Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Owl lover's hat

My daughter is currently enamored with Kathryn Lasky's Ga'Hoole series, the one about the owls with the new movie out. So I couldn't resist making her an owl hat with my leftover Malabrigo merino yarn. Since blue is her favorite color, it worked out well.

The moment I completed weaving in the loose threads, she donned her hat while reading book eight in the series. I think it's really cute on her.

The free pattern for this hat is available by knitculture here. There's also an adult version. I highly recommend the pattern - it was well written and a fast knit that lent itself well to the Malabrigo yarn. Not to mention, it's just perfect for a kid enamored by the Ga'Hoole series.

Savannah picked out the buttons we sewed on for eyes. I'm still debating whether or not to sew a tiny orange beak and feet on one of the owls....

Friday, March 11, 2011

Weave mittens for me

This mitten pattern has been in my queue for quite some time. I'm so glad I finally knit a pair. The pattern is available for free on ravelry and is quite simple with a nice thumb gusset.

I did make quite a few modifications. I knit 16 rows of double ribbing for the cuff and after the cuff, knit 2 rows of st-st before dividing for the thumb (I should have knit 4-5 rows before following the pattern again). Instead of running the thread through the remaining live stitches to bind off at the end, I decided to use Kitchener stitch because I like the rounded, finished look better than the pucker of stitches pulled tightly together.

I also picked up 3 extra stitches (instead of 1, for a total of 14 for size small) for the thumb because my experience is that if you don’t pick up enough stitches, you’ll have holes where the thumb meets the hand and wet hands every time it snows.

I also experimented on the second mitten with increasing the thumb stitches by knitting into the stitch below, rather than making one. This avoided the little holes that are characteristic of m1. I will definitely use this method of increasing in the future when knitting the thumb increases for mittens.

The yarn is Malabrigo merino worsted and I'm in love with it. It is a lightly variegated indigo with hints of purple in it and is so soft and warm and strong and knits up well on size 6 or 7 needles. Since the pattern only used a portion of my skein, I'm looking forward to knitting something special with the remaining yarn.