Monday, June 28, 2010

Moorish Tavern

This weekend I went to a mini war in northwestern Northshield called Moorish Tavern. It is an annual event, aways held at the same campground near the Canadian border. There are battles, and feasting, and singing. And there is often rain, was was the case this year. There was a brief but furious downpour, with 40 mile an hour winds. Some tents were tested, and some were swamped, but none fell.

In addition to the usual fighting in armor with swords and shields, there was also a rapier tournament to determine who would have the honor of wearing the Princess' Sleeve. The level of swords(wo)manship was outstanding. Sadly, in the final bout an accident occurred, resulting in Lord Marcus being rushed to the hospital with a dislocated knee. It must have been unbelievably painful, but he returned in a few hours on crutches and showed such high spirits and chivalry that the Princess named both he and Dona Margolit (his opponent during the final bout) as co-holders of the sleeve. She carefully cut it down the middle and gave half to each.

I was very excited to see Sir Yngvar, an old friend.

Also, there is a lady whom I love as a dear sister and friend, the honroable lady Eabblean of Castel Rouge. She is generous to a fault, always making garb and giving gifts to her friends. So about a dozen of us got together and planned to make her some garb she has always wanted: an Elizabethan loose gown over a kirtle with all the appropriate jewelry, foot wear and head gear. She cried. We were all very pleased with ourselves for that. *smirk*

It was a wonderful weekend. I applied bug juice religiously, but it must have been wiped off my feet by wet grass, because my feet look like smallpox victims. Yikes!

Lady Asny was pleased to approve the socks I am making her. Turns out they are a teeny bit narrow, but she was able to get them on. So iwill continue to work on those and plan to give them to her at 12th Nite. I had a great time!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Lady Teresa Hat

Here is the next installment in my Loopy Ladies Hat Patterns, each named for one of the gals in my Sunday afternoon knitting group. I like the vintage look, so each hat will (hopefully!) have that. The Lady Teresa Hat is loosely pattned after a sketch I saw for a 1920s cloche.

Lady Teresa Hat

This stylish hat is made with bulky yarn, making it a perfect quick knit. It is named for a gal in my Sunday afternoon knitting group, the Loopy Ladies. It is knit flat in seed stitch, then partially seamed and stitches picked up and knit in the round for the crown. A row of single crochet in a contrast color is added to the bottom edge of the brim to add interest. A button. vintage pin or knitted flower may be added above the notch at the nape of the neck. It can be purchased thru Ravelry.

Size 9 needles - straight, 16 inch circular and/or doublepoints
Size I crochet hook
Yarn Needle
Main Color – 110 yards of bulky weight yarn – I used KnitPicks Cadena
Contrast Color – Approximately 20 yards bulky weight yarn
8 stitch markers, one unique to mark the beginning of the round
1½ inch button, a knitted flower, a small brooch or a ribbon bow (optional)

Gauge – 14 stitches = 4 inches in stockinette – not critical

Turn the brim up over the forehead as desired.
This hat may be made and donated to a charity but not made a sold for profit.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

The Lady Lorraine Hat

This is a very easy, basic hat. You might call it the hat world's version of the little black dress, since it can be dressed up or down by adding an embellishment or two. The cool thing is by using brooches or ribbons or silk flowers on pins that the look can be changed daily to suit the occasion. I keep remembering that scene in the movie Auntie Mame where they are invited out for an impromptu Christmas Eve dinner and to dress up her plain hat Rosalind Russell snatches a sprig of something colorful from the christmas tree and sticks it in to her hat, making it instantly festive. The same thing can be done with this hat. After Christmas, take the pointsettia off and change to a brooch. The look of the hat can also be changed by how the brim is folded up. The brim can be folded only slightly at back and but widely over the eyes, or over an ear. Or evenly all the way around. This pattern is so easy that even a beginning knitter can make it.

I am continuing my hat series named after the gals in my knitting group. We call ourselves the Loopy Ladies, which explains why each pattern is named "Lady". Since I love vintage things most of these hats will have a vintage flavor to them. If you have any questions or the instructions are unclear please feel free to leave a comment. Enjoy!

The Lady Lorraine Hat


Approximately 160 yards of light worsted weight yarn (I used KnitPicks Andean Treasure)
size 6 13" circular needles and/or size 6 double points
yarn needle
8 stitch markers, one unique (optional)

Gauge: 19 stitches over 4 inches or 4.75 stitches per inch

Will fit up to a 22.5 inch head. To make smaller or larger change needle size.


With circular needle cast on 104 stitches, place marker to indicate beginning of row, and join.

Row 1-7: Knit
Row 8: Purl
Row 9: Knit
Row 10: Purl
Row 11-35: Knit (about 3.75 inches)
Row 36: Purl
Row 37: Knit
Row 38: Purl
Row 39: Knit 13, place marker. Repeat.
Row 40: Knit 11, knit 2 together, slip marker. Repeat.
Row 41 and all odd numbered rows until Row 63: Knit
Row 42: Knit 10, knit 2 together, slip marker. Repeat
Change to doublepoints when necessary.
Row 44: Knit 9, knit 2 together, slip marker. Repeat.
Row 46: Knit 8, knit 2 together, slip marker. Repeat.
Row 48: Knit 7, knit 2 together, slip marker. Repeat.
Row 50: Knit 6, knit 2 together, slip marker. Repeat.
Row 52: Knit 5, knit 2 together, slip marker. Repeat.
Row 54: Knit 4, knit 2 together, slip marker. Repeat.
Row 56: Knit 3, knit 2 together, slip marker. Repeat.
Row 58: Knit 2, knit 2 together, slip marker. Repeat.
Row 60: Knit 1, knit 2 together, slip marker. Repeat.
Row 62: Knit 2 together, slip marker. Repeat.
Row 63: Knit 2 together, discard marker. Repeat.
Row 64: Knit 2 together. Repeat.

Snip yarn so there is a 6 inch tail. Thread tail on yarn needle, draw through remaining 4 stitches. Take the tail to inside of hat and fasten off. Fasten off any other ends.

Turn up edge of hat as desired and add embellishments like silk flowers, ribbons, brooches, etc.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Bitten By the Hat Designing Bug

Boy, I love hats. 50 years ago a woman didn't leave the house without a hat. My grandmother always wore a hat, the larger and fussier the better. I'm not so much in favor of large fussy hats (being only 5'1", a large hat would look a bit silly.) But today hats have pretty much gone by the wayside. Those of us in the frozen north wear winter hats outdoors to keep warm. But they are not very elegant. Many are attractive, some are cute, but not a lot of them are stylishly elegant.

Now, I'm not a trained designer, but how much goes into a hat anyway? It's basically a short tube, with one end open and the other closed. I can do that. And I will do that. My first adult hat, the Lady Jodie hat, is being well received on Ravelry, so I think I'm going to try a few more. I plan to name all my hats after ladies in my local knitting group. I don't think I'll be designing enough hats for everyone to have a design named after them so I'll draw names.

I'm pretty excited about this new project. Too bad it came up when I could be knitting Christmas gifts. :)

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Lady Jodie Vintage Hat

The hat theme for the November 2009 Hat! Hats! Hats! group on was vintage hats. I couldn't decide what I wanted to do. Cloche? Turban? So I came up with this hat, a combination of both styles. I particularly like the accent at the face edge. It looks sort of art deco-ish to me. The hat is knit flat, seamed and the stitches for the top are picked up and knit in the round. Then the i-cord accent is added. It is pretty quick and easy to make, thanks to the bulky weight yarn. I named this hat after my friend Jodie from my knitting group, the Loopy Ladies.

I'm not sure how adept I am at writing patterns, so bear with these directions and let me know if something is wrong or confusing.

Lady Jodie Hat

100-110 yards bulky yarn (I used a little less than 1 skein Misti Alpaca Chunky)
size 10 needles, straight and double point
yarn needle
decorative button or brooch

Gauge: 4 stitches per inch.
Side Crown:
Cast on 23 stitches (for a taller forehead, cast on 26 stitches)
Row 1: *Knit 2, purl 1*, knit 2.
Row 2: *Purl 2, knit 1*, purl 2.
Repeat rows 1 & 2 until piece measures 21 inches. (Or longer/shorter, depending on how large the wearer's head is. It should be a half inch or so smaller than the wearer's actual head measurement).
Cast off.
Seam the sides together using mattress stitch (instructions here) or whatever stitch you prefer.

Top Crown:

Using double point needles, pick up 16 stitches on each of 4 needles along the top edge for a total of 64 stitches. If the side crown was knit longer than 22 inches, pick up 17 stitches per needle, knit rows 1 & 2, and decrease one extra time like this: knit 7, knit 2 together. Then continue with Row 3
Row 1: Knit every stitch
Row 2 and every even row until row 16: Knit every stitch
Row 3: Knit 6, knit 2 together. Repeat. 56 stitches left
Row 5: Knit 5, knit 2 together. Repeat. 48 stitches left
Row 7: Knit 4, knit 2 together. Repeat. 40 stitches left
Row 9: Knit 3, knit 2 together. Repeat. 32 stitches left
Row 11: Knit 2, knit 2 together. Repeat. 24 stitches left
Row 13: Knit 1, knit 2 together. Repeat. 16 stitches left
Row 15: Knit 2 together. 8 stitches left
Row 16: Knit 2 together. 4 stitches left.
Cut yarn, draw tail through the stitches using a yarn needle. Fasten off on inside of hat.

I Cord and Embellishment:

At top of seam in side crown pick up 8 stitches vertically.
Row 1: Knit
Row 2: Purl
Row 3: Knit
Row 4: Purl 2 together, knit 4, purl 2 together.
Row 5: Knit
Row 6: Purl 2 together, knit 2, purl 2 together
Row 7: Knit
Begin I-cord. make I-cord for 11 inches.
Embelishment Part 1: (this is worked in stockinette until last couple rows)
Row 1: purl
Row 2: Knit front and back, knit 2, knit front and back. 6 stitches
Row 3: purl
Row 4: Knit front and back, knit 4, knit front and back. 8 stitches
Row 5: purl
Row 6: Knit front and back, knit 1, knit front and back, knit 2, knit front and back, knit 1, knit front and back. 12 stitches
Row 7: knit
Row 8: knit
Cast off.
Embellishment Part 2: (this is worked in stockinette until last couple rows)
On the back of Row 3 from the first embellishment pick up 6 stitches.
Row 1: Purl
Row 2: Knit front and back, knit 4 knit front and back. 8 stitches
Row 3: Purl
Row 4: Knit front and back, knit front and back, knit 4, knit front and back, knit front and back. 10 stitches
Row 5: Purl
Row 6: Knit front and back, knit front and back, knit 1, knit front and back, knit 3, knit front and back, knit 1, knit front and back. 15 stitches
Row 7: Purl
Row 8: Knit front and back, knit 5, knit front and back, knit 1, knit front and back, knit 5, knit front and back. 19 stitches.
Row 9: Purl
Row 10: Knit front and back, knit 7, knit front and back, knit 1, knit front and back, knit 7, knit front and back. 22 stitches.
Row 11: Knit
Row 12: Knit
Cast off.

Finishing the Hat:

Weave in ends.

Lay the I-Cord so it slants diagonally accross the hat from the top front to the opposite bottom of hat. Tack the embellishment down so it hangs a little over the bottom edge of the hat. Also tack down the I-Cord in a few places. Add a button or brooch.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Swine Flu? Or Seasonal Flu?

I've got something. I got the seasonal flu shot on October 13, along with a kenalog shot for my allergies anad asthma. On the 22nd I went home from work early with aches and a sore throat. Over the next few days my temp went up to 101.8. On Tuesday Oct 27 I went back to work. I still felt pretty miserable, but I didn't think I had a temp. I didn't actually check it, but I didn't have the headache anymore. Just extremely tired. On Friday October 30 I survived the day at work but my throat was sore again. Sat I was officially sick again. Temp back up to 101, and the cough began. A wet, thick cough that burns in my chest. On Monday I had wheezing and tightness in my chest. The fever is low in the morning, and climbs in the afternoon and evening. So today I'm off to the clinic. I hope I'm not just wasting their time and my money. But a woman I know had similar symptoms and they put her in the hospital for a few days. Better safe than sorry?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Starburst Snood

This weekend my shire hosted the Coronation of Sigfried and Elizabeth von Kulmbach, who stepped up as King and Queen of Northshield. I sat Troll for the first three hours with Ravenna, Serena and Raymond, then wandered around and visited with friends. I had spent the previous week altering my Bia de Medici gown.
It still isn’t right and I probably won’t wear it again.

But I whipped up a snood that I thought turned out quite nicely. I had originally intended it to be all metallic gold, but I didn't have enough of it, so I had to use some black lace weight silk/wool thread to finish last rounds instead. And, actually, I like it even better the way it turned out. Several people told me it was really cool, because the gold star seemed to float at the back of my head. Some people asked for the pattern, so here it is.

Starburst Snood
Color A: Metallic gold crochet cotton size 10
Color B: Crochet cotton in the color closest to the wearer’s hair
#5 crochet hook

With Color A (Gold thread), chain 5, join with a slip stitch to form ring
Rnd 1: sl st in ring, chain 3, 19 dc in ring, join w/ sl st to 3rd beg chain
Rnd 2: ch 4, (dc, chain 1) in ea stitch around; 20 ch-sps
Rnd 3: sl st in next chain-space, ch 1, sc in same ch-sp, (ch 10, sc) in ea ch-sp around to last sp, ch 5, dtr in starting sc to make last loop
Rnd 4: (ch 10, sc) in ea loop around, to make last loop – ch 5, dtr in dtr of previous Rnd. Break off.

Change to Color B

Rnd 5-8: (ch 10, sc) in ea loop around, to make last loop – ch 5, dtr in dtr of previous Rnd.
Rnd 9: ch 5, sc in same loop, * ch 5, sc in next loop, (ch 5, sc in same loop) twice, rep from * around to last ch loop, (ch 5, sc in last loop) ch 3, dc in dtr of prev Rnd; 60 ch-loops
Rnd 10: ch 4, sc in same loop, * ch 4, sc in next loop, (ch 4, sc in same loop) twice, rep from * around to last ch loop, (ch 4, sc in last loop) ch 1, dc in dtr of prev Rnd. Fasten off.