Mom and Baby Hats

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Whenever someone I know has a baby, I have to knit them hats. The basic set is a hat for the baby and a hat for Mom in matching yarn. But if I have extra time or extra yarn, sometimes I’ll knit 2-3 sizes of baby hats as well (because baby heads only stay small for so long), plus one for Dad.

And for some reason I seem to have an aversion to making these hats from a pattern. I have to knit them from spur-of-the-moment inspiration. Whatever pattern my fingers seem to desire on the day I start, that’s what I have to knit.

Here’s my latest. Just a simple, flexible pattern.

Baby Hat

This hat is knitted top-down in the round.  This particular pattern is for a non-newborn with a larger head. If you want to make a smaller hat, stop increasing sooner. Or use smaller yarn and needles to get a finer gauge. Choose your own adventure!

Cast on 10 stitches using Turkish cast on (5 stitches per needle). I used a US 6 circular needle in the magic loop configuration. Yarn was sport-Dk weight handspun.

Row 1: Double your stitch count. *Kfb*

Row 2- 4: Knit

Row 5: *K1, YO*

Row 6-8: Knit

Row 9: *K2, YO*

Row 10-12: Knit

Row 13: *K3, YO*

Row 14-16: Knit

Row 17: *K4, YO*

Row 18-20: Knit

Row 21: *K5, YO*

Row 22-24: Knit

Row 25: *K2, S1, K2tog, YO, PSSO, K2* (this is the row you stop increasing)

Row 26-28: Knit

Repeat Rows 25-28 until the hat is the desired length. 3-4 inches will do.

Start the brim with a prep row: You want to decrease the number of stitches on the needles by about 1 stitch per repeat (in row 25). This helps tighten things up for the brim so it will fit better. Make sure you end up with an even number of stitches.

Brim: *K1, P1* for 1.5 inches.

Bind off: I used the sewn bind off. But use whatever you prefer so long as it preserves the stretch of  the brim.

To make a larger Mom hat, make the hat a bit bigger. You could do this by litterally making the hat bigger (adding more increase sections) or by using bigger yarn and needles. I chose option#1.  I kept going with my increase sections until I was kitting *K3, S1, K2tog, YO, PSSO, K3*. The logic of the rest of the hat is the same. Make it as big as it needs to be, then add your brim. For an adult, I would use a brim of 2 inches at least.

So much lack of posting

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But I’m back.

I feel like so many bloggers take breaks, and then spend their whole next post trying to explain why they were gone for so long.

I’m not gonna do that. Here’s why I didn’t post: I didn’t feel like it. And not in a bad way. Just that. I didn’t feel like it.

So let’s move on…

Lots of spinning has happened since we last met. Most of it spindling with my little Akerworks travel spindle. 

My latest @intothewhirled plying done. Scissors Lizard Spock mixed with Yipes Stipes. #spinnersofinstagram

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And there’s been lots of knitting. 

More progress on my Love All Ways #zk2017 #knittersofinstagram @knitcahoots

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Such a beautiful sight. #springcleaning #prettythings #fresheningthewoolies

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What the heck. I'll join the #yarnlovechallenge Here's my #yarnlovechallengeday1 This is me a couple of weeks ago getting ready to go to the #womensmarch Not in Washington, but in my home of #rochestermn I've been knitting since I was eight years old. My mother taught me and I made simple things like dish cloths, hats and scarves non-stop for years. About seven years ago the knitting bug flared up like a forest fire and I started challenging myself more. Today I'll knit just about anything, but I love lace and stranded colorwork above all. I have a husband and three cats. The cats are weavers, so I have to work hard to keep them out of my stash. I look forward to meeting you all during this challenge. Cheers! #knittersofinstagram

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And I even learned how to crochet a few months ago…and got obsessed for a bit.

I went to January Thaw and Zombie Knitpocalypse to hang with my knitting pals.

Sweet Legs twins at #svfjt2017 #januarythaw2017 #knittersofinstagram

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Working on my second sock while #zk2017 prize giveaway gets going. So many pretties!

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Now it’s getting to be sweater weather again. And I have still not finished by NaKniSweMo2016 Sweater. I have a mental block. It’s just sitting there. Tell me to finish it. Tell me I have to. It’s my destiny. Tell me now.

What have you been up to?

NaKniSweMo Yarn Acquired

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This year I’m preparing for National Knit a Sweater Month in advance. I’ve already identified a couple of patterns that will suit my husband to a T. And last weekend, I managed to find a sweater quantity of the right kind of yarn.

Knitters, you know how hard it is to find a sweater quantity of yarn at an LYS. So often, they have 5 or 6 hanks remaining of a particular color. But when you need 10 or 12, you’re sunk.

Well, I’m proud to say that I’ve achieved a small pre-NaKniSweMo victory. Last weekend, I was in Duluth, MN and visited Yarn Harbor. They had a wonderful selection of Quince & Co. Yarns, including 13 hanks of the Lark base in the Parsley colorway.

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Yes, I bought every hank they had. I could probably get away with only 12, but I was convinced that, if I bought fewer hanks, I would jinx myself and would soon regret leaving that last hank behind. When you’re knitting cables, sometimes that yardage really sneaks up on you.

Next comes the swatching. When November 1st comes, I’m going to be ready to go.

I’m thinking about #NAKNISWEMO2016 already

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I’m one of those people who gets annoyed at seeing Christmas decorations come out right after Halloween.  I like my holidays low key and in discrete, small chunks.

But uncharacteristically, I’m getting excited about a holiday early this year. A knitting holiday — NAKNISWEMO: National Knit a Sweater Month.

It all started when the Brooklyn Tweed Fall 2016 collection came out earlier this week.  I am in love with the men’s sweaters in this collection. Specifically:

Auster (His) by Michele Wang

A gloriously cabled body and simple sleeves. A little challenge. But the sleeves give me a bit of a break with something relatively easy. Those look like saddle shoulders. I really enjoy sewing together sweaters with this kind of shoulder. Much easier than set-in sleeves.

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Image as seen on Ravelry: 

Mohr (His) by Norah Gaughan

This one has diamond cables that look like so much fun to knit, combined with an all-over texture that extends down the sleeves. This one features drop shoulders, so once again I would get out of doing  a set-in sleeve (yay!).

One of these two sweaters is definitely going to be my NaKniSweMo2016 project. I just can’t choose which one. I have a month and a half to figure it out and acquire my yarn.

Any one else want to start celebrating/obsessing early with me?

Succumbing to KAL Peer Pressure

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I’m attending the January Thaw retreat in 2017 and I’m struggling with retreat KAL peer pressure. The KAL is to knit one of Laura Aylor’s patterns using Sun Valley Fibers Yarn (the host of the event). Ordinarily, I can get behind a KAL that gives you a choice of designer OR yarn. But this KAL is for designer AND yarn…and some stubborn, non-conformist part of me rebels.

However, I’ve decided to quash my deviant impulse. It’s not as if I have any distaste for the designer’s patterns. And the yarn  is one of my favorite local lines. So I’m going to force myself to jump onto the bandwagon. Both feet. Not just running alongside, like I usually do.

I’ve decided to knit Faberge , a pattern I’ve had on my Ravelry favorites list since it first came out. I love the varied textures of this shawl. Lately I’ve been knitting a lot of complex lace, so this will be a very constructive change. Force me to practice beading, slipped stitches, and horizontal braid.

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Photo by Laura Aylor, as seen on Ravelry. 

I plan to knit my Faberge using two lovely contrasting colorways of Sun Valley MCN in Cousteau (green-blue) and Golden Harvest (golden orange). The colors sound loud, but I think they’ll work in this shawl.

I imagine my resistance to the rules of this KAL will melt away once I begin to knit. By the time January  Thaw rolls around, I should have a nice, cushy, toasty shawl ready to wear and show off at the retreat.

 

Spinners love to share their tools

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My little Akerworks spindle is my favorite travel spindle. It fits into my purse easily. And because it’s made out of carbon fiber and plastic, it’s pretty hard to destroy. I’ve been carrying it around for over a year and the only damage it has sustained is a little bit of bending of the hook (the one part of the spindle made with a softer metal). Believe me, I’ve dropped this sucker dozens of times. This little guy can take a serious beating.

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Adan, don’t worry. This is an old photo. I now know that the little black thing in this photo is upside down. 

Last weekend, my husband and I attended the Great River Folk Festival in La Crosse. It’s an outdoor folk music fest that frequently brings in the likes of Claudia Schmidt and Susan Werner. I always bring a fiber project to work on, since I know I’ll be spending all day and most of the evening listening to music. Spinning is the perfect activity for this sort of event. Easy to pick up and put down.

I was surprised and delighted to find out that, this year, I was not the only spinner present. And that other spinner was also spinning on an Akerworks spindle. I quizzed her about it and, it turns out, she had seen me spinning on mine the year before and been inspired to find the company online and order one of her own.

So, naturally we spent some time yacking about our favorite spinning tools. And I came away with a new appreciation of how fiber crafting draws people together. We love to talk about our art and our favorite tools, our preferred sources of wool and the most delectable fiber blends (I’m a big fan of Polwarth and silk).

I also came away from the experience thinking, “I really liked her large spindle. And the marigold whorl. Maybe I need another one…”

We spinners enable each other too.

Knitting with no particular plan in mind

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There’s something very freeing about not know what color is going to come next.

I’m knitting a Lamina Wrap and I decided to do it using two magic balls. The first magic ball I purchased at the ZK retreat from Sophie’s Toes. The second magic ball is composed of bits of scrap sock yarn from my stash. In order to keep it all pretty random I’m trying hard not to peek. I want to relish the surprise as each new color emerges from my project bag.

Pretty wild so far, huh?