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October, 2009:

Happy Halloween!

I’m not very inventive in costumes. Really, I just skip that part of Halloween and try have the best treat on the block. My costume this year, should I wear it, is apparently going to be Strange Person with Pink Acrylic Hair.

Hallowig

Several of us in the knitting group made these crazy knitted wigs. The pattern is free on the internet from Knitty.
Angela made a beautiful blue one, Marg a red and silver sparkly one … she’s is very into red, it’s perfect for her! Come Saturday, it will be interesting to see if anyone else made one. There’s talk about going out to lunch somewhere
and all wearing them. Sort of a new take on the Red Hat Club maybe? Mmm … probably not.
(The Treat: Individual packs of Pringles – yum, I think that beats bite-sized candy bars just about any day!)

Aw, fer cute!

(That’s a touch of local dialect … and a very cute baby.)

This Whirligig Shrug is so cute. If you make it, you can very easily use the basics of the pattern to improvise a little matching hat.

Whirligig Shrug Hat based on Whirligig Shrug

I made the shrug using Merino 5 Superwash by Crystal Palace Yarns. I bought three 50-gram skeins (110 yds/skein) and had most of one left over so I was able to just use that. I used the same size needles I used for the shrug. And I chose to approach it as a top-down construction so the U-cable for the hatband wouldn’t be upside-down compared to the waistband of the shrug.

I started by casting on 7 stitches in a circle. (Tip: After a round or two you’ll want to place stitch markers to divide the piece into 7 sections. Then make your increases in the stitch before (or after) each stitch marker. Just be consistent in where you add them.) Working in stockinette stitch, I added 7 stitches per round until I had 28 stitches. Then I added 7 stitches every other round until I had 77 stitches. I worked those 77 in stockinette stitch to the length I wanted (about 3-1/2 to 4″). (I cook that way, too: “Oh, I don’t know … you just wanna add ‘some’.”)

Just before starting the U-cable section, I added 3 additional stitches to bring the count to 80. You bring the stitch count to 80 because you need multiples of 8 to duplicate in the hatband the U-cable stitch pattern of the shrug.

After finishing the U-cable “band”, I made a ruffly brim by adding stitches in the same manner as they were added to form the ruffle of the shrug. The brim is maybe 8 rows of seed stitch.
Voila! That’s all there is to it.

Whirligig Shrug and Hat set for Eva

A reason to be excited for winter

Strangely enough, even though our summer this year was so wimpy and un-summer-like, I’m not too sad about the approach of winter. Maybe I don’t mind winter as much now that I have a January baby? I don’t know, it could just be because I have a new winter coat and I’m working on some winter wear to go along with it. It’s really been years since I’ve had a decent winter coat, hat and gloves. Last year I wore a very cheap maternity coat from Target. I felt like a giant red strawberry. The year before, I wore my spring coat all winter despite freezing my butt off, just because I didn’t like my winter coat and was too cheap to buy one. This year I decided I want to be an actual grown-up with an actual nice coat.
And on one fateful day in Nordstrom Rack, I found it:

So of course, I couldn’t have a nice new winter coat without a nice new hat to go along with it. Perhaps the Provence Cloche [Ravelry link] from the Interweave Knits special Weekend edition?

Provence Cloche, finished

And gloves, of course. How about the Lace Panel Gloves from Vogue Knitting [Ravelry link]?

I’m so happy with this pattern and how these gloves are turning out. They fit my hand like they were made exactly for me (and with no tweaks to the pattern). This is one of those patterns where every little detail has been thought through and well-explained. Kudos to designer Lisa Hoffman. I only see two patterns by her listed in Ravelry, but I’ll be keeping my eyes open for more patterns from her in the future.
So… if you happen to get a pair of these gloves from me for Christmas, it’s just because I’ll be unable to stop knitting them and I’ll knit up my entire sock yarn stash into these gloves. And if you happen to see me cheering and dancing around the first time it snows, it’s only because I’m so excited to wear my new coat, hat and gloves.
(Oh, and I have yarn to make a scarf too. How could I not?)