Another hat and a Bit of Organization

I finished another premmie hat and guess what? It is even smaller than the previous hats. My small stack of hats is starting to look like Russian stacking dolls. It is humbling to realize how irregular my gauge is. I’m working on a fourth hat but don’t think I can finish it in time. However, I’m curious to see where it fits. I think it is going to be slightly bigger than the previous one. Go figure.

The final hat won’t be finished in time because I need to rip it back a bit. I was working in the taxi and I should have quit when it got dark, but it was just too fun to be knitting. Now I get to clean up the mistakes. In any case, I’ll try to snap a photo of all of them before I mail them off this week.

I’ve been trying to organize my knitting supplies. This notebook was the first of my efforts. It isn’t photogenic, but it does hold all my circular needles. I created one page for each size needles. I even made pages for sizes I don’t have, since I cannot easily insert pages into this binder. I labeled each page with both the US and the metric measure of the needles to make it easier to grab what I need for a new pattern.

My next step was to scurry around our home looking for needles. Needles must be pack animals by nature because most of my were gathered in a few locations. As I placed them into the notebook, I came to the realization that I have far more size 2 needles than any one person should probably own. All are circular. Some are addi. Some are Hiya Hiya. Some are Crystal Palace bamboo. Most have 16″ or 24″ lengths. I had no idea I had such a collection.

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I am also looking for plastic bins that fit the bottom shelf of the closet. I think I’ll store my small stash organized by yarn weight. This bin holds all my sock yearn. I have realized I can fit a slightly larger bin into the closet so the next ones I purchase will be larger.

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Until now I’ve stored the yarn in basket drawers, but I’ve seen small moths in our home, so I don’t want to take any more chances. From now on the yarn will be stored in plastic bins that have no holes or gaps. Hopefully the shops across the street will get in just the perfect bins.

How do you store your stash? Does it work for you or are you contemplating a change?

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Origami Museum at Narita Airport, Tokyo

On my way to Minnesota, I saw that Narita airport was expanding its retail area. One new addition was going to be an origami museum. To my delight, the museum was ready for visitors on by trip back to Singapore. Here are photos of some of the exhibits.

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There were many other lovely pieces of art in the museum, including an entire case of paper cranes. These were not the single cranes I learned to fold. These were multiple cranes all formed from one piece of paper!  However, the glass on the case prevented me from getting a descent shot.

In addition to the exhibits, the museum has origami books, lovely papers and finished products that you can buy.  Check it out the next time you go through Narita.  It is near the McDonalds– hows that a blending of cultures for you?

Premmie Hats and Two Socks at Once

Hello!

I’m back from Minnesota and back on GMT+8 just in time to return to work tomorrow. I’ve actually managed to do some knitting over the holiday.

First, I finished the Morehouse head warmer. It was too funny for words. I looked like a blue worm in it. It was promptly frogged and a bit of the yarn became a door knob warmer for my parents’ house. It is getting far more use in that format that it would have seen as a head warmer.

Next I gave Dad his scarf. He isn’t wearing it. Bummer. I thought it was really pretty. I wish I could take it back and give it to someone who would wear it.

A quick stop to BeYaGi in Little Canada, Minnesota had me stocked with square needles for my friends here in Singapore to try out, and a pattern and ball of Sockotta to be turned into little hats for premature babies to wear. We are knitting them for the premature babies at United Hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota to wear.

The first pattern made too big a hat for a premmie so my mom’s bear is now wearing it. Since then, I switched to a pattern you can find here: www.k3tog.typepad.com
which has worked much better.

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However, using the same sized needles (US #2), the same yarn (Sockotta) and the same number of stitches (CO 64) look at how different the sizes are!

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I guess my gauge is all wonky again. Good thing premmies come in many sizes. I think I can get at least one more hat out of this skein.

My copy of Knitting Circles Around Socks by Antje Gillingham arrived while I was home. I love it. The directions are really clear and it has good photos.

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On the flight to the US I had figured out how to actually knit two top-down socks and once, but I only had one skein of yarn. I was pulling from inside and outside and it kept turning into a tangled mess, so I gave up on it then. Now I am using two skeins of Cascade 220 and it is going well. On the flight to Singapore I turned the heels but wanted to wait until eyes were less tired and light was better before picking up the gusset stitches.

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Well, when I finally made time to pick up those stitches, I turned to the next page of directions and found that after turning the first heel, I was supposed to pick up the first edge of gusset stitches before turning the other heel. I wasted more than an hour trying to make it work, and then finally gave up, ripped out past the heel turn, and did it correctly.

At that point I thought I was home free, but I wasn’t. I could not get my brain around how to pick up the last two edges of gusset. I read, reread, and dearly wished for a photo of that step. Finally I sorted out what the directions were saying. It was a bit akward, but it worked and now I’m working on the gusset decreases. Next time it will be easy now that I have my brain around it.

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I am loving knitting both socks at once. It feeds a portion of myself that likes to be productive. Of course, it helps that I’m using such a heavy yarn. With sock yarn this would be a much slower project and more difficult to see.

I like many of the patterns in this book. Next I’ll try “Anne’s Magic Stripe Sock” from this same book. I’ll knit my next sock from the lovely sock yarn Louise brought us.

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She hand-dyed it using Kool-Aid and I’m eager to try it. After knitting that, hopefully I’ll be skilled enough to start knitting socks for Kent! Too bad he won’t want socks out of these fun yarns.