For a knitter, I sure have chosen a strange place to live. Most of the time, it’s hot, and when it’s not hot, it’s just sort of cool. Light weight sweaters are handy from late October ’til April, but those lovely heavy sweaters, the cozy cabled and stranded beauties that would be so perfect up north? Yeah, not so practical here. But finally, finally, I’ve come up with a way to have a lopapeysa of my own that will see regular use. Indeed, it will get used every single day.
Some of you may remember the Great Handspun Sock Blowout of this past winter, in which my two pairs of handspun socks developed a cascade of failure points, resisting all attempts to save them from an untimely demise. At the time, I decided to rethink how I was spinning sock yarn, and relegated the yarn already spun to other projects. The one exception — a cabled Romney yarn — repaid my trust by becoming a sturdy (if somewhat fuzzy) pair of warm, comfortable, and durable socks. (So far. Knock on wood. With fingers crossed.) (If you’re interested, the pattern is Kalajoki by Tiina…
…is the approach I went with for the next Christmas project, which is why there are two hats in this post. Always ask the parents, people. It’ll save you grief in the end. A while back, a dear friend sent me some merino sliver, all the way from New Zealand, which spun up into a pretty, soft, red and pink yarn: Now, I may not be a big fan of pink, but The Ever-Growing Niece loves it. Loooooooves it. Pink, pink, pink, the brighter the better. I knew who this yarn was going to.
Remember this? It’s the blanket I started for my nephew, Galactus, Eater of Worlds. Well, I took Jacqui’s excellent advice and blocked it, and it still looked wrong. That pattern with a plainer yarn or that yarn with a plainer stitch — either would be lovely. That yarn and that stitch together were just too much fancy all in one place. Perfect for a shawl, maybe, or the bottom of a summer top, but for a baby blanket? No. I started again.
When I was little, I had this hat. This hat was long — at least as long as I was — and pointy, and it was striped in blue and grey with a tassel on the end. It was long enough to use as a scarf and a hat at the same time, and it tapered over the whole length until it was as pointy as one of those icicles on the tip of the eaves at the end of winter that almost reach the ground. It was a ridiculous hat, and I loved it so.
This here is Chicken-leg Al the Wonder Cat. You may remember him from such posts as An Elephant in a Day, Which Inexplicably Disappeared to Some Place Called Canada, Which is Weird Because Clearly it was Mine, Lady, it’s Raining, Would You Let Me IN Already, and A Brand New Thing for Me to Sit On.
Even here in the Dirty South, the cold is coming. Well, as much cold as we get here, which by Northern standards is more like a brief flirtation with the idea of being chilly. Still, the air has gone from soft to crisp, and I’ve been here long enough that I get whiny at anything below about 45 Fahrenheit (that’s around 7 Celsius for the rest of the world). (I’ve also been here long enough that I describe temperature in Fahrenheit, though I use the ‘double it and add 30’ conversion from Bob & Doug McKenzie* to make sense of…