Monday, November 27, 2006

Inspiration for New Knitters

A friend, Dr. Anna, has just started knitting. Yay, Dr. Anna! Word is she's making a scarf for her husband as a first project. As inspiration to her and other new (or soon to start) knitters out there, I would like to present my first ever knitted object - known in some circles as The Ugliest Hat in America.
This hat design is knit flat, with decreases at the top to shape the crown. The sides are then sewn together to make a cone and *poof!* a hat is born. The first iteration, however, was too small, so I decided to knit up a wedge-shaped piece and sew it in place to increase the hat's circumference. "Ingenious!", I thought. "I am a master of knitting and geometry!" I also decided that it was too short, so I added additional length to the whole thing.

Unfortunately, I was out of the original yarn.
At the time, the dark green yarn seemed like a nice, coordinating color - brown, orange, a walk through the woods on a brisk Fall day. Upon further reflection, however, it just looks like crap. Notice also the odd hump formed by the top of the green wedge - evidence of my poor (aka absent) geometric calculations.

You may be saying, "This is supposed to be inspiring?"

Yes! Take heart, noble novice knitter! No matter how many stitches you drop or how uneven your gauge is, your first project is bound to be better than this!

Mr. Hipp, dear soul that he is, actually loves wearing this hat. He puts it on when he is sick and claims it makes him feel better. He also likes to wear it when playing flag football or Ultimate Frisbee on chilly nights, mostly because it can get trampled in the mud without looking worse. Here is how he usually wears it: green wedge in the front (to mask the odd hump) and a patient smile on his face.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving 2006

Happy Thanksgiving! Mr. Hipp and I hosted Thanksgiving dinner at our little home this year, partly to bring together friends who are far from their families, and partly to satisfy Mr. Hipp's desire to cook a big ol' feast. He made turkey, oyster dressing, sweet potato casserole, chocolate pecan pie, macaroni and cheese, sausage balls (shown below) and rice - one of the surprisingly many food items shared by Filipino and Southern cuisine.
Our charming guests also brought food and drinks - apple nut muffins, pumpkin martinis, baked ham, and so much more. You would have thought 40 people were eating dinner at our place instead of just six. We finished the evening with board games and laughter. We are so thankful to have good friends, plentiful food, and a safe place to have fun.

Back to the crafting - I want to share the prettiness of the yarn I got at Purl. Clockwise from upper left: Koigu multicolor sock yarn, two skeins of white/olive Lornas Laces, and blue Koigu. Homie at Purl was a bit sloppy in winding the yarn into balls.
And because someone noted that my first two posts were about buying yarn rather than actual knitting of yarn, here is one of my current projects:
It's an entrelac scarf using Noro Big Kureyon. It is just me, or does it seem to be getting narrower? Either the yarn is a bit thinner here (Big Kureyon is not a consistent thickness) or my gauge has changed (I am not a consistent knitter!). I think a little blocking will even things out the end. And if it doesn't, oh well - no one can tell when it's wrapped around my neck. Many Noro yarns change colors within the same skein. This color change usually results in stripes, but in entrelac it ends up looking like pieces in a stained glass window.

I love it! Once a few necessary household chores are done today, Mr. Hipp and I are going to plunk down on the couch with "The Office, Season 1" on DVD, some candy, and the entrelac scarf. Hurry, laundry, hurry!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Squeeze the Yarn

We recently traveled to Connecticut for a family wedding. While there, we spent a night in NYC to see some friends. (Thanks again for the excellent hospitality, "Mrs. O'Bannon"!) I was lucky that Mr. Hipp's college roommate and his wife were visiting NYC as well - she is a crafting fiend from a crafting fiend family. She had a long list of wonderful craft stores to visit. Men in tow, we skipped happily in and out of stores to see thousands of buttons and endless spools of ribbon. Photos of the spoils to come soon.

Of course, I had to add one more place to her list - Purl in Soho. She had already asked Santa for knitting lessons, so it was fun to see her get excited by all the colors and softness at Purl. I sense a future yarn addict in the making. Here we are - caught in the act of squeezing some sock yarn.

A visit to Purl would not be complete without checking out their Lorna's Laces sock yarn dyed in colors just for Purl. I got some in white and olive, along with some lovely blue Koigu for the heels and toes. All the socks I have made in the past have used thicker yarn. I hope I can make a pair out of this yarn on US1 needles in time to wear them this winter. I am a fairly slow knitter with an unfortunate amount of other priorities in my life - work (bleh), scooping cat litter (bleh), being nice to Mr. Hipp (not so bad really). Then again, yarn this lovely may prove to be as good as a big, hot, cup of coffee...sip sip sip and next thing you know it's done.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Welcome to Hipp Crafts

After many months of gaining inspiration from other people's blogs, I have finally started my own. This site will be home to all Hipp Crafts, from knitting to sewing to DIY home improvements. I hope you enjoy it!

Let's start with some recent history. Mr. Hipp and I traveled to Wales and Ireland in September. We met up with other Hipp family members in Dublin, then traveled together to Killarney.

Does this picture give you any indication of how much I enjoyed the trip? That's right, two huge spools of amazing, 100% wool, tweedy-licious yarn. I purchased it at the Muckross House gift shop. They have all sorts of traditional crafts, including a working weaving studio. I guess this yarn was intended for a loom, but no reason it can't be knit instead! The orange yarn has bits of blue in it so the two yarns should go together nicely.

I am thinking of making a Sunrise Circle Jacket with this yarn - orange as the main color and blue inside the hems for a little pop of fun. This knit-along has shown some great examples of how this jacket looks on "real people". I especially love the one completed by the Nubian Craftster. Seeing her completed jacket made me think, "Okay! This can really work!". Of course, goodness only knows how long it will be before I can actually start on this project. I have a long list going already, so the Sunrise Circle Jacket will just have to wait patiently for its turn.