I've returned from holiday out West at my parents and came back with quite a haul. Knittingwise, I brought back all the projects I had taken with me with none completed, but some pretty close and a stack of Knitting mags. But it was a successful trip for my other craftiness as you can see below:
Some very inspiring embroidery found while tidying up in the basement. Possibly done by my Grandmother or Great-Grandmother.
A fun deck of quilter's quarters that I got as payment for making a set of six place mats for my mother.
Leftovers from when I made my roll-you-own-needlecase and two project bags.
Leftovers from the place mats I made for my mother (carefully cut so to save as much fabric as possible).
My new palette of embroidery floss (they were on sale).
Some more colours that I couldn't resist (they weren't on sale).
And I just finished another slouch for a friend. She was lamenting her lack of fashion victim-hood without one, so I cast on without regard for my current list of projects that need to be finished. I really like the colour and texture of the hat and have been considering keeping it for myself, but seeing it on me makes me think of little girls in grey wool pleated skirts or members of military units so I think it is destined for it's originally intended owner. I had to adapt the pattern for a smaller gauge yarn and used my favourite Italian Tubular Cast on for this hat.
A note on cast ons for ribbing. I favour cast ons done on one needle with various twisting and turnings to create the stitches. It's knitting magic! I've tried the version with provisional cast on of half the stitches compared to the Italian Tubular method and have to say that I prefer the results of the Tubular when worked 4 rows of yarn in front while slipping purled stitches.
While the provisional method looks tidier at the start, the lack of super-stretchability is a turn off, not to mention the lack of seeming like one is casting a spell. The Italian method provides all the stretch of the rest of the ribbing and seems to me more efficient for materials. No extra yarn is needed or needles or crochet hooks, etc. If you are like me and tend to have loosey goosey results, then I'd suggest working the foundation rows on a smaller needle. And if working in the round, I'd suggest joining in the round just as you start your regular knitting (or after two rounds of foundation and then work two more, alternating carrying the yarn in front and slipping purled stitches and in back slipping knit stitches on each round).