Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Throwing Caution to the Wind....

I'm not usually a 'make-it-up' as I go kind of knitter. Ha! I'm not really a 'make-it-up' as I go kinda girl period. I'm a total rule follower, direction follower and always a pattern follower... yeah. I'm a bit boring. A bit? Probably a lot!
Well... throwing all caution to the wind...
I'm knitting without a pattern!! Knitting without a net! I'm winging it!!  Wow huh?
Can you hear the angst? The jittery nerves? Yeah. Me too. Totally not something I normally do, but I'm doing it.
 ONLY because *you knew there was a disclaimer* I hated the pattern I had for the thing I'm making. H A T E D it. It was stupid with a capital S!
Okay, okay.. what the heck am I talking about. I started off going on a tangent about throwing caution to the wind, rapidly moved to hating a pattern....
 My oldest kid (Big Thing One aka BTO) now has a Little! Yes. I'm a grandma! Which totally means that I get to make stuff for the Little!! Yay! BTO & his Little live in Northern Michigan where it gets a little chilly in the winter. Which then means... logical conclusion here... hats! Hats are necessary to get little heads through a long cold winter! AND a hat is really easy to make and can be personalized in so many marvelous ways! Right?!  See where I'm going now? I hated the hat pattern I had, but wanted to make the hat. Little needs a hat. Can you say obtuse? Yeah...
BTO has always been fascinated by superheros and especially Batman so why not make Little a Batman-esque hat for Christmas?  I found a pattern online, more of a guideline rather and figured I could whip it up in no time! You basically cast on 31 stitches and knit in stockinette (that's knit a row, purl a row with flat stuff) for 4 rows. On row 5 (right side) you knit 8, cast off 6, knit 3, cast off another 6 and then knit the remaining. Now just knit in stockinette for 40cm. Once you're done you have a scarf-like thing with two holes that are supposed to look like eye slits (think Batman mask here okay?). Now sew up the side seams and WA-la. A Batman-esque hat.
Um... not so much. #1 problem... I hate sewing up side seams. It's dumb. Mostly because I don't do it very well, but in this case I made the hat in black. Black is hard to see. Problem #2, once said side seam was sewn up it left no 'give' for the hat to stretch around Little's head. Problem #3, I can't measure Little's head to get it just right... he's in Northern Michigan. Sigh. Dumb *$*#*&# pattern anyway.  Problem #4... nowhere online could I find a pattern that would work. Problem #5 I don't think outside the box with this stuff very often (sigh.. ever). Insert light bulb blinking brightly in my head! Why not make up my own pattern! A Batman hat would be oh so cute on Little! BTO would love it - even if it was knitted by me!! Off we go.... into the realm of making stuff up.  Eeeek!

This is the first attempt... not so bad, but I think I can do better... AND do it in the round so no seaming AND it will stretch a bit to fit Little's head.
This is my version!! Using #7's, 16-inch circulars (No seaming!!) and worsted weight black yarn (this is Wool-Ease) I cast on 100 stitches. Should fit my 9 year old okay so it will definitely fit a cute Little! Too big probably...
Another cool thing about knitting in the round means... no purling!! No seaming AND no purling! Winning!!
After casting on now, knit 4 or 5 rows, on 5th row (or 6th) just pick a spot where you want the eye mask part to be... I knit over from beginning of round to about the 25th stitch.. then I bound off 8 stitches (I wanted bigger eye slits), knit 5, bound off 8 more and then knit to the end. On next row I knit to the bound off stitches, cast on (onto right needle with backward loop) 8 stitches, knit the next 5, cast on 8 more and then knit to the end.
Now I'm just knitting around and around until I get about 40cm (I think) and then I am going to put all the live stitches onto straight needles and then probably do a 3 needle bind off.  The little ears may have to be tacked into place, but it should work. Keep your fingers crossed!
I don't have a completed pattern yet... it's a work in progress and I'm really going to geuss-timate how long it needs to be by measuring it on Boy's head and maybe the next door two year old! THEN I will post my final pattern and how to finish it all up!!

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