Category Archives: Bucket-o-Chic

The crabby knitter.

First of all, let me say that there should be no such thing as a crabby knitter – you should knit what you love and discard guilt faster than dirty socks. And yet?

Exhibit one: the Bucket-O-Chic. How excited I was to finish this – finally my sweet husband would have a hip, cool hat – we’re short on hip here, so we’ll take all we can get. The Pastaza felted quickly and beautifully, my husband tried the hat on and proclaimed it the right size, and yet…

When we started blocking it, it was clear that not all was right in hat-ville; per, the instructions, the brim felted less than the body of the hat, and it looked slightly too long to me. And the blocked hat has a distinct “I’m going on safari in the African bush” feeling to it. It is as un-buckety as a bucket hat can be. See? And let me be clear: as I said to Bonne Marie when I e-mailed her in a panic, the fault is all mine. She suggested another “bath” and re-blocking, which I am desperate to do – the hat currently mocks me from its perch in the kitchen…but, my husband loves it. It’s not clear to me whether he actualy loves it, or simply loves it because I made it, but the grief-stricken look in his eyes when I said I wanted to fix it told me I was facing an uphill battle on more than one front. The hat and my husband are in cahoots, but I’ll win, one way or another.

Exhibit B: My Cabled Rib swatch. Oh, the Blackwater Abbey yarn is so lovely, and I am cabling without a cable needle, and following my first tiny charted pattern, and it’s all good, except… My gauge is too loose, and I now require two new circular needles for the cabled cardigan instead of one. No, I do not have size 4 needles or size 3 and no, I do not have any discretionary cash until I get paid on January 31. Why? Well, well, I bought yarn. More Koigu, to be exact (close observers will note that I already own 2 skeins, stashed away. Yes, that’s right – sucked in by two skeins of Koigu KPPM in colorway 116. My heart is beginning to swell once again with thoughts of Latifa, and I simply could not leave Fine Points without this yarn. Whether I Latifa or sock with it, it belongs to me now. This is the yarn that almost put me on a yarn diet. There is such a thing as too much! Must. buy. yarn. with. project. in. mind. Though if you’re going to stash yarn, you could do worse than Koigu.

Exhibit C: My top-down raglan (pictures forthcoming, that’s how much I care). It languishes, and I regard it with mounting guilt as I consider starting the turtleneck in Lush; I haven’t even divided for the sleeves yet! I love the Ballybrae, but the gauge is tiny, and it feels a lot like the cabled rib yarn, and it’s going so slowly and… I’m babbling because I want to come up with a reason to set it aside, perhaps (gasp) even frog it and look for a more exciting pattern. The Lush is so soft, the color so bright, and I could wear a turtleneck right now because it’s so cold here!

That sounds like a blurb from a self-help book: “Knitters Who Love the Sweaters They Might Frog.”

Three needles, four needles…whatever it takes.

Progress is being made on the Bucket O’Chic – the three-needle bind off was helped mightily by these illustrated instructions from Sweaterscapes; it almost seemed easy. As did picking up stitches – I refined my “pick up and knit” technique and this looks much smoother than the stitches picked up for my felted bag. So pick up I did, and off I went on the bucket brim: 4…5…6 rows of 9. More than half done! And then I looked more closely at my seam. Don’t you think I should have put the seam on the inside? That sound you hear is me giving the big old Homer Simpson “D’OH!” A big dopeslap for me, and I’m sitting here right now trying to decide:

Do I rip out the brim and the bindoff, and correct the seam?

Why? What’s the point of trying to do “seamless” work if it looks like it’s a two-needle hat? It will felt down, but it will always look like a big old (ugly) seam. Say it with me: “D’OH!”

Why not? The hat’s recipient (my husband) does not care about the seam, and gallantly refers to it as a “design feature”. And, have I mentioned that I’m more than half done?

On the bright side, I have once again called on my good internet karma and scored some Classic Elite Lush to make the turtleneck from Family Circle Easy Knitting, Fall 2002 (inspired by Amy’s love for this sweater – look for “Lush Pullover”). Nearly half price, which makes angora even more lovely. I love EBay, in all it’s weirdness. I can’t wait for the yarn to get here.

While I’m deciding what to do about my seam, and waiting for my yarn, I think I’ll swatch for the Cabled Rib Cardigan from Men in Knits – I can’t overstate how much I like this book, really. And Blackwater Abbey’s Bluestack is beautiful, don’t you think?

Note: this entry title is a reference to a line from Mr. Mom with Michael Keaton: “Are you going to use a 220 connection on that?” “220, 221 – whatever it takes.”

My husband, the human swift.

The new favorite yarn in my house is Cascade Pastaza, a blend of llama and wool that’s incredibly soft, with beautiful variations in color and a rustic look not unlike Lopi. We discovered it’s the favorite because I’m madly knitting away on a felted Bucket O’Chic for Knit One Purl Too’s Yarn Recommendation Staff (aka my husband), and every time he’s seen me working on it over the last two days, he’s said something like “I like that yarn even better than when it first arrived – it’s my new favorite yarn” or “You could make me anything out of that.”

Yes, I’ve created a monster. My husband has a favorite yarn. He enjoys operating the ball winder, and calls himself “the human swift.”. He visits knitting stores without protest, and knows the difference between worsted and DK weight. Who knew? It’s a win-win situation for us – he gets knitted thiings he likes, and my knitting has a built-in fan club.

Here, before I forget, is the finished felted bag I mentioned in the last entry – it’s so cute, and has inspired me to felt (and felt) again. It seems like magic, and it’s even more fun than I thought.

A few miscellaneous tidbits for future reference:

Kate points to a tutorial using the Magicord machine to make I-cord with worsted weight yarn. A handy reference, but I think I’m still returning my Magicord; I don’t hate making I-cord that much yet.

What other yarns can you use for the Must-Have Cardigan? Knitters in the Yahoo group for the knitalong are using Dale’s Falk, Reynolds Candide, Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran, Patons Ballybrae (this yarn has been discontinued, but you can always look on EBay) and Elann’s Peruvian Highland Wool. Nice options, no?

This year, I want to knit something (anything!) out of hemp. My investigations revealed the following: A search for hemp yarn; there are several potential sites, like EnviroTextile, Aurora Silk, and LanaKnits (they have affordable little kits). I’m such a hippy.

And, who would not want handspun angora yarn from champion rabbits

When I offered to make a baby sweater as a gift for a friend who’s expecting, mothers at the baby shower recommended a hooded baby sweater that zips up the back (that’s for a newborn, and this pattern goes to 12 months). Apparently, this style of sweater gives the baby less to fiddle with (now where’s the fun in that?).