2017, Baby, Cardigan, hat, Knitting, socks, Sweaters

FO, after an eon!

After a long hiatus of two years (in which I almost never picked up knitting needles), my knitting mojo is back with a bang. I should thank my soon-to-be-born grandchild for that. You read that right, I did say grandchild. My niece is expecting and is going to pop any day now and I will be elevated to the much coveted grandmom (okay, grandaunt) position.

 

Sweater pattern: Little Coffee Bean Cardigan by Elizabeth Smith
Socks: Rye by tincanknits
Hat: Garter Ear Flap Hat by Purl Soho

My niece wanted a sweater in gender neutral color, so most of my baby colors in my stash were ruled out. After much consideration, I zeroed in on the Knit Picks Shine Worsted in Platinum and Willow.

While the cardigan pattern is written to knit in stripes, I had to modify the socks and hat pattern to follow that. For socks, I changed the color every two rows, but stuck with MC for the heel flap until I joined to knit in round again. For the hat, I knit the ear flaps in MC color and when I knit a plain round, I changed colors every two rows.

I noticed that things move fast when I knit in stripes. Is that true or is my mind playing tricks on me!

 

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2015, Baby, cable projects, Cables, hat, Knitting for Boys, Sweaters

And the set is complete!

After I made the pretty, little sweater and was still left with a good half ball of yarn, I decided to make a hat to go with the sweater. I wanted one which would go with the sweater – with similar cables. Luckily, I found just the right pattern: Cable Baby Hat. I tried looking for a pattern with earflaps, but when my search didn’t turn up a good one (with cables similar to the one in Sunnyside cardigan), I gave up and settled for this one. I could have used a plain, earflap hat pattern and added this cable myself, but that wouldn’t be mindless knitting, would it?

The hat was a quick and easy knit. I liked how the designer blended in the decreases with the cables. By the look of it, I feel the hat is too long, but that should be okay. Long hats can be worn with folded brims, short ones are a problem.

Like the sweater, the hat is warm and soft. Cables are much better on the hat, but still not sharp enough for my liking. That cute little pom-pom is husband’s contribution. He is the resident pom-pom expert.

Next came the booties. I didn’t bother searching for a pattern for booties with cables, because I knew what pattern I would follow. I have made Ruth’s Perfect Baby Booties atleast a dozen times now and they have never failed me.

They are seamed, which I can live with, but what I love about these booties are they stay on little baby feet. I made 3-4 pairs for my own baby and never once have I seen the booties slide down.

I did think of incorporating cables into the booties, but dropped the idea as I was aiming for mindless knitting.

With the booties done, the set is now complete.

My hands are itching to cast on for a baby blanket, but my mind likes to remind them that there is no way I can knit up a baby blanket in two month’s time. Not with all the things going around right now.

2012, hat, New Design, New Pattern

New Pattern: Madhu Hat

I had this gorgeous skein of Malabrigo Rastita in my stash in the beautiful colorway Archangel colorway. The beautiful hues kept calling my name every time I looked at them. I would pet the yarn and keep it back because finding a pattern for variegated yarn is quite difficult. I know slipped stitches help in breaking up the colors and help in avoiding pooling, so I picked up a simple yet beautiful stitch pattern and made a swatch.

When that experiment went well, I made a hat with it and figured out a neat decrease which didn’t disturb the stitch pattern and voila we have Madhu Hat. The slipped stitch pattern is called ‘honeycomb’, so I named the hat Madhu, which means honey.

This hat takes less than half a skein of sportsweight yarn and is particularly suitable for variegated yarn. It knits up in no time at all and it adds a bit of quirkiness to the classic beanie with its asymmetric ‘flap’.

Pattern: Madhu Hat
Yarn: Malabrigo Rastita [Sport/5 ply]
Needles: US#5 3.75 needles, circular or DPNs
Sizes offered: S [M, L]: 22 [24, 26] inches, unstretched
Yardage: 150 [170, 200] yards

The hat is knit bottom-up with a provisional cast-on (casting on using waste yarn). After working the brim and shaping the crown, the hat is cast off. The provisional cast on is revealed to get live stitches around the brim and then the asymmetrical ‘flap’ is shaped with short rows. If you are not adventurous to try to short rows or do not like the asymmetric flap, then you can cast-on with the main yarn (as opposed to waste yarn). If you see a small hole at the place where you turn your work for short row shaping, this should cover up while blocking.

While this knitting pattern is suitable for variegated yarn, it looks great in semi/solid colored yarn too.

Baby, circular knitting, Finished Object, hat, Knitting, RAK, short rows

The RAK Hat

When I took up knitting as a hobby, I never realized it will affect and touch my life in so many ways. Ravelry (for those who don’t know, it is a site where knitters come together and knit and chat and do all sorts of things) has increased my friends circle. I met other talented knitters in Bangalore who motivate me to challenge myself in knitting and who urge me to learn crochet. The local group of knitters, fondly called The Bangalore Brigade, meet quite often, though I miss out on most of the meets. Whenever we meet (invariably in Cafe Coffee Day), we gossip, knit, show off our knitted objects, admire others’ work of art and drool over recent yarn possessions. Some sweet ladies even bring gifts for others. In short, my life is rocking, thanks to knitting and Ravelry.

Another important change that knitting has brought in is to bring together knitters across the world. A group called Random Acts of Kindness on Ravelry is especially responsible for this. It is a group of knitters who want to do small gestures of kindness by fulfilling other knitters’ wishes, knitting-related or otherwise.  Non-acrylic yarn is a luxury in India, so a common wish from Indian knitters is yarn. So, when I posted a wish for yarn around 2 years ago, many knitters sent me packages with yarn. Yarn in all possible colors and hues, in hanks and skeins and balls. The yarn that I used to make this hat comes from the same pool of RAKed yarn. The pattern is a RAK from Terri (Azlynn on Ravelry). No prizes for guessing why I call this The RAK Hat.

I was treasuring the yarn all this while and finally and thought it right to use it for this pattern. The Rushty hat looks cute on Ninad and keeps him warm.  The pattern is quick and well written. The earflaps are made using short row techniques and I thought it was really cool. No seaming, just knitting in round and the ear flaps sit snugly on the ears. I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a pattern for kid’s hat.

Three unrelated knitters across the world came together to make this hat possible and that is the beauty of knitting and Ravelry.