Wee Finished Object

Knitting for new babies is one of my favorite things.  I have been convinced for some time that just about anything is cuter when made in miniature, and I know this is true for baby clothes and accessories.

Not only are baby knits cute, they are quick to knit and don’t use up very much yarn.  Perfect for when you want the satisfaction of finishing something when your other projects seem to be taking forever…but that’s between me and my Hemlock Ring blanket!

Last week I was putting together a box to send to my sis for her baby shower.  I was sad to realize that some of my grand knitting plans for her baby had not yet come to fruition.  Instead of depriving her of a knit gift altogether (or making her wait until baby’s first Christmas for something woolly), I whipped up this cute little hat.

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  • Pattern: Baby Stuff by Melissa Dominguez, free Ravelry download

  • Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Sockotta Sock Yarn Fair Isle Effect, approx. 80 yards

  • Needles: US size 1/2.25mm Addi Turbo circular (Magic Loop)

  • Mods: 1-inch i cord topper

This pattern was a fast, easy knit and I was finished in a couple of days.  I have knit other rolled brim baby hats before, but this one caught my eye because of the swirling eyelet pattern on the crown.  It also uses just a bit of sock yarn, so it’s a perfect way to use up some leftovers.  The pattern also comes with the instructions for little mitts which use even less yarn.

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And because I love a baby hat with something sticking up off the top, I used the last few stitches to make an i-cord.

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Overall this was a quick, satisfying project, and I can’t wait to see it on my nephew’s wee head in a few weeks!

Wildlife, Wild Knitting

My recent trip to Southeast Alaska was a success in many ways.  This is a place I hold dear in my heart, a place that has retained its wonder and beauty for me throughout a lifetime of visits.  I have been fortunate enough to be a regular visitor since I was a child, spending summers on the water and in the woods. Going to such a wild place as a child jump-started my imagination, cemented a love for animals, and ignited my curiosity for nature.  This trip was no exception.

There was plenty of wildlife to keep me entertained when I wasn’t knitting or visiting with family.

The salmon were running, which had all the carnivores riveted, from eagles and fishermen to bears.

As far as knitting goes, I was able to get quite a bit done, both in transit and during my time there.  My sister and her hubby were kind enough to model these pieces:

  • Pattern: My own.  Details at another time…
  • Yarn: Malabrigo worsted weight, 2 strands held together, 1 skein of each color for hat
  • Needles: US size 8 circular
  • Notes: These were done with 2 strands of Malabrigo worsted held together.  I ran out of blue in the blue/pink one, so had to rip back to the ribbing, add a few rows, and readjust to calling it an earwarmer.  People wear these, right?!

My sister was a superstar knitter, finishing a hat and her first ever fingerless glove.  I didn’t get a chance to take a photo, but trust me: they were fantastic.  She is such a different knitter than I was starting out.  She doesn’t want a pattern to follow; instead, she lets the yarn tell her what to do, occasionally asking me “How many more rows should I do?”.  A fiercely independent and fearless knitter that inspires me to no end!

On the plane ride home I completed another neckwarmer.  I still need to block it and sew some buttons on, but here’s a sneak preview:

To my surpise and delight, I found 3 yarn stores during my travels.  More on that later…

An Unoriginal Circus

Here’s one of the projects I used to procrastinate distract me from my Ravelympics socks. This was an extremely fast knit (2 or 3 hours), and the vibrant yarn was a blast to work with. I look at it and think sophisticated clown. Or eccentric Connecticut knitter. Whichever.

  • Pattern: An Unoriginal Hat by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
  • Yarn: Crystal Palace Iceland in Circus
  • Needles: US size 10.5 double points
  • Mods: I used much bigger needles and did an extra row of k2tog to get the closure down to 8 stitches before cinching it closed.

Not much else to say, really. I think I am burned out from the push to finish my socks this weekend. My initial plan was to take Sunday off from knitting completely to give my mind and hands a rest. By evening, however, I was feeling that itch to pick up the needles and knit! You can’t slow me down, apparently.

And after I finished this hat, I went right up to my craft room and started a new project. It’s a never ending cycle, this knitting of mine, and I love it!

Sweetness and Light

I am in love with Malabrigo. It is everything good and pure about yarn: soft, pliable, beautiful in color and texture, it smells good (yes, I’m a yarn sniffer), it feels good to knit, and it blocks well. I’ve gone from their lace weight to a fluffy worsted weight this week, and am fully satisfied yet sad that my project has been completed.

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Using size 8 needles, I cast on 70 stitches and worked a K4 P3 cable rib about 7 inches before beginning the decreases. Easy and beautiful.

I was concerned about the size; I had to give it a good stretch just to fit around my head, and even then it wasn’t comfortable. But then my friend Eden (who also loves the Malabrigo) gave me the simplest of suggestions: block it. It had honestly never occurred to me to block a hat! She said to just stretch it over a bowl (making sure the bowl fit over your head first). So last night, while most people were probably watching the Superbowl, I could be seen trying on all the mixing bowls in my cupboard! I got the hat wet, and stretched it over a bowl, then inverted it into a larger bowl to keep the hat in place. It was too dark to get a good pic, but trust me: it works well. This morning the hat was nice and dry, just in time to ship to my sister for her birthday.
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Wait a second, that mirror is dirty and the flash is on!

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Much better! Only now I can see that perhaps I should have started with a ribbed edge to provide a little more structure and finish. Good thing I have enough yarn leftover to make another…