Thursday, January 31, 2008

trouble with hat

I'm having problems with my hat design. I have the brim knitted and the first part of the first section, but I can't seem to figure out the decreases. I am almost certainly over complicating it, as I tend to do with just about everything. This cold/virus/whatever it is M and I both have isn't making it any easier. Maybe I should put off the designing until I feel better.
The winds are crazy. At least it hasn't gotten as bad as it did for a few weeks in the old house in Frisco. Man, that was awful with the howling of the wind for days on end... truly enough to drive one over the edge. This is just very strong winds. Fires have ravaged much of the surrounding areas and I think the governor has declared a lot of it a disaster. At least we didn't lose power again today.
I'm waiting for M to get home. He's having to work later the past few days and even mentioned maybe having to do some work from home this weekend. We've had the boys the past two weekends and now he's going to have to work this one and then we'll have the boys again... I miss my boyfriend. Now that I've finally been able to let go of the past to some degree (more on that someday, I'm sure) I find that I really do love M quite a lot. We don't have the sort of relationship I am used to and I think maybe this one would be considered more "adult". I can't say that I don't miss the passion and yearning and obsession that I went through with many of my previous relationships, but there is something to be said for comfort and stability, too. He is good to me and kind and we don't ask too much from one another. We get along quite well and rarely argue. I really couldn't ask for much more than that at this point in my life.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

hats and blankets and freeform, oh my...

I'm sick. The winds yesterday were so strong they took my power out a couple of times, which was mildly annoying. Worse, they seem to have brought some sort of illness with them as both M and I are now sick. My throat hasn't hurt this badly since my tonsils came out when I was 10 and I'm running a fever of 102. Last night I asked M if he had turned up the gravity in the apartment as everything seemed so...heavy...
Speaking of the apartment, they left a note on the door yesterday saying they'd be coming by today for safety inspections, replacing air filters and checking fire alarms and extinguishers and such. They've been doing this on the various buildings all week, so why couldn't they provide a little more notice? So I had to do a quick cleaning of the laundry room and such. The rest of the mess they'll just have to deal with. I'm too sick to vacuum or throw all the yarn back in the closet.
Yarn... I joined up with Jenny Dowde's group on Ravelry (and also the Yahoo group) and am now participating in the Think Pink Challenge. I've had her book for quite some time, but had never really gotten the appeal of freeform knitting. Well, I actually tried doing some of it the othre day and it is so much fun! Strangely liberating and addictive to learn that I can just do it as I bloody well please and the knitting police are not going to show up and tell me I mustn't do it thusly. I'm doing it the way I want to and it's not wrong at all. How delightful. Here are some pictures of my first freeform fragments (the color of course is because the finished item will go to breast cancer research charities.)

This was my first one. It used a pattern from the book Freeform Knitting and Crochet by Jenny Dowde

This is my second attempt. No pattern here, just playing with the yarn.

And this is my 3rd piece. I think I grasp the concept now.

And this is all three pieces sort of assembled.

I think I could use this technique to make things my mom would adore, but it might be a little too much for me personally except in very small bits. Maybe a bag or even a scarf, but anything more than that would be overwhelming on me, imho.

I began the stained glass window hat last night while M was watching wrestling. My favorite cast on for hats is the tubular cast on found here. The cast on is all I managed to get done, but I have a plan... oh yes, I have a plan.
I have also finished the first hex for the baby blanket M promised a coworker of his. They are expecting their first in the summer and he volunteered me to knit a baby blanket for people I've never met. Of course I couldn't just do something simple, that would be too easy. So I have chosen the Mountain Laurel Counterpane. It isn't as hard as I feared it would be; I had M bring me a clipboard with a sliding ruler thing on the side to keep track of what line I was on and that made it even easier. I would have used the spiral bound index card trick again, but since this one will never be a travelling project (moving a project with 6 dpns in it is just begging disaster to strike.) I'm using Caron Simply Soft in red. I would have preferred a deeper red than the one I got, but they just didn't have the right color in a yarn soft enough and affordable enough, so this one will work fine.
I think I will change my Ravelry blog listed to this one. I haven't been to my livejournal site in so very long that I think it can be considered abandoned. And since I do hope to continue posting here at least once a week, this would make more sense.
I need to go lie down now. I'm feeling kinda woozy and the apartment people should be here soon.

Monday, January 28, 2008

...In which I contemplate designing a hat

Hats have always been a favorite accessory of mine. I used to have a lovely collection of vintage hats way back in my teen and college years. And I wore them unabashedly, proudly, even, with my bright red lipstick and all black clothing. I no longer have the hats nor would I be likely to wear them frequently as I did then, but I still love them. So it comes as no surprise that among my favorite things to knit are hats of all sorts. Hats are fun to design and, in most cases, the knitting process is straightforward and not too complicated for my basic skills. They can be made quickly and don't take much yarn. They also make great gifts. There is a pattern I found online for a hat called the stained glass hat. It's a very attractive hat, but it made me start thinking about designing one that more closely resembles actual stained glass windows, all arched at the top and brightly colored with black delineations... I think I can use the same basic shaping I used for the hat of much ugliness if I can find my notes. I told Mark it would be for Ashleigh, but if it turns out as well as I think it might then I may have to keep it for myself.