Wednesday, August 22, 2012

a punch of color {in a fun hat}

This was my car craft on our return trip from Kentucky this past weekend.  I knitted this for about 5 of the 6 hours it took to drive back home and then another 2-3 hours to finish.  The problem is . . . I'm not sure I'm finished.

The pattern for this Capucine Hat as the creator calls it is available for free on Ravelry.  This is a fun and funky pattern that breaks out of the traditional circular shape of other hats.  The pattern calls for tassels to hang from the ear flaps as well as the top cap, but my 6-year-old boy insists that anything hanging from a hat screams girl.  Pom-poms on the top of a hat are acceptable but braids, tassels, or pom-poms hanging from the sides not gender-neutral.

But now I'm thinking why even make this pattern if you're going to skip such exciting embellishments?  It's just an oddly shaped hat without all the fun stuff, so now I just have to decide if I want to add some braids and a pom-pom and gift it to someone special or modify it in some other way to make it work for the intended child.

I also have to say how much I love these colors together!  The black really makes the red and blue pop.  I was aiming for boy colors but I'm not sure I hit the mark; my 3-year-old tells me he likes it, but "it's kinda girl."

Pattern Modifications:
  • worsted weight yarn
  • size US 8 circular & double-pointed needles
  • slip first stitch of each row for a neater finish
  • cast on in contrasting color then switch to main color
  • knit 2x2 rib for 2.25 inches
  • knit garter for 3 inches, decrease 1 stitch every other row until 72 stitches are left
  • join in the round before last row
  • switch to main color, knit stockinette for 1.75 inches
  • decrease by 8's every other row until 8 stitches remain
I took these modifications from some other knitters on Ravelry.  Since I used worsted weight yarn, my hat fits a child but the pattern calls calls for bulky and larger needles for an adult size.


If you are really observant, you will notice that the hat is inside out in most of these photos.  I couldn't tell with the black yarn when I put it on him, and that probably means that most other people won't be able to tell either.  That makes this hat extra special because now I can call it REVERSIBLE!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

such a hoot {knitted vertebrae baby cardigan}

Well, what do you think?  This is my first knitted cardigan.  I used to loathe knitting and preferred to crochet because it was fast and easy.  I hated the complication of two sticks and yarn, but I have always relished the look knitted items, particularly hand knit ones.  Enter the anticipation of a new baby and third trimester energy and you get a mama on a mission to knit up all kinds of tiny things, including little cozy sweaters that she swore she would never take the time to learn how to do.

This is a cardigan that is specifically designed to fit just around the back and arms and I love it.  Since I don't have much knitting experience and I'm not very fast, I can't really say if it's a quick knit but I'm sure it is compared to many other projects.  It is tiny after all and has no fussy buttonholes.  This is the perfect accessory to keep a litttle one toasty warm during the winter months.

I knew I would get bored with so much stockinette stitch in a solid color so I decided to add three little cabled owls to perch on the back. I used this Wise Old Owl hat pattern that I found for free on Ravelry from for an idea of how to make the owl, and then I translated the pattern to fit on three owls across the back.  My 3-year-old helped pick out the button eyes.

The Newborn Vertebrae pattern is available for free from on Ravelry. I had to adjust the pattern so I could use worsted weight yarn instead of fingering weight and I think it turned out incredibly adorable. Although it looks super tiny to me who hasn't had a baby around in a few years, I think the size is about 6 months.

In case you are interested, I casted on 36 stitches and sectioned off like so: 1 sts, pm, 8 sts, pm, 18 sts, pm, 8 sts, pm, 1 sts.  I used size US8 needles for the entire cardigan, but next time I might go down a size for the ribbing.  I needed less than a skein of Bernat Satin.  I still have about a quarter of a skein left.

Within the next couple of months, I should have a model for this little number.  I can't wait to see how it looks.