Sunday, August 21, 2011

August 2011 hat #3 - Roseberry

Have I ever mentioned (other than my last post) how much I like Susan B. Anderson's designs? Especially...her hats. Not that I don't also love her toys and her new stunning Seeing Stars Blanket, but obviously I have a thing for hats. I have made a few of her hats previously, but this is my first for Halos of Hope. I was looking for a pattern that I could stitch up quickly and this delightful number fit my needs perfectly. That was until I got to the picot trim. Try as I might I couldn't figure it out and I stitched a few, tinked it back, tried again, tinked it back. This pattern repeated itself for about thirty minutes or so. At which point I suddenly had a "boy am I stupid" moment. Susan posts tutorial videos on her blog. With a quick trip to my computer I saw how EASY the picot trim really was. Thank you Susan.

The pattern is available in Susan's Itty Bitty Hats book. I used Berroco Comfort in Rose and Pimpernel for the main hat with the trim and edging in Ivory. I used 16" size 7 circular needle and 1 set of size 7 dpn. Stitches used are knit, purl, K2tog, yarn over, i-cord, and picot edging. I love this little hat and I imagine lots of color combinations in my future.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

August 2011 hat #2 - Sweet Stripes

Back in June I was fortunate enough to attend a book signing at a Chicago yarn shop, Nina: a well-knit shop, by Susan B. Anderson, author of many knitting books. Susan's work is so adorable, but of course my favorite book is Itty Bitty Hats. (I'll write more about Susan in another posting) Imagine my surprise when I received an email informing me I'd won a prize. Woohoo for me! Well, life intervened and I hadn't picked up my prize until recently when I finally made my way back to Nina (and yes there's another story there too) and yes, I bought some yarn. I had previously had my eye on this swirled bamboo by BeSweet, but passed thinking it was a bit pricey for a baby hat I'd give away. However on my return visit I was again drawn to the yarn but this time decided to splurge, and I'm glad I did as the yarn is soft and yummy.

Then I heard there is a story behind the yarn and I wanted to know more. I visited the Be Sweet website and am impressed with their company story. Created in 2003 on the premise of being kind to others, Be Sweet promotes education and career opportunities in South Africa. The women's stories are inspirational and touching and they make me want to spend the extra money to buy the wonderful yarn they create.

The pattern comes free on the ball band of Bambino Taffy but can also be purchased as a Ravelry download. I used 16" size 6 circular needle and 1 set of size 6 dpn. Stitches used are knit, purl, K2tog, slip slip knit, yarn over, and a bobble stitch. The hat also uses a provisional cast-on (a new method for me), which caused me a bit of issue until I got it figured out. I found a good video from Knitting Essentials that helped. I really like the way the hat came out and am now on the look-out for some new yarn to make another.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

August 2011 hat #1 - Black Beauty

Over the past year of locating pattern I typically find a pattern I really want to make and then look in my stash for the perfect yarn. If I haven't any, I go make a purchase. While this has been good for the economy, it hasn't always been good for my bottom line. I'm also have a mild addiction to yarn. At least I think its mild, since I can only imagine that there are some knitters who must have more stash than I have. Anyway, my point is, I need to change my ways and try to find patterns that work with my stash.

For the hot days of August I looked around for a quick and easy hat pattern that would utilize a nice soft black cotton I had. I found McKinley's Springtime Hat, available for free as a Ravelry download. I used I Love This Cotton! The hat is crocheted with a size H hook. Stitches used are chain, single crochet, half double crochet, double crochet and slip stitch. The pattern offers directions for two sizes, newborn and toddler, but can easily be adapted for a larger adult version. I added a simple flower embellishment that I wish were a bit larger, but I'm willing to live with (mainly because it doesn't really bother me enough to re-do it).