Archive for the ‘hats’ Category

Min Ulla Set

Min Ulla Set

What was that bit about not having winter accessories to wear together? I am happy to report that problem has officially been resolved. Thank you for all of your lovely comments and encouragement along the way.

Min Ulla Set

Let me introduce the Min Ulla Set! The scarfhat, and mitten patterns are available as Ravelry downloads for $6.00 each. The set of three patterns can be purchased for $15.00.

Min Ulla Set

Pattern: Min Ulla Scarf, Hat, and Mittens (Ravelry link)

Yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca in #6289 Charcoal mix and #6201 Winter white, 4 skeins each color for the entire set

Needles: US 6 (4 mm)

In early October, I approached Berroco, Inc. with a swatch and sketch for this design and the company generously donated the yarn for the project. As I mentioned before, I tried this pattern out on a hat with Harrisville Designs New England Shetland leftovers, but it was clearly the wrong choice. Can you imagine how long it would have taken me to knit this at a fine gauge? I still have not yet finished that sample hat! I really wanted a worsted weight yarn, and one with a bit of a halo to it as well. Berroco Ultra Alpaca was a great choice because the yarn is smooth enough to show off the stitch definition but soft and fuzzy enough to make a really warm set.

Min Ulla Scarf

This Scandinavian-styled scarf is made in the round as a tube, its ends grafted together in the finishing process. Symmetrical about the center point, it is comprised of many very simple peeries of small repeats, along with a few more complicated snowflake and XOXO peeries. The scarf pattern is given as a series of10 charts. I broke the pattern up this way to make it a more portable project since smaller charts are easier to read. Although the charts may seem complex at first glance, upon closer examination, one will find that at the level of the individual round, the patterning is quite simple. After a while, the charts should only be truly necessary for the XOXO and snowflake patterns, or when starting a new peerie. Trust me, it’s true.

Min Ulla Set

The hat is knit in the round with a contrasting liner tacked to the inside of the brim for extra warmth. I could not decide on a brim pattern for the hat, so I included four different versions in the pattern. Two versions include small peeries like the sample hat shown, while the other two versions feature traditional snowflake patterns. Between this scarf and the other projects I’ve made with snowflake patterns, I was feeling a bit burned out on snowflakes by the time I started the hat; therefore, I settled on a version with peeries only instead. In the end, I think I prefer the look of the small peeries to large snowflakes at the brim. Each version of the hat is topped with a lice stitch, spiral crown.

Min Ulla Hat, Version A

This is the first pair of worsted weight, non-thrummed mittens I have made in a long time. I seem to have forgotten how quickly mittens knit up when not done at 10 stitches per inch! Amazing! Each mitten took me a day – a day with plenty of distractions too. I think I still prefer tightly knit mittens over worsted weight ones; however, these will certainly prove at least as warm as finer gauge mittens I’ve made because of the lining!

Min Ulla Mittens

Although I love lined mittens, my one complaint is that a lined thumb renders it practically useless. The last two pairs of lined mittens I’ve made have featured keyhole thumbs in the lining. Bonus? Not having to knit a second thumb.

Mitten with keyhole mitten liner

More photos can be found here.

Finally, I have one last pattern coming out in the next week – Hedge Fence Pullover – and then I swear, I’ll be done for a while. I have a baby to deliver, you know.

Winter accessory binge and Tapestry Mittens

As it has grown colder in the last few weeks, I have been thinking a lot about my problem with winter accessories. You know, once I get an idea in my head, I cannot get rid of it! I have sketched, swatched, and stashbusted – finally, I have a plan! I’ll share more once my yarn arrives. In the meantime, I can show you what did not work, for one reason or another.

Every winter, I fall into a stashbusting hat binge. So far, I’ve managed one adult hat and two newborn caps. I rediscovered why people make hats: they’re such quick knits! It seems unfair that I have to learn this lesson every year. I think there will be a few more of these, if only because they knit up so quickly and effectively use up annoying scraps lurking in my stash.

Stashbusting hats

Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes, Cascade 220, Debbie Bliss Merino Aran

Needles: US 7 (4.5 mm)

This project came closer to satisfying my criteria for the ultimate winter accessory knitting; however, the gauge was all wrong. Still, it’s a good prototype for what will come.

Prototype

Yarn: Harrisville New England Shetland

Needles: US 4 (3.5 mm)

Finally, speaking of winter accessories, I have a new pair of mittens in Interweave Knits Holiday 2009! The magazine will not be available until late October, but the preview was posted on Monday.

Tapestry-Mittens

Copyright Interweave Knits

Pattern: Tapestry Mittens (Ravelry link), smallest size shown

Yarn: Classic Elite Yarns Fresco in Rum Raisin (red) and Sterling (gray), Classic Elite Yarns Classic One Fifty in Berry (purple)

Needle: US 1.5 (2.5 mm) and US 4 (3.5 mm)

Copyright Interweave Knits

Copyright Interweave Knits

The wool bag lady

Earlier this week, Beatrix discovered the household stash of winter accessories and dove in for an afternoon of dress up.
Oh hi, my mom's a knitter

Aside from illustrating that she is a really big fan of red, Beatrix’s dress up game highlighted a problem I have as a knitter: I cannot seem to knit matching (or more accurately, not clashing) hats, scarves, and mittens. When planning a new winter project, it has never occurred to me to consider anything but the yarn choice. Before selecting yarn, perhaps I should ask myself, “Will this look awful with my bright red coat?”* Chances are, it will. I rarely care.

I wish I didn't have to dig these out already

My favorite pastel orange Kid Classic scarf looks awful with my Winter Sunrise Hat, Pam’s mittens and the bright red coat, but I wear them together because I love them all so much. I realize this makes me the wool bag lady. When spotted out in public, I am THAT woman, instantly recognizable as “knitter”. Normally, I can live with this. After all, everyone knows that people with matching hats, scarves, and mittens are wearing store-bought cotton (or worse, acrylic), and they are justifiably freezing their tails off. I may look a bit eccentric come winter, but I am warm. (Score one for knitting.)

Wool bag lady

Still, it bothers me a bit that I cannot seem to stick with a pattern long enough to eke out both a scarf and a hat. By the time I finish the scarf, I need at least a year’s hiatus from the pattern. And after the instant gratification of a hat, who wants to slog through six feet of scarf? My mission this fall is to come up with a scarf pattern that will be interesting enough to continue on into the hat. It has to be possible, right?

If not, please understand if you see me this winter, wrapped up in my clashing wooly goodness. Just assume I’m only out to buy cat food.

*Hm… maybe Beatrix is not the only one with a penchant for reds.

Day projects

Top view, XOXO hat

In a blaze of stash busting this week, I whipped out two hats, one for my brother and the other for his girlfriend. I had almost forgotten the thrill of seeing a project to completion in less than a day. I love knitting hats! Why do I not knit hats exclusively? Perhaps if I wore hats myself, I would knit more of them. Still, they are so much fun to make.

XOXO hat

About once a year, I knit my brother a nice, warm hat in a dark color. However, single-color hats are so dreadfully boring to knit! And since I only wear hats when it is really, really cold, I find hats with a single thickness of wool utterly insufficient. The only solution worth my time is, of course, a stranded project. When I saw Tuulia’s beautiful Alise Mittens (Ravelry link), I decided to use a similar XOXO pattern in a hat. You may find a link to my free hat pattern here but really, all you need is the 8 stitch x 8 row pattern repeat and a little common sense.  Alternating gray and black provided enough visual interest for the knitter while the overall effect is dark and subtle. After all, my brother does not need a hat that screams, “My sister made this!” I also knit a 2.5″ lining to be tucked inside the brim for extra warmth around the ears.

XOXO hat for my brother

Pattern: XOXO Hat (Ravelry link here)

Yarn: Approximately 200 yds of worsted weight for each color; I used Bemidji Woolen Mills Original Homespun (in some shade of dark gray) and Knit Picks Wool of the Andes (in “Coal”)

Needles: US 6 (4.0 mm), either DPNs or DPNs and 16″ circular

XOXO hat

My scrap bag is rife with browns: coffee, taupe, chocolate, mocha, chestnut, tan, you name it, it’s brown. All year, I have been meaning to put my scraps to good use and knit a Chevron Love Hat by Knitterly Things’ Julia. The chevron mittens Julia made for Maritza at our October mitten swap only further convinced me: I need to knit zigzags. Finally, with the array of brown scraps in front of me, it was time. I knit this one up for my brother’s girlfriend last weekend. I could not be more pleased with the result! It’s a good thing I have plenty of brown left over because I see another chevron hat in my future! Julia’s pattern is easy and fun and the knitting flies by! I heartily recommend this one to anyone interested in using up leftovers!

Chevron Love Hat

Pattern: Chevon Love Hat (Ravelry link)

Yarn: a mix of Rowan Magpie Aran, Knit Picks Wool of the Andes, Top of the Lamb Lionspun, Plymouth Encore Worsted.

Needles: US 6 (4.0 mm)

The fiber content is not entirely pure: this hat has some acrylic blends in it. I doubt it will be much of a problem; after all, winter hats are not routinely tossed in the dryer, are they? These zigzags are my favorite! Thanks for the wonderful pattern, Julia!

Brown chevrons

Well? What are you waiting for? Go stash busting and knit some quick hats!

Stash busting hats

My regular knitting has temporarily been placed on hold. After tripping over a bag of worsted weight wool scraps, I decided to engage in some much needed stash busting projects. I am too cheap to toss out my scraps so it appears as though there will be many striped projects in my immediate future!

First up is a pattern of my own design.

IMG_3077

I had less than 100 yds of these colors so I put them together for a striped hat with an 8-point, star crown. The size shown Beatrix is modeling the 18″ version.

IMG_3073

Pattern: December Stripes Hat (Ravelry link here)

Yarn: scraps of Knit Picks Wool of the Andes and Cascade 220

Needles: US 6 (4.0 mm)

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I still had a good deal of Cascade 220 left over after this hat so I used up the rest in a Norwegian-style star hat with a hidden liner, also in the 18″ size.

Stash busting hat for Beatrix

Yarn: Cascade 220 in Cream and Blue Heather

Needles: US 6 (4.0 mm)

Stash busting hat for Beatrix

Beatrix is pretty excited about her new hats! And there will be more to come!

Stash busting hat for Beatrix