Two Left Needles

Knitting, spinning and dyeing
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I've been wearing Norwegian Hat for a week and still haven't decided if I'm going to redo the lining. It's a little tighter than I'd like, but it sure is warm and all sewn up and stuff. I know I'll feel marginally better about the fit if I re-did the lining. But it's a lot of work for marginally feeling better, y'know?

I took a page from Ms Hello Yarn for the lining and used up some 4-ply DK cashmere I had leftover from my birthday scarf.

I guessed on the number of stitches I wanted for the lining, and after picking up stitches from the provisional cast on, decreased accordingly. The yarn is a similar weight to the Jaeger I used for the hat, maybe a hair heavier; if I had used a lighter weight yarn, I'd have less bulk issues, and therefore a looser fit. But it's so purty:

Norwegian hat - sewing in the lining

and though no one else can see it, it does match my scarf:

My Birthday Scarf

Too short a lining made the bulk more noticeable. I put the stitches onto waste yarn several times to test the look and fit and decided on a good sized lining. After pinning it into place, I basically kitchenered to a row of knitting using black JaggerSpun Zephyr.

Norwegian hat - sewing in the lining

I kept the kitchener stitches loose because I didn't want the point-of-kitchenering to pucker the row, but after the fact I realized they were too loose, so the purl row folding edge is not perfectly at the folding edge, if ya know what I mean. I could go stitch by stitch and tighten it up.

Off the head, the row does look a little puckered:

Norwegian hat

But on the head, it's not at all noticeable.

There is zero itch factor with the cashmere, and the hat really keeps my head toasty, even with the frigid temperatures we had last week. Because it's tighter than I would prefer, it does flatten my hair a bit. Again, I haven't figured out if I will make any changes. But... considering how much effort I put into this hat, perhaps it's worth re-doing?

If I did make changes, I'd reknit the lining entirely and with fewer decreases, therefore having slightly more stretch to the hat. If I were really serious about it, I'd switch to a lighter weight cashmere so there'd be less bulk to boot. But I don't have anything nearly as pretty lying around.

Maybe another week will decide it.

Meanwhile, here's my current Twisted Knitters project:

Lagoon on the Schacht
colors not quite accurate

It's the superfine merino I dyed a few weeks back and started spindling. I'm not a big spindler since the wheel, so if I'm going to get anywhere with Twisted Knitters, it's gotta be on the wheel. I'm not quite happy with how my Schacht is handling laceweight (it hiccups and tugs on the fiber supply) but I'll make it through this batch.

Norwegian hat is done! For now. I'm not 100% sure on the lining, but I figure I'll wear it for a while and see how I feel. (I do like wearing it.) Photos when I can combine Scott, sunlight and me with hat.

I want to do a post but I'm not feeling very post-y. Know what I mean? I've been fighting off a cold the last several days and I'll be heading to bed early again today to ward it off.

The little goober gave me a scare last week. She's been very active throughout my workday for the last couple of weeks, and without warning, went into seeming hibernation for several days. That and a couple of other things panicked me so off to the doctor we went, Scott driving and consoling, me crying. Everything is fine, everything checks out, and naturally, as soon as I was back in the office, she started moving around again. I'm sure an ultrasound would have revealed an innocent look on her face. I'm back to trying not to worry about things I can't control, and she's back to bopping around to her own drummer.

There has been some spinning, but I'm not up to talking about it. Here's a peak, though:

Crosspatch Creations
Crosspatch Creations batts spun up

What I can show you without much talk is some fiber that's joined the flock in the last couple of months.

From The Fiber Denn, some lovely finn and merino (8 oz ea):

Fiber Denn finn in Blue Fescue Fiber Denn merino in Poppy
I want to eat up those blues

From Hello Yarn, gorgeous merino/silk (4 oz ea):

Hello Yarn merino/silk Plush and Lavish
my photos don't do the colors justice, though Adrian's photos are quite good

And from Alpaca Direct some Ashland Bay multi-colored merino (found them via Google Checkout promo) in Sandalwood (2 lbs) and Sapphire (4 oz):

Ashland Bay multi merino in Sandalwood Ashland Bay multi merino in Sapphire

All happy shopping experiences. Yum yum.

After several attempts and Pooh bear style thinking, I finally got a crown that works and that I like:

Norwegian hat - in progress
stretched over a CD case

Onto the lining!

Today would have been the perfect day to wear either pair of socks. This winter has been so mild that hand knit socks just haven't been in my head. On autopilot, I sailed out of the house in the usual black cotton socks. And my feet were COLD. Twenty minutes in a toasty work environment and they were STILL cold.

All winter my office stays warm. Overwarm. Most of my handknits don't get worn because I'd be sweating bullets by noon. In fact, these days, I usually have to take my socks off mid-afternoon because they get too warm. Not today. Today was a good handknit-sock-wearing day.

Alongs

I joined me some knitalongs for the New Year. First, Stranded: The Colorwork Challenge:

Silly me, I was on the lookout for a repeat of MJ's Norwegian Knits-Along from last year and it took a while for me to realize Stranded is Norwegian Knits-Along (on steroids).

Second, I joined the 2007 UFO Resurrection:

Now, usually I wouldn't join something like this because the pressure is too great. I'm weak. I lack KAL stamina. However, I really want to whittle my WIP list further. Last year I downsized from 67 to 24 WIP's during my WIP Management campaign. I know. 67 WIP's. Doesn't it make you feel faint? I managed that in just over 6 months. My next goal is to get (and stay) within the 12-18 WIP's range. It's totally do-able. And it's something I want to accomplish. With the UFO Resurrection challenge, I have a whole year to wipe out some old knits.

To get things started right, I picked up the Norwegian Hat I started last April at the end of the Norwegian Knits-Along. Here's where it was:

Oh hat - in progress

It's basically the Bea Ellis Ufserud (modeled after MJ's) with modifications and knit at a finer gauge. I didn't want to buy the kit, so I had reverse engineered the pattern, adjusted for gauge, and added side panel details to make my stitch count work out. After a good evening's knit it looked like this:

Norwegian hat - in progress

I had been working on bamboo dpn's but they were aggravating the hell out of me. So I switched to Addi circs and Ahhhhhh. My stitches evened out and I settled into a good rhythm.

Unfortunately, when I transferred to 2 circs and tried the hat on, it was tight. Tight enough that I knew it would be uncomfortable. Tight enough that it wouldn't stretch with wear.

So I left it on the needles and cast on again. This time I noodled and adjusted the pattern for more stitches and knit an inch and a half before trying it on. Too LOOSE! Too many stitches and looser knitting.

You see, it all makes sense. I blithely laughed at Anne's misfortunes the other day, and in the back of my head, I knew the knitting gods would smite me. They did. Boy did they.

I frogged back. After many calculations, I decided to try my luck with what I had before, hoping that my looser knitting would compensate enough for it to be wearable. It did. Just. Enough.

Norwegian hat - in progress

I was quite excited to be almost binding off last night, I never imagined it would go so quickly!

Norwegian hat - in progress

And then I realized today at lunch that I was knitting on crack. While I really liked the way the decreases don't disrupt the pattern:

Norwegian hat - in progress

I found no less than 3 mistakes in the side panels post-decreases:

Norwegian hat - in progress
too many rows

Norwegian hat - in progress
what was I smoking???

Norwegian hat - in progress
too many rows

It's pretty funny. Only 1 panel was fine.

I'll frog back and pay a little more attention, finish it up right. I'm not sure how those side panels ought to meet up yet (at the top), but I'll figure something out.

Meanwhile, there is one mistake I'm not bothering to correct:

Norwegian hat - in progress