A Hat for Aunt Susan

M’s Aunt Susan has been a cigarette smoker for most of her adult life. In late June she went to the doctor with abdominal pain and headaches. She was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer that had already metastasized to her liver and brain. Needless to say the chemo and radiation have been brutal; she is very weak, but fortunately not in much pain. She has also lost all her hair.

M asked me if I would knit her a hat, and I said I would. Then I found out that she doesn’t like tight fitting or snug hats. The search for patterns was on! I thought a felted hat would be best, but I have a front load washer that locks me out, making controlling size an issue (plus I was knitting without knowing the size of Aunt Susan’s head). Charlene Schurch in Hats On! came to my rescue. Her Brimmed Cap was knit at a super tight gauge (worsted weight on US 4 needles at nearly 6 spi) to mimic felting, and the fit wasn’t stocking cap tight or rigidly determined by being felted.

Aunt Susan likes the color red, and so I got out some Berroco Peruvia I had in stash and my long Addi Lace US 4 needle for magic loop, and set to work. The color looks best in this photo:
Aunt Susan's hat on bed
I took some pictures of myself in the hat in my mirror over my dresser to give you and idea of how this hat fits (my head is larger than most women’s heads, and I knit a small size), but the photo conditions were not the best.
Aunt Susan's Hat: front
Aunt Susan's hat: side
Chemo is often delivered refrigerator cold through an IV, so I hope this hat can help keep Aunt Susan warm.

Summer on the Needles

After finishing two FOs with wintry colors and themes (FO posts coming soon!), I’ve found myself with summery colors on the needles. For example, these socks remind me of corn on the cob:
Corn on the Cob Sock: cuff
That is Handmaiden Casbah sock yarn (with 10% cashmere!) and I love it. It may be the best sock yarn I’ve ever knit with. The colorway is Dandelion. The pattern (free!) is Pablo Deep by The Knitting Pixie (Rav link). It’s easy and enjoyable, but I am dividing for the heel flap differently than the pattern. The above photo is as the pattern dictates (2 repeats front, 2 back), I want to divide with one repeat centered down the front flanked by two half repeats as shown below.
Corn on the Cob Sock: modify
This sock is the start of a Christmas pair for M’s grandmother. The color, self-striping from Berroco, reminds me of a summer sky.
Grandma Weiss Christmas Socks: 2010
Finally, I started Cleite from Miriam Felton (Rav link) with a 150 g skein of Sea Silk I had in Blackberry.
Cleite: WIP
Cleite was an Amazon warrior, and the lace motif looks like spearheads:
Cleite: pattern detail
So I knit blackberry-colored yarn, but M takes REAL blackberries and makes Kir Royale cocktails and homemade blackberry sorbet.
Kir Royales and blackberry sorbet
He’s a keeper.
Happy Knitting!

At long last a FO! Corvid Frost Diamonds

Sorry to be gone for so long! Let’s just call this the summer of 4 work projects and 4 zillion headaches (both of which are easing up) and move on.

What to do when you finish a great lace project during the rainy season? Wait until June to block it. Then what to do when modeling it requires wearing BFL wool and a cool day is 85? Go to San Francisco!
Approaching Golden Gate Bridge
That looks more like shawl weather!
M and I headed to San Francisco to see some French Impressionism shows, and the forecast was for fog and a high in the upper 50s. So my Frost Diamonds Shawl that I knit earlier this year came along to be photographed.

It’s a pleasure to wear. Stephanie Japel, the designer, claimed the raglan shaping would keep the shawl on the shoulders, and she did not tell a lie. It’s a square with a slit from from the center to a corner, or in other words, it’s like knitting two triangular shawls at once, so there are 4 triangles. It stays on walking, standing or sitting with no ends flopping around:
Corvid Diamond Shawl: walking
Corvid Diamond Shawl: standing
Corvid Diamond Shawl: seated
Corvid Diamond Shawl: wing
The yarn is Blue Moon Fiber Arts BFL Sport in Corvid from the Raven Series. This was wonderful yarn to knit with! A little bit of luster, some wooliness, but still so soft. And the colorway is to die for! Below is the best representation of how rich the colors are:
Corvid Diamonds Shawl: true colors
And the lace stitch detail looks fabulous in this yarn–crisp but still nice drape.
Corvid Diamond Shawl: detail
I knit one more repeat of the main chart and two (I think) more repeats of the edging than the pattern called for. Even though the pattern called for worsted weight yarn, and this is “sportweight” albeit a heavy one, I used the size 10 needles called for, and I liked the result.

I think this shawl has become my favorite project so far.