Today I am unearthing my desk and found notes on a few small projects that never made it into the blog or up on Flickr or onto my notecards, or anywhere besides Ravelry, really. Thankfully, inputting a project into Ravelry requires just a couple of mouse clicks and I can have all the information there as a placeholder until I get around to washing, blocking, photographing, recording yarn and needle and pattern info, etc. While this is the post about all the small things, it makes for a big post.

First up, a hat for a good friend who is, I am sorry to say, undergoing chemotherapy. Mr. MmmYarn helped me pick out the yarn back on May 10 and his bald head gave it two thumbs up:


Pattern: Shedir by Jenna Wilson, as published in Knitty, Fall 2004
Yarn: 1 skein Malabrigo Silky Merino; 51% silk, 49% merino wool; color 420 (light hyacinth)
Needles: size 3
Size: adult small
Started 6/30 and finished 7/3/2009
Alterations to pattern: finished on 8 stitches instead of 4. The 4 on top made it too pointy.

I hope it serves her well if she needs it. The 8 points on the top came together very nicely:


Next up are baby booties made with the leftover orange and yellow yarn I used in the little sweater I finished in March:



Pattern: own, based on an old stay-on bootie pattern
Yarn: Wolle Roedel Baby-Merino, 100% superwash wool, color 13075 (orange) and 13065 (yellow)
Needles: size 2
Size: newborn to 6 or 9 months
Orange booties started 6/19 and finished 7/4/2009
Yellow booties started 7/18 and finished 7/20/2009

There’s not too much to say about the booties. You have seen their siblings here before. They’re quick and easy and I have my pattern memorized, so when I was finally able to knit again in late June they were the perfect project.

At Stitches West back in 2006 I hopped on the Charlotte’s Web bandwagon and bought 5 skeins of Koigu KPPPM and worked up a Charlotte’s Web:


Yeah, pretty awful, right? The extreme variegation of the yarn obscured the lace pattern entirely. I unraveled CW and set the yarn aside for a while. Inspiration struck in early May and used up 3 whole skeins but it took me a while to be able to pick up this scarf again and finish it:


Pattern: own
Stitch pattern: Sailor’s Rib as published in Barbara Walker’s A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns
Yarn: Koigu KPPPM, 100% merino wool, 1 skein each of colors P508, P137, and P431
Needles: size 5
Size: 5.25″ wide x 65″ long
Started in May and finished 8/6/2009


I cast on 43 stitches, which allowed for a 1-stitch garter stitch selvedge on each side, then worked in Sailor’s Rib, changing skeins every 4th round (of course I carried the unused colors up the side; no monumental weaving in of ends for me!) until I ran out of yarn. Perfect.

I was bitten by the crochet bug after looking sadly at my poor, burned potholders I made probably 15 years ago. They have held up well but needed to be replaced so I whipped these up with some mystery yarn Mr. MmmYarn’s uncle sent me last Christmas. Two movies and they were done:


Pattern: own
Stitch pattern: single crochet worked in the round to make these double-thick
Yarn: not a clue
Size: a little bigger than my hands
Started 8/22 and finished 8/24/2009

The pattern is essentially the only thing I know how to crochet besides a straight back-and-forth to make something like an afghan. My American grandmother taught me to crochet when I was probably 8 or 9 years old and she launched me on potholders. You make a chain a little longer than you want your potholder to be, then work single crochet around and around (forming what she called the “canoe”) until it meets in the middle. Usually I sewed them shut but this time I got smart and crocheted the seam by picking up the outer half of each stitch and crocheting it together with its neighbor on the other side of the canoe. I like this seam far better than the sewn seam.

I did try to solve the yarn mystery. I did the burn test: the yarn self-extinguished when I pulled the match away but burned into a hard black solid that did not smell of chemicals. The yarn feels synthetic and also kind of greasy, like a wool with lots of lanolin would feel. And the potholders sank like a stone when I put them in water. All in all, the clues don’t add up to anything I can decipher. They work well in the kitchen and that’s all that really matters. I crocheted up a small swatch to throw in with my next load of laundry so I can test whether this stuff is machine washable. If it is, score one for me.

Do you ever look back fondly on how big your yarn stash used to be? Mine used to fit in the container I now use for my few winter clothes. Then it fit into the under-the-bed bin. Now it dominates my closet and the under-the-bed bin holds just my scraps. Unfortunately, that bin is now so full that the bed frame itself holds the lid shut and whenever I pull the bin out, the lid pops up festively. Clearly, some scrap busting is in order. Behold, a hat made with scraps:


Pattern: own
Yarn: Manos del Uruguay, color H (brown) and 106 (rose/purple/tan variegated)
Needles: size 5
Size: adult average
Started 8/19 and finished 8/25/2009

I worked 2 rounds of brown followed by 1 round of variegated but the colors blend so nicely that it looks like I used one yarn. I used a 4-point decrease on 8 stitches:


This hat barely made a dent in the scrap bin but it’s a start. Don’t tell anyone, but I also bought a little yarn this week. I indulged in 5 skeins of KnitPicks sock yarn in neutral colors that I can use to hold together with my thinner scraps for more hats and thereby reduce the scrap bin some more.

And that, readers, is all the small things for today. I hope you’re out enjoying your long weekend.