Plum Not-So Perfect

Two hats within one week. Am I catching a trend in my own knitting? Am I going to have to force myself to branch out into other patterns? Not for a while. I plan on hitting the craft store over the weekend so I can pick up the yarn needed to make the three sets of Bella mittens my friends have asked for. And then I should probably start on my mom's birthday present. Plus I've been promising a friend a blanket since August and need to just deal and finish it.

Over the weekend I made the Edge of Lace hat from the Edge of Lace Hat and Cuffs pattern in 101 Designer One-Skein Wonders. I had fallen in love with it from the pictures and couldn't wait to make it. I started Friday and finished quickly. The lace section was really easy and lots of fun to do during parts of Veronica Mars and Flashpoint. However, I was disappointed because it has a rectangle top that has to be sewn in rather than the typical decrease pattern. Because of this, it took me until last night to figure out how in the world to go about finishing. I ended up sewing the two corners together on the inside for about an inch and leaving it at that. The result is ok, but not the smooth look I like in a hat. But I'm not giving it up because it's such a beautiful color (I'm actually currently wearing it at work). I went on Ravelry and looked at other people's projects using this pattern and it seems that most feel the same way and so have changed the pattern to decreases, with really nice results.

(hey look! there's my amazing Indiana Jones hat)

I'm not sure if I'll make the cuffs to go with it. Maybe next season. I've got way too many projects right now.


Snow Day Fun

I love hats. They seem like they have such personality and are just fun in general. Despite this love I never truly embraced it. I own several, but haven't worn them for more than the "It's cold outside and I don't want my ears to freeze." This is mostly because I've always worn my hair really long and didn't think the combination looked that great on me. However, I chopped most of it off back in the fall and have found hats are a pretty good look for me.

The first project I learned to knit on was a hat. Since then I've stuck to scarves and of course recently started branching out. Last Sunday I found a skein and a half of this beautiful gray alpaca and immediately pulled out the one pattern book I own: 101 Designer One-Skein Wonders. I found this great pattern for an alpaca hat called "Lacey Beanie".

I'd never used alpaca before. My mom gave me this yarn several years ago when I got into crochet. I love how soft it feels and how easy it is to work with. However, five year old alpaca evidently starts to disintegrate when you don't use it. That was a major pain, but it worked. The hat is a little itchy, but I love wearing it and I don't have to take it off when I go inside.

This was also the first time I tried a lace pattern, and, like most of the new things I've tried, it was a lot easier than I thought. The key is knowing what all the abbreviations are, because every designer has a different set. Also, make sure that when you yarn over that when you knit the next row you still get that gap in the piece. I had to rip out an entire set and start over because I had yarn(ed?) over in the wrong direction.

Overall, I like this pattern. It's knit on straight needles, so it has to be seamed up at the end, and you have to be careful that your stitches don't fall off. It was kind of boring, but a snow day was a great time to finish it up (Yes, we had a snow day in college. Only one I've ever had).


Nothing Will Be The Same

So I used to believe in monogamy. I would start a project and not work on another until I had finished. Then a few months ago I got tired of that and cast on about three projects. It was so much fun to go from project to project, as soon as I got bored with one I'd move to a different one without a care in the world. But at the same time it was sad to not actually finish anything.

Well, a few days ago I had my faith in monogamy restored. I cast on a new project (Thursday) that I couldn't wait to start and worked on nothing else until I was finished four days later (Sunday). What was the amazing project that gave this college girl new hope for the single-project mindset? Why the Bella mittens, of course!

For all fan girls everywhere, Twilight has been a landmark event, in both the literary and film worlds. I can't explain why we love it so much, why we debate for hours on end the merits of vampire vs werewolf vs human boyfriends, or why we all want to move to rainy Forks, WA. We just do. My sister and my friend Ky pushed and nagged and pestered me until I finally broke down and read the first book back in August. And then that same book read the rest of the saga that has been published (my Christmas wish was for Stephanie Myer to realize that her fan base is huge and just get over her pride and finish Midnight Sun). And then came the movie -- that we went to at midnight. And then later at 4:15 on opening day.

Anyway, I found this pattern over on Ravelry on Tuesday and immediately had to try it. When we started seeing images from the infamous van scene in the film version of Twilight Ky and I joked about those mittens becoming a fashion trend.

Well, as you can see, I participated immensely in the trend. I already learned how to cable back in December, so I knew I could handle that part, but nothing could have prepared me for learning how to use double-pointed needles. Actually, it's not as hard as it looks. (I think I had more trouble figuring out how exactly to use the stitch markers than handling the needles). I used this Youtube video and was pleasantly surprised at how easily I could make the thumbs. Most of it was common sense and I only had to rip it out once because my stitches were backwards.

The temperature here has dropped since I finished the mittens, and they have been very warm and cozy, though understandably bulky to handle. I would highly recommend this pattern for any Twilight fan or knitter who wants to try their hand at mittens. The directions were clear and the stitches were complicated enough to keep me entertained and fully addicted. Double-pointed needles don't have to kill you and at the end these are totally worth all the frustrations and sore thumbs.


I hate preliminary posts

I hate preliminary posts. They just feel so . . . I don't know, lame? Yes, this is me. This is my blog. I'm a girl, a geek, a rabid student, and oh yes, I knit.

My friend Ky and I are the hosts of the Chic Geek Podcast, a podcast about all things that are girly, geeky, or maybe even both. It follows that we are big fans of tv (yes, Fox is evil. But they still have some of the best shows). If you know geeks, you know that we spend hours on end watching tv shows or movies or playing on the internet. As much as I love doing this, after a while I get restless, which is why a few years ago I taught myself how to knit.

Two years later I am still very much an amature, having just learned a few months ago how to follow a pattern. Which brings us back around to the why of this blog. My projects are geared for either friends and family gifts, or ones that have some personal enjoyment to the pattern. The ultimate litmus test of a pattern, though, is how well I can do it while I watch my daily doses of television. If it can hold up to the intensity of T:SCC, the excitement of Smallville, the frustration of Gossip Girl, and the sustained rewatchability of Buffy, all while still holding my interest, then it is my kind of pattern. And you'll hear all about it here.

So there you have it. Faithfully Geeky, where even knitting has a geeky component.