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).