Saturday, September 24, 2011

Current Projects

With my current lack of large chunks of time for knitting and even smaller chunks of time that my brain can focus (seriously, I come home from work and just stare into space occasionally thinking "I should knit" but not able to pick up the needles and do it), I have been working on small projects.

A few weeks ago I was finishing a number of projects (the red stole, Green Leaf beret and Mini Mochi Circle Socks) and debating what to do next. It occurred to me that I could make the decision easier by just working on some gifts for Christmas this year. I had a couple ideas already so it was a matter of casting on and getting going.

First was a "spooky" hat for my boss at the haunted house. (Yes, I work for a haunted house--specifically, the Niles Haunted House Scream Park. I went there last night, incidentally, and had a great time with the rest of the office staff! Oh, alright, while I'm on the subject I may as well show you the pic we got at the photo op:
The one on the torture table is my boss in case that's not obvious. I'm the one tightening the chains.)

Anyway, back to the knitting. I had seen several skeleton or skull design hats and thought I would make him one. I settled on the Skully pattern from Knitpicks and cast on with some raveled wool I had. Green from an American Eagle vest and more of the black I just used on the Circle socks.

The first attempt I did with the yarn doubled and it wasn't right at all. When I finally accepted that, I ripped it out and restarted with a single strand of each. That was much better and I've been making pretty steady progress. I thing I'm about half way down the length:

One thing that is slowing it down is that my needles are just a little too short.
This makes it a pain to work because I'm always having to watch the stitches to make sure they don't fall off the end or picking them up when they do. I don't have a circular needle in this small a size or I would have switched over already.

It should get a little better when I do the ribbing. And even if it doesn't, I'll get through it.

The second project is the gloves I mentioned in a recent post. They are just a simple stockingnette stitch and haven't given me any trouble at all.

I have not let myself work on them at home because I knew they would get done too quickly and leave me with no "travel" knitting. So it's been my Skully hat at home and these gloves in the few minutes I find to knit when out of the house.

I did get in a couple hours of knitting on them during small group on Monday so that helped a lot.

This week I finished the second glove and turned my attention to the cuff. I decided there wasn't enough wool left to do the cuffs. So I enacted my Plan B and added a second colour.

I had a couple choices on hand:
I debated between the light purple alpaca/silk in the middle and the darker sequined silk on the right. (The main colour is on the left.) I ended up going with the sequined silk even though sequins aren't really the style of the recipient. I thought I could get away with it because it's going to be very subtle once it's mixed with the main colour.

I picked up the stitches from the provisional cast on and started knitting in the other direction. I used the stitch pattern from the Honey Cowl I made last year and it worked out very nicely! I tried the contrast colour on the slip stitch rows first but it looked much better with the slip stitches done in the main colour and the contrast on the plain rows.

Once I had that figured out, I motored on the first cuff. I made it fairly narrow and was done in no time. The second cuff is about half done now too. No pictures? Nope. At this point you'll just have to wait until I'm done. But trust me, they're looking good!

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