Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Balls of Yarn, My First Knitted Hat, & Magic Loop

I don't have much time to spare for the blog at the moment, but a short post is better than none at all. :o)

When the yarn was finally dry (which I tried to speed along by pointing a fan at it for a while), I wrapped it into balls.  Here are a couple of photos:

Hand-Dyed


Hand-Dyed


The blue/purple/green in the bottom photo is in four small balls because I ran into a few knots when I originally wrapped it into hanks.  I decided to leave them until after the dyeing, but I didn't want to be surprised by them in the middle of knitting.  This will be a good time to learn about felted joins (which I find a nicer name than "spit splice" (g)).

I have yet to use any of it.  Still really looking forward to that, though!

In the meantime, I'm making good progress on Big Secret (Crochet) Project #1.   I think I'm about 33% done with that one, but I'm putting it on pause while I start Big Secret (Crochet) Project #2. (I'll go back and forth between the two of them until they're done.)

Then there's my current knitting project. I'm knitting the Hurricane Hat:

My First Knitted Hat, In Progress

It's my first time knitting a hat, but not my last, if I have my way.

I thought about naming it after one of the big hurricanes that have come through this area-- Frederick or Ivan, for instance-- but then I decided that might be kind of a depressing name. (g) So I'm going to call it "Hurricane Party".

It's a simple enough pattern, but I always take a long time working on even simple things.  Partly because I only knit a little at a time-- and not very quickly, then-- and partly because I'm so new to it and still trying to figure out what size needles to use, whether or not to do a folded brim, etc.  Next up is "How long I should knit before I start to decrease?"  Can't just follow the pattern as written-- not with a hat that needs to fit a particular head.  ;o)

Oh, and this project also took a little extra effort to start because I was learning the magic loop method.   I watched a few different video tutorials for learning magic loop, but liked this one the most. It didn't take too long to pick it up, but it did require a few restarts.  I wonder if it wastes a little time with the frequent flipping back and forth, compared to working with a short circular.  However, it's really not much different from flipping your work when knitting flat... and I've never used 16" needles, but I imagine they may feel a little "tight" and restrictive to knit with.  What I like most about the magic loop is that I won't have to (purchase and) switch to double-pointed needles when I begin to decrease-- and I can use this method to knit even smaller tubes, like socks or mitts. 

That brings me to another subject:  My husband helped me make a nice, long, flexible cable for my Boye interchangeable knitting needles.  I used this tutorial and a helpful thread on a Ravelry forum to learn the basics of how it works.  In the end, we used 2-56 screws we found at RadioShack, some .065"-diameter weed-eater line (that we happened to already have on hand), and a couple of pieces of the tube in an ink pen (because we couldn't find the nylon tubing in the right size, locally, and if you buy on Amazon, you have to buy a lot of it... and then hope that they'll have it in stock).  I may tweak the cable-- or make another one in a slightly different manner-- but so far, it seems to be working pretty well.  

Well, back to the things I ought to be doing...  (And this turned out to not be so short, after all!)

(There are a few more photos of the yarn and hat on my Flickr photostream.)