What's On My Needles - 24th Dec 2015

Each Week, I'll share a quick (or sometimes not quick) snippet of what I'm currently working on, no matter how small (or rough) it is. 


This week, I've been making a bit of progress on a Boyfriend Hat - a pattern I've been eyeing on Purl Bee for some time. It's for a friend (for a trade actually! more on that later) so I've gone about it in a methodical way - swatching, measuring, etc. Let me tell you, though, it hasn't been my favourite to knit. You need to cast on 160 stitches, and I had to cast on about 8 times before getting it right. Pro tip: place stitch markers every 20 stitches to save yourself from attempting to count 160 stitches at once, only to get lost several times, and end up with 156 on one count, 161 the next - ya feel me? 

Now, of course, as I'm 6 inches into it, I find a whole slew of critiques of the pattern, from knitters whose opinions I value and trust, like Jen of Grainline Studio, amongst others. Mostly, people have found that the sizing seems off - too big. Fortunately, I cast on a size smaller than I wanted the hat to be, because my gauge is a tiny bit looser than called for, and now that I've read these critiques, I'll stop my hat a bit shorter than written in the pattern before I start the decrease rows. So far, the hat is big on me, but I have a head the size of a pea, so I'm not too concerned. What I do really like about it is the tight 1x1 rib (not to knit, because that's a pain - literally) is how dense the fabric is, and how warm it will be. Makes me feel good to know that I'm knitting up a nice warm hat for a shepherdess! 


Other than the hat I've been working on, I've been doing some non-knitting fibre related things. This year, as gifts for the holidays, I wanted to make things that would be simple, cost-effective, natural, and most importantly, useful for my friends and family. After being gifted some madder root dyed linen by a lovely friend and talented maker living in Perth, and learning about the properties of lavender as a moth repellent, I had a lightbulb moment. So, I set about making some of these sachets, which are simple to make, and have a number of uses - including keeping your clothes smelling fresh, protecting your woolens from moths, or for keeping under your pillow to help you relax and sleep easily. I'm really excited to write up little instructional tags to go with these and give them as holiday gifts to friends.

What's on your needle(s) this holiday season?