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.