Monday, November 28, 2016

November #1 & #2 - Pumpkin Pie and Blue Moon

I think I might be getting some of my knitting mojo back. At least I hope so. I thought I'd try my hand at crochet, since it tends to work up more quickly for me. I started back in October, thinking about Halloween, and found this chunky hat. I had just enough of the beige yarn to finish the main part of the hat, but then set it aside. I'm not certain why, but I finally picked it back up over my Thanksgiving break.

I found the pattern on Ravelry, Perfectly Pumpkin Slouch Hat and it is offered for free on the designer's website.  I used Berroco Comfort in Bittersweet for the ribbing, and three colors held together for the main hat, Pumpkin, Lindfors and Barley. I used a size L hook for the main hat and a size J hook for the ribbing. Stitches used were chain, single crochet and half double crochet. I added an extra four rows to the ribbing for a wider brim and I did not add the vines shown in the pattern. I liked the look of the hat without the extra embellishment.

I also found this pattern on Ravelry, Citadel with the free pattern available on the Hedgehog Fibres website. I used Berroco Comfort in Honeyberry Heather on a size 6" circular needle and a set of 6 dpns. Stitches used were knit, purl, slip, k2tog, and SSK. The pattern called for a twelve repeats of the pattern but I only did eight because I was afraid I'd run out of yarn. (and I just barely made it) It is a bit larger than I'd like, but since I have such a small head I think it should be fine for someone looking for a looser hat.

Monday, October 10, 2016

July #1, #2 & #3 - A totally late post

Here it is almost the middle of October and I'm finally posting my July hats. You might even be asking what has happened to August and September. School/work. Depression. Lack of being able to pick of my needles and work with fiber. Obviously I haven't even been able to even get a few pictures taken and type a few words. I'm still not really knitting, only managing a few rows here and there, but perhaps its progress.

Hats #1 and 2, Dos Elia, is the Elia and is available as a free Ravelry download. The hat is knit with Muench Yarns Family in Gray, Yellow and a variegated on a size 7 16" circular needle and a set of 7 dpns. Stitches used were knit, purl, and k2tog. The yarn was donated to me so I know nothing about it other than it is super soft and makes a wonderful chemo yarn. I had little of the variegated, which is why I choose this pattern, in order to make the most of what I had and get two slightly different, yet similar hats.

Hat #3 is Fluff is available for purchase on my Ravelry site. I used Hobby Lobby's I Love This Cotton in Aqua for the body and River Run for the ribbing, on a size 6 16" circular needle and a set of 6 dpns. Stitches used are knit, purl, and k2tog. The bobbles are not really bobbles, but are really a faux bobble created by picking up a stitch and purling it.

I'm hopeful that I've turned the corner on this little bout of depression and that the tears and lack of energy are soon to be behind me. Hopefully hat making will soon return and my posts here will become a regular feature again. Thanks for visiting.

Monday, June 13, 2016

June 2016 #1 & #2 - Slow and Steady

Odd names for a couple of hats, wouldn't you say? However this is how I feel since it has taken me ever so long to make them following yet another lengthy absence from hat making. I had a small incident at school that resulted in a sprained wrist. (You know you've been to therapy too often when you tell the doc "you have your own therapist") At least it is mostly healed and I am able to knit, as long as I take lots of breaks.

Slow is the Lace-Edged Women's Hat available for free at The hat is knit with Hobby Lobby I Love This Cotton (and I do!) in Bright Citrus on a size 6 16" circular needle and a set of 6 dpns. Stitches used were knit, purl, yarn over, sk2p and k2tog. Surprisingly I remembered to use stitch markers from the get go so the lace section was a breeze.

Steady on the other hand was a royal pain in my you-know-what. It starts with a provisional cast-on. Should be no problem, I've done them before. However, I thought, why not try what the pattern recommended and cast-on over a circular needle. Well that didn't work. In fact it was an epic failure. I went back to the crocheted method of provisional cast-on. However, when it came time to rip that out, the live stitches were so incredibly loose that I needed to tink back through the purl rows before I start on the lace section. Had I read through the project notes from other knitters on Ravelry I would have realized that someone had already figured out a workaround for this problem. Lesson learned. The pattern is Girls Lacy Sun Hat and is available as a free Ravelry download. This hat is also knit with Hobby Lobby I Love This Cotton in River Run on a size 6 16" circular needle and a set of 6 dpns. Stitches used were knit, purl, yarn over, SSK and k2tog. Apparently I forgot I was doing lace and didn't use stitch markers. Which required me to tink those rows back and start over, a couple of times and I got smart and got out the markers. Honestly, I need to THINK while I knit. Seriously, the amount of time I spent on this one silly hat I most likely could have made another.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

April 2016 #1 - M. Wood

A little late to the party, I know. I had the pleasure of meeting Myra Wood at a Stitches Midwest event several years ago so now was the time to show my support by knitting up one of Myra's SchKnit Happens Scratch Caps. The only problem is that she uses fingering weight yarn (gasp) and I'm not certain my feeble fingers would hold up for an entire adult sized hat. (little preemie hat, okay, but adult hats are a different story all together) So I decided to do a little modification to the pattern. She did mention the pattern was a basic formula and that we should experiment and try different things. Soooo, I tried a different weight yarn. Which obviously required additional modifications, BUT its better for my fingers. Which means I can knit more.

The pattern is available as a free Ravelry download. The hat is knit with Berroco Comfort in Indigo, Smokestack, Iron Oxide, Goldenrod and Marum on a size 6 16" circular needle and a set of 6 dpns. Stitches used were knit, purl, and k2tog. I c/o 84 stitches with a k2p2 for about 1.5 inches, a seed stitch for about 1.25 inches, four rows of garter stitches, a 3x4 basket weave stitch and then stockinette standard decreases. I should mention that I have a thing for how color changes bleed together on purl stitches so I always do a knit row before I actually change colors. I should get over it.

Thank you for the pattern Myra and I wish you all the best.

Monday, April 18, 2016

March #1 & #2 - Smokey Stripes and Just Stripes

Obviously I haven't been very good at keeping up with my postings. Both of these hats were quick and easy and both of them were actually finished in March. (not in April as in the posting date) I haven't a clue where the time has gone. Spring is coming late this year. The weather is just now starting to warm up, the trees just starting to bloom, and the birds just starting to return to the backyard feeder. Thankfully school will end soon and I'll have lots of sunny days to enjoy leisurely days of knitting AND getting my postings written on time.

Smokey Stripes was inspired by the Cherry-O! pattern by Susan B. Anderson published in her Itty Bitty Hats book.  I used Berroco Comfort in Lavender Frost and Lillet on a size 7 16" circular needle and a set of 7 dpns. Stitches used were knit, and k2tog. I c/o 88 stitches, followed the pattern for the stripes and then changed my decreases accordingly. I even paid attention to the directions and carried my colors correctly. Yeah me!

There was no pattern for Just Stripes.  I used a size 7 16" circular needle and c/o 88 stitches and then did a k2p2 ribbing for 3.5 inches with four rows of each color stripe. The yarn is all Berroco Comfort, the ribbing in Copen Blue and the stripes are Chalk or Pearl (the band was off and the two colors are too similar) and Iron Oxide. Simple, yet it does the trick.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

February 2016 #2 - Nutty Stripes

And you are probably asking, "What does this hat have to do with nuts?" Nothing really, other than one of the yarns is called Mixed Nuts and I couldn't come up with anything better. Sad, but true. Although the name of the hat could have been "Sad Looking Pom". Honestly, I really do need to figure out the whole pom issue that I have. I use a pom maker, but I still end up with poms that look like they've been on a year long diet.

There was no pattern for this hat, I made this up as I went. I used a size 6 16" circular needle and c/o 88 stitches and then did a k1p1 ribbing for two inches. I then knit one row before changing to a size 7 16" needle and began changing colors. The yarn is all Berroco Comfort with the ribbing in Falseberry Heather and the stripes in Mixed Nuts and either Chalk or Pearl (the band was off and the two colors are too similar). Each stripe is three rows and I continued until the hat was six inches from the c/o edge. I then began a standard decrease pattern beginning with (k9,k2tog) and a knit row between. When I was down to the (k3,k2tog) row I eliminated the knit rows and did decreases in every row. Then I added the sad pom in the dark brown. Which really doesn't look "terrible", it just doesn't look great, and let's face it. I'm not going to knit if I'm not going to try my best.

So who's going to take on the challenge of teaching me how to make poms?

Sunday, February 7, 2016

February 2016 #1 - Quick

Charity knitting is a big part of who I am and what I do. Not only am I committed to knitting hats for Halos of Hope, but I also try to participate in other charities as often as can. I recently made a hat that required colorwork and found that my post-surgery hands no longer allow me to hold the yarn in both hands. After several frustrating attempts I did figure out a way to knit the hat, but wasn't all that pleased with the final tension. Which of course got me to many patterns had I saved in Ravelry required colorwork? This of course led me to spend much more time than I wished deleting and organizing my pattern favorites last week. I also found a few patterns I had (obviously) forgotten about.

This was one of those patterns, and as the hat name implies it was quick. The pattern is the Quick and Easy Slouchy Hat which is available as a free Ravelry download. I used Wool-Ease Thick & Quick in Claret on a size 11 16" circular needle and a set of 11 dpns. I was supposed to switch to larger needles after the ribbing, but apparently I do not have size 13 needles (umhum...can you say gift?), but other than making the hat a bit less slouchy, it worked out okay. Stitches used were knit, purl, and p3tog.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

January 2016 #2, #3 and #4 - MYIT Failure = Chemo cap success

What seems like a long time ago one of my knitting friends proposed knitting up the My Year In Temperature project.  There was five of us that ultimately committed to this insane project, and not one of us was making a scarf. Two were doing a blanket, two of us were making stocking hats, and one had not yet decided when we kicked off the project on August 1st 2014. We established a Facebook page to encourage each other on and we were to debut our finished creations at the 2015 Stitches Midwest Student Banquet. Only one of us made it to the banquet, and it was a stunning creation of a stocking cap. One blanket has since been finished and is keeping its crocheter nice and toasty this winter.

My journey however was not so successful with hand issues and ultimately surgery keeping me from finishing. But in all honesty, I would most likely have never worn my hat anyway, so therefore, I had no interest in finishing it now that my reason to do so has long since past. I couldn't just frog the whole thing, that would be unbearable, to say the least. So what to do? I decided to deconstruct it a bit and make it into three hats. It is Stripe It Up Season, after all.

So I started with this

and ended up with this.

I've named them Late Summer, Fall, and Winter. Not terribly original, but fitting in that the main part of each hat is from that part of the original hat.

The original pattern was Stocking Cap by Lisa Carnahan and is available for purchase in her Ravelry store. I followed the pattern as directed, until of course I decided to deconstruct it. It is knit with Berroco Comfort in Filbert (80-89°), Goldenrod (70-79°), Lidfors (60-69°), Olive (50-59°), Marum (40-49°), Adirondack (30-39°), Indigo (20-29°), Chambray (10-19°), Lavender Frost (0-9°) on a size 6 16" circular needle and a set of 6 dpns. Stitches used were knit, purl, and k2tog. There were other colors selected for the original hat, but since we never got about 90 or thankfully below 0 I never needed to use them. 

I wasn't thrilled with how the original hat was progressing, but in the end, I love the three hats it became. Hopefully there are a couple of young men (because they totally look like boy hats to me) that find they "need" a hat just like this.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

January 2016 #1 - Go Fish

After too many months of silence I'm jumping back into the water, returning to both hat knitting and this blog. I opted to have hand surgery on my dominate hand last June. My body didn't like that much and decided not to help it by healing properly. This required an another surgery in late September. Needless to say, I've had lots of physical therapy and plenty of lost knitting time throughout the year. I hadn't realized how much I relied on knitting to relieve my stress. Thankfully I've been given the go ahead to knit, I am now only hampered by the continued arthritis that limits the time I'm capable of actually knitting.

My first hat back is the playful Half Fish Beanie and is available for free. The hat is knit with Berroco Comfort in Dusk, Pearl, Olive, Lindfors, Adirondack, Lavender Frost, Raspberry Coulis, and Blueberry Heather on a size 6 16" circular needle and a set of 6 dpns. Stitches used were knit, purl, k2tog, ssk, and kfb. Based on the notes from my previous knit of this hat, I c/o 88 stitches in order to have an even k2p2 all the way around. Which changed the decrease set-up round to have 22 stitches between each place marker. I again, couldn't figure out the tail directions so I increased evenly for a round to get to 28 stitches, placed 11 on a stitch holder and then continued with the directions. Again, following my earlier notes, I used a kitchener stitch to the end of the tail and then a whip stitch for the edges.