My Sister and Her Family

26 01 2011

Every year I break out vast amounts of cotton to knit hypoallergenically for my sister, her husband, and her children. She has a tendency to shop around etsy and then email me pictures of what she wants, generally hats for the kids. This year though, something very odd happened. For her birthday, I knit her gnome mittens. Her husband usually trashes on hand knits, so I expected that he would make snarky comments about them, as did my sister. Instead he declared they would be perfect for keeping his hands warm while working. Who knew? My sister then requested a pair for him, so, of course, I agreed to knit him fingering weight, black cotton, endless-ribbing mitts.

A little bit later, somewhere between starting the mittens and finishing them, I saw my sister, and she explained that my BIL was concerned that his mitts would not fit, as he has very large hands. I assured her that I had made them large and that being done in ribbing, they would be very stretchy. This of course spawned a hilarious test run where we tried to fit it on all manner of things. (It turns out that my husband I could share them for instance, although it doesn’t quiet fit over my head). Anyway, the project clearly had to be retitled in honor of our shenanigans, and is now called Ham Hands. The pattern is Darryl with a “Y” by Pixie Harford; I knit it in Knit Picks Comfy Fingering Weight in Black on US 2/2.75mm.

ham hands

After I finished those, I started on the niece and nephew hat bounty for this year. All of the hats were knit on US 7/4.5mm with Hobby Lobby I Love This Cotton. Sure, it’s not snobby, but it’s soft, readily available, and comes in a nice selection of colors.

I knit Phoenix’s hat first. It was a Scrappy Happy Celebration Hat by Cosette Cornelius-Bates. I think the colorways were Sage, Dark Blue, Pale Denim, and Stone Wash. I made a few alternations to make it fit Phoenix specifically, which as best as I can read my notes was using a CO of 76.

nn10 01

Next I started Kenzie’s hat, a Rachel Lacy Rib Hat by Heather J. Spellman in Purple.  I couldn’t get gauge on it, so I finally ripped it out, and did a smaller CO  of 81 sts, approx circum 17” unstretched, her head is 20”. I hate picot edging, so I subbed in ribbing to match the established pattern, (k2, p1) around. I have a set of chart of approximate measurements for various size hats, and my child-sized hat gives a height of 6.5” (as opposed to 5.5”), so I made it a tad longer than written, about 6”. The floral embellishment is crochet.

nn10 02

Next I knit Caitlin an “Olivia” hat in Red, White and Black. This was another hat captured from etsy, so I reverse engineered it. I wish I had made the decreases a little more elegant.

nn10 03

I was excited to knit Caitlin’s next hat, which is The Hudson Hat by Lindsey Baker, that is until my sister helped Caitlin pick the colors. I actually was in the middle of assuring her that I Love This Cotton doesn’t come in 1980’s puke when she pointed out a couple of skeins that would match her vision. I promise I was not trying to deliberately deceive her; it’s just that my eyes refused to acknowledge the existence of colors like Carousel and Fiesta Print. I have to admit the final result isn’t that tragic; it’s just not something I would have knit of my own volition.

nn10 04

The last hat I knit was a copy of an etsy copy that I made for Phoenix last year for his birth. I knit it the same but increased the CO and length to fit his now 12-month-old head.

nn10 05

Notice anything wrong here? Yeah, three kids, five hats, meaning that I only knit one for Kenzie. Not wanting her to feel like she was missing out on something, I made her a little something extra for her present. I used a couple of the cute Mochimochi Land patterns to make her a tiny santa and snowman. Both were knit on US 1/2.25mm in Comfy fingering weight.

mochimochi mini 1

I purchased other non-knit presents for the girls, but I chose to make Phoenix’s Christmas gift. Using another Mochimochi Land pattern Ninjabun, I knit him his very own sneaky bunny.  This was also knit in I Love This Cotton on US 5/3.75mm. I think he liked it.

ninjabun 2

ninjabun 1

Whew! Thanks for joining me for this review of things I knit for my sister. I think there’s only another four posts to go before I’m caught up.





The Return of Christmas Knitting

25 01 2011

After taking a fairly good break from Christmas knitting, I picked it back up at the end of October. I actually was working on it so diligently, that I likely would have finished it before December if I hadn’t kept adding more projects to my list.

First up are a couple of hats that I knit for my husband’s grandparents. I let my daughter pick the yarn in both cases. The first hat is Rose Beck‘s Looking Glass Hat. I knit mine out of Malabrigo Worsted in Orchid 034 on US 6/4mm and US 7/4.5mm. The second is Marsan Watchcap by Staceyjoy Elkin. I knit mine in Stitch Nation by Debbie Stoller Bamboo Ewe in Geranium on US 7/4.5mm.

looking glass hat

marsan watchcap

Continuing the Malarigo love, I next knit my seventh (?) pair of Leslie Friend‘s toasty. The project was called Apricot Toast, a nod to the yarn colorway, and was knit for Bettye’s Christmas present; she fell in love with the color when we were shopping for yarn for her Melody shawls. They were knit on US7/4.5mm.  I’d like to note that I find the intended 11″ length for the pattern a little long, so  I usually chop off 1.5”, making it a total of 9.5”, and placing the thumb at 6.5″.

apricot toast

The next thing I knit was the already shared Cabled iPad Sleeve, but I mention it here because I’d like to note that I’m still planning on doing a giveaway for a sleeve. I used the yarn I had set aside for it for a last-minute gift, so I haven’t knit it yet, but I now have something special planned for it, so please do check back in February for details.

Somewhere during this time, Bettye requested another baby hat. I decided to tackle Knotty Baby Hat again. I called the project Knottier and used my gauge and math (see your math teacher was right, it does have practical applications) to tinker with the patterns so that they would fit for the specific sizes I needed. The first was a 6-12M size in Knit Picks Felici in Rainbow (a discontinued colorway). I was aiming for a 14”-16” head, 13.5” unstretched on 2.25 mm at 8spi, so I cast on 108 and knit 5.5” before starting the points. The second hat was intended to match Sofia’s handspun mittens. I adjusted it for a toddler size in Felici Sport in Sorcery for an 18-20” head, 17” unstretched on 3.25 mm at 6spi, so I cast on of 104, for a length of 6.5” before the points.

My complaint the first time I knit the hat was that the shift in the pattern to knit the points moved the “seam” line from the side to front and center; basically, the mild ladder that comes from even fairly tight circular knitting is now on display. This is easily fixable. Instead of following the pattern directions, halve the amount of the knit stitches (30 to 15, for example), and then put all the other bits on stitch markers as directed, and then you have another 15 live stitches which are the other half of the point. Your seam stays in the same place, and when you knit across the back set of the stitches (now it’s own round), each point has the same number of rows.

knottier 1

knottier 2

Next time: Knitting for my sister.