Plane Knitting

Hat Brim

Gone are the days of me apologizing for how long it has been since my last blog post. I just decided I don't need to start each post off by apologizing. And, I'm not going to apologize for making hat after hat after hat after hat, because I like making hats. I definitely am going to dabble in some other projects this fall/winter, but hats are the "gift" of the year (or possibly several years). If you are special to me, and you haven't gotten a knitted hat yet, you can probably expect one at some point in your life. Don't hold your breath, and you can pretend to be surprised when you get it, and maybe you honestly will be, since the majority of you aren't reading "Mama Loves Knitting" in your spare time, someday you will (might) be gifted a hat.

Knitting Bud Lollipop

So, we traveled a LOT this summer. I know the last post was a knitting sesh on my lap and I was torn between knitting and reading the novel that everyone and their grandmother read over the course of the past year. The novel won, but I finally finished the hat (photos coming soonish hopefully modeled on the head of the recipient), so the next trip we took was to my little brother's wedding in Indianapolis. The knitting was the easier option since we had our kids along for the ride(s), no reading could be accomplished, well with the exception of My Father's Dragon which might be the best book ever (to read to your 6 year old).

Knitting Needles Knitting Nun Chucks

My family and I made my brother and his wife a pretty amazing quilt for their wedding gift, so...

Mitch's Quilt

I wasn't sure I needed to get another gift, so I decided I'd KNIT SOME HATS for them. Mitchell told me he didn't have a favorite color, which works out swimmingly for the above pictured quilt that he was the recipient of, but didn't work out so well when I was attempting to choose a couple of Shepherd's Wool colors at Joseph's Coat the day before we flew away from Missoula. He did tell me that Megan (his bride) likes greens and blues so I chose two colors that I thought looked fun together and I've been wanting to keep that ribbed hat for myself ever since I started it.

I plugged away on the plane after starting at least 3 times from the beginning because I cannot count when I sit next to my three year old. I plugged away while we sat in our big house surrounded by my family and all kinds of cozy. I didn't knit as much as I thought I might, as euchre was much more important, but I got a good start on Megan's hat.

Simon Spelling Spelling/Knitting

I plugged away on the way home whilst Simon spelled. This Mama Knitted! And since I got home from our trip, I've finished that hat and started Mitchell's that will be Ivory and Christmas Red Shepard's Wool, I guess you get the colors of your Alma Mater if you don't specify a fave. I am using size 8 circular needles, 16". For Megan's hat I cast on more stitches than I did for the boys' ribbed hats, even though now that I think about it, her head is probably not any bigger than Simon's melon. I cast on 80 stitches for Simon and Gus and for Megan I did 96, I think? And, I did a horrible job of decreasing up top, I'm a little bit out of practice. Don't worry though I'll be back in the swing soon.

I've also been plugging away on that sweater. I re-fell in love with that project last night while watching a movie. I also discovered while knitting Megan's hat that I can knit and watch a sub-titled movie, yep, pretty bad-ass, for a rookie. It is true that knitting is much more desirable when the weather gets colder. I have a lot of projects up my sleeve now I just need some cold weather and movies, with or without subtitles.

Baby Hats

Baker Yarn

I loved the way this handful of things all matched. Yarn-corn nuts-knitting bag from my sweet friend-cozy couch - ahhh! I'm making yet another hat for a doula client and I'm using some more of the yarn I got from Skyline Yarns . The doula client is less of a "client" and more of a friend so I wanted to make sure to use something special. This is a worsted weight superwash 100% wool yarn. Machine washable wool is the best! It says to knit with size 7-9 needles and I am using size 8 circular needles. I cast on 68 stitches to start this sweet little baby hat. Knit 2 Purl 2 round and round we go! It is still under construction as I type. This yarn makes a pretty amazing pattern, look at that beautiful stripe.

Variegated Yarn

I'm of course doing my favorite pattern - the good old ribbed hat. I love how stretchy they are and it just seems like a little person can get a little bit extra use out of a hat like this - it will fit for longer. I wonder what Karen used to dye this yarn, she dyes her yarns with all natural dyes - maybe carrots? Whatever it was - it looks delicious!

The second hat I wanted to make mention of, I whipped up in a couple of nights. It was for my last doula client and her sweet baby - Claira Rain - she was born a month ago (with the rain on April 30th) and I actually used the same yarn I used for the other Clara's hat. It is special Skyline Yarn again but a bit lighter weight, sock yarn, fingering yarn.

Skyline Yarn Hat

This yarn called for size 3-5 needles. I used size 6 circular needles to knit this up. Same pattern knit 2, purl 2. I think I got a little bit slack when I decreased and closed up the top, I'll have to look back at my old patterns when I close the hat I'm currently working on. It still looks pretty sweet on baby Claira's head.

Claira and Ilsa Baby Claira

Look at that sweet little newbie and her pretty Mama. Knitting hats for new babies is quick and easy and so fun. I remember when my midwife knit a hat for Gussy while I was in labor, and it is one of my most favorite sentimental keepsakes ever. It goes on the top of our Christmas tree every year. Here is a photo of Gus in his baby hat 3 + years ago. Maybe some of the hats I knit will end as tree toppers? Who knows, what I do know is those babies will have warm little heads.

Gus Hat

Happy Knitting!

Birthday Hat with Pom Pom

Knitting Progress

Birthday Hat takes on two meanings for me today. I made this hat for a friend for her birthday because as I mentioned before - why mess with success, when you are good at something you might as well make that useful thing for everyone that needs it right? Plus they are fun to make, so I made yes another ribbed hat. The second meaning is that I finished this hat while I was fortunate enough to be a doula at a sweet birth...so it is extra special to me. This was while the Mama was laboring for a bit in another room, I snapped my progress on my lap in the rocking chair in the dark room, in the wee hours of the morn.

Birth Knitting

It doesn't take me long to whip out a ribbed hat these days. One night and I can get one done from start to finish. This particular hat I cast on 68 stitches and k2 p2 the entire way to the decrease at the top. I used size 10.5 circular needles and I really just like the way these fit, they are snug and warm, so I'll keep making them. In fact I'm thinking about starting to sell them on Etsy just because I like to make them so much. That's when I ask myself, "Self, do I have time for an Etsy shop?" And the answer is as long as no one likes your hats you do!

Close Rib Peek Hat Green/Yellow Hat

I used Sheep Number Two yarn from the Sheep Shop Yarn Company. I love knitting with this yarn it is so soft and colorful! I used color number G026. I got it in hanks and just used my new tools (they'll be featured in one of the next blog entries) to turn it into a big yarn cake. Both times I've made hats with this I didn't even use a whole hank. The last hat was Lexie's birthday hat. It is made in Uruguay and 100% pure wool!

Now for the Pom Pom! I haven't ever made one before but I'm not sure why, it is incredibly easy!

Cardboard Wind Yarn Finger

So the first three steps pictured above: 1.Find a piece of flexible cardboard. 2. Wrap yarn around the cardboard (approx 50 times). 3. Remove the wound yarn from the cardboard. I just slid my finger in place of the cardboard - but you want to keep that wound yarn nice and neat for the next step.

Yarn Through Bundle Tied Bundle

Next step is just to tie a about a 12 inch piece of yarn twice around your bundle (through the middle).

Cutting

Finally you just cut the bundle (opposite side of where you tied it together). Then you've got yourself a pom pom. I just attached it after I cut it.

TaDa!

Finished Hat

What do you guys think? Etsy shop or no?

Dishcloth Increase/Decrease

Noro Yarn

So Loopy had a sale and I just bought all of this incredibly enticing Noro yarn because I never can resist it, and it was on sale! I have no idea what I'm doing, but I'm going to knit a sweater for my sweet husband! In order to even begin something so huge though I needed to really work on my increasing and decreasing. Sure, I decrease all of the time when I knit my hats, but I haven't had much of a reason to increase.

Amaizing Yarn

This yarn was my inspiration, well this combined with a very simple dishcloth pattern. This yarn is called Amaizing because it is made from 100% corn fiber. What a perfect time to make your own dishcloths! *Earth Friendly Dishcloths* during earth month - how fitting. I will never buy another dishcloth as long as I live. I usually get dishcloths by the handful whenever I visit my Great Aunt Jean - so she's always been my "supplier" but she'll no longer have to stock my dishcloth drawer. I'll forewarn you - there isn't the element of perfection I usually require, but it is a dishcloth and my first one using this pattern, so be gentle.

Dishcloth

So this simple pattern uses size 7 needles.

Cast on 3 stitches.

Increase Section: Row 1 - Knit 3

Row 2 - K1 M1 (increase or Make one stitch), K1, M1, K1

*Row 3 - Knit all stitches

Row 4 - K1, M1, K all stitches until one stitch before the end, M1, K1*

Repeat Rows 3 & 4 (between *) until you are half way

Increasing Start

Decrease Section: Row 1 - Knit all stitches

**Row 2 - K1, K2tog (knit two together), K all stitches until 3 stitches before the end, K2tog, K1**

Row 3 - Knit all stitches **

Repeat Rows 2 & 3 (between **) until you have 3 stitches left.

Bind off loosely.

So pretty simple, and really really quick! Since I didn't really know how to Make One (m1) I used this book as a tool to teach me.

Teach Yourself VISUALLY Knitting Teach Yourself VISUALLY Knitting

List Price: $24.99
Sale Price: $6.00
You save: $18.99 (76%)

 

I was increasing like a madwoman in no time! You can be too, if you aren't already. If the book doesn't do the trick I always watch You Tube knitting videos. You Tube is a really good teacher! You can make one of these dishcloths in one evening, so you could gift them or build up your supply at home. I have another washcloth that I made when I was just learning to knit (all garter stitch) and supposedly this yarn gets softer with each wash, but I don't find it to be incredibly absorbent, so if you like your cloths to soak things up (in bulk) maybe this yarn won't be your cup of tea. It is really soft though and I found a pattern for a handkerchief headband and it calls for corn yarn, so I'm planning to use this yarn to make that really soon as well.

Close up Dishcloth

It looks very pleasing to me close up.

So watch for my sweater progress, I plan to start soon. I have two other smaller projects that will happen within the next few weeks. A birthday ribbed hat - why mess around - when you are good at something might as well give that as a gift, right? The new endeavors are for people like Shane who will hopefully love it even if it isn't perfect, since he's married to me. Sucka!

Happy Knitting! Happy Earth Month!

Side Project

Yarn Ball

This yarn, from Purl, arrived in hanks - as it usually does - but Mama doesn't have a ball winder...or does she...My Ball Winder

Hank

I used my husbands arms and my hands to wind my own ball. Problem solved!

So after I had a ball I started knitting a little gifty for my Sister-in-Law for her birthday. Of course I decided I ought to stick to what I'm good at so I knitted another ribbed hat. Since this yarn is pretty chunky I used size 10.5 circular needles made from bamboo. My collection of needles is growing by the project. I knitted two, purled two the whole way around. I started by casting on 68 stitches (I think). I should always write down exactly what I cast on right when I do it because it immediately exits my brain and since I already gifted the hat I can't count how many I cast on.

lexhat2

Trying it on for size. It isn't quite done yet but I love the colors of this variegated wool. It is called Sheep Number 2, made in Uruguay. It has to be dry cleaned or hand washed in cold water. It is 100% pure wool and it comes in 100g hanks. I got it from Purl when they had their moving sale and I'm happy that I got two hanks of it, even though this project didn't even require one whole ball of yarn. I have a little ball left over and one whole hank for Shane to hold while I wind for another project. I've become a yarn hoarder, I need to do some serious knitting to start diminishing my stash.

The Finished Product

Happy Knitting! Happy Birthday Lex!

The Final Ribbed Hat

New Hat

At least for a bit. I will try and ease my desire to make another one. They are pretty darn fun to make, but I need to branch into something new. I'm thinking socks, mittens or toys. Knowing me I'll probably start with toys. Easter is coming so I'd like to fill baskets with knitted treasures - maybe some knitted sheep, bunnies and chickens. Fun!

Hat In Progress

This variegated yarn I fell in love with in Loopy I got a gift certificate from my good friend and used it promptly...how can a girl deny herself some yarn for free? It is Rowan Colourscape Chunky Yarn by Kaffe Fassett. It is 100% Lambswool, from England. It has to be hand washed and cannot be dried (which might be obvious). The color listed on the label is just Colourscape 0440. It was the yarn pictured in my post beside the bottle of bourbon, so I started working on this hat at Elkhorn Hot Springs. I couldn't finish until my double pointed needle collection arrived, I was using some size 10 circular needles, on loan from a friend, and didn't have the double pointed size 10 needles to finish my hat. Well they came in the mail, and upon using them for the very first time I got a sliver, kind of a drag, but I guess you get what you pay for. Luckily they are under warranty for a year so a new set is being shipped on Monday. They are U-nitt needles, just FYI. I was only using them to decrease the top of my hat - so I used them for about 1/2 hour and that was it. So that was a bit disappointing - but I did finish my hat! Oh and the pattern I used was just the same as I've been using for all of my ribbed hats, I just knit 2, purl 2 the entire way around. I can't remember how many I cast on with at the beginning, I want to say like 88? I just checked and it was 88. I might have actually done a little bit less if I had it to do over, but it fits alright. I just like hats to be nice and snug to keep my ears warm.

Top View HatSide HatTop Hat

This yarn had some variation in thickness so you can see it some holes - or what looks like some holes. I mean I'm not saying I'm a perfect little knitter heh...because I'm obviously not...but the yarn was to blame for some of the imperfections, but I think that actually gives the hat some more character, and I still love this yarn so much!

Just a few more photos and I'll sign off.

Another View HatFront View MamaFinal View

Look at that pretty color variation. Not sure who this hat is for, I thought it would be for me, we'll see...maybe someone special will get it, for now, I'll be the model. Something new and exciting to come soon.

We got our chickens a year ago for August's birthday, but they arrived two days early, so their birthday is really three days before Gus's...but for Gussy's birthday we had a coop building party, so in turn our chicken birthday is rapidly approaching. The kids already decided we are making them a special birthday cake, maybe Mama will knit something special to coincide.
Ooh and I have a whole mess of wool sock yarn on the way from Grandma Jan as a really early birthday gift. Yay!

My Boys - Ribbed Hats

Happy Knitting!

Here She Is!

Little Clara in her magical hat. Perfect fit. Perfect little angel baby. Sheesh I wish I could see your pretty little face in person!

Clara's Hat

So just in case you haven't been following this was the ribbed  hat that I made a couple of posts back.