Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas Knitting

Who has time to blog (or to knit for that matter) during the Christmas season?  I've decided that in the future, I need to finish all necessary knitted gifts by the end of November.

But of course, it's the knitting that's my therapy during this season.  I've finished two fabulous hats.  They're both made of KnitPicks Biggo.

They gave me one skein free, and I liked it so much I bought the second.  It's soft, squishy, bouncy, and washable.  It acts like it will pill easily, so I guess we'll wait and see on that.  My only complaint was that it was easy to split the yarn with my super pointy KnitPicks needles.

The first pattern I did was the Zombie Killer Slouch.  I knit loosely, so after swatching, I cast on with size 8 needles for the beginning ribbing. I switched to 9s for the body of the hat. I decided to knit it inside out so that I could k2, p1, which is faster for me, so when I got to the increase row, I did k1fb, p1, all the way around. It looks really nice from the right side.

After getting 2/3 of it done, I realized there was no possible way I’d have enough yarn, and that even on size 8s, the hat was huge for my niece’s head. I ripped it all out.

Started again, CO 64 with size 7s. Switched to 9s for the body. Went till I was almost out of yarn and then did an inside-out modification of the less yarn cast off. (k3tog, p1, etc)

It’s a cute hat, but not as slouchy as the pattern. I blocked it by hanging it over a large pan lid sitting on a tall glass. As long as it stays on her head, it will be great!

I knew after knitting the Killer Zombie Slouch with this yarn that I would barely have enough for the next hat, Giftie Slouchie Beanie. I cast on with size 7 needles for the ribbing. Switched to 9s for the lace pattern. I charted the pattern to make it easier to read while knitting. They I lost my chart and mostly did if from memory. Once you set up the first row correctly, it goes smoothly from there. I had to knit the crown three times to have enough yarn to finish. In the end, I started modifying things on row 27 (7th row of the lace). I did the k2togs and ssks, but left out the yos. This started the decreases. I did the same on row 29, but knit 28 and 30 even.

 I didn’t like the way the pattern decreased to end the hat. I wanted something that matched the established pattern better. I did this: p1, knit to 2 before next purl column, k2tog, p, ssk, knit to next p column, repeat. I did this till there were only 16 stitches left. Then I did k2 tog all the way around, then pulled the tail through the last 8 stitches. I love the way the crown turned out.

I debated about whether or not to block it, because it was so squishy and fun, but I decided to block it to show off the lace pattern better.  The beautiful model is my eldest daughter.  She is a joy to have around, and very patient!

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