Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Hello Baby

My mother in law sent me this photo this weekend: my god-daughter wearing a sunhat that I sewed for her. She's such a cutie and I can't get over how adorable she is in her hat.

The hat in question is made from McCall's M4478 and fabric that I had left over from the lining of this sunhat. This hat proved that sunhats are super fun to make, no matter if they are adult or baby sized. And having sewn them in both size ranges, I could probably draft and sew one entirely from scratch at this point. Maybe I'll do that for my next sunhat (because there certainly will be a next sunhat).

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Knitting by Train

One of my favorite times of the year for knitting is summer, mostly because vacation time is a great time to get some knitting done--especially if that vacation involves train travel. I'm convinced that the train is the best way to get anywhere cross country if you have the time for it. It's relaxed and comfortable and all you have to do is watch the scenery go by. In other words, it's perfect knitting time.

This year's summer vacation involved a family reunion in San Diego with my parents, my three sisters (below), and their families. It was an amazing trip, with time to hang out and play with my nephews balanced by more traditional vacation stuff like a visit to Disneyland. I came home from the trip happy and relaxed in a way that means it was a really good vacation. I think the train had a lot to do with how relaxed I felt, even from the start of the trip.

The main part of our travel to California was on the Southwest Chief, Amtrak's line that connects Chicago and LA and runs through the American west. I have several strong memories from the ride: the beauty and sparsity of the landscape as you go further west, the swaying and slight claustrophobia of the upper bunk in our sleeper, listening to a little boy despair over a forgotten stuffed animal named Nuzzle in the lounge car one evening (so adorable), and the downpour that hit right as we pulled into Albuquerque and I was finishing my first Twiglet mitt.

For all I couldn't decide what to knit on vacation until right before we left, the Twiglets turned out to be a great travel project: portable, complex but not overly so, and the perfect size to make quick progress. And I love the color of this yarn; it's Verve from The Unique Sheep in the gold colorway. It's not the go-with-everything color of my favorite Veyla mitts, but I kind of like them better for it.

All-in-all, it was a wonderful vacation and I will always think of some of the little details of the trip whenever I wear these mitts. I'm of the opinion that we put a little bit of our current thoughts and experiences into our projects as we knit them. These mitts will therefore bring happiness and sunshine to my future self, which is a happy thought indeed.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Yet Another (Ysolda) Hat

Though I've knit a mountain of items since I first picked up the needles, a few finished objects stand out above of the rest for their beauty and wearability. One of them is my Veyla mitts (which were tragically lost and then reknit) and another is a Gretel hat that I made for a friend. Gretel has now followed in the footsteps of the Veylas and has been reknit, this time for myself.

The Gretel I made for myself is almost identical to the one I made for my friend. The yarn is different, Brown Sheep Nature Spun Worsted instead of a yarn I bought at the farmers market, but still a close match. I don't know what it is about this grey color, but I really love it in handknits.

I realized the other day that this is the 6th Ysolda hat pattern that I have made (one, two, three, four, five), meaning that I'll have a lot of hats to choose from come wintertime. Somehow, I think that I'll be reaching for my Gretel more often than the others.

So now I have yet another hat to wear. At the rate I'm going, I'm going to be buried in a mountain of hats soon--Ysolda knit hats for the wintertime, big sunhats for the summer, and store-bought structured hats for the times in between. One hat at a time, I'm determined to bring hats back into fashion.