Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Hat glut

I'm not a very good blogger. Because I edit a magazine for my day job, it feels like a bit of a busman's holiday to be thinking about how to make this interesting and investing time in doing that. All I really want to do is show off my knitting efforts, and now I've got a gallery.
I was shocked to realise that all these hats have been made since mid-April. What did I do before I started hatting? Can't remember.
I'm pleased with this cotton cloche, crocheted from lovely yarn from ebay. It feels very light and flexible. I made it up as I went along, but had to rip it right back when I realised the diameter of the crown was enormous.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Felt funny

I sentenced this baggy thing to a hot machine wash having read a bit about felting at Knitty
The trouble is my washing machine can't be stopped mid-wash so I couldn't keep checking, as they suggest. But when I was looking covetously at a copy of Debbie Bliss's book Home in a bookshop this week I saw that she just chucks her stuff in a hot cycle and hopes for the best.
So that's what I did, and got this.
I had to block it on my own head as this mannequin has a smaller head than mine (even less brain). I'm a governor at a local primary school and this morning had to do a little talk in assembly about the Walking Bus which we're trying to get going. I wore this hat and took a few others with me. One of my lines was 'I'm the bus driver and you can recognise me by my driver's hat' but of course every time they looked I was wearing a different hat. (And some of them even laughed...)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Rasberry ripple

There are people in my family who follow football clubs whose strip is red and white. Hints about hats have been dropped, so I ordered some red and some white wool and started knitting. Nothing was said until a few stripes had appeared, at which point it was made clear that "rasberry ripple colours" were not appropriate for an Arsenal or Charlton supporter. Instead I was advised to look for a Bristol City supporter, who apparently go in for a different shade of red...
The colours actually are rather like rasberries and cream - delicious - so I'm quite happy to hang on to my hat (as they say).

Monday, May 22, 2006

Heavy headed

My first crochet hat. It was improvised - I started from the top and used four different oddments of wool.
I wore it to the supermarket tonight because it's cold and wet - it felt very cosy.
Crochet seems to be fast compared to knitting (my knitting anyway) and you don't have to worry about dropping stitches because you've only got one live stitch at a time. But it uses a lot of yarn - double crochet (called single crochet in the US apparently) is very substantial. This fabric feels almost as solid as a rug.

Friday, May 19, 2006

hook books

I bought woolly wormhead's mushroom hat pattern and decided I'd better learn to crochet. So ordered the Happy Hooker and while I was there found Crocheted Hats which is a lovely little book. They both arrived yesterday and I've had a go with some cotton yarn I bought from ebay and some leftover Colinette One Zero.

Talking of leftovers I started using up some leftover yarn on a hat, and realised half way through that I wasn't going to have enough to finish it. So I did a stripe in some other leftover yarn. Still not enough of the original yarn, so I did another stripe but then the second yarn ran out too - so the top stripe is thinner. I just got to the end as the ball of blue ran out, which was kind of satisfying to my frugal instincts.

I've also done another hat based on rollin' beret but with an extra 2cm before the decreases. I really like it.
I feel indebted to Woolly Wormhead, because she's introduced me to hat knitting, and to my favourite yarn supplier handpainted yarn, and now she's got me crocheting.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

I love the colours of this. It's called Toscana, and reminds me of this fresco in the Palazzo Publico in Siena - the effects of good government in the countryside.
The pointy bit on the hat was unintentional - next time I'll cast off sooner.
But it's less obvious on a flesh and blood head.
I may have to branch out to making tea cosies soon - inspired by yarnstorm. What a beautiful blog (why do those words sound so incongruous together?) - but it did make me realise that you need a lot of time (as well as creativity, which Jane obviously has in abundance) to be a top blogger. A lot of the best blogs are done by people who don't seem to have full time jobs, which is great for the rest of us who can enjoy the fruits of their labour.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Not much blogging going on - snowed under with tedious admin. TC works one day a week doing the business side of our magazine (and the other four days in his day job) and he's finding he's spending most of his weekends keeping up so we've started looking for a part time administrative assistant.
Done a bit of knitting though. Did another ear flap hat which for some reason has come out smaller than the others - perhaps my tension was tighter because of work pressure...
Also another creation of my own - inspired by woolly wormhead's hats, though she'd probably be horrified to hear it. It's got moss stitch round the brim, which I like. The tail was knitted on straight needles in stocking stitch which seems to work ok because stocking stitch curls. I got the stitches mixed up when I tried to do an i-cord, knitting three stitches on circular needles.
I'm planning to do a simple, round cap with this Colinette One Zero in Toscana - but who knows how it will end up.

My daughter E has her photography A level over the next three days - it's more of a workshop than what I'd call an exam (not like in my day, blah blah). Anyway she took a lot of pictures yesterday which she left on the camera - here are two of the least weird.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Mudeford, more hats and stash report.

We had a bracing weekend by the sea and saw some old friends too. My stripey creation kept me warm, though I did get some curious looks from the style police.
I was as good as my word about not taking the knitting - and I've made up for it since.
I did another rollin' beret, modified a bit. And the other hat, which is currently my favourite and welded to my head, was inspired by woolly wormhead - but designed by me! Well, "designed" isn't quite the right word but I did make it up as I went along. As you can see I got a head mannequin so I didn't have to take any more pictures in the mirror.

The worsted weight marino has arrived from handpainted yarns as has the Colinette order.
I do have general plans for all my yarn (and having only begun knitting after last Christmas I don't have a massive stash). I've got lots of ideas for the single skeins - mostly involving headwear.

I've got a jumper in mind for this blue yarn.

I've started a fourth ear flap hat with the Colinette Jay. I really like hats, and love the idea of having a big choice of beautiful (to me!) handknitted hats for me and my girls to wear. But if I've got a hat glut I thought I'd try to get rid of a few at the Voice Camp which TC and I go to every summer.