Heeeere’s 2010. Last night I knitted, drank my kir royale, and watched some movies. One was “Blades of Glory,” the goofy ice-skating film. I noticed something I haven’t seen before: the censors are permitting a raised middle finger to be included on TV. What this says about the evolution of our society’s standards I don’t know. I found it odd.

Last night’s knitting was re-visiting an old WIP. I’ll give you the same old photo since the new knitting looks pretty much the same. Slightly narrower now, but still black seed stitch:

Bag_2008Sep5_SmallOrigami_WIP

Today I caught up with reading my feeds in Bloglines and saw lots of folks are writing year-end or decade-end retrospectives. Instead of looking back, I give you my new year which starts out with a new-to-me bread recipe:

2010_01_01_CheddarBeerBread

This is a cheddar-beer loaf as presented by Alton Brown on the “Fermentation Nation” episode of “Good Eats.” And it is very good eats, indeed:

2010_01_01_CheddarBeerBread_detail

I added the sunflower seeds because I had them, not because I was, as Alton put it, “feeling especially hippie.” Although “hippy” might be a more apt term: between the cheese, the beer, and then the sunflower seeds, this is probably not the best bread for anyone with weight loss as a personal goal.

Apologies for the over-flashed bread photos. One of my goals for my nearly 2 weeks off was to learn to use Mr. MmmYarn’s SLR camera because it can be adjusted for light settings and you get far better low-light photos with it than with the little point and shoot. I got it out, found its manual, did some learning. Then I went to take test shots and found it is without its battery. I also can’t find the charger which means the two of them are hiding somewhere together in here. Considering Mr. MmmYarn was always more neat than I am, this surprises me. Yet, here we are.

So… I am completely stuck on that project until I find all the needed hardware. This meant more knitting time. In my last post I promised you hats, and boy, can I deliver. For this we need to go back to 2009 for a while.

This first one is made with leftovers from a pair of socks I made for my mom:

HatAdult_2009_12_20_AustermannStep_yellow

Pattern: own
Yarn: Austermann Step, 75% superwash wool, 25% nylon, color 01; held together with Wolle Rödel Baby-Merino, 100% superwash wool, color 13065 (yellow)
Needles: US size 4
Size: adult
Started 12/15 and finished 12/20/2009

This next one made me hungry for chocolate and marshmallows the whole time I was making it, so I have named it the S’Mores Hat. I held a strand of JaggerSpun Cotton-Wool in brown and white throughout and used the brown and white yarns for the stripes.

HatAdult_2009_12_24_Smores

Pattern: own (3×3 spiral rib)
Main Yarn: JaggerSpun Cotton-Wool 3/10, 55% cotton, 45% wool, color Brindle
Stripes Yarns: Madil Loden, 50% wool, 25% alpaca, 25% viscose, color 589 (darker brown) and color 588 (lighter brown); Brown Sheep Nature Spun, 100% wool, color 740S (Snow)
Needles: US size 4
Size: adult
Started 12/20 and finished 12/23/2009

One of the ladies in my knitting group volunteers at a local hospital, running a knitting circle there for… uh, complete brain failure here… I think for patients and staff although it might be only for patients. Anyway, that hospital accepts donations of hats for chemo patients. Since family members are not clamoring for gift hats, and I can only sell hats I make from my own patterns, and there are tons of really cool published patterns out there that I want to try, I plan to make some hats for donation this year. I am still knitting from my stash so the first 3 are what I pulled from the stash this past week.

First up, a lovely slouchy beret, modeled by a dinner plate. I felt a little silly carrying a dinner plate down the block to the cafe with the metal tables:

Hat_2009_12_29_Ishbel_Beret_top

Hat_2009_12_29_Ishbel_Beret_underside

Pattern: Ishbel Beret by Ysolda Teague, as published in Whimsical Little Knits
Yarn: JaggerSpun Zephyr Wool-Silk 2/18, 50% merino wool, 50% Tussah silk, color: Peacock, held doubled
Needles: US size 2 and 4
Size: adult
Started 12/28 and finished 12/29/2009

Hat_2009_12_29_Ishbel_Beret_side

Back in 2007 I made two soft, green chemo caps for a relative of Mr. MmmYarn’s who needed them. I had yarn left over so I made two more, pretty much identical twins to the first two:

HatAdult_2009_12_31_ChinchillaChemoCaps

Pattern: Knit Chemo Cap by Berroco Design Team
Yarn: Berroco Chinchilla, 100% rayon, color 5567 (olive green) and color 5571 (light sage green)
Needles: US size 9
Size: adult
Modifications: Used a k2p2 rib instead of k1p1 as the pattern indicated because I like the look of my k2p2 better than the usually sloppy look of my k1p1. Not that you could really tell with this yarn.

Chinchilla is not for the faint of heart: you lose one stitch and it’s really really lost. Not to mention the difficulty in keeping track of where the decreases are, although the yarn’s fuzziness certainly hides any fudging there. I hear these hats are big hit with chemo patients for indoor wear. The rayon doesn’t block the wind at all so they’re not too suitable for keeping warm outdoors.

I make most hats bottom up because my bind off usually leaves a lot to be desired: messy-looking and too tight. Since any attempts at neatness are obscured in these hats, I was able to use a sewn bind off that I find works great with Chinchilla.

And just because hats weren’t enough to keep me busy, I turned out two more pairs of potholders:

Potholders_2009_12_27_brown_crocheted

Pattern: own
Stitch Pattern: single crochet
Yarn: mystery yarn, assumed 100% acrylic. Definitely bulky.
Hook: size I
Started 12/25 and finished 12/27/2009

Today begins a new year. I made bread, cleaned the apartment, and went for a medium-length but brisk walk before the rain started up. I read half a book, watched cartoons made before I was born (Looney Tunes and The Pink Panther) while knitting, printed out my 2010 Hooters calendar (what? what were you expecting? — really, it’s OK to click that link) and looked out the window at the gentle rainfall. It’s a good start.

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