I have been so busy knitting things for newly arrived bairns, that my own gorgeous not-so wee one didn’t have a single hand knit item in his current wardrobe. Feeling—albeit a little irrationally—guilty about this, I dug out my stash to find something I could quickly turn into a warm winter beanie as the cold weather finally set in.
Katia Montezuma in #105. An impulse buy from House of Yarn.
I found this gorgeous impulse buy from House of Yarn, measured W’s seriously large head, and cast on.
This is a very quick knit, but I still managed to pick up some new skills along the way. I had never come across a provisional cast-on before. This is a nifty technique for keeping your cast-on stitches ‘live’ so you can come back and knit onto the other side of them later. A quick YouTube got me up to scratch. I watched this and this to figure it out. In this pattern it is used to allow a kitchener stitch grafting rather than a seam to complete the beanie tube.
I have to look up kitchener stitch every single time! Knit, slip, purl, purl, slip, knit.
I knit this up within a day and had just enough yarn left over to make two delicious tassels. I worked out how to do that by watching the video here.
Getting my provisional cast-on on.
His urge to take the beanie off matched only by my wish for him to keep it on.
Pattern: Pea Green Beanie by Michelle Dupont
Source: Twoandsix blog (found via Ravelry)
Yarn: Katia Montezuma in colourway #105
So, it turns out toddlers can sense your level of enthusiasm—even when you try very hard to act neutral—for them to love something and respond by immediately generating an equal measure of dislike! It took more than a month of offering this beanie before it was finally voluntarily donned! I should have known this given the number of times the nemesis dressing gown has been worn! But, I managed to finally get it on his head for some photos yesterday. Super cute, super warm. Even if it spends much of its life in a cupboard.
In recent times, I am increasingly becoming guilty of the knitter’s vice of buying yarn for which I have no particular purpose. I find it difficult to wander around a yarn shop without buying a skein or two. I am often drawn to hand dyed and handspun yarn which then sits unused in my front room as I’ve no idea what to make with it!
So in an attempt to compensate for this guilty pleasure, I decided my next baby knit was not allowed to result in buying yet more yarn. The answer was this perfect stash buster from Kelly Brooker. It is particularly fabulous for using up those little tidbits left over from bigger projects.
Pattern: Tidbit by Kelly Brooker
Source: Ravelry download
Yarn: Leftover 8ply scraps (various)
Needle: 3.5mm & 4mm short circular and/or DPNs
This is a beautifully simple knit and the pattern detail is very clever in that you don’t need to anticipate your yarn scrap running out as the pattern is achieved by simply slipping the stitches in the first colour for the first two rows of the second colour… no remaining yarn required! It is also brilliant in that the thickness of the band of the first colour can vary without any adverse effect on the aesthetic of the finished project. Absolutely ideal for using up random scraps of leftovers.
I have made two so far. One for my little man due in a few months and one for a little girl a friend is expecting around the same time. I’m very happy with them both and suspect there’s a few more to come given the large bag of leftover 8ply scraps I have accumulated!
My Two Tone Tidbits from leftover 8ply stash scraps. The thickness of the band of the first colour determined largely by how much of it I had left!
Having spent the last 12 months as a research fellow and then on unpaid maternity leave, my knitting projects have taken a slightly frugal turn and are, for the most part, directed at using up my current (rather excessive) yarn stash rather than buying new yarn. This has led to some fairly unsuccessful knits (e.g. 3/4 of a stripy sock aborted as I can’t for the life of me work out how to get the stripes to match up around the heel… of course rather insanely trying to knit from a pattern not written for stripes), but this little number is a winner.
Albeit rather silly and completely useless beyond the next week or two.
Pattern: Not Only Christmas Hat by Anna Rauf
Yarn: Sublime Cashmerino Silk DK (scraps from stash)
Needles: 3.5mm and 4mm 41cm circulars; 4mm double pointed needles for when the circulars get too big.
Having a son with an abnormally large head (yes, yes, it’s off the charts in his little Blue Book), I diligently measured his head prior to starting this knit (46cm! Lordy!) in the XS size (41 – 46cm). Despite that, a short way in, I checked the knit by trying to squeeze it on to him and the result was fairly instantaneous crying. Bad mum. So, I unravelled and ended up knitting the M size instead (48 – 54cm) and it fits without crying… just. So, I’d suggest measuring your intended hat wearer and going up a size (or two).
I also didn’t knit the tail of the hat as long as the pattern called for. My tail is about 11cm long, partly due to my stash running short and partly to avoid the tail being sucked and chewed on my the wearer. My pompom could probably not withstand the attack of slobber that would eventuate if W could see or reach it!
Pompoms are something I am no expert in and I find it hard to get them tied tight enough. The result is a pompom that is prone to shedding if pulled. Not ideal. This might also be because of the silk in the yarn making it a little extra slippery. If anyone has good pompom technique tips, please post in comments! I’m all ears!