Thursday, December 7, 2006

Isle of Harris Hat

I made this hat for Elsa a few months ago from some wool I found on the Isle of Harris in Scotland. She was wearing it today while playing with the leaves in the backyard (yes, we do wait as long as possible to gather our leaves), and I was attempting to get a good picture for a potential holiday card.

The hat reminded me of our trip to Scotland last August, which was the last time we went to Europe since having Elsa. At the time, I was not quite as obsessed with knitting as I am these days, or I probably would have stuffed my suitcases with some more of this beautiful yarn.

Here is where I found the wool (these hanks were hanging out to dry):

The source:

This picture was inspired by Andy Goldsworthy:

Little Gifts

A few days later, here's the Ballband Dishcloth in its finished form:

After looking at some comments on the Mason Dixon KAL, I've decided that these could be used as washcloths too, so I'm going to knit up a few more for holiday gifts and wrap them around luxurious bars of soap. Yesterday I went to Michael's and enhanced my Sugar and Cream stash, so now I have many color combination possibilities. I also got some colored pencils so I can plan out my designs on graph paper.

The latest WIP is Elsa's holiday present: a little white bunny (knit with a double strand of Blue Sky Alpaca DK White) with pink angora ears. The pattern is from Hoverson's book (again!), and it's been really fun to watch it take shape. I am changing the pattern a bit and knitting with DPN's rather than two circular needles, as she suggests. This allowed me to knit more pieces in the round, so there will be fewer seams at the end. The only snag I came across was the transition from the two legs (knit separately) to the body. I was able to solve the problem by knitting the last round of each leg as if they were on straight needles to open up the circle. Then I was able to join both legs together on dpn's and close up the circle again, but it did leave a gap in the crotch area, which I sewed together this morning.

I also hit a small snag when I shaped the shoulders because it was my first time doing an ssk (a left slanting decrease)combined with a k2tog (right slanting decrease). It took me a while to figure out how the pattern was working, but with this handy visual aid I was able to pull it off:

Here's an unintentionally eerie picture of the bunny in progress:

I decided to stuff the legs and belly this morning before I get too far along on the head. Oh boy, that was fun...and now it's really starting to look and feel like a toy. Can't wait to give this to Elsa.