Thursday, February 27, 2014

February 2014 #2 - Bob's Blue Stripes

The second of my February men's hat and unfortunately lacking in a unique name. I have this thing about naming all my hats, not really sure why, or even where it came from. But they each get a name. Some of them are more creative than others. At times the names are very apparent and I know from the moment I begin creating the hat what I would like to name it. At other times, I struggle with deciding what to do and then end up just naming the poor hat something really lame. The weird part is, Other than the hats that get featured on the blog, no one other than me even know what I name them. Wow, am I a dork or what?

The pattern, Beanies for the Brave, is available as a Ravelry download. I used Berroco Comfort in Blueberry Heather with stripes in Goldenrod, Kidz Orange, and Aster on a size 7 16" circular needle and a set of 7 dpns. Stitches used are knit, purl and k2tog. Since my surgery it appears I'm not quite ready to cast-on as I normally do so I needed a new method for this hat. In Cast On, Bind Off: 54 Step-by-Step Methods by Leslie Ann Bestor I found a chained (or crocheted) cast-on that worked perfectly. I used a size 7 hook and feel this method gave me a very nice finished edge. The pattern allows you to choose your preference of hat construction; top-down, bottom-up, or worked-flat and seamed. Of course, I selected to work in the round, from the bottom up. I also needed to learn the twisted rib stitch. I found a good tutorial video by Knitting Daily that was very helpful (after watching it several times). Similar to other hat this month, I think this one is a bit short and would think it should be a bit longer to cover the ears. Perhaps it's just me, I'm tired of the cold and looking forward to warmer weather.

Monday, February 17, 2014

February 2014 #1 - Bob's Blue Beanie

Those of you who have been reading this blog for awhile are most likely aware that I have a special fondness for, and donate all the hats featured here to, Halos of Hope. After meeting the Halos of Hope founder and President, Pam Haschke, I became inspired to knit hats. Which in turn led me to challenge myself to make at least two per month. New patterns I haven't yet tried and to share my experiences in this blog. I've been at this now for almost four year and although I've known friends and relatives who have had cancer, and I have been touched by many stories over the past four years, I have always felt that I was disconnected from the those that I make hats for. I have never had to experience that roller coaster of emotions. That is until now. 

Last month, my father had a CT scan and while I stood next to the doctor reading the report, my eyes locked on that dreaded six letter word. He had surgery on Valentine's Day to remove his tumor, along with his kidney. His prognosis is very good and we believe he will not need chemo or radiation. We are thankful for so many reasons.

So, February is all about Bob, and making hats in his honor. Not that my dad would wear a hat, but I thought of him with every stitch I made. The pattern, A Very Simple Skateboarder Beanie, is available for free from Chie Crochets (Knits too!). I used Berroco Comfort yarn in Navy Blue with the edging in Smokestack. The hat is crocheted with a size I hook. Stitches used are chain, single crochet and slip stitch. The pattern calls for starting with an adjustable loop. Of course I've never used that before so I found this tutorial on YouTube. I would have liked to have the hat a bit longer to cover the ears, but perhaps skaters prefer their hats more skull like? I also need to apologize for the deceptive picture. The hat is actually much larger than it looks but since I do not have a male mannequin I used a bit of retail visual merchandiser magic to make the hat fit for the photos.