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1  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / First handspun FO: woolly hat (Pipa) with pattern on: March 26, 2009 01:31:06 PM
I posted the swatch for this hat on a Fiber Friday thread a few weeks ago. After at least three times of ripping out the top decreases, I finally finished it! The reason for the frequent ripping and redoing was that I wasn't quite satisfied with the top decreases and kept fiddling until they were just so.

The pattern was inspired by Jacques Cousteau hat by Typy, but with different decreases. This was my first FO from my own handspun, and I'm pretty pleased with it, and have worn it every day!

From the top:

From the side:

By itself, so you can see how stretchy it is:

I'm calling this a "pipa", which means a woolly hat or toque in the Finnish dialect from the town I'm living in.


The Pipa hat

Needles: 3,5 mm (either 80 cm circulars or set of 5 dpns)

Yarn: ca. 97 m / 41 g of wool (Finnsheep), 2-ply, spun thick and thin with woolen long draw, ca. 12-13 wpi

Gauge: ca. 15 st, 30 rows / 10x10 cm over somewhat stretched k3, p3 ribbing

Finished circumference: 56 cm.


Left-leaning knit decreases:

sl, k1, psso: Slip one stitch as if to knit, knit one stitch and pass the slipped stitch over the knitted stitch.

k2tog tbl: Knit two together through the back loop (i.e. slip two stitches as if to knit, return them to the left needle and knit together).

sl, k2tog, psso: Slip one stitch as if to knit, knit two together and pass the slipped stitch over the knitted stitch.

Right-leaning knit decreases

k2tog: Knit two together.

Left-leaning purl decreases:

p2tog: Purl two together.

p3tog: Purl three together.

Right-leaning purl decreases

p2tog tbl: Purl two together through the back loop (i.e. slip two stitches as if to knit, return them to the left needle and purl together).

Other abbreviations:

(m): stitch marker (optional)

...: Continue in the *k3, p3* pattern until you reach the specified stitches before the marker.


CO 84 st.

Join and begin knitting in the round in *k3, p3* ribbing, using either the Magic Loop technique or with stitches divided over 4 dpns.

Knit 16 cm ( 48 rows); If you want, place markers between the 4 repeats of 21 stitches at the last row.

Start decrease rows:

Row 1: *sl, k1, psso, k1, p3... k1, k2tog, (m), p2tog, p1, k3... p1, p2tog tbl*, repeat.
Rows 2-4: Knit (4 rows, 8 st decreased)

Row 5: *sl, k1, psso, p3... k2tog, (m), p2tog, k3... p2tog tbl*, repeat.
Rows 6-8: Knit (4 rows, 16 st decreased)

Row 9: *k2tog tbl, p3... p2tog, (m), k2tog, p3...k2tog tbl*, repeat.
Rows 10-12: Knit (4 rows, 24 st decreased)

Row 13: *p2tog, p1, k3... p1, p2tog tbl, (m), sl, k1, psso, k1, p3... k1, k2tog*, repeat.
Rows 14 and 15: Knit (3 rows, 32 st decreased)

Row 16: *p2tog, k3... p2tog tbl, (m), sl, k1, psso, p3... k2tog*, repeat.
Rows 17 and 18: Knit (3 rows, 40 st decreased)

Row 19: *k2tog, p3...k2tog tbl, (m), k2tog tbl, p3... p2tog*, repeat.
Row 20: Knit (2 rows, 48 st decreased)

Row 21: *sl, k1, psso, k1, p3... k1, k2tog, (m), p2tog, p1, k3... p1, p2tog tbl*, repeat. (56 st decreased)
Row 22: *sl, k1, psso, p3... k2tog, (m), p2tog, k3... p2tog tbl*, repeat. (64 st decreased)
Row 23: *k2tog tbl, p3... p2tog, k2tog, p3...k2tog tbl*, repeat. (72 st decreased)

Row 24: *sl, k2tog, psso, (m), p3tog*, repeat. (80 st decreased)

Cut thread, leave an end and draw it through the remaining 4 stitches. Weave in ends and immersion-block (wash) the finished hat to give the yarn a chance to bloom.

The decreases ensure that this hat will be fully reversible, as long as you are careful when weaving in your ends. If you don't like a turn-up at the brim, you can choose to knit only 14 or even 12 cm straight, and possibly start with 2-3 cm in k1, p1 ribbing. A longer turn-up is produced by knitting 18-20 cm straight before beginning the decreases. Larger or smaller sizes would be easiest to get by using yarn and needles to get larger or smaller gauge, but I think the principle of the decreases is clear enough that it's possible to adapt it to other stitch amounts.
2  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Completed Projects / A Spinner's Progress* (warning: long, contains spindle, wheel and yarn pics) on: June 14, 2008 12:08:53 PM
I've always wanted to spin, and last year I decided to learn. (So you can guess this is gonna be a long post.) That's actually Craftster's fault - I saw all the beautiful yarns and how people were making spindles out of CDs and whatnot, and then our local craft shop had wool for sale. Felting wool, mind you, but I thought and thought and figured that it was carded wool, and where was I going to get anything better?

So I put together a spindle out of a circle cut out of cardboard, and a hair stick, and got to it:

My first proto-spindle was crazy light (It's since been disassembled into its constituent parts, because I needed that hair stick.) and the yarn was, predictably, lumpy. It also made me crazy that if I did manage to create a so-so single, I couldn't ply it properly to save my life.

So I got more wool (again, felting wool) and with my Dad's help, made a real spindle out of a plywood circle and a wooden stick. It comes apart, because it isn't glued, but this is actually not a bug, but a feature as it makes traveling easier.

My second and third tries went a lot better.

Then, I went to Belgium for 5 months and despite taking my travel-ready spindle along, I didn't do anything with it. But after I had got back and settled down, I dug my wool out again, this time the 3rd batch...

And then I finally learned to ply. Isn't the blue colour wonderful? (edit: better picture, with a matching rug!)

But wait! It doesn't stop there. My both grandmothers had spinning wheels, of the Finnish traditional type - gran on the dad's side had a lovely wheel, very old and would need to be taken apart and put together again before it could be used, because it's spent the last 30 years in a barn. Sigh. But it's pretty! (I experimentally spun some rough flax fibre - you can't really use the pedal, and the string keeps popping off the wheel, but it kinda-sorta works.)

My gran on the mom's side also had a wheel, which she borrowed/gave to me. And this baby is functional! It's factory-made in the 1940s, and had a prolonged stay in the cold attic, which means that the paint was flaking and all parts that could rust, had.

But I cleaned it up, and as you can see... It works.

Unfortunately, I can only use the wheel when I'm at my parents' house, so meanwhile it's just me and my trusty traveling spindle. But that's okay, we're good. My goal is to spin enough yarn to actually make something... like a scarf, or mittens. Now I only need to find more wool!

*and if you catch the reference in the title, you get 10 points and a parrot sticker!  Tongue
3  CITY GUIDES FOR CRAFTSTERS / EUROPE / List of addresses of craft and yarn shops in Brussels, Belgium on: May 05, 2007 10:55:38 AM
I'm currently in Brussels, and after a long and frustrating search for yarn, needles and assorted stuff, I decided to comb the 'net for a list of LYS in the Brussels area. Looking at this, it's no wonder I couldn't find anything - there are only one or two shops in the centre, and most of the 'normal' shops don't sell knitting stuff (unlike in my native Finland, where you can find makings for socks in most rural backwater general stores, let alone big-city department stores. Go figure.)

Avenue Louise area:
Art et Fil
Rue du Bailli 25
1000 Bruxelles

Fil de Luxe
Chaussee de Waterloo 61
1060  Bruxelles

Etterbeek (near La Chasse):
Phildar (this is a chain, the addresses for other shops available on their website)
Chaussee de Wavre 734
1040 Bruxelles

Schaerbeek (near Diamant station):
Avenue des Cerisiers 22
1030 Bruxelles

Veritas is a chain of shops with a somewhat random assortment of stockings, underwear, handbags, felting wool, beads, zippers, crochet hooks and yarn. They've got a webpage:

One of the Veritas shops is in the City 2 shopping centre, located on top of Rogier metro station:
Rue Neuve 123/201
1000 Bruxelles

For other crafty stuff (paint, grommets, power tools), you can try the shops in the Brico chain:

More yarn shops in Belgium:

edit: Another list of yarn shops from a local knitting club:

Have fun!
p.s. If someone can tell where to find a shop selling (cheap) wool for spinning in Brussels, do tell! I've got my spindle, but nothing to spin...
4  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Solomon's Knot scarf on: January 07, 2007 11:32:54 AM
I'm really happy that I've finally finished this project - which was lying around for longer than I want to confess. The scarf is as soft as it looks! The yarn is white recycled mystery mohair, and the stitch is Solomon's / Lover's knot, finished with single crochet.

On a chair, cleverly folded to disguise uneven stitches and mistakes  Tongue, and a close-up:

5  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / The simplest cell cozy on: January 07, 2007 11:25:16 AM
I got a shiny new cell phone for Christmas. Naturally, the poor thing needed immediately something to protect it from the cold:

The yarn is mystery acrylic and the closure is a wooden bead, both from The Stash. I got the cast-on amount (36 st in the round) from the Weasley Cell Cozy and winged the rest. I especially like the turquoise colour of the tricot lining I added to prevent the yarn fuzz from getting inside my phone.

6  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / A Shoulderholder, and Mrs. Beetons in Red (with Pictures!) on: April 09, 2006 11:38:11 AM
Hi all Craftsters!

I've been lurking here for a while, and crafting stuff (with more and less success) for as long as I can remember. A while ago, I finished a few things, and here they are! (Photos courtesy of my parents' digital camera's self-timer option. I'm thinking of adopting the li'l thing.)

First, this is a modification of Glampyre's Boobholder pattern. Yarn is random mohair, and I used straight euro# 5,5 needles. Why straight? Because I don't have circulars in that number. And yes, it was a pain, 'cause there are too many stitches for the needles to hold - and one more reason to leave out the front.

Front: Back:

I basically left out all increases except the raglan ones, and made the sleeves longer. The back edge gapes a bit, but I'm not sure whether I'll correct it. I've frogged and tinked this baby so many times, I think I'll leave it alone now.

When I saw the Mrs. Beetons in Knitty, I thought they were very cute. Then I found a teeny skein of pretty red mohair in The Stash, and decided to go for it. After all, I have this jacket that needs a little help when it comes to warming up my wrists. They work beautifully, by the way. Rest of it is sock yarn, all of it knit with euro size 3,5 double-pointed needles (I think, could be size 3).

Here they are: And a Knitty-like action shot:

That's all, folks. Comments and criticisms welcome!
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