Tuesday, March 13, 2018

March #2-4 - Should baby hats only count as half a hat?

That's always been my question when counting how many hats I make in a year. Should baby hats count as much as an adult hat? The take less yarn to make and certainly less time. I can typically crank one out in an evening if I'm not doing anything fancy. Or, am I simply being too picky? lol. Either way, knitting for charity has happened and some sweet little baby will have a warm head.



For all of these hats I used Berroco Comfort on a size 6 needle and size 6 dpns. The four striped hats were made using the Simple Baby Cap 1 pattern from Itty Bitty Hats book by Susan B. Anderson. The yellow hat is in Lindfors for ten rows, two rows each of three random scrap colors. The self striping hat is in Security Blanket and I choose to add a i-cord loop to the top. The white striped is in Chalk with Pimpernel (red) and Rosebud (pink). Ten rows of red, four pink, twelve white, four red, two pink and the remainder in white. The blue and white stripe is four rows each of Delft Blue and Chalk. Stitches used were knit and k2tog. As the name implies it is simple and easy to do.

The dark red hat (Dried Plum) is also a pattern by Susan B. Anderson, the Hello Baby Hat and is available as a free Ravelry download. Stitches used are knit, purl, k2tog and an i-cord. It is one of my favorite baby hat patterns and I knit it several dozen times.

The cabled hat is in Chambray (a sadly discontinued color) in the Twisted Baby Hat. Stitches used are knit, purl, C6F, P2tog, and K2tog.

Whether you are knitting adult or baby hats, all charity knitting matters. Keep stitching friends.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

March #1 - Blue Smoke

Look at this it is only the tenth of the month and I'm already posting and realistically I could have had this written a week ago if I could have gotten the photo taken. But, it's winter. I live in Illinois.

This month I did a test knit for Greg, a Ravelry friend of mine (Rav ID: knittingdaddy). He has designed a few items, hosts a Ravelry group, a website with podcast, and is general a nice guy. The librarian in me liked that he included a backstory with his pattern, a little insight to the pattern's name.

My first attempt at the pattern was during the Winter Olympics. Trying to be true to the pattern I used the recommended size 8 needles and selected a Cascade 220. I wasn't thrilled with the stitch definition so I opted to finish that hat as something else and went looking in my stash for a nice solid worsted weight. I remembered I had some Hikoo Simpliworsted in Denim that I thought would do the trick.



It did. Stitches used were knit, purl and k2tog. I used the written instructions as opposed to the chart, because I just find it easier to use a row counter. I could have gone down a size in needle since the hat should probably be more beanie-like. And I will admit I did not gauge swatch (which I probably should have). I like the pattern, found it easy to follow without having to keep looking back at the page. But had enough variety to not get bored as I went. Until of course I messed up the decreases. But that was totally on me, not the pattern. It helps not knitting when you are super tired.

When it publishes in the next few weeks, please support Greg with a purchase. I think you'd be pleased.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

February #3, #4, & #5 - Introducing a "new" yet old charity

Since the beginning of the blog in 2010, I have only posted about the hats I've made for Halos of Hope and/or chemo patients. However during this same time period I have also been making hats for many other charities. Preemie hats for a NICU center in North Carolina. Children hats for a school charity in Maine. Baby hats for a number of different charities from Arizona, New Jersey and Australia to name a few of the many different locations.

The charity I've knit for the longest (other than chemo hats) has been the Hats for Sailors group. I found them on Ravelry, of course, although they now have a Facebook presence as well. Having a daughter in the Navy, this group holds a special place in my heart and I love what we as a collective group have been able to accomplish over the years. In 2017 the group knit 1,070 hats to warm the heads of four deserving ships.

I've decided that not only will I showcase my hats for chemo patients, but ALL my hats for charity. Why not? You may find something you want to knit.

The hats I knit for chemo patients do not have any restrictions, only that they not be scratchy on the skin and I typically avoid wool since some patients develop sensitivity during treatment. However per request of the Navy, all hats knit for Hats for Sailors must be 100% superwash wool (for safety reasons). So now you know where my wool goes. lol


Going for Gold 1 uses FibraNatura Inca in Yellow. The pattern is Gridiron by Johnny Vasquez. It is knit with a size 10 16" circular needle and a set of 10 dpns. Stitches used were knit, purl, slip stitch and k2tog. Although the size 10 needles are a bit hard on my hands I love the stitch definition it brings to the this yarn.


Going for Gold 2 (not very original with the name here) also used the FibraNatura Inca in Yellow along with a Rust. The pattern is The Warm One and is available as a free Ravelry download. It is knit with a size 10 16" circular needle and a set of 10 dpns. Stitches used were knit, purl and k2tog. Easy mindless knitting that produces a nice warm hat, living up to pattern's name.


The final two hats are both knit with Cascade 220 Superwash. The Navy is knit on a size 6 16" circular with size 6 dpns. The pattern is Bankhead and is available as a free Ravelry download. Stitches used were knit, purl, k2tog, ktbl and sl2kpsso. The Charcoal and Raspberry is knit on a size 7 16" circular with size 7 dpns. Originally intended to be knit to a pattern, but I wasn't happy with the stitch definition I was getting on the size 7 needles. I ripped it back to the ribbing, tried something different and wasn't happy with that either. I ripped it out again and just decided to do a plain and simple slouchy stockinette hat. I do like the way the color change is defined, almost as if I planed it.

I had tried something new just before making the pink hat. My husband had asked for hat. Gasp! In all my years of knitting he's never asked for anything. So I stopped what I was doing and made him exactly what he asked for. Of course it was too big. So I made a duplicate, smaller needles, less stitches cast on. He loves it. What I also found was that my original Old Norwegian cast-on was just not as stretchy as I had thought. I did a search through my books and decided to try the Alternating Long Tail Cast-on. It's a bit tricky to get the hang of, but its a lovely stretchy rib-like cast-on. I did it again with the pink hat, it will be my new cast-on when starting with a ribbing.

All four of these hats were knit during the 2018 Olympics. Ravelry does its own knitting themed event to follow along. I made these with my Hats for Sailors team. There are no prizes. Only the gift we are able to give next fall when we supply a ship, or two, or, three, or hopefully four, with warm hats.



Friday, February 9, 2018

February #1 & #2 Mom and Me

Although these are simple looking hats, they have quite a little story to tell.

I originally made the child hat, adding a basketweave stitch after the ribbing. LOVED the look and was feeling really proud of myself for such a cute little hat. I still had more of the pink so I thought I'd make another simple adult hat to match. This is where the hats take an odd turn.


The pink is still that Lion Brand's Pound of Love, along with Hobby Lobby's I Love This Yarn in White and Berroco Comfort in Dusk. It is knit with a size 6 16" circular needle and a set of 6 dpns. Stitches used were knit, purl and k2tog.  I only knit three rows of stockinette before the inch of ribbing and the hat just didn’t look right.  I had just read that a Ravelry friend had cut off some ribbing to add length to a finished sock. Soooo I cut off the c/o knit to do some more ribbing. Ending with about two inches in total. I then knit six rows of stockinette before in order to get the curled brim I was looking for.

It was time for photos. I got out my two heads, slipped the adult hat on, no problems. However, when I tried to put the child had onto my child head form. Not even close. The basketweave made the circumference waaayy to small. I was disappointed to say the least.  
















So….I chopped off the basketweave, putting both the ribbing and the main body of the hat on two circulars. I then knit six rows of white onto the pink. Originally I thought I would just knit the two pieces together, but that didn’t look right. Not really good at the kitchener stitch, I whipped out my trusty little Kitchener Stitch tag from Katrinkles, got a really long piece of yarn on my needle and just went for it. It came out fairly descent, even the odd final join. The hat is knit with the same yarn as the adult hat, also on a size 6 needle. 
















See, not so bad of a stitch or a join. 😀









Katrinkles has some of the cutest stitchable buttons. I've just placed an order for a set of leaf buttons, a knitting gauge (not that I swatch much), and a knittable sweater ornament. I can't wait to find the right project for those buttons!





Friday, January 5, 2018

January #1 & #2 - Poodle & Spumoni

My two first finishes of the year and within the first five days. It helps school is still on winter break, but I'm off to a great start. I think this might be a year of children's hats, at least for a bit. I'll re-evaluate this idea come summer. For now there are many "new to me" patterns to explore.
















Poodle (or hat #1) is still using that Lion Brand's Pound of Love, along with Hobby Lobby's I Love This Yarn in Black and Ivory. The pattern is Simple Stripes Baby Hat, available for free either through the link or as a Ravelry download. It is knit with a size 6 16" circular needle and a set of 6 dpns. Stitches used were knit, purl and k2tog.I also wanted a slightly larger hat so I c/o 72 stitches and opted not to finish the hat with the gathered top. Of course I forgot to make adjusts for this and knit the pattern as written. Then couldn't understand why I had such a wide and short hat. Duh! I ripped it out, omited the eyelet row altogether and at about 5.5” from the rolled up edge (just about at the end of the last pink stripe) I began a standard decrease pattern. I felt the hat still needed a little something so I made a pom using my Llama Lloom. I should have taken a picture of all the yarn I trimmed off the pom, oyi!
















Spumoni (or hat #2) uses the same colors as hat #2 with the addition of Hobby Lobby's I Love This Yarn in Glacier (I say mint). The pattern is Rollipop, available for purchase on Ravelry. It is knit with a size 6 16" circular needle and a set of 6 dpns. Stitches used were knit, purl and k2tog. I knit the toddler sized with a c/o of 80 stitches and actually followed the directions. Sort of. The pattern calls uses a smaller sized needle for the rolled edge and ribbing. I elected to only use the size 6, which put some of my measurements off, but that was easy to work around. I kept wanting ice cream as I was knitting.

Monday, January 1, 2018

December #3, 4 & 5 - A Pound of Pink

My niece has a little girl who loves everything pink. I've made pink hats, pink mittens, a bright pink sweater and this Christmas a soft pink ballet wrap. I was rather late getting started (per usual) and needed to pick up yarn quickly on my way home from work, which took me to JoAnn's and had be buying Lion Brand's Pound of Love, which I am now referring to as the "Pound of Pink". What to do with so much pink yarn? Make hats of course!
I made a couple of preemie hats for a future charity, baby hats for a current charity, but that barely put a dent in the yarn. Plus I was already fairly sick of just pink. Time to add in other yarn.











Peony (or hat #3) used up the last bit of the Berroco Comfort Pot-Au-Feu from the December Big Stripe hat and took on a whole new look when combined with this soft pink. Pattern is Hat #18 Scrap Happy and is available as a free Ravelry downloadIt is knit with a size 6 16" circular needle and a set of 6 dpns. Stitches used were knit, slip and k2tog. I used the pattern last February for my Happy Stripes but wanted a smaller hat than the pattern called for. Simple solution was to c/o only 72 stitches and adjust the decreases accordingly. This hat looks so much different than my first which was a riot of color changes. I'm far more pleased with the results of this hat than I expected. I really, really like the softness of the color. Sometimes I still surprise myself.











Pink Flapper (or hat #2) incorporated some Hobby Lobby I Love This Yarn in Mixed Berry. The pattern is Guinny's Despicable Hat and is available as a free Ravelry download. It is knit on a size 7 16" circular needle and a set of 7 dpns. Stitches used were knit, purl, k2tog, and SSK. The pattern called for a c/o of 70 stitches, but I choose to c/o 72 stitches instead. I then adjusted my decreases to compensate. The earflaps were to be picked-up from the inside in order to be seamless, but for me they wouldn't have been, so I picked-up mine from the outside. Which picking up stitches is always a struggle. I use a crochet hook and actually crochet the stitch onto the knitting needle. It works. 













Pink Berry (hat #3) also used the Hobby Lobby yarn on a size 7 16" circular needle and a set of 7 dpns. Stitches used were knit and k2tog. I c/o 80 stitches, K2P2 for about an inch then two rows of stockinette before beginning the stripes. Three rows of the dark pink and six of the light pink. I started std decreases at about 5.5 inches from c/o edge.
The lighting is terrible in these pictures, but if I wait for it to warm enough to go outside, it would be June.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

December #1 & #2 - Big Stripe & Little Stripe

What do you do when you are in the middle of making a hat and run out of yarn? That's exactly what happened when I was making the Big Stripe hat.



Big Stripes is a personal pattern that uses Berroco Comfort in Dusk (dark gray) and Pot-Au-Feu (rainbow multi). I originally used a black but when I ran out, the hat just sat in the project bag for about a year. I kept telling myself I would buy more yarn, but I finally faced the fact I couldn't justify it when I literally have bins of it, so I ripped it all out and started over with the dark gray. I used a size 7 16" circular needle and a set of 7 dpns. Stitches used were knit, purl and k2tog. I c/o 88 stitches, k2p2 for 1.5" and two rows of each color until there 5.5" from the cast on edge. I did a simple decrease pattern with a knit row between until the K4 row, when I omit the knit rows. 

I had a bit more of the dark gray and wanted to make a child's hat, so....















The child’s hat is the Boys Gone Loopy hat. I wanted a different look than the bright rainbow multi so I switched it out for the Berroco Comfort Raspberry Tart by Bethany McRae. It is knit with a size 7 16" circular needle and a set of 7 dpns. Stitches used were knit, purl and k2tog. I was afraid I might run into the same situation as before (and run out of the dark gray) so I only knit 2.5” instead of 4” called for in the pattern before changing colors. I also only knit only 7.5” before starting the decreases. The loopy bit at the top is crocheted with a size H hook and single crochets.