Sunday, October 6, 2019

Baby Gifts for my Friend's Baby Shower

I haven't posted anything in a while, because you know, life.

But I just finished some crocheted baby items I'm going to give to my friend at her baby shower next weekend.

Here they are:

A Newborn Sorting Hat (although I think it might fit a 3-month-old with my gauge). My friend REALLY likes Harry Potter, so I thought it would be a cool thing to make for her.

A Fox Hat and Diaper Cover for a 6-month-old. The pattern originally called for it be a bear hat, but my friend's nursery theme is woodland creatures. I know bears live in woods, but I like foxes more than bears. I changed the hat pattern a bit, because as written, the hat pattern is worked flat then seemed. I hate making hats that way.

To make the hat in the round, I make the white brim flat then seemed the two ends together to make a wide tube. I started the first row of orange around the top of the tube then joined and turned when the pattern said to only turn. The second row of orange was worked from the inside of the hat. If you choose to make this hat this way, it will be best to count your stitches as you go so that you don't stitch into the joining stitch, and therefore, increase your stitch count.

I added pointy ears instead of round ones called for in the pattern. I also added the orange snout and nose.

Sorry about the poor image quality. I took these pictures with my phone. I think I need to clean the case it's in.


Saturday, June 22, 2019

(Knitted) 1800s Hat-Scarf

Hi everyone!

It has been almost a year since I started this project. In January, I finished the crocheted version (find it here). Now, I have finished the knitted version!

As a refresher, this is my knitted version of a one-piece hat-scarf based on the hat-scarf worn by 19th century Frenchman Charles-Marie-√Čtienne Champion Dubois de Nansouty (image from Wikipedia). He was a military man turned mountaineer who lived from 1815-1895. I discovered his picture at an event hosted by the National Park Service in Maryland at the Monocacy Civil War Battlefield in Frederick. I immediately knew I had to recreate his hat-scarf.

Ravelry: Knitted 1800s Hat-Scarf pattern link
LoveKnitting/LoveCrafts: Knitted 1800s Hat-Scarf pattern link

Champion Dubois de Nansouty
I used the same yarn as the crocheted version, but much less of it: 
Lion Brand Yarn Fishermen’s Wool, Natural (MC) – 1.25 skeins, 580 yds 
Lion Brand Yarn, Fishermen’s Wool, Brown Heather (CC) – 1 skein, 465 yds
...although any worsted/aran weight yarn would work. And you don't have to stripe it if you don't want to.
I'm going to show the National Park Service ranger, who showed me the picture of Champion Dubois de Nansouty, both hat-scarves (knit and crochet) next weekend at the Monocacy Battlefield. I'm sure he'll be delighted!

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Fiber Arts Studio Tour 2019, Part 2

Stop 3: Flying Goat Farm, 29 Bridges, and Dragonfly Fibers

This stop was hosted at the Flying Goat Farm. They were cleaning up some storm damage from an EF-0 tornado that hit the area two days ago.

What I purchased:
Got to Sock from 29 Bridges. Fingering weight. 75% superwash merino 25% nylon. Colorway: Mustard.

Stop 4: Dancing Leaf Farm, The Fiberists, and Magpie Fibers

This was my favorite stop. The gardens and landscaping at Dancing Leaf Farm is amazing. I love the country cottage feel it gives. Also, this stop had a doggo. :3 His name is Tapper and he's the sweetest.
What I purchased:
Swanky Sock from Magpie Fibers. Fingering weight. 80% superwash merino 10% cashmere 10% nylon. Colorway: Hell's Bells. This coloway looks amazing in the sunlight.

Stop 5: Wandering Wool
This stop was at a cidery I had never been to in Montgomery County. I don't drink and I was driving, so I didn't partake in any cider. But I did purchase two skeins from Wandering Wool.
What I purchased:
Ausable Sock. Fingering weight. 80% superwash merino 10% cashmere 10% nylon. Coloway: Cinderella.
Helvellyn Sock. Fingering weight. 75% superwash BFL 25% nylon. Colorway: Bohemia.

Fiber Arts Studio Tour 2019, Part 1

Today was a long day. 5 stops, 12 indie dyers and/or yarn producers in the Fiber Arts Studio Tour. I've put myself on a yarn-buying diet so I limited myself to no more than one skein per stop (mostly).

Here are the spoils of the day.

Stop 1: Avalon Springs Farm, Solitude Wool, and Feederbrook Farm

This stop was at the Avalon Springs Farm, which has angora goats and an alpaca. Avalon had a wide variety of colorways on display, including the one below.

What I purchased:
Pendragon Yarn from Avalon Springs Farm. Fingering weight. 100% superwash merino. Colorway: Hobbit House.

This yarn will likely be used for an upcoming test crochet piece.

Stop 2: Withers Wool

Withers Wool produces more "art" yarn than "standard" yarn. What I mean by that is "art" yarn is more go-with-the-flow and/or has embellishments such as feathers and beads. "Standard" yarn would be what we purchased at all other vendors on the tour. This makes Withers Wool unique. Cathy, the owner, gave us a short dying demo and explained her process from sheep to dyed roving.

To be continued....

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Basketweave Hat

Now that I have some down time while I recover from back surgery, I was finally able to write up a pattern I made about 5 years ago. This basketweave hat would accompany my basketweave scarf well.

  • Worsted weight yarn (170-200 yds) - 1 or 2 colors if you would like the brim to be a different color than the main hat
  • H hook
  • G hook

  • ch - chain
  • dc - double crochet
  • sl st - slip stitch
  • st/sts - stitch(es)
  • fpdc - front post double crochet
  • bpdc - back post double crochet


Main Hat
H hook
  1. Ch 3. 9 dc into third ch from hook. Join with a sl st to first dc. Join like this throughout (join with sl st to first stitch in the round). (You can start this round with a magic ring instead of the ch 3 if you would like.)
  2. Ch 2. *Bpdc, fpdc in same stitch. Repeat from * around. Join. (18 sts)
  3. Ch 2. *Fpdc in next st. Bpdc, fpdc in same next stitch. Repeat from * around. Join. (27 sts)
  4. Ch 2. *Bpdc in next st. Fpdc in next st. Bpdc, fpdc in same next st. Repeat from * around. Join. (36 sts)
  5. Ch 2. *Fpdc in next st. Bpdc in next st. Fpdc in next st. Bpdc, fpdc in same next st. Repeat from * around. Join. (45 sts)
  6. Ch 2. *[Bpdc in next st. Fpdc in next st.] twice. Bpdc, fpdc in same next st. Repeat from * around. Join. (54 sts)
  7. Ch 2. *[Fpdc in next st. Bpdc in next st.] twice. Fpdc in next st. Bpdc, fpdc in same next st. Repeat from * around. Join. (63 sts)
  8.  Ch 2. *[Bpdc in next st. Fpdc in next st.] three times. Bpdc, fpdc in same next st. Repeat from * around. Join. (72 sts)
  9. Ch 2. [Fpdc in next st. Bpdc in next st.] around. Join.
  10. Ch 2. [Bpdc in next st. Fpdc in next st.] around. Join.
  11. Repeat rounds 10 and 11 until hat is as long as you need it to be. 6-7 inches from the top of the hat is a good length. The brim will add about 1 inch to the length of the finished hat.
  12. Cut main hat color and switch to brim color, if applicable.
Switch to G hook.
  1. Ch 1. Fpdc in the fpdc sts, bpdc in the bpdc sts around. Join.
  2. Repeat round 1 two more times.
  3. Cut brim color yarn. Secure and weave in ends.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Back Surgery

Hi everyone!

For those who have been following me for a while will remember my ACL reconstruction and subsequent second surgery 7 months later. The first surgery was an awful an experience. I found out the hard way that I likely have some sort of genetic anomaly which makes opioid pain medication completely ineffective in me. Hydrocodone (Vicodin), oxycodone (Oxycotin), and morphine all don't work. I get zero pain relief and no semblance of a high from any of them.

Well, I just had my third surgery in four years. Luckily, my knee is okay. It's my back this time. I've talked about my back twice on this blog. I herniated what is probably the most commonly herniated disc in 2008. I was 18 at the time. I've had some flare ups since (about 5 of them), but the latest flare up that started last November was different from the rest. The previous ones were all because I didn't keep up with the core exercises and muscles just got weak. This recent one was the result of me exercising. Physical therapy didn't make things better and sometime made it worse.

After missing several days of work over a couple weeks because of the pain, I got another MRI and saw a spine specialist. He told me the disc had herniated more somewhere in the last 10.5 years. I opted for surgery (microdiskectomy).

I'm still in a fair amount of pain, four days out from surgery. Just like with my knee, pain management was an issue that, in my opinion, was not resolved. I was discharged from the hospital with pain I was rating as 7/10. I understand they couldn't admit me, but I feel like something else should have been done for the pain.

I'm hoping things will start feeling like they did before last November (but really like before July 2008) soon. I've been in pain for so long I'm really at a breaking point. I keep seeing people in videos online, TV shows, movies, and just outside my window and they are able to walk normally. I haven't been able to do that since last November. It really feels like I'll never be back to that. I know that isn't the case, but it feel like it.

I guess the reason why I'm sharing this and why I shared my other medical issues in the past is that it makes me feel less alone in this. If you want to help support me in this, I have a link to Buy Me a Coffee somewhere on the right panel.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Two Tone Ribbed Winter Hat Pattern and Tutorial

About a month ago, I received an anonymous comment on my original Ribbed Winter Hat pattern asking how one would go about making the brim (the folded up part) a different color than the rest of the hat. I gave a written reply, but I don't know that it was the best I could have done. I decided to make a video tutorial for how to make a two tone Ribbed Winter Hat. 

  • Worsted weight yarn 
  • K hook (However, depending on the yarn, sometimes the top of the hat [the part in the round] becomes rather open between stitches. If this occurs, switch to a smaller hook, like an I or H.)
The video below is probably the best way to work this pattern. If you would like an accompanying written pattern, it is below the video.

Feel free to let me know if anything is not clear. I don't mind revisiting the content of the video or the written pattern to clarify things. 

Link to Ravelry

  • Ch - chain
  • Sc - single crochet
  • st/sts - stitch/stitches
  • sc2tog - single crochet 2 together
  • BC - brim color
  • MC - main color
  • BLO - back loops only

Row 1. Chain 10 in BC. Drop BC. Join MC. Ch 26. (36 ch sts total)

Row 2. Using MC, sc in second ch from hook. Sc across to last MC ch. Sc half a stitch (i.e. don't complete the stitch with the last "yarn over and pull through"). Drop MC. Complete the stitch with the BC (i.e. the last yarn over and pull through). Sc to end using BC. Ch 1. Turn.

Row 3. Using BC, sc across in BLO to last BC st. Just like in Row 2, sc half a stitch in the last BC st. Drop BC. Complete the stitch using MC. Sc to end in BLO. Ch 1. Turn.

Row 4. Using MC, sc across in BLO to last MC st. Just like in Row 2, sc half a stitch in the last MC st. Drop MC. Complete the stitch using BC. Sc to end in BLO. Ch 1. Turn.

Repeat Rows 3-4 until you have 61 sc rows total. End with ch 1. (Note: check the hat at this point by wrapping it around your head. The ch row should touch the last sc row. You may need more or less rows to accomplish this. Make sure you end on an odd number of sc rows.)

Fold the piece in half so that the first ch row is next to the last row. Slip st together each st of the first row and the last row starting with the BC. When you get to the last BC st of the last sc row, sl st this using the MC. Continue using MC for the remainder of the hat. Ch 1 at the end.

Sc across the top of the piece in every other row. Do not join to ch st or first sc.

*Sc2tog in next 2 st, sc in next 2 sts. Repeat from * around until there are 12 sts left.

Sc2tog six times.

Fasten off. Weave yarn through last 6 stitches and pull tight to close the top of the hat. Weave in ends.