Beautiful Knitting

Where Mt.Mom knits, crochets, designs, and seeks Beauty as food for the soul.

Posts Tagged ‘hat’

FOs and Repairs

Posted by mtmom on January 22, 2011

My weekend schedule changed a while back, so Sundays are not always blog days.   I haven’t really settled into a new rhythm yet. . . .

I have finished several things, some fresh and some long latent.

white tam

pink

Firstly, I finished and mailed in to Cast On magazine, the 2 versions of my Galaxy Tam.  The pattern I e-mailed in a few days later.

Also, I finished a second little “hoot!”, by Ysolda Teague.

hoot! #1

hoot! #2

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One is for my DS, away at university.

The other is for his girlfriend.  She said of hers that it is “adorbs”.  (I translated that to mean “adorable”.)  🙂

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And then, I FINALLY seamed up a knit/felted bag I started about 1 1/2 years ago.  I don’t think the shape and size will be adequate for a daily bag, so I’m not sure what I’ll do with it.  (It measures about 10″ – 12″ across, and 5″ – 6″ tall in the middle, where the stuff would sit.)  Yarn is Poems; design is my own.

"back" side

"front" side

I’ve had some more requests for repairs; this time for unusual gloves.

Glove from Latvia, here with hoot-owl

The first pair were a gift to me, purchased by an old friend when she traveled to Latvia one summer.  I’ve let my son wear them for a couple of winters, and one thumb developed a hole.  This past week I mended that.

Thumb "Before"

Thumb "After"

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The second pair are Norwegian.  I haven’t started to work on the repairs yet, but I’ve enjoyed studying them.

Norwegian gloves. Thumbs replaced by another knitter.

Finger with a hole. Notice the spare color carried between stripes up by twisting strands.

See how the ends are NOT woven in -- just knotted and left! Amazing.

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Posted in Cap/Hat, Design, Knitting, Mending | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

A Tam Proposal in the Pipeline

Posted by mtmom on November 30, 2010

I don’t know whether the editorial committee will choose to include my pattern, but I’ve sent 2 swatches to Cast On magazine for possible inclusion in their summer 2011 issue.

in Ultra Alpaca

in Kidsilk Haze

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Same design in each, but different textures due to different yarn choices.

I would make a tam similar to this one, below, made by me for DD several years ago.  But the straight portion would be longer, instead of the short section of purl rounds in the middle of the pink version.

Pink Swirl Cap -- top view

Pink Swirl Cap -- side view

I won’t know until the 2nd week of December, at the earliest.

Then, if accepted, the committee would send me the yarn they select for the project and tell me my deadline — probably around the end of January or beginning of February.

The work and pattern writing can get pretty intense, but I’ll be sure to let y’all know what’s up!

Posted in Cap/Hat, Design, Knitting | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Little Things: An FO and some new WIPs

Posted by mtmom on November 28, 2010

I don’t think I’ve shown you this yet (I finished it between the 2 Saturdays of the Craft Sale, 11/13 and 20, and gave it to coordinator Julie to put out):

youth size? . . . .

. . . or adult size? OK for either!

I used a label-less acrylic boucle yarn; I think it’s “Amore” by TLC/Red Heart.  Deep burgundy color cap.

Since then, I’ve done a bit towards rehabilitating Robert’s first pair of kilt hose — the ones I overdyed that came out with still-too-bright-green stripes in the ribs.  I picked out a new, firmer pattern for the cuffs, reconditioned the ripped cuff-yarn, and got one sock back on the needles.

And I’ve cast on for some little, gift-able projects:  2 coffee cozies (designed by Ann Budd — Ravelry link to my project page here, and to her design page here) and a ruffled headband (designed by Sally Melville, adapted for different yarn and for a child’s size — Ravelry link my project page here, and to her design page here).

1 and 1/10 coffee cozies in Lion Brand "Fisherman's Wool"

about 1/4 of a headband, in Patons "Brilliant"

When I read a recent post from Knitting Daily, with the coffee cozy featured, I just cast on rather spontaneously, thinking, “This’ll be quick!”  (Have YOU ever done that?)  And it was quick — comparatively.  Still took me almost a week, though (4 hours?), and I may tweak the pattern a bit for #2.  I’m hoping these will make a nice his/hers set, with the two complementary marled yarns:  first is 3 strands brown to 1 strand white; second is just the opposite.

The headband pattern comes from a book I have on loan from the library:  Sally Melville and Caddy Melville Ledbetter’s Mother-Daughter Knits:  30 Designs to Fit & Flatter.  I had been planning to make something along this line for a neighbor-friend’s DD (Isaiah’s sister, Susanna), so this may end up going to her.  Not sure yet.  That book has a lot of interesting ideas about proportions, illusions, and “ideal” sweater lengths.

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“Thick N Quick” Cap is . . . Quick!

Posted by mtmom on October 31, 2010

I made this for a neighbor-boy.  Took only a few days.After taking this photo, we found it looked better with the BACK part of the brim folded up, versus the FRONT part.  I failed to get another photo, however; he’s 4 years old and moves around a lot.

I had given up on this yarn (Jiffy Thick & Quick, by Lion Brand; color “Ozarks”), and put it in the “go-out” bag, but decided to give it another go from a different angle.  The main problem was that this very bulky yarn needed to be worked on US size 15 needles, and my dpns in that size are home-made from dowling and not especially smooth.  The yarn kept catching horribly!  I have a 24″ circular with nice metal tips, but I consider that length too short for magic loop, and too long for a child’s hat.  What to do?  I NEVER make hats flat, shunning the idea of a seam inside a snug cap, and especially with yarn so thick as this.  But, this time, I did.  I got out my nice 24″ Addi Turbo, and cast on 6 stitches.  I kept first and last stitches in stockinette, and increased until “big enough” — my target was 17″ or so.  The stitches actually stretched out near enough to the tips that I was able to join into the round at this point and continue the cap body in the round.  Phew!  I worked 3 ridges in garter stitch on 13’s at the bottom, and made a sewn bind-off after a purl round.  Now to deal with the gap at the top! I had left a long tail, wound into a butterfly, at the top.  I used this to work the seam — but I “unvented” a new way to do that seam, because I didn’t want it to “take in” even a half-stitch on either side.  My solution?  Rather like duplicate stitching a single column of stitches, catching one leg of each stitch on each side as I went along.  (I felt SO CLEVER!)

See the seam?  It’s the column of red stitches going up the center there.

Looked at with the ends-of-round facing the camera, I think that the change from stockinette to garter stitch, and the bind-off edge, and the seam all look pretty good.My sweet-smiling recipient likes it, to boot — a winner!  (Hurray!!)

Posted in Cap/Hat, Design, Knitting | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Getting Near to Done with 2 pair Kilt Hose

Posted by mtmom on August 22, 2010

2nd pair for Robert

I’ve done all the (planned) increases on Robert’s forest green heather kilt hose.  The end is in sight!

The light bit of yarn at the top of the righthand sock shows where I worked one more pair of increases on sock #1.  Eventhough my ruler says 78 stitches is wide enough, and a slightly narrower 3-stitch knit-rib at center-back looks fine, I decided to try 80 stitches because it better fills out my ribbing pattern of (k5, seed3) around.  After another inch or so, I’ll be able to get better measurements of the girth.  I don’t have his legs available to try these on (he’s been to at least 2 countries since I saw him last), so I don’t know for sure how stretched — or not — these calves will be on him.  I’m really looking forward to finishing these and posting them off to him in County Derry.

And I still haven’t finished a whole ball of Wool-Ease in either sock!  Back when I was only able to purchase 4 balls of a single dye lot, I was concerned I wouldn’t have enough, but it looks now like 4 balls will be plenty — hurray!

DK hose for me

The second pair of hose that’s oh-so-near to being done is the pair for myself that I’ve been working on for just over 2 years.  I’m using Knit Picks “Bare” 100% undyed wool in DK weight, and had been knitting these 2-at-a-time on one very long circular until I got to the actual cuffs.  Now I can say I’ve done that (the 2-socks-on-one-needle thing), but I found it cumbersome and don’t plan to do it again any time soon.

I hope to have these complete before August 31st, the day to take County Fair exhibits over to the Fairgrounds for judging and display.

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Other projects in the meantime:

Red Cap in TLC "Amore" yarn

Red Seed-Stitch Scrap Scarf -- worked lengthwise

Swatching several "brioche" stitches

Posted in Cap/Hat, Design, Knitting, scarf, Socks | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Meantime Caps and 2-year-old Hose

Posted by mtmom on August 12, 2010

The deadline to file entry forms for County Fair exhibits came this past Friday, so I looked back through my Finished Objects page and old blog posts to see what I’d completed since last September 1st (and still have in my possession!).  If I enter at least 5 items, I get a pass for one free entry to the Fair.  I found I had several items Very Close to Done, so I set Robert’s hose a bit to the side — still working on it regularly, but not solely — and picked up a few UFO’s.  I may even knock out a dishcloth between now and Fair drop-off day.  We shall see.

tucked in ends

finished ruffle and tucked in ends -- (intended for a smaller child)

one cuff done, one to go; plus ends to tuck

It feels good to finish long-pending things, while not running out of project(s) I’m truly interested in.  I have finished all but the very last increase on sock #1 of Robert’s second pair, and sock #2 is over halfway through the increases.  It won’t be long until I get to the cuffs on those!  (Lord willing.)

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Oh, BTW, you might be interested in this post on the Lion Brand blog, about sweater-shapes that flatter different body-shapes.

Posted in Cap/Hat, Knitting, Socks | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Catching Up . . . with Twists, Colors, and Caps

Posted by mtmom on May 23, 2010

Little baby aspen leaves mean spring is spring-ing here on the mountain!

I’ve mostly been working on the swatch for my Cast On pattern submission, but a few other recent completions somehow missed being documented here, so I think it’s time for some catch-up!

First, here’s the current state of the “real” swatch (vs my multi-colored swatch for trying out motifs and yarns):

3 wide and 3 narrow motifs to choose among

Due in Ohio by June 1, so I’ve got to finish it and pack it off very soon.

I have 2 ideas yet to try, one involves the lean of the twisted stitches, the other. . . is secret for now!  😉

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Latest progress on Fair Isle sampler scarf, motifs from Philosopher’s Wool.

And here are some recent give-away projects:

"3-Color Spiral Cap"

"3-Color Spiral Cap", top view

trying out Red Heart "Soft" yarn, colorway "Embers"

trying out Noro "Silver Thaw"; hat and short scarf with buttons

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Finally, some yarn “progressions” — groups of similar hue and saturation/purity, but a range of light/dark value:

Shetland blues, by value

Knit Picks greens, by value

Shetland oranges, by value

Shetland purples, by value

Posted in Cap/Hat, Color-work, Design, Knitting, scarf | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Lotsa Twisted Stitches

Posted by mtmom on May 16, 2010

This past week has been pretty much totally given over to Bavarian (or Austrian) Twisted Stitch knitting — and a head cold.

First, let me tell you that I finished (again) the orange Bayerische cap.


I learned a lot from using and adapting DuckyShepherd’s in-pattern decrease-chart, but I prefer how the top shaping turned out this second time.

At the same time, I’ve been working on an article on twisted stitch technique — ‘cus there’s lots of ways to do them — with also hopes of publishing an original hat pattern using traditional motifs.  (Proposals due in 2 weeks.)

For the hat, I started with swatching, and the ideas began to work themselves out in the knitting.  Where I began is not where I’m at now.  Instead of collecting motifs with a certain theme (tree, path, mountain…), I’m now selecting them by width (number of stitches in the motif) and “simplicity”.  I have found, only by actually knitting them, that some designs are easier to work than others — not in the sense or more or fewer twists, but in the sense of being able to see where you’re at within the design and where the next set of twists need to go.  You could say, some are easier to “read” as-you-go than others.  I’m considering this hat a bit of a sampler, introducing the intermediate but slightly adventurous knitter to the genre.

Here is my hat swatch.

At the bottom, you see just a bit of my theme-based beginnings, done in “persimmon” leftovers from the Smocked Band Hat in the current issue of Cast On (yippee!).  I decided that this yarn, “1/2 N 1/2”  wool-milk blend sport/fingering-weight, flattens too much (drape versus spring) to make the twisted stitches stand out, so I went back to Louet GEMS sport in color “linen grey”.  This yarn is  pretty much perfect for the task, because it is smoothly spun (worsted vs woolen) and tightly plied.  But, since this is a test swatch after all, I went on to try a third yarn and may yet add a fourth.  The peach yarn is Dale of Norway’s “Falk” sport superwash, leftover from my Level II vest.  The results look good, but this yarn is more frustrating  during out-of-order stitch manipulation, because it’s more splitty than the GEMS.  Designers need to give the magazine project-selection committee several yarn alternatives, so exploration is definitely a good thing!  I may yet try some of the Rowan “Whiskey” I bought recently.  Anyone here have experience with that yarn?  I especially wish I knew how it held up to wear, because I bought it with an eye toward sportweight socks/kilt hose.

You can also see where I changed course on motifs, adding some, eliminating others.  I think I’ll be going with the Hauser (top left), Striped Squares (topmost right), and Burning Love (I kid you not on that name!) lattice (bottom left) for 3 wide patterns, and 3 narrow ones will be Little Chain (far right), Braid #1 (bottom left-center), and Small Overlay (top left-center).  I think that will get me a good total width.  Although I do like the bumpy Wheat Ear divider (very center), and using dividers at all is definitely optional, I will probably stick with the plain k2tbl columns between all motifs.

Posted in Cap/Hat, Design, Knitting | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Lots of Texture, not so much Color this week

Posted by mtmom on May 9, 2010

Cast On’s call for submissions includes a request for Bavarian Twisted Stitch patterns, so I’ve intensified my work in that arena.  I’ve been going through my twisted-stitch book, counting stitches and rows needed for the various motifs, to see which might fit onto the back of a glove or the sides of a cap.   But, between my teen-genius, tech-guru DS coming home from college for the summer and my 4th grade DD returning to our home-school, however, I’ve cut back on knitting and designing time.  (Pleased to do it, you understand, but a cut-back nonetheless.)  And at some point this week, I noticed that almost all my current work is in undyed/natural/cream-colored yarns — hence today’s post title.

First, I’ll show you the giveaway hat I finished this week.  It probably will go to Julie’s church’s annual Craft Sale — she taught me how to knit back in 1999.

purl side out

Yarn is a JoAnn Sensations bulky yarn, Bellezza Collection “Bellissimo”, 90% thick-thin wool with 7% nylon and 3% “other fiber”, worked on needles size US 10 (6 mm).  Probably the “other” is the sparkly binder thread.  Don’t know if the photos will pick that up. . . .

I started at the top and increased until the “puffs” stopped lining up right on top of each other, then worked straight until the 50 grams of yarn ran out.  Switched to a less-textured, worsted-weight wool and US 9’s (5.5 mm) to finish with garter stitch at the bottom.  Ended up with an adult M/L size.  This project reaffirmed my conviction of a few years back, that I don’t really like working with thick-thin yarns.

knit side out

Decided I like the purl side better than the knit side, so I plan to tuck the ends in accordingly. If I can do an especially neat job of that, the hat will actually be reversible!

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As a break from the twisted stitches, I did a little bit more work today on my sampler of Gansey stitches.  Yarn is Wendy’s “Guernsey 5-ply” on US 3 (3.25 mm) needles.

Along the left side are horizontal stitch patterns and fillers (bottom to top):

1- stockinette, 2- Mary Ann or double moss, 3-Betty Martin, 4- purl band separator, 5- bird’s eye.  Next, I hope to do more moss stitch variations.

Along the right side are vertical patterns:

1- ladders (or steps? not sure at this point how they differ), 2- cable on seed stitch ground.  Lots more vertical panels to try out!

I noticed as I looked through my gansey books for cables, that nearly all are 6 stitches wide, and (at least in Gladys Thompson) cross every 7th row/round.  In back-and-forth knitting, this means every other crossing occurs on a wrong-side row!  No problem in circular knitting, though.  I also noted that almost all the cables cross to the right and are not mirrored on the other side of the chest.  Probably just to make the knitting easier.

I like working on this sampler.

My other un-colored project on the needles just now is a pair of kilt hose in DK-weight KnitPicks “Bare” (i.e. undyed) worked 2-at-a-time on one long Magic Loop circular needle.  I have made the last planned pair of increases on each sock, so now the ribbing pattern is “full” again (k3-p1, with k3 at center back) and I’ve reached the widest part of my calf.  If I decide the fabric is too stretched, I may go up one needle size rather than make 4 more pairs of increases.

(pins mark increases)

After all that off-white, this yellow swatch may seem bright!  (I made a similar one in undyed KnitPicks fingering, but can’t find it today.)

Here I’m experimenting with twisted stitches by eye, rather than following a chart or list of directions.

In traditional patterns, traveling happens on every row/round, so, in order to avoid twisting on the wrong side and repeatedly trying to peek over the top, I’m making a circular swatch by carrying the yarn across the back after every row.  I think I need to pick up the pace a bit on this, if I want to have a design more-or-less finalized and proposal(s) ready by the deadline.  I’d like to write an article, too, about different techniques to make the twists and crosses. . . .

Posted in Cap/Hat, Design, Knitting, Socks | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Frogs in These Waters

Posted by mtmom on April 25, 2010

I finished the Bayerische Cap — for the first time, but not — I hope — for the last time.

< < Here (left) it is modeled by piper Mac (himself bought from a booth at our local Celtic Fair a few years back).

As you may suppose, his head is rather smaller than my own. . . .

And here (right) >> is the cap on youngest DD, modeling while she consumes a chicken “nugget”.

Her head is also, as you may suppose, rather smaller than my own.

(Do you get a sense of where this is all going?)

Here is a shot of the top of the cap, while we’re at it.

You can see the in-pattern decreasing, with all lines converging to the center top.

I had 2 main goals for this project:  trying out twisted-stitch knitting and learning more about decreasing rates in rib-based patterns.  Those goals led to my eventual decision to. . .

. . . rip back to before I began decreasing, and consider this a DD-cap instead of a mama-cap.

No, it’s not a tragedy.  Really.  (Although I am sad that it won’t be MY cap any more.)

I’ve reconditioned the yarn (i.e., held it over a steaming kettle to de-kink it), found my place in the chart (round 4), and resumed knitting.

I really do enjoy this style of knitting (goal #1).

And now I can move forward having progressed on, but not mastered, goal #2.  (I didn’t just want a cap, I wanted a lesson!)

Cap-top Decreasing — Theory.

When knitting a cap bottom-up in stockinette, a decrease rate of about 8 stitches every other round yield a nearly-flat top.  This usually curves on a head nicely.  You can do as few as 6 or as many as 10 decreases every other round and still get a good result IN STOCKINETTE.  (The same rates work for increases in a top-down cap.)  But, when knitting in cables or ribs (including twisted and traveling ribs, like in this cap), you have many more stitches in every horizontal inch, but not so many more rows/rounds in every vertical inch.  So, you get to the top in the same number of rounds, but have more stitches to eliminate while on your way there.  Thus, a faster decrease rate is called for.  (This is much more clear to me now than it was before!)

Another point:  a ribbed cap always looks skinnier when unstretched than a stockinette cap, so appearances can be deceiving as you’re knitting along with no head in the hat to stretch out the ribs.

Application:  How many decreases should I average on this cap and where should I place them?  Those have been big questions.  This is my current thinking:  I want to begin the decreasing later and then do it faster and more evenly.  (I think it squeezed in too soon, making the cap creep up her head, and that I had too many near-even rows in the top portions, making it pointy.)

I’ll continue to post, as things develop!

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