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gifts for others

Finished Object Knitting

Rafa’s Hat Pattern Review and FO

January 18, 2018
Pattern Review and FO : Rafa's Hat

Hello again. We’re halfway through the month of January. How are your New Year’s Resolutions coming along? I’m making scary progress on some of mine, but it’s still too soon to talk about. Even though it’s the new year, I’m still working on showing you some of last year’s last minute FOs. Even though I thought that I had escaped the pressures of holiday knitting, I still squeeze in a few knitted gifts. Luckily, I had the good sense to limit myself to hats. Rafa’s Hat was one of these gifts. 

The Pattern

Pattern Review and FO : Rafa's Hat

Rafa’s Hat is a unisex ribbed beanie by Joji Locatelli. It’s meant to be a generic male hat pattern, for guys with “very little requirements”. This makes it a great gift hat. Rather than being a simple watchman’s cap (like the morning walk hat I did for The Hubs last year), Rafa’s Hat breaks up the ribbing with a purl ridge. It can be worn slouchy or folded, making it a fairly versatile pattern.

Rafa’s Hat is an easy pattern to follow. It’s only 2 pages long, and that’s being generous with the spacing. There’s not a lot of fancy technique, but it still results is an attractive hat. Rafa’s Hat is 1×1 ribbing throughout, but breaks the ribbing into several sections. This kept the project from feeling too tedious.

Those of you who know me will know that I hate 1×1 ribbing. I just can’t seem to find my rhythm. Plus it makes my hands sore about ten times faster than stockinette. Still, I endured for Rafa’s Hat because it is a really accessible pattern. The finished product is polished and reads well to the non-knitter (muggles). 

The Yarn

Pattern Review and FO : Rafa's Hat

The pattern calls for 1 skein of Lush Worsted by The Uncommon Thread. I used one skein of Malabrigo Rios. I love Malabrigo in all of it’s forms and Rios was great for this project. It has great stitch definition to make all that ribbing pop. True to Malabrigo form, it’s extremely soft too! When I gifted the hat to it’s recipient, he could not believe how soft and warm it was. It was one of the coldest days of the season and he said his head was still toasty warm!

The tonal color of the Malabrigo Rios was great for this pattern too. The color wasn’t varied enough to be distracting, just enough to add some suble depth. Oddly enough, it’s very similar to the color of my morning walk hat, which was 2 different yarns held together! Malabrigo Rios was great to work with and looked beautiful. I would use it again in a heartbeat.

What have you finished recently? I’ve got some exciting new knits on the needles, including a Weekender Sweater! I’ve also been dipping my toes into some sewing projects. I’ll be sure to let you know about those if they go well!

 

Finished Object Knitting

Bearly Bonnet: Pattern Review and FO

November 9, 2017
Bearly Bonnet

Hello everyone! I hope you’re having a good week. This week we have reached “it finally feels like fall” weather. Somehow we have also reached “Halloween’s over so let’s go straight to Christmas” with everything else. Come on, people! Respect Thanksgiving! If we extend the Christmas season too long, it won’t feel special. Speaking of seasons, I’m currently in the Everyone is Pregnant (but me) season of my life. Old coworkers, new coworkers, college friends, that girl you used to talk to a few years ago before she moved away. Everyone is preggers. The one perk to the everyone is preggo season, is that it allows for lots of cute baby knits. Like the Bearly Bonnet.

I swear, I tried to resist the Bearly Bonnet. It’s knit on size 1 1/2 and 2 1/2 needles, which is obnoxiously small. But it’s also obnoxiously cute. Look at those ears! Plus it’s a great unisex baby pattern, for those people who don’t know what they’re having. (Maybe it’s a pterodactyl! I hope so…)

The Pattern

Bearly Bonnet

First of all, the adorable Bearly Bonnet by Pure Stitches pattern is free. Score! I love not paying for patterns! (Like, freely given. I don’t steal them…) In terms of good free baby patterns, this one is going in my archives as a solid pattern. I will be making this again. Possible with leftovers from every section of my fade shawl, because it’s that cute.

Like I mentioned before, the Bearly Bonnet pattery is knit on ridiculously small needles. I used some mystery double pointed needles (DNPs) with no markings whatsoever for the ribbing. I have no clue what size they were, but they were smaller than my size 3 circular needles. Then I switched to the size 3 circulars for the rest of the hat.

Bearly Bonnet

 

I made a mistake on the pattern and didn’t join in the round as soon as I was supposed to, but I just sewed that section up at the end. The Bearly Bonnet pattern uses centimeters, rather than inches, so I just blazed through the section where it said to combine in the round. Whoops. The pattern is meant to fit like a bonnet, not like a beanie, so the brim is not a complete circle. Instead it has cute little tassels. 

The only criticism I have about the Bearly Bonnet pattern is that is was extremely vague about how to sew the ears onto the bonnet. I wish it had given a bit more detail about exactly where to put the ears, and maybe some help on the best type of stitch to use to sew them on. I used a whip stitch to attach them, but found that the edges were a little wonky that way. 

The Yarn

Bearly Bonnet

I used Knit Picks Stroll Tonal in the Thunderhead colorway. I used this color in section 1 of my fade shawl (still pending) and I had a lot left over. Some people have mentioned that this bonnet in gray has a tendency to look like a little mouse more than a little bear, but that doesn’t deter me. It’s still super cute. This would actually be really cute in any color. Maybe a bright red or a creamy white…You could even contrast the ears with the rest of the bonnet!

Bearly Bonnet

 

I like Stroll Tonal for this because it’s washable, and therefore good for babies. It’s not the softest yarn out there, but it’s not rough or scratchy either. It’s a fairly sturdy yarn and it gets the job done. I have noticed with Stroll Tonal that the texture is not always consistent between different skeins. I have a skein in green that feels much softer than this skein in gray. I’m not sure if the difference is in the color or when I bought the skein, but I believe that there is a bit of variation within Stroll. 

I would happily knit this pattern again, and in fact, I expect to! The whole thing took me maybe a weekend of casual knitting to finish, so it’s not a huge time commitment. I will probably consider buying circular needle in a size smaller than 3 for the ribbing on this. Doing it on DPNs was not the greatest decision. Once I get those, I’ll be unstoppable! Expect to see more Bearly Bonnets in the future, because it think it make the perfect baby knit!

Finished Object Knitting

Yoda Baby Hat and Lightsaber

October 19, 2017
Yoda Hat and Lightsaber

The observant among you will notice that I never shared the Yoda Hat from my Summer Knitting List. It was the last item of the Summer Knitting List that I had to share with you. I actually finished the hat a long time ago, but didn’t give it away until recently. The Hubs and I went to a baby shower this weekend where we were finally able to give the Yoda Hat to it’s recipient. But of course, I couldn’t stop with just the hat. We gave them a full Star Wars themed baby gift, complete with knitted lightsaber!

The Hat

 

I used this Yoda Hat pattern by Shinah Chang.  There are a LOT of other Yoda Hat designs out there, but this one seemed less floppy than the others. It was a fairly easy design to follow, and took maybe 2 days, tops. The ears were a little fiddly. They required a very tight gauge so they wouldn’t flop all over the place. They’re knit separate, and then sewn to the hat.I folded mine a little, like the pattern suggested, so that they would get that distinct Yoda curve. I think they turned out pretty well. 

Yoda Hat and Lightsaber

For the yarn, I used Cascade 220 Superwash Merino held double. I’m always stumped when it comes to yarn for baby projects, but I thought that a superwash wool seemed like a nice choice. I actually ended up really liking this yarn, and bought more to make a Veronika sweater out of it.  It’s very soft and smooth and easy to work with. I used color no. 11, which was the most olive toned of the green Cascade 220 options. Choosing a Yoda color was harder than I thought it would be, because he actually goes through a bit of color variation as he ages. This green is a little more Kermit than Yoda, but I still think it was the best choice.

The Lightsaber

 

Speaking of difficult color choices, did you realize that Luke goes through two different colored lightsabers? I wasn’t really aware of the fact until I went looking for reference pictures for my knitted lightsaber. He starts out with the blue lightsaber given to him by Uncle Ben/Obi-Wan Kenobi. This was the lightsaber originally constructed by Anakin and lost in Empire Strikes Back. This is the same lightsaber that Rey eventually uses in the most recent movies. Later, Luke constructs his own lightsaber (apparently using a synthetic lightsaber crystal, who knew?) and that one was green. Details…

Yoda Hat and Lightsaber

Eventually, I settled on making the blue lightsaber because:

  1. It match the pajamas we bought to go with it.
  2. It looked easier to knit.
  3. The Hubs said it would work better for a baby boy (I tend to get huffy about color coding babies, but sometimes you gotta go with the flow.).

 

I used mostly leftover acrylic trash yarn for the lightsaber. The silver and blue were both Vanna’s Choice, and the black was some Hobby Lobby yarn. I made up the pattern as I went. I am not sharing it here, because it is Not a Good Pattern. There was a lot of fudging going on. I wish I had stuffed the end product a little tighter, because it had a slight tendency to droop and look a little…suggestive… Still, I’m happy with how it turned out. For a baby toy, I think it will be fine.

We paired the two knitted gifts with a Star Wars pajama set and a little gold book about being a Jedi. I thought it was pretty cute. Themed gifts make things so much more fun. I’m on the lookout for new baby patterns now. I am currently in that All My Friend Are Making Babies (On Purpose) stage of life, so I need lots of baby knit ideas. What is your favorite baby knitting pattern? Got any suggestions for my next baby knits?