Thursday, February 5, 2009

Finished Objects!

After reading knitting blogs for years, it seems so exciting to say for myself--I have FO pictures to share!

Pattern: My own generic top down hat, improvised, but loosely based on/inspired by Thorpe by Kirsten Kapur (ravelry)
Yarn: An unknown dk weight superwash in off-white and a Louet fingering weight superwash soft green held together to make approximately Aran weight. Both were scraps from the stash.
Needles: Size 7 US bamboo double points
Started and Finished: over two days sometime in Dec 08.

I didn't care for the crochet border in a contrast color, so I left that out. To me, it looked sloppy just because that is how crocheting into knitting looks to me. I thought it looked cleaner without. I also did short i-cord ties instead of the braided ties they used on Thorpe. Knitting top down made it possible to leave stitches live for the ear flaps and then I just transitioned into i-cord when I got down to three stitches.

I almost always put ear flaps on hats. I love the way they look and they are so toasty warm. Usually I figure around 40% of the stitches are for the front of the face and then I divide the remaining stitches roughly into thirds--1/3 for each ear flap and 1/3 for the back (or a little more depending on how it looks to me).

I've developed my own techniques for ear flaps on fair isle or other hats with hems. I don't usually do ribbing on hats. Usually when I make the hem, I use waste yarn on the ear flap stitches on the turning row then I have two rows of stitches to pick up to make the ear flap double thick--makes it warmer and keeps it from curling. Looks very neat and tidy too. I'll try to take some pictures of my son's snowflake hat to show soon.

Interestingly, I was fairly certain both yarns were superwash. That they may have been, but probably not super-dry. They got tossed into the laundry with all of the other baby things* and the hat came out significantly smaller and denser. This necessitated making a second hat which I did just a few days ago. No pattern was used for that one either, I just winged it, comparing notes with the first one. I made the second one larger with wider and longer earflaps. He doesn't like wearing it either, but it is always handy for that quick trip in and out of a store or something. His little bald head needs something during even those quick excursions.

*Note to those knitting for babies. If even this hard-core, wool-adoring knitter can make such a mistake--so will the families you are knitting for!

Pattern: Tomten Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmerman (ravelry)

From: Knitting Without Tears/ The Opinionated Knitter

Yarn: 100% Wool--worsted scraps leftover from other projects for him, mostly cascade 220, but some brown sheep, some elann worsted and some knit picks worsted.

Needles: Size 7 addi turbos

Started and Finished: About three weeks, Fall 08

Harry said he wanted a warm sweater and I had been dying to make the tomten for some time. I was trying to be thrifty because at the time we were paying two mortgages and he said he wanted it to be blue and red and I just looked at the huge pile of blue and red scrap yarn and thought to myself, I might just be able to make this work!

I remembered reading--I think in Sally Melville's the Knit Stitch--about using three colors for stripes and how at the end of each row the next color would be waiting for you there. So, I divided the reds and blues into piles of light, medium and dark and started the pattern which I made a bit larger because my son is 5. I just followed the math proportions that she used, but started with more stitches. I originally wanted to do a hood, but there just wasn't enough red yarn left for that. Then I finished it up with applied i-cord all the way around--to which I sewed a red zipper that Harry picked out with me.

The whole time I was knitting I just wasn't sure if I liked it, but I kept going anyway. Once it was done and he tried it on and I wasn't looking at it from 12 inches away, but several feet away, I loved it! The single color striping is vibrant and very striking. It looks corrugated or something. He leaves this sweater lying around all the time and I don't mind because just the sight of it makes my heart sing. I'm so proud of this sweater. It is one of the best things I've ever knitted. And it fits him perfectly. Hopefully it will fit this spring as well. Then, little brother will inherit it and I'll get to use it again.

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