Archive for October 2010

Once, twice, three times a beanie (aka Goldilocks and the three beanies)

A little while ago, I decided to knit a beanie as a gift for a friend. I had a hat’s worth of yarn in stash in a colour that suits her very well, so it seemed that fate had intervened and the project was obviously meant to be.

Initially I cast on for Porom. The twists looked a bit puffy, but mostly it looked good. That is, until I finished it and blocked it. What was once a nicely-sized slouchy beanie had turned into a perfectly good shopping bag, without handles.

Slightly disillusioned but as stubborn as ever, I ripped it back and reused the yarn in an Icing Swirl Hat. It soon became apparent that it was far too small. So again I ripped the hat back, and soaked the kinks out of yarn. The yarn was starting to lose its structural integrity by this stage, and my disillusionment was starting to grow. As was my stubbornness, for that matter.

I don’t have photographic evidence of either of those mishaps, which is quite fortunate as it means I’ll most likely remember that yarn as this beanie:


Anna Karenina by Veruschka Babuschka
Not very much Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxury 8ply, Cream
2.75mm and 3.25mm needles
Start: August 2010
Finish: August 2010
Modifications: different yarn
Ravelryed: here

The pattern hadn’t been long published when I knit this beanie up. It was a nice easy knit, with just enough variation to make it interesting. Having two beanie failures ended up being a blessing in disguise — of the three patterns, I think this one turned out the best and I’m really pleased with it.

Anna close up

This isn’t the first time I’ve used Luxury, but I must admit I’m a bit frustrated with it. While it’s a lovely soft yarn and comes in quite a few nice colours, it drops quite a lot after its first watch (see Porom). Sadly, I don’t think this is an uncommon problem. I had been planning to make a few bigger things using Luxury 4ply, but I am now a bit Luxury-shy.

Who would have thought all of this was down to not swatching? I tend to swatch for larger garments, but take for granted that for something relatively small, like a hat, would be ok without a test swatch. I have learnt my lesson.

Colouring with thread

It was lovely to read everyone’s comments about my Derwents, it’s nice to know that their popularity wasn’t confined to just my primary and high schools.

The Derwents were used to plan out my latest graphic design assignment: an A3 poster based on a song lyric of my choosing. I’m fairly inept at both drawing and using image editors so I had to be a bit creative in how I produced the poster. Luckily, I recently came across a lovely cross stitch blog, and had been thinking about doing some cross stitch. So, it was decided that cross stitch would be a good way to avoid drawing and image editing software.

Armed with grid paper, coloured pencils and youthful enthusiasm, I put together a pattern based on a cross stitch border found on etsy, vintage transfers found on Flickr and a particularly uplifting lyric from Morrissey. A week and a half later and with slightly less youthful enthusiasm, I had cross stitched this:

poster full

To save my sanity somewhat, the cross stitch is around A4 size, half the required size. Through the magic of scanners, I then made it A3. Although some of the texture is lost through scanning, it works surprisingly well as a paper poster. I won’t bother posting the scanned version of it, as it more or less looks the same as the photo.

For those playing at home, the lyric is from How Soon Is Now? by The Smiths. My Dad seemed a bit dismayed when he saw the cross stitch today; I’m not sure he understood why I went to all the effort of cross stitching something so depressing. To me, that’s the point of it — dainty is often associated with pretty or positive things, when it doesn’t necessarily need to be that way.

Prior to this assignment, I had only attempted cross stitch once when I was ten. My auntie helped me to make a couple of book marks for my parents which I think worked out ok, if not a little wonky. There’s still a fair bit of wonk to this piece, but I don’t think it would be as good if it was perfect.

poster border

Irrespective of the mark I get for the assignment, I’m really proud of this work. It’s not often I look at things I’ve made with a sense of pride. I’m often happy or satisfied with a knitting project or other non-crafty pieces of work, but pride is just that step further. The trick will now be to make sure I keep doing things that I feel proud about.