Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Pineapple Salsa

One baby gift for daughter born to co-worker and his spouse: done.

I have a policy I'm not sure the rest of the office realizes - 1st babies get sweaters, 2nd babies get fruit caps and 3rd babies, well, get booties or really odd hats. Here we see the Pinapple hat (FiberTrends #CH-15) done in Takhi Cotton Classic on size 6, 8 and 3 needles (as recommended by the pattern ahem), left, top-down view and right, as modeled by Stanley the felted flamingo. As noted previously, I'm not used to working with cotton, not that it misbehaved, but I don't find it as friendly and forgiving as wool. Nonetheless, it worked for this particular hat. It was an interesting project, but I'm not eager to replicate it in another material merely for the sake of experiment. Not when there are felted chickens in the offing..... Maybe someday, or maybe someone else will take up the cause and report back.

Below is the stem in the process of construction. The cast off end is used to secure the internal stem structure by being stabbed ruthlessly and repeatedly through the wad of rolled up rows, thereby holding them all in place. The tricky part comes when this top-heavy construction with a flat base about the size of a quarter needs to be attached to the top of the hat. Think securing a flagpole without either digging a hole or being able to erect guy-wires. The instructions suggest using the 4 outer leaves to help secure the stem by sewing them to the top of the hat. I did that and it helps, but it still seems fragile. The leaves as a bunch are going to flop no matter what is done to them and the only thing to hope for is that it's not so overbalanced that it falls off the kid's head.

I did one thing that wasn't in the instructions but seemed to make sense. They said to press the rolled band and the bottom leaves upward. Instead I sewed the rolled band to the leaves using one of the double strands of cast on, and then used the other to tack the back of the leaves to the hat. They don't stick up as I would like, but they at least stick out rather than down.

Next immediate problem is getting scarves accomplished in time for the Knit-Out contest. I have no idea what is compelling me to do this, other than that scarves can be used in Boston this winter so why not? The moebius will be a technical show-off pure and simple, just because the example in New England is executed in the wrong material. I've done this scarf a couple times for a friend who was in a post-doc circling pattern for awhile, waiting for the right offer of a professorship, each time in the colors of whatever academic institution he was attached to at the time. The other is an experiment in how dead-simple can an idea be and still count as original. But I'm not showing now.......

I'm trying to find time to read Art & Fear. I saw this book at the MFA, but I'm trying not to buy books if I can let the Library store them for me. The BPL has one copy, for in-library use only. The Minuteman Library System has several copies throughout the system, many of which were checked out. I've been making progress in the last year or two with breaking out of my color fear (though Himself proved invaluable when choosing colors to put together for the upcoming two-color scarf). I don't know if I'm a creative person, or just a good craftsperson, but I get paralyzed in some projects from worry that they aren't going right. Sometimes that worry is justified (see prior discussion re: gauge) and other times it's just anxiety. I need to learn how to recognize one from the other.

On another topic -- Does anyone know where and when the Yarn Harlot is appearing in Worcester later on this month? I need to get Knit-Out flyers to the event but I can't find it by Google. Also, for those looking for her new book, Porter Square books have 5 copies on order, 4 of which do not have my name on them.

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