Pattern: Molly by Erin Ruth
Yarn: 180 yards of Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend (70% merino wool, 30% silk) in “Nickel”
Needles: US 4 (3.5 mm) and US 7 (4.5 mm)
Started: December 29, 2011
Finished: December 30, 2011
Notes & Modifications: See Ravelry
I had yarn left over from my mom’s shawl so I decided to make myself a hat. I have the hardest time knitting things for myself because I am so picky. I had actually knit another hat with this yarn but decided that I didn’t like it… so I ripped it all out and gave this pattern a go.
This hat was such a pleasure to knit! The pattern was written really well and I loved that the cable decreased into the crown. (I couldn’t believe that this was a free pattern, actually, because of the clever construction.) The only modification I made was to knit the brim in 1×1 rib for 1.5″ instead of 1″ because of my own preference for longer brims.
I think it turned out really well (albeit slightly too slouchy) and I hope to get a lot of use out of it. I haven’t really worn hats this winter yet because the weather has been so unpredictable: it’s 30°F one day and 60°F the next! Overall, though, this winter has been very temperate but I’m not complaining! It’s great biking weather so I don’t have to bundle up too much when commuting to work.
Pattern: Taize by Susan Pandorf
Yarn: 615 yards of Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend (70% merino wool, 30% silk) in “Nickel”
Needles: US 7 / 4.5 mm
Started knitting: December 11, 2011
Finished knitting: December 26, 2011
Notes & Modifications: see Ravelry
I wanted to make something for my mother but she’s notoriously difficult to shop for. Both my parents are like that, actually. It’s hard to get gifts for people who have everything they want and/or need. So I thought a shawl would be a good idea. She talks about how cold it is in her office (year-round, not just in the winter) so I figure it’d be nice to have an extra layer to bring to work.
The pattern makes a long scarf but I wanted more of a shawl. (My mom is very specific about the kinds of clothes and accessories she wears.) So I used a heavier weight of wool and slightly larger needles and went to town. Since it’s not going to be worn wrapped around the neck, I made it slightly shorter. When I finished knitting it, I wasn’t thrilled with the width so I really blocked the you-know-what out of this scarf. I got an extra 3 inches of width and maybe 2 inches of length. Its final measurements are 13″×70″. Because I blocked so aggressively, though, the yarn lost most of its sproinginess and squishiness. It really looks like a lace shawl now. Hopefully it’s retained some of its warm so my mom can get lots of use out of it.
I’ve been jonesing for a new bike. Despite how much I love my current one, I find myself wishing it was lighter, faster, better. I test drove a road bike — with drop-down handlebars — for the first time back in September and was pleasantly surprised by the bike’s geometry. The position that bike had me sitting in was new and took some adjusting but it wasn’t uncomfortable. In fact, I grew to quite like it by the time I had to return the bike back to the shop. It made me feel fast.
Most new bikes I’ve seen have aluminum frames but I’m more interested in a steel frame. Yes, it’s a little heavier but, generally, I think the benefits outweigh the negatives. (But you can read more about that on the interwebs…) There are few steel frames with good components (Shimano 105 or better) out there that won’t break the bank. The one I’m currently interested in (despite its Tiagra components) is the Salsa Casseroll:
I’ve been drooling over this bike for months now and never purchased it because it’s quite the investment. Considering I’ve only been working part-time since September, I haven’t felt I could afford such a luxurious bike. However! I’ll be starting full-time (albeit temporary) work January 2 so I’ve been revisiting the idea of getting a new bike. The library is only 3 miles away and easily accessible by bike… This is one of those purchases that will definitely have a return on investment. (A fellow Brooklyn bike commuter recently calculated that he saved $549 over 8 months by riding his bike to work. At that rate, I’d have the bike paid for in about 1.5 years.)
So as I’ve been toying with the idea of purchasing this bad boy, I learn that my boyfriend wants to get it for me as a holiday (and birthday and next winter holiday and next birthday…) present. Looks like I’m getting this bike after all :)