I'm truly furiously knitting hats as I need to get two done ASAP. They are intended for the children of a friend, both of whom are deploying soon. I was over halfway through one of the hats I used to knit for the Ships Project when I suddenly got the inspiration to check Ships' site and see what was new with them. Yikes! Requirements have changed, so I had to abandon the HIP (Hat In Progress) and obtain a 100% wool that I thought had a fighting chance of making it through military laundry. Yarn in hand, I discovered that the needles I wanted were in use on another project. Sigh. Okay, I chose to use my KnitPicks Option kit with a long cable and magic loop the hat. Actually, it's far better as the Options are my favorite needles now anyway. I do need to order longer cables as the longest that came with the set is just a bit too short and the longest cables I ordered in addition are suitable only for Mobius knitting. I started two different hats, the basic Ellen's Hat and a waffle hat that I've made in the past for Ships. Neither one seemed to work. I got on Ships again and found a spiffy cable hat pattern - Smariek Knit's 3AM Cable Hat. At least one hat will be the cable pattern. Probably the other will be the waffle hat, but we'll see when I get this one finished.
I'm not in love with the yarn, Ella Rae Classic Superwash. It seems to stick between my fingers when I knit Continental, so I'm whipping these babies out English style. At the moment, I knit faster English anyway, although I'm catching up Continental. The Ella Rae is also prone to splitting, which is a nuisance, especially as I'm learning yet another new trick.
Last night as I was working on the hat, I came to the place where the first cable twist had to happen. However, I was on the couch, with Ming on my lap and George reading A Study in Scarlet. (We've gotten interested in re-reading Sherlock Holmes since we saw the movie!) One of the basic rules of life, as every cat staff knows, is that you cannot move a sleeping cat and Ming was peacefully asleep. My cable needle was, as expected, on the other side of the room, well out of reach. Bleh! So I set down my knitting, took the book, and read it out loud to George as his eyes were getting tired anyway. We finished the story and gave it up for the night with the cable undone.
This morning my Knitting Daily post came flying into my inbox, as usual. Many times the post isn't anything I'm interested in. I always scan them, though as I've learned many useful tips from the posts. This time it contained a lesson in how to cable without a cable needle. Woot! I've heard of cabling without a needle and have done it on very small twists, but I've never tried it on full-size cables. I watched the video, then watched it a second time, knitting in hand. This is awesome! I may give up my cable needles forever! Anyway, I'm giving them up for this hat. I've scooted along on the hat and have hopes of finishing it tomorrow. Since we're going to the boat, I'm hoping to finish both hats over the New Years break and get them mailed early next week. I'd cross my fingers, but it's awfully hard to knit with crossed fingers.
More later as we see how this all works. Also more later about hydroponics, beer making, and becoming locavores...