Mini Hats 

There was a call for preemie hats for an NICU, in one of my groups.  Ashley H was making goodie bags for the NICU in memory of her son, and she wanted to add  some hats to the bags. I put the call out to the group, and although she was only asking for 21 hats, I’m sure she’s going to get double that, because you know how generous crafters are with their yarn ūüėĀ

Not having made too many preemie hats, I thought this was a good in-between project, since I can’t seem to get settled on starting a project. And I found the perfect yarn in the stash … Sirdar Baby Bamboo!  I bought them from a detash group months ago. No idea what I was going to do with them, but I liked the colours … Powder Blue and Iris Blue. 

For the crochet hat – the one on the right – I just crocheted front post double crochet all the way around. That is a great stitch – it looks good, has enough texture, and the finished project stretches nicely, even if you crochet tight. For the knit hat, I decided to practice the Rick Rack Rib pattern. I had tried it a couple of times, but wasn’t seeing the pattern clearly. But with this yarn, the pattern showed up nicely. 

And here they are, all finished. For size comparison, they’re on top of a regular teen/adult small hat. The rick rack rib pattern needs to be knit back and forth. I tried to knit it in the round, but it didn’t work out. I’ve googled if it can be done in the round, but I didn’t find anything. So I knit a little rectangle, and then a decrease for the crown, and finished it off by seaming the two ends together. It’s turned out ok – still a few things to improve. I hope the joining isn’t too lumpy or hard for the babe heads. 

Oh! I was also practicing the double knit stitch for the brim. That also needs to be knit back and forth. Again, I didn’t find anything if it could be done in the round.  But this turned out ok. So next time I knit hats, I’ll use larger needles for the brims in double knit, and then the pattern. This is probably old news for the experienced knitters, but this is exciting new for me! ūüėÄ

This is what it looks like on the other side, so you know what it looks like. I think when learning a new stitch, it’s always helpful to see what both sides look like. Most tutorials only show the ‘right’ side of the stitch, and what the pattern looks like done the right way. That’s helpful too, but I also want to see what the ‘wrong’ side looks like, in case I’m still doing it wrong, and also just because I want to see it ūüė¨

Anyway … here’s the inside of the hats. The double knit brim looks the same as the front. The rick rack rib pattern looks like a loose garter stitch. The crochet fpdc looks like horizontal knit stitches. Cool, isn’t it? 

And there’s my preemie hats, ready to send off. 

On to the next projects! 

2018 Special Olympics Scarf Project

One more state has announced their colours for the 2018 Scarf Project.

SO Maine has chosen the colours Purple, Grey, and Black as their colours. ¬†It looks kind of a darkish combination, but I’m thinking elegant designs for this, don’t you think?

It will certainly work well with our featured pattern for the project – Waves/Chevrons.

2018 SO pattern

It’s so good that so many states – nine so far! – have chosen their colours early. ¬†I hope that this gives the crafters enough time to work on them, before the end of the year crush comes around again! ¬†But with so many priorities along the way, I know it’s hard to keep this in mind throughout the year when working on those crafty projects. ¬†I’ll try to post on this regularly – I really should take advantage of those scheduling posts feature !

Anyway, you’re welcome to join the Facebook and Ravelry groups on knitting and crocheting for the SO Scarf Project. ¬†And of course, this page 2018 SO Scarf Project – is always available.

Spread the word to your crafty friends, and come on over and join us on this worthy cause !

 

Thanks for all your help and support of the project!

 

Through the Years

Charisse told me that she could see the evolution of my knitting and crochet … from the first projects she got, to the current ones I’m working on.

I had forgotten some of these experiments, which she gladly took in … From the simple beanies and patterns, to the present and hopefully more advanced stitches. ¬†I must say that the quality, choices and diversity of the yarns available in the market has also improved over the years.

So, here’s a time capsule of my projects that Charisse has accumulated. ¬†She even sent me pics of those that I didn’t have one of, because in the beginning, I didn’t think to take pictures of what I made.

My first beanies … yikes! ¬†look at those joining lines!

 

These were my first beanies … plain, simple, single or double crochet. ¬†I used the colours of the yarn to make the patterns, rather than the stitches.

That’s when variegated and self-striping yarn became a favourite … I could use any stitch, and didn’t have to think about colour changes, or cutting and joining.

Simple, basic stitches still looks good to me, and my fingers automatically start a hat with those stitches.

 

 

 

 

img_2853  More hat experiments, adding the raised stitches and front and back post stitches.  More experimentation with different fibers as well Рthat orange and pink hat is a polar-tec hat.

I was also coming out of my knitting comfort zone more … That cowl is basic knit and purl, but there was a ssk in there *gasp*

That cowl looks warm and cozy, and that pattern might be just the one I can use to work with new yarn …

 

 

 

This was the first hat that I successfully free-winged, knitting from the bottom up, to the decrease to the top. ¬†Somehow, my stitches were the right number, my decrease was even, and the close at the top was good. ¬†Then I crocheted the scarf … I didn’t know if my luck would hold out and I would get a good knitted scarf.

 

That cowl … Another experiment with the front and back post stitch, but I used a bulky yarn. ¬†We joked that it could also be used as a skirt.

 

That cowl looks so warm and cozy!   Looks like a basic knit ribbed stitch, and I let the yarn do all the wrok.

 

Another basic beanie, and a super-bulky cowl. ¬†I was trying to recreate an ‘Outlander’ scarf, but ended up with another pattern.

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An off-the-shoulder wrap, done in bulky yarn. ¬†The original pattern was for fingering weight, but I was too impatient to finish 400 yds of yarn … I used a bulky yarn instead. ¬†It’s a nice pattern, and perhaps one day I’ll make one in fingering weight yarn ….

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Ahhh … the year of the braided earwarmers. ¬†I still have two that I use, and they’re coming in very handy during these cold days. ¬†The cowl was knit by the swimming pool when I was in Goma, DRC a couple of years ago. ¬†It’s knit with big and small needles, in an alternate lace and solid pattern. ¬†That was one of the few times that I was inspired to follow a pattern and actually stick to it, for the whole pattern – no tweaking, no changing a stitch.

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I also started making capelets and ponchos, which had always been on the to-do list.

 

And my current pattern obsession – the Poncho Capelet¬†(you can read about it here). ¬†I’ve got three other WIPs of the same pattern, different yarn :o) ¬† I need to finish them before winter is done!

 

This is a modified Baktus pattern scarf, using bamboo yarn (you can read about it here). ¬†I wasn’t sure at first how it would come out, with the thick and thin yarn, but it came out nice and really soft. ¬†Now I’m thinking of getting more of the yarn and making another one for me.


And that’s the evolution of my knitting and crocheting. ¬†Do I still make mistakes? ¬†Yes. ¬† And I still tweak the pattern when I get lost in the pattern … or miscount … ¬†But I’ve come out of my comfort zone, and venturing out to more ‘advanced’ patterns.

And maybe someday I’ll try knitting socks ! ¬†lol

Happy knitting and crocheting, everyone!

 

 

 

 

Finishing Off 2014

I thought I would write a¬†post on whatever creative things I accomplished in the last year. ¬†I know I didn’t make much this year, but it is good to gather everything together and see how much you’ve done. ¬†Try it. ¬†You’ll be surprised to see just how many things that you¬†did get done in the last year.

Of course, I didn’t get to start on anything that was on my bucket list¬†(except for the hexagon project). ¬†So we’re trying for that again this year.

The staple … hats! ¬†I¬†finally figured out the slouchy look for the hats … These are actually variations of patterns that I tried to follow, and in the end, I just decided to wing it instead of following the pattern, because the hat wasn’t turning out what I expected it to be.

And more hats! ¬†Here’s some of the ones made for my personal charity/cause – NYC Hats for Hope Initiative. As usual, there’s more which I didn’t take photos of.

I made my first amigurumi/toy – the minion. ¬†I said I was going to make another one, this time with two eyes. ¬†I still haven’t started on that. ¬†Making amigurumis and toys still does not appeal to me … I have no problem with working on the individual parts … sewing and assembling them together kills me. ¬†The hat wasn’t too bad. ¬†That one has two eyes – although you can’t see it from this angle.

The other cause I work on – the Special Olympics Scarf Project. ¬†Here’s some items that I made for some of the states. ¬†Every year I say that I will make one item for each participating state. ¬†Haven’t succeeded yet, but there’s always next year!

The shawls … wraps … scarves … my go-to projects. ¬†My obsession pattern this year was the Augusta Shawl. ¬†Here’s different versions of the pattern, using different yarn weights, etc.

Oh Рanother obsession pattern Рthe Bowtie Pi Shawl (available in Ravelry).  I plan on making more of these, with various yarns.

I couldn’t figure out why my shawl was coming out with a curved neckline, instead of a straight edge as shown in the photos with the pattern. ¬†Then I remembered … Fibonacci. ¬†Instead of following the same number of row repeats as the pattern, I had used the Fibonacci series for my row repeats instead. ¬†So I think that’s why the neckline curved in so deep, like this. ¬†I like it better like this, anyhow. ¬†The shawl drapes better over the shoulders, than a straight edge.

And I was on a fringes roll as well. ¬†I like fringes but I¬†usually don’t add fringes because I think that they use up a lot of yarn … but then again, knitting or crocheting a piece takes up a lot of yarn too … and fringes do make a shawl or wrap look really pretty, doesn’t it?

My one big project this year – the African Violets Afghan, in memory of my aunt who passed away last year. ¬†This is as far as I got with it, and it’s a good size lapghan. ¬†I wanted to add¬†another round, so that it can also be used as a bed cover. ¬†So that’s something I’ll be working on some more this year.

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And there you have my accomplishments from the last year. ¬†Nothing much, nothing spectacular. ¬†I know that it’s more of the same from last year, but until I have another incentive to make amigurumis and toys, I’m afraid there’ll be more of this for the coming year. ¬†Oh yes … I still want to make that hooded cape … and that beach coverup … I should start now … while it’s still freezing cold outside … then it’ll be ready for summer!

Slouchy Variations

I heard forecasts¬†about the weather for this coming winter … and it sounded cold … very cold. ¬† As in, the same as last year. ¬†And I haven’t really recovered from that vortex winter that dragged on forever …

And then I realized that yes, it is almost the end of August, and those¬†ber months are coming … September, October … which usually means that the cold is coming in … and I panicked.

I’ve been collecting hats for my personal charity/cause (NYCHHI)¬†since last year … but I don’t know if I have enough! ¬†Yikes! ¬†I better start on my hat-a-day schedule again, start another hat blitz!

After much experimenting again, I came up with more slouchies, with variations from the first one … a ribbed brim … a wider crown and body before it narrows down by the brim.

And look Рif you need an extra layer, just pull the body down and over your ears!  The pattern for this can be found here.

slouchy7

I like that … I think I’ll make more of that … It’s going to be a very cold winter … again.

 

 

My First Successful Slouchy Hat

It’s almost the end of summer … those cold winds are coming back … we’re all going to be bundled up again … I am so not ready for that so soon! ¬†Well, we can’t stop Mother Nature either …

During an unexpected lull in activities and work, I picked up hook and yarn and decided that I was going to figure out how this slouchy hat/beanie was going to be made. ¬†I had followed patterns before, but they never turned out right. ¬†Some looked like it was a chef’s hat. ¬†Others turned out to be over-sized¬†berets. ¬†So I put away all the patterns and just started crocheting with what I know about making hats.

After three tries – two of them completed hats already but it didn’t slouch the way I liked it – I came up with this. ¬†Tah-daahh!!!

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I think I like this. ¬†In fact, this is my first ever successful slouchy hat. ¬†It’s finally slouching in the back like I think it should !! ¬†Something came to mind though … Back in the day when I was just starting to learn how to crochet a beanie hat, I think I was making slouchy hats back then and didn’t know it … oh welll …

There’s been several requests for the pattern for this particular one. ¬†I didn’t follow any pattern for this; I was just winging this. ¬†This is just a basic beanie pattern, really, nothing different. ¬†Here is what I did to get this. ¬†If you find something doesn’t work with this pattern, do let me know. ¬†I don’t usually write out my patterns as I’m experimenting, so this is written after the fact.

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HDC Slouchy Hat

Hook:  I used an H-5.00mm hook
Yarn:  this yarn looked/felt to be DK weight.

For this same effect, choose a variegated yarn with longer colour changes.  
If working with solid colour yarns, change the colour every 1 Р2 rows. 

Pattern:
Setup:  ch 5; sl st to form a circle;

Top:
Round 1:  8 hdc in circle; slst to join;
Rnd 2:  ch 2, hdc in same st; * 2 hdc in each st;* slst to join; (16 hdc)
Rnd 3:  ch 2, hdc in same st; *hdc in next st; 2 hdc in next st * slst to join (24 hdc)
Rnd 4:  ch 2, hdc in same st; *hdc in ext 2 st; 2 hdc in next st* slst to join (32 hdc)
Rnd 5:  ch 2; hdc in between the stitches around (not through the top loops); slst to join

Body:
Rnds 6 Р25:  repeat Round 5 nineteen/twenty times РOR until it is 10 inches in length РOR the length you want;
Rnd 26: ch 2: *hdc in next 6 st; hdc dec in next two st;* slst to join
Rnd 27: repeat Round 26;

Brim:
Rnds 28-32:  ch 2; sc around; slst to join.

Fasten off.

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Things to keep in mind about these slouchy hats:
– It’s somewhere in between a beanie and a beret … the top doesn’t have to fit the crown of the head, and¬†the body is not as wide as the beret;

РThe basic construction is a narrow top, long body, and a slightly narrower/smaller brim.  If the head opening/brim is too small for the intended recipient, I would normally evenly increase the last two rounds of the body by ten stitches, then start the brim pattern.

– Yarn and tension may make a difference. ¬†You may need to crochet with a bigger hook or looser tension, if the yarn is worsted weight/bulky, because you need some sort of ‘drape’ and not just hang down stiffly in the back. ¬†This was a DK yarn – actually, I’m not sure what it is; it was from a donation for NYC Hats for Hope Initiative (my charity cause), and it didn’t have any labels on it. ¬†So my best guess is DK yarn, and if I do find out what it is, I’ll edit this.

And there you have it Рmy first slouchy hat that I like.  Enjoy!

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2015 Special Olympics Scarf Project: Utah and Nebraska

It may be the hot summer months now (well, for the most part – I know that there’s been some cold winds in some states recently) – but the Scarf Project for the 2015 SO Winter Games is¬†in full swing.

SO Utah has announced their colours – Royal Blue and Lime Green.

SO Nebraska has joined for the first time, and are asking for 30 Red and White hats.

2015 KC4SO

 

Come on over and join us!