This is what I woke up to yesterday. Yes, I know it’s very pretty.
But winter has lost its charm for me at this point. Yes, snow is very, very pretty – for that first hour or two after it first falls. And yes, the occasional ice storm can be breathtaking with its austere beauty – if it doesn’t also leave you without power. And yes, having four seasons is charming, especially compared to having only two seasons – hot and humid, and less hot and humid. But y’all, I am not cut out for this mess. My Scotch-Irish-English blood needs some sort of foggy green glen, or lush rolling countryside, or even windy, craggy coastland.
As far as I’m concerned, when winter has gone on this long, there is only one good thing about it left: accoutrements.
pattern: Natty (Ravelry link) by Wendy Bernard
yarn: Malabrigo Chunky, in Polar Morn, roughly 3/4 skein
needles: KP Options and Addi Turbos, size 9 for ribbing and size 11 for the rest
[I don’t own size 11 dpns, so I magic-looped this when it got too small for the circular)
cast on: January 29
finished: January 31
modifications: This is written with reversible cables (you cable the purl panels as well as the knit ones). I tried that at first but I didn’t really like the puckered look of the purl sections. I also don’t really need a cap to be reversible. Since the cap as written was too short for my enormous noggin, I had to rip and re-do anyway. So when I started over, I knit it without the reversible cables. In extending the hat, I also ended up throwing in an extra cable at the end. That was unintentional, but I decided to keep it.
notes: I LOVE this hat. This is the first hat I have knit for myself. Until I moved to Michigan, hats were foreign to me (except for the wide-brimmed, Sunday dress variety which I did in fact wear one Easter when I was a teenager). For my first seven winters here, I wore one of two store-bought cloche-type hats. I like them quite a bit, but there is a problem – they do not cover the ears. I’ve gotten to the point where I am tired of cold ears, especially when I have playground duty at my sons’ preschool. So I figured it was high time I knit myself a hat. You wouldn’t believe how many patterns I studied and considered before finally settling on this one. There are so many beautiful hat patterns out there! So many I still want to try. This one is stretchy enough to accomodate all my big hair, and long enough to cover my ears. Plus, I love me some cables, especially some big fat ones. Also, Malabrigo Chunky? I love it even more than the original worsted variety. And that is saying a lot. I am still not used to the flat hair I get from wearing this hat more than a few minutes, but other than that, I am pretty thrilled with it.
yarn: Malabrigo Chunky, Polar Morn, leftovers, plus Malabrigo Worsted, Polar Morn, doubled, roughly half a skein
needles: KP Options, size 11
cast on: February 13
bound off: February 15
notes: I didn’t have the time or inclination to make a whole scarf. I got a beautiful new charcoal grey boiled wool coat for Christmas (not the one in the pictures here) that had a neckline that wouldn’t easily accomodate a scarf without looking bulky. So I thought a neckwarmer was in order. Since I loved the chunky cables of my Natty hat so much, I decided to echo those in the neckwarmer. After some experimentation, I got it right, and just knit in a tube till I ran out of yarn. I had to use the rest of my Malabrigo worsted in Polar Morn, doubled, to have enough, and the shade is definitely different, but not enough to bother me. In the end, I was ridiculously happy with the result.
pattern: Super Mittens (Ravelry link), Weekend Knitting
yarn: Malabrigo Chunky, in Polar Morn, about 3/4 skein
needles: size 9 dpns
cast on: February 10
bound off: February 11
modifications: none, except using a smaller needle size (because that’s what I had and I didn’t mind a tighter gauge) [unintentional modification: made second mitten slightly shorter than first]
notes: I have been wanting my own pair of mittens for awhile now. I haven’t worn mittens since I was a child, thinking gloves more practical. I wore my gloves during the first snowfall this season, while I played outside with the boys. I thought my hands were going to fall off, they were so cold and wet after just a little bit of handling of snow. Turns out my gloves are acrylic! I realized that wool mittens would be much more practical for snow play. These fit the bill, and went beyond expectations. A super simple, super QUICK knit – finished first mitten the night I started it, finished the second one the next morning. And they are unbelievably warm. And soft!!
Yup, I love me some accoutrements.