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Friday, October 19, 2012

From heel to head--a stocking-turned-hat

I made my granddaughter's Christmas stocking a few days ago, in two colors and similar to the one I made for her brother last year.  

A couple more scrappy hats along with the stocking

The pattern got made up as I went along...and then I thought the leg of the stocking might make a good hat, and that writing it down might also be a good idea.  So...this hat is worked from the bottom up and is good practice for two color knitting. I used leftovers from the stocking, so you don't need much yarn--you could get even more creative and do each section of blocks in different colors if you like!
The smidge you see in the lower right corner is also a hat done with the same yarns--a crochet version that didn't turn out quite the way I wanted.
The pattern:

Materials:  worsted or light worsted weight yarn, 1 skein each of two colors (Model uses Red Heart Shimmer in Shamrock [color A] and Caron Simply Soft Party in Purple Sparkle [color B]; you will have quite a bit left over as well); 16” size 8 circular needle and dpns OR long circular needle if using Magic Loop, stitch marker

Gauge:  (not crucial but offered here as a guideline):  19 sts = 4” in stockinette stitch, working in round
NOTE:  For smaller hats (infant/child size), use smaller yarn and needles.   


Cast on 76 sts with color B. Being careful not to twist the work, join into a round and place a marker for end of round. Knit one round. At end of round, join color A (you can choose to carry the yarn you are not using up as you go or you can break color B and join it again later).

Using color A, work 5 rounds as follows: *K1, p1. Repeat from * around.
Using color B, knit 3 rounds even.
Next round: *With color B, k2. With color A, k2. Repeat from * around.
Repeat the last round twice more.
With color B, knit 3 rounds even.
With color A, knit 3 rounds even.
Next round: *With color A, k2. With color B, k2. Repeat from * around.
Repeat the last round twice more.
With color A, knit 3 rounds even.
With color B, knit 3 rounds even.
Next round: *With color B, k2. With color A, k2. Repeat from * around.
Repeat the last round twice more.
With color B, knit 3 rounds. Increase twice in the 3rd round as follows: [K37, kfb] twice (78 sts).
Break color B and continue working with color A. Knit 4 rounds even.
Begin decreases for crown:
Round 1: *K11, k2tog. Repeat from * around (72 sts).
Rounds 2 and all even numbered rounds: Knit.
Round 3: *K10, k2tog. Repeat from * around (66 sts).
Round 5: *K9, k2tog. Repeat from * around (60 sts).
Round 7: *K8, k2tog. Repeat from * around (54 sts).
Round 9: *K7, k2tog. Repeat from * around (48 sts).
Round 11: *K6, k2tog. Repeat from * around (42 sts).
Round 13: *K5, k2tog. Repeat from * around (36 sts).
Round 15: *K4, k2tog. Repeat from * around (30 sts).
Round 17: *K3, k2tog. Repeat from * around (24 sts).
Round 19: *K2, k2tog. Repeat from * around (18 sts).
Round 21: *K1, k2tog. Repeat from * around (12 sts).
Round 23: *K2tog. Repeat from * around (6 sts).

Knit one more round; bind off and break yarn. Thread a yarn needle with tail and draw through, pulling tight to close up hole. Weave in ends.

I've uploaded the corrected version--and I apologize for not proofing better!  I'd also love to see pictures of the projects if you make one! 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Yarn in the Kitchen

 Once in a while, I come across something I just have to try.  This time, I couldn't wait to give this a go:  Food Coloring and Yarn!

I can't expand on those directions, as they're terrific, so check out that post.  It took very little time and I loved seeing the colors change.  I waited until all the green got absorbed, then stirred the yarn around a little to find undyed parts, added blue and let the yarn soak it up, then threw in the yellow.  Here's what I ended up with.

This was a great way to get rid of a leftover box of food coloring--and a skein of Lion Brand Fisherman's Wool that I bought a while back (it was half price, and even though I had no clue what to do with it...well, if you're a yarnie, you know how that works).  I have always loved the idea of dyeing my own yarn, but I hate using chemicals and haven't learned enough about natural dyes to do much yet.  This seemed like the perfect medium to work with, since my last attempt (Kool-Aid dyeing) didn't turn out exactly as I would have liked (I think I needed more Kool-Aid and patience that time--I still have the yarn and will probably redo it to make the color more uniform and darker--sometimes, going for variegated doesn't work).

I wonder what this will knit up into?  I hope to find out soon!

Yesterday, I did some yarn inventory, too.  My stash dwindles a bit, but I haven't panicked yet; I have a good bit left and that will likely get me through the winter (two large totes should hold me a while).  I was amazed at how small but heavy a ball one gets from 1600 yards of lace weight (shot put, anyone?!).  I'll have more to say about that later, naturally...once that yarn decides what it wants to be.  :)

Currently, the project design underway is a triangle shawl worked in the round (I know, sounds weird!).  We'll see if and how my charting skills have improved shortly...

Until next time, keep 'em clicking!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Six months?!

I can't stand it.  Six months since I've updated, and I don't know where the time went.  Life has been busy, but six months?!  I suppose I've immersed myself in family, projects, and life in general to the point I wandered too far off, but at least now, here I am, back at the blog at last.  I hope no one holds it against me--I have the same trouble with keeping up with facebook, reading through and cleaning up internet bookmarks, organizing my mp3 files on the player, keeping up with laundry, going through closets...you get the idea.  Yes, I'm scatterbrained.  But I'm rarely bored, so maybe it balances out!

First, I'll get the embarrassing stuff out of the way:  the sheep bits of my last post are still bits, I'm rather ashamed to say.  Another idea came along, then another...I will finish them and write up a pattern, I promise.  As we're moving into cooler weather, I will be more inclined to stay inside, and that means I spend more time with my work basket.  I'm looking forward to that, even if I'm not looking forward to freezing weather.

Over the past few months, I have been knitting and crocheting in between all the other activities; a new vest is up on Ravelry,  called the Albuquerque Diamondback.

This shawl was an interesting exercise--my first charted effort:  
It started out as something completely different and then shifted...hence, the name "Accidental Shift" shawl, but I like the results!
Paloma (the sweater/hat set) came about because my second grandchild's birth in July inspired me to create another, more feminine set for our darling girl.  Since she's far away, though, this model posed sweetly so I could take photos.  I haven't gotten to snuggle the real baby yet, but I am thinking on how to make that happen!

We did make it away from home for a bit over the past few weeks, but summer hasn't been all fun and games, sadly.  I have a friend whose son was recently diagnosed with leukemia.  He's only three years old, and the family needs all the help and support they can get, so I'm pledging half the proceeds of all my pattern sales through October 31 to his support fund (see more and keep up with the story through the facebook page Caring for Caemon).  And to that end, I am feverishly knitting away at a new chart that I hope will appeal to you, and I will update this as I make progress.  You can also find me nearly every day under the username sorlenna at Knitting Paradise, a knitting forum where you can meet folks from all over the world.

Oh, and then there's that other idea...stay tuned!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Sheep bits

It's been a short, weird winter, and just when I was all set to switch over to cold salads and fresh fruits, visiting the farmer's market in shirt sleeves to buy them, Old Man Winter decided to return on the coattails of the crazy wind we had yesterday.  We're talking wind that takes down trees and power lines and snarls up traffic because the dust hangs so thick in the air the interstate closes down and the mountains disappear behind the wall of dirt.  Even with all the windows and doors closed, I could smell the dust inside the house and sneezed most of the day.  So, what to do on a day so foul?

Get out yarn, of course!  

I may have mentioned before that I have an incredibly talented daughter who draws most adorable critters, some of which we have, through our combined sewing skills, turned into stuffed animals. So when she showed me some sheep & alpaca sketches recently and asked if I could knit or crochet them, I immediately said yes.

Much swatching followed, with various stitches presented to her for approval, and finally we settled on one that makes the critters wooly.  Next came the construction:  sheep faces are tricky, it turns out!  But on the third (or was it fifth?) try, we think we have some workable.

These really are sheep bits, I promise.  And I may even get them put together sometime soon!

In other brief news, this isn't the only place I'm behind.  Yes, there are new designs in the works, but I am woefully behind on my typing (a side effect of my day job, which involves LOTS of typing) and have yet to post February's (and now March's) patterns to make my goal of one a month.  I'll get there--please just be patient with me.

Meanwhile, happy needling!