Archive for the “Hats” Category
… I guess I’d better use this thing! LOL!
Life is trucking on. Since my last post I’ve had a birthday, added 2 more yoga classes to my teaching schedule, lost one and we’ve changed our minds about our future car buying at least three times. There’s nothing quite like making a decision about something only to get an email the VERY next morning that turns that decision on its head! The universe has an interesting sense of humor sometimes so we take a deep breath and roll with it as best we can.
So since you probably came here for fiber related stuff, and all my current knitting is not ready for public consumption, here’s a better-late-than-never showing of the Christmas knitting I did.
My “boss” at the yoga studio is a Hello Kitty fanatic so I dyed up a special “Hi Kitty” colorway for her on superwash merino:
Spun it up:
And knit a quick cowl:
She’s a fan of scarves and neck coverings of various types so it was well received.
Next up was a hat for my grandpa:
It was a last second thought as we had other gifts for him. The strokes he had required draining through surgery to open up his skull in multiple places so I thought a nice soft and warm hat would be welcome to protect him while he was healing. Sadly, he never got to open any of his gifts but this one went in the casket with him.
I also decided to make a hat for my Dad. He likes to be outdoors quite a bit, even in the colder months, so I wanted something heavy and warm that would protect his ears well with an extra layer. Both of these hats loosely followed this pattern and this one was made from leftover handspun from this sweater.
Long time readers may remember that the yarn for that sweater was three ply and the sweater itself weighs about a million pounds so you won’t be surprised to know the hat was definitely heavy and warm. Also a little on the big side but not unwearable at least. I swear I need all my family members to send me measurements for anything that can be covered in knitting…
After finally finishing the socks that were supposed to be a present for Christmas 2011 for my Mom (oye!) I decided on something totally different for her.
These mitts were knit without a pattern and without yarn! I used a technique that I believe the Yarn Harlot made popular recently but only really finally became clear to me when I saw it on the Round the Twist video podcast. Silk hankies (or bells in my case) are separated and drafted into “yarn” without spinning first and knit up into mitts or mittens or probably just about anything else you can imagine. It was fun and interesting and something that I really enjoyed and I hope to do again in the future. I’d encourage you to give it a try if you haven’t done so yet. It’s quite fun!
The final Christmas project was for HWJF and was a complete case of momentary insanity. I saw this pattern posted by someone else on plurk, added it to my wishlist on Ravelry and was literally gifted with it in less than 24 hours. I thought that could only be a sign that HWJF MUST have one and so I set to work knitting it up while he wasn’t home in less than three days. It was impossible to wash and block it without him seeing it so I gave it to him first and blocked it afterward. The miracle of the season was that it actually fit just about perfectly and he loved it!
I still haven’t managed to get a picture of him wearing it himself. At some point I’m going to make another one in the reverse of the colors so I can have one because we are giant dorks like that.
So that was Christmas. I have a few other projects to share since then so just maybe I’ll get back here to post before another month goes by. For now I leave you with bunny cuteness:
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Posted by Jessica in Habitat
Do you ever find yourself knitting away and not really loving it? I’ve really been in a bit of a slump this year knit-wise. There of course have been some mighty big distractions in my life (hello major move and new career choices!) but I really hadn’t found myself in love with my knitting lately.
Then this came along.
I recently took a trip to Harrisville Designs only because we passed signs for it on the way to the Pumpkin Festival or I never would have known it was so close! We ended up out in that area again for a work event for HWJF recently so I took a little detour. I’ll tell you more about some of the reasoning behind that trip in another post, but while I was there I picked up this skein of Shelter
and the pattern above. Lately I’ve only been interested in knitting things that are fairly simple, don’t take much time and produce a quick result. The cables in this hat might not necessarily be in keeping with these thoughts but it’s only a hat so how bad could it be?
It wasn’t bad at all. It was down right inspiring!
I forgot how much I love cables. I forgot how awesome it can be to look at a chart and see where the twists and turns will take you only to have them show up in the thing sitting in your lap. Cables in knitting are an amazing journey that I love to travel. This hat reminded me of this.
I just love the way the decreases came together at the top!
I made it for HWJF (as might be obvious by the color choice) and finished it in 3 days. This wasn’t the simplest of knits so the timeline tells you how much I couldn’t put this down.
He wore it to the Christmas parade we had in town the other day.
In fact, I think I need to make a second one for myself. But this project lit a fire under me for many other things…
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I don’t know about where you are, but here in New Hampshire things are getting WARM!! I joked on my usual social networks the other day that I didn’t know NH could get this hot but here we are expecting 80+ in the next couple of days. Not exactly the time that most of us think about knitting things for winter, but with the summer travel season upon us it’s a good time for small projects that come along without much fuss.
Back in early April when I was dealing with my Dad’s stroke I started just such a project. The Amanda Hat! In fact, I just realized I started it the day he had the stroke oddly enough.
Pattern: Amanda Hat by Gina House
Yarn: Handspun angora/merino
Needles: US 8
Actually, I wasn’t the one that started the hat. You see, I queued this pattern back before the move knowing that I need to start expanding my hat wardrobe considering where we’ve just landed. Little did I know that the designer herself would be in my new knitting group! And that the night that I planned to start the hat she would be bored with her own stuff enough to start it for me!
Although Gina started it for me I continued to knit it myself to the end. I really enjoyed it and even in the midst of the craziness that life was throwing me I was able to learn the pattern very quickly and it kept my attention without being boring. I liked it so much that with Gina’s blessing I made two patterns based on the hat pattern and they are available free to you on Ravelry!
First up are the Amanda Mitts:
These use about 200 yards depending on your hand size and are perfect, just like the other patterns for small amounts of handspun. My motivation in making these was that I found that my hands were FREEZING in my parents house while I was sitting around waiting for the next thing I had to do and I thought it would be nice to have angora blend mitts for time just like this. In fact, I wore them to the Clermont festival and I was warm and toasty despite the awful wet conditions that day.
And to complete the set I just had to make a cowl. I love cowls. I love knitting them and I love wearing them. And nothing keeps you warm like a little bit of soft, fuzzy, handspun goodness around your throat. So here’s the Amanda Cowl!
Just like the mitts, the cowl uses a very small amount of yarn. The texture that’s created by the dropped YO and slipped stitches makes it super comfy and super warm.
I hope you’ll enjoy these patterns and might even knit one of them yourself. If you do, please let me know! I would love to see what you’ve done with them!
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Thank you all for your sympathies about Simba. It’s very hard to believe that it’s been nearly 2 weeks since I wrote that post. Each day gets a little better. Her remains came home almost exactly a week later. That was a hard day but everything was handled so well that it was a small comfort. I’ve yet to decide if my initial plans to have her buried at my parent’s house when the weather warms up will be carried through or not, but I have plenty of time to decide.
Unfortunately we’ve only added to our sorrow around here. Last week we discovered that Stitches’ tumor is back. The vet recommended that we wait to see how fast it grows this time before we make any decisions. She’s got another appointment on the 1st of Feb. unless she starts showing discomfort before then. Needless to say, the thought of making any hard decisions again so soon is completely heartbreaking. In the meantime, we’re just taking it one day at a time.
For now, I think it’s time to go back to looking at knitting! Since the holiday gift budget was pretty lean around here this year we decided that cookies and a small hand knit would be the name of the game. Cowls were, of course, one of the go-to projects.
I made three Stacked Eyelet Cowls out of some leftover DIC Smooshy. They went to the people in my life that love pink (a coworker, Sairy & Cookie).
Then there was the Stonehenge Neckwarmer out of some leftover Morehouse Merino for my MIL.
More Morehouse Merino leftovers went into the Candle flame Cowl for HWJF’s grandma. I think this was probably the prettiest of all the cowls I made.
A skein of plymouth baby alpaca grande went into this Guy Next Door cowl for my grandfather. He needs all the warm things he can get at this time of year!
When HWJF saw the name of that pattern he asked who it was for in a very accusing tone. My answer shut him up quick.
I actually knit two of the same pattern for the next one because it’s just so darn fun and interesting to knit for some reason. The drop stitch cowl. The first was for Sharon who just happened to favorite it on Ravelry while I was making it! Always good to know your gift will be well loved in advance!
That was made with some handspun that was made from some of the first fiber I ever dyed myself.
The second one is made from some merino/angora handspun that I made this summer.
It hasn’t quite made it to its owner yet so I can’t tell you who it’s for. They might be reading!
Finally we have the Della Cowl which I made with some Paton’s Classic for another wonderful coworker who was kind enough to model it for me.
I was/am also taken with the small shawls trend. I made a Citron from some Kureyon sock for myself but I haven’t quite been able to get a pic of it in its blocked state yet. I needed a simple put pretty knit for a gift for my yoga teacher so I decided on the Stupidly Easy Triangular Scarf which totally lived up to its name and made a lovely warm gift in some Claudia handpaint.
One of my favorite projects that I made (I really like this one so much I had a hard time giving it away!) was Multnomah in Silk Garden Sock. Coworker and lunch buddy L commented on it several times while I was making it so it naturally had to be hers.
And it looks lovely on her! And was greatly appreciated.
I really need to make another of these for myself at some point.
My Mom’s birthday falls just a few weeks before Christmas so these turned into her birthday socks:
The pattern is Meida’s Socks by Nancy Bush. I knit them in Cascade Fixation since Mom’s allergic to wool. While this is NOT my favorite yarn to knit with by any means, I think it worked out well for these.
Well enough that I even got off my butt and took out the DSLR to photograph them instead of the iPhone even.
Finally, I went with the potato chip knitting project of last year for my Dad and FIL, the Turn a Square hat:
My Dad’s used leftovers of Cascade 220 from a sweater I made for HWJF and some handspun leftover from something else that was supposed to be a Christmas gift for my Dad but didn’t get finished in time.
My FIL’s was made with leftovers of the same sweater and some leftovers from all the fingerless flip top gloves I made last year.
There’s more (which even *I* find hard to believe now that I’m writing this all out), but let’s save something for another time, shall we?
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I suppose you thought that there would be a finished sweater to present you with today, but you would be mistaken, mostly because of my own inability to pry myself out of the house in daylight hours this weekend to take unassisted tripod photos and a touch of unhappiness with the final result. So instead I present you with my own version of Hockey’s Hat Trick.
Score three goals and they throw hats on the ice for you. Hopefully they are not hand knit (although I think they do give them to charity when it happens so maybe that wouldn’t be such a bad thing)! Call it the winter doldrums, call it the lack of daylight, call it my own persistent boredom with pretty much everything lately, but the aforementioned Turn a Square hat bears an uncanny resemblance to the potato chip in that it is impossible to just make one!
All three of these were made from one measly skein of Cascade 220 and one equally measly skein of Noro Silk Garden. The first started out with 96 stitches on a size 7 needle, the second and third with the same number of stitches on a size 6. It’s difficult to tell from the picture, but they are progressively smaller in size, the last being finished during the All-Star game this weekend.
I’m hoping they will fit *someone* who attends the MLA meeting next month in Chicago, since I’ll be donating them to the silent auction/shop there as part of MLA’s fundraising efforts. We’ll see how they go.
And to further the hockey reference, I realized this morning that after attending this Chicago meeting I will have visited the city of almost all of the original six teams. I have spent a day nearly walking my feet off to the ankles in Boston, I’ve driven through Montreal, I’ve been through the Toronto airport, I have a rather intimate knowledge of New York… perhaps my trains will run through Detroit? We’ll see… Now if only I could actually see a game in all six cities!
And since a couple of people asked, here’s a short tutorial on the jogless jog technique that this pattern calls for. You’ll pardon the craptastic photographs, but they were the best I could muster with only two hands, a tripod and compact florescent lighting. I think they are at least clear enough to give you the general idea. So to illustrate the technique, allow me to directly quote the pattern:
“Knit 1 round of the new color.”
“When faced with the first stitch of the second round: pick up a loop of the first color from the preceding row…”
“…and place it on the left needle.”
“K both the 1st st of the new color and the picked up st of the previous row together.”
So there you have it!
Questions? Ask away and I will try and answer.
I’ve been finding these small projects incredibly satisfying lately. It seems like a good January thing to do. Expect to see more soon, but hopefully they won’t be hats!
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First off, I want to thank you all so much for your very thoughtful, insightful and interesting comments on my two rather heady posts last week. I really enjoyed reading the responses and thinking about the points that many of you raised. It’s a lot to think about. Balance definitely seems to be key, and trying to find it in our crazy world right now can be so tough. It’s nice to know that so many of you out there are struck by many of the same things. So thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings with me.
Second, I just have to type it. President Obama. Wow. That feels good! Here’s hoping that the hope and joy many of us are feeling right now will last more than the first 100 days.
We had a fantastic time in New Hampshire and Portland, Maine this weekend (which oddly enough, was cut short by the fact that my dept. has suspended Saturday work until May. Go figure?!). We started off with bassoon day at UNH which was quite an enjoyable and interesting time. Instead of a single guest artist, a bassoon quartet made up of the UNH professor and three of her colleagues from various groups including the Boston and Portland symphonies did the class jointly. Interesting to get so many differing perspectives at once. I hope the young people that were there got as much out of it as we did! We also got to reconnect with some bassoon camp friends which is always a good time.
After that it was on to Portland where we checked into The Inn at St. John. It’s a lovely B&B and the accommodations were quite comfortable. The price was right too since the room was nearly half the price of what it would have been in the summer! Here’s our room:
And the front of the building from the street:
Saturday night we took in a Portland Pirates game (the Sabres AHL affiliate and yet another reason for me to want to move to Portland!). Oddly enough, we must have been in serious vacation mode already because we both forgot our phones, HWJF forgot his wallet and I didn’t bring the camera, so there is no photographic evidence. It was a good game. Unfortunately, the Pirates lost (although they *were* outplayed most of the game) and with only a couple of min. left one player got a puck to the face and some missing teeth had to be retrieved. Ouch!
As you can see from the picture above, we had a
teeny bit of snow while we were there. 15 inches all told! This was the car when we went out Sunday morning:
But the Subaru, she never disappoints! We drove around all day in it without a problem. We did a lot of things during the day, but the highlight was probably taking in the Art Museum.
And I finally got FO pics of a certain hat!
Handspun Turn a Square Hat
Pattern: Turn a Square by Jarod Flood aka BrooklynTweed
Yarn: Hand dyed merino, spun on my Matchless and navajo plied. Seen here.
Needles: Size 7 knitpics harmony circs
Mods: Because of my gauge difference I used 88 stitches and didn’t do any increases
This is another “why the heck didn’t I think of that” pattern. So simple yet so brilliant. It takes the mind of someone with talent to realize that a square will fit a round head. Seriously.
I really enjoyed the process of creating this hat from the dyeing on up. If you’ll recall, I dyed 4, 1 ounce strips of roving in three colors. I spun 1 ounce of the black, then 0.5 ounces of the green, 0.5 ounces of black, 0.5 ounces of blue, etc. and navajo plied the yarn to keep the colors together so they would stripe. I was then able to just knit the hat without doing anything special with the yarn and only needing to weave in two ends. I did use the “jogless jog” technique described in the pattern to keep the stripes as true as possible. I’ve had a couple of requests for a tutorial on that, which I hope to do soon.
Despite my fears, I actually had more than enough yarn and HWJF lamented that there wasn’t more of the blue in the hat. But it does fit and he is happy with it and I haven’t had to bug him to wear it (too much anyway ). I think this was definitely a successful project and it got good use while we were in Portland!
At bassoon day I cast on for another of these hats in Cascade 220 and Noro Silk garden that I picked up at Modern Yarn before I left.
Finished it in the dark in the car on the way to Portland. Not a bad use of a day! This one is going to be donated to the Music Library Association for their silent auction at the conference next month. I have enough yarn to eek out another one and hope to do so before the conference.
Despite my serious attempts at being good, we did visit two yarn stores while in Portland. The first was KnitWit, which was a lovely little store with a good selection of luxury and workhorse yarns. And with giant mittens on the wall!
I picked up a skein of Trekking that will, no doubt, grace the feet of HWJF at some point.
On our way out of town we also stopped by Seaport Yarns. I find this totally humorous since I have yet to get to the one in NYC, despite working in midtown, but I’ve been to the one in Maine! Another small, well stocked shop, with a good selection of sock yarn. I definitely got the feeling that they are more geared to the online business while in the shop though. Still, I managed to find something that had to go home with me.
I think after the cold and snow of the weekend, and with thoughts turning to our coming trip to Chicago next month, I was thinking “We both need another warm cowl!”. Not sure what pattern I’ll use for these, but the softness of the yarn is mighty appealing and it’s going to be tough to stay away from for a while.
There’s still a sweater that needs buttons though…
, yarn shops
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I have a bit of writer’s block today. There are things that I want to write about, but I’m not sure I want them out on the internets for the whole world to see. Let’s just say I’m having a very internal looking, emotional, and reflective sort of day. Or maybe it’s just a case of the Mondays.
But just out of curiosity, I’d be very interested by your answer to a couple of questions:
If you didn’t knit (or spin or felt or sew or whatever it is you spend a great deal of your free time doing), what do you think you’d be doing instead?
Do you ever think that your knitting (or spinning or whatever) is more valuable than what Joe Q Public would do with that same spare time?
Perhaps when I see the answers of others I’ll be able to sort out what’s been boppin’ ’round my brain the last couple of days.
In the meantime, the combination of cruddy weather and a general need to be a hermit contributed to a good deal of spinning and plying this weekend.
I managed to finish up spinning the fiber for HWJF’s Turn a Square hat on Saturday and I plied it up on Sunday. Unfortunately, I’m less than thrilled with the final product. I wasn’t able to work out the overspun places during the plying as I thought I’d be able to, so there are some serious irregularities in the final yarn.
I also ended up with a measly 125 yards. I know there is more fiber where this came from, but I’m really hoping I can eek the hat out of what I’ve already spun. We’re headed north again this coming weekend so there won’t be much time at the wheel for a while.
I also finally got up the courage on Sunday to start picking up for the button band on the Zig Zag Steeks sweater.
There were a few ends that escaped the sewing machine, but I think a good
brutalizing visit with a felting needle or two might be enough to secure them at this point. I’m waiting for the buttons that I ordered to come in before I do much more knitting on this one so I know how big the button holes need to be and where to put them, etc. etc.
While I’m waiting, I started a new sweater, more on that next time!
Don’t forget those questions above!
, the meaning of life
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First, thanks for all the comments on the steeking disaster. Risa has offered to help and I have confidence that the sweater can be saved. More on that next time.
For now, a couple of random things and then a bit about what’s going on with Zarzuela’s Fibers right now. If you aren’t interested in what’s up there, probably best to tune out now.
Random #1: I’m published! I wrote an article about angora bunnies for the inaugural issue of Spinning and Dyeing, the latest FREE ezine from Knitting Purls. If you’d like a copy of the issue and would like to sign up for a subscription, send an e-mail to info [at] spinanddye [dot] com. There’s other great stuff in there too!
Random #2: I’ve decided to try some 365 projects on flickr this year and even started a new group! I’m participating in Crafting 365, 365 days, the knitterly and crafty types, and I started up PlurkCraft365 for the crafting plurkers. Come join us!
And now for Zarzuela’s Fibers news!
There’s a 10% off sale on orders of $10 or more going on now in the shop. Take advantage of my need to see some of the old inventory go so I can make new stuff. Your 10% will be refunded after payment is completed and does not include shipping charges. This offer excludes the fiber club and gift cards.
Speaking of the fiber club, the first shipment will be headed out the door by the end of the month. Signups will close on January 24th, so hurry if you want to get in on the action. Each shipment will contain 6 oz. of spinning fiber and a nifty surprise! I think it will be a fun club and with 6 oz of fiber you’ll have enough to make a real project. Sign up soon!
In addition to all that, we’re having a spin along in the Ravelry group! Beginning spinners and more advanced spinners are all welcome. The more advanced among us will be trying our hands at navajo plying. In fact, a couple of us will be spinning for a Turn a Square hat. I’ve dyed strips of fiber in a couple of colors. 2 oz of 1 and 1 oz. each of two others like this:
We’ll spin each color in sequence on a single bobbin, navajo ply to keep the colors together and then knit our hats! I’m very excited to see how this little project comes out.
This kind of dyeing and custom work of any sort is always available for anyone! Leave a comment here, send me a message on Ravelry or e-mail Zarzuelasfibers [at] gmail [dot] com if you’d like something done. And come join us in the spin along. There are prizes to be had at the end!
Finally, there is yarn coming to the shop!
This is just a sneak peek of some merino/tencel fingering weight. Expect these little beauties and a few more to go up in the shop sometime this week. Price will be $22 + shipping.
That’s all for now! See you Friday with more knitting and spinning fun!
Tags: Etsy shop
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I tend to be a pretty monogamous knitter these days. I get focused on a project and I just can’t stop working on it. That is, unless my fickle brain decides it doesn’t like something about the project or it gets bored. Mostly though, I only have one or two things on the needles at once. If I have too many WIPs, I start to panic. Anyone with me?
But then I realize that I have travel knitting coming up and that the Boatneck Bluebell will be done and what am I going to knit all week?!?!?
That’s real panic people.
So I started the hat on Monday.
Can I just say the little braid is a pain to knit? The two yarns twisting around each other was almost enough to make me tear my hair out. What you see here is probably about 2 hours worth of knitting. Seriously. I’m knitting this with some handspun and a yarn called Pace that I picked up in Pittsburgh at last year’s conference (just realized that. Pretty appropo to be knitting with last year’s conference souvenirs at this year’s conference!). HWJF picked the colors. I do not approve of the black, but I’m sure as heck not ripping it out!
To soothe my frazzled nerves from that project I started this one.
It’s Annemor #8 from Selbuvoter. Once I figured out what size needle I was using (things got a bit jumbled in the move and my needle organization failed me a bit) things seem to be going along well. I think these will match my new coat nicely. And I’m excited about doing gloves for the first time. Fingers! Woo!
You’ve got questions, I’ve got answers
Some bloggers get a lot of questions from their readers. Me? Notsomuch. So I’m
taking my life in my hands opening up the floor for y’all! Ask me something! Anything! Something you’ve always been wondering? Ask! And I’ll answer it right here next week. Just remember, it’s my blog so if I decide it isn’t appropriate for posting in cyberspace (like if it’s crazy personal or something), I may decide not to post here. Just sayin’.
Have a great weekend everyone!
*goes to watch e-mail with baited breath…*
P.S. Whomever found my blog by searching “socks for fat feet patterns”…. Sorry! We only have big feet here!
P.P.S. I must have been extra good lately. Just sayin’.
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There are apparently several random things on my mind, so how about a Random Wednesday post?
Random thing #1 – The moon must be retrograde in the customer service house or something. Between non-delivered train tickets, hotel reservations gone astray and reimbursements from large educational institutions that never showed, it’s a wonder I have any money or sanity left lately. Is it just me?
Random thing #2 – I really hate knitting the sleeves of the Boatneck bluebell.
They are done flat instead of in the round and it is driving me crazy. I’m also not ever on the right row it seems although they are coming out just like the picture. Go figure. If I wasn’t so far into the first sleeve I would rip it out and do it in the round. I don’t get why the designer chose to do things this way. The only thing I can think of is that the bell sleeve needs the support of a seam. Thoughts?
Random thing #3 – HWJF has the flu. Rather badly in fact. While being concerned for his well being I am also somewhat afraid for my own. I certainly don’t need to be coming down with it as I drive to Rhode Island next week. So far so good. I’m going heavy on the vitamin C and trying to get some good rest. Keep your fingers crossed for us both, will ya?
Random thing #4 – Since HWJF was coming down with this on Sunday we didn’t go out so I decided to hit the dye pot. I got my dye kitchen set up.
And went to work. I dyed some superwash merino that I plan on spinning and knitting into a sweater for my best friend’s first kid who should be arriving in early May. They just found out it’s a girl, so I wanted to do something with pinks and purples. Wouldn’t you know, I screwed up the first batch.
The one time I *don’t* want blue, what do I grab?
Luckily I had more fiber so I fixed the mistake on the second batch. I just hope it’s enough fiber to make the sweater. Here’s how it came out:
Clicky to biggie as always.
I drafted up a little bit of it and I think it’s going to work out pretty well. Here’s how the “mistake” came out:
Simba decided the fiber couldn’t hog the spotlight alone. I actually really like how this came out, just wasn’t what I wanted for this particular project.
Random thing #5 – I started the hat the other night. It has a bit of a braid that was a serious PITA. No pics just yet.
I think that’s enough for today. Hope you are warm and doing fun fibery things wherever you are!
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