Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tiny Hats

We recently got a new nephew! Little Nephew HH was born on my husband's (30th) birthday, and he is very excited to have a birthday buddy. This little guy surprised everyone because (1) best guess had been that he was going to be a she and more significantly (2) he got here three full months ahead of schedule. Weighing in at just over one pound, Little HH is really tiny. He's more than two weeks old now, and he and his mama are in a great hospital. We haven't gotten to see him yet except through Facebook pictures.

So what does a knitter do when she worries? Knit something, of course. In this case, I knit a couple of tiny hats.

I started with the Care Wear Preemie Jester Hat by Cathy Gilroy from the book Knitting for Peace, and worked that as written in some yellow Dalegarn Baby Ull that I had in my stash. It actually ended up a little smaller than the pattern called for -- just a few rows shorter and it used every scrap of the color I had left.

It fit one of my old baby dolls very well, and my Lil One has since been having lots of fun with the doll. Mr. HH's nursery is decorated in a Snoopy theme, and this hat in this color makes me think of the little bird Woodstock.

However, the "Preemie" size as written in this pattern is much too big for the little guy. So I used some blue of the same yarn and made one about 2/3 size -- cast on 40 instead of 60 stitches, and made 14 rows in each part of the pattern instead of 20. Then, because pom-poms would have been overwhelming on this smaller hat, I improvised some tassels instead.

His Grammy believes this one will fit him.

Friday, April 8, 2011

2011 Washcloths - March Edition

The blog update is late, but the washcloth was finished on schedule. Just barely.

After finishing the toys that had to be done in March there were only four days left, so I cast on my stand-by washcloth pattern, the Ballband Dishcloth from the first Mason-Dixon Knitting book. For some reason this pattern seems to take no mental energy at all, and I cranked out a cloth in about two days. I modified the pattern slightly just to make the washcloth a bit smaller. Used the green yarn left over from January's washcloth along with a green-white-bluish variegated. I must have bought a half-pound of this variegated at some point, because I've had to re-roll it into a smaller ball and I still have quite a lot left. One quarter done, and I'm quite pleased with my washcloth project so far!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Rabbit Wrap-up

Well, I worked hard and finished the next toy just in time for the baby shower. Rather, just in time to decide that I was feeling too sick to go to the baby shower :( So I took some pictures and had him delivered later that day.

He's a little floppier than I had intended, but I can always stuff him some more if the parents want. Once again I have used Plymouth Encore Worsted Weight, my go-to yarn for toys. A wide range of colors and machine washable is a hard-to-beat combination for this purpose. It's also nice to knit with this yarn, and it's smooth enough to make a good surface for the toys. Worsted weight on a size 5 needle holds in the stuffing well. The vest here was knit on size 7 needles. Here's a side view so you can (kind of) see the pom-pom tail.

The pattern is Ricky Rabbit from Toys to Knit by Tracy Chapman. I've made several things out of this book, and I think the projects are all really cute. I don't think I'd recommend them to a beginner knitter, though. It's not that the knitting is extra difficult or tricky; although knitting shaped pieces for toys does require the use of many techniques, and that's one reason I enjoy it so much. In each of the patterns I've made from this book, there's been at least one point in the instructions where I've said, "Wait, what?" A point where I had to stop and decipher the intent of the instructions and couldn't simply follow the words step-by-step. It makes it a little more difficult, and a little more frustrating, but none of the challenges have been enough to make me stop knitting any particular toy, or to keep me from going back to this book.

I'm pretty pleased with Mr. Rabbit's bow tie. I have a pretty good ribbon stash. Mostly scraps and remnants, but not all, and so far I always seem to come up with the right ribbon for what I need.

Next up: Washcloth update, followed by more baby knitting.