Archive for the ‘hats’ Category

Moody House

I don’t know about you, but this time of year makes me only want to knit hats and mittens. I have four sweaters, all nearly completed, stewing in my progress basket for now, having been utterly and completely abandoned for hats and mittens. Looking back through my archive, it appears I write this same thing year after year. Now that my mind has been thoroughly overrun with medical facts, jargon, and clinical vignettes, perhaps this year’s accessory fever post will read somewhat differently.

The patient, a knitter of 11 years, presents today with a chief complaint of knitted accessory fever of four weeks’ duration. Physical exam is significant for a high grade fever related to stashbusting hats and mittens, general malaise regarding non-accessory knits, and deep somnolence with respect to hand knitted sweaters.  The patient reports experiencing similar episodes annually beginning in mid-November, lasting approximately nine weeks, and breaking by late January.  Symptoms are exacerbated by Ravelry, pinterest, and Twitter; ameliorated by complete disconnection from the internet. Patient experiences grave lack of focus, and is unable to concentrate on work. She denies fatigue, reports boundless energy, dreams of wool, and urgent desire to knit all the things.

While I come to terms with my mitten frenzy, have a look at my newest accessory designs, the Moody House set. Knitted in The Plucky Knitter’s Primo! Worsted, these are a dream to both knit and wear. Sarah’s dyes are stunning, both in depth and saturation. I cannot wait to plan some more projects with her yarns!

The Moody House hat and mitten patterns are each available on Ravelry for $6.00, the set containing both patterns is available for $9.00.

Until this fever breaks, stay tuned for more obsessively knitted winter accessories!

Exercise Before Knitting Gifts

Exercise Before Knitting Gifts? Yes, go out for a little jog before committing to that queen-sized afghan for your cousin’s child’s girlfriend’s dorm room! Or, use the coupon code EXERCISEBEFOREKNITTINGGIFTS in my Ravelry pattern shop to buy 2 patterns and receive the 3rd free! The promotion will end 12/31/2010.

Otherwise, check out the Holiday and Winter issues of Interweave Knits for some new Exercise Before Knitting designs. These two colorwork patterns for Interweave Knits Holiday were inspired by that old Latvian mitten book I found last year.

Copyright Interweave Knits

Copyright Interweave Knits

Slanted Peerie Mittens feature a more unusual stranded pattern, one that moves diagonally across the fabric. The design reminded me of ribbons and wrapping paper, a good motif for the holidays. Although these have three different colors of yarn, the little bits of red are actually duplicate stitched on once the knitting is completed.

Copyright Interweave Knits

Copyright Interweave Knits

Parallax Hat came about as I went looking for an easy stranded pattern to work at worsted weight into a pointy little elf-like cap. I am mad for the spiral top on hats in general, and I think it looks even better in colorwork. Consequently, I made the two-color spiral the heart of the design, then worked out the rest from there.

Tuckernuck Cardigan, a baby/child (3 mos – 5 yrs) pattern appearing in Interweave Knits Winter 2010, comes with a bit of history.

Copyright Interweave Knits

Copyright Interweave Knits

While we impatiently awaited the arrival of baby #2 this time last fall, I thought I would pass the time in part by knitting Beatrix a big sister sweater with lots of lovely cables. Intending to self-publish the finished product, I sketched out the design, set up a spreadsheet, planned a list of sizes, and then powered through the knitting. Baby Odysseus interrupted my seaming, so this sat untouched for a few months. I finished it just as I was packing away our winter woolens. When someone from Interweave asked if I had any children’s patterns for Winter 2010, I sent off my sketches.

Normally, I dread selecting buttons because I have an incredible knack for making extremely poor button choices. One of my coping strategies is to ask other shoppers in the store what they think of my button choice. Did you know most knitters and sewers love choosing buttons? They do. AND they’re usually quite good at it, don’t you think? These particular buttons pleased me very much. They look great with the gray yarn, and don’t detract from the cables at all.

I realize many people do not want to think about baby or kids’ patterns, but I maintain the set-in sleeve is worth the (small) trouble. Well fitting knits look great on children, don’t you think?

Stay tuned for some more gift ideas, namely a pair of Latvian-inspired mittens from Twist Collective!

Sheepspiration


Would you believe I slipped away from everything last weekend to commune with sheep? Actually, with knitters – and some of my favorite ones at that! I made my first trip to Rhinebeck, NY for the New York Sheep & Wool festival. It was a fabulous weekend for a fiber festival, and the perfect chance to meet up with dear friends scattered about the country. To my surprise, I saw several Hallett’s Ledges walking around! I may have accosted perfect strangers for pictures of their sweaters. (Sorry about that, knitters. I hope you understand.) And, to my amazement (or horror), I returned home only two skeins heavier. How could I go in search of yarn with so many friends to see?

Although I’m still struggling to find time to weave in ends, sew on buttons, and block my growing stack of knits, things have improved a little bit. I quietly published a cowl pattern – Snows Creek – last week, using the yarn Stacey spun for me earlier this year.

I wanted to find a way to use up every last bit of handspun, and this seemed a nice way to do it. Plus, the cowl is long enough to double and wear more snugly around the neck.

In addition to the cowl, there are some accessory patterns waiting in the wings.

Not to mention the already blocked sweater expecting its seven buttons sometime this week.

Of course, there are always the ongoing knits…

Stay tuned!

In need of finishing time

To think, just two months ago, I worried aloud medical school would rob me of every last bit of knitting time! On the contrary, I have far more time to knit now, but no time to think about my knitting: a fatal combination for a perfectionist knitter.

There’s even an almost finished sweater for me in that pile, probably buried near the bottom as it stews in Time Out – I am too annoyed to even discuss that one yet. Although I have plenty of time to knit while studying and sitting in lectures, I have little time to use my brain for things that do not relate to human anatomy (and I’m pretty sure fitting a sweater to a human form does not count in this respect). As you might expect, there have not been many successful projects around here: the three sweaters I swatched last week need different yarns, I have a stack of projects in need of button bands, buttons, or zippers, there’s a hat needing a lining, a baby sweater needing a fix involving a sewing machine and scissors, and several projects waiting on more yarn from the US Postal Service. Things will improve, but until they do, I will show you other people’s knitting, not mine.

Grumperina kindly sent one of her original Budgies to Odysseus, who, shall we say, fills things out quite nicely these days. I pulled it out of the drawer yesterday morning for him to wear on a walk, now that it’s cool in the mornings. Bonus? There are no buttons for him to attempt to eat. Odysseus is a big fan of grumperina knits! Thanks so much, Kathy!

Two of the striped sweaters in my unfinished knits pile are Budgies – it is such a perfect pattern for little ones who tug and pull buttons. I’m making two to use up some cotton stash and to knit for some new babies in my family. Only the zipper installations remain to be done. (Of course.)

O’s new Budgie conveniently matches his new Thorpe! Danielle spun and knitted both of my kids Thorpes for the winter. I think the hats are the same size, which is good, because O’s head is as big as his sister’s. Plus, he has long since outgrown the hat she made him last winter!

What I love about these hats is that they seem to come from so many knitterly people at once: the wool for the hat on the left is from Adrian (HelloYarn), the wool for the hat on the right is from Amy (SpunkyEclectic), the pattern is by Kirsten (Through The Loops), and the spinning and knitting by Danielle (aswiminknits).

Lastly, much to my surprise, a beautiful baby quilt arrived on my doorstep last week, sewed and quilted by my KBC friends.

The little boat on the back is embroidered with “S.S. OEB”, such a sweet personal touch for a little man named for a big sailor, don’t you think?

His chubbiness is lucky to know so many generous and talented crafters! As am I! Thanks so much, everyone!

AccesoryFest 2010: The Hat Edition

I did say that I’ve been busy knitting, did I not? Let’s start with a major stashbust of winter accessories. I love knitting hats. That much is abundantly clear, is it not? I rarely make hats for members of my household because we have so many already. However, Beatrix outgrew her hat from last year so of course, she needed a new one.

A hat for Beatrix

I whipped up a child size Min Ulla because I wanted to have made all four versions of the hat by the end of the winter. This is Version C.

Inside lining, Min Ulla Hat

I love the 8-point star decrease, don’t you? I would use it in every hat if I could.

Min Ulla Hat, Version C

Mr. Frick, of Fricknits fame, received Version B of Min Ulla. When visiting the crafty Frick household a few weeks ago, I learned that Mr. Frick needed a warmer hat for his commute.

for Mr. Frick

What an excellent excuse to make another one of these!

for Mr. Frick

Better yet, the hat arrived in the DC Metro area with two feet of snow for the true Nordic experience! I hope it comes in handy during the great snowmageddon of 2010.

Pattern: Min Ulla Hat, Versions C and B (Ravelry link)
Yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca in Cardinal and Winter White for Beatrix, Turquoise Mix and Winter White for Mr. Frick
Needles: US 6 (4 mm)

Kirsten Kapur published her Wood Hollow hat and mitten pattern just days before a dear friend lamented her inability to find a decent winter cap. I promised mittens too, but they will need to wait until spring because I’m back in the throes of deadline knitting until then.

Wood Hollow Hat

Pattern: Wood Hollow Hat (Ravelry link)
Yarn: Harrisville Designs New England Highland in Midnight Blue
Needles: US 6 (4 mm)

Finally, I dropped some unexciting, stashbusting hats in the mail to add to Liz’s campaign for kids in Nepal.

And that was just hats! Just wait until I tell you about the mittens! I will have two new mitten patterns for you this week. I will publish them as soon as I’ve made the final revisions to my drafts and cleaned up the tutorial photos.

Stay tuned!