Sunday, May 17, 2015

May 2015 #1 - Lemon Drop

Apparently I'm in a yellow mood. I pulled this worsted cotton out of my stash in order to knit up a nice spring hat. I found what I thought was the perfect pattern, finished the ribbing and was about two inches into the hat when I decided it was far too dense and heavy for what I wanted. Frogged that one. Started another hat pattern that had a nice cable and lace pattern, but I was even less happy with how that was working out. Frog number two. I decided to break with my comfort level and look for a crochet pattern (goodness knows my crochet skills are not the greatest).

This pattern Rubylene Hat is available for free on Ravelry. The hat is crocheted with Lily Sugar n'Cream in Yellow on a size H hook. Stitches used are chain, single crochet, half double crochet, double crochet, and slip stitch. The stitch rows are a bit slanted, but I don't think it takes away from the overall look of the hat so I'll live with it. Thankfully no more frogging.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

April 2015 #4 & #5 Mellow Yellow and Summer Slouch

Would you believe, after making five hats and finishing my final one literally within hours of the end of the month, my challenge with Darleen Hopkins ended in a tie? Good thing I actually expected to loose from the beginning and simply wanted to push myself to make more hats. Which we both did, ending up with five each.  I call this a win for Halos of Hope. (since they're receiving all the hats).

Hat #4 is the Chevrons & Cables Hat and available for free. It is knit with Hobby Lobby I Love This Cotton in Buttercup on a size 7 16" circular needle and a set of 7 dpns. Stitches used were knit, purl, yarn over, k2tog, ssk, kbl, and the cable stitch. The decreases are very clever and create a very pretty finished crown. The pattern did call for two different needle sizes, one for the ribbing and another for the main hat. For whatever reason I don't think I did that. Although I'm not certain why I choose not to. In hindsight, the brim would probably have finished nicer in the smaller needle size. Note to self - use smaller needle when making it next time. LOL.

Hat #5 is my original pattern Slouch This! and is available as a free Ravelry download. I used Hobby Lobby I Love This Cotton in Amethyst, White, Turquoise, and Buttercup along with Lily Sugar n'cream in Hot Pink on a size 7 16" circular needle and a set of 7 dpns. Stitches used are knit and k2tog. Instead of the provisional cast on (because I was just being lazy), I used my go-to Old Norwegian cast-on and knit for 1.5" before continuing with the pattern as written. I like the way this color combination in the cotton makes this hat a good summer option.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

April 2015 #3 - Swirled Stripes

This hat has been sitting in my favorites for quite some time since I love the look of the seamless stack of single rows of color. What I didn't realize is that I would dislike the process of making this hat so much. For whatever reason I just couldn't get into the process. I just didn't like it. It was clever enough and it certainly works because you sure as heck don't see any jogs in my stripes anywhere. I just wasn't into it. First I just "had" to change the bottom roll of the brim from 3" to 2". This was my first mistake because in the end it probably would have looked better with a bit more fabric, but okay, I can live with this. But then along the way, I started twisting my color changes which caused the stripes to jog. Of course, I didn't notice I was doing this for about an inch and half. Rip. Rip. Rip. Then when I got to the decreases I apparently couldn't count. Not once, but twice. I'll blame it on being tried.

The pattern is the Helix Striped Cap for which I used Hobby Lobby I Love This Cotton in Amethyst and White and Lily Sugar'n Cream in Hot Pink on a size 7 16" circular needle for the cast on and brim and then a size 6 16" circular needle and a set of 6 dpns for the remainder of the hat. Stitches used were knit, k2tog, and i-cord. Overall, I like the hat, just not the overall knitting experience I had with it.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

April 2015 #1 and #2 - Icing and Piazza

Challenge accepted! What challenge you ask? On April 2nd Halos of Hope posted to their Facebook the following:

Obviously I was up for the idea but thought why not challenge Darleen Hopkins to a little hat making April event. She quickly accepted the challenge and it is "game on" (according to Darleen). We have simple rules, whomever makes the most hats, receives two skeins of cotton yarn from the other. However, the real winner in our little contest is Halos of Hope since they will be receiving all the hats made between us.

So, up first...hat #1, Icing. It is the Icing on the Cupcake Hat and is available as a free Ravelry download. It is knit with Hobby Lobby I Love This Cotton in White on a size 7 16" circular needle and a set of 7 dpns. Believe it not, this is the toddler sized hat with a c/o of 84 stitches. Granted, I did not make a swatch, but I knew from the start that a worsted weight yarn with that number of stitches would make the sized hat I wanted (and it wasn't for any toddler I knew). Stitches used were knit, purl, yarn over, k2tog, ssk, kfb, and sk2p. What I originally had pictured for this hat did not include a picot edge, so I eliminated that bit and simply did a stockinette band for one inch before proceeding with the remainder of the pattern as written. I like the simple lace pattern and the fact the hat is slouchy. Although that was not the patterns intent.

Hat #2...Piazza. Knit with Berroco Versa yarn (which I love and hate that it has been discountinued) in Piazza on a size 10.5" circular needle and a set of 10.5 dpns. I used the instructions from my Zephyrus hat of the same yarn (and the more recent Sunrise hat) with a few mods as my pattern. I c/o 72 stitches, knit the 5.5” before starting the decreases. Then to keep the edge from curling I picked-up and added 2 rounds of single crochet. This creates a bit of a slouchy hat depending on low the wearer places it upon their head. I used just a bit more than one skein, which I'm not thrilled about, but I'll use the remainder of the second skein to make a smaller version.

Two hats done. Let's see how many more I can finish before the end of the month. I need more yarn!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

March 2015 #1, #2, & #3 - Sunrise, Sunshine & Edelweiss

Another month of last minute postings. Honestly, you'd think I'd be better at this after all this time. It isn't that the hats aren't finished earlier, I simply can't get good photos during the week. Then the weekend comes along and... You know how it is. Sigh!

Well, this month I continued on with my stash busting quest and happily used some newly acquired yarn from a fiber friend who was doing some cleaning out. I loved the color and thought it perfect for a bright and cheerful spring hat or two. (These actually didn't use much so there will be more hats to come!) For these two hats I didn't use a pattern, but made a simple beanie and slouch style hat.

Sunrise is knit with Crystal Palace Yarns Mikado Ribbon Print in Yellow Orange on a size 8 16" circular needle and a set of 8 dpns. In April of 2012 I had knit Zephyrus using a ribbon like yarn. I adapted my notes from that project and cast-on 80 stitches, knit in stockinette for 5.5” and then began a basic decrease pattern. To avoid the curling of the brim, I went back and picked up the edge and did two rows of single crochet. Stitches used were knit, k2tog, and a single crochet.

Sunshine is also knit with the ribbon yarn but I also used Ella Rae Cozy Soft Solids in Tangerine on a size 8 16" circular needle and a set of 8 dpns. I began with the Cozy Soft with 1.5” of 2x2 ribbing, knit stockinette for 7” and then did rapid decreases. I wanted to alternate the ribbon and Cozy Soft yarns with two rows of each, which I began after the ribbing. This was my first attempt at carrying the yarn along the inside of the hat. I'm not completely thrilled with the outcome as I think the transitions could have been smoother and the less visible. However I did like not having to go back and weave in all the ends.

The final hat is a departure from the sun theme and is a hat I've wanted to knit for quite some time. Edelweiss is actually the Flower in an Hour pattern by Susan B. Anderson and is available for purchase in her Ravelry pattern shop. I used Berroco Comfort Chunky in Choco Chip on a size 10 16" circular needle and a set of 10 dpns. Stitches used were knit, purl, k2tog, and yarn over. The flower is included in the pattern and I used the same yarn and needle size. Stitches for the flower include knit, purl, p2tog, backward loop c/o and some passing over stitches that Susan does a wonderful job explaining. Although I knit the chunky version the pattern also comes with directions for an aran weight yarn. I will admit however that I don't feel the Comfort Chunky is a true chunky yarn. It's rather more like a heavy worsted which causes my knitting to always end up a bit smaller than I'd like.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

February 2015 #3 - Braids

The shortest month of the year goes by so quickly, I wish the same could be said for this winter. The cold weather and snow just keeps showing up day after day that for the first time I can remember I am actually becoming more than a bit depressed. I'm spending far too much time wanting it to be spring because all of my complaining is not going to make it happen any sooner.

I finished this hat up early in the month using the same yarn as hat #2, Berroco Vintage in Old Jeans. It is the Braided Hat Pattern by Anise. Knit on a size 8 16" circular needle and a set of 8 dpns. I used the Old Norwegian cast-on which has become my new best friend for casting on. Stitches used were knit, purl, k2tog, SKPO, C6F and C6B. The pattern showed a 3x3 rib but explained that this was a mistake and to knit a 2x2 rib. However, I couldn't figure out how that would work into the cable pattern nicely. Instead I choose to do the ribbing based on the eleven stitch repeat for the cable pattern. My ribbing ended up as a repeat of p1, k3, p3, k3, p1. Which when I started the cable pattern the ribbing blended in very nicely and looked exactly as I had hoped.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

February 2015 #1 and #2 - Snow and Winter Sky

One hat pattern. Two different yarns. Two different yarn weights. Two different hats. This is what I love about knitting. I often see other people's work and think there is a new pattern to be discovered, only to find out they have made a clever interpretation on a pattern I've already found. Today I simply switched out yarn weights and did a bit of adjustment to the number of stitches cast-on. But I could have added a second color before or after the cables, created a stripe pattern in the body of the hat, or added a pom.

The pattern is the Fetching Inspired Hat by Grace Lee and is offered for free on her blog. For the white hat I used Berroco Comfort in Choco Chip on a size 10.5" circular needle and a set of 10.5 dpns. For the Winter Sky hats used Berroco Vintage in Old Jeans on a size 8 16" circular needle and a set of 8 dpns. For both hats I used the Old Norwegian cast-on to allow for a stretchier edge, however for Snow I only cast-on 70 stitches instead of the 80 as the pattern called for as I did for Winter Sky. Stitches used were knit, purl, k2tog, plus the cable stitch over four stitches.

The first hat name is appropriate, but I'm not certain about the second. The coloring should be more gray than brown. But whatever. I'm the only one who cares anyway. LOL.

Friday, January 30, 2015

January 2015 #2 - Coach

Apparently old habit die hard. I've had this hat finished for a couple of weeks, but am only now posting it. Perhaps my new resolution should have been to post in a more timely fashion. Oh well. 

Over the past several years I have been lucky enough to attend XRX's Stitches Midwest events where I have had the good fortune to meet many wonderful fiber artist. I find them to be very gracious and talented individuals and enjoy following their various blogs, podcasts and Facebook posts. It was one such post by Kristin Omdahl that I found this hat.

The Coaches Knit Hat is available free on her website. I made the Worsted Version using Berroco Comfort in Wild Raspberry Heather on a size 7 16" circular needle and a set of 7 dpns. Stitches used are knit, purl and ssk. I used the Old Norwegian cast-on to allow for a stretchier edge and the pattern just flew off the needles. I thought the decreases were very clever, which always make me wonder how people think of this stuff. LOL. The pattern is also available in a bulky version on the website which I might knit up next.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

January #1 2015 - Earth

When I started this project almost five years ago, one of my goals was to make it easier for someone making a hat for charity to find a wide range of patterns. I consider this goal fairly accomplished, but not necessary to move forward with anymore. Especially since there are other places that are far more comprehensive and organized to find great patterns, such as SandyHam's Chemo Cap Pattern Library on Ravelry and of course a quick browse through Pinterest. (but then no browse through Pinterest is ever quick, LOL)

Therefore, I'm shifting the bulk of my focus this year to using only yarn from my stash. No new yarn purchases. I found that I would get so caught up wanting to do a particular pattern and spending my precious time trying to make my stash work, only to become frustrated and ending up buying new yarn to make the pattern. I need to select a yarn and then find a pattern that will be appropriate. Hopefully this new strategy will finally allow me a bit of personal knitting time. After all, we all should have a bit of that.

My first hat of the new year was knit with some yarn that had been donated. It is An Unoriginal Hat Stephanie Pearl-McPhee and available for free on her website. I used almost all of the two skeins I had of Tahki Yarns Taos in #1 Brown Green on a size 10.5 16" circular needle and a set of 10.5 dpns. Stitches used are knit, purl, k2tog, p2tog, and two different cable stitches. It was quick, it was easy. I will most likely make this again.