That sound you hear is hell freezing over. Why? Well, after I said I find entrelac scary and unappetizing, I saw Dave’s Garterlac Dishcloth. Since I have a weakness for garter stitch in small doses, I was faced with a dilemma: grouse about entrelac, or make something cool. As much as I enjoy a little snarking now and then, you can bet cool knitting won out.
I loved this, from beginning to end, probably because I also love short rows. It was like a puzzle, and it only took half a dishcloth to figure out which way the pieces went together. My only obstacle, if you could call it that, was that I still prefer “picking up” to “picking up and knitting” – which meant I occasionally found myself with the working yarn at the wrong end of the row to begin the instructions as written [If I had "picked up and knit", that would have given me the establishing knit row the pattern calls for - still with me?]. So I would start with row 2, instead of row 1 and everyone seems to have lived happily ever after. Details: Peaches and Creme Cotton, color Seafoam, plus a dash of white, knit on size 4 Clover bamboos.
Of course you can also see that I ran out of yarn shortly before beginning the last tier – I’m calling that a design feature, a Japanese woodblock ocean or mountain print in a dishcloth. I’m so smitten with this, I could make another, but in my quest to avoid Yet Another Plain Vanilla Sock, I might make these (and by “might”, I mean the pattern has taken up permanent residence on my coffee table and I’m surprised I haven’t cast on yet.
As the flowerbasket hat approached six heartbreaking weeks overdue (and by “overdue” I mean “later than I had hoped it would be”) I realized it remained undone because I had some sort of finishing anxiety. I would have to get over it tout de suite. Either the hat and mittens fit, or they don’t, but as God is my witness, I have made a good faith effort to ensure they do, and knitting slower will not help (unless by “help” I mean “save me from being crushed under the weight of the guilt”).
So, my third finished object of 2007 is the flowerbasket hat and accompanying mittens for my friend Bran’s daughter in exchange for the recently unveiled redesign of this here site. This hat was loosely based on this baby hat pattern and sizing information from The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns; I later discovered (too late!) that TKHBP sometimes underestimates the amount of negative ease necessary, so I made a length of 2-stitch i-cord to thread through the brim to tighten the fit (and add to the cuteness). As I mentioned before, the flowers are from this pattern, and were not only easy but fun. If I were to do this over again, I’d cast on 88 stitches instead of 100 (or 352 rather than 400, because the brim ruffle involves a serious amount of decreasing). I’d also have the recipient’s mom trace her hands and mail the paper to me so I’d have the next best thing to an actual nine-year-old-girl as a reference point.
Whew! I’m glad that’s done, and I’m frankly shocked that it turned out just about as I envisioned it. Say it with me: is knitting cool, or what? Next up, Paws that pop, and maybe even some double-thick mittens made out of sock yarn. And there’s always good old Cable and Rib….