Much-quicker-than-gloves hat

I thought I’d like to knit my Dad something for Christmas but wasn’t sure what. Then I came across a nice pair of gloves, bought the pattern and yarn, and then got stuck. I had no idea there were so many different sizes in gloves and I had no idea what size my Dad would be. I measured mine and my boyfriend’s hands and the sizes in the pattern seemed huge. I asked friends for advice, and everyone was extremely helpful. The pattern designer even spotted my cry for help and came to my rescue. I was all set to go. Then I started knitting. Oh my word. The whole glove is a rib pattern, so a bit slower than regular knitting (all that switching between knit and purl stitches!) and combined with the fact I was making them in 4 ply yarn on 3.25mm needles, it made for very slow progress. Once I realised this was going to take a LOT longer than I had anticipated, and still might not even fit, I abandoned that idea and put them to one side to make for my boyfriend at a later date (so I can measure as I go!).

So then I needed a different present for my Dad, when I remembered my friends had recommended the Turn a Square hat pattern (fortunately in worsted weight yarn so much quicker). So I chose some new yarn, and eventually got going. I only had a few days before Christmas but I was off work so could dedicate time to it. The cast on took a few attempts (the yarn was quite fluffy and split easily therefore I found myself knitting into part of the strand thinking it is a full strand), but I got there in the end and once I got started on the hat part it was all smooth sailing. The hat is a little long I think – it’s a bit too long for my boyfriend (in photo) and when Dad tried it on he had the same issue. I think if I was to repeat it I’d start decreasing a little before recommended in the pattern. I’m really happy with the colours though, and think I have enough to knit another one the same so may do that for my boyfriend.

Here’s the hat being modelled by my boyfriend:

Turn a square hat

Turn a square hat

And a close up of the stripes:

Stripes close up

Stripes close up

I can definitely see myself using this pattern again, especially with this sort of yarn so that the colour gradually changes as you knit. It’s a good project for trying a new type of cast on – the hat itself is really straight forward but the tubular cast on and rearranging of stitches is a little tricky if you’re used to just a long tail cast on. My project notes are in Ravelry.

Boozy warmers

Knitted gifts aren’t for everyone (though there’s many more options than there are with cross stitching fortunately). I wanted to make some accessories that anyone would appreciate. I did get some yarn and patterns ready to make Christmas decorations, though I couldn’t decide on what to make and many of them seemed to involve lots of separate parts and seaming (I *hate* seaming!). I did make this mini Christmas tree, but didn’t know what to do with it.

Teeny Tiny Christmas Tree

Teeny Tiny Christmas Tree

Then I remembered seeing some great little hats and scarves to put on bottles of alcohol which a friend had made. I dug out the pattern and gave it a go. Fortunately I’d got over my fear of stripes having completed the Nemo mittens, so I made three different sets of hats and scarves for various booze for family members:

Boozy warmers

Boozy warmers

My project notes are available on Ravelry. What’s even better is that they have been repurposed by my sister and her boyfriend, who have added winter accessories to their meerkat toy. Great to see them being put to good use!

Michael Meerkat with hat and scarf

Michael Meerkat with hat and scarf

Knitting updates – baby gifts

I’ve become a teeny bit obsessed with knitting and take it everywhere with me. I thought it was time I updated my blog to show some pictures of what I’ve been knitting.

The first items I finished were for a friend’s newborn baby. I followed the patterns from Knitty Gritty and made a hat, booties, and mittens. These were really quick knits even for a beginner knitter. I made a practice booty in a different shade first, and it went a lot better than expected (I didn’t think I’d be able to do it!). They’re all made in garter stitch with just a few decreases so very simple patterns.

I used Sirdar Snuggly in a cream shade (oh so soft!), and these are the finished pieces (apologies for blurry phone camera pictures):

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For some reason the hat came out quite large but other than that it worked well. It was really enjoyable to be able to knit something as a gift for someone and I’m sure I’ll be doing more of this as my technique improves and I get better at sizing.