I've had a bunch of hats planned for quite awhile and just haven't let myself work on them. But now I've decided to start working on them so that I can 1) play with the alpaca yarn I bought to make them, 2) not have to keep worrying/wondering about them and 3) get them done before we go to Minnesota for Christmas.
Last year I made this hat for #1 and some mittens, both were out of wool. I need to find the hat and see if I need to make a new one for him. I know the mittens are too small. I actually made two pairs for him last year. The blue ones had thumbs, and did not fit right, plus he didn't really need thumbs on the mittens. So I made the red ones- no thumbs! Less of a struggle to put on.
This summer DH asked me to make him a beanie out of bright green bamboo yarn. He liked the bamboo I used for #2's dress and my vest. While there are many places which sell bamboo yarn, there are very few selling the bright green he wanted. I spent several days looking for it- first in local yarn shops and then on the internet. While the yarn shops only had bamboo sock yarn, I found the alpaca for the winter hats for #2 & myself. I finally found the green bamboo yarn at http://green-logic.net/, a really great store selling environmentally sustainable goods. I told DH I'd make a beanie for him and that he could select the stitch pattern, etc from my book with over 200 stitches Crochet Stitch Bible by Barnden. The only thing I said was don't select something from the chapter on Tunisian crochet, because I don't know how to do it and I don't have the right hook for it. So he spends some time looking through and picks 3 patterns from the Tunisian crochet chapter. After discussing what he wanted, I found out he doesn't want any holes and wants a nice solid cap. So I auditioned a few different stitches- I did a few rows of sc, a few in dc, a few with front post dc, all in two different hook sizes G & D, and then a few rows of sc with a B hook. What does he pick? The sc with the B hook. So because I love him I gladly made the beanie in boring sc with a super tiny hook. His choice meant that I needed to do 4-10 times as many stitches as I would have if he had picked any other combination. Here are my models modeling the hat.
When I bought the alpaca, I bought 4 skeins- 2 white, 1 pink, and 1 brown. I didn't notice that the pink was super fine while the brown and white were a thicker gauge. So now I get to work both ends of the pink to double it so that I can make the stripes with the white. Not too tough except it makes it more interesting for #2 to want to play with. I'm not too much for naming my projects or patterns, but this one is just screaming "Strawberry Frozen Yogurt". I tried it on her this morning and I have a few more rows to go before I add the ear flaps. It's so exciting when I guess the right size. I started it after she fell asleep, so I couldn't check it out until this morning. I'll try posting the pattern when I finish. See she's already getting into the yarn while I'm trying to take the picture.
Brooke's beanie pattern- my friend asked if I would teach her how to make beanies so she could make them as Christmas gifts. She picked out three stitch patterns and we auditioned them. Luckily the 3rd one worked. It's tough to try to transition a pattern that works well for flat, non increasing pieces into one that works on a hat with lots of increases. This one worked because it called for a row of sc between the crossed hdc. So I simply put all the inc into the row of sc, and worked the crossed hdc rows even. I made this one out of Frog Tree Alpaca that was left over from the labyrinth in the corner. I picked a super huge hook because I didn't have much yarn left and because I wanted to show off the crossed hdc. I really like Frog Tree Alpaca http://www.frogtreeyarns.com/ because the yarn is made by a co-op in Bolivia. I hope to put the pattern in a separate post soon.