PUMPKIN hat season- again

There’s been a lot of buzz about the early appearance of pumpkin spice lattes. Not too much about pumpkin hats.

People gripe about rushing the season. It’s a short window for pumpkin hats.

Plus, as babies age and turn into toddlers with their own fashion sense, they may reject sporting a pumpkin on their head!

Spoiler Alert: These two knitted pumpkin hats are for my first cousins twice removed. (Or my first cousin’s new grandson and his big sister.)

The pattern Punkin’Head is by Tara Thomsen and is available for free on Ravelry.    

Color: Bittersweet  Yarn: Premier Yarns Everyday: Deborah Norville Collection

(Wash and dry with ease for mom)

Two years ago I knit eight of these in a week.

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Yarn: The Daily Prompt

Yarn is the Daily Prompt at WordPress. Not a photo challenge but Michelle W says  “Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.”  YARN

Spin it, weave it, hook it,

graft it, embroider, wind it in a ball.

Hoard it, stash it, collect skeins to knit.

Knit and purl mittens, ribbed pumpkins, scarves

no one in your family or list of friends

ever asked to receive.

“Mom, I think we all have enough hats. ”

Create shawls of comfort, like hugs

striped socks and hooded baby sweaters

with duck buttons or monkeys.

Think of the recipient while you repeat

the motions of each stitch.

In, around, down through and off

In, around, down through and off

In, around, down through and off-

off the needles.

Tens of thousands stitches with strands of yarn

turn into garments, stave off the chill.

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Maura’s Knitting Knotted Up the Wash

This post is dedicated to my friend V who recently spent a lot of time last week untangling a seriously tangled skein of yarn… I thought of her the whole time I persisted on the following mess.

My granddaughter Maura’s knitting got into the laundry inadvertently.

Went through the washing machine and knotted up the load.

Erika was going to cut it out but I spent time Saturday morning untangling the knotty mess. What satisfaction to detangle the twists and knots. Plain yarn is easier to untangle than fluffy yarn.

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Now where is the other needle?img_2601

Multiple Factors Affect the Size of Your Knitting

Multiple factors affect the size of your knitting.

*Knitting needle size and type of needle (wood or metal).

*The thickness and weight and number ply of the yarn you use from a lace weight to super bulky.  Best to stick to pattern guidelines and suggestions or be prepared to do some tricky math calculations. And pray.

*Your inner tension- yes- there are loose knitters and tight knitters and those in between.  Some people go UP a needle size or two and some knitters go DOWN a needle size or two to get the correct gauge.  You knit the way you knit and it isn’t easy to alter the tension.  Everyone is different. You get to know pretty soon where you fall on the gauge continuum.

*Checking gauge is crucial for successful outcomes. Once I knit a sweater for a high school bf and the woman at the yarn store ripped out the ENTIRE SWEATER in front of my eyes.   I am not kidding.

*At the beginning of a pattern you can see the requirements for yarn type, needle size and the gauge is – how many stitches per inch, how many rows per inch.

Here’s a quote from Craftsy site  (and you can click it for more info about knitting gauge adjustment)

Gauge is the number that determines how big or small your knitted project will turn out, so learning how to make adjustments to your gauge is necessary if you want to avoid ripping out your project and starting all over again.

Today after the sad task of attending a funeral together, two friends and I went to lunch on Carson Street on the South Side.

Deb brought her knitted Christmas stockings.

The smaller one was knit 32 years ago for her daughter and Deb added the little knitted skirt to the original pattern. The second one was knit this Christmas for her daughter’s new husband.  A different needle size. Ooops!

Plus, Deb noticed that the first stocking she knit was going a different direction than the one she made for her daughter’s husband. Double Ooops!

I asked if I could photograph the stockings and she agreed- as long as I didn’t put her in the pic.

Deb used a different needle size for sure. She’s already started another one.

And now she has to make the pattern in reverse so the stocking will hang the same direction.    Thanks Deb for allowing me to photograph the stockings you knit as an illustration for gauge today.  Nicely knit!

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Learning to Knit Mittens

Five hours in. Knitting a mitten.  A Baby Alpaca yarn mitten. I looked at the clock. I knew what time I turned on the TV and what time I turned it off .Time to stop knitting and get to bed.

The Weekly Photo Challenge is relax but I remember some people found learning to knit stressful. Have to get past the possibly awkward part of learning the basics before you get to the Zen. Holding the needles. Finding the right place to stick the point.

My friend Ann texted (after a volley of texts about the miserable weather and whether we really NEEDED yarn) that she’d pick me up and we’d go to Oakmont to the Yarns by Design store.  She brought a fingerless mitt and a matching cowl she’d completed and since I had the same pattern at home –Susan B. Anderson Waiting for Winter Mittens pattern– I felt inspired to knit mittens  Thanks, Ann.

Now I Thought I’d start the new effort in the morning .. but the new yarn spoke to me and I started.

Ann said they worked up faster than socks. She’s right about that!

 

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Twisp Highlights- Twisted Knitters Yarn Shop,eqpd Bags, Cinnamon Twisp Bakery

Meet Susan.  Most gracious yarn store hostess.  Every yarn store you visit has “a feel to it” and this is one welcoming shop.  See the label for the botanical dyed local yarn. Just beautiful. I bought some sock yarn weight with silk yarn with a label Three Fates.

Twisted Knitters Yarn Shop

eqpd  

Meet the founder of eqpd (say:equipped) Jonathan Baker, originally from New Hampshire, Rhode Island School of Design grad ( he even used to camp in Ossipee NH where my SIL used to live)

I bought a cool red bag.  If you look at the Twisted Knitters pic above you will see the project bags (red, white and blue) that stand open, have a place for needles, instructions and are just perfectly designed.

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Check out this apron made out of two pairs of jeans.  A loaf of dark rye sourdough hit the spot for lunch. Added some sharp cheese.  Cinnamon Twisp Bakery

McKeesport Library -Knit in Public

World Wide Knit in Public DayBetter living through stitching together!

McKeesport Library hosted a Knitting in Public event Saturday June 18th and I drove over the Monongahela River and back to attend.  I’m so glad I did. Everyone was so welcoming. It was a perfect summer day though sitting under the tree in the shade was just right.

I was invited to join the group for a picnic lunch, which was delicious and generous of them to include me.

IMG_0484Jody, visiting family in McKeesport but now living in  Gainesville FL, reads the history of World Wide Knit in Public Day telling the group  how it was started in 2005 by Danielle Landes with just 25 events and now it’s over 850 around the world.”

Jody’s daughter Ellie, going into Fifth grade, was the youngest member of the Knit in Public Event.

IMG_0485Many of the women knit hats, blankets and or shawls for Chemotherapy patients and donate them to several hospitals including Magee and Veterans.They get together throughout the year on Thursdays.

Another Ruth just started knitting but she has crocheted beautiful Butterfly shawls and blankets. Some of the women knit at the  Magee Hospital group which hosted a KIP event today, too. There were events at Mt. Lebanon Library and Steel City Fiber, too.  And if you go to the site, you will see there was KIP in the Arctic Circle, too.

IMG_0504Kim’s two color knitted hat matched both her shirt and pants!

 

Weaving by Judith G, hostessing the KIP event. The weaving is for a class she’s going to be teaching this summer.IMG_0487

Picnic Lunch- BBQ chipped ham is a Pittsburgh specialty

The library was built in 1902

Architect was William J. East and is a National Historic Landmark

 

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IMG_0521from the front- what a lawn to mow!

One of the women, Pat, mentioned she was on her way to the McKeesport Heritage Center for another event.

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The Satisfaction of Sock Knitting

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A Handknit Sock

There’s a math to it. The cast on. Count
the multiples of four.
Last year it was hats and cowls.
This year, socks.
I want to try the fish lips kiss heel.

It’s a simple thing. How a sock is knit.
You start with yarn.
Needles as slim as toothpicks.
Terms like toe and gusset and cuff.
My friend says, "it’s too much work."

There’s a rhythm in the repetition.
The making. Clockwise circles.
Some throw, some pick.
Row after row after row.
In time you get length and warmth.

There’s the calm you long for,
around and around and around.
Turn heel for a path to Zen.
You think of those you love.
The grandmother who taught you.

The wet squeezed out,
pairs hang to dry. Later fold
their softness, admire the colors,
ignore imperfections.
Find comfort, hidden in shoes.
My squishy hand knit socks.