Belated FO Post: Spectator Grand hat!

Monday, August 28th, 2006
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Spectator Grand: Done!

Spectator Grand, finished Saturday, July 29th, 2006 (I’m a little late in posting this!)
Pattern: Spectator Grand, by Annie Modesitt
Yarn: Freedom Cotton DK by Twilleys of Stamford, Shade 08.
Needles: 3.75mm metal circulars
Dimensions: Wide brim, 21″ hat band, which was a bit small. The measurements were taken from the inside of another hat that fit well, and I think an inch or so was cut off because it wasn’t done directly around the head. The band measurement should really have been 22-23″ instead of 21.
Would I knit it again? I would, but I would use the base design and implement my own stitch pattern. I’d also use a different type of wire, because this wire loved kinks.

Pattern Notes:

I knit this for my aunt, just in time for the garden party she throws every year. She’s a member of the red hat society, which is why this hat is yet another red project. It turned out really well, and she got lots of compliments about it :) Matter of fact, one of the people at the party was a milliner and even she said she really liked it! She was wearing a hat that she had made herself that was 100,000,000 times better, made with all sorts of fantastic fashion-sounding components and apparently certain products that have to be used in well-ventilated areas. So she said she had plenty fun making it in a badly-ventilated area. Altered states improve creativity? I’ll buy that.

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I have suffered at least 20 mosquito bites this weekend. West Nile, this is Eve. Eve, meet West Nile.

Monday, July 31st, 2006
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My dearies, I am back! I went off this weekend to Sudbury to attend our family’s posh annual garden party at my aunt Liz and uncle Gord’s. I took along the beau for the first time, so he met lots of relatives and they all made jokes about checking his teeth and ankles to make sure he was healthy and giving him the third degree. I gave my beautiful finished Spectator Grand hat to my aunt Liz, and she loved it! I played croquet with the beau and I beat him (HA!) even though he knocked my ball away twice when I was ahead of him. Then there was lots of drinking and carousing and eating and more carousing. I went to bed a very tired knitter.

The next morning I broke into aunt Liz’s giant, 30-year-old craft magazine store, and she let me take a few home! I picked the two that had cute animals on the cover, and another one with a pattern in it that looked very similar to Knit and Tonic‘s Somewhat Cowl (but a bit more brash, because it was 1972 after all). Then we climbed up into the forest behind Liz and Gord’s and picked blueberries, and fortunately we weren’t attacked by any bears or moose or combinations thereof. We had to disappear after that so I didn’t get Liz to teach me how to spin, but she promised that next time we’re up she’ll take out the wheel and I can play with fibre. Yay!

I have much more to tell you, my dearies, but I have to go shopping now with my mum and buy fantastic clothes and furniture and imported asian stationery curiosities. Tomorrow I shall be providing you all with fantastic pictures of my knitting progress, because what else are you going to do on two eight hour car trips?

Thinking Ahead

Monday, July 24th, 2006
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I’ve got to finish my Spectator Grand hat by Friday, so I’ll have to operate like a well-oiled knitting machine in order to fully complete it. I’ve got all the knitting done, but I have yet to properly finish it. Here’s everything I have to do before Friday:

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Amazing Lace Challenge #4: Patrick Swayze ain’t got nuthin’ on my hat

Sunday, July 16th, 2006
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This is for the Amazing Lace Challenge #4: If you bound off your lace RIGHT NOW – what could it be used for?

You see, I just bound off my lace yesterday, so if I bound off what was currently on my needles… it would be used for… A GHoOOO0OOOoOOoST! OoooOOOOooo0oooooh!

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Cast Off in T minus 10… 9… 8… 7… 6…

Friday, July 14th, 2006
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My paper is three paragraphs away from being completely finished. Sadly, these paragraphs include the introduction, conclusion, and a really boring bit in the middle. Still, I truck on. I shall be finished tomorrow morning, at which point I will allow myself to knit the last few rows of my Spectator Grand!

Those last few rows will be in cotton. I’ve decided to disregard the instructions to knit the last few rows of the hat in ribbon, as ribbon is highly expensive and I can’t find more than nine yards in any colour. The pattern calls for 50. I’m not willing to go “the whole nine yards” (hyuk!) so I’m going to use the minimum amount of ribbon possible and use it only for trim and the hat band. Unless it’s outrageously necessary (I’ll be emailing Annie Modesitt with questions to that effect tomorrow morning), I’ll also be foregoing the outrageous twisting that multiplies the required length of hatband ribbon six-fold. I love my aunt, but I also love not paying $60 for 50 yards of polyester.

Spectator Grand Progress: The brim is done!

Sunday, June 25th, 2006
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Spectator Grand: Brim is done!

I’m surprised how well this hat is doing! It’s only June 25th and I’m more than halfway done. Considering it’s only been around 2 weeks since I started this project, I should be finished before my July 29th deadline. Fingers crossed.

I really love how logical this pattern is. After 15 rows or so, I ended up tossing my stitch markers because they were just getting in the way and I did wonderfully without them. 88% of the time I wasn’t looking at the charts, just going with the flow. Can a knitting pattern have rhythm? If so, this hat would win first prize in some sort of jazz competition. It would be best friends with Duke Ellington.

No film noire tonight :(

Tuesday, June 20th, 2006
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I was planning to write another installment of my little story tonight, but I started knittin’ on my lace and it kinda got away from me. I’ll have more time tomorrow after work, so check back then!

You can also expect a post from me about how to organize your knitting, your patterns and your life using a simple little tool on the internet. Check back soon!

EDIT, Thursday, June 22, 9:45 AM: I apologize for being a deadbeat blogger. I ended up watching Cars last night and then an episode of The Corporation was on TVO. They were both fantastic!

Lace is nothing to be afraid of

Saturday, June 17th, 2006
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I guess that should be “of which to be afraid” or something but really, that’s stupid.

I really should be knitting because I’m on a roll and making good time, but I’m just so excited I had to share! If I weren’t a grammar fiend, I would use multiple exclamation marks!

Spectator Grand: In Progress!

Oh my goodness, this is so embarrassing

Friday, June 16th, 2006
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I’ve tried so hard every day to start this Spectator Grand, but there’s always been something to get in my way, I’ve lost needles, found them again, gotten vastly improper gauges, lost stitch markers, switched yarns, changed needles again, forgotten waste yarn for a provisional cast on at home, lost needles again, etc etc etc. And now I’ve attempted it finally with 3mm needles (but without stitch markers). And now I’m only on my third row and already I’ve dropped a stitch. I don’t know where!

It’s times like this when I turn to the knit blogger community for comfort. Fortunately, there’s always someone out there who’s having a vaguely similar experience. I will not let this lace break me. I know where the problem is, I just have to walk through and correct it. I REFUSE TO FROG! Much.

Amazing Faceplant

Monday, June 5th, 2006
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I just went to the Amazing Lace home base, and apparently comments are closed because the entries were due on the 4th of June, not the 5th of June as I thought. I feel like a big hunk of baloney, without the benefit of being America’s favourite meat.

I certainly didn’t mean that the way you’re thinking.

I still want to post an introduction, so hopefully at least some people will get to know me. I will come up with a name for my team and a witty team bio tomorrow during lunch, because right now I’m BEAT and lunch will provide me the energy I need to romance the blogosphere. I have a feeling lunch is going to be delicious, as I have prepared a salad composed of romaine lettuce, tomatoes, mushrooms and havarti. There is also a pear and an orange and some carrots. The jury is out on which dressing I will bring, but there are rumours it will be balsamic.