Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I like DPNs

I found out last night (or very early this morning, as the case may be) that I am enjoying knitting with DPNs. I bought Knit Hip Hats by Cathy Carron, and apparently, she likes to knit hats top down. I thought that I could knit her designs using the magic loop. However, she demonstrates the Wrap Cast On, and I shuddered...I tried this Cast on with the very first socks that I tried to knit. BAD MEMORY!!!!!!! The CO is a nightmare with circular needles!

So I looked in my bucket of needles and lo and behold, there they were, the first (and only) set of DPNs that I bought, 2 years ago. I took them out of their little bag and proceeded to follow her directions. I am proud to say that I only had to start over ONCE. Wow...

I don't know what it is that I like about knitting in the round with DPNs. It could be that I am actually knitting with more than 2 needles (my husband said that he could never do that in a million years. This was reason enough for me to get really good at knitting with DPNs). It's certainly a different way to knit. It's new for me. And it looks dangerous (in a cool kinda way): when you are knitting in the round with DPNs, your project looks like a weapon - keep away from my yarn, you cat! Or better yet, "Don't interrupt mom when she is knitting; you could get hurt!"

I like it...

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Hand Socks

A few nights ago, on Christmas Eve, my family and I were getting ready to go on a drive to see Christmas lights. As I was putting on my son's jacket, he held out his hands to me and said, "I want socks on my hands." I knew that he meant mittens. I was sad that I haven't had time to knit him a pair.

So I put on a pair of his socks on his hands. Happy as can be, he crawled into his car seat and we proceeded with our night. He fell asleep during the ride. When we arrived home, I put him in bed with his socks still on, keeping his little hands warm.

The next morning, I awoke to him screaming and crying. I opened his door and comforted him. I took him into my bed so that we could sleep for a little while longer. He cried, "Take it off! Take it off!" He still had his hand socks on!

My first project for post-Christmas knitting: Hand Socks for my son. This time with thumbs; just in case he falls asleep with them on, he can still open his door the following morning.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Friday, December 25, 2009

I'm a Selfish Knitter

I am a selfish knitter. I am proud to admit it. I don't usually buy yarn from the Big Box stores (unless I need funfur, which is cheaper in those stores), I buy what I want and when I want from my FLYS and from specialty online yarn stores, and I only knit what I want to knit. Rarely do I take requests, unless of course, my standards are met.

At this moment in time, I will knit in either chunky or worsted weight yarn and top down apparel. I won't knit blankets. I'll knit socks occasionally, especially if I can use my massive amounts of handpainted sock yarn. Hats and fingerless mitts are my favorites right now, although I did just finish a few items for my niece's American Girl Doll. These, of course, were top down sweaters in worsted weight.

I spoke to my brother today (who will be ordained as a priest in June 2010). I told him that I will be knitting each of his classmates a beanie. He told me how thoughtful I was to do this. I admitted that I was actually being selfish; I go through my bouts of "needing" to visit my FLYS and "needing" to buy yarn. Deciding to knit each of his classmates a beanie gave me the perfect excuse. He laughed. The sad truth is, I was not kidding.

Being a selfish knitter is not a bad thing. The way I look at it, I get something out of every gift I make and the recipient gets a one of a kind gift. Yay for the holidays!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Sami's Beehive Hat

This year I am making most of our Christmas gifts. Many of the patterns that I am using, I found on Ravelry and at my LYS. However, after making a couple of hats and fingerless mittens, I wanted to stretch myself a little and design some things on my own. For this pattern, I just started knitting a rib pattern and decided to add some texture. That's pretty much it. It is one pattern that you could just knit and not think about, beyond looking at the stitches below the row that you are working.

It is for my cousin's oldest child, whom we call Sami. I debated on whether to make full mittens or fingerless mitts. He is 5 years old, and if he is anything like my daughter when she was 5, he probably has some attitude, which fingerless mitts definitely have. Enjoy!

Size: Child
Needle size: 9 (US)
Yarn: Chunky
Gauge: 4 sts per inch

I also used a crochet needle, size I, for finishing the thumbs.

I used Plymouth Encore Chunky and circular needles with a 16 inch cable. I employed the magic loop when I decreased. I am not a big fan of DPNs.

CO 68 sts. Join yarn to knit in the round and place a marker at the beginning of the row. Knit K2, P2 rib for 1 inch, or 6 rows.

Begin pattern:
Rows 1-3: Purl
Rows 4-6: *K2, P2* repeat in between asterisks until the end of the row
Repeat rows 1-6 until about 7 inches, ending with row 3.
Next row: *K2tog, P2* repeat in between asterisks until the end of row (51 sts)
Next row: *K1, P2tog* repeat in between asterisks until the end of row (34 sts)
Next row: *K1, P1* repeat in between asterisks until the end of row
Next row: *P2tog, P1* repeat last st, P1 (23 sts)
Next row: P2tog, repeat until last stitch, P1 (12 sts)
Next row: P2tog, repeat until last stitch, (6 sts)
Break yarn, leaving about a yard (3 feet) for loopy top and weaving in.
Thread end of yarn through tapestry needle and tighten ends to close top of hat. With remaining yarn, thread it through top of hat to make loops. Make knots when necessary.

Fingerless Mittens:
CO 28 sts. Join for knitting in the round and place marker at beginning of round. Knit K2, P2 rib pattern for 2 inches (10 rows). Follow instructions for each mitt as directed.

For Left Mitten:
Rows 1-3: K14, P2, *K2, P2* repeat in between asterisks 5 times.
Rows 4-6: K14, P14
Rows 7-9: Repeat rows 1-3
Row 10: K11, BO next 5 sts, P12
Row 11: K11, CO 5 sts on right needle using backwards loop CO method, P12
Row 12: K14, P14
Rows 13-18: As rows 1-6
Bind off purlwise

For Right Mitten:
Rows 1-3: K14, P2, *K2, P2* repeat in between asterisks 5 times.
Rows 4-6: K14, P14
Row 7-8: as rows 1-2
Row 9: K14, P2, *K2, P2* 4 times, K2, BO5 (3 of these BO sts are on row 10)
Row 10: K11, P12
Row 11: CO 5 sts onto right needle, K11, P14
Row 12: K14, P14
Rows 13-18: As rows 1-6
Bind off purlwise

Leave enough yarn after BO to weave in ends.

I crocheted a chain around the thumbs. However, this is optional.

If you find any problems with these instructions, feel free to email me. Please do not sell any projects made from this pattern.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Red Hat

I wanted to make a hat for my friend in Germany. She likes red and I had the perfect yarn - chunky and easy care. It's Christmas time and I have so many WIPs that all I could find was a size 9 cirular needle. I figured that I could just knit loose and the hat would be big enough. I was wrong.

I gave the hat to my son, who now wears it proudly. When he first put it on, he said, "My hat, my red hat!"


CO 70 sts.
Join yarn for knitting in the round.
K3, p2 rib for about an inch.
Follow eyelet pattern for 7 inches from beginning of pattern, then decrease.

Eyelet pattern:
1) *K3, P2* repeat to end of round
2) *K2tog, YO, K1, P2* repeat to end of round
3) *K1, Ktbl, K1, P2* repeat to end of round
Repeat these three rows until length desired. I knit until 7 inches in length from CO edge.

1) *K2tog, P2* repeat until end of round
2) *K2, P2tog* repeat until end of round
3) *K2tog, P1* repeat until end of round
4) K2tog all stitches until end of round

Break yarn, leaving about 2 feet for pulling through remaining stitches and weaving in.