Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Qiviut & Florida & Fifty?

You may be wondering what the heck the three words in the title have to do with each other. All in good time, dear readers. All in good time.

Hubs & I jaunted down to Florida last week in a joint vacation/celebration of our first wedding anniversary. It was quite nice and relaxing, once I felt better! I came down with a cold or something right before we left, so I had no energy. No energy to pack, no energy to go out, and no energy to try to find something project-y and small that would fit in my luggage. Suffice it to say I did not knit or crochet in Florida. I'd read about a yarn store in Palm Harbor (where we were), but either their hours and our hours didn't mesh, or I just didn't feel up to going out.

A week passed, and suddenly it was the day before we left. Knowing I'd regret it if I didn't go, Hubs bundled me into the car and I dutifully plugged the store's address into our handy-dandy GPS system, which then proceeded to not get us there several times. Certain it didn't exist anymore, I was ready to give up. Hubs called and asked where they were. (Duh.)

We eventually found the place: Uncommon Threads in Palm Harbor. (Okay, so it's not the most updated of websites, but if we'd bothered paying more attention we would have known it was behind Outback Steakhouse! Oops.) It was a cute little store that used white milk crates as shelves. I saw a lot of fun yarn there that I haven't seen too much (or at all) up here, including Malabrigo, Flat Feet (which were sooooo tempting), and qiviut.

If you're like me and don't really know what qiviut is, I provide you with this handy Wikipedia link. (Please don't tell my English profs! I know it's not a reliable source!) I'd read up on it a little but hadn't had the chance to actually touch it before. Hubs actually came and found me in the store and dragged me over to touch the sample. It doesn't feel that soft in the skein, but it softened up considerably in that swatch! Since it was our last day in Florida and I didn't have a lot of money left (nor any idea what I was going to do with it), I bought one skein of Jacques Cartier -- well, I'm not sure what it's called, but it's floating around on Ravelry as Qiviuk Majestic Blend. It's a little laceweight blend of silk, qiviuk and merino. (There are also apparently like 10,000 ways to spell qiviuk/qiviut/whatever.)


Isn't it pretty? I think I went into a coma because while I remember going to the cash register and paying for it, when I got to the car and opened the bag, I went "I got THAT color?" Heh. No idea what I'm going to do with it, but do you really need to know? Nope.

(So that explains the first two words in the title. Happy fiftieth post, blog!)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Thanks, Ann Budd & Yarn Harlot!

Hat #1 made from the Araucania Azapa is finished! (Well, except for weaving in the ends, but whatever. You can tuck them up in the hat to take pictures.) I ended up mashing up two patterns, the Basic Hat from Ann Budd's The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns and Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's No-Pattern Hat from Knitting Rules!. I used Budd for the basics of the ribbing and body, and used McPhee's "Type A" decrease strategy to create a wonderfully custom-fit hat for my colleague. Now that I have all the little details figured out, hat #2 should be a breeze to knit up.

I may also have a hard time taking this thing off my head and giving it to my pal.


Isn't it adorable! She's planning on wearing it with the ribbing down, so I had to frog back some of the body of the hat so it wouldn't be too big.

Pattern: Ann Budd's Basic Hat pattern for a 21" head circumference at a gauge of 4 st/inch, with Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's No-Pattern Hat's "Type A" decreases
Yarn: Araucania Azapa in color #819 Malted Cocoa, less than one skein
Needles: Boye interchangeable set, size US 9 for the body; Takumi Clover DPN set, size 9
Timeline: 9.29.09-10.9.09
Modifications: Obviously, the mash-up of two patterns. I did not knit the body of the hat as long as Budd suggested since the recipient will wear it in a different fashion. I didn't like how Pearl-McPhee's method left me with 14 stitches to draw together, so I did an addition K2tog row, leaving me with 7 stitches to draw together. (Not symmetrical, but it eased my mind a bit!)

Opinion: The original hat pattern I chose was for worsted-weight, but since Azapa is heavier I decided just to go with a custom-fit hat, and I'm glad I did. It's super-cute, fits well, and looks good. I'm going to have fun making a second, and I want to make one for myself!

Random Thoughts: It reminds me somewhat of a fisherman's watchcap. I think it's the ribbing! Also, it's really hard to take a picture of the top of your head.