Thursday, November 24, 2011

November 2011 hat #2 - A Striped Square

Jared Flood designed this simple striped hat that offers endless possibilities for customization. I hadn't fully realized this until writing this post I actually looked over at Ravelry and saw almost 10,000 projects to view. Other than the obvious customization of striping color, knitters have also changed width of the stripes, number and/or quantity of stripes, width of the ribbing, and the actual size of the hat (think baby hats). There are even some very talented knitters that have added fair isle colorwork or knitted motifs into their work.

I on the other hand, this actually being my second Turn A Square hat, stayed true to the pattern. Or so I thought. According to the pattern & pictures, this should be fitted hat. Well, that’s only going to happen if the young man who chooses this hat has a head the size of a gorilla. For some reason I didn’t use the smaller needles for the ribbing. Perhaps I remembered my first attempt being on the snug side? I'm also not overly thrilled with the squared corners on this particular hat as I feel they are a bit on the loose side. I checked the gauge of my finished hat (and I rarely check gauge) to find that I was indeed a bit looser than the intended 5 stitches per inch target. I came in at 4.5 per inch. However, I have yet another hat I completed immediately after this one (which I'm giving away as a gift) and when I checked that gauge, I was spot on. Same yarn combo, so who the heck knows?

The pattern is available for free as a Ravelry download. I used Kraemer Perfection in Granite for the main hat with the stripes in Classic Elite Liberty Wool color #7802. I used 16" size 5 and 7 circular needles and 1 set of size 7 dpn. Stitches used are knit, purl, and K2tog. If you need help with stripes in-the-round view one of these instructional videos, either Knitting Daily TV Episode 311 or Knit Purl Hunter.  Good Luck and happy stripes.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

November 2011 hat #1 - Softly Swedish

How is everyone coming along on their happiest hats? I'm looking forward to seeing what my needle friends come up with (really I'm just looking for some new design ideas to borrow). That's my favorite thing about being on Ravelry, seeing how everyone adapts a pattern with their choice of color and/or yarn. I have so many hats in my favorites that I'm set for several years with new patterns.

Speaking of which, my favorite hat designer, Susan B. Anderson, came out with a new pattern that I just had to try. Beluga and Firefly is available as a free pdf download on the Spud and Chloe website. For my version I used Berroco Comfort in Chambray with the stripes in Lidfors, (This is how I came up with the name for the hat, since Lidfors is a Swedish name). I used 16" size 7 circular needle and 1 set of size 7 dpn. Stitches used are knit, purl, and K2tog (although you also need to know how to make a stitch and how to slip a stitch). The bumpy stripe is created over a couple of rows and is written out in the pattern in easy to follow steps.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Happiest Hat Contest

Comments on the Ravelry group got me to thinking, I make hats for the simple reason that I'd like to brighten someone's day. God gave me a talent, I should use this talent to help others. No, I'm not changing the world, but hopefully making someone feel better about themselves at a time when perhaps they might not be feeling so good otherwise. It's simple, its a small contribution, but if each person did something simple and small, think of how much better our world would be.

Anyway, the comment on Ravelry gave me the idea to have a simple contest with simple rules.
  1. You must be a member of the Ravelry group 12 months = 24 hats.
  2. Select what you think is your happiest looking hat (or make your happiest hat) and post a picture. One hat entry per person. (If you are unsure how to post a picture, post a link to your project page, although I’d prefer a picture so that all hats would be in one easy to see place).
That's it. Two rules. The contest will end on December 31st at 11:59pm. A panel of judges (my husband and adult children, as I will remove myself from judging in case I’m biased) will determine the winner sometime shortly thereafter and the winner will be notified both here and on Ravelry.

Prizes will include some yummy yarn and other goodies, but I won’t be specific so that it’s a surprise.

Have fun!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

October 2011 hat #2 - Pumpkin

Pathetically posting my second October hat after the fact. Plus I've not posted almost the entire month, YIKES! You would have thought I'd have something to say, and indeed I did. I just didn't have the energy to sit at my computer to actually type it. Well, I was sitting here, typing. But it was work/school related. I got so little yarn time that I've become quite the grouchy person. My husband has remarked that I seem "angry". Perhaps stressful might be a more accurate description, since time spent knitting and crocheting relaxes me and, while I can not scientifically prove it, I do feel it de-stresses me and allows me accept those events in life I can not change. Perhaps it is because I'm creating change elsewhere. I'm not moving mountains, but I truly believe I'm bringing about change in someone's life when they choose one of my handcrafted hats to wear home from treatment. Hopefully the hat makes them feel warmer, or prettier, or perhaps just that they know someone out there cares.

The pattern is available in Susan B. Anderson's Itty Bitty Hats book. I used Berroco Comfort in Pumpkin (oh so original) for the main hat with the leaf and stem in Seedling. I used 16" size 7 circular needle and 1 set of size 7 dpn. Stitches used are knit, purl, K2tog, P2tog, knit in the front and back of the same stitch. Very easy hat, but very seasonally appropriate.