Instant Gratification Knitting

Sometimes I like to knit long and involved projects, like sweaters and lace shawls.  I like to watch the fabric grow and the garment take shape. Pieces that involve lots and lots of stockinette stitch can have a meditative quality to them. In the colder months, they are comforting and cozy to knit. And a project knit over a weeks, or even months, provides a nice feeling of accomplishment when I’ve finished.

But other times I need some instant gratification. I want results NOW! And smaller projects are always easier to pack along to the kids activities, doctors offices, or anywhere else I’m stuck waiting awhile and it is either too noisy, or I’m just not in the mood to read. After knitting the Cormorant and Osprey, I was definitely ready for some instant gratification knitting, but I also wanted to learn something new. I found 2 patterns that filled my needs perfectly.

The first project was a Vogue pattern for a brimmed hat. I’ve had it in my binder for awhile but I always found something I wanted to knit instead. And I could never settle on a yarn. I thought it might look cute paired up with my new sweater, I even had some yarn left over so it would match perfectly, so I cast on. The new skills were: a knit casing around the base of the crown for an elastic band and 3-needle bind-off. The casing was a little awkward to work, but not too hard to figure out. The 3-needle bind-off was easy-peasy. Unfortunately, the model for the pattern looks much better in the hat than I do. This hat will probably never be seen on my head. If my daughter or my mom do not want it, it will probably go into the donate pile. It turned out nice though. I’m sure somebody will get some use out of it.

knit brimmed hat

The second project I knit was Elis – a cowl that has a unique texture featuring Indian-Cross-Stitch. I used Sublime Yarns Lustrous Extra Fine Merino, which is so soft and shimmery. I was intrigued by the cross-stitch. It was a bit awkward at first, but once I got the hang of it, it went pretty quickly. I had to be very careful to keep the tension even so my dropped stitches would all be the same length. I also had to watch that I passed the stitches over in the right order. They would sometimes get twisted, or fall off the needles, so I had to sort things out before I could forge ahead.

knit cowl

I really like how this one turned out. The cross-stitch added a unique detail to the cowl. The yarn is warm, but lightweight. It will be a nice piece for spring-time, which according to Punxsutawney Phil should be here before we know it. And I need spring to be here soon. I’m going through running withdrawal. I got out twice last week and I am itching to get back out again. We finally got snow, and lots of it. I’m going to take Chuck out for a walk in a bit to see if there is enough snow cleared for a safe run before the next snow band hits later this morning. Otherwise, I’ll be confined to indoor workouts for at least a week more. Maybe I can at least get out this week to snowboard with the kids, but this mama needs to run.

Mimosa Hat

I took a break from my sweater like I said I was going to, and knit a hat. I think I might have had a “Tigger Moment” with this hat. It was a little harder than I thought it would be. I’m sure for an experienced knitter it would be easy-peasy, but this was my first real cable project and I happened to choose one that was also mixed with lace. What I was thinking, I’m not entirely sure. I saw a hat I liked and in true Tigger fashion dove right in thinking, “Woo hoo hoo hoo, that’s what Tigger’s do best!” I finished it though, and more importantly, I learned a few things and it looks good enough to wear.

Mimosa Beanie

Mimosa Slouchy Beanie

The hat is made from a free pattern by Caron call Mimosa Slouchy Beanie. My hat didn’t turn out so slouchy though. The band was nice and stretchy, but I must have tightened up my stitches on the main part of the hat because it was very stiff and cone-like. Blocking this pattern on a salad plate helped. It relaxed the stitches in the cabling section and gave it a slouchy shape.

Mimosa Beanie

Hat blocking on salad plate

The hat is knit with Knitpicks City Tweed. I love this yarn. It’s soft and durable and affordable! I knit this hat to match a pair of glittens and an infinity scarf that I made earlier this season.

I tried to get a nice photo of all three pieces, but I'm not the most photogenic person around.

So I resorted to funny, fish-faces.

I found the glitten pattern on Ravelry. The infinity scarf I just made up as I went along. I wanted a really big, scrunchy scarf that I could burrow down into during the bitter, cold, winter months we normally get here. I cast  216 stitches onto a size 11 circular needle. Then I joined the round and knit in seed stitch until it was as wide as I wanted it. I made mine about 14 inches wide. I bound off with an elastic bind-off to keep it nice and stretchy. It wraps comfortably around my neck 3 times. Or you can wrap it around twice for a looser look.

The hat is far from perfect. I think only a few rounds have the correct number of stitches and perfectly straight cables, but the mistakes are slight and not really noticeable. The hat turned out kind of like my life right now: a little more complicated than I would like it with a few mistakes along the way, but everything is working out in the end.

Now I think I will get back to my sweater.