Jan 21, 2008

May I Present: The Nomad Hat & Scarf

Yep - the Florida winter has finally gotten to me...

Nomad Hat & Scarf by Kat Coyle

Ha! Actually, this is a gift for a friend who lives in Manitoba, Canada - my old stomping ground. I told her several weeks ago that I wanted to make her something and she said she needed a hat/scarf combo. She's not a knitter so she didn't realize that patterns for such a thing would even exist. I sent her a few examples, and she chose this style (not frilly, no pointy elfish top part). Kat Coyle's Nomad Hat & Scarf was just what we needed. I think I'm becoming Kat's number one fan - she's designed a few other items that I'm quite fond of and will probably knit this year. Pictures of her other published patterns on Flickr are here.

Hmmm.. the details?

Pattern: Nomad Hat & Scarf, Interweave Knits Fall 2007
Yarn: Valley Yarns brand, Northampton from Webs in Chestnut Heather; 100% wool.
This took about 687 yards to finish; since this yarn is a true worsted weight I carried it doubled throughout for a chunky fabric.
Needles: I used US Size 9 (5.5mm) needles for the hat and gradually went up from there to size 10.5, 11, and 13 on the scarf.

Other modifications: My friend was very adamant that this could not be made for the "average" head size. Having much experience with ill-fitting hats due to my puffy locs and a large cranium in general, I used myself as the model. The hat is knit top-down using Emily Ocker's cast-on method to begin knitting in a circle. I continued the increasing out to 96 sts (original calls for 80sts); then within the garter and stockinette rows I decreased back down to 82 sts to make a snug fit around the forehead. The original pattern doesn't actual come down over the forehead, but that would not suffice in weather that sometimes gets to 20 below, so I knit this a little longer than the original as well.

I really enjoyed this knit. The chunky yarn and larger needles made it quick; I knit it on and off for 10 days, including one major frogging session because of making it too big. I think top-down hats might be prevalent in my knit future.

This is finish #4 on my list of 5 items for January over at the Year Long Gift-a-Long. If you haven't signed up yet - there is still time. Great new prize donors are joining to support us every day (Webs, Cookie A, Jordana Paige, and a host of my crafty friends!)

Thanks for taking a look - may your needles bring you much comfort and relaxation this week!

Jan 14, 2008

Baby Boom

No no no, not me - just everyone else around me is adding to the population.

Let's see, in my immediate family, we have one nephew that just turned 3 months old and THREE baby boys due before the end of March. In my circle of friends, a darling little
munchkin we know is already a year old, and 2 more are due in the spring and summer. So what's a knitter to do? What else...

Cast on!

Baby Brown Hats Finished

The way I see it, with so many of these to cover in knitted goodness

Tiny Toes Noah & Josh Oct 2007 004

I'm going to be plenty busy.

Jan 1, 2008

May I Present: The Charcoal Ascot

Huckleberry Ascot FO 010

Pattern = Huckleberry Ascot from IK Gifts, Holiday 2007; page 36
Yarn = Valley Yarns Northampton in Dark Grey, 100% wool
Needles = KnitPicks Options Size 8 (5mm), 24 " cable

Modifications - I knit the short row increases on the wide end of the scarf until the center width was 6 1/4", and each wide end was 13"; this wasn't intentional at first, but I'm glad I added this extra because it made for a bit more ruffling, which this wool fabric could use since it's not naturally very drapey. If I remember right, this was done by just adding one additional set of of the short row increases on both ends.

Huckleberry Ascot FO 016

Instant sophistication, no?

I loved this pattern; just the kind of nearly mindless knitting I needed during holiday activities with the family. My first time with this many short rows - easy! With garter you don't have to pick up the wraps! My first time with bobbles - not nearly as annoying as I had anticipated, and they completely make this scarf something appealing to the eye.

Huckleberry Ascot- My 1st Bobbles

Bobbles; I do not hate them after all

Because I used wool, this doesn't have the same drape as the original, which was done in alpaca. I am confident that I would do one of these in alpaca as well though, just for the sheer simplicity of it. Hmmmm...gift idea?? I'm very happy with the wool I've use; the best compliment I can give it is to say that I would recommend it for many different types of projects. It's very warm of course, but not too scratchy. Maybe my dearest friend and I will wear our Northampton wool together sometime and be fiber twins :)
Happy New Year darlings!! Make this year one to remember!!