Friday, January 12, 2018

Knitty Gifts!

Now that Christmas is over and presents have been opened, I can show you what I made for my parents this year.  It helps that they live in an area where they have cold winters with snow - they actually need warm items, and I cannot resist knitting hats.  The first two are what I made for my mom, and the last one is what I made for my dad.

I was scrolling through the new patterns on Ravelry when this hat jumped out at me - it was so cute, and I knew I had the exact same yarn colors in my stash - so I had to make it!  Plus, I was feeling a little adventurous after my success at knitting some baby hats that used the stranded knitting technique, so I thought I'd give this one a go.  You guys.  I was so happy with how it turned out!  And, even though I overthought the colorwork section a bit (seriously Shelley, just do what the pattern says), it ended up being one of my most favorite hats that I've knitted!  Here it is:
Pattern is Branta Hat, yarn is all Madelinetosh DK in Tern, Grasshopper, and Antler colorways.  Shown with the full brim/slouchy look, but you can also fold the brim over and give it a closer-fitting beanie look.
 
How about that pompom?  That thing makes this hat POP!  

I love the pompom, even though it's a mental challenge for me to make one - not because it's hard (I use a Clover pompom maker, easy-peasy), but because it uses so much yarn.  But this hat needed the pompom, and I can always get more lime green yarn.  What can I say, I might have a little problem with hoarding pretty yarn...

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This hat drew me in because of the top - you finish it completely different from normal hats, plus when you block it, you use marbles to hold the space open, which I fell for hook, line, and sinker.  I even ordered the exact yarn used in the pattern, which conveniently came with marbles.  Check it out:
Blocking, with marbles.  I'm sure you could use something else, but the marbles were a throwback to my childhood, so that's what I used.
Still drying...
 
 Pattern is Keepsies, yarn is Lemonade Shop DK, colorway is Stormy Day.
THE TOP!  I love it.

The pattern designer is a big proponent of swatching, which means to knit a sample using different size needles, and seeing which swatch produces the fabric feel you prefer.  She had a recommended gauge, which is amount of stitches per inch, and I kept hitting it with a variety of needle sizes, but I was trying to get this yarn to stripe, and I had issues with that - the fun colors kept not meeting to make the nice stripes.  I ended up trying it out with three different size needles before finally hitting on the right one - good thing I liked this yarn, because I had a lot of interaction with it before I really got started knitting the hat!

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My dad spends a decent amount of time outdoors in the winter, and I've knitted him a variety of hats - some are more beanie-style, some with heavier yarn, but for this one, I wanted to knit a hat that could either be a bit on the slouchy side, or worn as a beanie if you folded the brim over.  Because of that, I could use a pretty yarn and let that be the star of the show, so to speak:
I used the Branta pattern but didn't do any of the colorwork - it's such a nice-fitting pattern that I knew it would work out for this hat.  Yarn is Madelinetosh DK, colorway is Plaid Blanket.

The funny thing about these three hats is that I finished them all in about three weeks.  I'm not a fast knitter; I'm a "thrower" which is a slower way of knitting to begin with, plus I just don't speed through things.  So I was shocked when I ended up with all of my Christmas knitting finished in October - maybe all of the baby knits I did made me a faster knitter?  I don't know for sure, but it was nice to have everything finished and wrapped well before Thanksgiving for a change!

9 comments:

  1. I love all your knitwear, but right now I'm loving these hats! The middle one is a fun design, but the first one is perfect for the outdoor adventurer!

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  2. Love these hats! I’ve been in a knitting drought so I can’t wait to try these hats!

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  3. I'm envisioning that top hat with all sorts of colors against the grey - fuschia, turquoise, purple - so many options. You always put your knitting skills down, I think you do a fantastic job - no matter how long it takes to finish!

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  4. Your knits are all so professionally finished! I like all of them, but I love the colors and the style of the first one the best.

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  5. OMG. You make the best hats.

    I LOVE the first one!!!!

    You should start a business.

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  6. These hats are so cute! I especially love the pom pom hat. I already have a few like that, but can't have too many pom poms! Let us know once you do start a business, I'd love to have some Shelley originals :)

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  7. You made some great hats! What are the marbles used for? Do you end up taking them out afterwards?

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  8. I love that plaid blanket yarn! So pretty. It would be kind of neat to keep the marbles in the hat :D

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  9. WTG on getting these done so fast! And actually doing all the swatching on the middle hat. HUGE APPLAUSE! I most often skip that, unless it's a hat or something that has to fit a certain size. Ha! The top of that hat is SO fun!

    I was going to ask how you make your pom poms. I have tried by hand and they do NOT turn out good. I should look in to the thing you mentioned!

    I be they loved these!!!! They're all beautiful!

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