Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Hats and Stuff...

As I said, I am posting pictures of the hats and the headband I'm now working on.

(left is for Kid #1, right is for Kid #2)
I took them off the blocking board and they're just what I wanted. I think each kid will be pleased with them, and I think each colorway reflects the appropriate kid.

As I worked on Kid #2's hat, I figured out some things I would change, which were then implemented in Kid #1's hat. In the picture on the pattern, the braiding looked "beefier" and more masculine. In Kid #2's hat, it's a little skimpy, even though I used EXACTLY the yarn and number of strands they specified. Maybe, if I do this again, I'll beef it up myself.

So for Kid #1, I did I-cord for the ties and braids at the top. And the downside of that I-cord is that the braids were easier to attach! I also contemplated a picked-up I-cord border, but when I was at that point, the LYS was closed and I couldn't even get The Google to show me how to do that!! So his edging is the same. I am afraid he will just have to live with it.

Here's a shot of what the crown of #2's hat looks like. I like the fact that the blue bands pull out the blues in the variegated yarn. I am not completely pleased with the "jog" in the color changes, but the next time, I'll have time to work on the "jogless join" technique.
Frankly, even though the pattern said "easy" I wasn't completely sure how long these would take to make. Honestly? Even though I'm somewhat of a slower knitter, they took me less than a month, which means for a knitter who is at "normal" speed, probably 2 weeks if you have a full-time job and knitting gets stuck in where you can. For the speed knitters, perhaps a long weekend? I'll never know that! LOL
So here's a shot of the more subtle colors for #1. The grey/cocoa color doesn't really pull out any of the variegated tones, but it all blends nicely. Kid #1 is kind of quiet; he prefers subtle. Kid #2 teaches high school, so you know he's got to have a "larger" personality! I have enough of each of the variegated + the other colors to do sideways scarves for each kid, too. I'm not sure if men do matchy-matchy, but I figure I have to use up the yarn somehow. I can also make the wrist warmers they've been asking for.
Or, I could do the hats, just reversing the colors - and give them to charity. The yarn is Cascade Superwash, and if I had my knitting notebook here, I'd give you the colorways. Just suffice to say that Cascade Superwash is great stuff. It's not overly bulky, but it'll be very warm for them. And if it gets tossed in the wash, it won't be a "Barbie hat" -- they do their own laundry, and sometimes things get a little confused! (Pink jockey shorts, anyone??)

Here is the "hat" or headband I'm making for the GF too. It's out of the yarn from The Sweater...but a different color. She's a light blonde, so this will look very nice on her. (OK, as a side note, WHY is Blogger switching my settings every time I post a picture? It's VERY annoying!!)
The green color is springy - this isn't a winter hat. It's more of a headband and it showcases a provisional cast-on (that blue part at the bottom. You work this part to about 9.5" and then do the shaping, adding an I-cord. Then you pull out the provisional, and pick up the stitches to shape that side. At first, I was a little boggled, but it occurred to me that it all made sense about 2 a.m. one morning. Yeah, I know - I really need a full night's sleep sometime soon!

The headband is in a nice rice stitch, and the side detail is interesting. For the RS rows, WYIB, you slip 3 stitches, then start your K1, P1 row. For the WS rows, WYIF, you slip 3 stitches, then start your P1, K1 row. Always slipping the stitches purlwise works out to this lovely rounded border you see. This yarn is hand washable, and as long as she doesn't wear globs of goop in her hair, it shouldn't be something that needs to be tossed in the washer or the Woolite every week. I may actually get her a bottle of "Soak" and put that in the gift bag. Soak is what my LYS carries instead of Eucalan. Same principle: soak the stuff, wring and block or lay flat. No rinsing required. And the Soak comes in several nice scents.
One thing for sure, this project is working out nicer than The Sweater. I love the touch of "sparkle" in with the spring-ish tones of the greens. It will stripe, but then, it's not like anyone ever said, "Oh, horizontal stripes on my hat make my head look fat!"
I have the afghan squares at work; I decided that they would make a great "lunch" project, and frankly, work will be the only place I actually get them done. I have to lay out what we have already and figure out what we need and also if we're too heavy on some colors. It's for elkhound rescue, so if it's a lot of grey - what can you say? They're grey dogs!
After the headband, I can start one of the sweaters or one of the shawls I have planned. I talked it over with Hubby, who's now *almost* aware of the extent of my Stash (yeah, I know - but we're cool with it because HIS stash of electronic equipment staggers the mind). Anyway, we thought that it might be good to just pull one project and work it from start to finish, regardless of how long it took. I was aiming toward "work on a project for a month, then pull another one out of stash" -- and I can still do that if it looks like it's going to take longer than I'll be alive to get a dent in The Stash. Like one of my quilter friends said, "I have enough fabric for now, said no quilter - ever." Substitute yarn for fabric and you've got me covered!
Well, I'd better get myself to work and clear off a spot on my desk. I'd rather be knitting. But I have to pay for The Stash somehow!

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