Friday, November 28, 2008

Simple Roll-Brim Suede Hat (free pattern)

The month of November has been all about keeping up with mountains of papers to correct, attempting to keep up with housework and gardening, and, as though that wasn't enough, National Novel Writing Month. I am but 3000 words from the 50,000 word goal, and I shall win! I shall!

But of course there must be knitting time. I managed to whip out this not terribly elegant, but soft, stretchy, and comfortable hat out of some leftover Lion Suede in the stash for a charity project, improvising a pattern of my own. Here 'tis:

4 DPN size 5 for S/M, size 7 for M/L (shown)
1 skein Lion Suede (the hat uses about 2/3 of a 122 yard skein)

Cast on 60 stitches and divide between three needles. Join without twisting.
Knit 5 rounds (though looking at it now, I think 7 would give the brim a better roll)
K2P2 ribbing for seven inches.
Decrease round: K2, P2 together all the way around.
Work 2 more rounds in pattern (K2P1)
Decrease round: K2 tog, P1 all the way around
Work 2 more rounds in pattern (K1 P1)
Knit 2 tog all the way around
Work 1 more round in K all the way around.
Cut yarn, thread through loops on the needles. Pull tight and tie off.

Simple enough, and knits up pretty durn quick. A fast knitter could complete this in an evening.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Swiftly winds the swift

So I've been wanting a swift for some time to make winding skeins of yarn into balls a lot easier. It's tough to get someone to sit still and hold the yarn, and draping the skein across chair backs only kind of works. Still, I balked at spending $70 or $80 on a device that I didn't use all that often when chair backs do kind of work.

Then someone on Ravelry clued me in to this fellow who makes very simple swifts from hardwoods and sells them in the $25-$30 range on eBay, under the seller's name of cbgerstner. Now that I could justify! I dashed over to eBay and ordered me a lovely solid oak swift! (Later when I found out the seller sells on Etsy through the Scotts Mountain Crafts store, I wished I'd bought it there. Etsy's fees are much better for artisans, I find.)

So above is a picture of my new oak swift with a skein of Terra yarn on it just for a pose. Today I needed to wind a ball of Manos Silk for a new project on the needles. A lovely spinny thing on the floor attracted Edison's attention and he came over to inspect:

And to get a closer sniff and even a taste, but swifts are not chew toys:

Oh, what a lovely spinny thingy, that goes around and around and around...

And around some more...

And soon we came to the end of the skein and the end of the fun. The swift works beautifully. Edison approves, and I am pleased.

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