Noro Spiral Hat – Part II

Sorry knitting people, I didn’t mean to leave you hanging with the spiral hat, but that was as far as I had gotten and I did not plan ahead.  The finish was done as it came.  So today, I can tell you what I did.  I’ll recap the beginning of the hat:

Materials:  1 skein Noro Silk Garden Lite, 2 size 3 20-inch circular needles, or one set of size 3 double points (or size to obtain gauge), a yarn needle, tape measure or ruler. 

Gauge:  5 stitches per inch. 

Cast on 103 stitches (multiple of 10 plus 3).  Join and knit 7 rows in the round.  Then begin knit 5, purl 5, and keep that pattern going around and around the hat, not breaking at the beginning of a round. 


I continued with the knit 5, purl 5 to spiral the hat to a total of 7 inches, measured with the rolled brim unrolled.  At that point, I began to count each round as beginning at the cast on tail.  I continued the alternating knits and purls, and began each decrease at the first appropriate group after the cast on tail.  Whenever your knitting requires a switch to two circulars or double points, make the switch.  These are the decrease rows:

Round 1:  (Knit 2 together, knit 3, purl 5) and continue this around

Round 2:  (Knit 4, purl 2 together, purl 3) and continue around

Round 3:  (Knit 4, purl 4) around

Round 4:  (Knit 2 together, knit 2, purl 4) continue around

Round 5:  (Knit 3, purl 2 together, purl 2) continue around

Round 6:  (Knit 3, purl 3) continue around

Round 7:  (Knit 2 together, knit 1, purl 3) continue this around

Round 8:  (Knit 2, purl 2 together, purl 1) continue this around

Round 9:  (Knit 2, purl 2) continue around

Round 10:  (Knit 2 together, knit 2, knit 2 together, knit 2) continue around

Rounds 11 & 12:  Knit all stitches

Round 13:  (Knit 3, purl 3, knit 3, purl 3) around, ending with purl 4

Round 14:  (Knit 2 together, knit 1, purl 3) around, ending with purl 4

Round 15:  (Knit 2 together, purl 3) around, ending with purl 4

Round 16:  (Knit 2 together, knit 2 together) around

Round 17:  Knit all stitches, then cut yarn to about 8 inches, place end on yarn needle, and thread through the remaining stitches twice.  Pull end of yarn through to underside of hat, weave in.  Weave in cast on tail. 


 It’s difficult to see in this view, but the top has a pretty star-shaped pattern in the middle.  My lovely model’s head is a bit small without her hair, but this will be stretched for optimum view on  normal size head.

Okay.  That’s it. 





Mango Pie and Berroco Cardigan

I should be updating the knitting still further, but first there are things on my mind.  Like mango pie.  I didn’t mention yesterday that I actually made mango pie.  It turned out to be much more mango and much less cream than the pie I had in Athens (yes, that’s Georgia).  I love it.  I took 2 cups of defrosted mango cubes and whizzed them in the food processor until they were pretty slushy.  Then I added a couple tablespoons of gel-maker (the Kosher stuff you use if you don’t want to use Knox gelatin), and 3/4 cup of soy milk (which could also be regular milk or even cream, if you want to go there), and about 1/2 cup of sugar.  After I whizzed them together, I dumped them into a frozen whole-wheat pie crust.  I baked it on 375 degrees (a made-up temperature because I was just trying, you know) for about 50 minutes.  Totally delicious.  I’m saving a couple slices because my sister is eating here tomorrow.


Tomorrow’s sister is a conundrum.  Sometimes we don’t understand each other at all.  I think it’s because she overthinks things.  I will answer any question anyone asks me with a straight answer, but she doesn’t ask me questions until she’s thought too hard.  By then, it’s like:  “Essie, do you remember what motivated you to paint pink hearts on my Valentine in 1988?” and I’m trying to act like I (a) remember and (b) give a damn.  But we’ll have fun tomorrow because we do have some common interests.  She has the best voice in the family.  I used to sit by her in church so I could hear her soprano.  She was a choir all by herself. 


When someone is coming to visit, I tend to overcompensate for my physical state and try to show how competent I am.  She told me she was coming and I immediately offered to feed her lunch.  Of course it can’t be a peanut butter sandwich, even though I have wonderful Niedlov’s artisanal raisin oatmeal bread to spread it on.  So I’ve been to the grocery store to pick up some chicken, and spent an hour at Martha’s place looking for something interesting to do with it.  It’s gonna be ginger and peaches and onion and chicken and some mixed brown/wild rice or maybe I’ll do the creamy grits like I had in Athens.  They would be great with the peaches, etc.  This is a very simple, one step recipe, so hopefully I’m not going too far out on the self-imposed limb this time.   Hmm.  Sweet peaches, then mango pie.  Will that be okay?  Maybe she’ll give up the pie and let me have her piece.  Naaaah. 


I started my front neck shaping on the red cardigan today, and I’m well on my way to the shoulder.  Obviously I’m making it to fit me.  When I’m finished, I will give specific instructions for cutting it down to Barbie size.  The front neckline will be a flattering V because I watch Stacey and Clinton on What Not to Wear and because I hate things rubbing against my trachea.  I figured this out about the mistake rib.  When you are deciding what stitch you’re on (of the knit2, purl2), look for the big central knit stitch V that sticks out-that’s where the first knit stitch (of knit2) goes.  I had fun keeping the pattern lined up properly while I decreased stitches for the V-neck.  I began when I had knitted about 13.5 inches, all mistake rib. 


Decrease rows: 

Row 1 (wrong side):  K2tog,purl2tog,*(K2,P2)  repeat from * to end of row. 

Row 2 (right side):  (K2,P2) repeat to end of row.

Row 3:  K2 tog, purl 2 tog, *(P2,K2)  repeat from * to end of row.

Row 4:  (K2, P2) repeat to end of row.

Repeat rows 1-4 a total of three times, leaving 12 fewer stitches than you began with.  Then continue knitting the pattern straight until you’ve reached the desired length to mid-shoulder.  I got so excited about this sweater after measuring and writing the above instructions that I just picked it up and started knitting, and forgot to publish the blog.  Here we go!


Knitting Update (Reluctantly)

I am torn between watching Bones and writing this post.  You see, there’s this decomposed body in a refrigerator…yeah, and the doc is reunited with her old professor and recycled lover and they’re talking science.  I love intellectual men.  I have fond memories of discussing distributed load as it applies to certain human interactions…and that’s the reason I need to be writing this post. 

I haven’t shown any proof of knitting in the past week.  I made an embarrassing list of the things on needles which actually have a chance of being finished.  Here they are, in no particular order:

  • Cotton sweater (sample) -the only one with a deadline
  • Niece’s cotton blanket (1/3 finished)
  • Bamboo scarf from Phoenix Royal Bamboo – not difficult, just needs a few hours
  • Baby sweater in lovely extra-fine hand-dyed merino
  • Noro Kureyon throw in muted browns, grays, cream
  • Red Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light mistake rib cardigan (for me!)
  • Two cashmere caps
  • Mystery socks

I stepped out on the deck, threw a towel down on the dampness, and took a few photos.  The red should be a deep cherry red.  This yarn was from my sister, for Christmas.  There’s lots of it but now that I’ve decided it’s going to be a cardigan for me, I’ll order more.  If I can’t get the same dye lot, I’ll use one in the front and one for the back and sleeves.  It is soft and lightweight.  I cast on very loosely on size 8 needles.  I began knitting it with 79 stitches (multiple of 4 minus 1), thinking I would make a lovely, drapey scarf.  I’m working it in mistake rib, which is easier than it looks:  knit 2, purl 2 across the row, ending with purl 1.  Repeat ad infinitum.  It’s going to be a boxy-shaped simple cardigan with a simple tie fastening and three-quarter sleeves.  That’s what’s in my mind right now, but it may change as I go along.  You’ll be happy to know that I finally figured out that I can insert the little dinky pictures and you can click on them to enlarge them.  Now I don’t have to put the monster photos in the text.  Be sure you enlarge the Noro for full effect. 


 berrocofrontpanel.jpg                                                      berrocofrontpaneldetail.jpg

The other piece that I photographed is the Noro Kureyon throw.  The yarn is so beautiful, with its disordered stripes and color variations, that I just cast on and started a garter stitch.  It’s on size 13 needles, 100 stitches, loosely knit.  At the end I’ll figure out what kind of border I want to make.  I’ve had the yarn for this for many months.  I stockpiled some Noro during sales, because I never tire of his beautiful hand-dyes. 

norokureyonthrow.jpg                                          norokureyonthrowdetail.jpg   

These two pieces are easy, loose knitting.  They provide rest for my hands after I work the tight sample sweater for a while.  That kind of variety also keeps me interested in all of the things I’m working.