Amanita Hat for me

For my birthday this fall, I got an awesome present from Drew — a Concertina.  That’s right — a Concertina.  So now I too can join the ranks of sailors who shanty about sea-wise.

I also got….CASH!  A great birthday present!  So what did I do?  I visited my favorite yarn website — Morehouse Merino Farms.  Their yarn is so awesome, and their patterns are unique and fun to make.  So I got two things — one which is almost done, but for which I need at least one more skein of yarn — it’s a cape, actually! — and the other, the Amanita Hat.

The Amanita Hat was designed to look like a mushroom from Wonderland.  The sample on their website was in bright red and white, making it loot EXACTLY like this:

But since I had just bought the Cape too, I thought I could color-coordinate it a little better, and got the yarn options called Henna and Sand.  While in Taos, NM for Christmas, I had ample knitting time (hooray) thanks to the heroic grandparenting done by Beth and Steve.  So the hat went fast!  One week and blam-o!

There it is!  It’s cozy and warm and I love the slight cloche feel to it.  The yarn is soft but hardy, like all the Morehouse yarn.  I think this hat will see a lot of wear, whether with my Cape or with my Coat — it matches perfectly with a pair of Sherlock Holmes mittens I made in college.  Another one to add to the winter wear!

I got to wear it during our New Year’s in Ventura, CA, too.  We always try to stay at hotels with balconies, because then after Patrick goes to sleep, we can hang out on the balcony, enjoy a bottle of wine and chat it up.  We didn’t have this mountain view on New Year’s — an awesome marina view instead — but the view from Beth and Steve’s house is breathtaking.  Whenever I see I picture of it, I always wish I was looking at it right then and there.  Beautiful!

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Knitter’s Tank for me

We moved into an apartment recently…well, recently as in three months ago.  Recent enough.  When we moved, I went through all the yarn I had, which took up most of a closet in our house.  I had saved every little scrap from every project, just waiting for a moment when I might need only three yards of Noro Kureyon #348.  So I was able to throw away all the unusable scraps, clearing out more space than I knew I had.

But amongst the small, shapeless skeins and unattached labels, I found a tiny treasure trove of unfinished projects.  Scarves one fourth finished, waiting on a stitch holder.  Sweaters completed except for the sleeves.  Yarns hugging each other tightly, waiting for the time when I would make them into the promised shawl or poncho.

So I created a new Yarn Resolution — no buying more yarn unless it is for a gift project.  I’ve only broken this resolution once since May, which isn’t too shabby.  And this project marks my third completed Yarn Resolution project.

I had finished the back of this top and about a third of the front.  I had comandeered this yarn from another intended project years ago, and so I was just a few yards short of the necessary amount.  But a quick check of the stash showed a white that proved a nice contrast to the tan, and held up well with the sparkly novelty yarn.

It was easy to jump into a project partway through — the only trick is finding where you left off.  That was a little bit of a hurdle, but soon I was knitting away during Patrick’s naptime, watching Battlestar Galactica with gusto.

The next trick came when I had finished the front.  I sewed the two together, and saw that the armholes were like to gaping maws, ready to show off your bra to any casual observer.  With some of the extra white, I did two rounds of single crochet around the edges, and voila!  No problem.

We’ll see how often I wear this top — only time will tell.  Knitted tanks, although fun and quick and easy, languish in my dresser for longer than they deserve.  They stretch out after too many wearings, and don’t stand up well to cleaning.  But the yarn I used for the base here is DK Comfort Yarn by Berroco, which is washable.  I may try it.  Otherwise, I’ll just camisole it up underneath, and solve the problem entirely.

It’s not a color I wear often — light tan, or really, light ANYTHING.  But it’s always good to change it up, try something new, and attempt a new adventure in wardrobe!

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