Monday, January 18, 2010

Christmas Gift-a-thon: Hats

As promised, here are the hats that I gave away for Christmas. Some of them, like all of my Zeebees (Ravel it!), really deserve their own post. But since I'm already playing catchup, they just won't get one. Plenty of people love this pattern, plenty of people have blogged about it (sixty bloggers, by last count on Ravelry). At least I'm still showing you my finished items!

These are shown in the order I made them. The main color on all three is Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Worsted. This free customizable pattern from Shmeebot is great for stash-busting. I have only been knitting for six years and have been working on a reduced budget for most of that time. So I rarely found myself with extra yarn after a project was finished. Recently, though, I combined the worsted wool in my mom's stash with my Christmas leftovers. It was a pretty impressive pile. Thus the unusual color combinations in these three Zeebees:

This color combination was described by family as very Nana-esque. I guess navy and red was something she would have worked with. My grandma was the queen of bits and stripes, since her main project in the last 20 years of her knitting life was making children's mittens for charity. She would work up a big basket of them through the year and give them away for the holiday season. Maybe that's what I should do with the hats that don't have a home yet...

This one was fun. I found just enough blue and grey tidbits to make the following stripe pattern in rows all the way around: 12 MC, 4 CC, 4 MC, 2 CC, 2 MC, 2 CC. Each sequence was done in a new blue or gray for a pretty effect all the way around. The base color is black, which happens to match her coat, but what I really liked about it was that using some lighter blues made the background look almost navy. It was a very ninja backdrop to the stripes. The picture doesn't quite show the hat off in the way I planned, but doesn't she look nice in it?

This is a cream hat with a purple chunk and red inset. The other side is just cream. I feel like this should be someone's high school colors - it's just the right mascot purple! It hasn't quite found a home yet, but I'm sure it will.

The above hat was not intended to be child-sized. And I DID check for Errata on the Interweave website. There were none. What kind of crazy hat only has 2" of working straight before starting decreases? The Fresco Herringbone Hat from Interweave Knits Winter 2008, apparently. I love the candy cane coloring using garnet and cream in Knit Picks Palette yarns. All in all, this hat turned out well, but obviously some modifications would be necessary if I ever used it again.
A classic Elizabeth Zimmerman pattern for a classic guy. This Swatchcap can be found in EZ's Knitter's Almanac. It continues to surprise me that my maternal predecessors did not read Zimmerman. She so embodies my grandma's style of knitting. In any case, it appears that she only left my grandpa one had and he has been hurting for a new wool one. Mission accomplished, tradition loop completed.

Oh Jared Flood/Brooklyn Tweed! You are the best! This simple Turn a Square Hat, a classy, simple pattern found on his blog provided an interesting way to use up tidbits. Since a lot of my Christmas-gift-yarns coordinated, I had fun choosing what to use to emulate the Noro yarn called for in the pattern. If this reminds you of the second Zeebee above, it's no wonder. I used this hat as the inspiration for the striping on that one. The background here was navy, in case you were wondering. Most of the stripes were on the black-grey-white scale.

Saving the best for last, here, I think. This double-thick hat is also known as EZ's Very Warm Cap and is worked both ways out from the middle (using a provisional cast-on). It is also a hat in the Knitter's Almanac. Ravelry had some lovely variations that people had worked with Norwegian stars, so I charted up my own based on the measurements I wanted, and voila! The other side is the opposite and the hat is reversible. It must be noted, though, that a double-thick worsted hat with some stranded work is a pretty THICK HAT and would only be necessary for the coldest of winter days. Or the longest of dog-walks. I guess that expands the usable dates.

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