Slouchy Problems

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I love these slouchy beanies – so much so that I knit three last week – but there are two things I just can’t seem to get right.

First, the slouch. I can’t seem to achieve the perfect droop, without them looking like a Rasta hat. I think my problem here is that I don’t know when to stop and begin the decrease! I’m so determined to knit up the entire skein of yarn that I just keep on going and going, even though I know deep inside that I’ve gone too far. I just hate to have a little bit of yarn left that it either become a waste, or sit in my yarn stash that I’m trying so hard to pare down. This is when my inner cheapo gets the best of me.

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Second issue is the decrease. I can’t seem to get the perfect tip, without looking, uum, messy. I’m doing the k2tog (knit 2 together, for the right slant) and ssk (slip, slip, stitch, for the left slant) really carefully and I don’t know what I can do differently to make it look cleaner.

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If I don’t improve, I’m going to have to start hiding them with a cutesy pom pom or something, and I don’t want that since I look at these slouchy beanies as something Samuel L. Jackson would sport. They need to look like a bad ass mother f-er.

Anyway, I’ve got more work to do on this one.

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Infinity Scarf = Infinite Possibilities

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This lace pattern will most likely go down as one of the most frequently knit patterns in my knitting history book. I don’t know how many of these scarves I’ve knit in the last few years but the surprising thing is that I’m never sick of it. It’s simple but interesting enough that it keeps me intrigued even after many repetitions.

I knit up a few more over the last weeks for the holidays (I have another green one, a black one, and a grey one that are not pictured). Some were made into an infinity scarf by binding the ends together, while the other ones (the wider ones) remained a shawl. A few went to my friends who will give them away as Christmas gifts, and the others will be gifted to my own friends.

It’s amazing how many different ways you can wear an infinity scarf and a shawl. I tried a few, but I know there are so many more.

Infinity Scarves:

scarf 1

Cascade 200 Sport in Lemon (4147)

scarf 2

Cascade 220 Sport in Cerise (7802)

scarf 3

Cascade 220 Sport in Como Blue

Shawls:

scarf 4

Cascade 220 Sport in Cerise (7802)

scarf 6

Cascade 220 Sport in Primevera (8903)

Knots of Love: Groovy Slouch

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No, no. It’s not a Rasta hat that’s on Ms. Penguin’s head. It’s a Groovy Slouch from Knots of Love!

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I found an organization called Knots of Love while looking for a charity to donate my money and time to this holiday season. This time of year always reminds me how blessed I am, and I feel the need to extend help to those in need. According to the Website, the donated caps are given, at no cost, to “men and women undergoing Chemotherapy, burn victims, brain surgery patients, head trauma patients, and individuals with Alopecia.” It also accepts blankets for babies in NICU.  In addition to the monetary contribution, I thought this will be a great opportunity to put my knitting skills to a good use.

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The Website has lots of lovely knit and crochet cap patterns we can use. I went ahead and knit up Groovy Slouch from the catalogue of patterns and I love it! It’s a real quick knit and I love its simplicity. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to donate this particular cap because I used a yarn that is not on the approved list, but once I obtain the right yarns, I’ll be knitting this up again.

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This is what the finished cap looks like. I had to get some help from the Penguin to get a good shot of the cap from the side. I used Cascade 220 yarn and it’s super warm and cozy, perfect for those chilly nights.

Just In Time for Christmas Sweater

While watching an episode of a Japanese variety show called SMAPxSMAP the other day (I’m so addicted to the segment called Bistro SMAP), I saw one of the hosts and actor/J-pop star Takuya Kimura show up wearing this simple but super cool blue cable hoodie and I said to myself that I MUST have one just like that immediately! surprised  But after failing to find something similar online, I decided to go ahead and knit my own.

I wasn’t in the mood for something too involved, so I turned to a pattern in a book, The Yarn Girls’ Guide to Beyond the Basics, for a quick and painless knit! I ditched the zipper in front (that would be too much work) and opted for a basic pullover instead.  That’s what’s so wonderful about knitting – you can create any piece of garment you desire, as long as you’re willing to spend some time on the craft.

My finished piece doesn’t completely resemble Kimutaku’s version, but I’m really happy with how it turned out.  This is the first sweater that I knit that I would actually wear.

Knitting all pieces

I used Cascade 220 yarns in turquoise for the project. They were on sale for $6.75 (regularly $9) per skein from WEBS Yarns and I only used 6, so the price for this sweater (sans labor, shipping, and taxes) was a mere $40!

Blocking

After all the pieces were complete, I blocked each piece by soaking them in water and pinning them flat on a towel. Wet yarn really makes your place smell like a herd of wet sheep just walked by.

Sewing Pieces Together:

Sewing is my least favorite part of the knitting process. I don’t mind the actual sewing but I don’t enjoy threading the yarn through a needle.  I knit a hoodie but I decided to omit it because it was becoming a major pain to sew it onto the sweater.  I’m actually happy with the decision because I like the slightly formal and womanly feel that it now has.

Posing for the Camera

And here is me, sporting my new favorite sweater!

Happy holidays, everyone! I hope you enjoy this special time of the year with your friends and family!