Hats, Hats, Hats

I’ve been working on making hats to either sell or give out at Christmas as gifts.

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This hat is Rikke and the yarn is Lion Brand Amazing. It’s almost finished.

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This is another Rikke. As you can see it is finished.

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I’m crocheting his beanie without a pattern – I’m winging it.

More updates to come.

Inspirations for April 10, 2012

Loom Knitting
Knitting loom made from a plastic bottle

Handmade Knitting Loom @knitchat.com

Cover of book "Loom Knitting for Little People" by Bethany A. Dailey

Loom Knitting for Little People by Bethany A. Dailey @amazon.com

Crocheting

Neat Ripple Afghan Pattern from Attic24.com

Neat Ripple Afghan Pattern from Attic24.com

  • Learn the vintage pineapple stitch. I know … I’d never heard of it either but the sample looks interesting …
Crochet sample of vintage pineapple stitch

Vintage Pineapple Stitch @Freevintagecrochet.com

Knitting

  • I found this tutorial on Pinterest about finger knitting and think this technique would  for making a unique scarf  or maybe make a rug or blanket by stitching together several strips of knitting.
Finger Knitting

Finger Knitting Tutorial @Little Bird School of Stitchcraft

  • Are you a picker or a thrower? Interweave’s Knitting Daily blog had a really great post explaining the differences between the two knitting styles along with a tutorial teaching picking to throwers and vice versa. This isn’t a new post but the information is especially relevant to newer knitters.
  • Search for “speed knitting” on YouTube and you’ll be returned a lot of results. KnitPicks.com’s video “Learn to Speed Knit!” is full of great tips for increasing your speed and efficiency.

Make a Magic Ball of Yarn

I was surfing the web today looking for some knitting, crocheting, and looming inspiration when I stumbled on to a forum post on Ravelry about ways to use up all those scraps of yarn that we yarny people seem to accumulate. Seriously, people, where do they come from? I have enough yarn scraps to reach the moon and back!

But I digress …

The thread mentioned something I have never heard of before: a magic yarn ball. A magic yarn ball, for those of you like myself who were not in the know, is a yarn ball that is a ball of yarn wound from scraps of yarn. You take lengths of yarn that are between three to eight yards long and start winding. When you reach then end of one piece of yarn, you join a new piece of yarn by either tying a knot or using a Russian join.

Intrigued?

I had to find out more so I did some Googling and some YouTubing (are those real words?) and about 5 minutes later I was watching the following video clip from Jimmy Beans Wool:

I have tons of scrap yarn sitting around on shelves, in drawers, and in bags … ugh, I have yarn scraps everywhere!

This is a real inspiration.It’s a great way to be green too since all that yarn will be saved from going to a landfill.

I’m envisioning an afghan to cuddle up with on the sofa.

Daily Inspirations

Nutmegan Creative Exploration’s Crochet Earflap Hat

Dainty Loop’s Pink Snood Cowl

DIY Shoe Accessories by Craft Snob

Elizabeth Carl’s Color Block Felted Mitten Patterns

Brown Blended Green Chunky Boots-Slippers by The Happy Feet

Cozy Season’s Rich Deep Blue Ruffle Mohair Scarf

WIP: Bell Sleeved Shrug

Lately it seems like I’ve got a thing for knitting cream colored shrugs. I cast on this cute little shrug (also available on Ravelry) designed by Brooke Snow almost immediately after finishing my circular shrug in almost exactly the same color as my circular shrug. So far I’m very pleased with how it’s turning out.

by jeaniewh on Flckr

I’ve made a few modifications. The original pattern is knit flat and then the sleeves are seamed up afterwards. I am knitting the sleeves in the round to avoid have seaming. I’m then handling the middle section by knitting it back and forth. Also, I’m using a different yarn: the pattern calls for 2 skeins of Lion Brand Wool Ease but I’m using Lion Brand Jiffy (if you’re unfamiliar with Jiffy it’s an acrylic but it looks like mohair). It’s fuzzy and cuddly – not at all a warm weather item but I started off working with yarn I had on hand. I’m finishing my 2nd skein of this yarn and about to start a 3rd and I’m only a few inches into the middle section. I think I’ll probably have to buy another skein.

Once completed I’ll post updates, my own photos, and my notes from Ravelry. Stay tuned!

Circular Shrug

I’m seriously wondering what’s wrong with me because I can’t seem to work on just one project at a time. Right now I have the following projects waiting to be finished:

  1. Turtleback Shrug
  2. Baletneck Sweater
  3. Spiral Tube Socks
  4. Fuzzy Purple Poncho
  5. Big Softie Snood
  6. String Bag
  7. Gray Ultimate Crochet Socks

That’s seven WIPS. Any other sane crafter might look at the above list and think to herself, “Gee, I should get some of these things finished.” Apparently I am either not sane or I have crafting ADD because I have started another project.

Seriously.

The first time I saw the pattern for the Circular Shrug I couldn’t wrap my head around how it was supposed to come together. I was still very new to knitting and the terms used in the pattern confused me (I’m still a newer knitter but I’ve been practicing) and, IMHO, the illustrations included with the pattern directions were also a little confusing. I added this to my favorites queue at Ravelry thinking that eventually I would be ready to knit a garment. The other night I was sorting through my favorites and saw this pattern and guess what? I wasn’t confused. I picked up my needles, some soft yarn, and set to work.

Basically, this pattern has you knitting up a long rectangle, folding it in half, then seaming up the sides leaving an opening for your arms to poke through. Once everything is seamed up the piece forms a circle when it’s laid down with the cast on and bound off edges facing down. (If this sounds familiar and you follow this blog you’ll know this is also the same idea behind my Turtleback Shrug.)

by julsey on Flickr

by julsey on Flickr

There are three sections of knitting – the first and last sections are knit 2, purl 2 ribbing and the middle section is mock ribbing (which I’m modifying to stockinette) – and I’ve completed the first section and have about a third of the middle section done.

I love the beginnings and the ends of projects but really don’t like when things get repetitive in the middle. I think that’s why I start and stop working on so many projects. I wonder if I should impose a ban on starting new projects until I finish work on the rest of my pending work? In theory this sounds like a logical idea and easy enough but how would I enforce this on myself?

Any suggestions?

In the mean time, I’m going to keep plugging along on this project because I really want to finish my first knitted garment.

Simple Tweed Hat

Just like with my last knitted hat I used the Super Simple Hat Calculator to make a hat for myself that actually fits. I’m happy with the results.

This was a really simple hat and knit up more quickly than my first attempt with this pattern. I am a new knitter and assume this hat went quicker because I used larger needles?

On a side note: I only got to wear this once. I wore it to class today. I had it on when I sat down and I could not find it after I searched all of my belongings before I left class. It’s an auditorium style lecture hall and I looked under the entire row I sat it and the rows in front and behind me. Either it got wedged into my seat and I couldn’t see it or someone walked off with it. Ugh! The good news is that I have plenty of this yarn left to make another if I want.

Finished: Hubs Scrap Hat aka The Hat So Large It Ate My Head

I used Mary Young Smith’s Super Simple Hat Calculator and cast on using size 3 circular needles and scrap acrylic yarn. Looking back I probably should have used larger needles in say size 7 or 8. This one of the first hats I’ve needle knit (not knit on a loom) and I wasn’t sure what size needles to use. Live and learn, huh?

NOTES:

1/15 – I don’t know if it’s because I don’t think my husband will like what I make him – even though he’s really easy to please – or if it’s because I want it to be extra special but whatever the reason I’ve never knit or crocheted anything for him. I finally decided that the poor boy needs a hat so I asked for him to look through my yarns and see if he liked any colors. Well, I have tons of scraps of acrylic yarn and of course what he picked out was something I only have a little bit of so after we picked out some coordinating colors hub’s only request was that anything I make him wasn’t too “girly.” No problem! 🙂

1/20 – Worked on this some more over the weekend and the past few days. I’d say it’s about 1/3 of the way finished. Maybe it’s because I’m still new at it but knitting is going so much slower for me than crochet.

1/22 – I’m starting on the decrease rows today and should have the hat done tonight but I don’t think hubs will wear this hat and that it will end up either being my hat or given away to a family member living somewhere in a colder part of the world. Reason? Hubs looked over at me while I was knitting today and said, “Hmmm, looks kind of … um … like a Rasta hat. Is that what you had in mind?” Now, hubs is pretty conservative when it comes to color and even though he picked out the colors I’m not sure he realized how they would look together. The hat’s colors do kind of have a Jamaican feel to them but the hat itself is a beanie not a tam or beret. We’ll see what he thinks when it’s finished.

1/23 – Finished this last night. Hubs hasn’t seen the finished project yet (he works nights) so I’m not sure he’ll like it or not. If he doesn’t it’s definitely not going to be mine because it’s HUGE on me. LOL If he likes it I hope it fits him.

1/24 – OK, so the hat fits him but he’s not crazy about it. It does NOT fit me and as you can see in the photos it’s huge. I feel a little bad that this was a disappointment so I’m going to head out and buy some yarn for a special hat just for him. Clearly I can’t allow him to choose the yarn since he picked these colors and wasn’t happy. I guess this shows that he truly doesn’t know squat about how the colors he picks will work together just like he tried to tell me at the start but I completely ignored his warnings. So the lesson to learn here is that any color he might choose does not necessarily guarantee his satisfaction.

Project info

Name

The Hat So Large It Ate My Head aka Hub’s Scraps Hat
Pattern

Craft

Knitting
Made for

husband
Tags

Needle and yarn

Needle

US 3 / 3.25 mm

Notes

1/15 – I don’t know if it’s because I don’t think my husband will like what I make him – even though he’s really easy to please – or if it’s because I want it to be extra special but whatever the reason I’ve never knit or crocheted anything for him. I finally decided that the poor boy needs a hat so I asked for him to look through my yarns and see if he liked any colors. Well, I have tons of scraps of acrylic yarn and of course what he picked out was something I only have a little bit of so after we picked out some coordinating colors hub’s only request was that anything I make him wasn’t too “girly.” No problem! 🙂

1/20 – Worked on this some more over the weekend and the past few days. I’d say it’s about 1/3 of the way finished. Maybe it’s because I’m still new at it but knitting is going so much slower for me than crochet.

1/22 – I’m starting on the decrease rows today and should have the hat done tonight but I don’t think hubs will wear this hat and that it will end up either being my hat or given away to a family member living somewhere in a colder part of the world. Reason? Hubs looked over at me while I was knitting today and said, “Hmmm, looks kind of … um … like a Rasta hat. Is that what you had in mind?” Now, hubs is pretty conservative when it comes to color and even though he picked out the colors I’m not sure he realized how they would look together. The hat’s colors do kind of have a Jamaican feel to them but the hat itself is a beanie not a tam or beret. We’ll see what he thinks when it’s finished.

1/23 – Finished this last night. Hubs hasn’t seen the finished project yet (he works nights) so I’m not sure he’ll like it or not. If he doesn’t it’s definitely not going to be mine because it’s HUGE on me. LOL If he likes it I hope it fits him.

1/24 – OK, so the hat fits him but he’s not crazy about it. It does NOT fit me and as you can see in the photos it’s huge. I feel a little bad that this was a disappointment so I’m going to head out and buy some yarn for a special hat just for him. Clearly I can’t allow him to choose the yarn since he picked these colors and wasn’t happy. I guess this shows that he truly doesn’t know squat about how the colors he picks will work together just like he tried to tell me at the start but I completely ignored his warnings. So the lesson to learn here is that any color he might choose does not necessarily guarantee his satisfaction.