Wednesday, December 21, 2011

mmmm, malabrigo

Haley, my awesome local yarn shop owner, introduced me to Malabrigo Chunky for this hat a while back. I believe she described it as "yummy" to knit with - or maybe I'm making that up - but it really is the best word for it. Malabrigo is soft, squishy and wonderful to wear. The colourways have such subtle and irregular changes of colour that it makes almost impossible to choose just one skein. This colourway is called Polar Morn, a lovely blue-gray that I again have to give credit to Sadie for picking. I had held up this and a brighter salmon option for her advice and she hardly paused. She pointed to the Polar Morn, and she was so right.

The hat is a slightly modified Ariosa Hat by Hannah Fettig (a free pattern). I started with 63 stitches, made a deeper band and then increased to 72 stitches. My cable section was only 14 stitches with 3 purls on each edge and 8 stitches in the centre. I didn't love the pinching effect in the original pattern's cable so I did a straight up cable instead. But otherwise I followed the decreases and finished it off with a big pompom. Two skeins made this hat and a pair of Instant Mittens with absolutely nothing to spare. Hmm, maybe the 30% off Boxing Day sale at Knitomatic is my chance to pick up more Malabrigo?

On the reading front, I finished up Galore by Michael Crummey, and it was another great East Coast read. Set in Newfoundland the story spans generations of families living in a tiny coastal village. It begins with the discovery of a man from inside the stomach of a beached whale. He is alive, mute but instantly accepted by the local wise woman (known as Devine's Widow). Intriguing, right? Man, I love these stories from Newfoundland.

If you need a moment's pause from the hectic lead-up to the coming holidays - I know I sure do - visit Ginny's Yarnalong for more knitting and reading inspiration.

Friday, December 09, 2011

loose ends

December is a funny time of year for posting. Suddenly I'm making things in every spare moment I've got, but I can't share any of it because the intended recipients visit this little virtual space regularly (or, in the case of the 7 year old, she looks over my shoulder quite a bit). And the kicker is that I have forgotten almost every year to take photos of what was made after I have gifted it. What can I say, I love wrapping just as much as I love making and I'm a forgetful photographer.

Anyway, before I dove into the holiday knitting list I had an urge to tidy up my sordid corner of wool and half-done projects that lurks behind the chair in our TV room. The vest above has been knit for AGES and was simply waiting for me to weave in the ends. How does 10 months go by before I get around to such a small task? Crazy. This is the other test version of my Toddler Snappy Shoulder Vest, but sized for a 4 year old (okay, that's why I've been lazy...Milo has a while before he will even wear it). I used Dream in Colour Classy for the body and some scrap Rowan All Seasons Cotton for the saddles. A more conservative colour combo, but the grays are nice. And this is going to sound bonkers, but Milo doesn't seem to have many vests these days (this from the obsessed vest knitter) so finishing this up made me excited to make a couple more in the 2 year old size. Which is on the list, after all the holiday knitting.

But for now, I'm working on a Big Snowy Owl for Milo. The 2 year old may look over my shoulder, but thank goodness he can't read!