Thursday, February 11, 2010

Knitted hats for Christmas

Yeah, I'm going to talk about Christmas gifts in February. I've been busy. ;]
Last Christmas was going to be the year of gifting knitted hats. I had plans to make eleven hats. Five got finished and only three before Christmas, but I have been forgiven.
For budget and both the mamas' sanity I chose acrylic yarn for all the hats. I didn't want to taint the gifts by adding a bunch of washing/drying stipulations causing the hats to either not get worn or ruined in the wash. Or have the mamas dread getting knitted gifts.
First up was the Button Tab Hat for our 6 year old niece. It is the second time I used this pattern. It is so quick to knit, easy and customizable. Three of my favorite aspects of a knitted object. I had to reduce the number of cast on stitches by 10 to make it fit a child's head, but that was easy. The brim is (my favorite) seed stitch and the button is a cute little lime green flower. The yarn is Vanna's Choice by Lion Brand in Purple Mist on US 6 dpns.
Next was the Lacy Rib Hat by Heather J. Spellman for our 10 year old niece. When it's stretched out a bit on her head you can see the lace pattern better. This was fun to knit. The pattern had just enough challenge to it to keep it interesting without being too trying. I did make some mistakes, but they blend in pretty well. This time I used Lion Brand Vanna's Choice in Seaspray Mist on US 6 dpns.
I actually had to do the picot edging twice. It was the first time I tried to make one and I didn't pick up the stitches from the cast on edge evenly and it got all wonky. Wonky can be great in quilt blocks, not so much in hat edging. The second go round was much better. I used stitch markers to keep me on track.
For our final niece I made the Lacy Hat. (Non-Ravelry link to pattern) The recipient is 8 years old and her favorite colors are red and black. I think this is may favorite of the three hats for our nieces. Again, the lace pattern is shown better when it's worn, but it is so cute. The picot edge for this was a breeze applying lessons learned. I got into a nice flow with the gull wing lace pattern. The yarn in Caron's Simply Soft in red (Scarlet, I think, is the correct color name). The ribbon is simple black satin which keeps the hat from looking too cutesy. She is 8 after all. ;]
{My Ravelry Link for the blue and the yellow hat for my friends' 5 and 3 year old boys}
I've had this hat in my queue for over a year. I loved it from the first time I saw it, but didn't have the skills (or balls) to make it before now. (On a not-completely-unrelated topic I have decided to take more risks knitting. There is really nothing to lose. I don't consider the time lost as I am learning either how-to or how-not-to do something. The project can always be frogged and the yarn saved for another project unlike sewing where if you cut wrong it can really screw things up. I cut it twice and it's still too short comes to mind. That doesn't happen with knitting. Love it. Back on topic.)
I didn't have a great handle on the Kitchener stitch for seaming the top and had no idea how to make the i-cord for the ties. Have several socks completed I was getting there with the Kitchener stitch (it's used to seam up the toes) and I pulled up the instructions for making an i-cord on and got to work.
I made the older boy's hat first. Yet again it was made with Lion Brand Vanna's Choice yarn but in Denim Mist this time. Blue has been his favorite color since I asked him for the first time when he was three.
I was so excited to get them both finished and in the mail I forgot to take pictures of the hats. Their mama took an appreciation photo for me. He's got the hat on backwards in the photo which is why the ear flaps are covering part of his face. However, it kind of shows why this is called Triceratops hat. It comes to three points at the top.
His little brother wanted a yellow hat, but it is hard to find yellow that isn't overtly baby yellow or traffic sign/day-glo yellow. Lion Brand Vanna's Choice Baby in Ducky seemed like a good shade of yellow. As I got stitching though I thought it was leaning towards being too baby-ish. I pulled out some light blue Lion Brand yarn from my stash and used it to make a 1-1/2" wide stripe on the top, the ear flaps and ties. It think it brought it back to kid-style.
Since then I have cast on a dish washing cloth in a pattern from the Vogue Stitchionary called Tiny Bamboo, the Odessa hat (with beads, see risk taking above) for me in an awesome Bamboo Wool from Moda Dea and have to cast on at least 3 of those other hats which are now intended as birthday gifts (in February, why do I keep doing that?).
Oh, yeah, and I joined Team Sasquach in the Ravelympics (Ravelry + Olympics = Ravelympics) starting when the official Olympic torch lights tomorrow. Planning to make my first felted project. Some super cute slippers. Gotta get stitching. =]

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