Wednesday, December 26, 2012

December 2012 #3 - Please Don't Squeeze the Grapes

People often ask me where I get my the ideas for my hats, and I always answer, "I get them all over the place". As I mentioned last month, I saw some striping that I like on other hats and did something similar, I see color combinations on clothing or design fabrics that I remember. I also browse through the finished projects pages of the various groups I belong to on Ravelry. There are so many amazingly talented people posting their work that my "favorites" list is far longer than I'll ever be able to accomplish in my lifetime. Several months back, I came across a super cute hat by knitschmidt (her Halloween costumes are even cuter!). From her idea, came this hat.

The pattern, Bubble Hat, is published in 60 More Quick Quick Baby Knits. I used Berroco Comfort in Purple and Marum for the leaves, on a size 7 16" circular needle and a set of 7 dpns. Stitches used are knit, k2tog and a k5b (knit five below). The k5b was a new stitch and I was making a total mess of it until I found this easy tutorial by knit1frog2. The addition of the crochet hook, which would seem like a pain, actual helped speed the process along and the hat came together easily. I switched colors at decrease round 7 and then also moved down to a size 5 needle for the i-cord. For the life of me I can't remember what pattern I used for the leaves, but I did make a note that I used a size 4 needle.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

December 2012 #2 - Berry Berry

As you can see my fascination with stripes has taken a new form. Found this pattern and immediately thought that the brim work should be done in multiple colors, and I must say, I'm quite happy with the outcome.

The pattern, Marguerite Anne, is available as a Ravelry download. I used Berroco Comfort in Boysenberry Heather, Goldenrod, and Dried Plum on a size 7 16" circular needle and a set of 7 dpns. Stitches used are knit, purl and k2tog. The first color change was on row five, and then another on row 11. I also added an additional row of knitting just after the band (making the band 15 rows) because I thought the final color change would transition better.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

December 2012 #1 - Neopolitan

One of the wonderful aspects of Ravelry (okay, it might really be a curse) are the many great hats that I find that other people make that I find inspiration in. My queue is overflowing and I most likely will never make them all. Especially since I tend to find two for every one that I actually make.

That was the case when I saw this great hat by Kraftling that was she so cleverly designed. I used her stitch notations, only taking away the color work, since that doesn't seem to work well with the Comfort, and instead choose to do some color variation work.

I used Berroco Comfort in Humus, Pearl, and Raspberry Coulis on a size 7 16" circular needle and a set of 7 dpns. Stitches used are knit, purl, make one, and k2tog. It is a combination Krafling's original design and Felicity by Wanett Clyde. I c/o co 88 sts w/Humus and knit 5 rows of stockinette. Changed to Pearl knit 7 rows of k,1p1 ribbing and then knit 1 row of stockinette. Change to Raspberry Coulis and knit stockinette until the hat measures 5.5” from bottom edge. The remainder of the hat (the increases and decreases) follow the Felicity pattern.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

November 2012 #3 - Cool Blue

Hat number three on the November stripe train express. This time the inspiration came whilst shopping downtown with my Ravelry friends, Mel and JoAnn. Mel, was on the last bit of a whirlwind cross continent visit. I was fortunate enough to meet both of these ladies through a Ravelry group, all of whom are fans of designer Susan B. Anderson. (I've made many of her designs in the past, August 2011, November 2011 and January 2012, just to link a few).

Sorry, off topic a bit, back to "this" hat...I had already finished the first stripe hat, was working on the second when I came across this wonderful array of hats in a sports shop. I just happened to have some colors that worked in my stash so this is what I came up with. I used Berroco Comfort in Smokestack with Turquoise, Honeyberry Heather, and Robin’s Egg for the stripes on a size 7 16" circular needle and a set of 7 dpns. Stitches used are knit, k2tog. As with the other two striped hats, I made up the pattern and included the actual row counts on my Ravelry page. The pdf is also linked here and on my pattern page for you to download if you prefer. However, please keep in mind I am not a hat designer so please let me know if you find any errors.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

November #2 - A Burst of Orange

Stripe selection number two. I actually saw this color idea on a television ad (not that I remember what the ad was for), which just shows I'll never know where I'll find my ideas from.

I used Berroco Comfort in Kidz Orange for the ribbing and then Chambray and Falseberry Heather for the stripes on a on a size 7 16" circular needle and a set of 7 dpns. Stitches used are knit and k2tog. Just like the first stripe hat this month, I made up the pattern and have included the actual row count on my Ravelry page. I have yet another stripe hat that I'll write about in a day or so, and all three of these are included in the pdf I wrote up if you'd rather work download the instructions.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

November 2012 #1 - Mind the Gap

You would think a hat with a name such as this would have something to do with London, but no. I actually found inspiration for the stripe sequence on Pinterest. After following the link I found it available from The Gap, which is how I decided on the name. Obviously my version, although similar in color, looks different due to the yarn weight differences.

I used Berroco Comfort in Dusk for the ribbing, Hummus and Pearl for the stripes, and Smokestack for the crown on a on a size 7 16" circular needle and a set of 7 dpns. Stitches used are knit, k2tog and SSK. I made up the pattern and included the actual row counts on my Ravelry page, but since I personally like printed copies so I've also included a pdf file for you to download if you wish.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

October 2012 #2 - Robin's Hat

Yet another blog post that is after the month is over. Can my life be "that" busy? I wouldn't think so, but apparently it is. Either that or I just choose to spend more time knitting and not blogging, and I will admit that there have been a few nights towards the end of the month where I could have sat down at the computer and wrote up this entry, but needed instead to pick up my needles and relieve the stress of the day. And I do count my blessings that I'm still able to do so, which is probably why I have not a single knitted item of clothing in my closet to wear since all my work is given away to charity. Oh well...

This pattern is named Mom's Hat and can be found in Creative Knitting, January 2010, on page 60. I used Berroco Comfort in Turquoise, with striping in Robin's Egg on a size 7 16" circular needle and a set of 7 dpns. Stitches used are knit and k2tog. It really doesn't get much easier than this basic hat, except maybe to not do the stripes. So, pick two colors and make a hat.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

October 2012 #1 - A New Kind of Fall

Strange name for a hat, but...that's what it looks like to me. Fall with a twist. Oh, perhaps that would be a better name? Oh well. I've actually had this hat done since earlier in the month, but I've been crazy busy at school and such and just haven't had the time to sit and type. (actually trying to finish up some hats for another charity that are due at the end of the month)

This month I challenged myself to pull some patterns from one of the many magazines I have stockpiled. I'm a terrible magazine purchaser. I see them, love them, buy them, and then never make anything out of them. So, this month's hat pattern #1 is named Golden Glade Hat and can be found in Creative Knitting, September 2009, on page 56. I used Berroco Comfort in Falseberry Heather (brown), Lidfors (yellow), Dried Plum, with the small striping in Seedling on a size 7 16" circular needle and a set of 7 dpns. Stitches used are knit, purl, yarn over, slip stitch, ssk, psso, and k2tog. I used one needle size smaller than the pattern called for because I feel that when making color changes or stripes, Comfort works better on a slightly smaller needle. I happened to have similar colors as to what was used in the pattern photo, so I went with those, but the color combinations are limitless. The hat worked up quickly and was easy to make. It's a keeper.

And you might have noticed that I hadn't posted anything after October 14th regarding the winner of my little contest.  Although I feel certain that there were votes cast no one posted a comment so therefore I've no one to send my gifts to.  Perhaps next time...

Sunday, September 30, 2012

September 2012 #2 - Golden Stripes

When I was looking for a new pattern I was struck by the beauty of the yarn used for this hat. Of course because I rarely use wool in my hats for Halos of Hope, (not that you couldn't, I just choose not to), I went instead with my favorite soft yarn, Berroco Comfort. Which, let's face it, just doesn't have the same subtle coloring as a variegated wool. That said, I find the hat a bit boring and I'm now working on a flower embellishment to add a little zip to brighten it up but I wanted to get my second hat posted for September and I'm not sure I'll be finished with the embellishment tonight.

The pattern is Garter-Ridged Hat and is #31 in the 60 Quick Knits. I used Berroco Comfort in Lidfors with the garter ridges in Filbert on a size 7 16" circular needle and a set of 7 dpns. Stitches used are knit, purl, and k2tog. It really doesn't get a whole lot easier that this. I promise to post an update to show off the embellishment as soon as its finished.  I'm thinking of something in felt, most likely with purple flowers.  Stay tuned...

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

What's that buzzing?

It's not a forgotten bee trying to get the last of the summer flower's nectar. It's not a chain-saw cutting up wood for a fall fire. No, it's the sound of hair clippers being warmed up for Stitches East. Why you ask? Because three generous and brave souls have put their heads, or at least their hair, on the line to help raise money for my favorite charity, Halos of Hope.

Drew Emborsky (a.k.a. the Crochet Dude ), Benjamin Levisay (CEO of XRX, Inc. & STITCHES Expos), and Mark Moraca (co-owner of Kollage Yarns) have agreed to allow themselves to either be "saved" or "shaved" by fan vote, on stage at Stitches East.

How can you help? Vote! Each $10 vote helps send 31 more hats to patients in need. And if helping send 31 hats wasn't incentive enough, I'm offering an additional bit of goodie. For every vote you cast you'll have the opportunity to win one of two prizes.  For my knitting friends a copy of  Hattitude: Knits for Every Mood by Cathy Carron and a gorgeous skein of hand-dyed superwash yarn from Elgin Knit Works.  For my non-knitting friends I'm offering to knit you a hat of your choice, any color, any yarn, any pattern (your choice).  Of course, whether you knit or not, you may choose either prize option.

Here's the details...Cast your vote on the XRX website and then post a comment letting me know you've done so.  Then indicate which prize would like to win.  It's that simple.  You may enter as often as you care to vote, so think Chicago politics and "Vote early and vote often".

Voting closes on October 13th, so my drawing will take place on October 14th.  Obviously, this is on the honor system, but hey, it's for a good cause, so let's ship some hats!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

September 2012 #1 - Aster Station

Cleverly knit in-the-round for 3.5" than a simple wrap & turn in order to begin to work backwards. A simple flipping of the work inside out makes it easy to continue working a knit stitch, in-the-round, while creating the purl effect for the remainder of the hat. Although a simple knit stitch the crown has an interesting cross-top in the pattern that I received compliments of Malabrigo while at Stityches Midwest.

The pattern, Station Hat by Alexandra Tinsley, is available for purchase through Ravelry. I used Berroco Comfort in Aster on a size 6 16" circular needle and a set of 6 dpns. Stitches used are knit, purl, k2tog, and SSK. I love the easy feel of the hat and the way it fell on my head, giving it a slight slouchy look. I admit, don’t like the way I look in too many hats, but I liked this one enough that I do plan on making another one of these for myself.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

August 2012 #2 - Greenwich

In my last post I mentioned a nasty little virus my computer picked up which necessitated a visit to the repair shop. I thought all was well when I picked it up and everything appeared to be working. Unfortunately, it was now working at a snail's pace, which was frustrating me beyond believe. back to the shop it went again. In the meantime, I children returned to school, leaving me tired and lacking any fiber mojo at all. At this point, the computer is home (although I'm not quite sure all is well), I'm beginning to adjust to the back-to-school schedule, and I've hoping to find my mojo again soon. Thankfully I had completed this wonderful hat prior to my woes (I just needed a working computer to upload everything).

The pattern is Avalon Cabled Hat and available for purchase either through Ravelry or KnitPicks. I used Berroco Comfort in Marum on a size 6 16" circular needle and a set of 6 dpns. Stitches used are knit, purl, k2tog, C6F, and C6B. The cabled brim is knit first with a provisional cast on and then joined with a kitchener stitch. Although I have done a kitchener stitch before to close up socks, I have never done it to create a seamless join with live stitches before. The body of the hat is slouchy compared to the pattern photo, but I'm okay with that. Over all, I like the cabling (really, it was easy), I'd make this one again.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

August 2012 #1 - Stratford

This wonderful little number was actually completed back on the first! Yes, the first day of the month, while I was busy watching the wonderful Olympics (hence the name). I was quite good about getting my picture posted up to Ravelry, but then got busy on another hat, going back to work (a.k.a. school), and attending Stitches Midwest. I was all set to get my post written when I sat down to my computer and saw nothing but a black screen. As I started to figure out the problem, it actually became worse, which is when I realized I had gotten a virus. I wasn't able to restore it or find my data. Panic ensued. Thankfully the repair was quick and I was back up and running (which is more than I can say for myself these days).

The pattern is available as a Ravelry download. I used Plymouth Yarn Fantasy Naturale in color 6399 on a size 7 16" circular needle and a set of 7 dpns. Stitches used are knit, purl, ssk, ktbl, ptbl, and sk2po. The ktbl and ptbl create the unique ribbed brim. Which was a new way of ribbing for me and the sk2po creates the lace (another new stitch). This was a very easy pattern to follow once I got the hang of the stitches. I made the child's hat and found it to be more than generous of a size for myself (even with my smallish head).

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

July 2012 #3 - Oceania

This hat was actually started and finished earlier in the month, but because it required me to think about what I did, I've been putting it off. I know, lazy me. Well, now that the month has ended I needed to get my act in gear and as they say, "get it done". I purchased the yarn at a Cascade Yarn Tasting event at my LYS, hadn't brought my knitting bag with me so instead purchased a skein of Pacific Chunky with which to make up a hat. I've used it before, loved it, and thought, why not?

I used Cascade Pacific Chunky in Bluebird on a size 10 16" circular needle and a set of 10 dpns. Stitches used are knit, purl and k2tog. It appears that there is a yarn over, however the affect is created by bringing the working yarn to the front of the piece before stitching the k2tog, thus creating the extra loop on the needle (Same basic principle, just worked differently, who knew? Obviously not me.)   The pattern, such as it is, is available on my pattern page as a pdf.  Let me know if you find any errors.  I'm not a hat designer, as I mentioned, I was knitting it up as I went along.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

July 2012 #2 - Rat-a-tat-tat

On Friday night at Stitches Midwest Marley Bird will be at the center of the pajama party, having offered up her Ratatouille hat for a Halos of Hope volunteers. Of course I just had to make one. Unfortunately, I think this is officially the largest hat I've ever made. LOL I admit, I'm not one to gauge swatch. I never do for hats, since patients come in many different sizes and I have so many hats to make I figure there will be someone who will fit in my finished hat. I will also point out that I typically knit fairly close to gauge, which also helps. But man, not sure what the heck I did with this hat, but boy, is it big. Which could explain why I rain out of the main color yarn and I had to adapt the stripe pattern since I really didn't want to purchase another skein of the blue.

The pattern is available for purchase from Marley's website. I used Berroco Weekend in Cornflower and Tomatillo on a size 8 16" & 24" circular needle and a set of 8 dpns. I originally started on the 16" circulars, but once all the increases were completed I switched to the 24" to work more comfortably before I returned back to the 16" and then to the dpns.  It is a bit fiddly to switch between the needles, but I'd rather switch the length than struggle with all the extra bulk of the stitches.  Stitches used are knit, purl, kfb and k2tog. I also want to point out the ribbing band felt like it took forever to finish. I'm just not used to knitting anything flat anymore I guess. Once I picked up those stitches and started in the round the rest of the hat just flew off the needles.

If you didn't already know, I'm a librarian in my full-time career.  That said, I'm rather organized and I like to keep records.  Which means I have an entire Excel spreadsheet with details of every hat I've made and who received it.  I just realized that with this completion this will be my 100th hat donated to Halos of Hope.  Yeah me!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Anniversary Giveaway Winner

This should have been posted yesterday, so my sincere apologies. Thank you to everyone who continues to visit my sight. Hopefully you enjoy reading it and find the patterns helpful.

I used a random number generator to select lucky number eight as our Anniversary Poll Giveaway Winner. Congratulations raelynne01! I will be sending out your prize shortly. You'll be receiving a Halos of Hope project bag, the pattern Angels Watching Over by Heatherly Walker (a Halos of Hope pattern exclusive), a skein of Berroco Comfort yarn, a sheep soap, a Hello Ravelry button, and an extra surprise or two. Enjoy.

To purchase your own Halos of Hope exclusive pattern or logo merchandise visit their on-line store.

Monday, July 16, 2012

July 2012 #1 - Purply Plum Panache

Now is this a party hat or what? I was inspired by a hat that Debbie (a.k.a. bellsisterdebbie) made for the Camp Happy Times Campaign and wanted to create a simple knitted hat with an inset of ruffles. I found what I thought was a very pretty ribbon like purply yarn that would pair well with my favorite Berroco Comfort. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that it was actual an open lacy number, of which I had no idea how to use. I surfed through Ravelry, but all the projects listed were scarfs. What to do, what to do? I decided to just start knitting and perhaps something would come to me, and this is what I came up with.

I used Berroco Comfort in Boysenberry Heather and Starbella in Plum Preserves on a size 7 16" circular needle and a set of 7 dpns. Stitches used are knit, purl, and k2tog. With the Comfort only I c/o 88 stitches and did a k2p2 ribbing for 10 rounds, then knit for 8 more rounds. The next round was very slow going as I added in the Starbella. Not having worked with such a funky yarn before I wasn't sure what the suggested method was, so I picked up the loops as I went and added them to my left needle and then stitched them along with my next stitch, one at a time. Hence the slow going. After one round of the double stitching I knit regular again for 5 rounds and then repeated the process two more times. I then added a purl round for interest and began my decrease rounds. When I got to towards the top I added the Starbella back in every stitch for a few rounds just for additional interest. It certainly isn't a hat I'd want to wear, but then I'm pretty conservative. But I've gotten some nice comments on it from some younger people and my guess is that there is someone at camp that will think it’s a fun hat. It is certainly a bit wild looking.

Friday, July 6, 2012

An Little Anniversary Poll - with Giveaway

July 5th was the 2nd anniversary of my blog.  I'm two days late celebrating, but I was busy making a hat, honest.  I'll actually be posting about it later (it's a very crazy purple ruffled one).  Anyway, back to the celebration at hand.  Being the librarian I am, I was curious about the statistics involved, both hat and blog.

Blog stuff first.  Since I don't pay for a premium service my statistic availability does not allow me to narrow the numbers as closely as I'd like. However, I do know that since starting my blog I've had exactly 5,500 pageviews.  Which if you figure in averages, that would be 2,750 per year.  Not bad.  March 2012 had the greatest single month  of pageviews with 669, most likely due to the Merlot hat on February 29th.  Merlot alone received 286 pageviews.  The pattern page has received 405 pageviews, so hopefully people are finding that a useful resource.  Bored yet?  I would be, because lets face it, who would find these numbers interesting, other than me?

Would hat statistics be more fun to read about?  Well, 46 (20 adult, 26 children) of the hats I made in the past year were donated to Halos of Hope.  Here comes the hard part, choosing which is the best.  I went back through all my past posts, expecting to select the top five or so to post for this poll.  With each month I kept telling myself, "Oh, I like this one." or "I like that one, because..." So I had to revisit the list several times until I cut it down to ten.  Now since this is an opinion poll, there is no real hat winner.  I'm just curious, and it's hot outside so I felt we needed a little cool distraction inside.  You are actually welcome to vote for any hat I've made since July 2012.

Here's how the giveaway will work.  Add a comment with your email or Ravelry ID (so I can contact you if you win) and the name of the hat you like best.  That's it.  Pretty darn simple.  I'll select a random winner on July 17th.

July 2011 #1 - My Danish Hat
July 2011 #2 - Sassy Summer Hat
August 2011 #3 - Roseberry
October 2011 #1 - Chunky Pink Cables
November 2011 #1 - Softly Swedish
December 2011 #1 - Candy Cane
January 2012 #1 - Frosty
January 2012 #3 - Flurry
February 2012 #1 - Wild Raspberry Cables
April 2012 #3 - Sweet Pea
June 2012 #3 - Carmel Bucket

OK, so I lied, it turns out that there are eleven hats.  Now don't feel you have to limit yourself to these eleven.  Feel free to choose from any I've made if there is one in particular that you've liked that I haven't chosen.  My reasons for selecting each of these has varied either because of the cuteness factor, because it was incredibly soft, or because I just liked they way it came together.  Oh, by the way, would you like to know what I'm giving away?  The lucky person drawn from all entries will receive a Halos of Hope project bag, skein of Berroco Comfort yarn, and a few other yarn related goodies (there must be some surprises).

Saturday, June 30, 2012

June 2012 #3 - Carmel Bucket

I was originally going to start of telling you that this was going to be my last hat of the year. But then I thought you might get the wrong idea, especially if you are a new reader and didn't realize that my new year begins in July (basically tomorrow). So instead I'll focus on this wonderful hat, skip the drama and leave all the year-end statistics for my next posting.

Why? Because I LOVE THIS HAT! So much so I plan to actually make another for myself. And if you've read my blog for any amount of time I have never (and I mean never) made a hat for myself. In all my years of knitting, and after the hundreds of hats I've made, I've never once made one for myself. Why? Because I look positively silly in almost every hat I try on. Oh I do have a few hats. I have two summer hats to keep the sun off my face and one winter hat to keep my head warm. That's it. Neither is fancy, nor a hand knit. So needless to say I'm over the moon excited that I'll actually have a knitted hat (and my own at that) to wear. The best part is that I'll be able to make it in a wonderful cotton for summer and then a thicker acrylic for winter. (again, if you're newer to the blog you might not realize I'm allergic to wool, I can knit with it, I just can't wear it).

The pattern, A Better Bucket by Amy Swenson, is available as a Ravelry download. I used Hobby Lobby I Love This Cotton! in Taupe Ombre on a size 7 16" circular needle and a set of 7 dpns. Stitches used are knit, purl, k2tog, kfb and a provisional cast on. I used the crochet cast on method as described in Knit Speak by Adrea Berman Price. Although it was not difficult to join the original cast on edge I did find it awkward and slow (but that is just me, and my lack of practice using this particular skill, probably because I'm doing it wrong, but hey, it worked and it can't be that bad since I'm going to make another, right?).

Thursday, June 28, 2012

June 2012 #2 - A Chicken's Got to Party

Strange name for a hat, yes? Well, with the Camp Happy Times campaign soon wrapping up I wanted to get at least one more truly fun party hat done for the campers. I saw the character hat that Darleen Hopkins made and well I just "had" to make one. My son thinks my chicken is a bit scary, but then again, I was doing the modeling. And, well, all hats look a little scary on me (that's why I don't wear them). I am a bit afraid that I made the chicken part a bit too big as it almost looks a bit out of proportion to the party hat, but I've worn the hat around the house as a test and it does stay upright (hopefully that holds true for the eventually wearer as well).

There is no pattern for the actual chicken part of the hat. I used a fairly standard hat pattern and then sort of "winged" it for the remainder of the pieces. I'm somewhat disappointed in the beak since it is not as stiff as I would have hoped, but then again I used a softer cotton yarn than I could have (it's what I had in my stash). The party hat pattern is available as a Ravelry download. I used the following yarns; Lily Sugar'n Cream in Yellow, White, Black, and Mod Green; Hobby Lobby I Love This Cotton! in Mulberry & Carousel Ombre; and Lion Brand Cotton Ease in Terracotta. I used a size H hook and a darning needle for the embroidery. Stitches used were chain, single crochet, half double crochet, front post double crochet, double crochet, and slip stitch.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

June 2012 #1 - Here Fishy Fishy

I wanted to celebrate World Oceans Day on June 8th by knitting a hat to commemorate the day. Sort of like a watery Earth Day tribute. I thought the popular Fish Hat pattern would be perfect, but I really didn't want to knit such an involved hat. Luckily I found this clever adaption. Unfortunately the pattern is not so well written (perhaps it’s just me).

First, I felt the need to change the c/o to 88 in order to have an even k2p2 all the way around. This in turn changed the decrease set-up round to have 22 stitches between each place marker.

The crown is then decreased to 22 stitches and the tail work begins with the first three rounds of straight knitting. The next round calls for k17 and placing 11 sts on a st holder. I'm no math major, but that’s 28 stitches (and I only have 22). So, I increased evenly for a round to create enough stitches to make up the difference.

If I were to make the hat again, I would want to evenly separate the stitches so that the two fin halves are more evenly knit. Perhaps it is more fish like that one is larger than the other, but I think the disparity between the two is just a bit too much.

The pattern is Half Fish Beanie and available as a Ravelry download.  I used Berroco Comfort in Copen Blue, Chambray, Dried Plum, Lidfors, and Pearl on a size 6 16" circular needle and a set of 6 dpns. Stitches used are knit, purl, k2tog, ssk, and kfb. The directions do not specify how to sew the tail piece together so I used a kitchener stitch for the end stitches and then whip stitched the edges, merging everything together as best I could. I love the look of stripes, even if I hate weaving in all the ends. I'm super happy with the particular results. Except for the crazy yellow shouting hello you can hardly notice where the colors join.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

June 2012 - Cupcake Take Two

So you'll notice that this hat is not numbered since I'm not counting this as an official hat towards my count. If you're not a long time reader, you might not be aware of my weird self-imposed rule that to qualify as an official hat, the hat needs to be made from a new pattern. Since this cupcake is simply correcting what I felt as the mistakes made in my original version it certainly isn't a new pattern. Yes, I know, it's a bit confusing and probably a more than a bit silly.

Anyway, I'm super happy with the way this hat turned out. And...I took notes, so I'll recap here, just in case you missed the first. If you didn't you can just skip over the the remainder of the post. c/o 88 stitches and do three inches of k2p2 ribbing. Change yarn knit one round. The bobble round was bobble, k3, repeat. Continue knitting for 3.5" begin decrease rounds. Decrease by k6, k2tog. Knit one round without decreases. Next round is k5, k2tog. Continue decrease rounds every round without alternating even rounds. This creates the more gathered top. When there are 11 stitches remaining, change yarn to red. Knit 8 rounds. Next round: k2tog five times, knit last stitch. Final round, k2tog three times for 3 stitches on one needle, continue working on one needle until i-cord is 4" long.  Lightly stuff the cherry.  Use scrap yarn gather the stitches at the bottom of the cherry to close the gap and create a rounded appearance.  Knot the i-cord.

I used Berroco Comfort in Hummus, Pearl, and Pimpernel on a size 8 16" circular needle and a set of 8 dpns. Stitches used are knit, k2tog, and the bobble as described in Knitspeak by Andrea Berman Price.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

May 2012 #3 - Lemonade

Actually, this hat was finished before the Cupcake hat, but I guess no one's keeping track if I post them in the right order. I've been wanting to make another of Susan B. Anderson's wonderful hats, and thought her Watermelon Hat was a perfect introduction to the Memorial Day weekend. Unfortunately I didn't have the right colors on hand, so I substituted something equally as summery and came up with this.

The pattern is Watermelon Hat. I used Lily Sugar 'n Cream in Yellow, White and Daisy on a size 7 16" circular needle and a set of size 7 dpns. Stitches used are knit, purl, and k2tog. It doesn't get much easier than that. The hat as called for in the pattern also has some optional seeds to give the hat it's watermelon look. I plan on purchasing more watermelon like colors in the future since I still want to make my own slice of watermelon goodness.

May 2012 #2 - Cupcake

Boy did I go out on a limb coming up with this name or what? This hat marks the first for this year's Halos of Hope's Camp Happy Time Campaign. Details of the campaign are available in their Special Edition Newsletter, but basically they're looking for birthday themed hats for kids from 5-21 by July 15th. And who doesn't like a reason to party? Although I didn't have great fun making the 44 never ending bobbles, I do love the outcome.

I made up the pattern as I went along and plan on tweeking it for the next hat. I c/o 88. The ribbing is a simple k2p2 for three inches. I'm happy with that, so that can stay. I then switched colors and knit a row. The bobbles need be cut back a bit, 44 was just a bit much. I think I'll try bobble, knit 3 (this would cut the bubbles by half). I then knit for 2.5 inches. This needs to be increased by probably an inch. I'm happy with the decreases rows. K6, k2tog, knit one row, then k5, k2tog, continue with decrease rows (no knit rows between). When I had 11 stitches left I switched colors again and made the cherry by knitting in the round until I thought it looked cherry like then decreased to three stitches and stitched an i-cord for about three inches before tying it into a knot.

I used Berroco Comfort in Hummus, Pearl, and Pimpernel on a size 8 16" circular needle and a set of 8 dpns. Stitches used are knit, k2tog, and the bobble as described in Knitspeak by Andrea Berman Price.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

May 2012 #1 - CottonTails

Or more appropriately this should posting should be titled a "Tale of two Tails". Get it? Well, let me tell you my tale.  It started with a hat. Not that that should surprise you. You are probably more surprised by the fact that it has actually been more than a month since I last posted a finished hat. Unfortunately my personal life has been in a bit of a turmoil with some family health issues that kept us rather busy, hat making got pushed to the side a bit. This particular hat was to be knit flat, and I really don't like to seam hats, so I tried to adapt the pattern to knit in the round. That wasn't working out so well, so after about three inches or so, I ripped it out and started over, I figured, why not I would be a good girl and follow the pattern. After all I love the softness of the yarn, but man was it splitty.

Soooo, I got to thinking, and I decided to prove to myself that, yes, this hat could be made in the round. I picked out another yarn and casted on. What was I thinking? I picked out bamboo! Talk about splitty yarn. This was worse than the cotton, and it stretches too. So I figured I better add in a nice solid cotton to help contain some of the stretch. Hence the white stripe. What I like about the second hat was that it was easy enough to flip the pattern around to compensate for knitting in the round and I didn't have to seam anything. It's a bit bigger than hat #1, but I'm OK with that.

The pattern is CottonTail Rib and Stripes Cap. For hat #1, I used CottonTail by Jil Eaton in Orangini and Pink on a size 8 16" circular needle (used as a straight needle). For hat #2, I used BAM BOO by Classic Elite Yarns in Citrine and I think the white might be Sugar'n Cream by Lily, (but I can't be certain as it was some unmarked stash yarn) on a size 8 16" circular needle and a set of size 8 dpns. Stitches used are knit, purl, k2tog, and p2tog. I choose not to knit the i-cord for the top because I could not make it look right. As it turns out the hat is more teen size than child size, so I think no i-cord is better.

And in case you were wondering why this is only considered hat #1, I used the same pattern for both, so I won't count the second hat.  I guess it is more appropriate to say I'm counting how many patterns I make each month rather than how many hats I make.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

April 2012 #3 - Sweet Pea

The pattern is actually written as a baby hat, but I went up in needle size from the recommended size 6 in order to make a slightly larger hat. I wanted a simple child's hat but with a touch of fun and I think bobbles are just the thing. Although I like making hats with bobbles, I just don't like making bobbles, but I like the look so I put up with slowness of the bobble.  For whatever reason I can never remember how to make a bobble and need to look up the directions every time.  (and every bobble looks unique, why?)  I also changed the top of the hat from a leaf looking thing (which is probably supposed to be the lettuce part) to a simple knot for two reasons. First I was using a partial skein and didn't think I'd have enough yarn, and secondly I didn't think the leaf look would be appropriate for an older child.

The pattern is Peas & Lettuce Hat. I used Berroco Comfort in Seedling on a size 7 16" circular needle and a set of 7 dpns. Stitches used are knit, purl, k2tog, and a bobble stitch. To change the top I opted to continued the decrease sequence to include a round of k2tog in order to end with 9 stitches. I then knit in the round for 5” bound off and then created the knot on the top of the hat.

Friday, April 6, 2012

April 2012 #2 - Zephyrus

A self-designed hat, if you want to call it actually designed. As I previously mentioned I was at Montoya Fiber Studio for a Halos of Hope event which is when I picked up this yarn. It's a ribbon like cotton blend that I just loved the coloring.

I c/o 72 stitches, but while knitting the ball of yarn was disappearing faster than I liked and I was afraid I'd run out before finishing. So, I short changed the hat by only knitting for 5" before beginning my decreases. (Simple decreases of K10, k2tog. No knit rounds in between, decreasing each round with one less stitch knit between k2togs.) As it turned out, I had plenty of yarn left. Rather than tink back to before the decreases, I decided instead to pick-up stitches on the brim and single crochet around, using a size 7 hook. I was able to get an additional three rounds added to the length, which not only added a bit of design, it solved my problem of having the hat a bit on the skimpy side.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

April 2012 #1 - Seeing Double

(you'll notice slight differences if you look closely) 
This is not a joke, it is not two pictures of the same hat. Honest. Although they do look very much alike, and I didn't even try to make that happen. I simply finished the first hat, started the second and didn't even think about how the stripe pattern would work out. Actually if I had tried to make them similar I'd probably have failed miserably. LOL.
Yesterday I was invited to ride along with Halos of Hope founder, Pam Haschke, to Montoya Fiber Studio.  Montoya was hosting a kick-off event to highlight the Soothe for Spring Campaign and offered a free pattern with each yarn purchase. The shop will also donate 10% of the yarn proceeds back to Halos of Hope. Not only was this a fun way to spend my afternoon, but it was a great way to highlight the need for warm weather caps.

The pattern is Scallop Edged Cap. I used Universal Yarn's Cotton Supreme Batik in Blueberry Jam on a size 8 16" circular needle and a set of 8 dpns. Stitches used are knit, purl, k2tog, ssk, yarn over. You would have thought the mere mention of yarn overs would have me turning this pattern away (because we know how well I've done with them in the past), but this pattern was actually very easy to follow with the added bonus of only three rows containing the dreaded yarn overs. The skein is generous enough in length that I was able to knit both caps and have a nice bit of leftover.

March 2012 #4 - Carousel Ruffles

Imagine that, four hats in March. I finished this up yesterday, but it was already dark so I wasn't able to take a picture until this morning. The hat was supposed to have a flower holding up the front of the brim, but I decided I like the floppier look better. Not that it looks good on me, I think I'll never be able to make a hat that would actually look good on me.

The pattern is written for a hat to fit a 2/3 yr. old, notes from the designer to make an adult version can be found in the comments section of her blog post. You'll notice I obtained an adult version although I followed the pattern as written, I just changed from the suggested G hook to a J hook.

The pattern is available by Laughing Purple Goldfield Designs. I used I Love This Cotton in Carousel Ombre (hence the name) and Cotton Ease in Terracotta with a size J hook. Stitches used are chain, single crochet, double crochet and slip stitch. The pattern mentions a slip stitch at the end of round one with no direction of how to move to round 2. I choose to ch2 count the chains as the first dc of the round. I did this for each round thereafter.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

March 2012 #3 - Ribbons

I know, I'm straying from my child's hat directive, but I've been working on this one for a bit now and finally finished so I wanted to get it posted.  Nice pattern, not my favorite weight of yarn. At least that's my conclusion after finally finishing up this hat. I started it last November, yes that's six months ago. I started and stopped knitting on it so many times I lost count, I even frogged it completely at one point because I wanted to use the needle for another project. At this point, why not buy another needle? In fact I finally did, why now, after this was finished? Because I'd actually like to make other DK weight hats and if the speed of this one is any indication, I'll need another needle so as not to have a repeat of the whole frogging episode.

The pattern is Ribbons of Hope by Kim Fluck, who developed the pattern out of a mistake. Liked the results and decided to share her pattern with others. The pattern is available for free either as a Ravelry download or on Kim's blog. I used Berrocco Comfort DK in Beet Root on a size 6 16" circular needle and a set of 6 dpns. Stitches used are knit, purl, k2tog, p2tog, and CF6. If I were to make this again, I’d like to decrease the beginning ribbing so as to bring the “ribbon” detail closer to the brim. I also think I got carried away while knitting and need to watch how many inches I have before beginning the decreases. I’d like the hat to be more fitted and less slouchy.

Monday, March 26, 2012

March 2012 #2 - Lucky Ladybug

Since the past couple of hats have strayed from my original intent of only making children's caps this year I felt I needed to get back at it and finish up one of the hats I've had sitting around. Somewhat sad that the hat was finished months ago, but I wanted to add an embellishment. The sad part is that it took me nearly three months to make one. However, I do think the ladybug is rather cute, and very appropriate for the beginning of Spring.

Technically I'm cheating posting this pattern since it is the same pattern I used for my August 2011 hat, Black Beauty, which is McKinley's Springtime Hat, available for free as a Ravelry download. I'm justifying the posting because the ladybug would be something new. A weak excuse, but the hat came out so stinking cute I wanted to share it anyway. Besides, they're my stupid rules (of which no one can understand why I have them anyway), so if I want to break them once in a while I think I can.

I used Berroco Comfort in Gooseberry Heather (green) with Primary Red and Liquorice (black) for the ladybug. The hat is crocheted with a size H hook. Stitches used are chain, single crochet, half double crochet, double crochet and slip stitch. I still think the hat worked up on the small size, but I didn't want to increase my hook size with this particular yarn. The ladybug is something I made up, a simple circle with smaller circles for the spots. Since I did make it up as I went, I have no idea how I really made the head and antenna (which is a shame because I'd like to make more).

Sunday, March 4, 2012

March 2012 #1 - Sherbet Sunburst

A few nights ago I started thinking about my stash of magazines, all of which I've purchased because I liked a particular pattern or two. I've yet to develop an efficient method of keeping them handy for when I'm searching for a new project. More often than not, I simply complete a simple search within Ravelry and find a pattern to fit my whim of the moment. Such as this hat, which is another for the Halos of Hope Soothe for Spring Campaign, although this one is a bit more Summery as opposed to Springy (but I don't think they'll mind). I wanted to use cotton, I wanted to crochet, I wanted it to airy and I wanted a little bit of brim. With a few simple clicks I found something I could work with. Now if I could just figure out how to catalog my magazines as efficiently...

The pattern is available on Bizzy Crochet. I used Lily Sugar'n Cream in Over the Rainbow with a size J hook. Stitches used are chain, single crochet and slip stitch. The pattern calls for a reverse crochet to finish the brim, but I couldn't figure it out, so I simply slip stitched the edge all the way around to give it a nice finished look.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

February 2012 #3 - Merlot

What did you do to celebrate Leap Year Day? Not exactly high on the list of holidays that people celebrate, but I decided to mark the day by posting  the extra hat I made for this month.  I also noticed that apparently February was an all purple month, as all three of my hats were of various shades, and its not even my favorite color.  Yes, a bit odd, and I actually shouldn't even have made this particular hat because I shouldn't have bought the yarn.  But I was sitting next to it at my LYS and it kept whispering, "Buy me. Buy me." My gift certificate from Christmas was still in my knitting bag, so....

The pattern can be found on the Cascade website. I used Pacific Chunky Multi in colorway 608 on a size 10 16" circular needle and a set of 10 dpns. Stitches used are knit, purl, k2tog, and yarn over. Very simple. Super quick.