1898 Hat – A different construction

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1898 Hat in Cascade Eco Duo

The 1898 Hat by Kristine Byrnes is a free pattern on Ravelry. We sell a lot of yarn for them at my LYS, Yardgoods Center in Waterville, Maine. It may help that we have a great sample, in hat and headband form, right near the cash register!

I’ve been in Maine now for three winters. Winters are cold here. Hats are a must for my husband, in particular, because he has no hair. I almost always wear a coat with a hood which is enough for me but I have been known to wear a hat, too. All of this is to say that I am shocked that I haven’t knitted this hat before now.

A few weeks ago, a woman came into the shop when I was working and she wanted to have someone knit a 1898 hat for her out of some lovely Cascade Eco Duo alpaca yarn that she had bought. I’ve never seen this hat in alpaca before. I offered to knit it for her. When I called her to have her come pick it up, she asked me to make another in Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride.

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1898 Hat in Lamb’s Pride Worsted

Both hats are wonderful. The alpaca was so soft and the Lamb’s Pride Worsted is so squishy. AND the knit was fun for me, too!

IMG_2313The headband is knit flat in garter stitch with increases for the ear flaps. It has a provisional cast on – I used a crochet cast on. It’s knit in garter stitch on either side of three slipped stitches on the wrong side (they’re knit on the right side) which makes it fold in half to make the headband double thickness and really, really warm! You graft the ends of the headband together with Kitchener Stitch (if you do it properly it’s completely invisible!) and then pick up the stitches from both sides of the headband to make the rest of the hat in the round like any “normal” hat.

One hank/skein/ball of worsted weight yarn worked for each hat. I KNOW my sweet hubby needs one of these hats. He works outside. In Maine. In the winter. It’s really, really cold. He has no hair. Did I mention that he has no hair?

Gone Knitting!

 

 

Color in the Winter – Happy Gloves

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I finished my gloves today. The colors make me so happy! The fit, not so much.

These gloves were “copied” from one of our customers. She is a wonderful knitter and came into the shop one day with gloves made with Adriafil’s Stella Jacq yarn. We had a couple of balls left on the shelf and I put them aside for post-Christmas knitting. I’ve just completed three post-Christmas orders and it was the perfect time to cast on my gloves. My gift to myself for getting all the knitting done.

I used a free pattern on Ravelry called Modified Army Gloves. (Note: I just read the Ravelry page and realized that there is a free woman’s pattern, too. I used the men’s pattern and that’s why the fit it a bit off. The hand of my gloves are a bit large for my hand … and I don’t have small hands!) The pattern is clear and concise, good step-by-step instructions. I really like the crazy fun, bright and cheerful colors. They make me happy. An advanced beginner or intermediate knitter should be able to complete the gloves without being totally lost.

IMG_2096My yarn was Stella Jacq yarn (in color #80). I used two 50 gram balls and have a little bit left over from each ball. … As a complete aside, I am one day going to buy a big glass vessel to put in my atelier. I’ll fill it with tiny balls of yarn from my favorite projects. Kind of like my friends who own beach houses have vessels filled with sea glass… but I digress!

I didn’t worry about matching the gloves so that they’d be identical. It could certainly be done but with all the fingers, I didn’t want to “deal” with it. My gloves are even crazier because they don’t match, right? If you want your gloves to match, make note of where in the color sequence you begin your first glove and then find the same spot to start glove number two.

I may have to buy one more ball of yarn and make the women’s gloves … but for now, I’ll wear my “man-hand” gloves that are a bit big and I’ll smile because I’m human. At least I didn’t make two left mittens!

Way to keep me humble knitting!

 

 

Vaill Island Vest Version 2

I’ve had this vest in my WIP pile (actually a pile of project bags full of future projects and projects half-done) forEVER! I love the first version of this vest so much that I’ve encouraged a couple of my knitting students to give it a try AND I cast another one for myself on back in mid-January. Yes, it’s been that long!

Every once-in-a-while I’ve pulled it out and finished a few rows and then away it goes in favor of another more current and seemingly imperative knit. Well, yesterday I took it to my knitting class with me with the thought that I didn’t even remember how much I had left to knit. I got the back finished and one of the front sides nearly finished at class and then continued late into the night … when I started to notice mistakes. (Hey! I’m usually in bed by 9 or 9:30 and last night it was after 11.) This morning I will frog back a couple of rows on the last front side and re-knit so that I can get it finished this weekend and I will be able to wear it this fall.

Vaill Island Vest designed by Gwynn Ericsson for Halcyon Yarn in 2008. This is a free pattern on Ravelry.

I really like this pattern. The repeat is simple, it’s knit bottom up in one piece (at least mostly in one piece) and I can wear it over my self-imposed work “uniform” which is almost always a pair of slacks and an oversized tunic/blouse. A wool vest will be great … as is the cotton vest (first iteration). I used Ella Rae worsted wool in a deep red colorway (it’s on my Ravelry project page). The color is really closer to the first picture. The second is to show a close-up of the stitch pattern. So close!

Vaill Island Vest … nearing completion

Stitch Pattern … this yarn has great stitch definition!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I found a mistake in the pattern, though, last night. The directions for the left front say that when I slip the stitches from the holder that I should have 45 stitches. Well, I had 50. That’s the number of stitches that I was told to slip onto the holder and they’ve just been sitting out there for all this time. So, having adjusted the stitch numbers, I had 50 to slip onto the needles, I bound off 8 right away (42 sts). Then I begin decreases, one every other round six times, to 36 stitches. Neck decreases total to 5+4+11=20 and now I have 16 stitches which is the correct number in the pattern. Thankfully, I am still able to count and could figure this out as I knit so it’s all good in the end. I will write to the designer and see why this hasn’t been corrected since the pattern’s been out for several years!

Happy Saturday to anyone who reads this!

Gone knitting!

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“Flax” by Tin Can Knits

It’s finished and my husband wore it on Friday!

I loved knitting Flax by Tin Can Knits!

Flax is a free pattern for a simple top down sweater with an interesting and different sleeve treatment called a grater sleeve. Basically, the sleeve has a garter stitch “stripe” from the top of the shoulder to the cuff. It looks great and adds a bit of interest to an otherwise simple sweater.

That said, I’ve been knitting for over 30 years and I do not like seaming. I can do it and I can do it well but I still don’t like it. Any time I can avoid it, I will! And I did on this sweater – I win! 🙂

I knitted Flax in Ella Rae Classic Wool in a beautiful medium-blue. This yarn came to my LYS (and the wonderful place that I work) as a clearance yarn. It is 100% wool and has a good hand. I wanted to give it a try so I can recommend it (or not) to our customers. It was reasonably priced and made for making an affordable sweater for an adult at just around the $50.00 mark. I liked the yarn although when I blocked the sweater there was a lot of color bleed. I’m glad I didn’t stripe it!

This was a good knitting project and would be a great first garment. The sizing in the pattern is from baby to man or teeny to really big. Knitted in worsted-weight yarn it is a quick project, too. Not that knitting should ever be a race! It’s all about the process.

Hubby is happy and I am happy, too. Check out the beautiful patterns by Tin Can Knits on Ravelry.

Gone Knitting!

Spider!

Spider Hat

Spider Hat

When you live out in the woods of Maine, you have to wear a bright (neon bright) orange hat around the periphery of your yard and down the road when you get your mail. It is ill-advised to go outside bare-headed. Because hunters.

One of our friends has a large piece of land and often, though their property is posted (No Trespassing signs all around), they have hunters with guns in close proximity to their house. So, to be smart and wear an orange hat during hunting season is just something we do. (We also put a bright orange collar on our dog!)

Last winter I bought some bright orange … hunting orange … yarn. I made a quick hat for my husband because he’s out more than I am and walks the dog a couple times a day. I put the yarn for my hat and one for a visitor in the stash … but it’s getting near time to wear our orange hats again. With all the nice hats I’ve made for him, he wears the bright orange one most often. Go figure!

The pattern is called Spider Hat it’s a free pattern from Kitterly. It has two yarn weights (worsted and DK) and is quite a fun knit. I am knitting with Encore Worsted yarn by Plymouth Yarns in color 479. It’s the only REAL hunting orange yarn we had in our shop (and I had to wait for it to come in last year.) There are two kinds of spiders to make and I’ve tried both in this hat. The “easy” spider body was made first and the “bobble” spider body was made second. In the next hat, I’ll do only the “bobble” spiders. They’re so much more wonderful!

It’s going to be fun to wear. Way better than the one we bought for five bucks at Christy’s that popped off my head fifteen times before I got to the mailbox!

Gone knitting.

Hat for Haley … a Chemo Princess

Princess Hat

Princess Hat

I had a message from a friend in Ohio requesting a chemo hat to be made for a friend’s three year old daughter who has cancer. As I’ve said before, maybe not here in the blog, the words cancer and child should never be seen in the same sentence.

When a special friend asks and because my three children are healthy, I agreed to put aside my personal knitting and make a gift for a little girl who faces some yucky days. I needed to know her name and her favorite color. I had some fun purple (Haley’s favorite color) yarn in my stash and I went over to Ravelry to look for patterns.

I was originally thinking about a striped hat that I’ve made before. It’s a great hat. I’ve made a couple of them to donate for fund-raisers or whatever. Although, this old girl forgot, it seems, to take any photographs of them. Oops!

Anyway, I was looking around and found a lot of cute hats … and then I found THE hat.

I knew it was perfect (and I had just put aside some sparkly gold specialty yarn that I have had for ages to see if someone in my knitting group wanted to use it.) So, I pulled out the gold yarn and my stashed purple Cascade 220 and I got started.

The hat is called “Princess Crown” and can be found, free, on Ravelry. It’s one of many adorable patterns in Allison Stewart-Guinee’s Fairytale Knits book. And it was just perfect. I knew it in my heart immediately. What little girl doesn’t love to wear a crown?

Purple is Haley's favorite color … and this is more like the actual color of her Princess Hat

Purple is Haley’s favorite color … and this is more like the actual color of her Princess Hat

The hat knitted up very easily and has just a touch of lacey-ness in the body of the hat which carries down the hat making it look as if it’s a real crown. The golden crown part is knit up separately on circular needles and then stitched together with the hat. Once together, the band is knit and it even has a pretty picot edge stitched right in.

Because the format on the Amazon site is supposed to be laid out as a book, it can be a little bit confusing to follow. Just beware! I did get lost at one point and had to frog and re-knit a couple of rows. If you can follow the format of the pattern, though, the pattern is clearly written and simple to knit. It looks like you’re an expert, too!

Wet blocking so the hat has some shape!

Wet blocking so the hat has some shape!

I have wet blocked the hat and used a large handful of plastic grocery bags as a form to have the purple “hat” part block out. I can’t wait for it to dry so I can get it into the mail! I hope Haley is going to love it and that it brings her smiles on the crummy days when she doesn’t feel well. There’s lots of love in that little hat and it’s all heading to Ohio and Haley!

Gone Knitting.

Working is Ruining my Knitting Time!

Child BandaidYou may or may not know that I am a “clinic assistant” at our local elementary school. I am the “school nurse” paid on a lower pay scale and not a real nurse. I love the job most of the time and I adore working with the little germy kids. It’s very fulfilling … part mom (boo-boo kisser and ice pack provider) and part therapist (talking to kids with headaches and sore tummies really works miracles) and part EMT … I’m trained in first aid, and AED/CPR. So, if any of the adults decide to keel over on us during the school day, it’s me who is on the front lines. I hope I never have to use my training.

Anyway, I digress …

I came home from my summer in Maine at the beginning of August with several projects in tow. I left several in Maine to come home with my better half when he drives home. I’ve finished quite a few and have been putting off a couple, too. (I seem to want to ignore the color work projects – fingerless mitt and lobster had.) Instead, I’ve started several little projects that have been really fun. One of those is these cute little pumpkins.

Pumpkins!

Pumpkins!

The pattern is a free pattern that I found because my new son-in-law wanted to know if I could make them a trio of pumpkins. Click here to be transported magically to the website with the pattern! What I love about this pattern is that it is very simple (and mindless) and good for watching TV knitting. You can use any weight of yarn and appropriate needles and get several sizes of pumpkins … I used a Wool Ease super bulky yarn for the biggest pumpkin. The smaller ones were knit with worsted weight wool (Patons Classic Wool). I like the i-cord stems, too … and had some fun making them all a little bit different.

I have since made one more large pumpkin for my clinic (the kids will love it!) and have started a trio for my Chicago daughter. I hope she doesn’t read my blog … that’ll ruin the surprise. Totally.

Gone knitting!