Posted in colorwork, knitting

Hat Alert!

The message came in over the week-end, with a tone of some urgency. It seems that the baby toddler girl had outgrown her hats, and the carefully saved wool hat of #1 grandchild was no where to be found. With the onset of cold weather, there was no time to waste in meeting the need.

The criteria was pretty simple. Earflaps were desired and a cord to tie the hat under the chin. Consulting my stash I found an almost full ball of Cascade 220 Superwash in a pale yellow color. I had purchased this yarn two years ago when I first learned of the baby’s expected arrival. I was excited to try out some stranded patterns using this yarn and various bits and bobs left over from other projects.

First I consulted my knitting stitch dictionary (750 Knitting Stitches – The Ultimate Knitting Bible.) For this project I needed a pattern with a fairly short repeat. I also needed a motif that would fit on the ear flaps.

These two will do nicely. Cosmea will work for the earflaps and Aubrieta can circle the body of the hat. I also liked that the pattern repeat was six stitches. With my gauge of 5.5 stitches, a multiple of six will help me achieve the 18 inch diameter I needed. Here is my chart for the earflap and body, and my calculation for the cast on. I came up with a total of 96 stitches, which is divisible by six.

Ear Flaps done.

After casting on, I completed a modified version of Aubrieta, stopping when the hat body was 4 and 3/4 inches tall from cast on. Next I consulted the pattern I had used ten years ago for grandchild #1’s hat to figure out the crown decrease rate. I added a few rows of dots in the first three rounds of decrease, then completed the rest of the decrease in the solid yellow yarn.

Ear Flap hat in the blocking stage.
All Done.

This was a fun and quick project to make from one’s stash. I was pleased that I could use up some yarn scraps of a beautiful Malibrigo yarn that was left over from my blue ribbon vest.

UPDATE: Hat was received, and put into use quickly. Not only does it cover the ears, it covers the cheeks as well. It’s so big that it will still fit her next winter.

Posted in Uncategorized

Knitting Lace

For many knitters, working lace is like entering the third circle of hell. First of all, there’s the language barrier. What is this strange talk? K2 *(KB1, k1) 2x, k1, p3, k1; rep from * skpo, k2. And that’s just one row! And then there’s the navigation. Where exactly am I on the pattern, and why doesn’t my swatch look like the example? Needless to say, I hired a navigator when I finally decided to learn lace. Eunny Jang teaches Lace Knitting: Basics and Beyond at (now She taught me that working from a chart is the way to go. It’s just like a road map. Yes, there are some symbols you must learn, but the chart gives you an overall picture of how to navigate the design. You can see where you have been and where you are going. I immediately began to chart out every lace stitch in my knitting dictionary. Here is a link to Eunny’s class:

So I am looking for a lace pattern that will complement the Lace Crescent Rib pattern that I swatched yesterday. King Charles Lace seems to be a good candidate. It has about the same number of stitches and is eight rows long. Best of all, it features the same pair of purled stitches bordering the lace center, just like Lace Crescent Rib has. Here is the pattern as it appears in my stitch dictionary:

Here is my hand-drawn chart of the pattern: Notice the ‘legend’ of symbols.

  1. Set up for lace. I used a few edge stitches in garter stitch. Cast on loosely. I used the knitted on method. You could also cast on with a larger needle. Knit 3-4 garter rows at the beginning to keep the swatch from curling. The pattern repeats can be punctuated with markers. This helps you keep straight with the pattern, especially if you are working a large number of repeats.
  2. Middle photo is completed swatch. I gave you 3 pattern repeats. Use a loose cast off, so the lace can stretch. I did knit, knit, knit 2 tog through back loop. Repeat until all stitches are used up.
  3. Completed swatch is its warm soapy bath. Again pull the piece in all directions while it is soaking, so the stitches even out.

I’m pleased with the results. The first image is the blocked King Charles Lace. The second image shows how the two patterns might look on a triangular shawl. Okay, so imagine the KC lace worked up the center back of the shawl, with repetitions of the Lace Crescent Rib running along both sides. It works.