Bad Hair day hat – part 2

I’m very happy with the way this has turned out. I ended up doing a couple of different hats as I played around with the fair isle pattern for the nicest one. I think I have the pattern down now. The hat shown just had a beautiful star, but now I have shorter cables, a line pattern, star pattern, line pattern and then the crown. I’ve even worked out 3 different sizes.

This has been such a satisfying project to complete. Even when I was playing with the design and final shape I knew I’d end up with usable hats. It’s also super warm and a great stash-buster! The contrast colour requires very little wool so great for little amounts of worsted weight that are lying around. Also because it doesn’t require a huge amount of wool, you can make it very cheaply or splurge and buy some expensive wool.

I’ve done it in some Peruvian 100% worsted from Knit-Picks at $3.49 USD per 100g ball. You’ll need 120 – 150 grams for the pattern but if you have enough of the contrast colour, you could do the brim in that and only need 100g in the main colour. I’ve also ordered some Cascades yarn Friday Harbour – 80% Merino, 20% Silk to make it. It’s more expensive at $17.87 CAD per ball, but at 219 yds, I can do two hats and it will feel amazing to wear. There are so many options for a fair isle hat.

Peach ice-cream

I made ice-cream from scratch yesterday. Up to now I’ve stuck with sorbets. But I made the custard and added cut up fresh peaches and it is beautiful. Looks terrible, but tastes amazing. Used rum instead of vanilla and it is really, really good!

I may never be able to go back to store-bought ice-cream. With the exception of Earnest ice-cream which is amazing and just round the road from us.

Bad Hair Day Hat

I have quarantine hair. It is longer than I’d like and it’s not so much ombre as 3 inches of roots showing. I’ve also decided there are days when washing your hair is optional in a pandemic. Fortunately I have a solution: The bad hair day hat. So cute it will distract from the tangled, oily mess underneath. Also cute enough to wear with perfect hair, if you are so fortunate.

The pattern has come together very quickly. I got the math right on the first try! I’ve just started the fair isle section, but look at those gorgeous cables around the brim.

Lovecraft

I’m trying to expand beyond Ravelry given their issues with accessibility. I love them, and actually like the new website design. Though I’m not sold on the dogs in balloons! But I know a lot of people have had significant issues.

So I’m trying to find out about Lovecrafts website for fiber arts, papercrafts etc. I already use them for some yarn purchases andI like that you can upload patterns to Ravelry and then import them directly into Lovecrafts. It’s less work for me and give people options.

I’ve been looking for Lovecrafts reviews in terms of accessibility for people and am getting a lot of “Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn”. Not quite what I’m after! If anyone knows of accessibility pros and cons of Lovecraft or has other pattern sites that they find great to use, I’d love to know about it.

Frosty Evening Wrap

Woman wearing stripy wrap

Just uploaded my first pattern to Ravelry. Thank you all for the very kind comments. I’m so happy people like it. Can’t wait to show more work off.

For anyone wanting to try it – go to my patterns page or directly to Ravelry to download.

It’s a great pattern for any level. I liked doing it while watching TV – I got through a season of Deadwood doing this pattern. It is repetitive and easy enough to do in front of the TV while still being interesting.

I also loved running my hand along the fabric as it knitted up. It has a beautiful texture and the yarn I chose (Provincial Tweed from Knit Picks) has great shine and a silky feel.

How to make a sock – Part 2

Casting on a sock

I do all of my socks on DPN’s (Double Pointed Needles). I know alot of people swear by the magic loop method but once I got my head around using DPNs they just worked for me. Plus they are a useful item for in your stash. I use different sizes for socks, shaping the crown of hats and also they make really good needles for cabling.

If you are making a sock with fingering or sock wool you will likely have a pattern that tells you to cast on 56, 60 or 64 stitches. There are other sizes, but these are the most common. This is the stage that most intimidated me for the longest time, but if we break it down it becomes much easier! What am I supposed to do with all of these needles – I’m used to two needles – and then I’d give up. So the instructions below are how to get over that initial freak out.

All of the steps below are based on a 60 stitch pattern. You would add or subtract one stitch per needle for a 64 or 56 stitch pattern. I will be referring to the Needles as N1, N2, N3 and so on.

Step one:

Using two of your DPN needles, cast on 15 stitches onto N1. I use a long-tail cast on, but you can use any cast on that you are comfortable with. Right now it looks like normal knitting. You have two needles and all your stitches are being created on the left-hand needle. Once you have 15 stitches though you need to move onto N2. This is where things used to come unstuck for me. You need to continue on with creating new stitches, using the same yarn, but on a new needle. Pick up a new needle and cast on 15 stitches onto N2. You now have 30 stitches across 2 needles. Keep going until you have 15 stitches on 4 different needles.

Helpful tip:

You can cast on more than 15 stitches on N1. I often cast on 20 or 25 and then just slip the correct number of stitches across to N2 and continue on. If your DPNs are long enough you may want to cast all the stitches onto N1 and then slip them across the other needles until you have the correct number on each needle.

Step 2:

Carefully lay your needles into a square, making sure that all stitches are facing the same way and the yarn has not twisted over. N4 should be touching N1. We are joining our stitches in the round, just we would if we were using circular needles. The big difference is that it looks like a square rather than a round, but I promise you – it will knit a lovely round sock! Magic!

Once you have joined your square you are ready to start knitting your sock.

We’ll be looking at different sock tops in the next part of this series.

For the beginning of this series please click here: https://kororaknits.ca/2020/08/how-to-make-a-sock-part-1/

Test update

Painting of a knitting penguin

Nutmeg had her test today – It was fine, she was very displeased, but was feeling wretched as well. I think this is the only time ever where I have been pleased to hear that it is most likely Strep throat. So now we have lots of ice-cream and are at home and relaxing. The main lesson I learnt was that this is going to happen every time someone in the house gets sick. Normally we’d do the fluids, stay in bed, and get better. Now we have to get an appointment, get to the appointment, with masks, gloves and anything else you need to ensure other people’s safety. Then we wait for results. It is going to be really hard on the health care providers but also on families.

On a brighter note, I was hugely impressed with BC health. They were amazingly helpful and it was great how fast I was able to get Nutmeg her test and that the results will turn around within 72 hours.

Picture is one that Nutmeg did over the summer to celebrate my new ventures. It’s a very happy penguin!

Simple childhood illness in pandemic times

We are off for our first COVID tests today. Nutmeg got ill after attending a summer camp – which was great and they took lots of precautions – and it probably isn’t even COVID. But wow, dealing with a simple childhood illness, fever, sore throat, nausea etc. is really different in a pandemic. We need to get a test to make sure if it is COVID the camp is fully informed. We need to isolate her and be careful around her ourselves so we don’t get sick. Easier said than done. Also, she is scared now, we’ve been very reassuring but they know that we are hunkered down at home hiding from this disease and now she feels like she made a mistake by getting sick. It’s tough.

I was already feeling mixed emotions about going back to school but now I realize every little sniffle and illness that races through our school and our friend’s schools are going to really be a lot of work and isolating and time off for everyone.

So it has been a couple of days of realizing how much things will change/have changed in terms of how we deal with the ‘normal’ illnesses.

I’m knackered.

How to make a sock – Part 1

I used to be very scared of socks. I liked flat knitting – I loved blankets or rectangular shawls. Then I discovered knitting in the round. Loved it – no purl stitch – wonderful. But socks were still my fear. The number of needles, the tiny size of the needles, how do you do a heel and so on and so on. It was all very intimidating and so I was sure I was never going to be a sock person. But socks should be demystified. They are easy!!! They are fast to knit. You get just the comfiest thing you can have on your feet. They may be the best thing you can knit. After a facecloth I think they make a great starter project where you can get real pride from finishing a pair of socks and wiggling your toes in them once completed.

But many sock patterns really do require a lot of knitting knowledge to decipher and you think you need specialized equipment so they are off-putting. So here is a series on how to make a sock, with common pitfalls and ways you can adapt nearly any pattern you want.