Feb 25, 2010

Calorimetry (#49)

Amidst the hub-bub of getting signed up at the last minute for the Omaha Young Professionals Summit, I was able to finish up and photograph hat #49 for you. Can you believe that next week you'll get to see hat #50?!?!

You may remember an earlier incarnation of hat #49, one that did not work out AT ALL.This second version is much more wonderful, although some may argue it is technically not a hat.

Calorimetry is meant to be worn when you want or need to wear a hat but you also want to wear you hair up in a ponytail. I have demonstrated as best I can with my shortie hair. Picture longer hair, and you've got the general idea. Held onto the head by a small button at the bottom, this is warm and wonderful and girlie and I love it! Now if only my hair would grow back in a bit faster so I can make one for myself!  

Specs: Calorimetry, by Kathryn Schoendorf; made using Patons SWS in natural pink on size US 8 needles.

Feb 24, 2010

Simple Pleasures (#48)

Almost halfway through the project, and I'm finally starting to figure out how to take pictures of myself that don't totally stink - and even capture the look of the hat well. This is hat #48 in the project, Simple Pleasures. I picked it because it was similar to the hat I'm designing for the 50th Hat Celebration, and so it gave me a chance to test a few things out.

I love every pattern I've ever worked from Purl Bee - they are simple and easy to understand, plus you can substitute yarns with ease. For this hat, I doubled up some LB Collection DK weight yarn and then followed the pattern exactly. It was too bright to head outside to take a photo, so I stayed inside and snapped this shot next to a window - and by the end of the mini photo shoot, my head was sweating!  

Specs: Simple Pleasures hat, by Purl Bee; made using LB Collection DK-weight yarn and size US 8 and US 9 needles.

Feb 23, 2010

Ribbed Beanie (#47)

Over the weekend I managed to knock out a bunch of hats for the project, and find myself ahead of the game with a week to go before the big 50th Hat Celebration! That means this week you'll be treated to three lovelies, along with some sneak peeks of the giveaways next week. First up in this mini festival of hats is the Ribbed Beanie (#47).

A simple knit, I was able to use up some leftover wool from my stash and whip up a super stretchy hat that will fit someone younger than me up to someone my size. I love knitting through the Olympics, for the record. I can only handle so much sports in a several-day span, but because my husband will watch just about any sport on television, it tends to be on a lot. A LOT. So challenging myself to knit as much as possible the last few weeks has been a fun endeavor.  

Specs: Ribbed Beanie, by Woolly Wormhead {free Ravelry download}; yarn is worsted wool from my stash, knit with size 9 / 5.5 mm bamboo circs.

Feb 19, 2010

Jacques (#46)

Thank goodness it’s finally Friday! After a week of serious knitting, serious working out (Pilates is kicking my butt!) and serious Olympics, I’m super ready for the weekend. I’ve got plans for some cleaning, some laundry, a little bit of organization bliss, and even some friend hang-out time! Of course, Mother Nature has decided to best us yet AGAIN with more snow, falling softly as we woke this morning. Thank goodness I’d snapped this shot of the latest hat already!

Jacques is meant to be knit with DK weight yarn on size 4 needles, but I couldn’t muster the strength to knit that tiny with so many projects on the queue for the Ravelympics, so I simply knit the smallest size on larger needles and with worsted weight yarn. It turned out pretty good – fits me like a dream, and even stretches to fit Zach’s head, although by doing that the brim is a little shallow for his taste. It’s the perfect hat for a boy, though. Thanks to the doubled-up ribbing it’s super warm on the ears, and it really does stretch for days, so it will grow with just about anyone.  

Specs: Jacques Cousteau hat (English version), by Typy; knit with Lion Brand Woolease yarn on size US 6 / 4.0 mm 16” circs and DPNs.

Feb 17, 2010

Star-Crossed (#45)

My first attempt at a beret didn't turn out so well, but before I could get around to blocking out Mary Jane, I had another beret on the needles. This time around, I found a pattern that called for larger needles, worked up super fast, and was a wonderful knit.

 I had to re-do much of the knitting I did on this hat during my first pass, due to some faulty pattern-reading on my part, but once I got going the correct way, Star Crossed took less than four hours from cast on to bind off! I love love LOVE the way the cables snake their way across the hat, and if I didn't feel silly in berets I'd want one for myself no question.

These shots were taken pre-blocking, for the record. Based on the thinner nature of the yarn, I could probably have knit this hat on size 8/9 US (5.0/5.5 mm) and blocked it out a bit, but since I knit it to pattern specs I don't know that my Star Crossed even NEEDS blocking!

Specs: Star Crossed Slouchy Beret, by Natalie Larson (free Ravelry download); knit with Fisherman's Wool in brown on size 10/11 (6.0/8.0 mm) needles.

Feb 15, 2010

Who? (#44)

Amidst the hub-bub of getting patterns and yarn ready for the Ravelympics, I had one last hat already on the needles that had to get done before the Opening Ceremonies so I could keep myself on track for the two weeks of the Olympics. A fast and fun hat to knit, I finished the owls on the hat during the Super Bowl. Life got the better of me, and the bulk of the hat got pushed back a few days so I could quickly whip through a Valentine's Day present for my husband. With his new favorite hat off the needles, I was able to finish up the quick-working body of Who? in a few short hours.

Feb 11, 2010

Ravelympics Redux

{photo source}
Knitting my way through hats #44 and #45 right now {because I need to get different needles for one, I simply started the other until I can get to the store – I’m crazy like that!}, and I’m just now realizing the Ravelympics begin TOMORROW NIGHT! I currently have only one ball of the brown yarn I was going to use wound up, I’m not up to where I want to be on my hats, and I’ve got a bag full of WIPs that need to get tackled.

And with that, I’m changing my Ravelympics plan.

Instead of knitting through all the brown yarn in my stash {I’ll do that at a later date}, I’m setting the following goals:
    1. Finish up through hat #50 for the One Hundred Hats.

    2. Complete all the WIP projects in my bag.
    The first should be rather easy – as long as I stay on the knitting path I’ve been following for the past few weeks, I should complete the last six hats without a problem. The second goal could fare a bit more difficult, however. Here is a list of what is in my WIP bag:
    • Shawl for mom

    • Blanket for Schimmel babe

    • Sweater for Ryan’s babe

    • Hat for Ryan’s babe

    • Ultra super secret surprise knitting
    It’s not a lot, but two of the projects are HUGE! And yet … I think, if I put my mind to it, I can accomplish it! So this, then, is my new goal.
    Are you participating in the Ravelympics?

    Feb 10, 2010

    Coronet - #43

    After taking nearly a week to knit up Mary Jane, I was pleased when Coronet only took two evening knitting sessions to whip through.

    The band of the hat knits up flat, with a super easy pattern repeat - I had it down after two of the 16. Then you simply pick up stitches and knit a simple stockinette hat, with regular old decreases, to make this hat so simple and gorgeous!

    I've got the mother-load of brown hats set to debut in the coming weeks, thanks to this wonderful never-ending skein of Fisherman's Wool and then the brown wool I'm using for the Ravelympics, but I promise to spice things up with some bright colors as I am able!

    Specs: Coronet hat by Alexandra Virgiel; knit with Fisherman's wool in brown, on size US 8/5.0 mm needles.

    Feb 9, 2010

    Mary Jane (#42)

    I love love loved the movie Elizabethtown. So when I found a pattern that claimed to mimic the beret Kirsten Dunst wore in the final scenes of the movie, I knew I'd want to make it. Of course I had no red wool left, so I grabbed some gorgeous blue Knit Picks yarn an aunt had donated to the project and set about knitting.

    This is the only photo you'll see of the hat because, while I knit until around 9", which is only one inch shy of the 10" the pattern calls for before decreases, the hat is far too small for the slouch it needs, which means it sits on my head with a VERY strange shape!

    The pattern itself is wonderful, and I'd love to rock this one out again with a LOT more yarn so I could see if the hat would look better, given enough yarn, but because I'm in the throes of this project, that will have to sit on the back burner for some time.

    ** Although - would this hat be a good test for blocking? I'm not a fan of blocking - mostly because it takes so much time - but with a lacy and open pattern like this, would the blocking open it up more and make the hat lay better? Thoughts?

     Specs: Mary Jane hat pattern by Theresa Belville, knit with Knit Picks wool on size 7 and 9 needles.

    Feb 8, 2010

    Hat Knitting Club

    I spend a good amount of time on Ravelry each day, looking at hat patterns, choosing hat patterns to go with the yarn I have, and deciding just which hat patterns I want to knit for the One Hundred Hats project. A week or so ago, I counted all the hat patterns I had marked in my Ravelry account as "maybe to knit", and it totaled more than 300.

    Three Hundred.

    I am trying to knit one hundred hats for charity, and am almost halfway through, so why did I need THREE HUNDRED hat patterns queued up? It seemed pretty ridiculous, so I cleared them all out in one fell swoop, and decided to create my very own Hat Club!

    {I totally ripped this idea off from the Yarn Harlot, lest anyone think I'm this brilliant on my own.}

    Much like a sock club you can sign up for, I will be able to reach into the drawer and pull out a mystery hat/yarn combo and knit my way quickly through the remaining 50 hats towards my goal!
    I spent a good amount of time on Saturday looking up hat patterns that went with the yarns I had on hand, thanks in large part to very generous donations. As I found a pattern that went with the yarn in my hand, I wrote it down on a piece of paper (including needle size and any extras I may need) and stashed it in a Ziploc bag, and then moved on to the next skein of yarn.

    When I'd made it through all the yarn in my "wool drawer", this is what I had left {photo above}. Enough yarn pared up with hat patterns to last me until around hat #80. I did a little dance, happy that for the next thirty hats or so, all I'll have to do is grab a bag out of the drawer, grab the needles listed, and start knitting! What a great way to get almost completely done with the project, I said to myself!

    On Sunday, I discovered this:
     Yarn for OHH

    I KNEW I was missing some of the donated yarn somewhere!

    So now i've got a few more skeins of yarn to sort through and pair up with patterns, and I'm betting by the time I've got that done, I'll have more than enough yarn for the remaining hats I'll need to knit by the end of August.

    Feb 5, 2010

    Crafty Goodness

    Welcome to this week's Crafty Goodness - my weekly round-up of all the fun crafty bits I find from around the internet.

    ** Sashiko pillow gorgeousness, courtesy of Grumperina!

    ** Looking for advice on how to add some flair to your work wardrobe? Search no further than Gala Darling.

    ** Remove acrylic paint from your clothing with this great tutorial.

    ** Adorable DIY valentines.

    ** Shaklee h2 review.

    ** - Gorgeous pattern for a crochet blanket - if you can get past some of the fabulous 70's stuff!

    ** Ribbon bound blank books!

    **  sock knitting class online with Afghans for Afghans

    **  gorgeous rubber doily!

    ** Vintage valentine’s day card love.

    ** Arctic blast mitts

    ** Free downloadable February calendar.

    ** Hot pepper wrist warmers.

    **  Crochet chain garland!

    ** Say I love you with post-its.

    **  I'm in love with these adorable baby shower invitations!

    ** Win a tutu for valentine’s day!

    ** Five great knitted valentine’s day gifts from Vickie Howell.

    **  Never underestimate the power of an inspiration board.

    Feb 4, 2010

    Dapperly Dashing (#41)

    It seemed so warm and sunny this morning, and I was super excited to take photos of the Dapperly Dashing hat (#41), and then it started to snow. Big, giant flakes of snow that weren't supposed to accumulte but have managed to leave a 1/2" of slush and yuck everywhere, defying the weather people's predictions. So I was understandably non-excited to be outside taking this picture.

    Dapperly Dashing is a pattern that includes a matching scarf, and if I had some thicker yarn and a bit more time on my hands, I'd have knit both up, As it is, I knit this hat using a 1/2 skein of Patons wool I had leftover from making the Rain Down hat (#35), knitting away on the pattern until I all but ran out of yarn.

     It turns out that, while the pattern calls for worsted weight yarn and a size 8 needle, I would have been better to use a bit thicker worsted yarn than Patons, or sized up to 9's. The hat is just a bit snug on my head, thanks to all the p2tog that happen over the course of the thing. It's not so tight that it won't stretch out, or can't be worn by someone with a slightly smaller head than I, but as the pattern is meant for an adult male, I'm guessing my gauge was a bit off.

    But how often do I worry about gauge? NEVER.

    Specs: Dapperly Dashing pattern by Stormy Tetreault, available as a free Ravelry download; size 8 bamboo 16" circs used, along with 1/2 skein of Patons wool in olive.

    Feb 3, 2010

    Ravelympics 2010

    The Winter Olympics are set to start on February 12th, and with the opening ceremonies begins a tradition carried out on Ravelry for the past several years – the Ravelympics! Created as a fun way to combine knitting with sport, the Ravelympics hosts events (like WIP Wrestling, Sock Hockey and Hat Halfpipe), thousands of Ravelry knitters and crocheters are signing up for teams and gearing up for the festivities.

    Because I’m participating this year – in the Hat Halfpipe of course – I thought I’d give a quick profile here, as my participation will affect this blog in a few small ways. But first, a few starter questions:

    How Do I Sign Up? To sign up for the Ravelympics, you have to first be a member of Ravelry. Then, simply join the Ravelympics 2010 group and find a team that suits you. Teams for different cities and states abound, as well as national teams (Team UK tends to rock) and teams based around podcasts and yarn types.

    How Many Teams Can I Be Part Of? You can be part of as many teams as you want! I’m only part of one team this year, but people have been on as many teams as five or even ten. You can only use each item you knit/crochet for one team, however.

    What Can I Make? You can do pretty much whatever you want, actually! There are events for spinning, for finishing up old WIPs, for sheer volume of items made, for intarsia, etc. If you can dream it up, there’s an event for you!


    With the basic questions done, now on to how this will affect the blog. As you can imagine, I’m going to be knitting hats for the Ravelympics. I’ve got some gorgeous brown wool that was donated to One Hundred Hats some months ago, and I’ve decided to power through all of it in a two week span.

    These seven skeins will hopefully become seven Brangelina hats (thanks to Crazy Aunt Purl for her free hat pattern!) by the time February – and the Olympics – are over. This means several things, of course, for the One Hundred Hats project overall, and because of this, I’ve made three rules:

    1. The hats knit for the Ravelympics will count only as one hat. Because I am using the same pattern over and over again (mostly for ease of knitting during the Ravelympics, as well as for planning the thing), and because my goal is to knit One Hundred Hats from one hundred different patterns, this only seems fair.

    2. Regular hat posting for the project will continue, unabated. I’ve been knitting my fingers to the bone to get ahead on my hat knitting so that I could participate in this project without too much of a problem, so I’ll have plenty of hats to post about during that two week span. I’ll be posting updates to the Ravelympics as well, but I don’t want to fall off schedule because of this.

    3. All the hats knitted for the Ravelympics will officially count as the 50th hat for the project. As the Olympics wind down right at the end of February, and the 50th hat celebration kicks off the very next day (March 1!!), it seems only fitting to share the hats I’ve made for the Ravelympics as my 50th hat! This will also give me the chance to go into more detail about the two week process of knitting the hats, share some war wounds (if there are any) and more!

    I’m getting excited for this challenge to kick off! More to come soon on the 50th hat celebration as well – I’ve got tons of fun treats planned, and it’s going to be a blasty-blast for sure!


    Are you on Ravelry? If so, are you participating in the Ravelympics? I had thought about starting a One Hundred Hats team this year, but it didn’t pan out – frankly, with planning the 50th hat celebration, I’m not sure I could have handled it! However, I’d love to hear what some of you are knitting during that time-frame , whether it’s for the Ravelympics or not!

    So go ahead and share your blog links in the comments to this post, and I’ll go ahead and start a link list in the side-bar – an Olympic list for Olympic knitters!

    Feb 2, 2010

    A Tale Of Two Hats - #39 and #40

    Over the weekend, I whipped through two hats. And it was only after I was done with the second that I realized the hats were strikingly similar.

    Meet Jane, hat #39 in the project. Super warm, thanks to the doubled-over brim, this hat is knitted using a mock-cable pattern that also gives some super cute eyelet holes. I took the opportunity to use most of a skein of Cascade 220, generously gifted to me from Monika.

    Next, meet the Slouchy Copy Cat, hat #40 in the challenge. With a different decrease at the top and only a single layer brim, this hat is a bit different from Jane, but similar enough that I should have noticed before I was trying them on! For this hat I used some Patons worsted wool I've had in my stash for at least a year.

    ** ** **

    Love both hats, by the way. Am currently in love with the orange Jane, as the double layer around my ears kept me warm while taking these shots on lunch. Don't let the sun fool you - it's still hella cold outside and showing no signs of letting up.

     I'd wear Copy Cat all spring, however, and would also keep it in my bag through the summer months for colder nights it's so cute. Yet another in the long list of hats i want to make for myself!

    Specs for both hats below:

    #39 - Jane; pattern by Jane Richmond, available for purchase through Ravelry; used size 7 and size 9 bamboo needles and orange Patons 220 wool.

    #40 - Copy Cat; pattern by Confessions Of A Maniacal Thrower; pattern available for free; used size 8 and 9 bamboo needles and rose Patons worsted wool.

    Helping Haiti Donations

    Just wanted to pop in this morning to let you all know that I just sent $100 to the Doctors Without Borders emergency fund, thanks to all the amazing donations via hat pattern purchases!

    I know that some knitters have been able to send more, and some have sent less. But the combined efforts will hopefully help change the face of Haiti over the course of the next few years, and I'm proud to be part of it.

    I'll continue to donate 100% of Helping Haiti hat pattern purchases, as well as 50% of all other pattern purchases through the end of the month, and then will make another donation. After that, because I love giving so much, I'll be announcing a new donation campaign, as well as sharing a few new patterns.

    Later today, I'll post up some new hat photos!