Saturday, June 23, 2018

Refreshing the look

Time to refresh the blog. I felt the theme was not reflecting the change my charity work has taken. The charity I was knitting for almost exclusively has suspended operations and I while I am still making chemo hats (because that is what I do), I am actually finding time to knit for myself. Gasp!

Other charities will also be highlighted on the blog as well and the pink ribbon theme just didn't feel right any more. Does a plain off-white blog feel right? No. But after spending several hours this morning I'm calling it quits on trying to decide. So plain off-white it is. At least for now. 

In the meantime I'll share a cute little bunny I just finished. I started her about a year ago and gave her a pom tail that was much too large. So she sat in a bag waiting patiently for me. I finally picked her up, re-made the tail and added a carrot tattoo (because every little bunny needs to be a little wild).

Monday, May 28, 2018

May #1-2 - Counting something different

Where have I been? My dad had knee replacement surgery and school, as always, kept me busy. I did finish two basic hats for a charity benefiting school children. I hope to finish a few more before actually mailing out my package.

The beneficiary of my May charity knitting is collecting both scarves and hats, so I thought I would try to send at least one of both. One of the recommended scarves is the Dandoh Scarf, available as a free Ravelry download. Knit with I Love This Cotton Prints in Wood on a size 8 24" circular (because I don't like using straight needles). Stitches used were knit, k2tog, kfb, and M1. After finishing a few stitches close up one end completely and the other end only at the tip to form the hole. So, so easy to complete.

The hat is basic, using the same yarn so I opted for no photo. Although I do have one if I need proof. lol

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.