Monday, July 29, 2013

I Love This Pattern!

This pattern is Mixed Up May by Pat Salvatini, who is part of Hats for Sailors.

I have knitted 32 different patterns on my way to knit 100.  This will be the first pattern I knit when I am free to repeat patterns.  It was so much fun that I finished it in less than 24 hours!  It was very addictive and hard to put down.  I kept wanting to see the next color and pattern.  You can see from the picture that I used different colors for each pattern section, but I also used different colors for the sections in between.  It is a great hat to experiment with color and use up scraps of yarn.  I also think it would look great in one solid color.

Knitting all these hats, I have become either lazy or over confident.  I now only use a size 6 needle (that is probably laziness, why bother to get up and find other needles?).  I have a pretty good idea of how many stitches I need to get a hat of the right size and since it is going to a sailor, variation in size is not a bad thing (over confidence!).  So I never check my gauge (reckless?).  Maybe I should have.  For this hat, I used Cascade 220 superwash yarns for the entire hat.  It is a little thinner than some other yarns but I thought combined with my loose knitting, it would work out.  I realized when I was in the orange cabled section that the hat may not be big enough.  Thank goodness this pattern is easily modified!  I just added one more repeat to that section and the hat fits my head perfectly.  If I were to do it again, I might play around with the number of rows in different sections and see what happens (over confidence or reckless?).

Looking for a fun, addictive knit where you can experiment with both color and pattern but don't want it to be too complicated?  Give this one a try.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Hats I Would Knit Again - Part 2


Following up on last week's post, here are some of my favorite Watch Cap patterns.

Ribbed Cap by Judy Gibson - I already mentioned this one in a previous post.  It has two variations.  One is the basic Watch Cap and the other has garter ribbing.  I have made both and really enjoyed them.  She has a great tip on changing colors on a ribbed cap.

Classic World War II Watch Cap by Helen Waittes - I really enjoyed this pattern.  It is a slight variation from the usual k2p2 and it makes it more fun to knit and a great hat to wear.

Rib a Roni by Jane Tanner - I really loved this hat.  There is enough variation in the pattern to keep it interesting but it is also very easy to remember.  What a great combination!  There is a lot of opportunity for stripes.

A Hat Fit for a Boyfriend by Stephanie Nicole - This is a ribbed beanie.  I like beanies because they are quick.  This is a simple pattern done well so the resulting hat looks great and fits great.

Next week...a pattern I love so much it will get its own post!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Patterns I Wish I Could Knit Again, Part I

In last weeks comments, someone asked which patterns I would like to knit again.  I thought I would wait until I reached 50, but as I looked through my hats page I realized that I already have several favorites.

If you look at my hats page, you will see every pattern in the order I finished them.  You can tell I knit according to my mood.  From the bottom up, you move winter to spring and summer.  See how my colors brighten as the seasons change?

I would knit every one of those hats again.  They are all great patterns.  Even in that stiff competition, I have a few favorites.  Over the next few weeks, I will highlight some of those patterns.  And because I am a mood knitter (or is it moody?) I will sort them by my mood.

When my life is hectic or I know I will need to knit in a dynamic environment, I go for something simple.  There are lots of simple hat patterns out there and there aren't big differences.  But here are a few of my favorites.  They are all simple to knit with a great looking and fitting hat.

Elizabeth Zimmerman has guidelines in Knitting Without Tears for knitting hats that I have used many times.  I like the guidelines because it allows a lot of flexibility.

Turn A Square by Jared Flood - This is such a simple, basic beanie.  I have recommended it several times before on this blog.  You can stripe it or not.  You can use variegated yarns or one simple color.  It is always a great hat.

Scraptastic Hat by Jane Tanner - I really like the way she uses up scraps to make great color changes.  I knit so many hats that I have lots of scraps and changing colors keeps me interested.  A great, colorful hat.

Regular Guy Beanie - This is an aran weight hat.  I like using a thicker yarn for a quicker knit!

New Simple Pleasures Hat by Purl Soho - Although the pattern lists lace weight, I used worsted weight.  This pattern was recommended to me by Linda in Texas.  I used her suggestion to cast on 88 stitches and use #6 needles.  I like the large ribbed brim combined with the stockinette simple hat.

Next favorite Watch Caps.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Ribbed Caps

You may remember that I am knitting 100 hats from 100 different patterns.  Last week I was traveling and visiting with family.  I knew that if the pattern had any complications I would probably end up doing a lot of knitting and ripping.  I wanted a pattern that was simple enough to remember so I wouldn't have to check the pattern very often.

I had been looking at the pattern Ribbed Cap by Judy Gibson for awhile.  It is a basic Ribbed Hat or watch cap.  As I read the pattern more closely, I saw that there were two variations.  The first is a garter ridged beanie.

It is the first one I knitted and I really enjoyed it.  It is always easy to tell where you are and easy to remember.

The second one is the basic ribbed cap.  It is longer and with a brim and a simple k2p2 rib.

She also gives a great tip about changing colors on a ribbed cap.

These were #27 and #28 of 100.  I am really enjoying trying different patterns.  The only downside is when I find a pattern I really like, I have to set it aside and move on to a new pattern.  There are a number of patterns I have really enjoyed and will certainly come back to later.  This pattern, in both its variations, will definitely be one of those.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Happy Fourth of July!!!

I hope you have great plans for July 4th!  I am really looking forward to my annual picnic with extended family.  Our picnic has a long family tradition and so my thoughts have been swirling around family, traditions and our country's history.  

Our group started because of two amazing women who are mother and daughter and knitters.   Shanti writes the blog Adventures in Paradise.  Shanti is in the Navy and had the idea to provide a handmade hat to every sailor serving on the ship she would be commanding.  Lynne, her mom, helped make that idea a reality.  People heard about it and Lynne started receiving hats from all over the world.  I was one of those people and when I emailed Lynne for the mailing address, we discovered that we live a few miles apart.  I offered to help and so I joined many others to sort and pack boxes.  There had been such a great response, that we wanted to keep it going and Hats for Sailors was born.

Many of us are also tied to the US Navy or military by family members.  We hear your stories and I have my own.  We provide hats not only to show gratitude to the sailor who will receive our hat, but also in a personal way for those we know and love who have worn a uniform.  Our group's history extends beyond the two incredible women who started it.  It includes each of our stories and it goes back in time and extends out to others who serve. 

Knitters and crocheters also have a great history and amazing women and men who have come before us.  There is a tradition of knitting for our soldiers and sailors.  As I was searching for a new hat pattern, I came across this Navy Watch Cap.  It is an American Red Cross pattern from World War II.  That pattern and others from the American Red Cross are on this page.  I love the pictures that you can scroll through to the right.  On one of the posters, it says Knit Your Bit.  That's what we do, isn't it?  We knit our bit.

P.S.  If you are interested in reading more about World War II knitting, click on the link.