Friday, March 9, 2012

Rib-A-Roni Hat

I have been on a hat thing lately! Making baby hats (10 last month) and just this week I finished a hat for Boy Wonder. *I posted this hat earlier today when I was switching to dpn's from the circular*
I like how the ribbing meets together at the top. It's a super simple pattern which knits up really fast! The ribbing is a little awkward at first - only because I've been knitting up baby hats with a 2x2 rib!! This one is k4, p1, k2 (3,4,5,6), p1 around.... which if you aren't paying attention.... now who would do that? Hm mm? Anyway... you can see where it may lead you astray!

I used the knitted cast on and although I'm not exactly ecstatic about that little bit of a rolled edge... the Kid loves it!  I am pretty happy with how this hat turned out overall! For the decreases the pattern says to use a p2tog-tbl which means to purl two together through the back loop.... say what? Every time I did it that way I ended up with an extra loop like a yarn over so I'm pretty sure I did it wrong! I ended up just purling 2 together the regular way and I think it looks great!

He even managed to smile in his new hat although he was very distracted by the television!
HERE is the link to the pattern. 
*apology here... DB this is NOT the same hat you are working on! I have 2 going on at the same time & I am doing the same as you... it's just not this one! *

Wrestling with half an Octopus

My friend Annie (who I miss dearly) taught me how to use dpn's (double pointed needles) way back when we were all in Monterey. She told me that it was a bit like wrestling with an octopus but once you get the hang of it, it's pretty easy! Especially for a crocheter like Annie!!
She was right! It is easy! AND it is a bit like wrestling with an octopus. Good thing we only have to mess around with 4 octopus legs rather than 8! Yikes!
IF you want to make hats, socks and really small stuff (baby hats!) you really need to know how to use dpn's. Sorry... but that's the way it is!
There are all kinds of tutorials online ( is my fav!) and you can even check out a book at the library. You can also just bite the bullet and buy a book - which I did!! I have Teach Yourself Visually Knitting (click on that highlighted text to go to the page at Amazon). I really like it and if I get stuck on stuff I usually go to that book first!
I'm getting ready to start wrestling with my own half of an octopus right now! I've been making a hat for Boyo - it's the same one that a friend of mine is making right now (DB!) It's a really easy hat, a simple rib that ends up looking pretty cool at the top. HERE  is the link to the blog where we found the pattern! Probably over on Ravelry too!
I started out using a 16 inch #7 circular needle! I love circulars but they only work for so long. Once you start decreasing, that cable gets in the way! It doesn't want to bend enough to allow small numbers of stitches on it. ~I did buy a really super short cable needle... my #8 9inch! But wrong size for this hat. Darnitall!!
Here is my (Boy's hat!) hat still on the circulars

Now I have to get all those stitches off of that circular (which holds them so nicely, I don't usually drop any... sigh) onto those 4 sticks... oh yay...

It's easy!! It is! It's actually a lot easier to put the stitches onto dpn's from a circular than it is to cast on all those stitches...just start knitting with a dpn rather than the circular end on the right!

Just follow your pattern using a dpn as your right needle and knit them all off the cable....

Pretty soon you have a bunch of stitches on your dpn and some left on your cable.... space them out! Put some on another dpn!! You should space it all out so you have a relatively even amount on 3 dpns!! Save that 4th one for knitting!! ****follow your pattern! Try not to start a new dpn with a purl stitch** trust me!!! AND the 2nd stitch on the dpn- pull it tight!! GRRRRR really tight! It will help prevent ladders. Which are ugly....

 Now that you have all of your stitches relatively evened out onto 3 dpns... don't count mine! I'm pretty sure I'm close, but definitely not even!!
Now using your 4th dpn.... knit away!!
Follow your pattern
Try really hard to not start a new dpn with a purl stitch!
When moving to the next dpn.... pull your 2nd stitch really really tight!
Around and around you go!!
It's a bit awkward but once you get going, it's pretty cool!! You can have small amounts of stitches on those needles and don't have to worry about your cable getting in your way!!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Spreadin' the Love...

My kid has always laughed at me whenever I get out the needles and string. He says it's dumb.
He also complains when he thinks I'm doing nothing but knitting. "How come I can't watch what I want on TV? You're only knitting. You're not watching it..." Um... pretty hard not to just answer with the standard parent answer.."I'm the adult. I can do what I want." The kid questions everything.
E V E R Y T H I N G.
So why was I surprised when he started asking about knitting needles and yarn?  He's been around them practically his entire life but why now? 
"Why does the needle go into the yarn like that? Why do you like yarn so much? Why do you knit all the time? Why? Why? Why? "
In order to de-stress (hahahahaha) I stopped at a local knitting shop a couple of weeks ago... just to look of course! AND of course I had the kid along. Sigh.
Boy Wonder plunked himself down on the sofa positioned right in a ray of sunshine and lounged. Loved it. Loved the sofa too, but he loved how the yarn sparkled in the sunshine. I could tell.  He kept asking me .......... why? Why does this yarn look so nice up next to this one? Why is this stuff thinner than that one? Why is there so much yarn in here? What's this for? What's that for.... on and on and on..... until......... nope! Nobody got annoyed or even irritated.
 Mr. M - the dude working in the shop that day, started talking back to Boy just like he was any other customer.   Pretty soon I noticed (of course I was taking my time... someone else was entertaining my kid!) that my kid was trying to convince Dude that I (yep Me!) can work  the shop so he (Dude) can teach Boy to knit.  "It's okay. My Mom can work the store while you teach me. Yep. She can." LOL
Well... I couldn't of course (could you imagine? I would still end up owing them money!) We left without scheduling because I totally thought the sudden interest in 'stupid ol' knitting' was just for that day. Um... yeah....
A couple of weeks later and the kid is still asking me about knitting. "When you gonna teach me Mom?" "Is today the day I get my knitting lesson?" Yeah...
Let me explain something here... he's a normal child. Doesn't listen to me except when he wants to. Doesn't clean his room. Doesn't do whatever I ask him to do without a hassle. Knitting lessons? From me? Yeah right. Keep on dreaming kid. No way I'm paying money to teach you something I know how to do and could teach you if I wanted to and it would be a total stretch of my patience to try and teach you myself....maybe when you're older.
Another week goes by.....
Mom.... Mom.... can I learn how to knit today? Please?
Note here: his room was clean. Homework was done - all WITHOUT a hassle. Wow. Really?
I gave him some yarn and some needles and tried.  I really tried. His little hands wouldn't do what I wanted them to do and rather than yelling and stressing both of us out............ I CALLED MR. M!!
I splurged. I spent my yarn money... boy was that hard!!! 
BUT... when he sat in the shop with Mr. M for over an hour, knitting away and smiling it was sooooooo worth it!!
Mr. M taught him a different cast on than what I use (long-tail) so at the very end I asked to be shown so I could help out the kid if he got stuck. Guess who taught me how to do it? Not Mr. M!! Boyo muscled his way right over and showed me (very patiently I must add) just how to do it!!
He's been knitting for a few minutes every day now! He knits before school instead of cartoons! Yay!! It's so nice to see him sitting and doing something with his hands that doesn't involve a whole lot of noise and wiggling! I'm not pushing him (that's hard too!) and I'm just letting him choose when he wants to do it! Maybe he'll keep this up?!!