Nebbia is ready, both here and in my Ravelry store. As usual, an excerpt of the PDF (cover + overview page) is available on the pattern page so you can check requirements and so on.

Thank you to my friends and testers — Carolyn, Christine, Kirsi, Marielise, Simone — and to my technical editor for helping me make this pattern a much better product than it started out as.

Nebbia hat

Nebbia hat

Peggy asked if there are a lot of ends to weave in. I am happy to say that there aren’t; you carry the unused colors vertically at the beginning/end of round; see picture below.

Detail of yarns carried vertically inside the hat

Detail of yarns carried vertically inside the hat

OK, not the greatest picture, but you get the idea.

Have a great week everyone!
Ah, Kelvin thanks all his admirers. :)

Keep cool and carry on

Definitely not knitting weather, though not as hot as in other parts of the country just now, but all I can think of and all I want to knit is wintery stuff. Super warm wintery stuff.

Monster bougainville

Our bougainville doesn't seem to be suffering from the heat.

For now I am playing with swatches and it may be a while before I cast on for a project so it’s OK. No big bundles of wool sitting on my lap to make me wish I were somewhere in the Alps or whereabouts. In lieu of such bundles, Kelvin or Pipie, who have been strangely non-interactive during Ben’s absence and once installed on my lap would simply not move. At one point last night Pipie turned around in his sleep and almost fell off my legs. Result: several claws dug into my left leg to balance himself. You’ll be relieved to know that he didn’t fall and I had non-expired Neosporin at hand. Life is good.

This past weekend I posted on a testing group on Ravelry (a more laid back group than the one I used for Riva) and test knits for Nebbia are starting today. I am hoping to solve a pesky issue with two rounds of the main repeat which I adapted for knitting in the round from a stitch meant for flat knitting. A weird thing happens on two of the rounds where even though the stitch count is correct, the stitches are offset by one so I had to compensate with a M1 at the beginning and a k2tog at the end of a round and something else four round later. This is the main reason I knitted the hat three times, because no matter how much I tried to pay attention the second time, I kept compensating and not taking good notes during knitting.

This is a shot of hat #3 one very hot late afternoon when I was trying to make it look like fall weather. Yeah, right.

Nebbia hat

Nebbia v.3

Remember Fragile Heart? Nicole finished it and even made some modifications that worked out very well. I love the yarn/color combination she used. I was too chicken to knit mine with the Kidsilk Haze I had available, and now wish I had.

Stay cool this week, wherever you are.

House of Gray

gray hat

Pretty much a life size swatch

Frantic knitting over the past three days after I hit on a stitch/yarn/color combo I like and decided to knit a hat and scarf based on it. The hat did not come out the way I wanted from the shaping and size point of view, so this amounts to a giant swatch. The main problem is that I have no idea about how to decrease and I sort of improvised as I went. Now I have to figure out the math of decreasing and, even harder, see if I can decrease in pattern. Then I’ll have to knit another hat and find a name for the pattern. This naming thing is starting to stress me.

On a happier note, on Friday I met with Lydia, a fellow blogger from Seattle that I’ve known off an on since the days of my old blog. Meeting in person was a lot of fun and I hope to see her again when I travel up north in a couple of months.

And if, like me, you couldn’t attend Woolfest, head over to Knitsofacto to check out some magnificent sheep. While you are there, look around the archives for historical musing on Welsh knitters, thoughts on photography, and more.

Old shawl, new hat

Ene scarf

Ene's scarf knit with 2-ply Jade Sapphire Mongolian Cashmere, colour Deep Denim.

After the gloves I cast on for Ene’s scarf, a shawl I had knit three years ago and loved. I had forgotten the brutal cast-on, though, and being rusty I made a mistake and had to frog and start again. Funny thing is, the same happened with the first shawl, and at the time I was knitting lace like a possessed woman, so perhaps there is something about that cast-on that doesn’t agree with my brain. I had also forgotten how hard it is for me to knit with dark yarn and picked a beautiful blue that made things quite difficult. Still, the shawl came out well and now lives in northern California with Ben’s mom. At this point I started to reconnect — slowly — with some of my old knitting buddies and went back to Ravelry where I found many patterns by designers I didn’t know. See, I get distracted for a couple of years and when I look again the knitting blogosphere is a different place. Some of the old blogs have disappeared, some haven’t been updated in months. I am not quite sure why I am picking up this blog

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again and even less sure about why others would want to read it. For now I’ll set aside the introspection and document the knitting.

Out of so many new patterns I picked Caller Herrin, a beautiful hat inspired by the colors of Britain’s North-Sea coast. Not having any 2-ply Hebridean handy, I used some KnitPicks Palette. Not quite the same, but if you want to do something NOW, you don’t want to wait

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around for your yarn to arrive form the Isle of Lewis. My order shipped promptly on Jan 11, but no matter how much I stalk the mailman, there is still no sign of it and unfortunately no tracking number. In the meantime, Ben is wearing his hat knit with non-Scottish colors. I am not loving the Palette yarn, but I’ve been using it a lot for swatches and the hat is not bad. When my 2-ply Hebridean gets here (when, oh when?) I’ll probably do something different with it than I had originally in mind.

a hat for Ben

Caller Herrin for Ben

For the past few weeks I’ve been spending all my knitting time making swatches, trying out colors, stitches, and construction techniques. I have all these design ideas in my head and I am trying things out to convert them into 3D objects. My design background isn’t helping as much as I expected. My training was in graphic design and interactive media and I quickly specialized in web design, so everything I did was on the screen for the screen. Now I find that design elements work quite differently outside a digital environment. When I chose colors for a Fair Isle pattern thinking that they will work well together, I discover that there isn’t enough contrast between them when they are knit. My sense of color has to adjust to the new medium. Have I mentioned that I love swatching? I hear often of knitters that hate it and it’s the opposite for me. I have to watch myself or I could end up swatching forever and never casting on for a real project.
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