28 December 2005

Newsboy Cap Test Complete

Who knew it would take a search all over the Internet and back to find a Newsboy cap pattern. It seems to be the preferred style by the Twenty-somethings around here. I completed a test, knit exactly as the pattern was designed (except I used a yarn from my stash, with correct gauge.) The pattern is designed for a 21" head circumference. Mine is 23" and it fits comfortably, but isn't not as roomy as the designer had in mind. If I make it again, I'll use wool and  I'll increase the stitches to work for a 23" head. 


Pattern book: Book #238 Accessorize (Capshaw)
Yarn I used: Coats and Clark's "TLC Wiggles", 608 Blue, 1 skein (but next time round, I'll be knitting with something nice - a nubby wool.)
Size needles: 6 to get gauge

26 December 2005

Quick Soft Hat

This was a quickie - about the length of one movie to make -- fun soft and warm. Yarn was Lion Brand Velvetspun, color "bluebell"., 1 skein. I knit this on 10.5 (US) needles,  40 sts. total cast on, and it fits a 20" head using the formula on this great hat/any size any gauge sheet. Simple rolled brim (meaning, if you knit it in the round in stockinette stitch, the brim makes itself) with a simple I-cord topper.

19 December 2005

A short break from hats, then back to it

Hats are fun, but a girl needs a challenge now and then. Took a break and knitted Glove 1 using Plymouth's Socketta yarn (scroll down the page to the 's' to view), using size 1 (ribbing) and size 2 needles, and the standard glove method per Ann Budd's "Handy book of patterns" (should be in every knitter's library).

I learned that gloves are not impossible, and knitting on two circular needles is nice, but if you use a needle that has a bump at the join between cable and needle, you will want to personally drive to the plant that made them and strangle the engineer that designed the join (for s/he surely does not knit!). And, despite my best effort to avoid the dreaded 'ladder' between needles, it showed up. Damn. That all said, the glove fits great, and looks way better than even this photo shows! I'll post the second one when I get to it after the holidays.

15 December 2005

Hats for the Holidays

Everyone in the family gets a hat this holiday. The one pictured below is my next-to-last hat I'm knitting for the season.

Using a basic hat formula (like the easy to print out and reference one here, or the brim calculator here) I built a K3, P1 rib hat using a double strand of yarn from Elann -- the yarn was the Peruvian Collection Highland Wool that knits up in a nice firm 3.5 stitches to the inch when doubled. This wool is a great find at $2.25 a skein (USD).

The hat is warm and doesn't look that glam off the head...

But does on it!

22 November 2005

Strawberry Hat: Quick, fun cute.

Knit up a cute fruit hat for my daughter's god-daughter. This is an Ann Norling pattern: Kid's Fruit Cap.

21 November 2005

Folk Art for Your Head (free pattern)

Here is a fun quick project just in time for the holidays. I saw a similar hat and decided to make it up myself. Help yourself to the pattern, click here to download the PDF file.

Another Option For a fun alternate, knit it in the large size, making each stripe a few rows longer than specified in the pattern. (if you wear a large, then add about 10-20 stitches to make it big) Then felt it. Here is a different colorway, felted and blocked (below). The rolled edge becomes a nifty little folded brim. After knitting the hat, I crocheted a simple chain and felted it too. After blocking, sew on the felted separate chain at the top of the hat (shown in orange.)

20 November 2005

Moebius Felted Bowl

At my local knitting shop I saw a sample of a knitted moebius strip project...you know when you were a kid and cut a strip of paper, then twisted one end, and glued it together...only to find you have created one continuous surface? Well, an ingenious knitter, Cat Bordhi, has not only figured out how to dispense with double pointed needles in favor of knitting with two circulars (you'll never have stitches fall off a double-pointed needle again!) -- she has somehow figured out how to cast on and actually knit a moebius strip. The knitting cast-on starts in the center and the knitting grows out from each side while you knit. Crazy. Most of the patterns she's come up with don't really knock my socks off, but I had to buy her books, (and I confess, take a class, because I could not get the cast-on) -- just to see how she did it. Some of the scarves and shawls are amazing in her books.

So, here is a small basket, knit from Paton's Classic Merino Wool (double strand, since it felts so well).

Before Felting It doesn't really work like a bowl, way too floppy. (As to be expected pre-felting.)

After Felting

I felted a separate crocheted chain added as decoration. The bowl was felted for 30+ minutes, making it very compact and dense.

16 November 2005

Knit Felt Hat 2: Flat Brim

Same pattern as the purple knit felt hat below. Different yarn - this time: Paton Classic Merino Wool

Colors: leaf green and royal purple, knit with two strands | Size 11 needle | About 6 hours to knit | Garter flat brim

Before and After Felting

I also crocheted a chain of purple wool and felted it at the same time. Then, while drying, I wrapped the crocheted chain around the knitted band -- and let it dry in place. The hat fits great with the little bit of snug with the crocheted chain. Paton's yarn felts really well. A double strand of the worsted weight makes for a great winter-weight hat.

Post Knitting Note

This was a little too lime-green for me, and I ended up spending about $10 USD in dye to overdye with a blue to make the hat more teal than spring green. A lot of trouble and cost. Moral: knit the colors you like. REALLY like.

12 November 2005

First Knit Felted Hat

I tried my first felted hat and blocked it using the hat block I got from www.hatshapers.com, using the round crown slant block. The pattern is by Fibertrends (their first pattern for hats, AC-1), and the wool is by Kraemer yarns, "Mauch Chunky. Size 11 needles, it knit up in about 4 hours, took about 45 minutes from start to finish to felt it, and then 2 days to dry on the block. Although it has a good shape, it is not stiff.

The cool thing about the design is that you cast on stitches, then increase for the brim. The fact that fewer are cast on than are knit in the brim automatically curls the edge up. No blocking needed. The cost of the hat (other than the time) was about $9USD. (The hat shaper with shipping was about $40USD -- but I'll get lots more use out of it.)

05 November 2005

You can't make a silk purse out of a camel's belly


I received hand-spun yarn gift about a decade ago. The wool had been hand spun from a mongolian camel's belly hair. It was not plied, so I knew that it would knit on the bias. It was a bit scratchy -- so it had sat in my stash for years. I finally thought I had found what to do with it -- felt it!

Alas, you really can't make scratchy yarn anything other than what it is - no matter what you do with it. The whole time I knitted it, I was dealing with camel dandruff in my lap. I am reminded once again, use only materials you like from start to finish. You have to handle them a lot!

Before felting
The mittens are oversized and loosely knit.

After felting
The mittens are considerably smaller - but knitting with unplied yarn skewed the stitching a bit. And, the camel guard hair really came to the fore, making for very hairy hands! If the mittens had been worth saving, I would have given the mittens a trim.

Next stop: the goodwill bin. Moral: only knit wool you like!


27 October 2005

Stirling Harvest Hat

One of the folks in my vanpool had a son in October. I knit this hat for his son, Stirling:

Pattern: Fiber Trends, Patrick's Pumpkins, pattern CH-14.
Yarn: Cascade 220-
7825/orange and 2445/green The border is knit in garter stitch as a separate band. Then a double-strand rolled brim is knit, you join the separate band, then knit the rest in pumpkin yarn. I knit this in wool, but have seen it done in cotton to great effect too!

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