16 November 2007

It's Friday night and all is well.

What a fast week! So much has been happening recently; it doesn't feel like Friday yet. Fortunately most of the goings on have been positive.

First of all, upon receiving the rejection email from Amy at Knitty, I embarked upon two new projects. In a ridiculous attempt to practice colorwork, I made a jar cover with a peace symbol, using yarn from Liz. Then, using a couple of ideas from Storm Moon Knits, I embarked upon some Dark Mark Illusion Armwarmers (pattern forthcoming). I had to scale the chart down quite a bit, from 40 sts by 55 rows, to about a eighth of the size. I'm hoping it turns out well, but I have a version of the chart that's about an quarter of the original size that I might turn into a fair isle/intarsia version. Regardless of how it turns out, it made an otherwise frustrating 2 1/2 hour OSCA Board meeting much more enjoyable.

However, I'm not working on the projects I should be working on (for my friend Andy, who's graduating in a month, and Danielle, for Christmas). I'll start them soon. For reals.

Thursday I met with my politics professor to talk about my paper. I'm researching Ingushetiya, a small region that borders, and frequently gets lumped in with, Chechnya. Basically, I didn't have a huge amount of direction in my research or argument, but every meeting I have ever had with this professor has been incredibly helpful, and this was no exception. Which is good, because December 7th is frighteningly not so far off.

However, I did receive some bad news on Wednesday. As it turns out, Tuesday morning, a woman who I knew from First Church of Oberlin UCC, who invited myself and several other students to her house for Thanksgiving last year, passed away. She had had a battle with cancer earlier in her life, and it came back this January. From what little I knew her, she was an amazingly kind and generous person. And an incredibly good cook (last year was possibly, from a food critic's point of view, the best Thanksgiving dinner I've ever had - and my family in Minnesota can cook well). Luckily, they're waiting to hold the memorial service until the weekend after our Thanksgiving break, so I'll be able to attend.

On a lighter note, the forecast for the weekend looks good. I think some combination of Linden, Anna, Danielle, Liz and I are going to hang out, possibly watch Save the Last Dance, most likely make some cookies, and maybe even write a song or two! What productive aspirations for a Friday night! We'll see how it all turns out.

14 November 2007

35 mm

Fresh from the Knitty rejection pile! (It's okay Knitty, I still love you. Let's hang out sometime?)

35mm Hat

Growing up in Minnesota, I know the value of warm winter accessories. Unfortunately, I see so many people covering their heads with boring, machine-knit hats that I sometimes get the desire to make hats for people I hardly know. Since handing out new hats to my acquaintances might come across as strange, perhaps I’ll settle on giving them to my friends and family.

This hat was designed for my older brother, Colin. He has a strong interest in television and movies, so I thought a filmstrip image would suit his taste. Since the hat is double-knit, it not only provides two layers of warmth on cold, windy days, but it is reversible, too!

to fit an average or large adult head

Circumference, unstretched: 19 inches
Will comfortably fit up to 25 inches

[MC] Nature Spun [100% wool; 245 yd/224 m per 100g skein]; color: Charcoal; 1 skein
[CC] Nature Spun [100% wool; 245 yd/224 m per 100g skein]; color: Pepper; 1 skein

Alternate color scheme:
[MC] Patons Classic Wool Merino [100% wool; 223 yds/204 m per 100g skein]; color: Chestnut Brown; 1 skein
[CC] Ella Rae Classic [100% wool; 219 yds/200 m per 100g skein]; color: #103; 1 skein

1 set US #8/5 mm double-point needles
1 16-inch US #8/5 mm circular needle

stitch marker
tapestry needle
cable needle (optional)

17 sts/25 rows = 4" in stockinette stitch

Construction Overview:
The number of stitches in the cast-on row is the stitch circumference of the outer layer of the hat. By knitting into the front and back of each stitch in the first knit row, the stitch count is doubled, which creates the inner layer of the hat. Both layers are knit simultaneously, with outer- and inner-layer stitches alternating around the needle. (Here’s a wonderful video that explains double knitting (scroll down).) Then, for each decrease, four stitches must be regarranged so that two outer stitches are next to each other, followed by two inner stitches.

Note: When double-knitting in stockinette stitch, you knit the outer-layer stitches and purl the inner layer stitches. However, both strands of yarn must travel together. That means, if you’re knitting with the MC, the CC needs to be at the back of the work with the MC, even though you’re not using the CC for that knit stitch. On the next stitch, when you purl with the CC, bring both strands to the front of the work, and purl with just the CC. (This is very important; it allows for the two layers to stay separate.)

Methods: To create the filmstrip, you will use these four color sequences.
Method 1 [solid MC outer row]: (k1 MC, p1 CC)
Method 2 [solid CC outer row]: (k1 CC, p1 MC)
Method 3 [alternating MC/CC outer row]: (k1 MC, p1 CC, k1 CC, p1 MC)
Method 4 [6 sts MC/2 sts CC outer row]: (k1 MC, p1 CC) 6x, (k1 CC, p1 MC) 2x

Dec 2 (decrease two): When rearranging stitches for decreases (which occur in pairs), it may be helpful to use a cable needle. Here’s how you should work each dec 2:
Sl 1 (MC) to right needle, sl 1 (CC) to cable needle, sl 1 st to right needle, return (CC) st on cable needle to left needle, return 2 (MC) sts on right needle to left needle. K2 tog MC, p2 tog CC.

Hat is worked from the bottom up. As you decrease for the crown, switch to dpns whenever you feel the circular needle becomes awkward to use.

Using MC and circular needle, CO 88 sts. Place marker and attach CC. The rest of the pattern is worked in the round.

Rnd 1: (K into front of st w/MC, k into back of st w/CC) around. 176 sts.
Rnds 2-6: Rep Method 1 around.
Rnd 7: Rep Method 2 around.
Rnds 8-9: Rep Method 3 around.
Rnd 10: Rep Method 2 around.
Rnds 11-17: Rep Method 4 around.
Rnd 18: Rep Method 2 around.
Rnds 19-20: Rep Method 3 around.
Rnd 21: Rep Method 1 around.
Rnd 22: K1 CC, p1 MC, rep Method 1 around.
Rnds 23-39: Rep Method 1 around.

At this point, the hat should measure approx 6 inches in length.

Begin dec for crown, cont in Method 1 for rest of hat:
Rnd 40: (Work 18 sts, dec 2) around. 160 sts.
Rnd 41 and future odd rows: work Method 1 around.
Rnd 42: (Work 16 sts, dec 2) around. 144 sts.
Rnd 44: (Work 14 sts, dec 2) around. 128 sts.
Rnd 46: (Work 12 sts, dec 2) around. 112 sts.
Rnd 48: (Work 10 sts, dec 2) around. 96 sts.
Rnd 50: (Work 8 sts, dec 2) around. 80 sts.
Rnd 52: (Work 6 sts, dec 2) around. 64 sts.
Rnd 54: (Work 4 sts, dec 2) around. 48 sts.
Rnd 56: (Work 2 sts, dec 2) around. 32 sts.
Rnd 58: (Dec 2) around. 16 sts.
Rnd 60: (Dec 2) around. 8 sts.

Cut MC and CC, leaving 6 inch tails. Using a tapestry needle, thread CC through rem 4 CC sts, weave in end on inside layer of hat. Then, use tapestry needle to thread MC tail through rem 4 MC sts, weave in end on outside layer of hat. Weave in the ends at the cast-on edge and put it on your (or someone else’s) head!

Here's my dad wearing the hat I made for my brother: