Thursday, May 9, 2019

Layla Baby Hat


In my expanding baby hat project, here is the Layla Hat.

My nephew’s baby girl is just the sweetest little doll, so I had to make a hat for her. What is great that you use less than a skein of yarn, and from my calculations, can also make at least two hats from one full skein. Once you make one of these, you will want to make more and more, using variegated yarn, striped yarns, and bright colors.

The other cool thing is that this is a cable stitch without needing a cable needle. If you have a fear of trying the cable stitch, this is a baby step with a baby hat!



Materials:
1 skein DK (double knit) yarn
Size 6 (4,0 mm) 16” circular needle
Size 6 (4.0 mm) double pointed needles
Stitch marker
Yarn needle

Abbreviations:
K: Knit
P: Purl
Mock cable (over two stitches): Knit two stitches together but do not remove from your left needle. Insert right needle into the first stitch and pull up a stitch. Remove from left needle.

Cast on 64 stitches. Join being careful not to twist the stitches and place marker.

Round 1-3: Work in 2x2 ribbing (K2, P2).
Round 4: *Mock cable, P2; rep from * to marker.
Work these 4 rounds until piece measures 5 ½”.

Crown:
Switch to double pointed needles when necessary.
Round 1: *K2, P2tog, K2, P2; rep from * to marker
Round 2: *K2, P1, K2, P2; repeat from * to marker.
Round 3:  *K2, P1, K2, p2tog. Repeat from * to marker.
Round 4:  *Mock cable, p1; repeat from * to marker.
Round 5:  *K2, P1 * repeat from * to marker.
Round 6:  *K2tog, P1, K2, P1; repeat from * to marker.
Round 7:  *K1, P1, K2, P1; repeat from * to marker.
Round 8:  *K2tog, P1, K2, P1; repeat from * to marker.
Round 9:  *K1, P1, repeat from * to marker.
Round 10-11: K2tog until there are six stitches left.

Cut yarn, leaving an 8” tail. Cut yarn, thread through the remaining stitches and secure tightly.  Weave in ends.

You can alter the pattern easily to make hats bigger or smaller. Just make the number of stitches a number divisible by 4, or use a larger or smaller needle. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Thermal Hat

I have made a couple of Thermal hats in between my baby hats. The link for this hat is at the bottom. I used Loops and Threads Woolike (85% Acrylic; 15% Nylon, 620m/678yds). This is one of my favorite yarns because it is acrylic and very soft, especially for those allergic to wool. I also used slightly bigger needles for the upper part, and made it longer so it would be more of a slouchy hat. 




The other thing I like about this hat is that it is very easy to take with me when I leave the house. My husband and I have been going to sports bars lately so he can watch the Denver Nuggets in the playoffs. (We don't have cable or satellite) I don't know what all those sports fanatics think of a woman knitting in a sports bar, but they seem to be okay with it. I get a lot of questions about what I am making and admiring it. I am more likely to get a comment from some that they will bring their knitting next time.

Some ask me how I can drink and knit at the same time. I tell them that my limit is one or two beers because one time I was knitting a mitten at a bar and ended up with a sock. Some laugh; some just don't get it.

I am currently working on another Thermal cap using Red Heart Unforgettable in Pearly (100% Acrylic; 246m/270yds). It is a much thicker yard than the Woolike but it is working out well -- and I love the colors.


Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Into the Delightful Rut of Knitting



I have been knitting baby hats since the beginning of the year, and I have noticed a pattern. Once I find a pattern I like, I knit it. And I am not talking about just knitting a hat or two -- I'll knit several and do the pattern over and over again until I get tired of it. Actually I never really get tired of it; I just am ready to do another pattern.  I often use an adult hat pattern and make it into a baby hat.


 

I first made the 'square' hat because I had yarn that 'phased' from color to color. Then I purposefully changed colors manually to make the stripes and of course had to add a variety of pom poms to accent the edges. The pattern for these hats are posted on 1/23/19.

Of course, I only had to make some "normal' hats with brim, body and crown.














Then I made some berets, which is not only of my designs. You can get this pattern from Ravelry at https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/stripey-baby-beret.


One of my favorite patterns for adult hat is the Regina hat, so I made some baby hats using that pattern. You can read more about this pattern and get the link by going to the 3/28/19 post here on my blog.














Then I was reminded of a bobble hat and yes, I went a little overboard.


I posted this pattern on 4/18/19.

So what am I going now? I am making some adult hats with a couple of other baby hats on the other needles.  I will be posting my Thermal hats tomorrow with the links, and another set of baby hats the next day. So stay tuned.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Baby Bobby Bobble hat


Baby Bobby Bobble hat



I loved making this pattern and it is actually quite easy to do. I am able to knock out two hats in one day if I keep at it. The pattern is created in the 6th round, so you have 5 rounds of stockinette to just "relax." And the color play is so much fun!

I did some with left over yarn.  You will be surprised how little you need to do the 6 rounds of one color.


With others, I used some of the popular "cake" yarn you see these days. Before I started knitting the baby hats, I make smaller balls of each color. Then I could mix and match them from light to dark, or used contrasting colors. 

For some, I used varying hues of the small color to give a gradient look.



You can alter the pattern easily to make hats bigger or smaller. Just make the number of stitches divisible by 2 for the ribbing at the bottom and divisible by 4 plus 3 in the body of the hat. Also the pattern works up beautifully if you use DK (double knit) instead worsted, creating a smaller hat. Here is the same pattern, using the same needles, but the one on the right is a DK instead of a worsted.



You can alter the pattern easily to make hats bigger or smaller by adding the number of stitches you cast on. Just make the number of stitches divisible by 4 in the body of the hat. 


Baby Bobby Bobble hat


Materials:
Small amounts of worsted yarn in three colors.

Size 5 (3.75 mm) 16” circular needle
Size 7 (4.5 mm) 16” circular needle

Size 7 (4.5 mm) double pointed needles
Stitch marker
Yarn needle

Gauge: 3” = 3½ bobbles in worsted; 3 bobbles in DK


With Color A and the small needle, cast on 64 stitches. Join being careful not to twist the stitches.
Work 1x1 ribbing (K1, P1) for four rows.

Switch to larger needle.
Rounds 1 to 5: Knit around.
Change to next color.
Round 6: *K3, unravel the next stitch down four rows. Insert needle in the stitch four rows below and pull up stitch* (See photos below).
Rounds 7 to 12: Knit around.
Change to next color.
Round 12: *K1, unravel the next stitch down four rows. Insert needle in the stitch four rows below and pull up stitch.* K2.
Continue these rounds 3 times, or until you reach the desired length, ending with round 6 or 12.

Crown:
Switch to double pointed needles when necessary.
Round 1: Knit around.
Round 2:  *SSK, k6*, continue to end of round.
Round 3: Knit around.
Round 4:  *SSK, k5*, continue to end of round.
Round 5: Knit around.
Round 6:  *SSK, k4*, continue to end of round.
Round 7: Knit around.
Round 8:  *SSK, k3*, continue to end of round.
Round 9: Knit around.
Round 10:  *SSK, k2*, continue to end of round.
Round 11: Knit around.
Round 12:  *SSK, k1*, continue to end of round.
Round 13: Knit around.
Round 14:  *SSK, continue to end of round.
Cut yarn, leaving an 8” tail. Cut yarn, thread through the remaining stitches and secure tightly.  Weave in ends.

Knitting four rows down.


I know it is scary but you are going to drop this stitch. What? Drop a stitch? On purpose? Yes! Knit up to the stitch you need to drop and remove it from your left needle until you have four strands of yarn above the stitch.

Using your right needle, grab that stitch.

Put your needle (with the dropped stitch) under the four strands and pull a stitch up. Tighten the stitch a little but not super tight. It should be be the same tension as the regular stitches in this row.

There you go! The bobble will develop with the next 5 rounds of stockinette. 

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Reginas for Babies

This is the hat I made for myself.
I am still making hats for babies and children to donate to hospitals and shelters. I am planning a trip to downtown Denver this week to deliver over 50 hats to the Gathering Place with some even for adults. The Gathering Place is a day shelter for women and children. They help women get ready for the workplace by writing resume, practicing interview skills, dressing for success, and getting the family back on their feet. When I retired a couple of years ago, I delivered several of my professional suits to this shelter. I didn't plan on using them any more! Haven't missed them either. My attire is mainly jeans, t-shirts, and sweaters.

I love the Regina Hat pattern and have made a couple for friends, not to mention for me too. So it was natural that I would pull the pattern up to modify it for baby hats. What a pleasure it was to see sizing for babies and children in the pattern. So far, I have made two, but I plan to do some more.



The pattern is on Ravelry and is free:
https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/regina-9


Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Brittany Square Hat




Brittany Square Hats for Babies




Materials:
1 skein Caron Simply Soft Paints in Rainbow stripes
Size 6 (4mm) 16” circular needle
Size 6 (4mm) double pointed needles
Stitch marker
Yarn needle

Gauge: 2” = 12 stitches

Cast on 66 stitches. Join being careful not to twist the stitches.
Brim: K1 in twisted stitch, P1 for 1 inch. (Twisted Knit: Knit into the back of the loop.)

Next row: Continue knitting in the round until piece measures 5”.

Final row: Using a DPN, knit 33 stitches. Using another DPN, bind off using the three needle bind off method. If you don't know how to do a three-needle bind off, there are many videos and instructions by just googling it.

Cut yarn, leaving an 8” tail. Cut yarn, thread through the remaining stitches and secure tightly.  Weave in ends.

Add small pompoms in different colors on each end. 







Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Babies Hats for Someone's Babies


I have been on a baby hat kick lately. No, there are no grandchildren in my immediate future; I just wanted to do a bunch of small projects that I can do quickly. I plan on giving them away to hospitals for their newborn and preemie baskets.

I use both worsted weight yarn and sock yarn. I just change the number of stitches and the size of the needles. I have also frogged a few that just weren't coming out right. One of my guidelines is using basic stockinette stitch when I have striped yarn and a single color if I want to do a more complicated pattern. Every now and then, I think that I can get away with both, and occasionally it works. However, not recently.

I also plan to post the patterns here over the next few days so check back if you want to make any of your own. So enjoy!


Saturday, January 5, 2019

Cat or squirrel? Cat or Pirate?


I have told you that Wookie is a magic cat. Here is her imitation of a squirrel.

She is actually playing with a crumbled piece of paper but the effect is the same.


Not to be outdone, here is Omi's impression of a pirate. She's a real chAAARGHacter.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Free Lacy Scarf Pattern -- the Diva Scarf

The DC Divas and Hubbies.
Back row left: Tom and Susan Littman,
Paul Sanzo, Me and Ken.
Middle row, Katy Hoxworth,
Mo Sanzo
Front row: Tom and Linda Pelo
When my sons were in high school, they were very active in both music and theater. Since we were active parents in our kids' lives, we fed marching band kids and sold theater tickets. I even went to Scotland with Lorne's high school theater group to play the piano for their musical when they performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. They made life-long friends, but as with all of us, once they went to college and lives as adults, they didn't always keep in touch.

While they were making life-long friends, so were Ken and I. I became friends with parents of my sons' friends as well. However, even though our kids scattered to the winds (from New York to California), we, the mothers, decided we enjoyed each other so much, we were going to stay connected in spite of our kids.

That was several years ago. Now, about every six weeks, our group, which we call the DC Diva (Douglas County Divas), get together for a potluck at one of our homes. We celebrate all the weddings and personal accomplishments of our kids but are also intricately entwined in each other's lives. There are five of us, with a combined number of 8 kids.

So I wanted to make special gifts for my friends. I started in August and finished five of them by November. It is a wide scarf so it would be a shawl as well. I used Loops & Threads Woolike yarn and in several colors. The Divas got to pick their colors. Mo took the the purple, Katy took the red, Linda the blue and Susan the rose. I kept the maroon for myself.

So here's the pattern:

Mo modeling the purple scarf


The Diva Scarf

A couple of things about the scarf. I used 72 stitches because the yarn I used is lace weight. You can use any yarn in your stash but you will need to adjust the number of stitches and the length of the scarf. The only thing you need to have is a number divisible by 3. 














MATERIALS
2 skeins Loops and Threads Woolike (85% Acrylic; 15% Nylon, 620m/678yds))
Size US 9 (2.75 mm) circular or straight needles
Yarn needle
Gauge: Not applicable
Size: Not applicable

Cast on 72 sts.

Work in garter stitch (knit every row) for 6 rows.


Row 1: K3 (Edge), *YO, K1, YO, k3tog* to last three stitches. K3.
Row 2: K3, P to last three stitches. K3.
Row 3: K3 (Edge), * k3tog, YO, K1, YO, * to last three stitches. K3.
Row 4: K3, P to last three stitches. K3.

Continue Rows 1-4 for desired length (I consider a good length the height of the person who will be wearing the scarf)

Work in garter stitch (knit every row) for 6 rows.


Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Happy 2019! My Resolutions -- or How Long Can I Last?



Do you realize that New Year's Day is probably the only worldwide holiday? Think back  to all the holidays you celebrate during the year. 

We have religious holidays such as Christmas, Easter, and Passover, but these are acknowledged by people of certain faiths. We may all get the day off at Christmas, but it isn't celebrated by everyone. Many other countries celebrate these holidays too, but it is not universal across the world.

Then we have the national holidays here in the US: Independence Day, Labor Day, and Memorial Day. Our banks are closed and government offices don't answer the phones, but cross the borders to Canada and Mexico or cross "the pond" to Europe, and they are going about their business as if it wasn't a day off. Last year, Ken and I were in Denmark for the 4th of July, and we didn't hear or see a single firecracker.

And you can't count Thanksgiving either. Canada has a Thanksgiving but it is in October, not the fourth Thursday in November. You may want to try to cite some of the shopping days such as Black Friday or Cyber Monday, but I know many men (such as my husband) who refuses to acknowledge such a holiday too. Actually even I don't shop on Black Friday. I consider it a day for amateur shoppers.

So that leaves New Year. We watch the new year march in across the globe with every top-of-the-hour countdown from New Zealand to to Hawaii. Fireworks blast from the Eiffel Tower to the Pyramids. 

So it doesn't matter where you are from, I hope you have a wonderful and prosperous New Year. I want everyone to success and be happy.

So here are some of my resolutions for the new year.

1. Lose weight. I know, I know, this is on everyone's list and by the first of February (or even sooner) it is forgotten. However, I already have a head start on this. I had surgery in October for some female stuff and I feel much better. Since mid-October, I have lost 20 pounds. I still have a long way to go, and 20 pounds is similar to taking a cup of water out of a bathtub, but I am feeling like this might actually work. Ken and I are both just "eating health" as opposed to dieting. We are followed Dr. Joel Fuhrman's program of "Eat to Live" which is beans and greens. I don't feel hunger or deprived because we can still have some sweets and meats. I will keep you advised on my progress. 


2. Knit more. I shouldn't even have to put this on the list, but there you go. I have started knitting baby hats to donate to the local hospital and take some of my other hats and scarves to a shelter too. I have so much stash that I need to use it up.

3. Buy less yarn. Speaking of stash, I have so much yarn that I could even start to make a dent if I needed to. So I will buy less yarn. Even if I go a yarn store, I often find myself saying "I already have something like this." I will still go to wool fairs and explore new books, but no more buying.

4. Buy less. And leading into that point, Ken and I are buying less. Less clothes, less junk, less stuff.  We spend a good two months a year or so ago, we destashed our house. We donated tons or clothes, furniture, small appliances, books, and even office supplied to ARC. We just refinanced our house and have more money every month, but we don't need anything. Actually between our Social Security and our rental incomes, we are making more now than we ever made working. Retirement is great.

5. Travel more. Although we took a month long trip to Europe last year, we are getting the wanderlust again. A month is too long however. By the last week, all I could think of was home, so we will limit out trips to 2 to 2 1/2 weeks. We are thinking of the Pacific Northwest again, and maybe going to New England in the fall. We even have Australia and New Zealand on our bucket list, but not this year.

6. Cuddle my cats more. This one will not be hard to accomplish.

7. Spend more time with my sons. Also not too hard to accomplish. It will mean going to Fort Collins more and a few trips to California, but that is great.

8. Read more. Since I read over 60 books last year, maybe I should scale this down to keeping even. I use GoodReads to track my books, and visit my library more than once a week.

9. Move more. This will be the hardest to keep up with. I hate exercise but if I just concentrate on just walking or moving, maybe I'll do better. Since I am already losing weight, maybe this will just come naturally.