Monday, December 13, 2010

Man Hat makes the big time.

DH and I spent the last few weeks up in the arctic North, trying to stay warm in sub-zero temperatures, and keep the truck on the road after the so-called 'icepocalypse' that rendered the roads into rivers of ice the first week we were there.

Needless to say, both DH and I spent countless hours on the couch at INUA Wool Shoppe in Fairbanks, DH modeling, and I, knitting. Lidped promoted the hat pretty well, so it burgeoned up onto the 'new and popular' list on the Patterns front page. I was pretty excited.

On our way home from a very good visit to Alaska, I was shocked and amazed to learn that Ann, of Mason-Dixon Knitting fame blogged about the Man Hat!

I checked my ego by looking at the Unoriginal Hat pattern. Over 7000 projects made. Not quite there.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Last night DH and I spent the evening working on our respective crafts, listening to classical and Christmas music, interrupted only by a quick pas de deux during the Nutcracker Suite. I've finished my store model of the Colonnade Scarf, which was hands-down the most complicated blocking I've ever done. It's on the bed downstairs drying now, full of 2 boxes of T-pins. Time to invest in, or create some blocking wires. They would have had to be 8 feet long to block this baby though.

While I finished the Colonnade Scarf for Stix, DH worked on a collar for our Mozambiquan beach mutt. Since hunting season had started off a little slow, DH had time to get back into his leatherworking. He whipped out a holster for his new 1911 in less than 24 hours.

Last year, he was prolific, and I was the recipient of 2/4 of his major projects. He made these plackets for my chinks, which are now being finished at Johnson's Saddlery in Dillon.

For Christmas of 2008, my parents got Jon an ulu, and he made this amazing holster for it.

Lastly, the beach dog that gets the collar.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Hunting Widow/Poor

So rifle season took off a few weeks ago, and though he hasn't yet shot anything, DH has sure been hard at it. We've had an incredibly warm late fall, some weather nicer than the summer (it snowed on Labor Day) so DH's season of work has continued later than ever before, which is great for his checkbook but means that I have been pretty much abandoned unless I feel like walking around after him, five paces behind.

While he has been busy working and stalking, I have been knitting up a storm. The Noro Fifteen-stitch blanket is as far as it will go without the last shipmen of yarn that was accidentally sent to Alaska. I made the dragonfly pillowcase for a Thermarest collapsable pillow that DH found on some bushes at a campsite near the Grand Canyon. That pillow is pretty well-travelled. Arizona, Utah, New York, Mozambique, South Africa. The dragonfly fabric came from my favorite fabric store in the world: Selvedge Studio, in Missoula.

DH also got a new hat - he's pretty easy to knit for, but unfortunately not very exciting to knit for. Solid color. Nothing crazy stitch-pattern-wise.

Man Hat:

A no-fail hat, perfect for the man that is hesitant to wear knitwear. Both yarns are super soft for their ever-so-sensitive heads. Makes a fairly large hat.

Needles: 16” US Size 8 (5.0mm) circular needle, 4 US Size 8 (5.0mm) double pointed needles.
Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Baby Alpaca Grande or Malabrigo Yarn Chunky, one skein of either.

CO 64 stitches using a long tail cast on. (For smaller or larger sizes, add or subtract CO stitches in multiples of 8, or change yarn size.)
Connect and begin to work in the round.

Round 1: *k1, p1* repeat between *’s until the end of the round.
Round 2: knit around

Repeat until hat measures 7”, ending with a Round 1. Divide stitches evenly onto double pointed needles and begin decrease rows.

Decrease Rounds:
1: *k6, ssk* repeat between *’s to end of round.
2: *k1, p1, k1, p1, k1, p1, k1* repeat between *’s to end of round.
3: *k5, ssk* repeat between *’s to end of round.
4: *k1, p1, k1, p1, k1, p1* repeat between *’s to end of round.
5: *k4, ssk* repeat between *’s to end of round.
6: *k1, p1, k1, p1, k1* repeat between *’s to end of round.
7: *k3, ssk* repeat between *’s to end of round.
8: *k1, p1, k1, p1* repeat between *’s to end of round.
9: *k2, ssk* repeat between *’s to end of round.
10: *k1, p1, k1* repeat between *’s to end of round.
11: *k1, ssk* repeat between *’s to end of round.
12: *k1, p1* repeat between *’s to end of round.
13: *ssk* repeat between *’s to end of round.

Eight stitches remain. Break thread, leaving around 8” of yarn. Pull through remaining 8 stitches with a tapestry needle. Weave in ends.

This pattern is for personal use only. By using this pattern, you agree to use it only for your personal non-commercial use. You may not distribute this pattern in any way, but you may sell items produced using the directions in this patten.

I've just begun a Johanna's Shawl from the Madelinetosh sock I bought a while back. I'm not sure it'll stay that, but for now I'm enjoying the knitting. Christmas knits come soon!

Yarn swap package has to leave soon - right now I've just got a skein of Mountain Colors silk sock in Red Tail Hawk, but I'll figure out something else to dazzle my swapee in Finland. First swap!

Noro Fifteen-Stitch blanket with a pillow used mostly by Cao.

Friday, October 22, 2010


I've been seasonally unemployed since the 10th, and have been taking this time off to explore what it might be like to be a housewife. So far, so good.

Here's what I've discovered:

There still isn't enough time for all the knitting you want to do.
Running hurts more than walking, even if it's the same distance.
Guinness Cake
Long walks with Cao make us both happy!

About half way through last month, we moved to a new place. I am so in love with it. It receives direct sunlight for most of the day, isn't 55 degrees when I wake up and I finally have all of my belonging around me. This off-season has been great, partially because of the new place, and because I know that I'll be returning to Alaska for 3 1/2 weeks soon. A dear friend of mine is planning on moving down here for the winter, which will make Big Sky even better.

In knitting news, Stix has agreed to let me knit store models for them, so I've been working on a Colonnade Scarf in Malabrigo Lace in Autumn Forest.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fall Cleaning!

The Mister and I moved into a new place a week before the beginning of the month, and have only just now finally settled in. We've had quite a few guests to the new place already, including a dear friend, who we hope will be moving up to Big Sky for the winter season. We have new plants, a beautiful mantle and a heinous chest freezer. What more could we need?

Today we've been cleaning up in preparation for a visit, and I looked up recipes for natural glass cleaner. I combined a few that I found and here's the one that I used today with great success:

Verre Propre
1:1 ratio of water to vinegar (I used 3/4 C apple cider vinegar)
dash of lemon juice
1 t Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Castile Soap

I'd also read somewhere that old newspaper cleans glass well. I highly recommend it!

I'm now searching for a recipe for a Tea Tree oil-based household cleanser. That stuff is amazingly powerful.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

It's knitting season.

Finished madelinetosh's Honey cowl a few days ago, but I can't decide if I like the drape of it enough to keep 3 skeins of yarn tied up in it.

Photo on 2010-09-11 at 11.35

It is super warm, but very bulky and I think I would only wear it doubled like in the photo. I would like to knit another cowl in a solid or semi-solid bulky as well. I'm a little over triangle-shaped shawls for the moment, but I have an infinite amount of lace.

On our way to Dillon today, which means I'd like to have a new project started, but unsure of what to bring. Work has also slowed down enough at this point that I'm getting in quite a few hours of knitting every day/night, so I need something to consume those hours.

Mostly, I need shelves so that I can organize my yarn well enough that I'll be inspired to use it. Love the diamond shelves at INUA Wool Shoppe - might have to take up a minor construction project. Oh the sanding though!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Stash Organization

I just keep buying more yarn! This needs to stop. My plan for today was to run into town and exchange a skein of Noro Silk Garden at Stix, my local yarn shop. I started making a Ten Stitch Blanket two days ago, but the colorway I chose was a little too bright jewel-toney for me to knit an entire blanket of.

I cancelled that plan, however, because lately I am unable to walk into that store without splurging on yarn for which I have no project. This means that I have two skeins of madelinetosh sock, two Shibui sock, infinite amounts of Malabrigo lace, as well as Artyarns Cashmere 1 and 4 untouched skeins of Malabrigo worsted.

Today I went through my pile o' yarn next to DH's leatherworking desk and tried to bag things by brand and weight. I found a half skein of bison yarn, and 2 1/2 skeins of qiviuq. Hundreds of dollars of yarn, which are sitting there, waiting. Why can't I just give it away?

I have so many skeins of unplied worsted, I need a fulled project. I have been planning on knitting a horse blanket, but was unwilling to spend hundreds on the 1500+ yards of wool I needed. Looks like I may not need to.

Perhaps I need to look up a stash swap group on Ravelry. I might be too picky for that though. I just wish Lidped was here to help me make decisions on knitting.