It’s time to give that update which I mentioned back on Jul 2 on why I’ve been “away”.
The easiest way to let you all know that I was diagnosed with lymphoma on June 9 is to share my CaringBridge site with you. It was a sudden trip to emergency on May 24 that brought all this to light. I am now in the midst of chemo treatment with the last of 6 sessions scheduled for October 24. So far, I am on track with the treatment schedule and the prognosis is good. The specifics of this can be found on Carolyn and Mathilda……Mathilda being assigned the name to this tumor that is going to waltz right out of my body.
As I heal (lots of rest as well as exercise with Lucy dog and Bill to keep my body strong through these treatments), I have been knitting and sewing. Oh…..and truth be known I have been become obsessed with some of the mysteries on Acorn TV. I finished watching the Inspector George Gently Series and now onto the Vera series. I should be done with that just about the time that the next season of Longmire airs.
I was recently possessed to knit a slouchy hat to add to the collection of wonderful hats that I have received. The pattern of inspiration for this top-down knit was featured on page 122 of 60 Quick Luxury Knits from Casade Yarns. As I often do, I see a pattern and then I make modifications.
- I decided to use Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece as I wanted cotton with just a little wool against my head. Of course changing from merino wool/silky wool to cotton/wool changed the drape of the hat. I am not unhappy with the drape, but think I will knit it again in wool/silk combo which will have a different body that I can wear for special occasions.
- The needles sizes used for Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece were: 6 for the first section of top and 5 for the remainder of the hat.
- I eliminated the top-notch i-cord detail as I did not like that look.
- I changed the first section that included the increases from 4 stitches to 128 stitches to circular stockinette stitch as I did not like the way the increases set up in the seed stitch. I then knit 2 rows of reverse stockinette so that I could create separation between the next pattern of seed stitch.
- With the cap of the hat completed, I then decreased stitches to 112 rather than 120. How did I decide that? I measured my head and then decided a 1/2 – 1 ” ease would be okay. Fact of the matter here is that I forgot that I do not have the volume of full head of hair to make hat fit a bit better. It works out okay…..but does create more slouch.
- A tip that was shared for sizing for a top-down hat is to put it onto waste yarn when it is “full size” and then try on to be sure that circumference is correct for your head. My experience is that the hat wanted to fan out so it was not a good fit method. However, I am thinking if I had tied the waste yarn to the size as it lay flat the fit technique would have been more successful.
- I changed the i-cord trim to a contrasting color. I also followed the i-cord pattern as described for an applied 4-stitch i-cord.
- The last change I made was to the finished edge i-cord. I knew there was an applied i-cord out there that had a slip stitch involved that created a tighter lay of the i-cord to the knitted fabric edge. Off to google I went. I found this applied i-cord technique on the Berroco website. Here is my presentation of method.
- For the blocking, I used the wet block method. I washed it by hand in Eucalan and a splash of shite vinegar (to set the contrasting color). The next step was to squeeze the excess moisture out and then set up to dry. In this case, I did not want a crease in the hat from laying flat so I stuffed it with a towel.
60 Quick Luxury Knits
,,,from Carolyn’s needles
Slouchy Hat in Progress
The Hat Drying
- When the hat was almost dry, I tossed it into the dryer on UltraCare to complete the drying process.
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I can hardly wait to see her personality emerge during this next year!
Aria’s mom Shelby (my great niece) shared this recent photo of Aria covered with the Mountain Chickadee blanket (knit in Brown Sheep’s Cotton Fleece) that I knit specially for her. Thank you again to Kimberly for inspiring me with her version of this wonderful design.….and a fun knit. Baby Aria, the first born of our next generation, is now three weeks old this coming Sunday.
During her first week of life she met many of her family….and, in particular, Aria met her grandma Sundee’s maternal family at a family brunch gathering a week after she was born. This little girl, born weighing 9lbs 2 ozs, is just as cute as can be…..and of course, I am not biased!
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I am inspired to knit many things….and some of them I do. In this case, Kimberly who purchased the Mountain Chickadee baby blanket pattern at Stitches West earlier this year, inspired me with her version of this lovely pattern. “Off” to Ravelry I went to purchase the same pattern. Both of us used Brown Sheep’s Cotton Fleece (80% cotton 20% wool) …..a great easy to care for yarn for new mom’s.
I have a 2-week deadline…..1/3 done….much knitting to do! I recall the year I decided to make my grandmother an afghan for Christmas…..made that decision at Thanksgiving and was done two days before. I had more time then….but I know I can make this deadline…..I can and I will by golly!
One third of the way
Kimberly – The Inspirer
Purl 3tog detail
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Young Jacob, Bill’s great grandson, was born June 8…..and we, Bill and I, delivered, Jacob’s knitted vest (just finished and wash blocked last night) today while we were at family anniversary celebration . I had another idea in mind for Jacob’s gift, but Bill wanted a “vanilla” blue vest with red accents in the neckline and ribbing….so that’s what it is. Of course, I used Brown Sheep’s Cotton Fleece (80% cotton and 20% wool).
The most engaging part of this knit was the neckline….I pulled the pattern from Michelle Wyman’s baby pullover sweater. Michelle was the master of truly “finished” center V-neckline.
Now onto the gift for Grace…..born into my extended family a couple of weeks ago. Grace’s grandfather and I are 2nd cousins. I already have one gift for Grace….but she was born early and is tiny…so I want to knit a gift that is a little more fitting for her when she comes home from the hospital next month. Her early arrival is being celebrated this coming Sunday….so I really need to click those needles!!
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Message from my sister LaBerta…..”Gift arrived from Auntie Carolyn..love it. These are the best gifts!” The best gift for me is the message and more importantly seeing my youngest nephew modeling his new sweater knit with Brown Sheep’s Cotton Fleece. The sweater pattern is Cabin Fever’s Top Down.
The blocked sweater!
Carson – “A natural model”!
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Baby Surprise Sweater - "Prototype"
I remember the first time I saw the beginnings of a “Baby Surprise” Sweater.….a customer came into my retail shop – Skein Lane – with the sweater in progress and a copy of the recently “released” pattern (Knitter’s Magazine 1999 I believe). The original pattern designed by knitting guru Elizabeth Zimmerman was first published in 1968.
Well….I have to tell you I was more than a little puzzled about how that this strange piece of knitted fabric was going to fold up into a such a great baby sweater. Thus, I knit my “Baby Surprise” prototype in 1999….I needed to understand what my customer was experiencing. I chose Noro yarn….a wonderfully variegated wool….I was so excited that after I got the first ball knit I headed over to my store (I was the shop owner and I had the keys)….it was 9 at night…it was dark. I chose what I thought was the same color way…it wasn’t and that mistake was one of the best I’ve made. It added more life to the project. I trimmed it with Brown Sheep’s old offering of Prairie Silk yarn.
Baby Surprise "folded/molded" into sweater!
I’ve knit several since then and have seen renditions from customers. The most recent creations to share are the two knit by Connie (Friday morning Skein Lane knit workshop) and the one I just completed for Bill’s recently born great grandson Conner.
Be sure to check out ravelry.com for more renditions of this great design! And Kimberly just completed her rendition of this great design that you can see on her blog.
Baby Surprise Sweater knit by Connie
Baby Surprise Sweater for Conner – Bill’s Great Grandson
Baby Surprise Sweater #2 by Connie
Baby Surprise Sweater – “Prototype”
Baby Surprise “folded/molded” into sweater!
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