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!


  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.

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

  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.

  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 many recipes.)

  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.

  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.

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

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

  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.

  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.

  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!