Monday, March 30, 2015

40 in 40 2015 week 6

I have to say I have been really inspired by the completed hats that have been posted on the Facebook event page!  You are some seriously talented fans!  It was so neat to see that this challenge has benefited people all over the world, including Nova Scotia!

I can't believe there is only one week left.  While I look forward to being able to create in a more relaxed atmosphere, and to tackle some bigger projects, I have to say that I really love the intentional aspect of this challenge each year.  Praying over each item and knowing that I have been able to use the gifts God has given me to help someone else makes this period of Lent really meaningful to me - even when it gets hard to get it all done.

That being said, let me share with you my projects from this past week:

First up is the Aimee Baby Hat.  This is the second time I have made this hat.  The first I used Simply Soft yarn.  This time I used Bernat Baby Sport, a thinner yarn.  Both times the hat turned out to big for a newborn, despite the pattern saying it is sized for newborn to 3 months.  I love the heart pattern that goes completely around the babies head, but I definitely need to spend some time fiddling with my yarn and needles to make it smaller.  14 inches is to big for a newborn.

Next was the Divine hat.  This is available in preemie, newborn and adult sizes - all in the same pattern.  The ridges gently twirl around the babies scalp to come together at the crown.  A quick hat to crochet with beautiful results!

This is the Dania Beanie, available in newborn to toddler sizes.  I admit I am a sucker for the hats with bows!  I would recommend making the starting chain for the bow smaller, as you can see it dwarfs the hat.  Another super simple and quick crochet project.

  My 4th hat for the week is the Sideways Shell Baby hat.  Another quick crochet project.  The designer based the pattern on a Project Linus blanket pattern.  Wouldn't it be cute to make a matched set?

 And then I got on a knit leaves kick!  First up is the Baby Leaves II, which worked up a bit short for me.  So I continued the leaf pattern until after the first decrease on the leaf before beginning the ribbing.  I think I should have used a thicker yarn so that the leaves stood out a bit more.  Since I wasn't completely happy with this one, I tried a different pattern.

This one is the Embossed leaves pattern.  Instructions are given for baby to extra-large adult sizes.  I have to say I was much more satisfied with the way this one turned out.

So that is it for this week.  Only 6 hats to go before this year's challenge is over

Until next time,

Monday, March 23, 2015

40 in 40 2015 week 5

I spent the week really under the weather with a FUO, or Fever of Unkown Origin.  Yes, I went to the doc and as of Friday the lab results point towards some sort of viral infection.  Fortunately by Saturday, after 12 days of fever, I woke up feeling like myself again.  I played catch up towards the end of the week as I didn't really feel up to working on hats at the beginning.  I did manage to get all 6 hats completed though!

Do the Twist was first on my list.  This is the first time I have ever done a top down knit hat.  The designer incorporated a yarn over before every ssk to create the twist, but after I completed about 1/2 the hat I found I didn't like the large hole that left so I frogged it and on the second go around I used a M1 increase instead.  same effect with a smaller hole.  When working the bind off I would recommend using a larger needle and working it VERY losely, otherwise it will be very tight on the baby's head.  (Don't ask how I know!)

This is the Baby Swirls Hat, which is VERY similar to a tawashi.  It finishes up thick and warm, but it is a yarn eater and very monotonous to work.  If you can single crochet, though, you can totally make this hat!

Next was the So Soft Baby Hat.  You will need to join the Lion Brand website to have access to this free pattern, but it is worth the trouble to sign up and membership is free.  I worked 2 i-cords at the top and tied them in a bow rather than the single cord.  Pattern is available in small preemie to large preemie/newborn

This is the Baby Bear hat, a really quick knit using WW yarn.  And I am such a sucker for bear hats!

This is the Serendipity hat.  The pattern is actually for an adult size hat, but with a few modifications I was able to scale it down to newborn size.  To make it I CO 78 using a size 6 set of dpn and Beehive Baby Sports yarn, follow pattern as written until it measures 5 inches from beginning.  Then begin decreases at round 9.  You can use one color as the original designer did, or two as I did here.

And the final hat for the week is titled Seventh.  It is a pretty simple hat to work up using knit and purl stitches to create the pattern.  I used a mystery yarn that I picked up in a bag of mill ends.  I like the striping effect it has, but this pattern also looks beautiful with a solid color.

And that is is for this week.  See you next week!

Until next time,

Monday, March 16, 2015

Spirals pattern

Another free pattern for you.  This one is easily adapted to any yarn or size.  I'll give the pattern for a newborn size as I have made and at the end I will include directions to adjust.

You will need:
Light yarn #3   I used Bernat Baby Sport Yarn, Funny Prints
4.25 mm  G/6  hook
stitch marker

sc = single crochet
dc = double crochet
ch = chain
BLO = back loop only
FPDC = front post double crochet
BPDC = back post double crochet

You will be working in the round, not joining rounds.  Place marker at the beginning of each round

r1 - 6 sc in magic circle

r2 - in BLO (back loop only)  2 sc in each sc.  (12)

r3 - in BLO *2sc in first sc, sc in next.  Repeat from * around  (18)

r4 - in BLO  *2 sc in first sc, 1sc in each of the next 2 sc.  Repeat from * around.  (24)

r5 - in BLO  *2 sc in first sc, 1 sc in each of the next 3 sc.  Repeat from * around.  (30)

r6 - in BLO  * 2sc in first sc, 1 sc in each of the next 4 sc.  Repeat from * around.  (36)

r7 - in BLO  *2 sc in first sc, 1 sc in each of the next 5 sc.   Repeat from * around.  (42)

r8 - in BLO  *2 sc in first sc, 1 sc in each of the next 6 sc.  Repeat from * around.  (48)

r9 - in BLO  *2 sc in first sc, 1 sc in each of the next 7 sc.  Repeat from * around.  (54)

r10-18 - in BLO  sc in each sc around.  (54)

r19 - in BLO, dc in each stitch around.  Join to first dc  (54)

r20 -  ch 2, *FPDC , BPDC   Repeat from * around.

fasten off and weave in ends.

Adjustments for this are super simple.  Choose your yarn and a hook of the appropriate size for your yarn.  Measure the circumference (around) of the head the hat will be worn on.  Divide by 3.14.   Write this number down.

Begin pattern above.  After each round measure across your work.  When it reaches approximately the number you have written stop the increase rounds.  If necessary, continue the pattern set in r1-9 to continue increases.  (2 sc in first sc, 1 sc in each of the next 8 sc,  adding to the underlined number each round)  Once you have reached the end of your increase rounds simply begin working the sides by working one sc in each sc around (r10) until about 1 inch before the desired length.  Then work r19 and r20.

Until next time,

40 in 40 2015 week 4

Short and sweet this week, as I seem to be coming down with some sort of bug.  So, on with the show!

This is the Owlie, a sweet owl hat worked in WW yarn, making it a quick project. I only did about 1.5 inches for the rolled brim rather than the 3 inches the designer called for.  I felt that was a bit much.  The decrease section seems to be written incorrectly at the start. I placed a marker every 10 stitches and began every round of decreases with a ssk, knit to within 2 stitches of marker, k2tog, slip marker. Repeat around.  This put the decreases between the owls. I also chose to do about 2 inches of i-cord at the top and knot it.  If you chose to you could add some little buttons on each owl for eyes, but I didn't feel like it was necessary.

Next up was the Sedge Stitch Hat designed by Sarah's Sweethearts-one of my favorite designers.  (Remember the Princess Crown?   Same designer!)  I have used this stitch on many blankets and it is quick to work up and the perfect pattern to do while watching your favorite T.V. show as it is very repetitive.  Never occurred to me to work it in a hat.  This stitch lends itself well to any yarn, although I chose to use simply soft for this hat.  Sarah's instructions allow you to adapt it to any size as well.

This is Poppy, a pattern I have wanted to try for years but I was afraid of the short rows involved.  After spending some time researching the technique I gave it a go, and am pleased with the result.  The pattern is available in sizes newborn to 4+, and is one of the more popular hat patterns on Ravelry with almost 3,000 projects.

The Crochet Newsboy Cap is a quick project that would be cute on a girl or a boy.  The designer includes the pattern for an optional band and flower as well.

This pattern was an excellent reminder to me of the importance of doing a gauge swatch.  The Slipped Cable Hat  calls for sports weight yarn.  I chose to use Bernat Baby Sport in Funny Prints, only this sport yarn is more of a DK weight.  I didn't do the gauge swatch and ended up with a hat more for a 6-9 month than the 0-3 month size I was going for!  Love the pattern though.  I was a bit hesitant at first because there is no cable needle used in the pattern.  The cross overs are worked by actually dropping live stitches and picking them back up in the crossed position.  I am always afraid my work with unravel, but the designer solved this problem in the way she does it.

And the final hat for the week is my own Spirals pattern.

Until next time,

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

40 in 40 2015 week 3

This week I have another free pattern for you, and this one will remain free as I have no plans to adjust the pattern and offer it in different sizes.  :)  

It has been a week full of just about everything as far as the hats go.  I made a pattern that I really didn't like the outcome, one where the pattern was VERY difficult to follow, one that I fell in love with, and I wrote one of my own.  I'll let you be the judge as to which is which.  So on with the show:

First up is the Melika Baby Hat.  I chose to do the ribbed brim rather than the garter stitch border.  (Directions for both are included in the pattern.)  I really enjoyed this hat and found the pattern well written.  The pattern was just published last month so there aren't a lot of examples of completed projects yet, but I think that the pattern is going to become very popular!

Next is the Tidbit, available as a free Ravelry download.  Another knit pattern in which your color choice really makes the hat.  It is very simple and would be a great project for a beginner knitter.  AND it is available in larger sizes as well.

The Elaborate Spring Beanie was published earlier this month.  The pattern gave no yarn weight, so I used a DK weight yarn.  After some research I discovered I should have used an aran weight yarn.  However, if I had I don't think I would have ended up with a 3-6 month hat.  As you can see, this is a newborn size.  I will say this pattern is NOT written for someone new to crochet or new to reading crochet patterns.  I found parts of the pattern very confusing and difficult to follow.

Next is the Anthro Inspired Baby Hat.  I stumbled upon it while browsing Pinterest and gave it a try.  I LOVE the way it came out, but again had some difficulty with the pattern.  With 80 comments on the pattern page, many of which asking for a clearer explanation, I will again have to say this pattern is not for the faint of heart.  Although that shouldn't be the case because it is basically a granny pattern.  Here are my notes on the pattern:
I omitted rounds 5-7.    What is labeled in rounds 13-14 as a FPTC is actually a BACK post treble crochet. Working a FPTC does not give you the right look. I worked the BPTC for round 13 and a BPDC for round 14. I gave up on the flower. I just couldn’t wrap my head around the instructions.  Instead I used this flower.

This is the Simply Pink Newborn Hat.   I like the detail of the cluster stitches around the brim and the top of the hat.  It works up quickly and the pattern was very easy to follow.

My final hat for this week is my own design, Roots, available as a free PDF download from my Ravelry Store.  Inspired by a cable stitch I saw I decided to work it into a hat design.  When you view it from the top it reminded me of roots growing down into the ground, and thus it was titled Roots.  I used Simply Soft yarn and a size 6 set of DPN for the hat.  It is not a beginner pattern, but easy enough for someone accustomed to working cables.

So there you go, my hats for week 3.  I have to say that I have been really impressed with some of the projects being shared on the FaceBook event page and the Ravelry group page.

Until next time,

Monday, March 2, 2015

40 in 40 2015 week 2

This was the first full week of the project, SIX hats in one week!  I'll be honest with you, completing one hat a day this year is tough.  It is the first time I have done this project AND home schooled two children (1st grade and 9th grade), AND been an American Heritage Girls unit leader, AND helped teach a class in the girls co-op, AND prepared to lead a women's Bible study at church, as well as the normal day to day stuff.  Don't get me wrong, I love EVERYTHING that I do, and I am so not trying to say that I am any busier than the next gal.  What I am saying is that in years past it was a bit easier to fit it all in.  This year I have to be very intentional with my time, which may be a lesson in itself for me (wink).  I'll be talking about it Friday on Coffee with Christ if you want to join me.

So on with the projects!
 This is the knit version of the Pigtail Topknot Baby hat that I did last week in crochet.  I chose to only do the eyelet pattern once, around the brim of the hat, and to just continue in stockinette where the pattern did the repeat.  I have to admit that I prefer this version to the crochet one.  Using the Beehive Baby Sport Yarn, in Baby Grey yields a soft, lightweight hat perfect for spring or early autumn.  The pattern also lends itself to either a boy or a girl depending upon your yarn color choice.

Tuesday's hat was the Otis Hat designed by Joy Boath.  It is only available through Ravelry as a free PDF download.  I used a sports weight yarn for this example, but I think it would look better using simply soft and adjusting the needle size.  The cable pattern is on three sides.

Wednesday I made the Leafy Newborn Baby hat, also only available as a Ravelry download.  I don't think I knit at the same gauge as the designer as my hat definitely came out more of a 3-6 month size than newborn.  Still, the reverse stockinette background against the leaf design turns out rather pretty.  And I envision this Red Heart Super Saver Yarn in Gold to be a great match for an autumn hat.

This is the Buttercup Sun Cloche, also worked up using the Beehive Baby Sport yarn, this time in gray and pink.  The directions were a little unclear about where to put the dc's between the fpdc's (behind them please!)  The designer says that it is a great pattern for cotton yarn as well and I think that would be a perfect match.

Friday's hat was Bev's Easy Round Baby hat, which is a super simple, no frills hat.  You can't really see it due to my yarn choice, but the brim of this hat uses front post and back post double crochets to create a ribbed effect.  Your yarn choice can really give this hat a lot of personality.  The pattern is available in large preemie and newborn sizes.

First, sorry for the photo quality.  I realized after dark that I hadn't captured this hat.  :(  This is the Baby Flapper Girl Hat.  The example for the hat looks absolutely adorable, so don't base your opinion of the pattern on my finished hat.  The pattern itself is quite easy to work, and the hat goes quickly from the first to last stitch.  I made the newborn size, but as you can tell it ended up being a tad shorter than I would like.  This is one of those cases where the fault, I believe, is in the choice of yarn.  The pattern calls for a 4 ply cotton yarn.  I visited a yarn conversion site and discovered that both the brand suggested and the yarn I chose to use have the same wpi (wraps per inch) which has always been a great way for me to find substitute yarns.  I got tickled that I could use my lovely turqua colored yarn and set to hooking, WITHOUT doing a gauge swatch.  The result is evidence that you should ALWAYS do a gauge swatch.  Now, this hat won't go to waste as it is the perfect size for a large preemie, but definitely not a newborn.

So, why was I in such a hurry?  I actually made TWO hats Saturday.  The second is another original pattern that you can get a sneak peek of on my Facebook page here.  I am writing up the pattern and it will also be offered free until the end of the challenge.

Until next time,
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