Thursday, November 30, 2006

For My Boy

I'll admit right now to bribing the kid to get him to model the hat. Cartoon? Cookies? your bets now on how often Slim will actually wear his new Elf hat.
The Specs:

Pattern: Elf Swirl from Kids' Knitted Hats by Cabin Fever
Yarn: Lion Brand Magic Stripes 75% superwash wool, 25% nylon
Amount: 3/4 of a 330y/300m skein, I bet enough left over to make little mittens or fingerless gloves for Slim
Colorway: #206, Lumberjack Black
Needles: Clover Takumi bamboo US4 (3.5mm), set of 5 dpns, and an Addi Turbo US4 metal circular
Time: eh, who knows?
Circumference: 110 sts, 18 in.

Notes about the pattern: To create the swirl, it called for an SSK after each marker and a YO before the next marker. What happens the round after you create a YO? That's right, a big hole. The book's pictures did not show a line of holes to the side of each swirl, and I really didn't want them there. So after about 6 rounds like this, I put the hat aside for awhile.

I hate ripping back, but I knew I wasn't going to be able to fix the YO holes any other way, and I wasn't going to finish the hat if I left them in. So I pulled back all 660 stitches in those rounds and started the swirl again. I ended up knitting through the back loop when I came to the YOs and closed up the holes. That's my favorite type of increase anyway -- works great on toe-up socks.

After I started the swirl decreases, the hat started moving a lot faster. Some other good things about the hat: It perfectly matches Slim's new coat (everyone is still going to think he is a girl between the hat and the coat) and it uses up a ball of self-striping yarn that I bought back when I was really into the stripes. I want to start making solid-color socks, preferably some of Nancy Bush's, and besides, the Cap'n is hating the striped socks. So this way, the yarn (on sale from Michaels) did not go to waste in the stash.

I also modified the pattern by adding two (way too long) I-cord ties. The only way that you're seeing this hat on Slim's head is bribery and the ties. He's like that with socks, too. They don't stay on for long if his shoes are off. I first made each I-cord and then attached them by picking up stitches inside the hat and then binding off the I-cord and the picked-up stitches together. I was pretty pleased with myself.

We've had some scares with cold weather blowing through the DC region, and no hat for Slim's head, but clearly I am responsible for global warming as I have finished the hat on a 70 degree day at the end of November.

It may also be a sign of the upcoming apocalypse that this hat actually fits Slim. Originally I thought this was my 4th try in making a hat for him, but the Cap'n corrected me: It's actually #5.

First was made before my knitting class last November when I was determined to make a hat for Slim. I used the Knifty Knitter small loom and Lion Brand boucle yarn. The crazy thing barely fits one of Slim's teddy bears. One could say I knit a little tight. I mangled the loom knobs so bad, I don't know how it will work for another hat.

Second was a cute little earflap hat made with Lucia's cool calculator and some Debbie Bliss cotton/angora. Perhaps it was made without a gauge swatch or head measurements. Perhaps. was gifted to my cousin's new baby.

Third was another earflap cap; this one also from the Cabin Fever pattern book. I thought I was being quite brilliant, making my own calculations to adjust between sportweight and worsted weight yarns. I thought I was getting better about at least measuring his head before I cast on. And I was very pleased how my first Fair Isle attempt turned out. When I finished, I was prepared to turn a blind eye to how it actually fit Slim, until my youngest sister tried the hat on and I realized it looked cuter when it actually fits. Even if it fits a 17-year-old, not a 1-year-old.

Fourth was another Cabin Fever pattern: Candy Dots. I really can't tell you what went on there. I believe I measured Slim's head wrong. Luckily the appreciative Cap'n has adopted the hat and wants matching slip-stitch mittens.

So here we are...a FO to build my confidence just before Saturday's rapidly approaching LSAT. Likely no blogging til Sunday or later so I have time to decompress after the test. Then it's on to finishing the applications, preferably before holiday vacations start on the 22nd.

Wish me luck!


Carrie said...

GOOD LUCK. (But you don't need it.)


Rie said...

Dude! That's the cutest little elf I've ever seen. I'm glad you got his (fifth) hat done before it got really cold :) In a way, he's responsible for keeping four other folks warm since his little head didn't fit any of the other hats!

You're going to do grrrreat on that test! (I typed that last part while saying grrrreat like Tony the Tiger.)

Love you!

Mom said...

I really like the colors in the final hat for Slim. Been thinking about you and your test coming up. Good Luck and I am really proud of you!!!


rachel said...

Love the hat. It looks so cute on him. It looks like he actually likes it to. I bet it will keep him very warm in the cold weather you will have. LOVE YA lots and thank you for having me visit.