Wednesday, July 27, 2011

July 2011 hat #3 - Sailor Hat
















So after writing my last post I really got to thinking about that sailor hat and how I could make it. I was waiting for my daughter to come home, had some free time, so I got started. A couple hours later and, voila.  I haven't written a post practically all month and I write two in one day.  Oh well....

I used Lily Sugar'n Cream in White and an H hook. I used a basic hat pattern of single crochet increases for 12 rounds and then continued single crochets in each stitch until it looked tall enough. I then did a front post single crochet around, slip stitched closed, chained one and turned. For the brim, I did six rounds of sc, another round of sc with four extra stitches evenly spaced throughout the round and then one more round of sc. Done. Super simple nothing fancy. Not quite what I had in mind, but it works.

July 2011 hat #2 - Sassy Summer Hat
















I have to ask, does this look like a sailor's hat to you? No? Well that's what it started out as, and what the yarn spent most of the month trying to be. I finally became so completely frustrated I decided I needed to just give up and move on, and it wasn't an easy decision. I really, really wanted to make a sailor hat this month, in honor of my daughter's Navy Commissioning ceremony. But I guess with all the difficulty with the pattern in addition to the sudden change in my daughter's orders (she was originally scheduled to report in October, but was moved up to August) the sailor's hat just wasn't meant to happen this month. The version I was trying to make was knitted and I have seen another that is crocheted which has given me an idea....

So instead I made Karen's Summer Hat pattern, available for free as a Ravelry download. I used Lily Sugar'n Cream in White. The hat is crocheted with a size H hook. Stitches used are chain, single crochet, front post single crochet, and back post single crochet. A stitch marker is essential because the hat is worked is continuous rounds without joining. This pattern can be custom made to fit any sized head. Since I was making mine to donate I simple choose to stop at 12 rows and made what turned into an adorable child’s hat. Instead of crocheting the ribbon I purchased grosgrain ribbon and sewed it onto the hat to keep it secure. I then deconstructed a silk flower, removing the plastic center and adding floss french silk knots. I put the flower onto a barrette so that it could be removable and thus the hat washable.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

July 2011 hat #1 - My Danish Hat
















OK...so my first hat in my new year of challenge isn't even a child's hat. But, it is one that I had started in June and I wanted to finish. I had actually made one earlier, but I gave it away as a gift, so I wasn't able to count it as a chemo cap. I really liked the cap and was particularly proud of the fact that the pattern was originally in Danish (and I don't speak Danish), so I wanted to write about it. I found the hat by chance when I was trolling through the hundreds of Ravelry patterns looking for something cute to make for a friends daughter. I was disappointed to find that the pattern wasn't in English, but decided that it couldn't be that hard to figure it out. I've learned enough about hat construction over the past year, I figured, why not give it a go. So...with the help of an on-line translator and a bit of time, viola. A successful, and might I add, very cute hat.

If you must have the original pattern, it is available in Danish from Filcolana. I've translated the pattern and written it up in an pdf on my pattern page to make things a bit easier for those who'd like to give it a try. I used Berroco Comfort in Wild Raspberry Heather on a 16" size 7 circular needle and 1 set of size 7 dpn. Stitches used are knit, purl, K2tog, and a bobble stitch. KnittingHelp.com has a nice video that shows how to make a bobble if you've never made one before.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Happy Birthday

A year ago I came up with the idea of challenging myself to make more hats for my favorite charity Halos of Hope. I had made a few already, and wanted to step up my contribution. I would push myself to make two per month, thinking this was a reasonable goal. I was then inspired by a movie I had just seen, Julie & Julia, and I decided to create this blog to document my progress. Originally I had intended to begin the project in an orderly fashion on January 1st, collecting patterns and planning in the meantime. Obviously I'm not good at waiting since I decided one year ago today to just get on with it. I wasn't going to stop making hats just because I wasn't blogging. Did it really matter when I actually started?  Certainly not to anyone else. So....today, July 5th, is my blogs birthday.

I suppose I should explain that I didn't want to just make two hats, I wanted to use patterns I had never made before. Just a little extra challenge. As a reader I would find it boring to read about the same hat over, and over. Plus there are so many pretty hat patterns why not experience the variety.

Now comes the fun part. In the past year I've used 28 new patterns, some of them requiring me to learn a new stitch or technique. So as far as my goal of using new patterns - check. I've not been the most consistent blogger, especially lately, with a total of 46 blog posts. There have been 2,887 page views (although I don't know how many of those are regular readers) from readers in 10 different countries. And...although I've not blogged about every hat made, my "official" count in my first year is....49. I'm pretty excited about it, especially given my time constraints, arthritis issues, actually making an occasional non-hat project or two, and a few other hats donated to other causes.

What's next? I think I need a bit of break. But I won't stop making hats, I'll just just not make as many...maybe. I've been stashing so much yarn for other projects I need to actually make a few of them. I've also decided Year 2 will be all about children's hats, just to be different. I'm sure I'll still make adult hats, but my new patterns (or most of them), will be focused on all the adorable hat patterns I've been collecting.

Here's to another year. Thanks for visiting.