after probably a month of sitting in the bottom of my knitting basket, i have resumed work on the ‘we call them pirates’ hat. it actually goes pretty quickly despite my non-pro fair isle methods. this being my first fair isle project, i was using the most basic technique possible – dropping and picking up each strand. this being very slow, yesterday i tried looking up some other techniques. the basic two-hand wasn’t working so well, because i haven’t done english style knitting at all. so over the past 24 hours i’ve sort of evolved my own method which is finally to the point where i can put it down and pick it up and remember how i’m doing it. basically i hold both strands in the same hand, wrap one around my pinky like i usually would and wrap the other around my ring finger in the same manner. this keeps the strands separate and makes it easy to untangle them as i go. i still drop each one and pick it up with my index finger to make the stitches, but this goes much quicker because i am not reorienting the yarn every time i change colors. i will probably adopt a better method someday for fair isle, but for now this works.

lately it has been pretty cold at night, especially for someone who rides a bike home from work at 10:30 most nights. i was cursing all of the gift projects i’m in the middle of because it means i don’t have time to make myself a decent scarf for riding in. but on friday night it was just so fucking cold that when i got home i busted out a random skein of jo sharp silkroad aran tweed and started making a neckwarmer. i was using the neck gaiter pattern from one skein as a guide, but i was using 7 needles instead of 6s, so i needed to adjust the number of stitches. i also decided i wanted more cables than the pattern has. so i was tweaking the stitches and fucked up on my math somewhere and it came out a little funky, but no big deal, there’s just a few extra ribs on one part. however, i was in such a hurry that of course i didn’t check my gauge. i cast on less stitches because i knew my gauge would be bigger, but now that it’s done, i find it’s still a bit bigger than i would have preferred. it looks all right on me in the picture, but it gets kind of bunchy when i wear it with my coat. however, after devoting two days of knitting time to it, i don’t really have the time right now to redo it. so for now i have to live with it until all this other stuff is done.

also last week my knit picks order came. in the back are four skeins of sierra in “leaf” – a chunky weight yarn to make amy’s cabled purse. in the front are four skeins of essential, two in ‘navy’ and two in ‘dusk’. these will become socks after xmas – probably the red herring socks from knitty. and, to get my total high enough for free shipping, i got the knitting answer book, which was basically free. but no more yarn for awhile now. really. unless i get some for xmas…

also, you may be wondering, is that part of an xmas tree in that yarny picture? why yes it is.