Tweedy Lil’ Pumpkin Hat #2

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With the birth of my stepsister’s baby, I went into baby knitting mode.  One of the items I decided to include in the “Welcome Baby” package was one of my Tweedy Lil’ Pumpkin hats, size “newborn.”  I wrote up this pattern four years ago when I wanted to make my nephew a cute autumn-themed hat.  I haven’t made another since, mostly due to the lack of babies being born into our family, but also because I got wrapped up learning to make quilts and I’ve been doing lots of baby quilts instead of baby knits–but after spending almost all of 2016 making baby quilts, I decided to take a break from those this year.  Voila, back to baby knitting.

 

I love this pattern so much because it’s got classic, basic cables that always look good, and the yarn is DK-weight, which I prefer for baby hats because it’s just a tad less bulky, but doesn’t sacrifice on warmth.

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I went with two different colors this time with this Tweedy Lil’ Pumpkin Hat, the lighter orange and darker green available in Rowan Felted Tweed.  I now have scraps from both hats that I think will knit up nicely in a striped pattern next time there’s another beebs making a debut into the fam.

If you’d like to make a Tweedy Lil’ Pumpkin Hat yourself, the pattern is for sale on Ravelry.  I recently increased the price of the pattern, but you can get it for the original price of $2.50 until October 10th, 2017 with the promo code “babyknitting” (without the quotation marks).

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Happy knitting!

 

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The Story of the "He Loves Me" Yarn

As mentioned earlier this week, Michael had to go on a last-minute business trip to Hawaii.  For a week.  Before he left, he asked if I wanted any souvenirs and I answered with my all-time favorite answer:  “Yarn.”

I didn’t expect anything to come of it.  It’s Hawaii; and yarn…well, that’s kind of a colder climate commodity.  I put the notion out of my head and tended to the joyous week of single parenting.

When he returned (with an arrival time of 7:15 AM at the airport one hour away and on a Sunday when I was scheduled to hold a choir practice and also sing a duet in church…) and got to unpacking his suitcase, he presented me with a skein of yarn.  And an apology for it not being the kind of yarn I usually like.

He then proceeded to tell me the story of how he came to possess that skein of yarn:

He arrived in Hawaii on Saturday.  On Tuesday he decided to google for the location of the nearest yarn shop.  He left his hotel room at 4pm to go to said yarn shop and, after navigating the chaotic streets of Honolulu, arrived at the shop at precisely 6:05pm.  The shop closed at 6:00pm.

He pushed back his Wednesday morning meeting and set out for the yarn shop in order to be there when it opened at 10am.  He arrived at 10:00 on the dot, but the shop wasn’t open.  Figuring there was some sort of Hawaiian laid-back attitude in regards to opening on time, he decided to wait for the shop owner to show up.  One and a half hours later, he was still waiting.  It was then that he noticed that the store hours listed were for Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  The shop was closed on Wednesdays.

He walked in on Thursday at 10am and informed the shop owner that he wanted locally-dyed or spun yarn that was impossible for his wife to get in the State of Utah.  She said that a lot of people wanted that kind of stuff and that she tried to keep lots of it in stock, but he had happened to come to her store at a time when she had none of it in stock.  I’m not sure what kind of conversation and/or awkward silence followed that statement, but Michael’s telling goes on to say that at point she exclaimed that she might have one skein of something in the back.  “I’ll take it.”
When he presented me with the skein of yarn and apologized for it not being quite the right color, I silently agreed with him.  The turquoise was pretty and I thought the purple was sort of nice, but the blue-ink color was definitely not my style.  However, upon hearing his tale of his quest to acquire the yarn, my heart softened considerably and I pledged to make myself a hat from it and wear that hat until it died.
And so I proudly present the “He Loves Me” Hat:
Pattern:  Turn a Square, by Jared Flood

YarnNadezhda’s Crayon Box, colorway “Kahana Bay.”  (67% Cotton, 25% Wool, 8% Silk) and Berrocco’s Ultra Alpaca in “Lavender Mix” #6283 (50% Alpaca, 50% Wool) leftover from my mother’s Christmas Hat.

Needles:  US 8

Modifications:  I made the hat about 1.5 inches longer than called for so it could definitely cover the tops of my ears, and also have a little bit of extra space to accomodate any sort of pulled-up hairstyle.

Thank you Michael!
You are all sorts of persistent awesomeness!


Little Monkey Baby Hat for my Little Monkeyboy

Oh, the cuteness is almost overwhelming!

PatternLittle Monkey Baby Hat by Irina Poludnenko

YarnKnit Picks Swish DK in Bark, Doe, Charcoal Heather & Coal

Needles:  US 6 DPN

Modifications:  Braided earflap tassels instead of I-Cord.

Many months ago, I became aware of this pattern after mentioning at Knit Nite that I wanted to make a monkey hat for my baby boy.  Kit found this pattern on Ravelry and showed it me, and I knew I had to make it someday.

I then got the idea into my head that it would make a great Christmas present and strived to make it work, but I ran out of the dark brown color a few days before the holiday and had to wait for it arrive later.  (If I had been a little more frugal in my tail ends and done I-cord tassels instead of braided tassels, I’m pretty sure I could have completed this with just one skein of the dark brown…)

Monkeyboy seems to like it.  He likes to hold a tassel in each of his chubby little hands and then chew on the yarn.

The pattern is a little crazy; I don’t think I’ll make this again because it drove me nuts.  It seemed as though the designer was trying really hard to make the pattern fit onto one page of instructions, and so she’d leave out minor details or type multiple rows’ worth of instructions onto one line.  Yeah, you’re still technically able to create the hat, but it takes more mental energy, which isn’t something I’m in excess possession of when I sit down to knit.  Things like that in pattern are the little things…and the little things matter!

Liking the yarn.  Haven’t done anything with DK weight before, but I really liked how baby-perfect it seemed…sometimes worsted seems just a little too heavy for babies, but this weight is just one step lighter, so it feels like “baby-worsted.”  I basically have full skeins left of the Bark, Charcoal Heather and Coal colors and I’d estimate I’ve got half a skein of the Doe/Light Brown color left.  And it’s superwash merino!  I don’t know why, but I am feeling pretty proud that my little bitty boy has a nice, warm, wool cap for his head.  It just feels like I’m taking especially good care of him by clothing him in wool against the bitter cold that’s outside right now.  Mommy Success!

Gotta keep those chubby little cheeks warm & toasty too!

Edith Hats Galore

PatternEdith Hat, by Johanne Landin
YarnKnitPicks’ Palette in White & Bluebell, about half a skein each.
Needles:  US 1 & US 2

I made this cute little hat for my mother-in-law, who I have been promising a hat to for quite some time.  I went with the idea of making something that I really wanted so that I knew for sure that it was a good gift.

The problem with this gifting philosophy is that while you’re busily knitting away, you develop a sort of sadness that you will not be keeping the beautiful thing you are creating.  I would share my frustration at knit night as I plugged along–how beautiful the hat was and that I couldn’t keep it and would have to suffer my way through the pattern yet again when I embarked upon knitting it for myself.  (I’m generally not the kind of person who starts a project for someone else and then decides to keep it for myself…I would feel guilty each time I wore “someone else’s” project!)

So my knitting buddy made me one:

(And I totally stole the picture that she took of it for her Ravelry project page.  Hee hee!)

I almost cried when she casually flopped it onto the table and remarked that she had noticed that I seemed to really like the pattern and she figured that I’d appreciate it if she made one for me because Heaven knew when I’d be able to get to making one for myself. 

I was speechless.  (And that’s hard to do to me.)  I still get a little choked up when I put this hat on each morning as I head out into the bitter winter wind.  Especially since I’ve worked through the pattern myself and know how time-consuming and challenging it is…what a wonderful gift. 

Bluebird did me the favor of modeling her grandma’s hat for the blog.
Her verdict:  “It’s so warm and toasty, Grandma will love it!”

Seeing how my mother-in-law isn’t obsessed with knitting like myself, I don’t think she’ll get all emotional about her hat every time she wears it…because I’m pretty sure it’s kind of weird that I do that and we just don’t need any more weirdness like that in this world.  But hopefully it brings a smile to her face.  She has really pretty brown eyes and I think the blue will complement them ever so nicely.

It’s just such a beautiful hat, it even has a picot edging!  Oh, just lovely.  If I didn’t go cross-eyed while reading the pattern, I’d make a whole lot more.  Love it Grandma, love it…it’s destined to be a one-time-only creation.

(I wrote this post before I gave the hat to my mother-in-law and it turns out that I think she was pretty pleased with it.  And it fit quite nicely.  I’m kind of hit-and-miss with making things that actually fit other people.  Success!)

Bluebird’s Winter Hat: Molly Beret

PatternMolly Beret from Never Not Knitting

Yarn:  Knit One Crochet Too “Crock-O-Dye” in Tomato colorway (#250) & Dale of Norway Baby Ull in Light Peach (#3403)

Needles:  US 1 & US 3

Size:  20″/Small Adult

I buy our winterwear during the summer when it’s 80% off, which limits the colors we can purchase.  This year, Bluebird had to choose between white/gray, grass/lime or a peach/coral winter coat.  (She was not happy about this because she wanted pink or purple, but alas, those are the colors that sell out and usually aren’t available on clearance.) 

However, the Brooke family is well-known for its love of the color orange and she went with the orange-hued parka.  Upon receipt of said coat I began to wonder how in the world I was going to match any sort of accessory to its non-traditional color palette.

Bluebird accompanied me on my Yarn Quest shortly following, and she spied the Tomato Crock-O-Dye yarn while we were investigating The Black Sheep Wool Company.  She brought it over to me and announced that she had found the perfect yarn to match her coat.  I agreed that it did match, and complimented her on her good eye for color.

Bluebird browsed through the Ravelry pattern database with me and chose the Molly Beret pattern, which just tickled me to no end.  (I think little girls in berets are just one of the cutest things ever!)  I paired up the Crock-O-Dye with some leftover peach Baby Ull from the Peach Yoked Cardigan and was quite pleased at how well the two yarns matched her crazy technicolor winter coat.

All in all, I really like the finished product.  I made it a touch too large, but her head measured 20″ in circumference, which was the small adult size.  However, upon further reflection, one wants a hat to fit snugly and should therefore knit a cap one size smaller to assure a secure fit.  It still looks cute despite its super slouchy appearance.  She receives compliments on her beret every time she wears it and her little face just lights up with pleasure whenever someone notices her hat.  I have more than enough yarn leftover to knit mittens or a scarf, but I have other projects that need my attention first.  (And I’m already in the midst of a scarf knit with fingering weight yarn and I don’t think my sanity could handle casting on another scarf in skinny yarn.)
A friend laughed at me when I told her about my predicament in trying to find a yarn that would match Bluebird’s coat and quipped that not everyone frets about matching their children’s accessories.  And I guess it’s just not an issue to a lot of people, but I garner great satisfaction out of attiring my family nicely and I experience pleasure in knowing that I created those items myself.  It’s such a fun process to pick out the yarn and pattern together and then watch your child’s eyes light up while they watch you create something just for them. 
However, the other children become very vociferous with their requests for handmade items when a sibling’s project is on my needles.  Next up is a scarf for Penguin.  But knit in a very bulky-weight yarn.  I can handle that.

Roar! #2

Pattern: “Roar! A Dinosaur Hat,” by Kate Oates
Yarn: Knit Picks’ Shine Worsted in Green Apple & Grass
Needles: US 7

Even though Penguin is modeling the hat, I made it as a 4th birthday present for her future fiance, Will. He’s big into dinosaurs right now and his mom made a random comment after seeing Monkeyboy’s Roar hat that Will would totally love a dinosaur hat of his own. And seeing how she was able to deliver that comment without exuding any pressure upon me to actually make one for her son, I decided to make one because I wanted to make it.





I totally love this hat and I totally love this yarn.

Click here to view this project’s Ravelry page.

Penguin and Will have been intended for each other since before they were born, when Denise found out she was having a boy and I found out I was having a girl, due at the same time. (I went into labor a week early, she went into labor a week late…) I was thinking about this blog post when I stumbled across some archived photos from the first version of this blog (long since deleted), and found the following:

Holding hands:

This is from when we referred to the two of them as “Tank and Tink”:

And this happened one random day when Denise and I were messing around with her camera:

I’m a little concerned over how forward she was in kissing him first…

Totally meant for each other. I will make their boy babies lots of dinosaur hats. 🙂

Roar! A Dinosaur Hat

Pattern: Roar! A Dinosaur Hat, by Kate Oates
Yarn: Knit Picks’ Shine Worsted in Aquamarine and Clementine (60% Pima Cotton, 40% Modal natural beech wood fiber)
Needles: US 7

Talk about crazy cuteness! I saw this pattern while I was still pregnant with Monkeyboy; and, not knowing the gender of my little bambino, told myself that if I had a boy that I would definitely make this hat. Let’s just say I was all too happy to keep that promise and I plan on fulfilling it many times more after this initial completion. I LOVE this hat!

Of course, my darling boy looks completely adorable in it. (But really, with a smile like that, he could make anything look absolutely charming…) I plan on making the next one in a monochromatic color scheme…light and dark shades of the same color. (I’ve been told that this would make it look more dinosaury.) I’ve also had a request from one of my daughters for a pink version. This hat is a runaway winner!

The pattern is super easy to follow and the spikes are totally easy to make. (Perfection for a sleep-deprived mama such as myself!) Make one yourself, you’ll fall in love with it as well!

Click here to see this project’s Ravelry page.

Summer Star Hat

Renaissance has been so jealous of Emily’s “Rainbow” Inca hat and even went so far as to rifle through my yarn stash until she found the leftover yarn I made it from; which she brought to me and asked, with big pleading eyes, that I use it to create a hat for her.

Pattern: Summer Star Hat, by Mary Triplett
Yarn: Noro Taiyo, left over from Emily’s Inca Hat, Color #11, less than half a skein
Needles: US #6 DPNs

I found myself wandering aimlessly around the house after the girls had gone to sleep on Friday, so I sat down to begin organizing my knitting stash and discovered that I had this adorable little pattern crammed in amongst many other forgotten knitterly things. I cast on right then and there (about 11pm or so) and worked until about 1am. I then spent most of the next day working feverishly on it and finished it just before the girls went off to bed. (In case you’re wondering, that’s LESS than 24 hours…I felt like a super knitter, even though I never could have done it had Michael not taken over for the entire day while I remained curled up under my blanket with my project.)

Of all my girls, Renaissance is definitely the most knitworthy. She genuinely wants me to knit things for her and is giddy whenever I present her with a new handmade item. When I gave her this hat, she yelled “Yay!” and started jumping up and down, then had to run to the mirror to see how it looked on her and then insisted on wearing it to bed because she believed it would give her “good rainbow dreams.” You better believe that I’ll keep knitting for someone who appreciates it as much as that!

The pattern calls for a worsted weight yarn and #8 needles, but I figured it would turn out too small for my three year old, so I bumped my needles down significantly and spent a lot of time worrying whether it would actually fit her when I was done. Ren was only too happy to relieve my fears and try it on throughout its construction–she thought it was so funny to wear a hat that still had knitting needles in it! It fits snugly, but the cotton in the yarn is stretching each time she wears it and it’s fitting better with each day.

I think it’s just darling, even if the stitch is kind of annoying to work…knit loosely, very loosely! I’m definitely going to make some more of these; I think Rachel would be so adorable in a little yellow hat with an orange flower on the side. Perhaps I’ll make a wee little one as well in case Baby #4 turns out to be a girl; it’d be super cute on a newborn.

(I’ve also been informed by a certain five year old that it would look very good on her as well…in the same color, of course.)

Finished: Vine and Leaf Beret

Seven days of knitting frenzy equals one lavender beret. I got it into my head that I wanted to finish this before the end of the year, so there’s been a whole lotta clicking needles this past week.

Pattern: Vine and Leaf Beret (#11) from Vogue Knitting Fall 2009
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, Color #340033 (Lavender), 1.25 skeins
Needles: US #3 16″ Circular & #3 DPNs

This was easy, especially after wallowing through the charts for the Japanese Butterfly Lace Beret. You just do four repeats of a simple pattern and then switch into a pretty simple decrease modification of the same pattern. It was a nice “pick up and knit a few stitches when you have a moment” project.

Here’s a shot of it, fresh off the needles and before its wet block last night–very beanie-ish.

The yarn–oooh, smooshy, smooshy. Love it, even though it will split like crazy should you happen to make a mistake and frog and then re-knit it. If you’ve ever been in my house, you’d know that I love this particular shade of purple (it’s what we painted our great room). I was torn between the lavender and a beautiful light aqua color…perhaps I’ll just buy the aqua as well on the next trip up to my favorite yarn store, Black Sheep Wool Company in SLC.

I would totally make this beret again; it’s easy, a pretty quick knit and the yarn was really nice to work with. (I may actually be making a toddler version, as Renaissance stood by me for quite some time yesterday, asking if it was for her…guess she took a liking to it.) The brim is pretty darn loose though–I’ll probably knit it on smaller needles next time for a better fit.

Japanese Butterfly Lace Beret Delivered

I did it. I parted with that beautiful hat. It was the plan all along, but it was a test of personal accountability to actually follow through with my original intentions.

It was worth it. She phoned me twenty minutes later in a very happy mood and said that her gift was “exquisite.”

Good. 🙂