Here is my massive report on all the knitting I did on my blogging vacation. The first day I almost managed to finish two projects (one of which I can't show you) but I was held back from that feat because of the bind off. The second project was a hat and scarf combined and it took fooorrrreeever to bind off. I am pretty pleased at how it turned out though since I did a lot of tweaking to the pattern.
With out further ado the much altered Toasty Topper.
When the pattern stated that "one size will fit an infant, toddler or small child." I believed them. What I failed to take into account was that the children of two parents with large heads will have large heads themselves (Harry is in the 90th percentile for head circumference). The hat when knit as written with the exact same yarn that was used by the pattern (which I oddly enough had picked out to use for a hat for Harry before I even found this pattern) was much too small for my large noggined progeny.
I altered the pattern by using only one strand of yarn, used smaller needles (for a tighter fabric as this will go under hoods), did more crown increases, bound off an entirely different number of stitches and added a ton more for the scarf part of the hat. I think I bound off too many stitches since you can see Evan's ears peeking out. I may knit an extension on to that part of the hat so that the ears get better coverage. Over all I am pretty pleased with the hat when I take into account that it was only loosely based on a pattern and mostly it came from my large brain (a big head means a bigger brain.. right?)
That bottom stripe was supposed to look less subtle. I tried to do a slip stitch rib, but it did not stand out as much as I would have liked.
Saturday I did a lot of yarn dyeing. I found a great article that had several ways to get variegated yarn when using food coloring to dye with. I am practicing my techniques for some socks that my mom wants me to knit for her. I am very happy with how my yarn turned out. I used the hot pour method and it was super easy. I ended up with a lot fewer white spots than the author of the article, I think in part because I have a wider and shallower crock pot. That let the dye to get to more of the yarn.
My first batch I used more orange Kool-aid and less yellow. The colors seem a bit more pastel than the second skein.
I like the colors of the second skein better. They seemed to saturate better. I used more yellow and cut back on the orange. I know it is hard to tell the subtle differences from my pictures due to my sucky camera, but trust me they are there.
I had been planning on trying the cold pour method where you pour the dye directly on to the yarn, but I chickened out due to the mess factor. I will give it a try when I can be sure that my kids will not be around to "help" me. I shudder to think of what this would do to my carpets if I spilled some of the dye.
I also managed to make good starts on two different socks, one to start a pair and one to finish a pair. No pictures again because the recipients are readers of this blog.
Now it is contest time!!! If you would like to win one of these skeins of yarn just leave a comment. Stealing from the book Emma you will have to tell me three dull things or two moderately amusing things or one very amusing thing. I will pick two winners (you have a week to enter) and if you are not a knitter, I may be able to be convinced to knit it up into something simple.... if you twist my arm hard enough and don't expect it to be a rush job. Good luck!