Saturday, January 31, 2015

Fairly Simple Knit Hat (With a Pom-Pom!)

I remember long ago thinking, "I can't wait until life gets easy."  Well, speaking from the perspective of a now senior-citizen, it never will be "easy".  There will be challenges and every challenge that you conquer will just make you stronger for the next one that comes along.

Work has been very challenging lately.  I've fed into that mindset and found myself stressing out.  It was time to actively refute that and find peace.  For me, if you have followed this blog, peace comes in gardening, making very calorie filled treats or needlework of some sort.  These last few weeks have provided lots of incentive for those treats and knitting projects!

I found a pattern on Pinterest for "The Vermonter Hat".  It required one skein of chunky yarn and size 11 needles - 16" circular needles and double points.  It had a VERY simple pattern - one that you can finish quickly and feel a tremendous feeling of accomplishment!  If you are a novice knitter, this is a great pattern.  PLEASE don't let the thought of circular and double pointed needles scare you off - they're easy to use.

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The link to the pattern will be posted below but if you find me on Pinterest, it's there too!  Start out with casting on 45 stitches on the circular needles.  Make sure they are 16" - if you get the 29", they will be too long and you won't be able to connect the stitches to make the circle.  Hint to success - use YouTube.  If you don't know how to cast on, find a video.  If you don't know the basic knit or purl stitches (these are the only two you use in this pattern), find a video.  If you've knitted in the past, the videos can refresh your memory!

The trickiest part may be the transferring of one stitch from the right needle to the left on the first row and knitting them together to make the circle.  After that, it's clear sailing!!

Two inches of knit-purl are followed by four rows of knit and one of purl.  When you get to the part of the pattern where you need to decrease and make the top of the hat smaller, you will eventually need the double pointed needles.  Just use them as regular needles - they just allow you to make your circle smaller and smaller.  In addition to the three that you see below, you have one additional that you use to knit/purl.

When you finally tie the final six stitches together to finish off the hat, you add a pom pom and then you're done!  Once you get the hang of it, you can finish one of these in a couple of hours.

Love this pattern and am enjoying using different types of yarn.  And yes, I had to pull it apart a couple of times and start over, but hey, that's how it goes!

Find the link here at SpiderWomanKnits.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Cozy Shrug

It's been a bit chilly here in So Cal.  I went on Pinterest, and found an easy pattern for a nice, warm shrug.  I figured that I could have something handy that is better than wearing a blanket around the house, but would also be appropriate to have in my office where the temperature fluctuates daily from 60 to 80 degrees!  Believe it or not, this pattern is actually just row after row of single crochet stitches!

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The pattern is from and you can find the link here.  I was able to find the yarn at Michael's on sale for about $2.50 a skein, so the total cost was only around $15.00.  I'm a very novice clothing crocheter, so there were a few challenges with this piece.  Here are my suggestions:

  • Buy extra yarn.  I ended up using a bigger hook than suggested so it used more yarn.  Plus, you can always return it if you don't use it.
  • The collar piece is a bit challenging.  The blogger actually added that on to the original pattern so you really don't need to add it on.

  • Search the stitches (front post double crochet, back post double crochet, etc.) on the internet and don't be afraid to try it.  I ripped out several sections to start over, but this is a quick project.
  • Make sure you add one single crochet at the end of each row before turning.  That will keep the number of stitches the same throughout.
  • Go by the measurement of the piece, not the number of rows.
I loved using the Bernat Softee Chunky yarn.  I would recommend any thick yarn, however, it would be fun to see what this looks like in a thinner version.

I hope you give it a try - it really was the type of project that you can do while watching TV.  No stitch counting or fancy stitches to worry about for the main piece.

Don'tcha love Pinterest???