Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Tiny New Baby Hat

Every hat I used to make for new babies never fit within a mile either way.  So I finally gave up, did some math and measuring, found the fit and style I found easiest on babies, and have been doing this hat instead ever since.

The Tiny New Baby Hat

Materials: Approximately 80 yrds worsted weight soft acrylic or washable wool yarn
Size 5 16” circular needles, and 4 size 5 double pointed needles, or whatever size needed to obtain gauge. (come on, do a gauge swatch… it’s for the baby!)
Stitch marker
Gauge: 20 stitches is 4 inches in stockinette stitch in the round.
Finished circumference: 13 inches; fits 14-15 inch head very nicely.
Size: newborn

CO 64 sts, place marker, and join to work in the round.
Knit all rounds until hat measures 4 ¼ inches.
Begin decreases, switching to double pointed needles when sts become too tight:
 (Knit all even rounds.)
Round 1: (k6, k2tog) around
Round 3: (k5, k2tog) around
Round 5: (k4, k2tog) around (If desired, switch to a different colored yarn at this point.)
Round 7: (k3, k2tog) around
Round 9: (k2, k2tog) around
Round 11: (k1, k2tog) around
Round 13: (k2tog) around
Round 14 and so on: repeat Round 13 until 3 sts remain.
Arrange remaining 3 sts onto one needle, and work an I-cord for 2 inches. Bind off, and secure end inside the I-cord. 
To finish, tie a knot in the I-cord, and weave cast on end into the inside of the rolled brim.

It is so satisfying to give new parents a hat that actually fits their child when they put it on that child in front of you.  You can smile and congratulate them, instead of apologizing and promising to make them a new hat because the one you made swallowed their child, or, the other scenario, your hat made their 1 day old baby look like a 1 year old because the hat was so small.
This way everyone wins, and you even made the baby a little cuter (if that's even possible, right?) with a little curly-q right on top. :)

Monday, January 30, 2012

Shroom to Sunday Swing to Herringbone

Finished my Shroom!  So excited to have a hat that fits, is warm, and looks great.  The yarn for this was very dreamy in feel and to knit with.

Still working on the Sunday Swing socks, and after (seriously, I cannot believe I did this) picking up the heel stitches and rejoining in the round completely BACKWARDS, I have rectified the situation and am onward to the foot!  My feet can't wait for these to be done.  And I'd better get moving because it's only luck that the yarn for my husband's socks hasn't arrived yet...

As if I don't have enough I want to do (and even more that I have, ahem, promised to others) I have joined a KAL to do this  

Nothing like a new complicated stitch for 60 inches to keep me on my toes!  So funny that this KAL starts on WIP Wednesday...

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Gaga for Garter Cowl

Finishing up another cowl today, and figured I'd finally get the pattern on here.
This cowl is super squishy because of the vertical garter, soft, and so warm.  It's just perfect for the winters around here, and quick and easy to do.  Nevermind that it looks great!  So why not knit one up? :)

Gaga for Garter Cowl

Finished measurements: 14 inches tall, 11 inches wide.

Materials: Approximately 160 yards super bulky soft wool
                  Size US 11 16-inch circular needle, or whatever size needed to
                  obtain gauge.

Gauge: 10 sts is 4 inches in garter stitch

Loosely cast on 36 sts. 
Knit back and forth in garter stitch for 22 inches.
Loosely bind off, leaving a long tail, and seam bind off to cast on edge.

Note: you could also use a provisional cast on, and then finish by weaving the cast on and the last row using the garter Kitchener stitch, if you don’t like seaming.

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

WIP Wednesday

Well, to start off with a finished object, I finished the Happy Feet socks.  They are too loosely knit, uncomfortable, and sure to have holes in no time, and I am severely disappointed.  In a flash of rage I drowned them in hot water and threw them in the dryer on high heat with a towel, doubtfully hoping to shrink them at least a little. 

Going to go by the gauge recommended in this amazing book, and no longer by what the pattern says when making socks.  The only socks I've made with a fine enough gauge my sister has, and her husband threw them in the dryer on her, and they're a bit snug on her now.  Geez, man.  Holding out hope for the Sunday Swing I'm currently working on.  And so begins the WIP's...

Sunday Swing socks (almost to heel of sock 2)
Garter cowl for my aunt (which is moving along nicely)
My son's socks are still waiting patiently for me to feel like continuing working on them....as is that mitten... Poor thrummed mitten that I want so desperately on those bustop walks, but that I have lost interest in knitting...

So today, started Shroom for myself in some lovely and soft yarn (I couldn't help myself.  You should see the god-awful hats I've been wearing to the bustop!)

Stay tuned for pictures of FO's and the beginning of those socks for hubby in the dreamy Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock.  (can't wait til it gets here!)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

a memory: homemade russian dressing

It's simple, but I love it.  One of my favorites from childhood is homemade Russian dressing.  Too easy, and nothing better on some crunchy iceberg.

Mayo, ketchup, pickle relish and a dash of Worcestershire.  Yum.  If the kids get the hot dogs they've been after me for, then I can have my dressing for the salad.  Here's to an easy supper!

Monday, January 23, 2012

their parents' hobbies

Kids got to have a little time with Daddy on the Playstation.  He started out showing my son the game, but, of course, my daughter would not be left out, and he let her "play", too, while he had his own controller (tricky Daddy!) 

It was even funnier when she started examining the controller and not playing, but she was still "winning."

I snapped pictures but didn't hang out there long.  I was working on a couple hats to be donated to a local woman's shelter, as part of a contribution the library is making.  I really enjoyed doing it, and am happy with how they came out. 

I usually put an icord knot at the top of baby hats, but this time it didn't call to me, and this one just has a smooth crown.  The woman's hat is a vanilla hat, but the yarn is fun. 

Next time we're down there for books I'll drop them off, but the kids aren't done with their books yet, and I'm still trying to memorize the sock book I got before I have to bring it back.  Finally going to make some indestructible socks!!  Stay tuned because the yarn's in the mail!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

WIP Wednesday

With poor circulation in my toes, and all the trouble that causes, the doctor recommended taking a break from my knitting for others, and knit myself some wool socks.  This Wednesday, I am actually getting somewhere on that.  I have just a toe left to do on pair number one.  The cuff and foot are done in Happy Feet DK, a yarn I fell in love with at first stitch, and the heel and toe are Vintage DK.

Pair number two began on New Year's Day last year, not this month.  (I have severe second sock syndrome, what can I say?) But now I'm feeling it again, and will do sock two (for me!  Woo-hoo!)  These are with Aslan Trends Santa Fe.

I've started a cowl for my aunt, which she requested after trying on my mom's; I have a secret swap project in the works; and I've got to do the other thrummed mitten (hmmm.... maybe I have a touch of second mitten syndrome, too...)
My kids' socks that I've started are getting dangerously close to the closet with all the works-in-waiting I've got in my head.

nothing like a good night's sleep

Mornings are hectic, and I have been thinking that I could use some time alone with my coffee before the kids get up.  Thing is, they get up awful early as it is.  Regardless, to this end, my husband got me an alarm clock for Christmas.  A big old bell clock.  It doesn't have a snooze button (which is probably a good thing,) but I can't imagine it won't wake me up!  I hadn't set it, or tried it out until last night though...

Last night, at midnight, my daughter comes down, "Mama!  I have to pee!"  So I was up at midnight.  At 3:30, my daughter comes down for the bathroom again, so I was up then, and couldn't get back to sleep.  Half hour later, I hear a crash and screaming cries, and I rush up there to discover that she had fallen out of bed while trying to put her handkerchief back on her nightstand.  So I said to her, "When you're finished with your handkerchief, just put it under your pillow, then you don't have to reach for the nightstand."  She rejected my suggestion, but as I said "under your pillow," I went into panic mode....

I was supposed to be the Tooth Fairy for my son tonight!!  Ack!!  I tuck her in and rush downstairs to the closet looking for his prize.  This meant I had to turn the light on, which thrilled my husband, let me tell you. 
My son has been known to wake up not long after 4:00, so I was hoping I wouldn't get up there and wake him while I was on my secret mission.  Once I got up there, I really had to dig under his pillow for the note we'd left (we had to write the Tooth Fairy a note explaining that he had lost the tooth, but now had lost it again, and hoped she'd still come.)  He moved a little, but all was well.  Back to bed. 

So to the alarm clock I went, figuring that since I felt so wide awake, tomorrow was a good day to try getting up early and having my alone-with-coffee time.  I set the alarm for 6:15, and went to sleep eventually.

At a quarter to six, my son rushes into the room shouting, "Mama!  She came!  Look what she brought!!" Okay, I guess 6:15 isn't early enough.  Tomorrow I'll try 5:30?  Ugh.
When he ran off to play, my daughter got in bed with me, and when the alarm sounded at 6:15, I realized we'd been lying there too long.  That thing scared the crap out of all of us!  However, it really didn't make me want to get out of bed any sooner. 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

sometimes you need a break

It gets crazy around here.  Lots of noise and demands and things to do, life.  Had a rare treat of a day to myself at home today.  The sun was shining, it was quiet, and I was in a good mood.  I got some things done in the morning, then spent a few hours at the kitchen table, listening to jazz and knitting.  It was glorious.

When I picked the kids up at suppertime (picked up takeout, thank you very much) I was calm and relaxed and happy, and the kids were happy and calm.  We got home and we all had a nice evening, and it was just all so nice.  Mostly, evenings around here are very hyper and stressful.  Everyone is tired and grumpy.  But this evening, just so nice. 

It was just the kind of day I have been dreaming about for a month, at least.  And it was just what I needed.  Sometimes we need to take a step away to be able to enjoy what we have, and we did, and we do.