Thursday, December 27, 2007

Holiday Half-time and Rib-A-Roni hat pattern

We have finished with my in-laws side of Christmas and all knitted gifts were completed on time. Hooray! I ended up making 2 Calorimetry, 2 Unoriginal hats, 1 scarf, and had baby booties and hat ready to go a month ago. It was touch and go on the scarf because it was looking like this a few days earlier:Lots of rolling (A Scarf Askew). So I ripped out all 2.5 feet of the scarf and did Yarn Harlot's One row scarf pattern. What a life saver that pattern was. Fast, more interesting than plain garter stitch, looks great when completed. I whipped out a 7.5x68" scarf in 3 days. Smoking fast, if I say so myself. My Bro-in-law is 6'3'' and it turned out to be a great length for him. The Ultra Alpaca yarn was lovely to knit with and I used about 5.1 oz of the two skeins I bought. I also finished the purple linen towel for my mom. It is three inches shorter than I hoped, but I was determined to be done. It looks nice. A bit of a dot stitch for 3" followed by 14" of garter stitch. I hope it looks nice after I machine wash and dry it. Wish me luck on that move (hopefully not famous last words). Used 2.2 oz of Euroflax Linen-Amethyst, size 13x17"
I also cranked out two hats for my boys to break up all of the scarf and towel knitting. I'm calling it Rib-A-Roni (as in, a rib hat to cover up your noodle). Here's the pattern and some pictures:
Rib-A-Roni Hat by Jane Tanner
copyright 2007

1.5 (2) oz worsted weight yarn (I used Encore Worsted, about 0.1-0.2 oz were of a contrasting color)
Size 7 needles: 16" circular and dpn
4 stitch markers

Gauge: 5 rib pattern sts/1"
Sizes: child (youth/small adult).

Note: I used a p2tog-tbl (purl 2 together thru the back loops). Feel free to substitute it with a regular p2tog. It will still work and look fine.

Cast on 72 (80) sts loosely. Join, being careful not to twist, and place marker. Establish rib pattern: k4, p1, k3 (4), p1 (8 times around). Work for 5 (6) inches (adding a stripe after about 2" if desired).

Set up round: At beginning of round, remove marker, k2, place first marker (new location for beginning of rounds), *work around in established rib for 18 (20) sts, place another marker,* (repeat * * two more times for third and forth markers), ending with a k2. The stitches should be evenly divided between the 4 markers, 18 (20) sts between each.

Crown shaping: use rows 3-14 for smaller size (rows 1-14 for larger size)
For larger size only:
Row 1 (decrease round): *k2, p2tog-tbl, k3, p1, k4, p1, k3, p2tog, k2,* repeat around 3 more times. 72 sts.
Row 2: *K2, p1, k3, p1, k4, p1, k3, p1, k2,* repeat around 3 more times.

For both sizes:
Row 3 (decrease round): *k2, p2tog-tbl, k2, p1, k4, p1, k2, p2tog, k2,* repeat around 3 more times. 64 sts.
Row 4: *K2, p1, k2, p1, k4, p1, k2, p1, k2,* repeat around 3 more times.
Row 5 (decrease round): *k2, p2tog-tbl, k1, p1, k4, p1, k1, p2tog, k2,* repeat around 3 more times. 56 sts.
Row 6: *K2, p1, k1, p1, k4, p1, k1, p1, k2,* repeat around 3 more times.
Row 7 (decrease round): *k2, p2tog-tbl, p1, k4, p1, p2tog, k2,* repeat around 3 more times. 48 sts.
Row 8: *K2, p2, k4, p2, k2,* repeat around 3 more times.
Row 9 (decrease round): *k2, p2tog-tbl, k4, p2tog, k2,* repeat around 3 more times. 40 sts.
Row 10 *K2, p1, k4, p1, k2,* repeat around 3 more times.
Row 11 (decrease round): *k2, p2tog-tbl, k2, p2tog, k2,* repeat around 3 more times. 32 sts.
Row 12 (decrease round): *k2, p2tog-tbl, p2tog, k2,* repeat around 3 more times. 24 sts.
Row 13 (decrease round): *k1, ssk, k2tog, k1,* repeat around 3 more times. 16 sts.
Row 14 (decrease round): *ssk, k2tog,* repeat around 3 more times. 8 sts.

Cut 8" yarn tail and pull through last 8 sts on the needles. Weave in all ends.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Black and White

I think we are experiencing our snowiest December on record, or it seems that way. The snow piles are so huge right now, I can barely add to them when we shovel. I usually am wearing a baby on my back (in a pack), so shoveling is hard enough. The upside of the weather is that it seems to produce great results in the knitting department. Also, getting ready for Christmas by knitting gifts has produced a nice line up of quick projects. Behold....

Two of Calorimetry: The larger of the two is a gift for my mother-in-law (a requested item) made of Savoy (Tahki) wool/silk. I had enough to make the smaller version for myself. I did a 96 sts cast on for hers and 88 for mine. This pattern is a good starting point, but I did a bit of messing around in the process. I hope she likes it. I did little ties to make it more adjustable than a button for hers. I sewed my ends together after taking the picture on mine. I'm pretty sure that my head's going to stay the same size.

Ribbed hat: made for a 5 year old who's head is as big as his mom's. Yikes! This kid is going to be a giant. I'll be lucky if I'm taller than him by the time he's 8. I was going for a more youth- looking hat to match his new winter coat. Successful, non?

A scarf from my Brother-in-law: based off the Scarf Askew (requested item). I heard this scarf, as written, rolled a lot. I modified it a bit and it still rolls, but he'll wear it only two times a year when he visits the midwest. I'm hoping some wet blocking will make it look flat for the gift giving moment. The yarn is Ultra Alpaca.

Jaywalker Socks update: Have 1 done and started the second one. I love my adaptation of increasing and decreasing the stitch count to give me a fab fit, if I say so myself.

Noticing a trend....all of these projects are black. The next project is a red/gray version of the hat for my middle son. Color!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Hats R' Us

I have been a hat knitting machine over the past few days. The option to receive a personally knitted item for Christmas List giving was a huge success. People placed their orders last week and I have been a busy girl. I got the fun of picking out yarn, the fun of knitting, the fun of not shopping at the mall, and the hopeful fun of seeing my handy work enjoyed by a family member. Yippee! Why did I not do this sooner?!?

Here's what I've got so far:
A sleeping hat for Hubby's stocking gift (which I already gave him). He shaves his head and doesn't like the drafts while he's sleeping. Based on the Ribbed Beanie pattern, with my own tweaking. The yarn (Super Nova Chunky Sirdar) was a frogged hat I made for him a few years ago. I got the sizing wrong and thought I'd try again.

An Unoriginal Hat for SIL #1 in Sulka (Marisol) Snow White, which is really a cream/off white. This yarn is just lovely and the money is used to fund a school for the shepherds' children.
An Unoriginal Hat for SIL #2 in Rowan's Cashsoft Chunky Thunder Gray. Part cashmere, springy yarn. Prewashed picture:
A Calorimetry in Savoy (Tahki) Black...will be started today. With all of the gauge issues and fit issues, I'm going to swatch a bit first.
My BIL just asked for a black scarf. We'll see what I come up with for that. I really want to finish my Jaywalkers and my mom's purple linen towel as well as the Bird in Hand Mittens. I don't want to do something on tiny needles and plain knitting. Hopefully I can convince him to use a fun pattern or a tweedy yarn.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Christmas Knitting, etc.

The Christmas knitting has begun. I picked up needles and yarn for the first Unoriginal Hat I'm making for my two sisters-in-law. I bought some AMAZING Crystal Palace dpns in the funky 10 3/4 size (7mm). For how much they cost, I'm glad I like them. I've already given them a test knit by reknitting MY Unoriginal Hat last night. Yes, I'm that big of a dork. The hat was a big too snug and I wanted to see how the fit would change with the larger needle. It is much better now. No need for a picture, cuz' it looks just like it did before. I used 0.2 oz more yarn, which seemed to be just the right amount.

Here's the yarn for the first hat:It is so nice and soft. Marisol Sulka in Snow White. Merino/Alpaca/Silk blend of squishy goodness. I had directives for which hat pattern to use, and it must be in cream. After hunting down all softness worthy yarns, I had three yarns to choose from. One was 100% Alpaca-too soft. One was 50/50 merino/alpaca-not soft enough. This one has just enough body to support the cables. We'll see how it looks. I'm making it a bit bigger than mine by inserting only 4 extra purls (2 each into only 2 of the repeats). Hope that gives me the extra inch in circumference I need.

Here's a rundown of the latest:
Garterloc dishtowel-fun and fast
Fetching Mitts-great use of a recently frogged baby hat. Made a smaller version for myself and did a bit of messing with the thumb area:
Socks that Rock Jaywalkers (finally)-also have done some sizing magic. Cast on 52 for ribbing, increased to 60 for leg, decreased to 52 for rest of sock. I'm not doing the zig zag stitch on the foot. The yarn is pretty, but it really leaves dye on my hands. I hope some of the color stays after I wash them. I know dark yarns often have "crocking" issues. Hummm, we shall see.
Off to knit a hat during nap time.