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Purses? Clutches? Get it?

Bear hat for my friend Luke: completed. He was delighted. It fit perfectly. It had better — it was the fourth or fifth time I’d knitted the damn thing. Knowing he liked it, I no longer hated him or the hat.

Not pictured: the Knucks I knitted for a friend. No lettering, just a band of skulls and crossbones running around each hand. My friend hounded me for them for ages, then once he got them, begged that I drop the temperature in Los Angeles so his hands wouldn’t get sweaty as he wore them everywhere. In August. Rico is a lunatic. Fortunately, 1. that’s why we like him and 2. he’s in Europe for a bit, exclusively on bits of the continent where gloves will be a very welcome thing now it’s fall.

Now my projects are down to various knitted projects I’m inventing, adapting and refashioning that will probably take months before they’re done, and that damned pink crocheted purse that only needs blocking, assembling, finishing, lining, and abandoning to its new owner’s clutches.

So much nonprogress!

All the crochet has been sort of sitting on the sidelines while I rip out and reknit a beanie for a friend. This has to be the fifth time I’ve knitted it after starting over, but this time the fit is just right — it’s just half an inch too short.

It’s actually pretty tricky. The friend likes very tight-fitting hats. This means I’ve had to come up with a bind-off that can stretch to twice its usual width but that still fits closely, without that horrible single circuit of too-tight bind-off that makes it feel like you’re wearing a skinny steel band around your head.

There’s a stretchy bind-off I tried that sorta works except it made the edge sort of … ripply. Almost lacy. Not a solution for a guy’s hat. But I got the idea of the bind-off; in it, you pass one stich over the next as usual, but then you pass that stitch back onto the left needle and knit it again. Essentially, it’s adding a crochet chain stitch in between the regular knitted stitches.

My compromise was a nice, neat bind-off where I worked the loops off the knitting needles with a crochet hook, and chained one between every other bound-off stitch. Stretchy, tight-fitting and neat-looking. I AM A GENIUS. Now I just need to add that last half-inch to it and crochet on the bear ears and it will be done!

Which is good, because of course the one thing my friends needs now (mid-July in California) is a 100-percent-wool hat, right?

So much pink

Pink! So much pink!

At least I’m getting to a point on the bag where I have to start thinking about finishing. This whole “create vast swathes of fabric from string” phase is nice, seeing as it’s near-impossible to screw up, but I’m spoiling for the more challenging parts of the project.

Yesterday my brain was practically spilling over with neat ideas for an appliqued design to go on the front of the bag and I can’t wait to get rolling on them. Note to self: Draw at least a few rudimentary sketches in the sketchbook before the ideas disappear into the ether, blown there by a few hours of pagination while I’m at work. Nothing like drawing boxes in Quark to slowly kill the spirit!

Man. The macro capabilities of the camera I’m using are, like, suck and a half. I’m all spoiled by the boyfriend’s beautiful digital SLR. I kept trying to get one part in focus and in all the pictures, the plane that’s nice and sharp is actually six inches behind where I told the camera to aim. I ain’t no raw amateur at macros, either, so I know it’s not just me, and I know I had it set to “macro.” The Cann S45 is a great, sturdy little camera, but it definitely balks at being told to take pictures of things less than two feet away. Which is a problem — who wants to see pictures of yarn taken from across the room?