Monday, October 29, 2012

New Slouchy Cloche Design

Knitting on a road trip in temperatures exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit, even in an air-conditioned car, requires small projects. After finishing the Not Noro Scarf, I set to work designing a new hat to sell in my shop this Fall/Winter season.

There were certain things I had in mind: it needed to be a little slouchy, but not too much. (I cannot abide the look of some of the really big slouchy hats. Some of them make you look like you are wearing a sack or a pillowcase on your head.) It needed to be more of a cloche than a beret. (There have been far too many berets knit in this house.) It needed to be in a 1 x 1 twisted rib (because this is such an adorable stitch pattern.) It needed to have color variety provided by a self-striping yarn.

It comes in many colorways, but here is the one inspired by canyons:

Valerie is glad to be working again, and looking so pretty in the new hat design.

Here she's paired the cloche with one of my super-chunky brioche cowls. She's always complained about her neck getting cold and was happy to model the cowl.

I worked and ripped out (knitters call it "frogging") all the stitches in the top of the crown four times while designing the hat before I got exactly the shaping and the pattern that brought happiness.

This finer gauge hat is an acrylic/wool blend and the yarn is a light worsted weight. It takes a lot of stitches (about eight thousand) to make this hat, so I had to put it at a higher price point than I originally wanted.

After some searching, I found a chunky yarn in 100% wool to make a hat in the same design but with fewer stitches in a larger gauge. It's faster to make and I can charge less. Here's the first one:

You can see more photos of it here.

The cool thing about these hats is that they are really comfortable to wear and they are really warm. They don't mess my hair as much as some other styles that I've worn. Valerie doesn't have hair, so for her it doesn't matter.

(No, I have not bought her a wig yet. I kind of like her photos without hair, but she keeps pestering me about a wig, and I did promise her one. Should she be a blonde, brunette or a red-head? She'll have to come along to the store to try all the colors. She'll probably want the most expensive one available.)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Hoodoos, Dangerous Hikes, a Chipmunk, and Water in Zion

1. (noun) A pinnacle or odd shaped rock left standing by the forces of erosion.
2. (verb) To cast a spell or cause bad luck
3. (noun) Voodoo

Byrce Canyon is chalk full of hoodoos (definition #1). 

It makes for splendid beauty, but some dangerous cliffs. It was way too hot for much of a hike, but we managed a little one in the morning. I shot several hundred photos. Here are a few.

After the dryness of Bryce Canyon and the heat of the day, it was a welcome sight to find water in Zion National Park in the evening.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Rock on, Utah!

Rocks! Big ones! Everywhere! Wow!

That sums my first impression of Utah this past summer. Utah is the polar opposite of the Pacific Northwest where the landscape is lush green and tall evergreens are a predominant feature.

Utah was brown, orange and red. Hot, dry and dusty. Magical. Like these petroglyphs:

At first you might not notice them. You might even blissfully walk right by. Then when you finally notice,  they about take your breath away. Here's a closer look at this grouping:

After seeing the petroglyph site, little did I know how much we were just getting started in this state of canyons and mystery.  I was bowled over when we got to our destination late in the afternoon:

Bryce Canyon is the dessert of Utah. It's a huge, delicious rock confection that is mesmerizing eye candy. Each of those pinnacle hoodoos seems like a sugary treat pointing toward the sky.

There are so many delicious vistas from the various viewpoints around the rim of the canyon. 

That evening we arrived we hung out near inspiration point shooting photo after photo

while wandering the rim until after sunset.

I felt wordless in the face of such beauty.