Thursday, 29 November 2012

Should never have listened to that spider.

The hat frenzy continues. I fear that it may be some knitted form of procrastination, where I pretend that I'm doing something vitally important and crafty when all I'm really doing is using up some odd bits of yarn. Creative? Of course, but what I'm creating is a big pile of hats whose intended heads haven't been discovered yet.  I'm sure some heads will occur to me later on but for now all I seem to be doing is making hats when I should be spinning, or writing or feeding the cat.
This hat has found the correct head..

All the same, hats are handy things to have if you don't want to think too much about a pattern or, if like me you are knitting on the bus, or in a cafe. There are at least two jumpers in the back of my mind that I'd love to cast on but I know that they will take up too much room in a bag  and will definitely take up too much room in my brain to knit in company. Hats it is then.

Hat surgery was required to re-knit a floppy rib.
I was in Glasgow last weekend, hence the need for travel-safe knitting. Friday saw us at the wonderfully named Glad Cafe in Shawlands, watching the Scottish Clarinet Quartet. The SCQ were performing a score by Matt Rodgers which was accompanied by visuals from my chum Matt Hulse. There was a trailer shown for Matt H's latest feature film which oddly enough features me. You can see it here. I'm easy to spot.The rest of the week has been peaceful and often horizontal. I've read and knitted and slept. When that became too much, I wrapped the cat up in brown paper. 

He enjoys it, honest.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Advice from a spider?

Scottish children are brought up with the story of Robert the Bruce.  Robert was a disheartened king who was inspired to carry on by the sight of a spider trying and eventually succeeding to make her web. The lesson he learned - if at first you don't succeed, try, try and try again.
Terje Vigen Mitts in handspun Hebridean and Merino ( the blue bit )
I'm in need of some spiderly inspiration myself this week after spending days knitting what I thought would turn out to be a fabulous hat. Instead of a beautiful striped affair all I have to show for my efforts is two skeins of unravelled yarn soaking in a bowl. I had hoped to make this hat and I've got no quarrel with the pattern as I was using handspun yarn and didn't make a gauge swatch. That'll teach me. While I loved knitting the clever shaping and the bright slipped stitches, the end product was too floppy to show them off and the rib had a terrible tendency to slide down over my eyes. To make matters worse, I'd already used this yarn to knit another hat pattern that tuned out too big. I'm beginning to wonder if I've been cursed with a particularly small noggin.
The felt balls before. best use for a pair of tights ever.

If at first you don't succeed - rip the thing back and cast on for another hat. That's what I love about knitting, there are very few mistakes that can't be rectified by ripping back, felting or some other radical act of craftwork. This time I will be re-knitting in a pattern called Joon. I'll make the stripes different and omit the slipped stitches for this one. Who knows, the third attempt might just be the winner.

After - cat waits patiently.
Jabob fleece after combing.
It isn't all bad,  in the last wee while I've knitted two successful projects and have been persevering with my Jacob fleece prep. I'm using some of the leftovers from combing to make felted balls. Magnus thinks that they are cat toys but I really meant to make felted garlands. The cat has won so far. There are wooly spheres rumbling around all over the floor.  There is a lot of fleece to use up so by Christmas there might be enough of them to please me and the beast.
Kaiso pattern from Knitted Socks East and West. Modified to use some Manx Laoghtan handspun.