Sunday, January 22, 2012

A quick-knit hat and scarf for Mom

First of all, let me just say that I despise moving with every fiber of my being. I've spent a good chunk of this week working on dissertation revisions and packing up my house (I'm putting everything into storage for a few months and staying with my parents until I move to Little Rock). I did, however, manage to do a bit of knitting and cooking.

Mom asked if I would knit her a rollbrim hat and scarf for some upcoming travel to colder climates, so last weekend, on our glorious kid-free visit to Hobby Lobby, she picked out a couple of skeins of yarn. We went with Bamboo Soft, a store brand that I really like the feel of. Bamboo is one of my absolute favorite fibers - it gets softer with wear, and as a renewable resource, it's very eco-friendly. She had picked a citrine green, as well as a print called 'citrusy' that was a mix of the same citrine, purple, and white.

I also use bamboo needles almost exclusively, because I love that little bit of grip they give, and the fact that I can break them in. Metal and plastic feel odd and slippery to me, and honestly, if I hadn't discovered bamboo needles, I would likely not have kept knitting as much as I do. Both the hat and scarf were worked on Clover size 10 needles.

Because she wanted a fuzzy brim to the hat, I worked in some Soft Delight (also a Hobby Lobby store brand) that I'd had in the stash for a few years, and showed it to her when it was a few inches along. She liked the look and the thickness, and since it wasn't too terribly thick, we decided that the entire hat should have the novelty yarn worked with it. I don't use a pattern for my roll-brims anymore, I just check my gauge versus the head circumference and round up (since hats usually have negative ease), making sure that my stitches are in multiples of 4. I set a marker at each quartile of the round, and once it's long enough, I start decreasing on either side of each marker. Once you have to switch to DPNs, you can pretty well intuit when to decrease. The whole thing took about 3-4 hours to complete.

The scarf was less complex - just a K2, P2 rib, with 22 total stitches so that it would be even. It's been a while since I've done more than just a few rows of ribbing, so it took me a bit longer than usual to get my groove going on it. That said, once I hit about the 8 inch point, the rest flew by, and the scarf was done in less than eight hours of TV watching. It's just shy of 60 inches long, and used the entire skein.

Doesn't she look happy with it?

Now I'm on a hunt for some good, cozy cotton yarn, because I plan to make the Shapely Boyfriend cardigan next. The biggest problem? Finding enough of a single dye lot in town! It's looking like I might be acquainting myself with KnitPicks yarn in the near future. But, there'll be more of that another day. Between now and then, the only project I have in the works is another pair of fingerless gloves for mom and the never-ending scrapghan.

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