Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Finishing the Tomten...Again

Can't help it. Just couldn't get myself to like the Tomten jacket. The collar seemed flimsy, the inside of the i-cord bind off looked bad, the tabs for the button holes were iffy. When I fastened the Great Buttons (found in an old button old buttons) the whole thing just bugged me. I still didn't like the inside of the i-cord bind off and since it would show on the collar I needed to find a way to finish it neatly. So I trudged....truly, Trudge is the the fabric department at my local Walmart and bought some very nice matching grosgrain ribbon. I thought I stitch that inside over the top of the "seam" and it would finish it nicely.

After I left it sit for several days while finishing the Tajik hat and adding to my garden I came back to it and decided, "Yuck! Maybe I should rip it out." And so I did. The i-cord edging, button tabs, and buttons anyway. I folded the collar over to the inside and whipstitched it down. That made it a nice, sturdy, cozy stand-up collar. Then I picked up stitches along both fronts and made a button band in garter stitch. My next step is to make the button holes and sew on the buttons. Already, I am feeling like this is the Tomten that I have been meaning to make!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Tajik Hat

I finished my third hat for Tajikistan! The deadline for the donations is coming soon and my total hats made this year tops last year's by one. Next year I might crank out 5!

Physicians With Heart is connected to the American Academy of Family Physicians of which my aunt and uncle are a part. They have been making trips with this organization for nearly 10 years. My uncle the doctor is involved with the medical part of the mission and my aunt is deeply involved with the Children's Projects. Each year she lets her volunteers know where they are going, the size quilts they are going to need and any other items needed. Hats and mittens are ALWAYS in demand. This year, she requested items for teenagers, boys in particular.

The Tajikistan Airlift has gotten my mom into the quilting world and I've become enmeshed in the knitting world. I'm even blogging for heaven's sake!

Since becoming a cyber knitter, I've joined Knitlist and just the other day noticed that designer Sidna Farley recently passed away. This hat is her Basic Hemmed Hat from the book Homespun Handknit. My basic hangup with winter hats is that the wind always seems to whistle through the single thickness of the hat to find my ears. This hat met that criteria.

In looking for materials for my Tajik hats, I wanted quick, washable, warm and basic. The first 2 hats I knit up quickly using a 2 hour hat pattern and Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick. The pattern was a basic SS in the round with a circular decrease. Since the hats were more than likely going to be going to boys, I didn't think a rolled brim would be what I wanted. I knit a row and purled a row twice and then finished the hat in ss. The second hat I tried a ribbed cable cast on and knit the hat in a k1p1 rib. The decreasing was tricky but it doesn't look too bad.

The second hat I used some of my stash of Wool-Ease Worsted. I found it at a JoAnn's Fabrics for $1.47 / skein and of course I bought all of it. It will be a perfect yarn for warm and washable hats! The Sidna Farley pattern was perfect also. I got to learn and practice the invisible cast-on, learned another new technique in hemming the hat and the rest was simple and basic. I also practiced knitting without looking...a recent topic on KnitList. I'm not too good but I held a conversation today and was able to maintain eye contact reasonably well.

I like the idea that the first Sidna Farley hat I ever made was for a good cause. From reading about her in the Homespun Handknit book and from comments made on KnitList in regard to her recent passing, I think that she would approve heartily this use of her hat design.