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February 18, 2009

The Knitwit Papers, Chapter XXII: A Guy's Wool Hat

Date Begun: 12/15/2008
Date Completed: 12/19/2008
Yarn: Lion Brand Wool-Ease in Grey Heather
Needles: US6 Circular (metal)
US6 DPN (metal)
Source: New York Hat & Scarf from I Live On a Farm
The Story:
Well, this one started out as something for me. And ended up being definitely not for me. Lulu gets a walk every evening. It's usually a good solid 2 miles and ever since roughly October, that walk has been C-O-L-D. For the most part, I've been fine just wrapping up in my big coat and wearing some gloves, but I realized at some point that my hair just wasn't keeping my ears warm enough and that I didn't actually own any sort of warm head covering thing. Thus began my quest for the perfect dog walking hat. This was the first attempt.

You'll notice from the dates that this one went very, very fast and happened right before Christmas. I cast on a couple days before we left on our Christmas cruise and bound off as our plane touched down in Texas. And the very first time I tried on my shiny new wool hat, it swallowed my poor little head whole. <sadness> Turns out my sister and I have the same problem - tiny noggins. Also turns out our brother was the proud recipient of all the noggin-ness in the family. So I presented him with his very own shiny new wool hat. I liked it a lot - very warm and super stretchy - but it just wasn't the right size for me.

And then we all went home before I was able to get any pictures of him modeling his hat and had to call him up for some photos. So the pictures on this one came from my brother, who is also a very talented photographer.

February 3, 2009

The Knitwit Papers, Chapter XXI: "Old Navy" Scarves 1-4

Date Begun: 1: 11/27/2008
2: 12/05/2008
3: 12/12/2008
4: 12/14/2008
Date Completed: 1: 12/03/2008
2: 12/11/2008
3: 12/13/2008
4: 12/14/2008
Yarn: 1: Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick in Black
2: Caron Simply Soft Quick in Autumn Red
3: Lion Brand Homespun in Cotton Candy and Hepplewhite
4: Lion Brand Homespun in Country
Needles: US13 Circular (metal)
Source: My own pattern inspired by a scarf I found at Old Navy and improvised
The Story:
Okay, so I have about a bazillion pictures for this one because there are (as you might have noticed) actually 4 scarves here. I decided it was a good idea to just go ahead and post them all together because they're utterly identical to each other. So the story is that I was shopping at Old Navy back in November and they had these scarves that I absolutely fell in love with. I tried and tried to find a picture of them, but basically, they were really chunky, done in a 1x1 rib and they had these great pompoms on the ends. Super simple.

Anyway, I've developed this really bad habit of seeing knit things in the store and not buying them, even if I absolutely fall in love, because I know I can make something virtually identical for a quarter the price. So I wandered back through there a couple more times and made notes on how the scarf was made, took note of what it was made from and generally scoped it out. I even counted the stitches to make sure I got the width right. It was a very strange thing to be doing, but it's not like Old Navy cares if I go making a few scarves that just happen to look like theirs, which happen to look... well, pretty generic, actually. BUT MINE ARE MADE WITH LOVE! So there.

ANYwho. I realized I needed gifts for a number of people on my list at Christmas and thought these scarves would be the absolutely perfect thing - especially since these people all live in snowy climates and/or do snowy things (think: snowboarding). So I commenced to making. And the first one was for the girlfriend of my brother-in-law in northeastern Ohio, where it gets C-O-L-D, kids. It was in black wool for super-duper warmth and was really dense and chunky and Lulu loved it. Or maybe she just loved that we were lavishing attention on her to take the pictures. Either way, she was pleased as punch to be involved in the photo session.

The second was for a close friend and co-worker who always has the cutest accessories and dresses like a million bucks, but I really wanted to make something for her that was personal and cute, but not something she'd feel guilty about not using if she hated it. So I picked a color I liked and ended up with this red. This one, I almost couldn't part with. In fact, I did actually wear it for an evening just to make sure it worked okay. :-) I thought it looked really cool when it was all rolled up, and Deliah thought it looked like a giant snail, but we never could get any good shots of her checking it out. The nice thing about this one is that it's completely machine-washable and pretty much indestructible. The yarn was a new one for me, but one I think I'll go back to. Super inexpensive, but really, really soft.

The last two were made pretty much on a whim, like, 3 days before we left on our Christmas vacation with the family. I realized I had never knit anything for either of the kids (my nephew and niece) and this was a situation that much be rectified immediately. So immediately before leaving on our trip, I cranked out two more of these things - one with pompoms and one without - and threw them in the suitcase. I threw them in there so fast, I forgot to get pictures of them before we left and then our cruise to Mexico didn't exactly afford any photo ops with cold weather clothing, so my sister was nice enough to grab a couple shots of the kids wearing their scarves so I could document that they really happened.

So anyway, I now know how to make faux Old Navy scarves (1x1 rib until you get tired, knitting every edge stitch to keep it from curling, throw on a couple pompoms and walk away), and I think I can make them for less than $8 a pop. If you're interested, I think I can even do it in less than 2 days. Any takers?

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