Sunday, August 29, 2010

August hat #2 - Eyelet hat

So, does this look like the black crocheted Fifth Avenue Hat? Your darn right it doesn't. That hat, the one I was working on for most of the month (because for one it is black and therefore hard to see the stitches at night, and for two it is all single crochet), was starting to look like the only one that would be able to wear the hat would be Barbie. So...I frogged the whole thing and looked for a nice quick hat I could whip up in the remaining few days I had left. Now instead of a Barbie hat, I have a hat that looks like an unrippened strawberry. I liked the green on the skein, not so sure I like it made into this hat. However, I know that there is someone out there with a love of all things green who will probably like the color and appreciate the softness.

The pattern is in Knitsimple magazine, Holiday 2008. I used a partial skein of I Love This Cotton in #258 Pistache. The hat is knit on a 16" size 8 circular needle and 1 set of size 8 dp. The pattern comes with three sizes and I choose to knit the large. Stitches used are knit, purl, yo, and K2tog. The pattern repeat was super simple and I did not need to refer often to the directions which makes it a good hat to make while watching TV.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Stitches Midwest

This past Saturday I had the pleasure to once again help Halos of Hope raise awareness about their charity. And did we talk, as I met so many nice needle folk. Many of whom were already doing some type of charity work but loved the work Halos is doing and were interested in helping. I even met Jodie, who gave me an idea for one of my December hats.

Not only did we hand out free patterns and talk about Halos, we were also able to introduce everyone to the new Annie's Attic
Chemo Caps & Wraps. Scheduled for a September release date, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to Halos of Hope. I for one can not wait. There are plans for a book release party at my LYS, Fuzzy Wuzzy Yarns. I believe on September 15th. If you'd like to learn more about Halos of Hope or get your hands on the book, plan on joining us.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Baseball with a purpose

Last night I attended the Chicago White Sox game at U.S. Cellular Field. Not only was it my first professional game in countless years, it was also my first experience at a Stitch N' Pitch.

1. I was surprised by how well I could see the game from our seats in the outfield (although I really didn't watch much of the game).
2. I was shocked (although I shouldn't have been) by the fact that a bottle of water was over four dollars.
3. It was incredibly hot.
4. I became obsessed with finishing my Shells and Trellis cap.

Yes, I did finish a cap at the game (this explains why I didn't pay attention to the baseball). I actually began the cap at home before we left, worked on it during the 2.5 hour car ride to the field and thought I'd finished it. Then decided it was a bit short and tried to add on another two rows. The eyelash was driving me crazy, it was shedding fuzz all over, and what should have been a quick and easy two rows turned into several innings of hunched over frustration. But...I finished (I think in the bottom of the eighth).

It was FUN. I'd do it again, only without the eyelash!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Looking for a way to help

Since meeting Pam Haschke, Halos of Hope founder, last spring I have become increasingly more personally involved in making caps/hats for donation to her charity. The way I think about how a yarn will work and which pattern to try has worked its way from a deliberate thought process to a more unconscious natural one. And as I've been slowly changing I've been exposing my family to this change along the way. At first, my husband didn't really want to know why I was knitting the caps/hats, he simply didn't want to think about who received them. Now he actually asks if I'm working on another one and is taking an interest in how many I've completed. My son.... well he's an 18 year old boy (enough said). My daughter on the other hand is looking for a way to help.

She doesn't knit, crochet, or sew. We thought perhaps the Kwik-Sew 3173 no-sew pattern would do the trick. Apparently not. She's not happy with her results. I do have to say, they are not as cute as the one I saw at Midwest Fiber (look in the upper right of the photo). I don't think it is her construction technique, but her choices of fleece. We haven't given up on this idea, we just need to make some changes and try again.

However...she's determined to find a different path, one that "feels" right. So last night...crochet lesson #1. We finished the first row of the Shells and Trellis hat. Be still my heart.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

August hat #1 - Shells and Trellis

Technically, this post should be titled August hats #1 & 2, but since they are the same hat I felt they should really only count as my first for the month. Actually, they're not the same, it is more like hat #1 and her larger, looser, and better crocheted sister. I used a G hook for the first hat, realized how teeny, tiny it was turning out, and I almost frogged the whole thing, but I decided to go ahead and finish it up (I'm keeping those young girls supplied). I realize I hold my hook tightly, but geez I think its more like a death grip, which is kind of driving me a little nutty, so....I decided to give the hat another go and move up a hook size (a good excuse to use my new H hook). As you can see, although it is still a bit on the small size (after all it fits my little head), it is much nicer and a more respectable donation.

The pattern is available for free at For both hats I used a partial skein of Berroco Comfort in Seedling and 1 skein of Schoeller and Stahl Batika in color 101 (a fingering weight yarn doubled) . As mentioned the smaller hat is crocheted using a G hook and the larger an H hook, although I wouldn't necessarily use my work as a reliable tension gauge. Stitches used are dc and sl st.