Finished: Japanese Butterfly Lace Beret

Meet the model: Giant Penguin.
He thinks this hat is “cool.” (Hehehe)
This beret was created for a friend, and I just have this thing about wearing someone else’s stuff before they get to wear it, so I decided to have Giant Penguin step in as my model in order to avoid stray hairs or anything else that would be kind of embarassing to show up in a gift.

Anyway, the technical stuff:
Pattern: Lace Beret #13 from Vogue Knitting Fall 2009
Yarn: KnitPick’s Bare Merino Wool Sock Yarn, about half a skein (220 yards or so)
Needles: US #1 & #3 circulars, #3 dpns

Notes: The ribbing for this thing is just plain torture. However, once you get into the lace pattern, it’s pretty fun. I like this hat. I’m slightly tempted to make one for myself as well.

And blocking over a dinner plate is super amusing:I could not keep her away from the thing while it dried. Hopefully there’s no Dorito fingerprints on it–I kept moving the plate to various spots where I thought she couldn’t get to it, but she kept proving me wrong.

There’s not much else to say about this cute little beret, except that I need to walk it over to its recipient. I am sad to let this one go, I’ve come to like it so very much!

Peacock Feathers Stole Swatch

I was browsing through knitting patterns while I was staying at my granny’s house in Seattle and she really liked the Peacock Feathers Stole. So I offered to make it for her. (Ignore all the weird mistakes in the swatch–I do it on purpose, to make sure I understand the stitch pattern and to see if I could feasibly fix mistakes without having to rip back to them. Obviously, that will not work with this one.)

The swatch blocked perfectly to the preferred 5 1/2 by 5 1/4 inches. Excellent.

I’m using JaggerSpun Zephyr Wool-Silk #036 Juniper. I bumped up my needle size to US4 instead of the recommended US3 because I tend to knit tight.

I was going to try to be a super knitter and have it done for Christmas because, seriously, how awesome would I be if that happened? (And hey, Eunny Jang finished her Peacock Feathers Shawl in nine DAYS.) But after trying to stick to “the schedule” of completing eight rows a day for that to happen, I developed a perma-headache and a slightly nauseated feeling whenever I thought about picking up the thing again. In my book, that points to TOO MUCH. So, much to my knitting pride’s disappointment, I am mandating that this project be downgraded to “slow-and-steady.” It will be ready when it is time for it be ready. No more than 2-4 rows a day, with the occasional day off. Not as much bang for your buck, but it will still get done. Eventually. (Boring.)

Also, in beginning to knit this little darling I have come face-to-face with my worst fear: What if this truly is above my skill level? My knitting skills are definitely being stretched with Lil’ Ole Mr. Peacock here. It’s 109 stitches across, NINE DIFFERENT charts to follow, 304 rows…and that’s just half of it, you get to knit the other half when you get to that point.

Why keep on with the crazines and the mental exhaustion? Because it’s for my granny, whom I adore immensely and would do almost anything for. I have wanted to make something “big” for her for forever, and she has finally given me my head to do so and darn it, I’m going to do a spectacular job with it. I have created the odd knitted article here and there for her, but nothing that I would actually want her to confess to having been created by me. I made her a scarf when I was first learning to knit and I really wish I could somehow locate it and burn it–Fun Fur was involved. And then I made her a very nice Lopi Earflap hat–that was two sizes too big. This stole needs to be drop-dead gorgeous and as near perfect as possible.

I did have a great idea last night that kept me from sleep for many hours: BEADS. How gorgeous would this be if I incorporated beading into it?

So much potential for such unproven hands…