I first must show you my finished Laurel hat by Jared Flood. It is from his Made in Brooklyn book published by Classic Elite Yarns . The Laurel link is for the design page on Ravelry. (If you are not a member, just click on the Ravelry link and it will take you to their homepage where you can create an account.) Make sure to check the errata for this pattern. I think 5 links in one paragraph is quite enough, don't you?
(I do believe I need some lip gloss.) And the back:
I blocked it over a 10" plate. It is not as slouchy as the picture in the book but I new it wouldn't be because I have a big head. (Ahem.) It is a fabulous way to use just one skein of Berroco's Ultra Alpaca in color #6251. I don't see this color on the color card, though it seems close to the Fern colorway #6247 with my monitor. This is a fabulous workhorse of a yarn, 50% alpaca and 50% wool. It is soft, yet over 200 yards in a hank for a reasonable price, approximately $8.
I am a continental knitter (translation = loose stitches) so I have to always go down at least one needle size and lately it has been consistently 2 needles sizes to get gauge. I used a size 4. It sounds scary tight, though it really isn't since I am such a loose knitter. (another Ahem.) Since it was a hat I wanted a bit denser fabric anyway and it, surprisingly, isn't a bulletproof fabric.
The errors in the pattern did irritate me. Though I sure see how they happen and do want to show some amount of grace, as a designer, I have many test knitters test each of my patterns and it appears not one even tried this one. Some of the cables in the chart weren't even listed in the key. The good news is the chart is correct and that made life easy once the changes were noted. I love the pattern and it will be even easier next time since I've soldiered through once. There are other patterns I look forward to knitting from that book as well. Wild Purls has copies of the book if you are interested. I believe it was approximately $15.
Cryptic charts have not been my friends, and this one was by far the most complicated, so this hat was a good stretch for me. Thankfully, minher on Ravelry noticed the errors in the other parts of the pattern right away. I had a couple false starts and then all was well, though my brain had to be "on" the whole time, which is usually how I don't like to knit. I was surprised how satisfying of a knit it was, however, and reminded me why I love to knit hats.
On the other end of my body are my fabulous red Converse shoes:
That is another weird motion sickness picture. After I moved my jeans so you could see my socks, I just leaned down and took it. Won't do that again.
When I was in college many moons ago, I was a part of a Reader's Theatre group. It was a blast and part of the ensemble required everyone wear a different color of Converse shoes. I hadn't thought of them in ages and Wade found them in my closet. His favorite shoes in the whole world are his Converse shoes, so he was shocked and his eyes bugged out of this head when he saw them: "Mom! Why don't you ever wear these?"
I did not have a good answer. Except that I forgot they even existed.
So, out they came today with my new favorite (besides hand knitted, of course!) socks I just received from Talbots online. I had a gift card and I was afraid to lose it so I ordered a myriad of fabulous socks. I also bought the black version. Too cute! If you need a little pick-me-up that doesn't cost an arm and a leg (mind you I can spend $20 on a hank of sock yarn without thinking twice, but that is different, don't you think?) they have some super fun sock options. And you don't have to try them on and mail them back when they don't fit. Hooray for socks!
Wade got home from school today and gave me a smug smile: "Cool, Mom. You're wearing your Converses." Ahem.