Deep Space Knit

Yarn arts (knit and crochet) balled up with a heady dose of geekdom. Raise your pan-galactic-gargle-blaster and cheer!

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Location: Vermont, United States

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Socks, and The Scarf That Shall Not Be Finished

The socks: Pretty simple, for my Dad for Christmas. I learned a new stitch pattern, yee! It's called "supple rib" from the Super Stitches Knitting book. Very easy, quite fun, it looks nice too. It makes a thick, warm fabric that I am hoping hugs the foot and doesn’t sag at the ankles like the boy always complains about. Methinks I shall finish this sock tonight or tomorrow, and then cast on another one.

The scarf: This scarf is my nemesis. Like Voldemort is to Harry Potter, this scarf is to me.

What is it? It’s a Virginia Tech scarf. For a friend who lives in Blacksburg, this scarf is to commemorate the VT tragedy. He wanted to show off his hometown spirit. It needs to be finished by Christmas.

This scarf does not grow. No matter how many rows I add, it is still the same darn length when I hang if off my neck… and the intended recipient is over a foot taller than myself.

Oh, yes, I can see the length be added when I am knitting. I can watch it grow block by block of Fair Isle. I have committed myself to knitting at least five rows before I knit on any other project.

I hate this scarf.

Even when it is done, it shall forever remain “The Scarf That Shall Not Be Finished”


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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Soldering Onward!

So, I am fully enchaned in the arms of the Beast.

Beauty and the Beast to be exact.  That is the chosen Christmas show for the theatre where I work.  And so these last few days has been an endless line of creating strange things to mob the poor Beast's castle, including, torches.

     Now the theatre where I work is a tinder box.  Literally.  Built in the 1800's it is a large rambling hotel and opera house built entirely out of wood and plaster with very large, very old and very dry timber frames.  We do not have fire in this theatre.  Ever.  So the torches had to be lit with lightbulbs.

 this is either art... or a big damn mess.

     Now I have never done wiring before.  Technically I knew how (remembering those science experiments with lightbulbs and batteries in grade school) but I hadn't applied thatknowledge for years.  Setting up the circuit was easy.  Making it permanent...  well, that's another story.

     To get all those wires to stick to the bulb, the battery box and the switch I had to solder them.  Can I just say that soldering is hard?  Freakin hard.  I'm sure somewhere there is some solderer laughing at me, but every time I would melt the solder it would roll around and stick to the soldering iron, not the wire.  Then I forgot that I hadn't unplugged the soldering iron and went to clean up, only to bursh the hot iron away with my hand, and (yeeeowch!) burn my fingers.
  check it.  Burnination!

But now... the torches are done!  They still need some paint, but they light!  (Bwahahahah!  Liiiight!)  Now it's on to fake swords and axes!  So I'm going to reward myself with some Doctor Who (oooh, it's "Time Flight" with Peter Davidson.  I love Doctor 5.  Love him.) and some knitting on the "scarf that will never be finished"

  Yee Haw!  Fake fire!

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Ravelry, IK Knits and Boooty!

First off: Ravelry.

Oh, dear God, is this place cool.  There are *so* many cool people there!  And they like to talk to you... about yarn and knitting and stuf you're interested in!  I am *so* glad my invite came today.  Any of you knitters back in the home state... go join!

My name there is PlainSimpleGarak  (which is pretty much my name everywhere) and I am lovin' it.

Second off: IK knits

Just picked up the new one, and man... the issues seem to be getting much better.  There are two fair isle sweaters (well, one is a vest, by Eunny Jang I believe, who is becoming my Fair Isle idol.  Must knit that.) that I really want to make.

Must.  Finish.  Other.  Projects.  First.....

New projects... crack for knitters.



(or what theatrical technicians do when they are frazzled and need to relax)

After the Adrian post, I thought it would be funny to photoshop a pic of me and another equally geeky friend laying claim to the booty.  enjoy!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Holy Mountains of Yarn, Batman!

So, I had mentioned before that a friend was given literally a truckload of cones of yarn. (Well, a pickup truckload, but it's a truck, nonetheless.)

I was allowed to riffle through the yarn and take any cones I might like. Alot of it was acrylic and strange things, but there were a few cones of Shetland wool. Fingering weight and laceweight Shetland wool.

I snatched up a cream cone and a nice grey-green heather cone of yummy yummy wool. I knit them into gauge swatches, and doubled, on size 7 needles it knits up quite lovely. (quite lovely... is that grammatically correct? eh... I'll look that up later.) My intended pattern is from Cheryl Oberle's Folk Vests book - the "Stonewalls" vest. The question was, then, would I have enough yarn?

Well, that was going to be a problem. The cone was ginormous but I needed to use it doubled.

Now I don't have a ball winder. If I can't beg borrow or steal someone else's ball winder I end up slinging the hank over my leg - using the knee to foot span as the yarn holder with the yarn holding leg folded over the non-yarn holding leg in a bizarre yoga type posture. Ohmmm....... It works well for small hanks, like alpaca. I often wind balls in boring places, like when my housemates drag me to karaoke in our rinky-dink town. Trust me, drunk rednecks singing Shania Twain pairs well with mindless ball winding.

But this cone is, as I said, ginormous. There was no way I was going to carefully wind it into however many little center pull balls, even if I didn't have to loop it over my leg. I needed to make a deal... (Insert dastardly rubbing of hands here)

My friend who works at the LYS has a ball winder, and likes winding things with it. She also has a yarn scale. And it so happened that on the day I walked in, she also had a rather irate lady with a felted hat problem. Now the irate lady made a hat out of a lovely brown Bartlett yarn, but she wanted to have it felt down. The Yarn store clerk had advised her not to use Bartlett for felting - it's a tightly spun wool, and while it *is* wool, and will felt, the tightness prevents radical felting. It is a beautiful Fair Isle yarn, but not the best choice for felting, and she was ushered towards many other lovely types of wool that would felt much better. But she didn't listen, and she came back in, mad that her hat didn't felt down enough. She blamed her washing machine for the bad felt job and demanded my friend to felt it for her. And after a long headachey conversation my friend agreed (if only to get the irate lady out of the shop).

When I came in she was lamenting about how she didn’t want to try to felt the hat more. Well me? I love felting things… and I needed a ginormous cone of yarn wound. A light popped on in my head. She likes to wind yarn, I like to felt… if we offered a trade (more dastardly hand rubbing and some curling of an imaginary mustache) we would both be happy.

Ladies and gentlemen… this is why you listen to your helpful friendly yarn shop lady when she tells you a yarn ain’t gonna felt.

This is after one trip through my machine. I put it through twice more and the dryer twice for good measure. It finally fit a large woman’s head, but it was slightly ratty looking. Ah, well… it fit!

But my prize? Check this out! A mountain o’ yarn! I kind of want to try climbing it and yell “ADRIAN!” at the top of my lungs, but I think my roommate might call the funny farm. What the hell, I think I will anyways. Yell “ADRIAN!” that is, not climb the yarn. I don’t want to squoosh the fibers or break the computer desk.






Yes, Nate, your roommate is crazy; you can stop staring at me now. I promise I will creep into your room late at night with that big avocado kitchen knife and scare the bejezus out of you if you don’t stop staring at me. Heheheheheh.

Anyways, how much yarn is there? I had been afraid that I didn’t have enough for a vest. Well, there are over 1200 grams of yarn in my mountain… that’s 42 ½ ounces… and likely over 2000 yards.

I think that is enough yarn for a vest.



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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Tutorial: Woven Fair Isle

Somehow my endless enthusiasm for Fair Isle has been getting out and about >.>  <.<

So, for the knitters of White River, here's some (hopefully easy) instructions on how to weave while you knit.

Woven Fair Isle Tutorial

Note: I work this technique using the "two fisted" fair isle method: holding the main color in my right hand and the contrast color in my left, knitting with both at the same time.  I cannot recommend this technique enough.  
Heck, even Elizabeth Zimmerman advocated it... and who can argue with her?  

If you are  unfamiliar with this technique, I suggest the following steps to learn it:

1. if you do not know both continental and English style knitting get someone to show you whichever style you are unfamiliar with, and practice it.
2. cast on 80 stitches to a circular needle and do a gauge swatch of *K2 main color, K2 contrast color* repeating around until you feel comfortable using both hands at the same time.


Why Weave?

Traditional stranded fair isle has you carry the unused yarn in the back of the work until it is time to knit with it again.  It works smoothly for section where colors change every few stitches, but does not carry well across floats.  A float is a section of knitting where one color is carried along the back for an extended period of time.  
     Most knitters agree that it is safe to carry (strand) your yarn behind the work for up to 5 stitches.  Many traditional patterns put a tiny stitch (called a peerie) into long expanses of a MC to prevent stranding for more than 5 stitches.
     This method of weaving lets you lock the unused color into the one you are using so there is no loose strands hanging behind your work.  It also allows you to work more than 5 stitches between color changes, and helps prevent bunching and tightening of the fair isle work.


The General Idea

The concept of weaving the yarn in the back of the fair isle is simple.  The yarn that is not in use needs to twist over the one being used to knit.  If you were knitting fair isle with one hand (say all English style) you could pick up the yarn you were not using and twist it around the one you were knitting with, similar to starting an intarsia color change.  This method is clunky, frustrating and slow, however.  It tends to get your yarn all tangled up.

So weaving with both hands is a matter of taking the yarn not in use and moving it's position from the bottom to the top, back to the bottom, back to the top and so on.  This creates an interlocking twist in the back of your work.


So how do you do this?

1. choose which is your Main Color (MC) and which is your Contrast Color (CC).  I prefer knitting with my right hand and weaving with my left hand, so I choose the color which will have longer continuous blocks of knitting as my MC.

In the pictures the MC is Burgundy and the CC is orange

2. Hold the MC in your right hand.  Hold the CC in your left.

3. Knit in your pattern until you come to a float of 3 or more stitches.  (floats small that 3 stitches do not require weaving unless you are really anal about your knitting)

4. knit the first stitch of the float normally

5. You will weave the second stitch and every other stitch in the float.  This will mean that even even stitch will have a weave.   

To weave the CC into MC knitting:

put the needle in as if to knit.

lay the CC over the top of the needle (you are bringing the unused yarn from the bottom position to the top position)

Wrap the MC around the needle the exact same way you do when you are knitting normally.  The MC should slide underneath the CC

Knit the stitch, making sure to knit only the MC.  The CC should slide off of the needle, now in the top position

Knit your next stitch normally.  This places the CC back in the bottom position, effectivily weaving the two yarns together in the back.

6. Continue on, weaving every other stitch until you reach the end of your float and then knit normally.

To weave the MC into CC knitting

sooner or later it will happen that you will have a float where your main color is placed to the back, and your contrast color steps up.  This technique is slightly awkward (which is why I tend to judge which is the MC by length of floats rather than amount of color used) but effective.

In these pictures the MC is orange and the CC is burgundy (the opposite of the above photos!)

knit the first stitch normally

loop the MC around the needle loosely

loop the CC above the MC on the needle

Draw the MC over and around the CC (this brings the MC to the top position)

knit the stitch normally with the CC

Again you will weave every other stitch.


Any questions comments or concerns about this tutorial, feel free to comment or e-mail me

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Thursday, November 08, 2007

Hat of the Month Club

Ha ha!!  I have done it!

I just started up a "Hat of the month club" in my town.  Now I can infect the joy of knitting hats to other knitters!  The premise was simple: choose a pattern with a new technique or a something new and interesting to learn each month and gather.  Everyone knits the same (or a similar) pattern, helping one another get through the difficult starting point.  Usually patterns are just hard for the first few rows until you learn what's going on, and once you get that down the rest is fairly easy.  So the club is designed to painless get people started on something new.

What I find really frightening is that the club knitters see me as the "expert" of sorts.  Me?!  I'm younger than all of them!  I haven't been knitting that long (then again I have been crocheting since I was a tot) but I don;t find it very difficult to pick up new techniques.  So I have been teaching others wonders like provisional cast ons (hey, you can pick up the stitches?  cool!) and hoe to do fair isle with two hands instead of trying to untagle yarns in one.

The hat of the month?  The one that got this whole silly hat thing started.  That darned short row hat.  I liked mine so much, I made another one!  I knit this one so fast I forgot to take a picture of the WIP  >.<  I must stop doing that.  I'll post FO pics soon.

So what have I been doing lately?

I must sheepishly admit I am glued to the screen watching classic Doctor Who.  Can you believe that my geeky brain has never watched this show before?  Well, one here and there when I was reeeally little, but nothing I could really remember.  

I.  Am.  Hooked.

I *love* this freakin' show.  Well, most of it.  I personally think the sixth doctor should be dragged out into a busy highway, beaten with a stick and left to get run over.  That's partially because he doesn't have the best writing, partially because he's a jerk, and mostly because I find I really adore the fifth doctor and I'm pissed that he had to regenerate into Mr Rainbow Dickhead.

whoo... geek rant there.  ok, I'm ok now.

Anyways, I may be starting a vest soon, depending on what gauge my mystery yarn knits into.  Yes, I was gifted a huge-ass cone of two ply shetland wool of undetermined size.  It's pretty thin, so my quest tonight is to finish watching Earthshock and then knit a gauge swatch with the yarn doubled to see what it does.

Pictures soon.  

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Monday, November 05, 2007

Hat Update Numba Three


I am finally not a lazy blogger and have pictures!

So, without further ado, lets see some FOs (huzzah!)

We Call Them Pirates!!

I liked this pattern so much I had to make a second one directly after the first one.

I adore this pattern.  Nicely written, fun to knit.  My only problem is that I have never ever seen the suggested yarn anywhere (I'm sure it's online, but I really dislike buying yarn online.  I like going to LYSes.)  That's ok.  I have found my own way.

The hat on the Left is made from Reynold's Whiskey and Frog Tree Alpaca.  I knit it up on Addi Turbo 3's; though if I am to knit it again I think I'll use 4's.  It made a size appropriate for the head of a small woman or a teen.  Now I have a small head so I'm quite pleased with it, but most people who I knit hats for have a larger head.  So this hat is mine.

The right one is truely yunny to have on one's head.  It is knit out of Plymouth Suri Merino, mmm, soft wool and softer alpaca on size 5's.  Suri merino doesn't have the best stitch definition for cables (As we shall see in the next hat) but it make a beautiful yarn for Fair Isle.  This hat is larger and stretchy.  I should give it to someone for Christmas, but it desperatly wants to stay on my head forever.  I am wearing it right now.  Yarr!

Koolhaas Hat
(or the hat in which the Deep Space Knitter learned to make cables without a cable needle)

This is also knit in Suri Merino.  It is lovely, soft and stretchy, but I don;t really think the cables pop as well as they could have.  The yarn isn't spun tightly enough to do so.  That being said, I'm still quite happy with the results.

The pattern is from IK's holiday gift issue, and I have to say I'm impressed that IK found hats that aren't ugly or over simplistic to have in that issue.  Good on them!  That being said, if you decide to make this hat: read the pattern the entire way through before you pick up the yarn.  Put the book down, have a drink, read it again.  And then read it a third time.


The pattern is correct, but it isn't written very intuitivly.  It is very easy to miss directions or screw up on the repeats simply because they are written strangely (a small example would be the repeat is listed as *K1, P2, K1*  instead of the far more intuitive K1; *P2, K2* until end, K1)  

The trick to make it all work out?  (which I learned after the first 1/4 of the hat was done...)  Except for the very top decreases, you always knit into the knit stitches and purl into the purls.  So if you get lost, think of that.

Also... I do not suggest knitting this pattern without knowing how to cable sans cable needle.  There are 54 (count em!)  teeny little cable crossings in some rows.  That'll drive you nuts of you're using a cable needle.

Forever Plaid

so... what do you do when you're on an enforced yarn diet and want to knit hats from you stash?

You design your own hat, duh.

I had this idea for a straight sided brimless toque with a plaid fair isle pattern.  This one was made with worsted weight yarn and size 7 needles.  (Yarns used: Plymouth Tweed and  Galway; Paton's Classic Wool) I calcualted the gauge... and I thought that casting on 100 stitches seemed like an awful lot.  It wasn't.  It fits nicely, but with the straight sides, 110 might have been better.  I have some front views that show my ugly mug, I might post them later.  For now I have nightmares of this damn hat showing up on something like You Knit What 2 with a tag saying that somebody loathes plaid.

I like it, though.  Still working on the pattern.

And check out the top... it may just be the best part!

Yee!  Fair isle decreases!  They look stunning IRL.

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Sunday, November 04, 2007

Belated Halloween, The Eviscerated Yarn Stash, and Pirates!

So... first things first. Last post.

I very rarely drink, and yesterday, after fighting for two hours over the phone with a bank three states away that kept telling me "Well, you have to come in to one of our offices" and me saying "What part of I am in Vermont for seven months and you are over 10 hours away don't you understand?" I finally hung up and went to knit.

I finished a brand spankin' new hat design, went home and felt wound up. Didn't want to play beer pong with my housemates. They have this tendency to revel in frat boy style partying, even though we are all rapidly aging out of that category. I thought a nice quiet night with some Italian and some wine would be nice. hen I got to listening to Hibiscuit's girls' Extreme Drunken Winter IK review, and decided to drink along.

Truth be told, if you're of age and want something to do that's safe, relaxing and funny, it's a hoot. And even when sober, I can say that I love Hibiscuits Girl, she is my hero.

Anyways, on to today's affairs. This is my catch up post. I have FO's piling up around me, which many knitters would say 'you lucky punk!' For me it's more like 'Dear God, where do I put everything? Besides on my head?'

So let's start with Halloween.
I must, must, must must, MUST finish my Harry Potter sweater. The one that I have bought all the yarn for and still have not cast on any stitches. I even got the charmed knits book from a friend to poke me into doing it.

I started the costume oh, about 5 years ago now. I add a piece to it every year. Well, every year but this one. This year was supposed to be a real vest or sweater, not one found at Salvation Army, but I was busy and it didn't happen -.-
The real reason I need to make myself one is that the vest/sweater needs a deep V-neck. Most vests do not have them that deep, but you need to have the tie underneath. You can't even see I have a house tie on this costume, which is sorta sad.

Th problem is kicking myself in the bud and getting it done. I wonder if there are any "Harry Potter Costume Knitters" support knitters out there. Otherwise by the time I get this costume done Harry Potter will be gone and forgotten.

Ah, well.  Halloween was great, the costume worked and I had alot of fun.  I love Halloween, and honestly I can't wait until I have either A. kids so I can sew them costumes or B. a house so I can decorate it and scare the bejesus out of kids who come to trick or treat and give them scads of candy.  I think too many people shy away from Halloween nowadays because it's some sort of "bad" holiday.  Come on, it's a crafter's paradise!  (That and any excuse for me to show off my costuming skills is good enough for me)


Some people, as I have heard, organize their stashes.  They bag things up and place them carefully into storage.

I tried that.  I really did.  My yarn rebelled, committed seppuku and spilled it's yarney guts all over my floor 

(which is geek speak for, I keep my yarn on a shelf but I have a cat and that doesn't mix well.)

You can see the beginnings of the raspberry beret here (I wasn't kidding on that) and the 'it might never get finished' fair isle Virginia Tech scarf.


"We Call Them Pirates" in progress, and a story!

I love this pattern!

I have to admit, I also love Fair isle.  

Most of the knitters I know in Vermont dislike it, and I adore it.  I haven't been fair isling for all that long (then again I haven't been knitting for all that long) and I'm constantly ready to jump in to a new project.

Now (*Cracks knuckles, sits down.*  Storytime!)  I always thought Fair Isle patterns were attractive.  I bought books on how to make Fair Isle sweaters even before I knew how to knit telling myself 'someday I'm going to make one of those.'

So when I learned to knit I wanted to try to fair isle.  Problem?  I leaned to knit English style.  Fair isle, holding both threads in your right hand... well... it sucks.  I ended up with a tight, lumpy, knotted mess.

I didn't do any Fair isle for over a year.  Two maybe.  I moved from Oregon to Wisconsin to Vermont.  And sitting in a LYS in Vermont, one lady looked over and started extolling the virtues of knitting continental.  She noticed that I hold my knitting oddly for an English knitter - I keep the index finger raised and the middle finger controlling the unknitted stitches, just how a continental knitter would.  She felt that that made me a prime candidate for learning continental.  And so she taught me.  I knit an entire beret in continental, and halfway through I decided I just didn't like knitting continental.  I hated purling continental.  I had a long hard think.

     I came to the conclusion that knitting is about quality of time spent doing it, not the quantity of what gets knit.  I enjoyed knitting my old way.   And so I did not become a continental convert.

     Instead I immediately applied my good knowledge to the pursuit of evil and with a comfortable grasp of continental knitting, I taught myself two-handed Fair Isle.  This was a technique that I could really sink my teeth into because it felt natural.  I picked up the book "Fair Isle Sweaters Simplified, which outlined some really useful techniques for painlessly weaving the yarn in as you go, and I was hooked.

This is probably a good thing.  Fair Isle is a great way to bust your stash 

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Saturday, November 03, 2007

A Knitter and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

I worked on that play.  Yeah, it;s a kids Play - Alexander and the no good terrible, horrible very bad day.  I was the set designer.  It's hellacious.  You need a copy machine that fits people inside and lights up.  Fun.

Wine and cheese, Bay-beh!

And by wine I mean “Raspberry Wild Vines”, which is even cheaper than Arbor Mist, and Crowley’s large curd cottage cheese. It is fucking delicious. Redneck relaxation, and I revel in it!

I am drunk.

WARNING: I swear when I am drunk. Thou Hast been warned.

I had a very bad day and this is the perfect relaxation. I am listening to Hibiscuits Girl’s extreme drunken audio review of God Knows What knitting magazine, I wish I had it in front of me, but it’s old. I’m drinking with her. It’s awesome. We must do this again.

After this whatever will I do?

I’m watching Doctor fucking Who Kiddies! Yes! Tom Baker rocks! Yee Haw! It’s downloading slowly but I’m gonna watch it. Why? Because I’m a complete and utter geek, that’s why. Yanno, I’m reeealy glad that I’m drinking out of a plastic wine glass.

Did I tell y’all I’m knitting a pink hat?

Yeah. I had a run in with the bank, and that caused the bad day, and therefore I am on an enforced yarn diet. So I’m using stash yarn. In a moment of unadulterated weakness last year I bought two skeins of marled pink wool. I hate pink. But I bought it. Why? Because it was lovely.

It’s becoming a beret.

A Raspberry Beret. AHAHAHAHAH!

Shit yeah! Go go Prince!

I’m drunk.

But I can still spell.

What the hell else am I going to do with 2 skeins of pink-marled Galway? I sure as hell ain’t making a sweater out of it. I may make another Fair Isle hat with it.

Yeah! I designed myself a Fair Isle hat too! It’s lovely. I’ll post it tomorrow when I’m not drunk.

Ooooh, 60% of Dr. Who is loaded.

My friend has always wanted a Dr. Who Tom Baker Scarf, and I am going to knit it, methinks. There is an entire website on it. An Entire Website!! It’s like !! That’s almost as good as That got a lot of laughs last year when I had to order cases of balls for a play. Yeah. Balls.

I probably shouldn’t post this. Aw, hell. It works. I love Hibiscuits Girl. Go check out her blog, she rocks. right there. Go! I found it trying to figure out if anyone else thought that Knit.1 was on crack. Yeah! Google linked me to her Extreme Drunken Review. It’s awesome. I would do that, but it’s stealing.

Ok. I’m gunna go watch Doctor Who now. That’s safe. Safer than posting to the blog, methinks.

Pics tomorrow. I have We Call Them Pirates hat Mark II on me head right now!

Raspberry beret! Ahahahah!

And Now For Something Completely Different

And completely dorky.

Yarn hath been gathered. But it was opening night, so we had to dress up, and see the play and drink free beers. That is why we go to opening nights. Free Beers.

When we came home, the house was a mess, yes it was. It was like yarn puked up all over the place. I must straighten this tomorrow. Whoo, I just changed from the royal we to I, must be late.

Anyways, I found this quiz, which I think is pretty freakin awesome.

Not only was it fun, but it's freakin' perfect!

This blog ain't named "Deep Space Knit" for nothing!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Yarn Hunting

I have a day off... time to go yarn hunting.  Lets see what I come back with!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Felted Dinnerplate Beret: Version 2

So I am supposed to do a hat update, but I left my bag at a friend's house.  The bag which holds the hats >.< Instead I will post a second version of the same pattern.

Apologies for having my ugly mug modeling all these hats.  They are all knitted in my size and my roommates don't appreciate knitting (how sad is that?!)

Dinnerplate Beret, Version 2

This is basically the same hat as before, but knit top down instead of rim up. This has quickly become my favorite version of the pattern for several reasons:

1. I dislike DPNs and I don’t like knitting hats on Magic Loop. So I would rather get the DPNs out of the way first and then knit the rest peaceably on a circular needle.

2. Some yarns run out right about at the hatband area… it’s easy to swap them out and knit a contrast hatband. Economical and prevents a buying a second skein or knitting a doofy looking circle at the top of your hat

The pictures are:

Noro Kureyon, felted.

Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride, unfelted.

Cascade 220, felted

Classic Elite Inca Alpaca, felted.

As you can see, not felting the hat gives you a Scots Bonnet type hat rather than a tight beret. These were all knit up to 25 stitches per wedge, and down to 12, on size 7 needles.

Materials: About 200 yds of worsted weight, feltable yarn. (Superwash wool does not work. So far what has worked is: (in order of tightest felting to loosest felting)
Classic Elite Inca Alpaca
Araucania Atacama Nature Alpaca.
Plymouth Galway (felts surprisingly well)
Berroco Ultra Alpaca
Cascade 220
Plymouth Boku
Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride
Paton’s Classic Wool
Lion Brand Fisherman’s wool
Noro Kuryeon (Requires 3 skeins)
Reynold’s Lite Lopi

That should give you an idea of what is out there that may work.

1 Size 7 16” circular needle (or size required for gauge)
1 set of size 7 DPNs (or size required for gauge)
optional 1 size 5 16” circular needle (for a better fitting hatband on an unfelted bonnet)
8 stitch markers (1 should be a different color from the other 7)

Yarn Needle
11” inch dinnerplate (preferably plastic) for a felted hat.


Gauge: US size 7 (20 stitches; 26 rows = 4inchesx4inches)
Gauge is not extremely crucial for a felted hat, but it greatly helps if you are close. If you are having problems, err on the larger rather than the smaller side. Even for an unfelted hat you can still put it in the dryer for a few minutes and shore it up. It’s awfully darn hard trying to stretch a too-small hat.


Sizes are listed as Small (Medium) [Large]

Small fits most adolescents. Medium is an adult female (and every hat pictured). Large is for an adult Man.

If you plan on making the hat unfelted, choose one size smaller. There are also notes at the very bottom for custom fitting the hat to your head.


A note on increases: if you intend to felt the hat, you can pretty much use whichever increase you feel the most comfortable with because the resulting felted fabric will blur stitch definition. If you do not intend to felt the hat, consider using a right lifted increase or an invisible increase to create a clean line.

When I felt these hats I use the bar increase because I can knit it in my sleep (and in the dark, which is helpful when knitting through movies)

For ease of the pattern, increases are written as: RLI (standing for Right Lifted Increase)

(This is the Lite Lopi hat)

1. Using whatever method you like, cast on 8 stitches to one of the DPNs, leaving a 8” tail of yarn at the end.
2. Turn work, using the bar increase, increase once in every stitch (16 stitches)
3. Spread these 16 stitches out evenly over 4 DPNs [trust me, you’re knitting 8 wedges, 4 DPNs makes things much easier than 3]
4. Join for circular knitting. Knit one row even (16 stitches)
5. *k1, RLI, PM (Place Marker), RLI, k1* Repeat from * around on each DPN. You should have 4 markers placed in the center of each DPN, and 24 stitches creating 8 wedges (2 per DPN) with 3 stitches each.
6. Knit one row even
7. Increase one stitch per wedge. (If you increase in the same place every wedge you will end up with clear spiraling lines at the top of your beret. If you don’t want the lines to appear, change where you place you increases every round)
8. knit one row even
9. Repeat steps 7 and 8, increasing one stitch in each wedge every odd row, until you have 10 stitches on each wedge. Knit stitches off of the DPNs and on to the circular needles if you so desire, placing markers at the break between each DPN, and the different colored marker at the place that marks the end of each row.
10. Repeat steps 7 and 8, increasing one stitch in each wedge every odd row until you have 21 (25) [28] stitches per wedge. 168 (200) [224] stitches total. End knitting one row even.
11. *Knit 1, k2tog, knit 18* Repeat from * around. 20 (24) [27] stitches per wedge.  You will be decreasing one stitch per wedge on subsequent odd rows.
12. Knit one row even.
13. Repeat Steps 11 and 12 until you have 10 (12) [14] stitches per wedge. 80 (96) [112] stitches in total.
14. If you plan on making an unfelted hat, switch to using the smaller sized needles. If you would like a contrasting hatband switch to contrast color. Work 4 rows of K2, P2 ribbing
15. Purl one row even.
16. Work 4 rows of K2, P2 ribbing
17. bind off.
18. Run the cast on tail through the first 8 stitches at the top of the hat and pull tightly to close up hole.
19. Thread the yarn needle with a length of yarn, and fold the K1,P1 ribbing up at the purl row. Sew the two bands together in an elastic seaming stitch to create a double-thick band.

If you are not felting you hat, celebrate because you’re done! If you are, read on:

20. Fill your washing machine with a ½ load of cotton laundry (towels, jeans and/or t-shirts work well. You need the extra stuff in there to increase the agitation). Set the machine to heavy soil (don’t use the delicate cycle!), the water level between medium and high; and the water temperature to HOT. Put in a ¼ to a ½ measure full of laundry soap. (To protect the hat, use soap without bleach or additives. Ivory flakes are the best if you can find them). Throw your hat in there with the laundry and let ‘er rip.
21. Check the hat ½ way through the wash; and again at ¾ of the way. Alpaca can felt very quickly. The goal is to felt it all the way down until the stitches disappear into fabric. If in doubt, put it back in. Stop if the hat shrinks so small that it won’t ever fit around your head.
22. Take the hat out. When first out of the wash it will looks like a wrinkled, tiny, matted mess. Don’t worry. Grab your dinnerplate!
23. Stretch your hat over the dinnerplate, and adjust so you get one flat round side, and so the head opening is centered on the other side. While it is still wet you can stretch the head hole larger or smaller and shape it with your fingers until it is the size and shape you want it to be.
24. Let your hat dry – it will take between 24-36 hours to get it completely dry. You can touch it and flip it over halfway through, but don’t be tempted to take it off of its plate too early! It has to completely dry in order to retain the nice shape you stretched it into.
25. When its dry, take the hat off the dinnerplate carefully, and viola! Hat!

(Inca Alpaca)


Pattern sizing notes for the unfelted version: This pattern can easily be custom sized by increasing or decreasing the number of stitches per wedge at the widest point and at the brim. If you wanted a truly massive renaissance-like pancake beret you could increase all the way to 30 or 35 stitches per wedge. If you wanted a very petite baby hat, you can stop increasing at 18 or fewer stitches per wedge. The same is true with the brim.  The caveat here is if you knit a larger hat you will need a larger dinnerplate.

If you want to custom fit the brim of your hat, transfer the stitches to a piece of scrap yarn as a holder, or a 32” (or wider) circular needle and pull it over your head. Knit down to the point where it is snug, and then start the ribbing.

(Noro Kureyon)

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