First off, what do you think of the new look? I'm still deciding. It's a much happier look than the old brown. It makes me smile, but doesn't that sort of counteract the grump-theme that is my blog/life? Weigh in.
Second, Spring Breeze, which I introduced to you last time, is live on Ravelry! I debated whether or not to charge for it. Part of me thinks that no one will want such a simple project designed by me, a totally unknown loser-hack. The other part of me got all indignant at those thoughts and told myself that I worked hard to put it together, spent time considering each element, carefully wrote out the instructions, tried to lay them out in a way that would be accessible to any knitter (as opposed to the indecipherable scribbles I knit my test version from), organized a test-knit, charted, graphed, and did math... that's got to be worth something. I settled on $2.
Even if you don't have a Ravelry account, you can buy it by clicking this link and using paypal.
Third, the love/hate hat.
This is my second Jacques Cousteau Hat, the first is here. I hate knitting this hat. The pattern is totally fine, there's nothing wrong with it, it's easy to follow, it's exactly what you'd expect to find from a ribbed hat pattern. The hatred is entirely personal. Also, possibly my fault. Both times I've knit this pattern, which calls for DK weight yarn, I've used worsted weight but continued to use the recommended size 4 needles because I wanted a "dense" fabric... Read "dense" and finger-numbing, wrist-pain inducing, impossibly tight stitches of death. I know, I did it to myself, but it still created an intense feeling of hate.
I knit this one holding two strands of Pattons Kroy Sock held together. The colorway is called "Gentry Grey." I would call it "Nothing-Speical Grey" but maybe that's just the hate from the project carrying over.
The reason this hat holds such sway over more than 2,000 knitters is probably the way the decreases spiral at the top. (That, and it qualifies as "manly.")
The decreases are worked by knitting two stitches then passing one stitch over the other. The stitch that has been passed over then strangles the other stitch making it nearly impossible to knit on the next row. Normally I love doing increases/decreases because they break up the monotony of straight knitting, but I dreaded each of these.
Where is the love? you ask. The hat is for Ryan. He's even modeling it, which is why you get so much hat and so little model in the picture... camera-shy that one. Ryan loves this pattern. I knit it for him once before. He wore it non-stop during the end of winter/beginning of spring last year, then sadly lost it just as fall was turning to winter this year. (Yes, I totally still measure my time in school years. I can't comprehend the beginning of the year being in January, my new years start in September thank you very much. Such is the life of a perpetual student.) He was very sad about the loss. To cheer him up I went to the stash, dug out some more gray yarn and cast on. There's the love. I hate this pattern, but Ryan's a pretty wonderful dude and I knit it for him again and again. (With a bit of under-breath muttering.)