Sunday, January 17, 2010

Happy Birthday!

2 Years of Ian and Yarn


Two years ago today I had a teensy baby boy and my knit/crochet life changed forever!
I can't believe it has been two years!
I can't believe it has been two years and I've made so few things for my own kid! Bad needlecrafter Mommy! Well all I can say is that during this two years almost every person I have ever met had a baby and I felt compelled to knit or crochet something for almost all of them.
(We wont mention the things I started and still haven't finished.)
Anyway
Today is about Ian.
Happy Birthday, sweet boy.
Mommy promises to knit you some more stuff.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Emergency Hats!

So lately my knitting has been all about hats, because if you haven't heard, it is cold. I mean like, seriously cold here in Houston these days. Well, actually today it's kind of nice. It's around 41 according to Yahoo weather anyway, but even the fact that I am calling 41 "kind of nice" should tell you just how cold it has been. Because usually 41 means that I stay inside and don't go out unless I have to. But after three (or was it four) staight days of highs of 35 or so and that was for about 2 hours during the warmest part of the day just before the sun sets, 41 at 9a.m. sounds pretty durn good. Now I know, I know, for those of you living in Antarctica or Fargo or Germany or hell, even Kansas, you're thinking, "Hell! That's not cold! Yesterday we had a high of -25 now that's cold!" But here in Houston, it just never really gets that cold. It hardly even freezes. Our green stuff stays green pretty much all year round , true it's kind of a sad brownish green in the winter, but it's green, and if it dips down below 32 we all get a little excited and start sanding down overpasses and covering pipes and whatnot. You want to call us weenies and make fun of us for it, well, all right. But come talk to me next time you have one of your sweltering heat waves of 90 degrees, cause 90 is a cool summer day in Houston.

I guess the point I'm making is that it's all pretty relative. And the other point I'm making is that I did not have one decent hat to see me through. I've said before that I don't have such good luck with the hats. I just have a hard time making one that fits my tiny pinhead and looks good and doesn't itch my forehead like the dickens. And after a few misguided and ridiculous attempts in my early knitting career, I finally pretty much gave up on hats altogether. I did manage to make one, just one, that I actually like and wear somewhat regularly, but it's cotton and it's only good for regular Houston winters. I've blogged about it here. But mostly, I just go without because hell, we live in Houston. I mean no one ever really needs a hat in Houston, right? Wrong.
I needed a hat.
The boy needed a hat.
A warm hat.

Voila! A warm hat!

Simple Pleasures Hat



Simple Pleasures Hat

The pattern is Simple Pleasures by Purlsoho and it is aptly named. It was an extremely simple and pleasurable knit, well, except for the 6 inches of ribbing. I'm not particularly fond of ribbing, but let me tell you, it is worth it because once you fold that double strand of ribbed knitted wool and it covers your ears, it is wonderfully, blissfully warm! I used Koigu instead of whatever the pattern calls for because that's what I had already in my stash. For the fuzzy part I used Anny Blatt's Fine Kid instead of Kidsilk Haze because, once again, that is what I had in my stash. Both yarns worked beautifully as substitutes. And the Kid mixed with the Koigu makes a beautiful and also very warm material. I would love to have an entire sweater out of that stuff.

Maybe someday.

Close up of Emergency hat

The coolest thing about the pattern, in my opinion, is that it can be knit entirely on one size 6, 16" circular needle. Yes, my friends, one needle, no double points! Yes, the last couple of rows are a little tight, but as the pattern says, it can be done and I did it! Technically speaking, I was supposed to change to a bigger needle once I finished the ribbing, but I didn't because I didn't have a bigger 16" circular needle and I was not going to brave the frigid cold to go buy one. Nevertheless, it all worked out wonderfully in the end. I used a size 6 instead of the size 8 and 9 that the pattern calls for because, as I said, that's what I had, but also I have a strangely small head and I hate a too big hat. That sucker needs to be snug to keep out all the cold and wind. And the 2 by 2 rib has plenty of stretch.

The end result is pretty cute, too! If I do say so myself.




Simple Pleasures Hat



The boy also got an emergency hat:
Simple Hat by Debbie Bliss. The pattern can be found in her book, Baby Knits for Beginners. (From which I long ago checked out of the library and photocopied the patterns I liked.) This is the second one of these hats I've made for the boy. The first one fit him from the time he was tiny and actually still fits, but only stretched to it's limits and the yarn I used wasn't that warm. So I made him the next one using some stashed Lion Brand Wool Ease that I happened to have and I upped the needle size from a 4 to a 6 which made it perfect for his toddler head. I also left off the little nubby end this time. He's a toddler now. He should have the dignity of a nubless hat.

Non fuzzy pic of Ian's Emergency hat


Though I don't use Wool Ease anymore because it pills too badly and starts looking like something your grandmother might drag out of the attic to show you how cute and tiny you once were after about 2 washes, I really like the way this hat turned out. The variegated navy/forest mixed with the solid blue looks much better than I thought it would. Though honestly I didn't really care. I just wanted to use up some stashed yarn and have a warm hat for the boy.

Ian's Emergency Hat


He actually likes and wears his hat which is more than I hoped for!