Three hats walked into a pub…

I thought I’d share this photo (please excuse the quality – I took it with my iPod).  It’s from last night when my mum, me, and my dad went to the pub for dinner and to listen to some music.  The weather must be getting colder here, because we all had out our Sophia-knitted hats!

Left to right:  Mum’s Hat (February Beret, from this gorgeous pattern), My Hat (Rotorua Intermediate hat), Dad’s Hat (knitted flat, before I knew how to knit in the round, and when I was getting all excited about just being able to knit stripes!).

Brain Squeezing Cabled Hat

I really need to learn to be more patient, and do a swatch of knitting before I launch into a project…  This is my latest hat, and my very first attempt at cables!  I didn’t use any particular pattern, just cast on (too few) stitches, did a bit of 2×2 ribbing, then used a 6 stitch cable pattern from my 400 Knitting Stitches book…

My friend always told me they were so easy (and I in turn told her that knitting lace is so easy!), and it turns out we are both right!  Cables are so deceptively simple!  Although, for a first attempt, I would not recommend knitting with 14 ply wool on size 4.5 needles…  I bought this thick red wool ages ago from the Salvation Army, and after initially starting a scarf with it, I realised that I would not have anywhere near enough!!  So a brain squeezingly tight hat it turned out to be, as you can see from this photo…

The one good thing about making the hat so brain squeezingly small, is the that I did have enough wool left over to make a giant pom pom, which just gives it that extra something, don’t you think?

So, lesson learned.  One hat too small, and one hat too big – do more swatching!!

Rotorua Intermediate Hat

Recently in Rotorua, we went for a trip to Spotlight (which now we don’t need to do, since we have one right around the corner here!).  I bought three colours of wool, which for some reason just looked lovely together to me – a dark grey, a dark green and a funny mustardy yellow colour.  My mum said they looked like her old school uniform from Rotorua Intermediate, so that’s what I’ve called my hat!

It’s a pattern I made up as I went along, with a grey picot edge, even stripes, and some lacy eyelet holes in it.  It was super quick to knit, especially after (or maybe it was during!) the scarf I made my friend (which by the way, she tells me is super warm and cuddly in the Wellington wind!).

This hat probably wouldn’t stand up to the Welly wind – look at all the holes in it!  But it’s perfect for the Tauranga autumn weather, and it goes perfectly with a mustardy yellow merino wool top that I bought too.  I never realised it before, but I’m really drawn to that colour!  It’s a bit more mustardy than it looks in the photos here, the sun was shining too brightly here in the Bay, I guess…  I like the way this hat turned out, very simple, a nice way to make a simple striped hat a bit more interesting, and so it doesn’t turn out looking like a sports supporters hat (I only realised afterwards that I have made this hat in the Australian colours, I’ll have to put it away for the Rugby World Cup later this year…)  Here is a shot of the hat on my head;  I did knit it a liiiiittle bit too big for me (especially after I blocked it, and it stretched a little).

Over the next few posts I’ll try to catch you up on what I’ve been knitting – for me the hardest part of having a knitting and cooking blog is not doing the knitting and the cooking, but then sitting down, uploading pictures, and actually getting around to writing a blog post!!  If only there were a way that I could knit and type at the same time.  I did manage to knit and read at the same time the other day, though from my laptop and not a book…

Fun with Fair Isle

I’m just going to pretend that I haven’t disappeared for 3 months, and show you all some of the knitting I’ve been doing.  I knitted this when I had a few lazy days in Japan.

Yes!  I learned how to knit Fair Isle Style (or stranded knitting really, because I think that Fair Isle refers to specific patterns).  And yes, this photo does have a cow in the street – that’s because I was also in India, both South and North, where pigs, cows, camels, dogs, cats and elephants (not just the ones on my hat!) were to be seen on the street.  This photo is a bit unfortunate because you can see the “seam” on the hat, not really a seam because I was knitting on circular needles.

I based the pattern of this hat on the Olympic Reindeer Hat, from the Olympics.  However, reindeer weren’t really doing it for me, so I replaced them with some lovely elephants…  All in all, it was much simpler than I thought it would be!  I’ve almost finished another hat of my own design, and am also working on a pair of Fair Isle socks – my first attempt.  Hopefully with all this free time I’ve got now I’ll be finished soon and be able to show you the results.  I’m trying to learn how to knit continental style (with my left hand), so that I can hold one colour in my left hand, and the other in my right…  Unfortunately dealing with teeny tiny wool and four very pointy double pointed needles is making me a bit lazy to learn this!

See you soon!

And now for some wool…

Up until now, it has been all about the spoons.  So finally, I think it’s time to show off some wool creations!  My workmate is pregnant with her first baby, and so of course it was an excuse for me to knit something.  People keep giving her booties, and she now has four pairs of them!  I have knitted a ribbed hat.  I made the pattern up as I went along, ribbing 2×2, then decreasing.  I knitted on 4 double pointed needles, so the top knot is made by decreasing to about 10 stitches altogether, then just knitting around and around in stockingette stitch.

Here are some close ups:

And because I don’t have a baby to model the hat for me (I do have a Teddy, but his head is too big), here is my ukulele being a hat model.  I really do hope this hat fits a baby’s head – I have no idea how big they are…