Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Totally appropriate for hot weather: Imp hat and mittens

Dear Donk,

I might have to establish a rule for future book picking out: All books must have full-sized patterns included.

Because I will tell you that there is nothing that pisses me off more than when I get all my materials carefully culled from the pile and I hunker all down ready to get started and then I turn to the pattern page and above the pattern it reads: "Enlarge pattern by 145%".

*Blood boils*

I *may* have mentioned this before, I can't remember for sure, but I know I've said it in my head before because that is just annoying. Why do I now, after finally deciding on a pattern and sourcing its materials and finding time in my life, have to go find a copier or remember to drag the book to work with me so that I can waste some more paper printing out this exact pattern at 145%?

Why I ask you? WHY?

What really annoys me is all the potential answers that crop up in my head that usually start with, "because it's cheaper to print the book that way rather than including fold out pages and such", but still - annoying.

ANYWAY - Once I got past that whole thing and I calmed down thanks to a nice cocktail, I just traced this pattern on a nice big piece of newspaper (Thanks SF Chron!) at what I imagined was 145% and went about my way.

So, for those of you who find notes like these above your patterns similarly annoying, I would like to share with you that piece of advice: Eye-fuck it!
  • Slice the entire page out of your book (because you know there's another pattern piece on the other side - ANNOYING, TOO, BUT WE'RE NOT TALKING ABOUT THAT NOW)
  • Pull that nice big broadsheet out of the center of the Entertainment section of your local news rag
  • Tape the book page to a window
  • Hold the newsprint over the book page
  • And with a nice marking device like a pencil, estimate how much that extra % will add to the pattern and trace it out all free-hand like
  • Then cut your pattern piece from the newsprint and go to town
And while you've probably come up with this same work around, I thought I'd share because besides that, I don't have any tips to make this pattern easier because, well, it's pretty simple to begin with.

Awesome! A simple gift to stitch. What a thing. What a relief!

I'm not naming names or anything but some pattern that rhymes with Flap Skirt was a pain in my ass and required too much figuring for me to feel good about.

But these hats, which are destined to go under the godkid's tree this holiday season, were simple, quick and made use of materials I still had on hand from holiday crafting of year's past. All attributes I love in a project. Especially when the materials of which I speak are bulky and hot and I have to touch them every time I take fabric in or out of my storage closet in the summertime heat yuck.

So - less polar fleece in the closet and more holiday gifts in the stockpile means that I am now happy again with this book and know what I'm going to choose next time it's my turn to choose which won't be until September, but that's OK.

Let's not get into the fact that I just made polar fleece hats and mittens for two children that live in the molten lava heat of Phoenix and may only get a chance to crack out mittens once a year if they're lucky. No. The important thing here is that *I* have less fleece to deal with and if we will recall, it's all really about me anyway.

Speaking of me, I will be on vacation when the 1st of the month rolls around, so it's all you with the choosing of winners and projects and themes, so I'll catch up with you when I get back. Sound good?

Glad you're home, by the way, my life had a Kelli sized hole in it for too long there.



  1. I am laughing so hard I just snorted. Yes! The wrap skirt had WAY TOO MUCH MATH. Hello, I'm a journalism major. I don't like the math. If I liked the math I'd be making a lot more money than I do as someone with a journalism degree.
    (Feel free to do the math on that one.)
    But seriously? Those gifts are adorable. I'm thinking future holiday presents for the wees in Arizona.
    And you just wait to see what I'm making. I picked it out last night and I'll be damned if it doesn't mean I have to go to the fabric store, but still -- it is going to be so cute!
    WOO HOO! I get to pick the next project and the winner while you are CR-bound. Not nearly as good as being CR-bound, but whatever. It is second best.

  2. Aw, and look at that: those *are* totally cute. I think my head just caught fire even looking at polar fleece in this 90 degree house, but still. What kid wouldn't look adorable in those? Well played, Finny.

    Oh, and ditto on the whole pattern enlarging sentiment. My blood totally boils when, just as I reach the super-excited-must-make-this-right-now point, I see the blasted "enlarge" by instructions. It strikes me as this close to false advertising.

  3. It totally gets cold in the winter at night in Phoenix. PLUS, people here in the Bay Area think it's cold when it's 50. So Phoenix people probably bundle up at 75. I'm just sayin'.

  4. CUTE! I think I'm sitting this one out... I need to figure out what to do with my 3 weeks worth of vegetables...

  5. I love these imp hats/mittens. Great execution.
    The very thought of making something fleecy at this time of year is brave. So good on you.

  6. Those are so adorable! But, I don't think there is anyone in my life that I love enough to be willing to work with fleece at this time of year for.

  7. Since I live on the San Francisco coast, it would be so easy for me to deal withthe polar fleece. In fact I did just that a few weeks back when I made a bed for my big dog.
    I don't have any little kiddos in my life, so I won't be making any imp hats and mittens, but those are adorable!

  8. shit. eye fuck-it is the story of my life.

    yours in montana. jealous you're in mexico.

  9. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.




[2013 update: You can't comment as an anonymous person anymore. Too many douchebags were leaving bullshit SPAM comments and my inbox was getting flooded, but if you're here to comment in a real way like a real person, go to it.]

Look at you commenting, that's fun.

So, here's the thing with commenting, unless you have an email address associated with your own profile, your comment will still post, but I won't have an email address with which to reply to you personally.

Sucks, right?

Anyway, to remedy this, I usually come back to my posts and post replies in the comment field with you.

But, if you ever want to email me directly to talk about pumpkins or shoes or what it's like to spend a good part of your day Swiffering - shoot me an email to finnyknitsATgmailDOTcom.