Saturday, May 31, 2014

Knitting and Reading

Knitting and reading are two things I love to do!  I'm usually reading two to three books in print plus listening to an audiobook and I average ten to fifteen a month.  I get some of  the books I read from the university library where I work, but most of them from a public library in a nearby town.  I keep track of what I read with  GoodReads where I can be found with the same user name I use in Ravelry, MoniqueL.   My goal is to read/listen to 200 books in 2014 and I'm on track with 83 books so far.  Lately I've been reading a lot of Scandinavian mystery writers and I've been working through the works of Håkan Nesser, a Swedish crime fiction writer.  

And, as I do with reading, I have multiple projects going! One is always a simple, easy-to-take along pattern.  This  is the one I'm working on now, a basic watch-cap, and it's almost finished.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Green Magic Hat

This is yet another free Ravelry pattern. It can be found here.   I used 63 grams of wool to knit it and it's nice and thick and warm. The stitch pattern is an easy one to memorize so this would work well as a project-to-go.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Gray and White Scrappy Hat

This hat was made using this free pattern from Ravelry with Lamb's Pride Worsted Weight yarn in cream and charcoal.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Pink Baby Hat

A sweet little hat for a little girl made from the  last of a silky pink yarn. The  pattern is the same as the gift hat I made for the baby boy one  of my work colleagues is expecting. Here is the link to the free pattern.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Scrappy Toddler Hat

Another fun and easy hat.  The pattern is a free one from Ravelry found here.   I especially enjoyed looking at the projects page and seeing other people's color combinations.  The next one I'll make is a two color one in gray and white, but I do want to make more scrappy ones as well.   Only a few yards in each color is needed and the hat looks so bright and cheerful!

I listened to The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths as I knit this hat.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Amoroso Baby Hat

This little newborn hat was made from a scrap of Malbrigo Silky yarn in this pattern from Ravelry.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Raspberry Mittens

This great, basic mitten pattern is from Ravelry.  After knitting the stripes in the ribbing on the first mitten I decided it needed a few in the hand part as well and so I added them.

The main yarn color made me think of raspberries (not that any are ripe yet--that won't happen until the end of July or beginning of August) and thus, the name.

I listened to the audiobook The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson while knitting these mittens.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Hat for Baby Shower Gift

I wanted to try this pattern out and was quite pleased with the results. The free pattern can be found here on Ravelry.   This hat was made as a baby shower gift for a co-worker who's expecting a little boy.  I will be making more of these hats for various charities.  The stitch pattern is a 5-stitch repeat so it would be easy to make larger hats by adding more stitches and/or using worsted weight yarn.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Man Needs Hat hat

There appears to be a special need for knitted hats for men so here's another one.  It's a free pattern available here on Ravelry.   I decided on this pattern when I realized I had a skein of  Brooklyn Tweed Shelter yarn which is what the pattern suggests.   It is in the colorway Hayloft.

I listened to the audiobook Started Early, Took My Dog by Kate Atkinson while knitting this hat.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Mushroom Cap

This is from one of my favorite knitting pattern books  Homespun Handknit: Caps, Socks, Mittens and Gloves which is, alas, now out of print. You can probably find it at your local library or there may be a used copy available on Ebay.  There's a new version of this book out but it unfortunately does not have the same patterns.

You can see more information  here on Ravelry.  I like the variations in color for this hat and I'll probably make it again.

I enjoyed knitting this hat late at night, listening to the rain falling on the roof. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Lambsheep Mittens

I posted this on my Knitting Only Mittens blog in January, 2012.

Do you see that little boy second from the left?  That's Hugh. He's with his brothers Owen, Jack, and Gavin. And do you see what's on Hugh's hands? Socks! Yes, this poor little guy is wearing socks, not mittens or gloves! Oh, the shame!

They're all grown now, but a few years after this photo was taken, to make it up to him, I knit him these mittens.  I've also called them Sheepie mittens and Little Lamb mittens.  The pattern can be found in Homespun, Handknit: Caps,Socks,Mittens & Gloves, edited by Linda Ligon. I love how the thumb and little finger make the ears, don't you?
I realized I had the wool to make more of them. Can you imagine just how old that wool must be?  Here's the first pair.

I listened to Münster's Case by Håkan Nesser as I knit these mittens.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Ribbed Watch Cap

Cast on 96 stitches and do a k2, p2 rib for 9" and then decrease. For a more detailed description, see the free Ravelry pattern here.

I will be making more of these hats.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Blue Jeans Hat

Cast on 60 stitches (toddler hat)

Ribbing: (8 rounds)
**k1through back loop, p1**

Pattern for body of hat (multiple of 9 stitches)
Rnd 1: Knit all stitches
Rnd 2: Purl all stitches
Rnd 3: Knit all stitches
Rnd 4: Knit all stitches

I know.  I know.  I'd written I wouldn't make any stockinette hats and this is almost one, but not quite.  The yarn is variegated and I didn't want to put a complicated pattern on top of it.   And adding one purl round helps to reduce the color pooling.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Green Tea Hat

Cast on 78 stitches

Ribbing: (7 rounds)
**k1through back loop, p1**

Pattern for body of hat (multiple of 6 stitches)

Rnd 1: **k4, k2tog, yo**
Rnd 2: Knit
Rnd 3: **k3,k2tog, yo, k1**
Rnd4: Knit
Rnd 5: **k2, k2tog yo, k2**
Rnd 6: Knit
Rnd 7:  *k1, k2tog, yo, k3**
Rnd 8: Knit

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Blackberry Hat

Cast 88 stitches  

Ribbing (8 rounds):
**k2 through back loop, p2**

Stitch pattern for the body of the hat.
Rnd 1: K all stitches
Rnd 2: P all stitches
Rnds 3 and 4: **p2, k2**

Both the stitch pattern and color make me think of blackberries.  I know. It looks blue.  It isn't. It's a deep shade of purple.  I took several photos in different  places, in different light, with and without a flash and I can't get it to show the real color.  The photo of blackberries was taken a few years ago in mid-August  It'll be a few months yet before the blackberries are ripe!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Stitch Pattern Book

There are websites online which show how to convert flat knitting to circular knitting like this one here.   And I can certainly use stitch patterns found in patterns for items like socks and mittens.  Two good suggestions I've had are to use the stitch patterns  in Charlene Schurch's sock books-- Sensational Knitted Socks  and More Sensational Knitted Socks.  I'll be getting copies of these books from  my library next week.

What I'd really like is a dictionary for circular knit patterns.  I heard there's one being published this month Up, Down, All Around Stitch Dictionary: More than 150 Stitch Patterns to Knit Top Down, Bottom Up, Back and Forth, and in the Round by Wendy Bernard  which  is a start. I've asked my library to purchase a copy and I hope that they do.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Blue Sky Hat

Cast on 80 stitches

K1 through back look, P1

Stitch pattern for for body of hat:
Rnd 1: ** sl 1, K2, psso, P2**
Rnd 2: ** K1, yo, K1, P2**
Rnds 3 and 4: **K3, P2**

We've had beautiful weather the last few days and I'm anticipating days and days more like it to come.  I've been spending the afternoons outside listening to the birds singing and the wind in the poplars as I knit.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Lost Hats, Now Found

I came across several hats I'd knit for charity a long while ago which never found their way into a donation box.  They will be added to the hats to go to The Maine Mitten Project.

Hmmm.... I think that blue hat needs a pompom on top!

Summer Yarn Destash

My goal this summer is to knit up as much of my stash as possible and give what I knit to charity.  I am starting with hats made of worsted yarn.  I have two big boxes of Lamb's Pride worsted yarn and that's what I'll use.  Here's a photo. There is probably more in stray areas but this is most of it.

I'm going to use a generic hat pattern. There will not be any stockinette knit hats as I get bored too easily.  I'll be using many of the stitch patterns I've  used in my sock knitting (see Knitting Only Socks) along with some from Ravelry and other sources on the Internet, and from knitting books.
Here's what I'm doing. I'm using a 16" size 5 circular needle.   Most hat patterns using worsted weight yarn  call for a size 8 but my work looks sloppy when I use larger needles, so it's size 5 needles for me.

I'll need about 50 grams of yarn to make a hat for a teenager or an adult so the first thing I'll do is make sure I have at least that amount of yarn in one color weighting  it using a kitchen scale.

I'll cast on between 80 and 100 stitches.  The number depends upon the number of stitches the stitch pattern requires and if I'm making a hat for a teenager or a woman.  I think for men I'll need to go up a bit--maybe to 110 or perhaps more.

I'll do some kind of ribbing for 7-12 rounds. My favorite ribbing is K1 through the back loop, P1 but I'm also going to use K2, P2 or K2 through the back loop, P2 or garter stitch or seed stitch, or maybe a simple cable.  I'll look for more as I look at hat patterns. I like a variety!   I want to use different stitch patterns for the body of the hats.

The body of the hat will vary from 5-7 inches in length.  When I'm ready to decrease, I'll divide the stitches by an even number. For example, if I have 80 stitches I'll use a division of 10 stitches and knit as follows, changing to size 5 dpns when I can no longer use the circular needle:

Round 1: Knit 8 stitches, knit 2 together all the way around
Round 2: Knit even
Round 3: Knit 7 stitches, knit 2 together all the way around
Round 4: Knit even
and so on until I have 4-6  stitches left.

I'll end with an i-cord or pull all the stitches together and add a pom-pom or maybe just a knob of yarn on top.

There will be one post per hat which will include the number of  stitches I cast on, the pattern used for ribbing, the stitch pattern for the body of the hat, and where I was/what I was doing as I knit. Oh!   And a photo too.

I want to make as many hats as possible using one color.   As you can see from the photo, much of my yarn no longer has ball bands so I can't  always include that information.  Some I know have been discontinued.   Yes, that's how long I've had this yarn!

When I'm left with balls less than 50 grams I'll start figuring out two or three color patterns I can make.  And when I'm done with the worsted weight yarns, I'll  start using my stash DK yarns. I'll make both hats and mittens from that yarn and as much of  this yarn is  pastel,  they'll probably be mostly children and baby items.  I also have a lot of fingering weight gray yarn which I'll double and use to make men's ribbed hats..

If you've read my sock knitting blog you'll know I like to give my projects names based on the color or pattern and I'm going to do that with these hats and later, mittens.  I'll also include what I was doing as I knit.

So where are these hats going?  I've chosen The Maine Mitten Project as the recipient and they need to be there by the end of September.  I hope to have a lot of hats and mittens by then!