Thursday, December 25, 2008

Red Dress

For my DD2, I knitted a dress in 2002. She was 5 years old. The pattern is Child’s Sand Dollar by Jade Starmore with some modifications, and I knitted with Baby Ull by Dale of Norway. She wore it every winter all these years since then until this winter. She pulled it out of her winter clothes and said that sleeves were too tight at the cuffs. After all, she’s been growing and sleeves were too short and cuffs were landing on her mid arms. What did I do? Undid the cuffs and knitted the sleeves longer. She wanted them to be very long. So, here she is with her ‘new’ tunic.

The photo below shows the difference in sleeve lengths.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Iced Tea

Not sure what I was thinking to commit to knitting multiple stockinet stitch projects this year, but that’s what happened. Thanks to boring and mindless stockinet stitch, however, I was able to knit and watch TV for many nights leading up to the election. Not only that, I was very productive. I finished six iced tea pullovers by the time Obama became the 44th President. The first one was knitted with GGH Scarlett, 100% cotton. Next four were knitted with Sublime Soya Cotton DK and the last one with Berroco Bonsai. The version with GGH Scarlett ended up with a twisted bodice. Side seams would not fall straight from the armholes, and run slightly towards left, about 2 inches. Not too bad, but still bothersome. While knitting, I did not notice much of kinks or excess twist, but clearly, the yarn was not well balanced. I had no problems with Soya Cotton and Bonsai.

Here are the first 5 iced tea pullovers. The top left is knit with GGH Scarlett, and the rests are with Sublime yarns.

The one below is with Bonsai yarn.

The bonsai version was modified a little to make the front dip a bit deeper.

I've never knitted one pattern this many times!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sunny Vests

Something very unusual happened during the summer. DH picked up one of my knitting booklets, Sublime #610, and actually said he liked Varsity Stripe Vest. This is only the second time in my knitting life that he actually liked something I could knit for him. I had to act quickly before he changed his mind. I began knitting before we left for our summer vacation. I was knitting at the beach of Denia, Spain. That was a gorgeous place we stayed. I can visit the place again and again. My SIL also picked up her forgotten needles and the two of us were knitting. I hope she continues to knit.

He is wearing the second vest actually. What happened is that he wanted it not too loose and baggy and I did not use my best judgment. The first one I was knitting at the beach turned out too small for him and became mine. Again, I had to knit two to make the intended garment. I used Sublime Soya Cotton DK. It is much softer than 100% cotton yarns and I love it.

Vicki, el chaleco que llevo puesto es el que estaba haciendo en Denia, para mi querido esposo. Sin embargo, se quedo corto y he tenido que hacer otro para el, asi que el primero me lo quedo yo.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Hellenne's hand painted silk scarf

These are silk scarves Hellenne painted, or should I say paintings on silk? Hellenne’s colors are just breathtaking and silk chiffon fabrics are fabulous. I’ve been admiring her work for quite some time since I ‘met’ her on a sewing forum. Some of them will travel with me to Spain in a few days, and one of them will be mailed to Japan with Terra Cotta Manon in fall.

She also painted these below. Don’t you think they look as though painted for my Lucy?

Here is my Gingko scarf with Green Manon.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Lucy in Venezia

Once I won eight balls of ribbon yarn in wonderful light mint green shade on Ebay. It is a bulky ribbon yarn called Filati Bertagna Venezia and has about 99 yards per ball. Eight of them did not seem enough and I went back to Ebay, but I could never win them again. It was about five years ago and they cost me less than $15!

What could I knit with 800 yards of yarn? I had no idea initially and the yarn sat there for a few years. Then Rowan 37 came out and I saw Lucy. It is a cardigan with overlapped front bodice pieces which are buttoned up at the top section only. It has a wide lace border on the body and the sleeves are entirely knit in lace pattern: a very cute cardigan suitable for cold office in summer. Although it is not knitted with a thin ribbon yarn, it requires a bulky weight yarn and the quantity was sufficient. I was going to knit it up right away. Instead, it sat a few more years until now.

As always, I put my fall/winter projects away in late spring. I pulled out my summer projects out of their hiding place and saw the ribbon yarn, its color being still wonderfully fresh and beautiful to my eyes, and I remembered what I was going to knit with it. After completing last year’s UFOs, I immediately cast on Lucy, thinking I have enough yarn and the weight is perfect. Well, it was almost perfect, but with a few big surprises. The lace pattern gauge was about the same, but the stockinet stitch required so much lower stitch and row counts. This is good news for someone who once worried about not having enough yarn. Revised the pattern according to my gauge and started knitting the back. I used up almost 3 balls, three out of eight. I had two front pieces and two long sleeves to knit with the remaining five balls!

What I did next was to cut where ever it was possible. Front pieces cannot be overlapped so much, just enough to button them up. Also, I can lower the front neck line. Sleeves could get shorter. With all these cut backs, I made it. It turned out a bit different from the Rowan version, but it is cute enough to me. I love the red button against this pale mint color. I had this button for a while, but again, I had only one of them. It was shaky in the middle of the process, but it turned out all so nicely in the end.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Nearly never finished

I actually finished this tank top last weekend, but I could have had it totally frogged. Reason? See the little lump next to a shoulder strap? That's how much leftover yarn I have, maybe four or five yards. I got so nervous about the yarn amount that I knitted like a crazy person with needles towards the end. Somehow my intuition was working ever so perfectly unbeknownst to me, and my decision to make the top section shorter did save the project: I skipped six rows from the front and 8 from the back.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Where is my time?

I cannot believe it is been a month since I posted on Green Manon! Where did my time go? June seems to go by so quickly since DDs started to go to their elementary school. Not that I did not have time to knit, but I certainly did not have time to relax and think. I knit here and there throughout the day, and that adds up especially with a small summer garment.

This is a summer cardigan I began knitting last summer. It was almost forgotten in one of my many knitting bags. Since I had stopped knitting in the middle of a front bodice and did not make any notes on where it was that I stopped, I had to figure that out first. This should teach me a lesson. Once I managed to decipher my handwritten notes, it was rather smooth sailing. The only trouble is the yarn. It is a cotton and nylon blend from I love the color, but I am not that crazy about the feel of the fabric. It is rather rough to touch. What’s worse is that it is really hard to ‘read’ stitches. The pattern on the other hand is just gorgeous. It is from Bergère de France no. 123. I thought that the booklet was out of print, but I recently learned from Ravelry that it can be ordered from their website with reference number 19409 under Commande tab. In any case, I just adore little eyelet rows between different lace patterns and along the front and neck edges. They are quite functional as well as decorative. The pattern has six rows total with all the rows knitted in garter stitches. The eyelet stitches are knitted on the fourth row, facing the wrong side of the fabric, with yarn over and k2tog repeated. Definitely nice little detail to be used again and again.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Green Manon

After a visit to my LYS, I found two sets of suitable buttons for Green Manon. Not being sure which pair to use, it was decided that I ought to use them all. A chopstick on a chopstick rest kind of look, but I love it.

Despite Manon designed by Norah Gaughan being beautiful and interesting to knit, I had reservation on how it would look on me and I decided to change the upper body section a bit. The focal point of the design is in the peplum and its geometric design, and they are kept as they are. Modifications are made on the rest of the design to make the ribbed band at waist level and hence make the upper body longer. Some details on the modification are the following: skip two rows of ribbing every 8 rows on panel sections, which meant 48 rows removed from the ribbed band. It sounds a lot smaller, actually too small. However, remember that the ribbed stitches tend to turn out looser than the stockinet stitches. It was the right amount being removed for me. Next, re-calculate the number of stitches picked up for the upper body, lengthen the upper body section below underarm to about 5.5 inches, and add 4 stitches along the side seams on upper body section to compensate for the narrowed ribbed band. More re-calculation required to match the front and back shoulder seams. Peace fleece I used is not a smooth yarn and it feels rather scratchy against the skin. This garment will be worn over a top or a blouse and I made sure that it has enough ease built in it. If it were knitted with soft and smooth yarn, it could be very nice with no or scant ease, like the version I knitted for my sister. When the weather gets a bit cooler, more photos will be added.

Addendum: Finally the weather and my schedule cooperated. With my DD1's help, I have some photos. Me wearing Green Manon and a back view. I tried on the terra cotta version for my sister. Here and here. Terra cotta Manon is very snag and its shoulder width is too small for me. Nevertheless, I think it can be a nice warm weather cardigan with cotton or silk yarns.

Friday, May 30, 2008


I saw this beautiful design by Joëlle Meier Rioux in a Classic Elite booklet and said ‘Aha!’ What a combination, bulky and lacy, also delicate. I had to knit this oxymoron garment. Although the original is knitted with a DK weight cotton blend yarn, doubled, I had Vittadini Samantha in my stash. A bulky cotton yarn, just right for this design.

It took me less than a week to complete and the result is great. I've been wondering what I could knit with this bulky Samantha for a few years. Then, one day, the right design comes right at you. I am so glad to have my 'healthy' yarn stash. Here is the lovely lace pattern at the center front.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Norah Gaughan designs

I used to knit Fair Isle garments mainly. These days, I am all for cables and geometric designs. As soon as I learned that Norah Gaughan published new booklet series last fall, I had to get a copy. The first volume has many designs I just adore. I ended up knitting a shrug from her second volume first. Although it is designed for a summer yarn, I thought it might be nice with winter yarns. I had Noro Silk Garden Lite in blue/yellow color which I used for a hat. I wanted the shrug to be extra cozy and added Kidsilk Haze in Trance, a slightly darker blue. I just love the way colors in Noro yarn get blended with each other by the silk-mohair’s blue wash.

I used 4.5 mm needles and cast on 171 stitches as specified for the smaller size and knit the Top piece. For the bottom lace section, 4.5 mm needles produced a fabric which was stiff compared to the top section. So, I re-started with 5.5 mm needles and cast on 49 stitches instead of 64. The gauge for the lace pattern was 5 rows per inch. I knitted 290 rows for the bottom section. It is so lovely that I’ve been wearing it every night.

Next, a fellow knitsmith, Nancy, was knitting Manon from Norah Gaughan’s book No. 1, and I decided I want to knit one for my sister. I happened to have 12 balls of Peruvian Highland Wool in terra cotta, the color she loves. Now, my yarn is worsted weight while the pattern calls for Aran weight. This difference did not deter me, but I had to keep in mind that my sister is at least one inch taller and quite skinnier than I am. Especially, her shoulder width is much narrower. There is no way of fitting the garment while I knit as she lives in Azumino, Japan. If the garment fit me too tight, it would fit her just right.

Instead of planning changes like I did for Elizabeth I, I decided to plunge fearlessly this time. As I expected, things went wrong. I began knitting the peplum for size 34” with 4.5 mm needles. The finished peplum section was much larger than I intended. Also, I noticed that I prefer to have the ribbing section a bit narrower and sitting at waist level. Switching to 4 mm needles, I started from scratch and decided to skip two rows of ribbing over every 8 rows of cable pattern. It turned out almost exactly how I wanted it to be.

The rest of the bodice went smoothly and the only change I made was to lengthen the underarm side seams to 5 ½”. My sister does not wear trendy clothes. Those short sleeves won’t be easy for her to deal with. I knit slim and long sleeves with cuffs which are not sewn at sides. For the closures, I crocheted button loops with chain stitches. Extra buttons were attached at the top of the cuffs.

The finished cardigan fits me very snugly, too snug actually. My DD1 looks quite good in it, too. As I truly love the design, I started knitting one for myself in green.

Looks like it’s going to be much larger than my sister's. Thanks goodness!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Tinkering Elizabeth I Pullover

Some years ago, I did yarn swap with an accomplished knitter in Switzerland and acquired beautiful Camel Dunedin yarns. I knitted Elizabeth of York with some of them. I loved the way Dunedin shows off stitch pattern. If I were to classify this yarn, I would place it between fingering and sports weight, or almost sports weight but not quite as thick. Its texture is spongy and similar to Gems Merino. I would probably use it as a substitute for Dunedin.

With the remaining Dunedin, I decided to knit Elizabeth I Pullover, which I knew required some tinkering. I heard it is too large overall and the neck opening is too wide, in particular. I decided to make this pullover more fitted with zero or very scant ease all around. For that, 5 stitches were taken out at each side of the bodice. At the same time, I did not want to modify the beautiful center V-shaped design. In order to maintain the design, I decreased the number of stitches reduced along the raglan shaping. Note that these changes made on bodice pieces do not change the number of stitches along the top. So far so good. Next task was to make sleeves narrower. I decided that the raglan shaping for the sleeves do not need to match that of the bodice, and I took out 8 stitches at the center of each sleeves. I felt that reducing the neckband length by total of 16 stitches might not be sufficient and added a dart at the top of sleeves, reducing further 12 stitches for each sleeve, with the total of 40 stitches removed from the neckband. The photo below shows the center dart on the sleeve.

Note to self: I may have been better off matching the raglan shaping of the sleeves to that of the bodice, and increasing the center dart depth so that 16 stitches were removed at the center top, with 30 stitches in total decreased along the neckband.

This pullover is very elegant and relatively quick to knit. I would knit it again happily.

Friday, March 14, 2008

La Alhambra Pullover

This pullover reminds me of La Alhambra with pillars and ceilings adorned heavily with arabesque paneling. We visited Granada, Spain, two years ago and I finally got to visit La Alhambra. What a feast for senses! It is a spectacular place visually, of course, but the sounds of water running through the palace and the aroma of flowers and trees. I would love to visit again and again. Perhaps, I should have chosen ivory yarns for the pullover.

The pattern is from Couture Knit no. 8 by Shida Hitomi shown above, which I got last summer in Japan. I saw this pullover first time in Ms. Shida's book of
250 knitting patterns a few years ago and I’ve been longing to knit it ever since. Mine is knitted with Rowan Pure Wool DK in Dahlia, which of course is not the original yarn.

As you can see, I changed the collar so that the cable patterns continue from the body, and that it stays off of my neck. I just ignored the neck shaping, kept knitting with cable patterns slightly modified, and cast off when the length I wanted was achieved.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Trial and Error

This seems to be the way I accomplish a good result.

Addendum: I just learned that the pattern is available in German from here for free. Let me know if you want my English translation. I don't think it is accurate, but it worked okay with me.

Friday, February 22, 2008

It was Aran Pullover for me

I saw Katrin's crossed front pullover last year. I love the color, the design, and the whole thing. I had to knit one myself. She kindly purchased a copy of the magazine for me. With Babel Fish as my guide, I tackled this German pattern. As I was not sure if I can wear a green funky top, I started knitting one in my usual color. Things were going rather well for a while and I finished it as well.

This short aran pullover with crossed front bands was knitted with Knit Picks' Andean Silk, and it was meant for me. However, it became quite obvious it was going to be too small for me. I could have ripped the whole thing and re-knit it for a larger size, but I opted to finish as was. I have two DDs and figured one of them can wear it now or later. So, here it is on my DD1. She looks pretty good in it.

I really liked knitting with Andean Silk. It is not rough against the skin and DDs agreed that they have no trouble wearing on their bare skin. Something I need to remember for future projects.

Now that I know how bands and the side panels fit, I began knitting for mine. I ordered a heavier yarn. This time, I am using WEBS’ Sugarloaf. I love this yarn! Springy and spongy texture and feel very soft. Another yarns kids would not mind. Being the second version, I did change the pattern here and there. Instead of casting off reverse stockinet stitches along the back neckline, I added 1 by 1 ribbing before casting off.

Two more sleeves to go!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Something New

To me, that is. Through a Japanese blogger, I learned of an exhibit by Britt-Marie Christoffersson held in Tokyo. Here are some more photos posted by another blogger. Looks so much fun to knit those fabrics. I am very envious of those who took classes.

ps. From the second link above, I learned that the instruction material used in the class is available. It is rather expensive, though.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Cardigan for Father

I had this idea of knitting a cardigan for my father for his 50th anniversary when I was knitting Mother’s shawl and saw this Rowan book for men. Martin Storey’s Reverse Stripe Sweater got my attention. I love stripes but never tried reverse stripes. Using Rowan Felted Tweed in this pattern makes even more interesting fabric. The only problem is Father hates pullovers as they mess up his hair, and he does not wear brown colors. I bought Midnight and several other colors of FT and started knitting samples for him to choose from. Father likes navy blue as I remembered. Together with Midnight, I decided on Treacle as the secondary main color. For the accent I chose dark red, mustard, and orange and let him select one. The color sequence was adjusted slightly so that the accent color is between dark brown Treacle, instead of Midnight. The sample I made is shown below in the order from the left. In case he misunderstand that the purl side is the wrong side, I sewed the samples on a piece of paper, and mailed them off to Japan.

According to my sister who watched my father made the decision, the orange one was out immediately. He was unsure between the remaining two, but the notion that ‘red’ is for young people got the better of him and he decided on mustard yellow. Personally, I would have enjoyed knitting orange version best.

Knitting this cardigan went rather smoothly. First the back and then I moved onto sleeves. Once they were finished, I assembled pieces and tried it on my DH to determine the location of the V-neck. Remembering that Father has a bit of belly, I added two to three inches extra to the front.

One detail shot of front bands.

I use back buttons on knitted cardigans in order to prevent over stretching of the fabric under buttons. Also, note the locations of buttons relative to holes. Do you notice that they are not right in the middle of the hole? They are almost at the top of the holes. When placed in the middle, the left front tends to hang lower than the right as the left front slides down until it is supported by buttons. In a sewing book, you learn how buttons and button holes are positioned relative to each other, and that’s how I know.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Herringbone Hat à la May

This pattern is written for the finished crown circumference of 24” (for a person with head circumference of 23”) only. For a smaller size, adjustments are required. When you find errors, please let me know.

What you need:
- Classic Elite Beatrice, 4 balls (actually 3 balls and a few more yards). Yarn spec of Beatrice is 63 yards/ 50 gm ball, gauge 4 stitches = 1" on #10 1/2 needles, and heavy worsted weight. For a smaller size, 3 balls are enough.
- Knitting needles in size 5.5mm.
- Tapestry needle for seaming.

Herringbone pattern:
- Row 1 (WS): Repeat [purl 2 stitches together, before taking stitches off of the left needle, purl the first stitch again] until one stitch left on the left needle, purl 1.
- Row 2 (RS): Repeat [slip 1 stitch knit-wise, knit 1, pick up the slipped stitch with the left needle and knit it] until one stitch left on the left needle, knit 1.

Gauge: In herringbone pattern, 24 stitches by 20 rows for a 4” square.

For finished crown circumference of 24” (for a person with head circumference of 23”)
Side crown: Lace cast on 145 stitches. Repeat row 1 and row 2 9 times, with the total of 18 rows.

Top of the crown:
Row 19 (WS) - Repeat [pattern 6 stitches, p2tog twice] until 5 stitches remain, pattern 4 stitch, p1. 117 stitches remain. Notice, p2tog must be repeated in a row so as not to disturb the herringbone pattern.
Row 20 and all the even numbered rows for the top of the crown - knit as Row 2.
Row 21 - Repeat [pattern 14 stitches, p2tog twice, pattern 16 stitches, p2tog twice] three times, pattern 2 stitches, p1. 105 stitches remain.
Row 23 - Repeat [pattern 12 stitches, p2tog twice, pattern 14 stitches, p2tog twice] three times, pattern 2 stitches, p1. 93 stitches remain.
Row 25 - Repeat [pattern 10 stitches, p2tog twice, pattern 12 stitches, p2tog twice] three times, pattern 2 stitches, p1. 81 stitches remain.
Row 27 - Repeat [pattern 8 stitches, p2tog twice, pattern 10 stitches, p2tog twice] three times, pattern 2 stitches, p1. 69 stitches remain.
Row 29 - Repeat [pattern 6 stitches, p2tog twice, pattern 8 stitches, p2tog twice] three times, pattern 2 stitches, p1. 57 stitches remain.
Row 31 - Repeat [pattern 4 stitches, p2tog twice, pattern 6 stitches, p2tog twice] three times, pattern 2 stitches, p1. 45 stitches remain.
Row 33 - Repeat [pattern 2 stitches, p2tog twice, pattern 4 stitches, p2tog twice] three times, pattern 2 stitches, p1. 33 stitches remain.
Row 34 - K2tog until the last stitch, k1. 17 stitches remain.
Cut the yarn, leaving about 20” hanging for seaming.
Pull the yarn through the remaining 17 stitches and tighten. At this point, you can start seaming and check the size, but do not cut the remaining yarn. Before start knitting the brim, you will need to undo seaming for about 1 to 2 inches so that the brim can be knitted flat. When seaming, pick up the vertexes of herringbone pattern, abutting the sides together.

Pick up 145 stitches from the bottom of the crown with right side facing.
Knit as Row 1 (WS) - Purl patterned stitches.
Row 2 (RS) - Repeat [pattern 20 stitches as Row 2 of the crown, yo] 7 times, pattern 5 stitches (152 stitches)
Row 3 (WS) and all the WS rows - Repeat [purl patterned stitches to yo, add one stitch by picking up a bar of the previous row] until the last yo, add one stitch by picking up a bar of the previous row, purl patterned stitches to the end. Notice that two stitches are added at yo in order to maintain the herringbone pattern. 159 stitches on the needle.
Row 4 - Purl pattern 10 stitches, yo, repeat [pattern 22 stitches, yo] 6 times, pattern 17 stitches (166 stitches)
Row 5 - Repeat Row 3 (173 stitches)
Row 6 - Repeat [purl pattern 20 stitches, yo] 8 times, pattern 13 stitches. (181 stitches)
Row 7 - Repeat Row 3 (189 stitches)
Cast off - Facing RS, ssk, repeat [ssk, cast off] until one stitch remain, cast off the last stitch together with the stitch on the right needle.

Seam the hat.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Circular Shawl by Shida Hitomi

A friend of mine has asked me to translate texts on a pattern by Shida Hitomi. It is an almost circular shawl from Ms. Shida's recent book "Couture Knits vol. 12".

Yarn spec (It is available on page 34 of the book. It is the fifth one from the top): Extra fine merino 50%, nylon 50%, about 200 m per 40 g ball, recommended needle size 5 to 6 (in Japanese sizing), gauge is 22-24 stitches by 33-35 rows.

Yarn requirement: 4 balls (about 800 m)

Needles: Japanese size 7 knitting needles and size 4/0 crochet hook.

Finished diameter: 53.5 cm

Knitting instructions:
- Make a circle and pick up 15 stitches by repeating knit 1, yarn over.
- Follow the chart on page 60 and knit 28 rows. There will be 74 stitches on the needles. Note that the blank squares indicate no stitches (in other instructions, they are for purl stitches).
- Next, follow the bottom chart on page 61 and knit 42 rows. On Row 1, the number of stitches are increased to 170, and on Row 42, 195 stitches should be on the needles.
- Follow the middle chart for 16 rows. There are no increases.
- Follow the top chart for 62 rows. On Row 1, the number of stitches are increased to 387, and on Row 62, 531 stitches should be on the needles.
- Using crochet hook, single crochet over the first 6 stitches, and repeat [6 chain stitches, single crochet over the next 5 stitches] all around the shawl. Over the straight edges, pick up yarns one stitch inside of the edge and repeat the pattern for 24.5 times. For the second row, single crochet all the way.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Little Things

Over the holiday we made a few little things, I mean my DD1 and I. She whipped up two knitted ornament sweaters from Berroco’s Minutia pattern, and gave them out to her friend and a friend of DD2. She was so fast in wrapping them up that I had time to take photos of one of them only. The other one was in green and also had some cables in the front. This was her first cable experience and she loved it. She did a great job!

I did this knitted bunny from Heart String Fiber Arts website for my DD2 who loves bunnies. She's been asking for a stuffed bunny for quite some time and I had some leftover angora yarn in pale pink. Just a perfect last minute gift for her. The yarn is 100% angora, btw.

Lastly, a cloth doll I made for DD2’s birthday several weeks ago. It is from one of the craft books we bought in Japan. We walked into a craft chain store called Hobbyra-Hobbyre in Nagoya and saw Nina dolls. Of course, DDs fell in love and we bought the book and a few fabrics, including Liberty of London prints. Can you see what Nina is knitting?

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Hat Crazy

Happy New Year to you all!

I've been knitting hats since my last major project was completed. Two scrappy hats were the first ones, followed by herringbone cloche/hat, cabled hats, and just completed berets. I have not established a habit of blogging regularly and just kept on knitting. So, this post will be rather long, I am afraid.

The herringbone cloche in Vogue Knitting Caps and Hats Two is something I wanted to knit for a few years. Its shape and stitch pattern appealed to me. It uses this neat stitch which is also used in My So-called Scarf and I knitted it last January. I thought it would be nice to have a matching hat. The only issue was that the pattern is written for size 20" only while my head is 23" plus. Besides, I hate snug hats. Also, the original pattern calls for Koigu Kersti in DK weight while I wanted to use Manos del Uruguay which is heavy worsted weight.

I started a test version with leftover Classic Elite Beatrice which happens to be heavy worsted weight. I followed the pattern with some gauge adjustments using 5.5 mm needles and aimed for 24" circumference. I did three sections for the crown as directed. Seaming these sections required thinking however. In the photo of the book, you see a vertical line along the seam which definitely does not belong to the herringbone pattern. As you can see below, in my cloche, it is less visible. It was achieved by just picking up the vertexes.

The Beatrice yarn was so bouncy and I loved the firmness of the finished hat. I wore it just about everyday, until I lost it on a cab. How stupid could I be? I just left it on the seat. I was so sad and was lamenting about it for a few days, wondering how I could recover from the loss. Well, I just bought more of the same yarn in different colors.

In the meantime, I’ve knitted another herringbone hat with Manos. This time, I knitted the crown as one flat piece. I love this version much better than the first. So, when Beatrice yarns arrive, I will be knitting the second version.

By the way, I found out that I don’t like the matching hat and scarf set, at least not with multi colored Manos.

Next hats are designed by a fellow Knitsmith, Thea. The pattern is available for free here.

When I saw her first baby version, I fell in love with the style. In a short while, she did adult versions, Woven and Cabled! I thought the patterns could work for my head and face shape which require a brim. I made it a bit larger than Thea’s original pattern and it really turned out nice, so nice that my DD1 decided it has to be hers. To be honest, she looks better in it than I. Big sister’s new hat leads to her little sister’s new hat usually. So, here they are in new hats. BTW, I used gold Roman coin buttons from my button collection.

The last project of 2007 was Rowan free pattern, Gemma Beret, for DDs. Have you felt Brushed Suri from Blue Sky Alpaca? If you have not, go to your LYS and touch it. It is heavenly, just as soft as clouds look in autumn sky. It looks like a regular mohair yarn which might feel scratchy to some people. The look is really deceiving. This is probably the softest yarn I’ve ever felt. I needed less than one skein for the beret which was knitted with the specified needles but with fewer numbers of stitches cast on. My DDs are very pleased with it.