roll-brim hats which take next to no brain power, and are therefore perfect projects for me:

  • Yarn: Kid Hollow Farm Wrapped Yarn (90% wool wrapped with 10% mohair/Border Leicester)
  • Colorway: Kiwi
  • Gauge: 3.5 stitches per inch
  • Needles: U.S. size 10 (6 mm) Denise circulars & Clover bamboo 8" DPNs
  • Pattern: cast on 70 stitches, join in the round, knit every round for ~6-7", decrease & finish according to Super Simple Hat Calculator
  • Size: ~20" circumference
  • Recipient: niece ML - 14th birthday

  • Yarn: Kid Hollow Farm Wrapped Yarn (90% wool wrapped with 10% mohair/Border Leicester)
  • Colorway: Chico
  • Gauge: 3.5 stitches per inch
  • Needles: U.S. size 10 (6 mm) Denise circulars & Clover bamboo 8" DPNs
  • Pattern: cast on 70 stitches, join in the round, knit every round for ~6-7", decrease & finish according to Super Simple Hat Calculator
  • Size: ~20" circumference
  • Recipient: niece RM - 14th birthday

And look, here's the happy recipient now! (Okay, two weeks ago.)

RM -- a little out of focus

RM actually attended that fiber festival with her mother and I, and picked out the yarn. But I'm not so sure if she likes the hat. It's so hard to please teenagers. That's okay - I don't remember a thing I got on my 14th birthday. I also gave her a Barnes & Noble gift card to make up for any disappointment. :-)

As easy as this mindless hat recipe is to knit, it did take me four tries to get a gauge I liked with this yarn. The yarn label gives no gauge or needle recommendations, and the thick-and-thin nature of the yarn doesn't offer any clues. I was knitting these down at the lake last month, and after my third frogging I thought everyone was going to tie my arms to the rocking chair to stop me before I ripped again. But the fourth time was the charm. And you gotta know I love those colors!

A week from today (or tomorrow - haven't decided yet), I leave for my late summer vacation down at the beach, and I'm really looking forward to it. I haven't thought about it at all, which is cool -- it'll be a nice change of pace.

I mention it now because, given my slackened blogging pace this summer, it's very possible I won't have another post here until after I return from vacation. (We'll see -- maybe I'll feel chatty this weekend. There are still one or two topics I need to blog about before they become too dusty and covered in cobwebs.) This working for a living really cuts into my fun time, ya know? Since I sit on my arse all day in front of a computer to earn said living, after I'm off the clock, if I do feel like "playing" on the computer, I tend to spend that time reading blogs and playing on Ravelry.

It's not like I have whole lot to show-and-tell these days, anyway. I'm knitting, but it's just the tiniest amount you could possibly knit and still call yourself a knitter. I'm still blaming the heat. (That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Has nothing to do with just being lazy. Uh uh, no sir.) So, finished objects will be slow in coming. And since I'm working from home, I can go for days without leaving the house, which makes for a very boring and non-blog-worthy life. Zzzzzzzz. Sometimes I do miss the days when I traveled a lot for work. At least I had something to write about!

But there will be knitting at the beach, for sure. And maybe an FO. Maybe not. We'll see.

A momentous event occurred last month, which I failed to recognize here in a timely manner. On July 20th, I had my 2-year knitting anniversary -- my knittiversary. Two years ago on July 20th, 2005, my SIL Jenny, (who had given me a Learn-to-Knit kit three days prior, on my birthday), taught me to knit three days later on her birthday. And my life has been irrevocably changed. A new obsession hobby, a whole host of wonderful new knitting friends, a new blog. I'm so very grateful to have found this craft.

When Jenny taught me to knit, she was a beginning knitter herself, and what with her crazy-busy life, (my brother for a husband, three kids, a full-time job, training for and running in marathons, redecorating their newly remodeled house, etc.), she hasn't advanced much beyond the garter stitch scarf, (not that there's anything wrong with that). Heck, I'm not all that further along myself.

So, this year, on Jenny's birthday, (my knittiversary), I gave her some lovely yarn in her very favorite color:

Araucania Nature Wool (in chunky, I believe)
(thanks again, Gina!)
* well as her very own set of pink Denise Interchangeable circular needles, and a few sets of Clover bamboo DPNs. Oh, and a little "coupon" from me for hat knitting lessons down at the beach, and her very own copy of the Super Simple Hat Calculator. I'm going to make a hat knitter out of her yet! (Insert evil laugh here: Mwoooahh-ha-ha-ha-ha!)

Should be fun times, down at the beach! And if you need a reminder of what a beach vacation looks like, feel free to re-read my account of last year's vacation, starting here.

Good times!


Nikki said...

Ah, Sedalia. It seems SO far away. The cool morning. The rain falling from the sky, the delighfully comfortable afternoon. The enjoyment of eating hot food...

Oh, there was yarn and stuff there too wasn't there? (the heat has befuddled my brain as well. I think blaming the heat for not knitting much is not a bad thing!)

moving on... I love your hats and the yarn you made them out of!

As for the gauge thing a spinner friend of mine told me when I'm trying to decide what needles to use on my own handspun if you take two strands of yarn and hold them behind the needle holes of one of those needle sizers. The whole that it "frames" the two strands best is a good needle size to try for regular fabric. Up a size for looser, down for tighter. (it's very early for me and if this doesn't make sense, email me and I'll send pictures lol). When you see it it's "OH! that's so cool!"

Hope you have a grand time at the beach!! and many congratulations on your 2 year knittiversary!

Krista said...

Have fun at the beach. I didn't make it this year. I really love how cozy those hats look!

jane said...

Love your hats! Do you have one of Lawre's cards? There a tip on the back of it for deciding needle size for hand spun, I'll check, it may be the same one as above. See ya later, Jane

Margaret said...

Happy Knitaversary!

Hope you have a great time at the beach too!

Ah Sedalia, when we were bundled up against the fog and rain and chill. Good times. Lovely colors on the Kid Hollow yarns. I think it's the goat that makes my cats crazy. Any kind of goat - mohair, cashmere, the more expensive the better!

Sangeeta said...

The heat just saps the strength out of you....who the heck wants to knit in this weather. Today was blissfully pleasant, though, and giving us a little taste of things to come. Who knows...maybe this is it for the scorching hot heat.

I have some of the thick and thin stuff as well and have no idea what to do with it.