Dec 29, 2009

Hey There, NYC! (hat #28)


Because I've gotten a bit behind on my hat knitting, I opted to knit a few simple hats to get back on track. This nod to NYC hat, from Pickles, is one that my husband almost stole - he's picky about his hatwear, so to know he loved it was a great sign!  

Pattern: Hello New York by Anna and Heidi Pickles  
Yarn: Patons Classic Wool in Dark Grey Marl (held double throughout pattern)
Needles: US size 10 (6.0 mm), 16" circulars and DPN's

Notes:

I followed this pattern (minus the striping) to the tee until the end of the hat, when I ran out of yarn before I could finish the decreases the way they were written. I ended up having to tink back a few (hundred!) rows, and just decreased by k2tog until there were only a few stitches left. The hat can be worn as shown, with the brim folded up for extra ear warmth, or slouchier by unfolding the brim and lettign the back hang off. If I can pry it out of my husband's hands, I'll add it to the finished hats box!

Dec 28, 2009

Such A Square (hat #27)


Now that knitting for Christmas is done and finished, I can get caught back up with both finishing hats and getting them posted! I may have gotten a bit behind on my schedule, but that just means more hats in rapid succession will be posted to the blog!  

Pattern: Turn A Square by Jared Flood (free Ravelry download)  
Yarn: Lion Brand Fisherman's Wool in both brown and natural  
Needles: US size 6 (4.0 mm), both 16" circulars and DPNs  

Notes:

I knit this hat with a few modifications. First, to make sure the stitches were tight, I used one needle size smaller than recommended. I knit the stripes in a 5 rows/2 rows pattern rather than the 3/2 pattern called for, and I knit for 6" before beginning decreases instead of 5", to ensure it would cover the ears of whomever receives it. It's a great pattern, and one I immediately used to make a hat for my FIL (see this post), so you know I super loved it! Plus, it literally took me a day and a half to knit from start to finish - perfect for last-minute presents and challenges! {by the way - do you see that snow pile behind my husband? that's how deep the snow drifts and shovel piles are after this latest blizzard.}

Dec 25, 2009

A Few Christmas Stories

Oh, the weather outside is ....

Well, it's awful, to be honest. Several feet of snow, thanks to two blizzards back-to-back, and Zach and I are officially snowed into our home. Which is a wonderful way to spend our first married Christmas, if you ask me! But I wanted to pop in and share a few Christmas stories - I'll have several hats to share next week, but these were too good not to share!

 019 - copy

This is my nephew. He's four, and full of all sorts of four-year-old gumption. He saw me knitting a hat for one of my brothers a few weeks ago, and after figuring out it wasn't for him eyed it with lots of jealousy. He's figured out that hand-knits are super fly, apparently, and really wanted a hat of his own.

So on Christmas Eve, he tore into a box containing this hat and shrieked "MY VERY OWN HAT!!!" at the top of his lungs, while trying to frantically put it on his head. I couldn't even get a good picture of it, because he ran off with it on before I could stop him. This was him turning to me briefly and grinning before heading off to enjoy his toys.

 016 - Copy

And this is my father-in-law. He too has decided hand-knit hats are where it's at, and spent several weeks dropping none-too-subtle hints - things like "man, it sure would be nice to have a hand-knit hat in all this winter weather. Too bad I don't know anyone who knits!" were said repeatedly. I took the hint, and gave him this simple black number.

He wore it proudly, showing it off around the room, and finally had to take it off because it was so warm it made him sweat!

** **

The final Christmas story I don't have photos for. One of my husband's cousins sat down next to me and asked "so, what hat number are you on?", and I honestly almost asked her how she knew about the project! I forget that I was in the paper, that my family is proud of me and so follows what I'm doing, and that this is something I WANT people to know about - I've just been caught up in knitting away. So it was a wonderful Christmas surprise to know that family all over the area are checking in here to see which hat I'm on and to keep up with the project.

Merry Christmas!

Dec 21, 2009

New Recipient: Nest Maine

With the closing of Warm Woolies, I've been looking for a new place to donate the hats I've been making. Because of the book that is being made {more on this in the new year!}, I need to hold onto the hats until the project is almost complete, which means my original idea to donate them to a few different places isn't able to happen.

Enter Nest Maine.

This organization seeks to give warm handmades to those in need in northern Maine. Each fall they accept handmade goods that use all-natural materials - perfect for my all-wool hats! I got into contact with Jean, the group's founder, via Ravelry {love that spot}, and asked if she was going to be collecting next fall. She is, and so a partnership has been born!

All hats are going to be held until next fall, when the project is done, and mailed in one big box to Nest Maine. I'm excited to once again have a partnership for the project - while I kept knitting without one, knowing where the hats are going renews my desire to get them done faster than ever! Take a minute and stop over to Nest Maine's webiste and check out what they've been able to do in two short seasons!

With the closing of Warm Woolies, I've been looking for a new place to donate the hats I've been making. Because of the book that is being made {more on this in the new year!}, I need to hold onto the hats until the project is almost complete, which means my original idea to donate them to a few different places isn't able to happen.

Dec 17, 2009

Cables, Baby (hat #26)



Whew! It's been quite the two weeks, has it not?! Between the 25th Hat Celebration posts, my husband has been spending tons of quality time redoing our bathroom - he gutted it down to the bare bones {as we've had to do in pretty much every room in the house} and rebuilt it from scratch. In just two weeks. So I've gotten a bit behind on the hat posting around here. Not behind on the knitting mind you, just on the sharing. This week will continue to be light on the sharing, thanks to all the cleaning we've still got to do, and then the family that will be coming to town, but there will be much sharing soon! For now, though, I couldn't let another day go by without sharing this gorgeous hat:  

Pattern: Cabled Baby Hats, by Julie Hentz  
Yarn: Patons Worsted Wool in a pretty marigold  
Needles: size 8 (5.0 mm) 16" circs and dpns, my favorite bamboo needles.  

Notes:

I didn't make any modifications to this hat {for once!} - I simply followed along, letting the pattern take me where it wanted. I notice I knit the newborn size, but I think it's more of a one-year-old to toddler sized hat in my gauge, which is fine. The hat itself is super soft, and even with the cables and wider ribbing it's pretty stretchy, which means a child could wear it for at least one full winter, but hopefully two.

The pattern worked up fast and easy - although next time I'd make the ten-cable hat instead of the five, because I love cables that much! It's a great hat to knit for a younger kid in your world, and can easily be sized up for any head! The hat itself is super soft, and even with the cables and wider ribbing it's pretty stretchy, which means a child could wear it for at least one full winter, but hopefully two

Dec 9, 2009

Black Diamonds - #25


Oh my goodness! We're in the middle of the 25th Hat Celebration, and I still haven't introduced you to the 25th Hat!

Meet Black Diamonds. This is a pattern I wrote myself, and am now making a few more of to give as holiday presents. My first foray into stranded colorwork coupled with my first time trying to create a chart, I love the result - a simple hat that can be made using a multitude of colors for a multitude of looks.

I made this one simple - traditional black diamonds for the skier amongst us, and a grey background so it'll match anything and everything. It's a bit snug on my head, which means it'll fit a child perfectly. The next hats I make using this pattern will be a bit longer, and I'll knit the colorwork a bit looser.

 I'm pleased enough with the pattern that I'll be writing the pattern up for sale coming in early January. For now I'll be working up a few more as gifts and enjoying the fact that I'm a colorwork knitter!

Dec 2, 2009

Dean Street (#24)



She may not be modeled on my head. She may not even look like she's done. But this is hat #24. I've been battling sickness for a few days now, which is making it hard to get shots of completed hats. This shot was taken before the hat was done, so you'll just have to trust me when I say that it actually is.  

Pattern: Dean Street, by Nina Machlin Dayton  
Yarn: purple malabrigo, sent by Tri'Coterie  
Needles: size 8 circulars.  

Notes:

My cables turned out as regular cables on this hat, not with the fun swirlies like the pattern suggests. User error, I'm assuming. Which is fine with me, actually, because now I know how to make cables without a cable needle. FABULOUS! The hat is super comfy and warm, and I may or may not have been wearing it whilst laying on the couch trying desperately to will myself healthy. Hmmm.

Nov 30, 2009

Wurm (#23)


Using up a bit more of the never-ending skein of Fisherman's Wool, I whipped through the Wurm hat this past week.

Pattern: Wurm, by katushika (Ravelry link)  
Yarn: Fisherman's Wool, from my stash. The color is a white-ish natural color, and the skein has lasted for EVER.  
Needles: US size 6 (4.0 mm) circulars and dpns.

Notes:

I made this hat exactly according to the pattern, and other than feeling like the brim was taking forever {you knit it double, to make a super extra warm brim}, the pattern worked up wonderfully.

** ** ** Don't forget about the 25th hat celebration happening all next week - there will be giveaways Monday - Friday, as well as a Twitter-specific giveaway!

Nov 27, 2009

Felicity (#22)


Felicity has become one of the patterns I'm officially knitting for Christmas presents - a great hat, worked up fast and easy, and with just a few modifications.  

Pattern: Felicity, by Wanett Clyde.  
Yarn: Patons Worsted in a pink/brown variegated, donated by one of the aunts
Needles: US size 5 (3.75 mm) and US size 7 (4.5 mm) 16" circulars, and US size 7 (4.5 mm) DPNs.  

Notes:

While most people on Ravelry talk about needing a few mods to knit this hat up to their satisfaction, I made this Felicity with almost none, to see how the pattern worked up as written. I found that using Patons, which is a thicker worsted, made this hat knit up super thick and squishy, which is perfect for a charity donation hat. I can understand why most people size up to size 6/8 needles, however, and in the future will be doing just that I think.

My only complaint? That I used variegated yarn that pooled strangely through the increases. Need an example? You can see the pink and brown pooling on the side of the hat, which make it look like the hat sits a ton funnier on my head than it actually does. I think this hat is best suited to solid yarn, or yarn with slight hand-dyed variations at the most. Using a variegated yarn of this nature only emphasizes a part of the hat I think doesn't need as much emphasis as it's being given here. But that's not so much a pattern issue as a yarn-selection issue, now is it?! In the future I'll use Paton's again for this hat without reservation, although I'll be dipping into my solid-yarn stash for sure!

Nov 25, 2009

Walk In The Park (#21)


This hat worked up fast and easy, and is a great pattern for a slightly baggy hat.  

Pattern: Walk In The Park Hat, from Pickles  
Yarn: Araucania Nature Wool Multi {worsted weight, blue variegated} donated to the Project from Knitting School Dropout  
Needles: US size 8 (5.0 mm) and US size 10 (6.0 mm) 16" circulars and US size 10 (6.0 mm) DPNs  

Notes:

I didn't do anything different or special to this pattern. I cast on and knit according to the pattern all the way, and the only change I made was knitting until I was almost out of yarn before binding off, rather than knitting for the listed number of inches. I think if I had tracked inches, the hat would have actually ended up a bit longer, and if I were to make it again I'd make it about an inch shorter, so it worked out great for my needs. The pattern seems lacier than I'd want to use for a charity donation hat, but once worked up it holds in warmth quite nicely, I'd imagine due to doubling the yarn up throughout. I can't imagine anyone wearing this hat feeling the least bit cold!

Nov 23, 2009

L.A. Winters (#20)


Hat #20 is another milestone - I've officially completed 20% of the project. And to celebrate, I created another hat pattern! I've still got a few pattern details to work out before I share it, but I wanted to give you all a peek and talk about some of the finer features.

The L.A. Winters hat is inspired by a shot I saw of David Beckham on a gossip website. He was rocking the greatest beanie in the midst of Los Angeles fall/winter - where, to my understanding, people pull out winter coats when it's 60 degrees - and I loved the detail.

With seemingly random ribs running the length of the hat, I discovered some pattern to it, and started to knit almost immediately. The hat I'm wearing in the photo is the smallest version, and meant to be baggy on a child.

I love that the L.A. Winters hat can be made to fit closer to the head or super big and baggie, depending on your mood.

I'll release the pattern along with the big 25th Hat Celebration Blog Party I'm having the week of December 7th, so you've got a few weeks to wait before you can make one of your very own, but I figure with American Thanksgiving hitting this week, you'll have plenty to keep you occupied!

Nov 16, 2009

Aviatrix (#19)


Meet Aviatrix! With almost no mods to the hat, it worked up fast and wonderful - check out the details.  

Pattern: Aviatrix, published by Just Jussi {free Ravelry download}  
Yarn: Zealana Kia Ora Kauri Worsted Weight.

This yarn was donated from My Mummy Knits, and is made from Possum {not the American version, but a New Zealand animal with super soft fur}. My Mummy Knits has offered a discount in their shop for One Hundred Hats readers! Simply mention One Hundred Hats when you write your check-out comments, and My Mummy Knits will take 10% off your order between now and the end of the year!  

Needles: US size 7 (4.5 mm) and US size 4 (3.5 mm)

Notes:

This was such a fun pattern to use! I ended up making no modifications, and working the pattern as written, and I had no issues. The combo of the Possum yarn and the ribbing around the brim of the hat is quite honestly heavenly, and I can imagine some tiny child will be super warm and snuggly in this hat. I loved knitting it so much, in fact, that I immediately cast on two more Aviatrix hats for a commission I've had in my personal queue to make. Such a fun and easy pattern for babies/toddlers, I'll be making more and more of these in the coming years!

Nov 14, 2009

Warm Woolies Is Closing Their Doors

It's a sad day today. Warm Woolies is officially closing their doors at the end of the year. And so these hats I've been knitting must find a new home. Warm Woolies has operated for years, providing warm items to children in orphanages around the globe. I'm extremely sad to see them close up shop, and am sending my good thoughts to the people who have volunteered so much time to make the organization what it was. I will, however, continue to knit hats. I'm in the process of finding a new place to donate, and am feeling the push to move this project closer to one of the end goals I had for it. To make it more than just a space for me to knit, and to include the knitting community at large in the process. For the time being, I'll continue to update you with my progress in hat knitting, continue to plan the 25th Hat Celebration {tons of news on this to come next week}, and let you know as soon as I've got a larger plan.

Warm Woolies Is Closing Their Doors

It's a sad day today. Warm Woolies is officially closing their doors at the end of the year. And so these hats I've been knitting must find a new home.
Warm Woolies has operated for years, providing warm items to children in orphanages around the globe. I'm extremely sad to see them close up shop, and am sending my good thoughts to the people who have volunteered so much time to make the organization what it was.

I will, however, continue to knit hats. I'm in the process of finding a new place to donate, and am feeling the push to move this project closer to one of the end goals I had for it. To make it more than just a space for me to knit, and to include the knitting community at large in the process.

For the time being, I'll continue to update you with my progress in hat knitting, continue to plan the 25th Hat Celebration {tons of news on this to come next week}, and let you know as soon as I've got a larger plan.

Nov 12, 2009

Baby Beanie (#18)


Meet the Baby Beanie. I made several mods to this hat, and it turned out to be one that I loved knitting, and have added to my permanent knit file!  

Pattern: Baby Beanie by Ulli S. Shibuya. {this is a Ravelry-only download pattern.}  
Yarn: Cascade 220 in dark blue. I used approximately half a skein of yarn on this hat. This yarn was donated by Knitting School Dropout.  
Needles: for this hat, I used size 7 needles, both 16" circulars and DPNs.  

Notes:

This hat was originally intended to be knit with fingering weight yarn, on size 4 needles. It's meant to be a hat that fits a baby {hence the name!}, but as Warm Woolies needs hats made out of thicker yarn than fingering weight, so I sized the hat up by using worsted weight yarn and larger needles.

Cascade 220 knits up much thinner than I thought it would, and I probably could have knit this hat up with size 6 needles and made it to fit a smaller child's head. But I didn't know that before I started knitting with it, and so it's a bit thinner of a hat. Still thick enough to donate, but thinner than I'd thought it would turn out.

I loved knitting the pattern on this hat - a simple switch from knit to purl depending on the row, but it added a ton of fun and made the hat super enjoyable to knit. I've already got a few other kiddos on my list that would love to have a hat like this!

{Also, sorry for the crappy pictures. With the time change, it's dark by the time I get home from work, and so I'm trying to do self-portraits inside the house, without flash to wash out the knit stitches, and yet still keep them non-fuzzy. As you can tell, fuzzy still creeps in. Hopefully I can figure out a better photography system soon!}

Nov 9, 2009

Ribaroni (#17)


My rib-knitting still hasn't been worn out - I whipped through this hat in just two days, loving every minute of it! I knit up the "youth" size, which thanks to the slightly larger needles (I used size 8, the pattern calls for size 7) meant that an adult-sized head will fit it nicely. Perfect for growing older child-sized heads!

The yarn is some malabrigo donated to the project from Tri'Coterie Yarns (a Ravelry shop), and was a pleasure to work with. I love the subtle change in color that only a hand-dyed yarn will have. I swear I thought about keeping this hat for myself, but talked myself out of it!

Special thanks to Melanie, who modeled the hat for me, allowing me to interrupt her ice-cream eating and Dexter-watching!

Nov 5, 2009

Ribbed Beanie (#16)


I've been rocking the ribs lately - I don't know if I've got a hankering for something with an easy repeat or if I'm just feeling the ribs for their classic {and good for either sex} good looks. Either way, this light pink Ribbed Beanie helped fill my craving quite nicely. Made with Beaverslide Dry Goods McTaggart Tweed - quite a mouthful - this hat was equal parts pleasure and pain.

The pattern is wonderful, the yarn perfect and chunky, but somehow the combination did not please me. You may be able to notice the way the ribbing has a strange twist - right where the last knit meets up with the first purl on every row. I've been knitting long enough that this isn't normally a huge issue for me anymore, but on this hat it's all I can see. Might be why it took me almost ten tries to get a shot of the hat that I would like! Maybe I should have used a less-bulky yarn? Maybe I should have sized up one more needle, or sized down one? I'm not exactly sure, but if I make the hat again, I'll definitely make some adjustments.

Nov 1, 2009

Marsan Watchcap (15)


Specs: Marsan Watchcap by Staceyjoy Elkin. Made using one skein Reynolds Lite-Lopi and size 7 needles.

Oct 26, 2009

robin's egg hat (#14) - finished


Let me just say that possum yarn? Super soft and wonderful! I loved every second of knitting with it! Finished the Robin's Egg hat on Sunday, but didn't get the large black button sewn on until Monday.

I'm definitely slacking on my knitting lately - we've been pretty focused on getting stuff done around the house - and if I'm not careful I'm going to fall behind. But I just couldn't knit this one any faster; I really wanted to drag out the knitting of it I loved the yarn so much!

My husband tried to convince me to keep this hat for myself - he loves the color on me! I love the hat as well, although once again it's a bit too short. I'm concerned my head is larger than most people's at this point, because this is now the third hat I've made at least an inch longer than the directions call for, and it still doesn't cover my ears all the way. Maybe that's how most people wear their hats? All I know is that the hats for Warm Woolies need to be longer, at least long enough to cover my ears!

{side note: if you haven't read "The Hunger Games" and its' sequel "Catching Fire", head out to the store immediately and get them both. Along with some tissues. Amazing books, but both have made me cry.}

Oct 21, 2009

lace-edged hat (#13) done


Blurry thanks to a cat not wanting to suffer through any more photo-ops, the Lace-Edged Hat is done and off the needles!

I used up one skein of silky wool (DK held double stranded) for this hat, and the only changes I made? I made the brim pattern thinner (only two repeats instead of three) and made the whole hat a bit longer.

In general, I need to work on making hats a bit longer, I think, because they always end up just barely covering my ears, but fitting great around the circumference of my head. And with Warm Woolies wanting items that are a bit longer (to help protect that much more against the cold), getting that handled now would be a good idea.

On the whole, I loved this pattern - a fast knit, easy pattern for the brim, and classic decreases that are always satisfying. There won't be time between now and the new year to make this for friends, but its going on the list for next year for sure!

Oct 17, 2009

finished - boyfriend hat (#12)


We've been fighting sickness for a week in our house. It would appear that H1N1 has become the new fall flu in the Midwest, and people all around us are dropping like flies. So it shouldn't have been a shock when my husband came home from work on Tuesday with a bad case of it. However, seeing as he's the one in our family who is generally healthy as a horse and I am most often the one using up all my PTO on random sickness, it was both odd and weirdly thrilling that he was finally the one sick.
And sick he sure has been - just now he is at the store getting some decongestant for what has been his first trip outside of our house in four full days.

Through all this sickness, everything has gotten shoved on the back-burner. From laundry to knitting, I've spent the week trying desperately not to get sick {and, strangely, managing to avoid it!}.

I did, however, finally get the Boyfriend Hat finished. The only adjustment I made to the cap was to make it longer - and unfortunately, it's still probably not long enough. The hat is meant to be knit for 5.5" before beginning decreases, and I thought it said just 5", so I knit for 6" before beginning decreases. As the hat is going to Warm Woolies, however, I probably should have gone for about 7" before beginning decreases for maximum coverage. The hat is wonderful as-is, though, and so I'm not that upset. It just means it'll maybe have to be layered? I wish I'd gotten more done this week, but adding this hat to my "finished hats" box is a good way to move toward a new week, and hopefully a healthy husband!

Oct 16, 2009

For Today

{taken from the simple woman’s daybook.}

Outside my window … it has been drizzling this morning. The ride to work was a constant decision – do I run the windshield wipers or not?

I am thinking … about my sick husband hat home, curled under the blankets. He’s been down for the count for a full week now!

I am thankful for … not catching whatever he’s got!

I am wearing … a long-sleeve shirt, a cardigan, a scarf, and jeans. I love casual day at work, but wish the temps were warmer in here!

I am remembering … all the hats I wanted to make this week, but wasn’t able to. Caring for sick family comes first for sure!

I am going … to spend the entire weekend washing the sick out of our house and tackling a bit more of my knitting list.

I am reading … “Catching Fire”. It’s the sequel to “The Hunger Games”, a young adult novel, and I’m in love with it.

I am hoping … to get a few items on my “knit before the new year” list knocked off this weekend. It’s amazing how that list grows (it’s up to close to 70), and no matter how fast I knit, more and more seems to get added before I can finish stuff up!

Noticing that … we never really had either a spring or a fall this year. The weather pretty much went from winter to summer and now it’s heading back into winter again. yuck!

One of my favorite things … that whenever my husband is sick, the cats all burrow in next to him and try to simultaneously steal his covers and will him healthy with their purr-sleeping.

From my picture journal … the shot above is one I captured of all the ripple blankets I’m working on right now. One is for a couple we’re close with, one is for my husband, and the third is meant to use up all the leftover bits of acrylic I have found as I’ve organized and cleared out my stash of yarn. I love that I just can find knitting and crochet laying around my home like this!

Oct 14, 2009

blogger of the week!


just popping in really quickly to say hello to readers heading over from Handmade News, where i'm the featured as their blogger of the week! welcome!

Oct 13, 2009

finished - butterfly hat (#11)


Well, I said I'd be posting a lot of completed hats this week, and then the first thing I do is take a day off! It's been cold and drizzly, with a bit of snow and no sunlight at all the past week, which makes it hard to photograph knitted objects, but today at lunch I got a bit of sunlight, so I snapped this shot up!

Once I got the hang of doing the slipped stitches purl-wise (the instructions don't say either way, so i was slipping them knit-wise), the Butterfly Hat went exceedingly well. I'd already done one hat (for a co-worker's daughter) slipping the stitches the wrong way, so by the time I figured it out, I was ready for something to be easy. If you start out the right way, this hat goes fast and furious and turns out beautiful.

I used the Vampire Blood colorway from Tri'Coterie, which has a soft variegated look to it, and off-set the butterflies gorgeously. If you're looking for some new yarn, head to her shop and pick up some - it works up like a dream, I promise! I can't wait to use more of her yarn on future hats! In all, I'm sad to see this hat done, because it's been such a joy to knit. It's a perfect holiday present hat, as well, in case you're needing some holiday inspiration!

Oct 9, 2009

elsie's holiday hat contest winner


elsie's holiday hat, originally uploaded by craftyone77.
{this is a shot of the other hat variation}

since Valerie was the only one who entered, it looks like she's the winner of the Elsie's Holiday Hat contest. congrats Valerie - shoot me an e-mail at rmcdevineATgmailDOTcom so i can e-mail you a copy of the pattern!

{this has been a slow week with knitting hats for me. i plan to make up for it next week, so watch out!}

Oct 8, 2009

Elsie's Holiday Hat (10)



in honor of it being my 10th hat, i’m making up a hat pattern! see the blog for details on how you can enter to win a free copy of the pattern before i offer it up for sale!

Oct 7, 2009

i always forget to mention ...


So, yesterday I was in the local paper, discussing my passion for knitting and the One Hundred Hats Project. {hello to all you new readers who found me through that article!} I always find recognition a little overwhelming, and the unexpected attention this project has brought, a mere eleven hats in, has gotten me thinking.

I tend to focus on the *what* of the thing that I'm doing, but forget to tell people the *why* of what I'm doing. So today, here's a few of the why's.

* I spent formative years as a teen helping build houses and improve living conditions in several third world countries. My experiences with the children I encountered altered my view of what it takes for a person to be happy, and what I can to do further happiness in the world.

* I am someone who loves to give gifts. Whether that's buying a pint for a friend at the pub, hiding 50 Valentines around the room for my husband, or knitting a dog sweater for a friend's pooch, I love to give tangible things. So the leap to knitting for strangers didn't seem that far.

* I am consistently amazed at the large amount of good one handmade item can do for someone's spirit.

* Knitting has become my meditation, my strongest connection to the Divine.

but probably most important -

I have a brother who was born very premature. I was twelve, and he spent his first two months in a NICU. He, and all the other babes there, were gifted with tiny hand-made hats, booties and blankets, gifts from strangers who took the time to care about all these tiny little braying creatures, fighting for life.

That same brother is now almost 21, a pre-law history major in college, and an amazing and strong individual. I know that 20 years ago the survival rates of preemies wasn't what it is today, and that he is healthy and strong is something I never forget.

I also never forgot those handmade items. When I got into knitting, one of my first decisions was to knit for the babes at the NICU. Every time I walk onto their floor and get close to those tiny babes, I'm reminded of how lucky I am. I just wanted to share some of that luck with some newer additions to the world, and so I began to knit tiny hats and booties.

Charity knitting for me has become not just a way to give back, but a way to remember. It is a way for me to stand up, quietly weilding two sticks, some yarn and an ocean full of love and say:

"This child is important. This child matters. This sweater/hat/booties/vest I am making stands as witness to the fact that this child is LOVED and deserves to not only survive, but to thrive and excel."

It's my small way of changing the world.

i always forget to mention ...

So, yesterday I was in the local paper, discussing my passion for knitting and the One Hundred Hats Project. {hello to all you new readers who found me through that article!}

I always find recognition a little overwhelming, and the unexpected attention this project has brought, a mere eleven hats in, has gotten me thinking. I tend to focus on the *what* of the thing that I'm doing, but forget to tell people the *why* of what I'm doing.

So today, here's a few of the why's.

* I spent formative years as a teen helping build houses and improve living conditions in several third world countries. My experiences with the children I encountered altered my view of what it takes for a person to be happy, and what I can to do further happiness in the world.

 * I am someone who loves to give gifts. Whether that's buying a pint for a friend at the pub, hiding 50 Valentines around the room for my husband, or knitting a dog sweater for a friend's pooch, I love to give tangible things. So the leap to knitting for strangers didn't seem that far.

* I am consistently amazed at the large amount of good one handmade item can do for someone's spirit.

* Knitting has become my meditation, my strongest connection to the Divine.

but probably most important - I have a brother who was born very premature. I was twelve, and he spent his first two months in a NICU. He, and all the other babes there, were gifted with tiny hand-made hats, booties and blankets, gifts from strangers who took the time to care about all these tiny little braying creatures, fighting for life.

That same brother is now almost 21, a pre-law history major in college, and an amazing and strong individual. I know that 20 years ago the survival rates of preemies wasn't what it is today, and that he is healthy and strong is something I never forget. I also never forgot those handmade items.

When I got into knitting, one of my first decisions was to knit for the babes at the NICU. Every time I walk onto their floor and get close to those tiny babes, I'm reminded of how lucky I am. I just wanted to share some of that luck with some newer additions to the world, and so I began to knit tiny hats and booties.

 Charity knitting for me has become not just a way to give back, but a way to remember. It is a way for me to stand up, quietly wielding two sticks, some yarn and an ocean full of love and say: "This child is important. This child matters. This sweater/hat/booties/vest I am making stands as witness to the fact that this child is LOVED and deserves to not only survive, but to thrive and excel." It's my small way of changing the world.

Oct 5, 2009

holy yarn stash batman!

i've got Elsie's Holiday Hat done and off the needles, but won't be debuting the pattern until later this week. i'm working up a second hat with the pattern to double check my notes and test it out in a longer version - that way you'll have tons of options with the pattern!

because i'm not showcasing that this morning, i wanted to share with you some of what i've been doing this weekend. i sucked it up and put myself on a serious yarn diet last week - i have entirely too much yarn! part of going on the yarn diet meant photographing all the yarn i currently have in my stash (yarn i've purchased and yarn that's been given to me) and tagging it on Ravelry so i could find out just how much yarn i actually have.

y'all? this is just the wool for hats -


that's two file cabinet drawers (we use them to hold up our desk-top in the office, which is just a piece of formica kitchen counter-top) FULL of wool and wool-blends. and i know for a fact there's a box on it's way!

but that's the smaller stash. because after i got all the yarn photographed and the wool put away separately, i put all the cotton and acrylic into the closet in the spare room.


people, that's literally 44,000 yards of yarn. it's like a freakin' yarn shop! all the yarn in bins is yarn i've purchased in the last few years, and the skeins stacked on the top shelves is yarn that a friend of a friend found in their grandmother's attic and donated to me. much of this yarn will go to various hospital knitting projects, but i think i can knit for like FIVE YEARS and not have to buy any new yarn!

anyone have a stash problem as bad as me?!?!

{look for some photos of newly donated yarn from France and our first OHH Challenge prize sneak peek coming soon!}

Sep 29, 2009

boy hat (#9) - finished!


Knit smaller than the pattern, the Boy Hat was super fast to get both onto and off the needles. the crown shaping was different than i'm used to, bringing the ribbing together in a fun way and leaving a mini-star on the top of the hat (seen in the photo).

i used yarn that had been donted by Knitting School Dropout, but i think i picked yarn that was a bit too thin for the hat - it came out a bit flopsy and may not be suitable for the coldest of winter days.

the pattern is great for boys big and small, however, and i can see msyelf using it again, with thicker yarn this time, to keep more and more heads warm! i've got yarn wound up for hat #10, ready to go and ready for the contest, so look for that tomorrow most likely.

Sep 28, 2009

quick note

no, this isn't a hat - it's a baby sweater for a friend. i've got a hat off the needles, and will have FO pictures later tonight, but thought i'd post a quick note here about Warm Woolies.

their greatest need is items for kids ages 10+. i always forget that, and keep trying to make smaller hats for the littler set, which i then struggle to photograph because i am neither a small child nor do i have a small child.

but if i can remember to knit hats that are a bit bigger, that will fit on my head just fine, then i shouldn't be without a model for the rest of the project!

also good to note for those of you who are whipping up Stella hats for the first OHH Challenge.

speaking of the first OHH Challenge, i've got two yarn sellers on board with prizes, and i'll share photos as soon as i get the yarn in my hot little hands, so if you're still considering jumping on board with the challenge, now's the time to do it!

one final note - there's now a One Hundred Hats Ravelry group!

Sep 24, 2009

thorpe (#8) finished!


i got the last bits of Thorpe off the needles last night while watching catch-up episodes of Dexter with a friend, just in time for the photo shoot i'm doing today for the local paper! they're writing an article about the project, and i'll have more details once it goes live. i wanted to have this hat done in time for it, though, so i could have a new hat on the needles and be able to show off almost ten hats done in less than a month of knitting!

Thorpe was a wonderful knit. i used the smallest size, so it's just a bit too tight to fit on my head, which means a child just reaching double-digits should be able to wear it everywhere. the hat worked up fast, and it was fun to work from the top down.

i will freely admit it took several tries to get it cast on properly, as you're working with just four stitches on DPN's to begin with, but once i got the hang of that, the hat worked up like a dream! and with the crochet edging around the bottom, there were only negligible ends to weave in - you can just crochet them into the border as you go! all in all,

i can see many hats like this in my future. but for now, it's a photo shoot, and then hat #10! {with a little giveaway to go along with it!}

Sep 23, 2009

OHH Challenge #1 – Stella!

For our first ever One Hundred Hats Challenge, I’m asking that you knit up Stella hats!

This free pattern works up super fast, using only knit, purl, and k2tog stitches. It’s a great hat for a beginner to work on, because you practice working in the round, decreasing, and you still don’t have to know too much to get through it!

Between now and December 31st, knit through as many Stella hats as you can, and post each one to the One Hundred Hats Flickr Group. Each picture of a new hat will receive one entry into the contest, so if you make more than one hat, post them separately (I won’t count multiple pictures of the same hat as more than one entry)!

The Stella hat pattern can be downloaded free via Ravelry, or you can find the PDF for free on Knitting School Dropout’s blog for those of you who don’t yet Ravel.

Once you finish your hats, send them on to Warm Woolies:
Warm Woolies
5572 E Mansfield Ave
Denver, CO
80237

As for the prizes. I’m currently talking to several independent yarn-dyers about getting some amazing skeins of yarn to you guys as prizes, and I’ll be posting info on each of those as I get the okay. So for now, just know it’ll be yarn, and hopefully a lot of it!

There will be at least one winner, but the goal is to have three or four at least, so get to knitting. {also, I may or may not feature some of the finished hats here on the blog as you get them posted, so be on the lookout for some great community work, hopefully coming soon!}

Sep 17, 2009

pro bono hat - finished (#7)


got home from work, got Pro Bono off the needles! i made the small size, so it's stretching pretty hard to fit over my melon, which means a younger kidlet will be able to wear this bad boy for years and years! the simple 2x2 ribbing in the pattern, coupled with the gorgeous self-striping of the chunky yarn i used made me giddy the entire time i knit this wonder. there's enough of the Araucania Nature Wool Chunky left over that i might be able to push a baby hat out of it, which is wonderful since i LOVE LOVE LOVE the yarn!

Sep 16, 2009

Knitters in need!

before you read any further, go check out Cambodia Knits. It’s a blog run by Monika, who contacted me via Ravelry about some charity yarn. Unfortunately I didn’t have what she needed, but I’m turning to you, the larger knitting community, to ask for help.
Here, in her words, is her story:

I’m looking for bulky and super bulky yarn (again, I’m not sure if that what your friend has). My organization does not do charity knitting, but we are a social enterprise that helps women in marginalized communities gain access to flexible and fair employment that they don’t need to (because they often can’t) leave home for. This is in Cambodia where the access to yarn is all but nada. I’ve found some DK weight yarn in the market which is ok and we’ve made some finger puppets for sale. We’d like to get our hands on bulky weight so the women can make larger toys for sale. I bought some recently in Bangkok, but it was way too pricey since it was all imported from Europe and not many Thais are into bulky knitting…

So I don’t know if we meet the qualifications of a charity knitting org, but at this stage we’re a non-profit, where the income the women generate is just enough to keep us going, buy more yarn, train more knitters and expand the program.

I have a friend who is coming from the US in a few weeks so she would be able to bring some yarn for us if it’s available to us.

Have a look at the blog: http://cambodiaknits.blogspot.com to have a look at what we’re doing. It’s still the early days but we’re getting there.

I’d love to help her out, and am weeding through my stash in the hopes of finding any bulky weight yarn – if there are any knitters out there who have any they’d like to donate to her organization as well, contact me at rmcdevineATgmailDOTcom and I will facilitate getting the yarn to Monkia’s friend.

Sep 11, 2009

On Pattern Writing and Interviews

Today over at Shivaya Naturals there’s an interview with none other than me! It’s all about the One Hundred Hats project, and there’s even a sweet giveaway at the end of the interview.

With this, the second interview I’ve done in as many weeks, hitting the internet, I thought I’d pause from my knitting to talk patterns.

I’ve said it before and I’ll continue saying it until I’m blue in the face: there’s some amazingly talented pattern-writers out there all over the internet, sharing their brilliance with the rest of the knitting and crochet community. In recent months I’ve joined them, both giving away and selling patterns over at A Devine Life. It’s been so much fun writing patterns, testing them out, and seeing others love and use them, and I thought I’d bring some of that magic over to One Hundred Hats.

And so I’m not just using other people’s patterns for these One Hundred Hats, I’m going to write a few of my own as well! The first pattern will debut sometime in mid-October, and will be named by the winner of the Shivaya Naturals giveaway!

Each of the patterns I write (and I’m hoping for somewhere between twelve and twenty over the course of the year!) will cost $4. While most of the patterns I write are free offerings for the knitting/crochet community, I’m going to charge for these patterns as a way to raise money for Warm Woolies. Half the proceeds from each sale will go directly to Warm Woolies, as a way to help off-set the cost of shipping these hats to kids in need.

As I debut each pattern, I’ll feature them on both One Hundred Hats as well as on A Devine Life (my normal spot to feature new patterns) as a way to get the word out about both the pattern and the project. I’ll also partner with any blog that wants to offer a copy of the pattern up in a giveaway, in exchange for letting me say a few words about the One Hundred Hats project, interview style. Shameless? Possibly. But it’s also a great way to get the word out about the project, making stuff for others, and changing the world.

So be on the lookout for hat patterns (like the hat m y brother is wearing in the photo above) to start coming your way on a regular basis, beginning in October.

And super-duper thanks to Heather of Shivaya Naturals for the amazing interview and the opportunity to involve the community in this great way! Good luck to those who enter the giveaway!

stella - finished (#6)


didn't get pictures of Stella taken until after work, so they're a bit dark. couple that with the dark color of the yarn, and the pictures aren't all that good. however, the hat? it's wonderful!!

the pattern is super fun to knit, easy to memorize and works up super fast. i'm still hung up on the cuteness of using yarn from the hat pattern designer as possibly the cutest thing ever, too.

i'll most likely end up adding some of this Cascade yarn to my stash for future projects after i bust through more of the yarn i've already got, i loved it so much. for those of you wanting to knit hats along with me, this would be a perfect pattern to start with. simple knits and purls, easily repeatable, this hat would look great with variegated or solid yarns and works up pretty fast!

Sep 10, 2009

Cubba, In Process (#5)

You may notice that Cubba looks a bit different than it did last time you met it. the yarn, possibly? And yes, you are right. It is very different.

See, I might have picked out the yarn before reading the pattern closely (what? you know you’ve done it!) and, as it turns out, the pattern calls for DK weight yarn instead of worsted! So it was to the glorious stash I went! I decided on some Rowan Pure Life that was sent over by Knitting School Dropout in a gorgeous marigold-ish color and set to work.

First off? I LOVE LOVE LOVE this yarn. It’s so smooth and wonderful it makes me giggle just to touch it. I’ve only ever used woolens I can buy at local big box stores (due mostly to my desire for new yarn when a group of us are out picking up scrapbook supplies), and so my knowledge of various yarn companies is pretty limited. So to be able to start testing out some other yarn types is pure bliss for me.

As for the pattern? I’m in love with it as well! I’m making the smallest size of this hat, meant for a small babe, and so it’s working up super fast. The ear-flaps called for in the pattern I’ve knit separately and will be attaching later, as is my way (can’t explain it, it’s just how I roll), which is not how the pattern has the hat being made, but I’m at peace with that.

By the end of the day I should have the whole thing done and be weaving in the ends, which is good because I want to try to power through another hat tomorrow. Yes, a one-day hat.

Because we have the last of our out-of-town visitors coming tomorrow night, and the weekend will be full of photo shoots for new patterns (to be released in late September/early October on A Devine Life), downtown meet-ups with friends, Husker football games, and potentially some karaoke. Which means, of course, that unless I get pictures posted by around 7pm tomorrow, it’ll be another long weekend of radio silence from me. But then it’s back to more regular knitting – I’ve got hats queued for DAYS in Ravelry (user name “adevinelife”) and tons of yarn coming in for new hats, so updates should pick up considerably. And … back to Cubba!

Sep 9, 2009

Tubey finished! (#4)


Got through Tubey (a pattern from Wee Wooly Toppers) before the weekend even started, but we were so busy moving furniture and painting our entire first floor that I didn’t get around to taking pictures of it until the weekend was long over.

A quick knit, this hat is perfect for a last-minute baby present – the largest size only took a day to work through! However, the largest size also came out fitting my head. It’s supposed to be an 18” hat, suitable for a child’s head, and I know that I don’t have a super-small head, so I don’t know if I knit it too big or what. the hat sure does fit me quite nicely however.

Hopefully there’ll be a cute older kid out there in the world who will love wearing this adorable hat! Other than that oddity, however, the hat is great and I love it!

Sep 3, 2009

Ripley - finished! (#3)



Ripley is off the needles and ready to be sent out to Warm Woolies. and while these may be the worst pictures i've taken of a hat to date, the hat was truly a fun little knit! i love how Ysolda has you attach the brim to the body of the hat, and the little rauching (that i'm wearing here at the nape of the neck) is the perfec little feminine touch. hopefully someone will love every minute of wearing this lovely little knit!

if i were to knit it again, i'd just go out and get some chunky yarn instead of doubling up the worsted yarn, as it made the knitting a bit cumbersome when creating the rauching. but that was my fault, not in any way a pattern note.

Sep 2, 2009

thought for today

today, remember. you are good enough. your voice matters. believe it. it doesn't take much more than that, I promise.

(quote from Irene Nam on her blog today)

gearing up for an interview with the local paper about this little project - i'll have lots more to report tomorrow, including another finished hat!

josie in the Ripley hat! (#3)



sorry the picture is blurry Josie!  the Ripley hat is officially finished and ready to be sent out! i brought it with me to the interview and Josie was a great sport and tried it on for me.  the interview went great, and i'll definitely let you all know when it's going to be in the local paper! coming shortly - a few more Ripley pictures and hat #4!

Sep 1, 2009

watch cap - finished (#2)


hat #2 is off the needles and ready to be sent on to keep someone's head a bit warmer as the winter approaches! once i got past the six inches of 2x2 ribbing which was causing me quite a bit of trouble - not due to the pattern - the Watch Cap hat flew off the needles begging to be tried on.

pluses to this pattern: it's all ribbing, so it will fit a wide variety of people. and with the large, fold-over brim, it can be pulled down just a bit tighter when the wind blows. the star-like shaping at the crown means the hat looks cute slouched a bit, but can be pulled super tight if need be.

negatives to this pattern? just that there's six full inches of 2x2 ribbing to cause me trouble at the beginning! it's really a great hat to knit, a fast knit under normal circumstances, and one that's perfect for charity knitting! as always, the donate button below can be used to help Warm Woolies get this hat (and others like it) to people who need it. consider donating a dollar to the cause!

hat #2 is off the needles and ready to be sent on to keep someone's head a bit warmer as the winter approaches! once i got past the six inches of 2x2 ribbing which was causing me quite a bit of trouble - not due to the pattern - the Watch Cap hat flew off the needles begging to be tried on.

Aug 30, 2009

wendy in the Watchman's Cap (#2)




took the finished (!!!) Watchman's Cap with me over to a friends' house last night to get some shots, and this is what happened!  "real" finished shots coming soon - this is just for fun.

Aug 25, 2009

#1 - Hurricane Hat


The Hurricane Hat is officially off the needles and in the Finished Object Pile!

It might be a tad bit shorter than I like to wear my hats, but as I've got a normal-sized head, I know the hat will fit anyone from a younger child to a teen or even a Robyn-sized adult.

The Hurricane Hat pattern is safely on my list of "last minute present" patterns as well - this thing whipped up super fast, is a gorgeous finished object, and is easily sized up or down by adding/subtracting 10 stitches from the cast on. I may have to slip this one into the box for charity a few more times, even if it won't count towards the 100!

I'm also pretty happy that I was able to stand on our back porch in a hat and long sleeves and not be sweaty after taking these photos - autumn is definitely on it's way!