Saturday, November 9, 2013

This, that, and a hat ...

Returned from my NY visit last night. It was a good trip with the exception of the traffic coming out of NY. I didn't account for Friday evening being the time when masses of people exit the city for the weekend. A couple of crawls added 30-40 minutes to the length of my trip. Obnoxious drivers were out in force last night as well, or so it seemed -- there's always a few isn't there?

Zuccotti Park in NY (site of the infamous Occupy Wall Street protest a few years back) is only a few blocks north from the office and it was looking very splendid yesterday. The twinkling lights and the autumn leaves were quite a treat for the eyes. (Lights are more visible when the picture is enlarged. Click to enlarge.)

Before the trip I finished the fingerless mitts. I quite like them, what's not to love about Noro? They'll go well with my rainbow scarf and travelling rib hat.

New on the needles is my "walking yarn" which is knitting up into a hat. I think it's going to be a nice warm toque.

Just started it this afternoon. Unlike most hats I've knit, this one is knit flat and then stitched up the back. I was thinking about it earlier and this strikes me as a good idea. Here's why: Knit hats can stretch to the point where they are too lose to don with comfort and style. I have a hat I spun and knit in-the-round with Targhee wool and it has stretched too much. Just about my only recourse now is to weave some elastic thread into the brim, but I'm not keen on that idea although I've done it on sweater cuffs and hems. A hat that is seamed up the back, on the other hand, can be unsewn and taken in to fit again. Yes, I think that's a good idea.

Can I rant a bit here? Thank you. I'm knitting this hat from a pattern which comes from a reputable source and I'm flabbergasted at how badly the instructions are written up. The gauge stipulates 6 rows = 1'. Well obviously that's a typo and it should be inches, not feet. OK. However, right at the outset the pattern calls for 1 foundation row followed by 7 repeats, and says that these 8 rows should make 1". Well that's a contradiction isn't it? Are we to believe the gauge at 6 rows = 1" or the pattern which reads 8 rows = 1"? Good question. Additionally, the pattern calls for size 6 US needles but it doesn't specify mm's. So I had to choose between 4.0 mm and 4.25 mm. I opted for the 4.0 mm and knit my own swatch and recalculated the number of stitches required to fit my head. I cannot fathom why some patterns are so miserably written! End of rant.

This morning I finished my homework for the quilt sampler that we are making in class. This week's assignment was to cut and sew the 8 "rail fence" blocks. Then I played around with arranging them for their place in the final quilt which will have a total of 25 blocks of various patterns. Quite a lot of fun.

I was given a small scrap of fabric by a kind and generous classmate after I mentioned how much I loved the pattern. It's a blue chintz with birds, how could I not love it? I'm going to incorporate one of the birds somewhere in the sampler. :) (For the fun of it sometime, Google "chintz" images for a bit of eye candy!)

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