Tag Archives: Circular knitting

Knitted Baby Hats

25 Jul

One of my very favorite people, my cousin Jenn, is having a baby girl. After negotiating with my Mom about who was going to knit which cute hats, I went to buy yarn. I didn’t find the orange I wanted for a pumpkin hat, which would have been perfect for a late September baby. Instead, I bought yellow and pink baby acrylic yarn and began experimenting. This is what I learned: 1. tiny hats need tiny stripes, 2. fold over brims don’t work (again, it’s an issue of scale).  Here is my final striped hat.

Striped baby hat

I also made an all pink hat, then knitted bunny ears and sewed them on (pattern below).

Bunny baby hat

Pattern for baby hat:

Cast on 48 stitches (16 on 3 needles to knit in the round), if gauge is 4.5 stitches to the inch. I used 48 stitches on size 6 needles.

Knit 4, Purl 4 for half an inch

Knit in the round until the entire piece measures four inches in length.

To decrease: Row 1, knit 2 together. Row 2, purl. Row 3, knit 2 together. Row 4, purl. Trim the yarn leaving about 6 inches of extra slack. Thread the yarn tail with a tapestry needle, then thread all of the remaining stitches through the needle. Tighten and put the needle through the top of the hat. On the inside of the hat, tie off the yarn securely.

To make bunny ears: With gray yarn, cast on 4 stitches.

Knit six rows in stockinette stitch. Increase one by knitting through in the back loop on the first stitch and knit six more rows in stockinette. Repeat this once more.

Decrease one by knitting two together on the first stitch. Knit six rows in stockinette stitch. Repeat once.

Decrease one by knitting two together on the first stitch. Knit four rows in stockinette stitch. Repeat twice. Knit the last two stitches together and tie off.

Pick up three stitches from the original four cast on. With the pink yarn, knit six rows in stockinette stitch. At the beginning and end of every pink row, hook the edge of the gray and knit or purl the pink and gray stitches together. This will create the effect of pink “inner ear” and gray “outer ear” in one relatively seamless ear.

Increase one by knitting through in the back loop on the first stitch and knit six more rows in stockinette. Repeat this once more.

Decrease one by knitting two together on the first stitch. Knit six rows in stockinette stitch. Repeat once.

Decrease one by knitting two together on the first stitch. Knit four rows in stockinette stitch. Repeat once. Knit the last two stitches together and tie off. Use a tapestry needle to tuck the yarn ends into the inside of the ear. Sew the ends of the ear to the hat with pink yarn.

Baby hats!

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11 Apr

I made this purse when I was in grad school roughly 5-6 years ago.

Seascape Blues PurseI love the colors! The purse is stockinette stitch with two strands knitted together. One strand is a plain blue; the second is a shaggy yarn with shades of aqua and lime. The “wrong” side of the stockinette stitch is facing outwards. The inside is lined with a light-weight, lime green cotton fabric.

I wanted to replicate this round shape with some lovely “surf blue” merino wool. This was the result of months of testing:

craftfailFinally, I got something approaching the rounded, bubble shape from which I was aiming. I knit this purse in the round, using increases and decreases to create the rounded sides.  I still don’t quite have the smooth curves I’m working on.

Surf Blue Bubble PurseThe purse is lined with a navy blue linen blend fabric, and the handles are recycled from a thrift store belt. The top edge is finished with a simple crochet stitch.

closeup of surf blue purseSurf Blue Bubble Purse, second view

 

 

 

How to: Felted Winter Cloche

10 Dec
First row

First row cast on

It suddenly turned frigid in Savannah with low temperatures in the 20s at night. I discovered that I didn’t have a good winter hat, and as a knitter, I’m not sure how I got myself into this situation. I initially modeled my design on the Monmouth cap, which was worn in sixteenth and seventeenth century Europe and early colonial America. Why? I don’t know. Maybe because it’s a simple pattern that can be easily “freestyle fashioned” into anything.

To create this winter cloche, I started with Paton’s  Classic Wool, a medium weight, 100% wool yarn. My color was harvest, but the color pictured here is rosewood. This is a great wool for felting because it is good quality, but is very regular not that terribly interesting when knitted. I measured my head and calculated my gauge, casting 84 stitches onto size 6 circular needles to make a 22-inch brim, which fits loosely on my head. It is crucial that none of your stitches are twisted when you start to knit on circular needles. If one stitch is twisted around the needle, you will create a Möbius strip, which is its own interesting knitting project, but will never be a hat.

purl rows

purl two rows

Knit in the round until the circle measure 2.5 inches. Then purl two rows. After purling, continue knitting another 4-5 inches depending on how big your head is. Err on the side of larger, because you will be felting this hat, so it will shrink.

ready for decrease rows

The hat is ready for the decrease rows

At this point, I like to transfer the hat from circular needles to double pointed needles, because it is easier to work. You can leave the hat on circular needles, or even knit the whole hat on double points, it’s entirely a matter of personal preference. Either way, split the stitches into four equal sections, with one section on each needle or add stitch markers to your circular needles.

Decrease by knitting two stitches together at the beginning of each needle or at each stitch marker.

binding off the top

ready to bind off the top

When there are four stitches left, clip the end of the yarn leaving a few inches of slack. Use a thick needle to thread the last four stitches and stick the needle down through the top of the hat. Tie off the end inside of the hat.

the hat so far

the hat so far

Turn your hat inside out and fold the brim at the two purl rows. Use safety pins to hold the brim in place. The brim will really, really want to roll, but is is important to keep it flat and in place so it isn’t twisted when you sew it in place.

brim folded and safety pinned

brim folded and safety pinned

 

 

Cut a length of yarn 2-3 times the circumference of the brim. Use a thick needle to sew the brim into place, catching every stitch along the edge. Tie off the end securely.

Sewing the brim in place

Sewing the brim in place

Now the knitting is complete, and the hat is ready for felting.

 

 

completely knitted hat

completely knitted hat

I must admit to being rather felting-challenged. I have failed many times, before getting it right this time. The traditional method of felting was hand scrubbing the knitted item with a detergent in very hot water until the wool shrunk and  fused together into fabric. Today’s method is your washing machine and dryer.

I put my hat in my washing machine with a load of towels, and washed in warm water. The “scrubbing” effect of the water and heat caused the hat to felt.What doesn’t work: putting your knitted hat in the machine by itself.  If you want to felt your hat further, throw it in the dryer. The high heat in the dryer will very strongly felt knitted wool.

My finished hat

Modeling my finished hat.

 

 

 

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