fo: super hero helmet hat.

super hero helmet hat 1

super hero helmet hat 2

This is perhaps the squishiest, warmest hat I’ve ever made. (It may also be the biggest hat I’ve knit, but I’ll get to that.) I was so excited to discover that I won this pattern over at Cosy’s blog because I’ve been meaning to purchase this pattern, especially now that I have a pile of handspun that is just begging to be knit into smaller projects. I settled on some of my early wheelspun: AVFKW corriedale in The Candle’s Nimble Flame.

Using size 10.5 needles, I cast on for the larger size medium (if you have the pattern, you’ll know exactly what I mean), and knit to the decreases. The hat is knit back and forth, so I wrapped it around my head and realized that it was going to be way too big. I tend not to swatch with hats, as most of the time it seems like I can eye it and the hat will fit someone, but I hadn’t really taken into account how thick and thin this handspun is, and clearly my powers of estimation are less accurate when evaluating something knit flat. I frogged what I had and started over, casting on 8 stitches fewer and beginning again.

I finished late last night, and I absolutely love the earflaps and the shape of the hat. It may still be a bit big — I didn’t think really think about row gauge, and I probably should have accounted for that in adjusting for my surprisingly thick yarn.

super hero helmet hat 3

That said, this may become my go-to hat for super cold days, dog-walking, hiking, etc. I can fit my growing expanse of hair under the hat (see first picture), no problem, and this hat is loose enough that I can stay warm without flattening my hair while out walking with Boh. (This matters on days where I have to head back to campus for afternoon and evening events.)

Most importantly, this is an incredibly satisfying, soothing knit. I have a lot going on this week, and I just really needed to finish something last night — to feel productive, to see progress on at least one task, and I think finishing this super squishy hat and snapping a few (bleary-eyed) pictures helped me to sleep more deeply.

I might even cast on for another before the day is over.

Thanks, Cosy, for a clear, cute, satisfying, straightforward pattern. I highly recommend the Super Hero Helmet Hat!

Any and all wonkiness in the land of sizing rests solely on me, the variation in my thick and thin yarn, and my lack of patience! (I just needed to get to that garter stitch happy place, and ignored gauge issues in order to blissfully knit back and forth — and I do not regret it!)

polwarth (swoon).

fo polwarth bw1

fo polwarth fo 3

fo polwarth bw closeup

220 yards of squishy 2-ply worsted weight yarn, from 4 oz. of Southern Cross Fibres polwarth in the Boogie Wonderland colorway. I’m low on natural light this morning, so the colors in these photos are a little bit off. The actual color of this skein is somewhere in between the olive and forest green in these pictures. This has more squoosh than any skein I’ve spun, and I can’t wait to knit with it.

Time to pour a cup of coffee and prepare for the day.

FO: calorimetry.

blackberry pancakes

In order to face the week, I needed blackberry pancakes. (Mondays can be tough!) I ate them for breakfast and lunch, and they helped, like they always do. Moving on…

five plum pie calorimetry

I knit this over the weekend for my friend H. (of wedding shawl fame) because tomorrow is her birthday! I just couldn’t wait any longer, so I gifted this yesterday, which means there is absolutely no danger of spoiling the surprise. I used more of my Hello Yarn Five Plum Pie handspun, and I still have about ten yards leftover — truly, a never-ending skein.

calorimetry button view

Calorimetry was one of the first patterns I attempted to knit — and while I finished it rather quickly, my skein of filatura di crosa 127 print (or whatever the pattern calls for, because I had not yet learned to substitute) won the day, and I finally understood why gauge matters. My first calorimetry was enormous! This time around, I read up on the pattern and followed some common modifications:

I cast on 88 stitches using size 6 needles, and worked only as many (decreasing stitch count) short rows as seemed like half of the width I was hoping for, and then completed the same number of (increasing stitch count) short rows to get to the other side, being careful not to run out of yarn.

calorimetry side

Yay! I tried this on to take some pictures, and now that my hair is longer, I really like this. I may need to make one for myself.

plied polwarth bw

I did manage to ply the polwarth. Here’s what it looks like before washing/thwacking:

prewash

This may be the softest, squishiest yarn I have ever spun. It is hanging to dry in the kitchen, and I can’t help but pet it each time I walk by.

superherohelmet1

In keeping with “hat-tober,” I cast on for yet another handspun hat — Cosy’s Super Hero Helmet Hat. I won the pattern on her blog a few weeks ago, and I am knitting it out of some of my earlier wheelspun: AVFKW Woolly Wonders corriedale in The Candle’s Nimble Flame. I’m using size 10.5 needles, and I love the squoosh of the garter stitch.

bohcouchsilly

Apparently Boh also had a very busy day. (While I read, wrote, cleaned, knit, plied, grocery-shopped, cooked, etc., Boh moved bones back and forth from his box, growled at the electrician through the window, took notes on squirrel movement, and perhaps dreamed of rabbits, chipmunks, and deer.)

rustling.

(Not cattle. More like leaves, branches, half-thoughts, glimpses of moments past.)

sundaywalk1

sundaywalk2

This is one of my favorite paths to wander along, as those of you who’ve been reading for the summer, even the last year, are well aware.

sundaywalk3

The wind in the beech trees, the water pouring over the spillway, even the distinctive vibration from the trucks on the state road I walk to get here; these sounds stir me. I see and hear echoes of words I have felt, said, thought. My memory surprises me. These walks are harder on some days than others, but always strangely restorative.

sundaywalk4

Yesterday’s walk (and the walk I took last week, with our houseguest) was different. After an incredibly delicious mushroom-leek quiche (everyone should find friends who will bring breakfast to your house) that I wish I had photographed to share here, we bundled up and headed out the door with Boh and Coltrane. I guess I write all of this to say that it seems important to experience solitary places with other people. It’s not that the reservoir was transformed by the company; more that I noticed new things around me, and at the same time, rustled up a little less. It is nice to turn my regular route into a space filled with chatter, storytelling, community.

sundaywalkamyandtalia

sundaywalk5

sundaywalk7

One of the great things about friends who are also early-risers is that you can enjoy an indulgent brunch and take a relaxing walk AND have plenty of time left over for productivity, of both the academic and fiber-y variety.

polwarth bw

In between bouts of reading and writing, I sat down at my wheel and spun up two bobbins of luxurious polwarth from Southern Cross Fibres in the Boogie Wonderland colorway. This was incredible stuff to spin, and the depth of these greys and greens is stunning.  We’ll see if I can get through today’s pile fast enough to start plying this today.

FO: a second seaman.

seaman's cap 2 fo2

seaman's cap 2 fo

This hat just flew off the needles, and I love it. These big hats intended for boys also seem to work with my incredibly big hair, which means I may need to cast on for another. This grey/green version out of AVFKW falklands in The Silent Undergrowth colorway has more drape — again, maybe because it is a 2-ply, but also because the yarn seemed a bit thinner as I was working with it. (I used the same needles: US 6 for the ribbing, 7 for the st portion and decreases. WPI tool, are you hiding under piles of fiber?) Also, for those counting ounces, I started with 3 oz. of fiber, and I have .45 oz. of yarn remaining.

seaman's cap 2 unfolded

Here it is, with the brim unfolded. Perfect for big hair, no? (The colors are too wonderfully gift-able for me to keep this, particular when compared to the bright. cheery pile of handspun taking up space on the bookshelf. I can still try it on a bunch before the holidays, right?)

Alright. Onward to a few photos of the fun parts of Saturday:

bohbeingsilly

cocoa nyer

Snoring dog, hot cocoa made with milk on the stove, the New Yorker…

snail, cowl mitts

Snail hat, handspun cowl, thanksgiving day mitts: necessary for a nice walk along the reservoir.

bohsillycouch2

Boh continues to stretch and snore. I imagine he’ll be doing lots more of this later today, as his greyhound friend (and his people) will be here (with breakfast!) in about twenty minutes. Boh has no idea.

hat-tober?

second seaman

I started a second handspun seaman’s cap yesterday afternoon, and I’m very close to beginning the decreases. I’m using AVFKW falklands in The Silent Undergrowth.

second seaman closeup

The greens are very subtle, and I’m not sure if you can tell from this picture, but there is a soft green stripe right at the base of the turned up ribbed band. I’m learning quite a bit about the connections between my spinning choices and how the yarn knits up. This hat looks a bit more rustic than the first seaman’s cap, in part because my spinning isn’t totally even, but mostly (I think) because this is a 2-ply, and my first seaman’s cap was a 3-ply. I need to start making some choices about my holiday spinning and knitting, so this comparison is giving me a lot to think about.

bmissj

Also, check this out. I really think Boh misses our guest. For much of the morning, Boh stretched out on the floor and  pouted exactly where our houseguest had been sleeping. It is so hard to be a dog.