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! 

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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!

 

 

 

 

Your Hobby is Action …

This popped up on my Facebook feed … and I immediately thought of yarn stashes. ¬†Ok, so my yarn stash, specifically, and am I really collecting, or just accumulating?

” Your Hobby is¬†Action, Not Accumulation “

But when I buy yarn, I’m not buying yarn to add to a collection, but to add to the ‘To-Be-Used’ pile to use for the ‘To-Try-This-Pattern’ list …

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But I totally see where you cross over the line of accumulating, and not enough of the action, and you don’t even realize it. ¬†
I wrote before that I felt that I’ve ‘graduated’ to the next level of yarn fibers … that I was ready to try new patterns that would mean a different set of fibers and yarn weights to use, if I wanted my finished projects to look like the photos in the patterns.
I’m moving away from the acrylics – not completely, but I do notice when I don’t feel the excitement of buying yarn because it came in a new colour. ¬†I feel that excitement now more for the wool-based yarn, and the colours and combinations¬†¬†I’m drawn to are mostly in the fingering and lace weights. ¬†img_0517
I’m okay with fingering weights … I still think twice about working with lace weights. ¬†It takes forever to finish project! ¬†Not to mention how easy they tangle up when I frog …
Although I did recently purchase a Malabrigo lace weight yarn (the light grey-blue cake at the bottom of the picture).  When and what I do with it is a different story.
So … a new period of accumulation … errr action .. starts – I’m stocking up now on the wool yarn, and in different weights too. ¬†And there will be an effort made in more action in using up the accumulation … There you go .. I already have a crafty resolution for the new year, even before the new year has started …

Fall Is Here …

Even though the temperatures still say it’s summer, the calendar says it’s the first day of fall. ¬†Thoughts now continually turn to looking for new patterns for winter wearables, or trying out the new yarn to make those hats and scarves again. ¬†Maybe I should finish my current WIPs first … ¬†My brain is just over-flowing with all these ideas for patterns and yarns …

Those Caron Cakes projects are almost done. ¬†I hope to have at least one of them finished this week … In the meantime, I couldn’t resist buying a skein of yarn because I wanted the colour-changing pen. ¬†Yep, my other obsession is collecting pens. ¬†So, yarn + pen is made just for me!

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I thought the pen would literally change colours as you write, but the ink is in blocks, so you’re actually writing in one colour, and when that runs out, there’ll probably be a line when the ink is changing colours, and then solid ink again. ¬†So I’ve been scribbling, because I want the ink to hurry up and finish, so I can see how the ink changes colours.

I was going to make a cowl in a star stitch pattern with the yarn, but I worked all day on the stitch, and it didn’t look anything like a star stitch. ¬†Maybe because of the colour changes, so you couldn’t really see the pattern. ¬†So now it’s waiting for another pattern inspiration.

And that’s how my crafting is going so far. ¬†I hope to settle down soon, and organize and sort out all those WIPs and yarn and patterns … We’ll see …

 

 

 

Vacation Crocheting

This is what I was working on out on the beach … Surprise! ¬†more beach cover-ups! ¬†lol

Actually, I did work on other stuff, but was still obsessed with beach cover-ups and tunics, etc. ¬†It was so good to just sit and crochet, with minimum interruptions. ¬†I was really enjoying this pattern, and couldn’t wait to see how it turned out. ¬†Again, this was based on a famous Asos tunic pattern (which I hadn’t heard or seen in stores or publications until I was looking for a pattern).

There was a little tweaking on the shoulders and sleeves – those were frogged twice. ¬†The lengths didn’t match ūüôā ¬†The border along the bottom was also frogged, until I liked how it looked. ¬†I still had almost a full ball of yarn, so I thought maybe I should make it longer, then changed my mind again. I figured I would make a long skinny scarf with the remaining ball of yarn to match the top. (It hasn’t happened yet).

And because it finally clicked in my mind how crocheted garments are or can be ¬†constructed, I started another one, with a little variation …

A couple of days after this photo, I frogged this to the neckline.  I found the armholes (those two spaces on the side) to be a bit too big and loose on me.  After adjusting the sizing of the armhole, this turned out to be a sleeveless top, which became a daily favourite of mine while out on the beach or the pool.

And what did I do with the rest of the yarn that I brought with me? ¬†There were some that were not pictured with this photo … I didn’t touch them either, and they remained in the suitcase. ¬†From this pile, I wound up the green/yellow/blue hank while on the plane, and started a blanket (because that’s what the boys said to make, but I’m not so sure again if I will continue with that …) ¬†The grey hank on the right and the purple/blue hank on the left were wound up into balls, with plans to start a capelet with either one to work on during the flight back home … It’s not turning out quite right, so it’s on hold for now …

But with cooler winds coming, my mind is whirring with ideas of what I want to work on next … We’ll see how it goes …

 

What to Start Next …

The countdown has begun to the start of the summer trip … Thoughts turn to what to pack – yarn, of course! ¬†lol

Whenever I go on a trip, any trip, short or long, my brain thinks that I will have all that time to relax and start on a new project. ¬†Sometimes, I bring a WIP to finish during the trip, but I always need to start on a new project for a trip. ¬†I look back at the finished items and¬†identify the places I’ve traveled to … like the Four Seasons Cowl that I started in the Congo.

So this time is no different. ¬†And because the cold winds are coming back, my potential projects turn to the winter wearables … already?? ¬†I’m not done with summer yet, but I’ll never finish in time to use it for the winter if I start later in the year. ¬†I’ve settled on actually making a hooded¬†cape¬†or a jacket this time. ¬†So here’s my top three patterns – from Red Heart, Lion Brand and Drops.

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Which one of these am I actually going to make? ¬†No idea at the moment, because it will depend on the yarn that I have in my stash. ¬†I’ve been good with the yarn budget this year, and there’s been no spending sprees on sales. ¬†Purchases have actually been for projects in mind … hmmmm …

Anyway … all these patterns call for grey or light grey or aran colours …. do ponchos and capes have to be solid neutral colours? ¬†I don’t have that much grey or aran yarn in the stash … A dive into the stash tonight is on the schedule. ¬†I think I have a nice dark blue that I can use instead …

 

 

More Yarn Guilt …

As you may have seen from the Facebook page, I sort of went on a crafty break after the 5-panel woven blanket.  That seemed to have used up my creating and crocheting/knitting energy.  There were times that I wanted to pick up hook, needles and yarn, and would start on something, anything, but then nothing came of it.

You know how it is … Browsing around on the internet, you come across a pattern that you really want to try. ¬†And for once, I didn’t have a gazillion WIPs waiting to be picked up, so I would start on the pattern … and then nothing, because it wasn’t working out.

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To kick-start myself back into crocheting or knitting, I ‘treated’ myself to a skein or two … or three … of yarn … Yeah, you know how that is too, right? ¬†lol ¬†I was good, though … I would only buy one or two of the skeins … mostly from somebody’s yarn destashing, so I was okay with that.

 

And summer was here, so that means extra time with yarn while on the beach, right? ¬†And there’s that summer book that I’ve been reading on the beach for the past year …

And then KnitPicks brought back some special colour edition yarn, so then I thought I would try that out … ¬†You know I’ll always buy sunset colours, and nothing can go wrong with rainbows, right?

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So, has anything come out of these yarn treats? ¬†Well, actually … yes! More on that in the next post … promise!