Sunday, October 31

Today is brought to you by the letter A

A is for Alien. In our case a one-eyed, brain eating alien.

A hat can't eat brains? Surely you jest. I have proof.

See? Gobble, gobble.


Size 8 needles (mod)

"Heavy Rug Yarn" in grass green. I'm not quite sure what heavy rug yarn is other than atrocious to knit with and an unslightly color. It is a blend of rayon and cotton but feels like cheap toilet paper. Nice and rough. Perfect for a hat huh? :) I've had this sitting in a box for years now and am happy to finally use it. Sadly, I still have some left. The eye is unknown white acrylic and red heart black (duplicate stitched on). I did stuff it for added oomph.

Pattern is the Brain Slug Hat found here! (Sorry, Ravelry link)

Size: largest


I did a few. First I used size 8 needle to reflect the difference in yarn weight. The yarn was definitely "heavy" and the thought of knitting it on anything smaller made my hands hurt. Knitting it on 8's made my hands hurt. Luckily it goes pretty fast. Next thing I changed was the brim. I didn't want anything rolled up since I live where it gets freaking cold and since this was intended for Halloween I wanted it snug against her head. I opted for 2x2 ribbing for 1 inch. I changed the length of the hat as well. The size I did called for 6 inches BEFORE decreasing. I did 4 inches (shorter than the smallest size) but would have been happier with 4.5 (still shorter) but that is purely a neurotic thing on my end. This came down enough to cover most of her ears. I also added a chin strap to help keep it on. I picked up 6 stitches (lined up under ribbing) and continued the ribbing until it was long enough to cross over to the other side (I don't have it measured has been relegated to the dress up box). For a fastener I did a bobble and a braided looop. Super simple. Easy to get on and off but keeps busy hands from prying it off. The last modification was duplicate stitching the eye on. I wanted to do the felt (I thought the texture would rock) but didn't have any black and wasn't about to go buy one large piece only to cut out one tiny piece.

In the end I loved the hat. I thought I'd hate it initially but it won me over. How could it not? Doesn't help the baby wearing it totally rocked it.

Wednesday, October 27

It's been knit: Halloween Edition

Every now and then I get volunteered for something. Similar to the way a kid says, "Oh my mom will drive us. No problem!" and then goes home to ask if mom will indeed drive. Recently my sister did this to me. She had not only volunteered me but had struck up a correspondence with the person and THEN called me. As she was reading the person's reply. Yes. My sister is thoughtful. ;) What happened? My sister is a reader of VeryMom. Well she goes by Balancing Everything now but I know her as VeryMom. If you notice off to the side she has a box for inspiring ideas. About a week and a half ago my sister hopped on over and happened to glance over and see mention of vikings. Turns out VeryMom's kids wanted to go as vikings for Halloween this year but they had no hats. VeryMom was hoping to find some cute ones. My sister instantly clicked her ask a question form and pimped out my knitting skills. After a series of emails and info exchange me and VeryMom were talking. I ended up making her 3 viking hats. In about 5 days. The original plan was for 2 and on Monday night she requested a 3rd. People this was a time crunch if there ever was one. I dropped them off to her today at 2 and due to a series of uncooperative children last night was up until 4:30 this morning finishing up. I was weaving in ends at the last minute. I finished with exactly 15 minute with which to get my kids ready to go and trade cars with my mother in law. I'm very much done knitting hats for now (well that's not more for the baby). I know you are waiting and getting impatient so here are the pics.Stats:

Every hat was done in acrylic. The hats were on 8's and the horns were in 5's. The smaller needles helped with not showing stuffing and kept the horns in size accordance to small heads. The 2 fellas on the ends have a band of rivets up the center. This is a mod. created by a Ravelry person. It rocks but can be tricky when it comes to decreases. I did do the decreases as written but it does throw off the purl texture that helps them pop. The middle guy has no rivets for a couple reasons. It is for a little girl so I wanted less bulk over all and, as odd as this sounds considering it's a VIKING hat, to make it a little less manly. A feminine Viking hat. Who knew? One set of horns needed to be done in a different white (ran out of the original) and as result of it being thinner I held it double. That made the overall horn larger so I stuck it on one of the boy hats. All hats have a large ear flap with ties. I live in Idaho and these are for Halloween. Cold does not even begin to describe it. This way they get the ear flaps from the original pattern but they double as warmth. I love how these turned out. As did my kids. I had to hide them more than once. The nice thing about this pattern is the stretch. It fit everyone in my house from my one year old to me.

I will leave you with one final image:

Hope everyone who celebrates Halloween has a good weekend. I'll have family up so I'll be quite until Monday. :)

Friday, October 22

Dirty motivation

People, I have never been more motivated to get rid of a fiber than I am today. This is the bottom of my tub after letting the fleece soak. I knew it would be bad but this? This is gross. This isn't even half of it. I had already started cleaning out clumps of fiber before I thought to take a picture. The entire thing has been washed and is drying. This is an overwhelming project. I went out into the garage to find my hand carders only to find another large bag of this. I'd guess, between the two, I have about 11-15 lbs of fiber here. Like I mentioned below though I'm weighing on my home scale (not a digital) so I'm pretty sure my number is off. Finding that second bag was depressing. I've since contacted the company I want to use (Spinderella by the way) to see if they even think it's worth sending in. I'm hoping they tell me yes because I would hate to toss these bad boys. I get that not all fleeces are created equal and I know somewhere in my heart these will likely be tossed but it would still seem a waste. Blegh.

I've noticed more and more lately that I have lots of people visiting here. I want to hear from you! Comments, questions, concerns. Whatever floats your boat. Talk to me. I want to know what's rolling around in your noggin. What would you do if you had a couple large fleeces that made your skin crawl in terms of ugh factor?

It's been knit: Bathroom cotton plus more

Today's post is brought to you by the room: bathroom. No worries. We're all about the clean factor here.

First up is an FO. Shower mitt. Done on 8's in some basic cotton. It was meant to be part of a gift exchange but I had forgotten it at the time (this has been done for months) so I kindly took over it. It needs some tweaking. As it is once it gets wet it grows way too much to be of much use. I like it though. Makes my tub look inviting. I do have a pattern somewhere but I'd have to track it down.

See? Looks super inviting huh? :) That is a natural chocolatey brown (and black occasionally) alpaca fleece. I've been feeling the urge to spin lately (is my wheel put together? of course not). My sister and I have been talking fibery pursuits these last couple days so I decided to pull this bad boy out. He is large. Like stuffed in a 55 gallon black garbage bag you use for outside stuff large. In an attempt to find out just how large I managed to stick it on my itty bitty little home scale but it was difficult to see the number and I'm not sure it was correct anyway. During processing alpaca can lose anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 of it's total weight. That's on an already skirted fleece. Is this one skirted? Absolutely not. It's one gross, matted, clumpy fleece currently. The amount of vegetable matter is insane. At one point I was afraid to open the layers up and have a mouse or something come flying out. Do you know what it's like to be afraid of a fleece? It isn't pretty. I have 2 small sweater bags full of fiber in my washer. I'm currently on rinse 3. I'm hoping it doesn't take much more. The fleece in the tub has soaked overnight so with any luck a good amount of junk will have dissolved enough to shorten my overall cleaning time. There is a place in Salt Lake City that will process this for me but it has to be cleaned first. They are very honest and have no problem tossing a fleece if it's just too horrible. They say on there that a free one often costs you more, whether that's in time or money. This one was free and it will take a lot of time. If I send it to them (Spinderella) though they will process it into roving for me. I'm tempted. Very tempted. I know I could do it myself but processing a fleece is a time intensive thing I'm not sure I want to do it. Skirting it (removing tags and VM and the like) seems like such an overwhelming task at times. I'm thinking of cleaning it up the best I can and sending in pictures to see if they'll even accept it. If they will I'll totally send the beast in. Stay tuned for more pictures of the process.