Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Vacation wrap-up

After thirteen blissful nights off, I loathe the thought of staying up all night tonight (and tomorrow... and the next night). My attempts to avoid premature-onset bad mood have failed thusfar. On the bright side, we made an admirable start to the new year-- catching up with friends, going for snowy walks, reading aloud to each other, and working on our respective projects. My new healthy recipe for the week-- Unfussy Apple Cake from 101cookbooks-- was well-received:


It was very hearty, only mildly sweet-- next time I will add more chopped apples-- and definitely healthy... before we doused it in cream. Light cream, but still.

I'm off to a fast start on my January hat line-up. Hat #6 is finished, and I am nearly done with the striped stocking cap prototype:

My hasty progress has hit a bit of a speed bump in the form of hat #7. I knew this one was going to take longer because a) I had to teach myself double knitting and b) double knitting means, somewhat predictably, twice the number of stitches. What I didn't anticipate: having to drastically rethink my whole concept of gauge.

For reference, this is a 24" circular needle-- and the hat is approximately eight miles in diameter.

The ball band helpfully suggests a gauge of 6 stitches/inch on a size 3-4 needle... and (wait for it) I'm knitting 5 stitches/inch on a size 1. I fear I have fallen down some kind of rabbit hole.


I also spent a fair amount of time figuring out how to cast on. I kept telling myself there must be a way to adapt a tubular cast-on for double knitting. As it so often turns out, there is-- this is the Italian cast-on done in two colors, and it's fiendishly fiddly. For that reason, I'm not particularly looking forward to starting over. Additionally, the Voice of Reason-- which I do hear occasionally-- is urging me to take a nap this afternoon.

I hope to be sleeping when you (I hope!) are reading this-- tomorrow. I look forward to seeing what everyone else is up to... when I wake up!

11 comments:

  1. I'd never heard of Italian cast on, so I went to look it up. What a clever idea. I will put it in my mental "to use" list. Thanks for telling us about it.

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  2. i loooooove 101 cookbooks. also, i tagged you in my post this AM =D

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  3. The apple cake nearly distracted me from commenting on your hat. I have no advice on double knitting as i haven't tried it (yet) but I admire you for choosing a project where there are so many interesting things to learn.

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  4. That cast-on looks so pretty to me, I love the little interlocking V's---sorry it's fiddly, though, and I hope the starting-over isn't as bad as it seems.

    (And thank you for introducing me to 101 Cookbooks, which I'm currently drooling over...so many recipes.)

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  5. That cake looks delicious! I'm impressed with your ability to pick up new skills! I have yet to try double knitting, maybe your new hat will inspire me to give it a go.

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  6. You pick the most interesting hats to knit. I love that you are so fearless in your choices, too! I have tried that cast-on and agree that it requires quite a bit of concentration. Can't wait to see your progress on this one. You were mentioned on the knitbot website, btw.

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  7. Double knitting is on my "to do" list for the year. I can't wait to see how this hat turns out.

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  8. Ooo, double knitting. It sounds so hard and you're doing a great job! I can't wait to see it finished!

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  9. 101 Cookbooks is one of my favorite places to find recipes. That cake is on my list!

    I must try double knitting this year. Can't wait to see more progress on the hat. The rusty orange and grey look really lovely together.

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  10. @autumngeisha-- Yes, I was blushing from ear to ear when I saw that!

    Thanks everyone for reading! With any luck I will have more than an inch of this hat to show off next week.

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  11. Will have to look up - Double knitting and italian cast on. I have to say I love the color combinations in all your projects that I've seen.

    And that apple cake looks delicious!

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