This summer has been slow on the knitting front. I hope it picks up because I have a lot of nice yarn to play with.
I did manage to finish some things. One was a hat that took me about a month of knitting. I'm not kidding. It was a month of little knitting but a month just the same. Then I finish it and block, only to discover that it is way to big!
But lets start with the beginning. The hat is made out of yarn I got for my birthday last year. We had a birthday game in my Icelandic online knitting club, and this yarn came from my Aunt. It was two skeins of Silke-Tweed in burgundy. It was a beautiful yarn and since it is 52% silk, very luxurious as well.
It took me some time to find the right pattern for this yarn. I finally found Fern Glade from Knitty.com. It requires 2 skeins of yarn, which is the same fiber (50/50 silk/wool blend) as I had. Perfect!
Well, it took me 3 tries to knit it up. First two were because I didn't bother reading the pattern and was trying to make a slouchie out of the fitted version and couldn't figure out why it was so fitted!!! The third time I knitted the slouchie version, but because I had had so much trouble getting it slouchie, I might have been a little to generous with the needle size. At any rate, when I finally blocked the thing it turned out way, way, way too big.
Turns out silk doesn't behave in the same way as wool. I knit almost exclusively out of wool and cotton and have never knit with yarn with so much silk in it before. Silk just doesn't have the same bounce as wool does and although intellectually I knew that, I guess I'm so used to the wool that it totally took me by surprise. Long story short, the hat grew considerably after I washed it (by hand) and blocked it. The lace pattern shows up much nicer though, if that's any consolation.
I only used a little bit of the second skein, so I decided to make fingerless mittens out of them. That lack of bounce (I don't know the technical term) was evident there as well. I only needed 44 stitches for a generous fit around my wrist. I've already made the first one. I'm just making it up as I go along. But I don't know what to do with the hat. The prospect of ripping it, after it is all done and blocked, and knitting it for the fourth (4th) time is daunting.
Maybe I should put it in the naughty corner, or the freezer, like my friend Stephanie did with her naughty mohair yarn that wouldn't behave ;)
Speaking of mohair, or rather a pretty good substitute. Do you think that mohair is a little bit too scratchy? Try Suri Dream from KnitPicks. I had been curious about this yarn for some time, so I added a ball of that yarn to a KnitPicks purchase earlier this summer. First when I got it, I kept it by my bed and petted it before I went to sleep. That's how soft it is. It's made mostly of brushed alpaca with some wool and nylon thrown in. It knits up on large needles and is very soft, airy and light. I loved knitting with it so much, that the swatch I was making turned into a scarf! A kid size scarf, but scarf nonetheless. When the scarf was finished I still couldn't stop so I immediately started crocheting a hat for my daughter until I ran out of the yarn. The hat was far from being finished so I reached for my stash and pulled out a kid friendly yarn. It was dark pink eyelash yarn (Lion Brand fun-fur) I had gotten at a library yarn-swap. I finished the hat in that yarn and then used it to add a border to the scarf. That saved the scarf in my daughter's eyes, who was not very excited about the green color. BTW, the colors are most true in the first picture (enhanced).
The hat seems to be a little bit too small for Kamilla and it fits better for Ása Sóley. Ása might end up using it. She likes it with all the pink on it ;) First when I started knitting the yarn up, I was amazed at how soft it was and was sure I'd found a yarn for Ása. But when I put it around her shoulder's, she said it stung her! She seems to have a very sensitive skin and doesn't tolerate any wool, not even superwash wool. However, after trying this yarn (and rejecting it), she went straight for my yarn stash and pulled out a skein of cotton sock yarn and said she could use that! She was obviously no stranger to my stash! So now I will knit a shirt for her out of that yarn. I had started a shirt for a baby, but I couldn't get the gauge right. But with Ása here, I can try it on as I go. It's super-simple. Knit from the top-down, without sleeves. Couldn't be more simple. I did, however, buy the pattern. Mostly for the sizing for babies, but it is also good to just follow the pattern ;)
Oh, and after I added the pink eyelash yarn, Ása has no problem wearing the scarf as you can see in the bottom photo!