Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Hats for Liz

Rumor has it that some months ago Liz saw a selection of NKD's hats, knit for her by mom and sister, and complained that our family had not made her any hats. So we did. Not least because she made it safely home from her last tour of duty.

The boys are still working on their contribution (newspaper hats - why do mine always turn into boats before I can stop them?).

NKD picked up her needles again, and turned out a very creditable watch cap (but she's still NKD, because she still doesn't enjoy the process):

Yarn: Lion Brand Wool-Ease (80% acrylic, 20% wool) in one of the blue-ish heathers
Needles: Size 7 circulars and dpns
Pattern: Cast on 88 sts, work K2,P2 ribbing for 10", K2, P2tog; work another inch, K2tog, P1, work another inch, K2tog twice around, cut yarn and pull through remaining stitches.

KD, after a false start (we don't need no stinking gauge swatch) that found a happy home, made a perfectly lovey spiral hat:

Yarn: Red Heart Worsted (100% acrylic) in rust, a discontinued color I bought scads of back when I was churning out gingerbread men almost daily
Needles: size 7 circular
Pattern: Hurricane Hat (non-Ravelry link here)

Rumor had also revealed to me that Liz had a fondness for the currently popular South American chullo (earflap hat), so with NKD's help on picking colors, I contributed this one:

Yarn: Knit Picks Gloss DK (70% wool, 30% silk) in Jade, Grass, and Cream
Needles: size 6 circulars and dpns
Pattern: Alpaca Earflaps
Loved this yarn, and I have enough left to make something else - maybe a scarf? Lots of people had issues with the pattern. I left the claw pattern out of the earflaps, did a half-double-crochet edging instead of double crochet, and finished with braided colors instead of I-cord. The stockinette edge was partially tamed by the edging, and stops flipping up entirely when worn.

Welcome home, Liz!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Arrrgyle Vest

Still catching up with this year's gift-knitting, now that the unwrapping is over.

A vest for my littlest niece:

Pattern: Moose's Argyle Vest (non-Ravelry link) from the 2010 Knitting Pattern a Day Calendar

Size: 2T-3T (she should be able to wear it for another year at least)

Yarn: Knitpicks Stroll Sock Yarn (75% Superwash Merino Wool, 25% Nylon) in Basalt Heather, African Violet, Carnation, and Dove Heather

Needles: 3.5 mm

Modifications: I adapted the Arrrglye Socks graph (non-Ravelry link) to fit across the front of the vest. It was finicky, but worth it.

This was a fun, fast knit. I had to pick up the neck stitches twice - one look at the opening I was making and I knew no child's head would ever enter. This is a constant mistake I make, but at least I caught it early on this time.

I'm gaining confidence in colorwork. I've learned three important things since those long-ago first efforts in acrylic: 1) Blocking (i.e., making it in a fiber that can be blocked, to start with), 2) Spacing your floats - keep spreading out the stitches on the right-hand needle to stretch out your floats, and 3) Make adjustments as you secure your ends. That last one was the big deal on this piece. I didn't even bother to block it. I did take care with my floats, but some of it still looked crappy until I wove in the ends and pulled a few loose ends snugly into line.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


Yarn makes a lovely souvenir. Whether it's the oddly colored cotton I bought at a Dutch flea market decades ago, or the sweet, chestnut-brown alpaca a friend brought me from Peru, it conjures up memories, or thoughts, of far-away places. I love the challenge of knitting up a new yarn into something it wants to be.

Recently, a well-traveled friend brought me two skeins of yarn from Spain. Thick, warm, luscious, soft alpaca/wool/acrylic. Enough for a striped scarf, or two hats, or - well, I never did get further in my musings in that, since one of my daughters was within hearing. They rarely dress alike, but are not averse to the occasional item being made for both of them, as long as the colors are different.

They've both been wearing them constantly ever since I delivered them, so I think they were a hit. Thank you, my friend.

Yarn: Katia's Peru (40% acrylic, 40% wool, 20% alpaca), 2 100 g skeins
Needles: #8 circular*, #10 circular and dpns
Pattern: Winter's Coming (and non-Ravelry here)
Mods: none. This yarn and pattern were made for each other; I would make more in a heartbeat.

*This was not good to discover just now, since I have spent all weekend insisting I did not own a small #8 circular. Obviously, I did when I made these hats. Guess I'd better go look for it. NKD wants to learn to make a hat. More on that later.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Sailor hat

Hat for Sailor

Yarn: Lion Brand Wool-Ease Chunky, I think, in a lovely blend of green and black impossible to see here.

Pattern: Lion Brand Watch Cap, no modifications

The photograph completely fails to convey the warmth and comfort level of this hat. But somewhere far away, someone is enjoying it.