Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas 2008

Merry Christmas, world!

I turned on the computer tonight at Mom's house to learn two important things:

#1. Marion's baby arrived on December 21. Welcome, petit Mael!

#2. Stephanie Pearl-McPhee has challenged her readers to reach the amount of $1 000 000 dollars (yes, one million) in donations to Medicins Sans Frontieres through "Tricoteuses Sans Frontieres"! Click on the button over there on the left for more information!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Warm Hat

If someone wants to wear a “slouchy” hat, here’s a pattern I made recently for a former student now living in New York City.

I cast on 84 stitches and knit in 1x1 ribbing for three inches, did one round of *k2tog yo* (repeat), then returned to the 1x1 ribbing for another three inches (purling the yo, keeping the knit stitch consistent). I folded the brim of the hat on the eyelet row and, picking up one stitch at a time from the caston, knit the caston row to the first row after the ribbing by doing a k2tog (one stitch from the row above the ribbing, one stitch from the caston). On the next row, I did k3 kfb around, increasing the circumference by 25%. At this point you can knit in stockinette, in seed stitch, in 2x2 ribbing (maybe spiraling the ribbing by doing a k3 at the beginning of every fourth or sixth round, a la Lorraine Major’s or Anne Norling’s Spiral Rib Hats), or my take on a fisherman’s rib: Place a marker at the beginning of the next round. Round 1: k2, (p1, k3) around, but end with k1 instead of k3 after the purl stitch. Round two: (K1, p3) around. Repeat these two rounds. When the section above the cuff is at least six inches deep, decrease on every other round, just as you would for a normal watch cap. (You may have to switch to dpns at some point.) If you want to get fancy, you could decrease in pattern. On the chocolate brown version I made in mistake rib, I did eight double decreases centered at one of the consistent knit stitches. On the final even round, I just knit around, then on the final round, I did k2tog around, tucking what should have been a purl stitch under one of the consistent knit stitches. When you’re done decreasing, cut the yarn leaving a six inch or so tail, sew through those last stitches and pull up snug. Sew through to the inside and weave in your ends.

The inspiration for this hat is the “Le Slouch” by Wendy Bernard ( The young man I knit this for didn’t want it quite as full. With the wide double cuff, he has a “ski band” to keep his ears warm on windy days and the slouchy part is there for appearance.

Now to get a picture before I give it to him!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Holiday Knitting

The cats have still not learned to cast on.

I have several things which really need to get into the post for Marion and the baby. I'd like to finish the blanket, but school/work demands certainly do cut into knitting time!

Bill and Isabel were down visiting from Alaska. They were here in PA for Thanksgiving and the first week of deer season, then went down to Mandeville, LA, to visit Janel, Bryan, and Brayden. Bill was getting a lot of ribbing when Mandeville got four inches of snow this week! The next day, of course, the temperature was back into the fifties, so all the snow melted, but at least Brayden got to play in the snow with his pappy.

Exciting new development on the kidney front! Dr. Yang has decided to let me reduce then eliminate prednisone! (YAY) I have to get bloodwork every week for a while, but I'm hoping some of the weight will come off now.