Kids Cats & Knitted Hats

This is my little spot to share the things I'm learning to do with my knitting looms.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Some Finished & Some Started

Remember a few posts back I found Bernat Frenzy yarn at our Dollar Tree for $1 a skein. I made this set to donate in the fall to our homeless ministry - a hat and scarflet that used 3 skeins of Frenzy. I think from now on I'll use it for brims and trim to make it go farther. The lighting for the picture isn't good and doesn't show the color very well.

Here's another charted hat I did.

I think I'll like this pattern a little better in fine gauge. I ordered the 12" fine gauge AJAL and the new small gauge Wonderloom today from Decor Accents. Time to stalk the postman again!

I'm working on a prayer shawl for my best friend's mom on my Prayer Shawl loom from Decor Accents (I'm not affiliated with DA, by the way. I'm just highly addicted to their looms!). Everyone calls my friend's mom "Nan" because her grandkids call her Nana (and we call her dad "Pop"). They are truly family to us. If we're not out of town for the holidays, we're always in the middle of their family celebrations. They're such special folks. Nan has just been diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma and isn't feeling well, so I'm making this prayer shawl for her. When you read this, please say a prayer for her and for my best friend who is going through chemo as a follow up to her recent colon cancer surgery. Sounds like they're going through a rough time, and they are, but you'd be blown away by their faith.

Here's another view of the prayer shawl -- this is where I am after less than one skein of Homespun. You can see the pieces of yarn I used to mark the pegs. I went around the loom wrapping three pegs and leaving three pegs blank. I'm using all 63 pegs -- odd rows are wrapped K3P3; even rows are wrapped P3K3.

I bought the yarn for blankets for both of my sons. I wanted to do them in Homespun, but I couldn't find the colors they wanted. I'm using Caron yarn since they had the perfect colors.

My younger son is a die-hard Detroit Pistons fan, so his blanket is going to be royal blue and red. I've started his on the 80" small gauge infinity rake. I'm using the garter stitch -- knit one row, purl one row. I like this stitch pattern because you can basically finish two rows at once by wrapping the entire loom and then knitting off a peg and purling it in the same step (see the video here).

My older son is a North Carolina Tarheels fan, so his blanket will be blue and white. I haven't been able to find a "Carolina blue" yarn, so I went for the closest light blue I could find and will also use Navy blue. His blanket will be done on the 48" infinity board. He's a little insulted that his brother's was started before his, so he (good naturedly) says I owe him a loomed visor beanie to make up for it. If anyone has come up with a good visor beanie pattern, please point me in the right direction for it.

This weekend is the State Championships for my son's basketball team. My mom, dad, sister and my niece's 28-month old son will be joining us for the tournament -- I'm so excited to see them! We live about 6 hours away from them and don't get together nearly as often as we'd like. Of course I'll take some of my projects to work on, but I might not accomplish much.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Orioles 18 - Cleveland 9

This week is the boys' spring break, but since Gerard just started his new job as general manager of the Comfort Inn in January, we couldn't go anywhere for the week. So we're trying to do several "little" things with the guys while they're off school.

Last night we headed up to Baltimore for a baseball game. What a game it was!

The boys think I'm such a dork because I carry the camera everywhere and make them stop for photos. They're just too cute not to photograph! Look at that incredibly blue sky! It was so clear and warm -- the perfect evening for a baseball game. We bought our tickets and were surprised at the great seats we were able to get. We were just a few rows behind the wall at left field. One Cleveland homerun ball ended up in our section, but we didn't catch it. Good thing too, because the crowd chanted "Throw it back" to the guy who caught it.

Another photo op, this time with mom in the picture. Funny how the main photographer takes all the great shots but is rarely in a picture.

Just look at those happy faces!

Waiting for the game to begin (and for the popcorn and peanut vendors to come by)

Our seats were directly behind the left fielder, and we were seated right behind some die-hard Orioles fans who lightheartedly heckled Jason Michaels, Cleveland's left fielder, the whole game. Here he is talking to two of his teammates. He was a great sport -- he looked toward the crowd several times, but he never seemed irritated by the teasing they were doling out.

The Orioles ended up winning, 18-9. What a great game it was! The O's scored 7 runs in the fifth inning.

Yes, I did take my knitting bag with one of my new scarf boards and some yarn. But the game was too exciting, so I didn't even take it out of the bag.

Today I'm going to work on a swiffer cover that was posted on this blog. It's a very sunny, warm day here in VA, so we've got to find something to do outside!

Thanks for reading. Happy looming!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Hat Frenzy

Since receiving my box of looms a couple of days ago, I have been knitting hats like crazy on my Small Gauge Youth Travel Hat Loom. Well, okay, I've only done two hats, but I've only had the loom since Monday. So it's sort of been a frenzy.

I did this one with Red Heart yarn using only one strand. I love being able to make a hat with only one strand of yarn. I started with the Cable Cast on and did a few rows of K1P1 for a ribbed brim. Then I started my pattern, the same one I used for the baby hats a few posts earlier.

Since the youth size travel hat loom has 74 pegs (which isn't evenly divisible by anything except 2), I had to improvise with my pattern. Look closely above and you'll see one set of blue stripes separated by only one brown stitch instead of two like the others. So I learned on this hat to use a chart to plan my patterns.

This is what I came up with next. I used Microsoft Excel to make a chart, but I can't for the life of me figure out how to get it on here. It's really easy though, so I'll try to describe how to do it.

I started with the cable cast on and did a ribbed brim. (By the way, I don't turn up the ribbed brim. I just knit a few rows of K1P1 until I have the length I want, and then I start doing the ewrap or whatever stitch I happen to be using for the hat). I did one row of all black -- next time I would probably do two black rows. Then I started with the pattern:

A. Wrap pegs 1, 2, and 3 with black, skip the fourth peg. Starting with peg 5, wrap four pegs with black and skip one peg all the way around the loom. When you reach the end, start with the red yarn. I started with a long tail that I let hang in the center of the loom (instead of starting with a slip knot on one of the pegs). With the red yarn, wrap all the skipped pegs, carrying the yarn behind the pegs as you go. Knit the bottom loops over the top.

B. For the next row, start wrapping with the red yarn. Wrap peg 1, skip peg 2. For the rest of the row, when you come to a peg with a red loop on it, wrap the peg just before it and just after it and skip the others. You will wrap peg 3, skip 4, wrap peg 5, skip 6 and 7, wrap 8, skip 9, wrap 10, etc, all the way around the loom. When you finish with the red, pick up the black yarn and wrap all skipped pegs. Knit the bottom loops over the top.

C. For the next row, repeat step A.

D. Wrap the next two rows with black yarn.

Repeat A - D until the hat measures the length you want. Then bind off using the gathering method. I purchased a Honeycomb Hat pattern from Denise Layman, and in it she describes a great way to decrease for the top of the hat so it isn't so bulky. I won't describe it here since it's a part of her pattern, but that's how I did the top of this hat. After binding off, weave in all ends and you're finished.

I always ask my boys to try on the hats I make to see who they will fit (I try to label them for youth, adult, etc. when I package them to be donated). My younger son tried this one on and quickly claimed it for himself.

I made one other hat, but this one was done on my 20" AJAL. This is the Sidewinder Hat found at Loom Knit Designs. It was fun to do, and it makes a large hat with a fold-up brim. It took me a while, so I don't know if I'll be making many of these.

Now I have to hop in the shower and get ready for some fun. We're heading up to Baltimore to see the Orioles play Cleveland (I think?). I love baseball games, but this time I think I'll take one of my new scarf looms to keep my hands busy.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Happy Rainy Day! My Looms Came!!

Woooohooooo! Did you hear my cries of sheer glee when I heard the postman in my driveway today? I knew the truck in the driveway meant boxes on the porch for me. Here's what he left:

I calmed myself enough to stop squealing while I was on the front porch and brought the precious cargo into the house. Even though I knew what was inside, the anticipation was just delicious! I opened the box to find these treasures from Decor Accents:

Oooooh, aren't they beautiful?? Here's what that much anticipated box contained:

* Prayer shawl loom
* Youth size travel hat loom
* Fashion Scarf Board - Regular Gauge
* Fashion Scarf Board - Small Gauge
* Fashion Scarf Board - Fine Gauge
* 80" Infinity Rake - Small Gauge

Click the picture to see a closer view and labels for everything. I already have plans for each of them, and don't be surprised if they all have a project on them simultaneously. My loom addict buddies know what I'm talking about. That old rule "finish what you started before starting something new" doesn't apply in our world! We can never have enough yarn, enough looms or enough "works in progress!"

My hubby came home from work just as I was snapping this picture:

He informed me that he was really glad the looms had come in because I've been rather "crabby" at lunchtime lately. Each day the postman would break my heart by driving by without leaving this beloved box. I really think he's been driving around with it in his truck for a week but just wanted me to suffer. Hmmmf.

My hubby is the BEST. I had placed my order with DA, and he called them and added the 80" rake. He's very supportive and encouraging with this new hobby of mine (as he is with everything else). I think I'll keep him around.

I went by the Dollar Tree to pick up candy for the boys' Easter baskets (one never gets too old for chocolate, you know), and guess what I found there? YARN! Here's the stash I picked up there:

$1 per skein - not bad at all! I picked up "a few" more elastic pony tail holders to make scrunchies. I think I'm set for a while with those!

I got several skeins of Bernat Frenzy to use for hats and scarves. The jury is still out, but I think I'll like it. I'm working on a hat right now on the green KK using a 1 over 2 stitch; I've almost used a whole skein of yarn and the hat is only about half finished. However, it does feel very soft and lightweight.

I wasn't sure about the Patons Evita, but I picked up some just to see what I could do with it. You know those cute crochet belts that seem to be popular right now? Well, I made one of those on the red KK loom:

I cast on eight pegs and wrapped back and forth on those eight pegs, using the first and last pegs as turning pegs. I just wrapped and knitted off until it was the length I wanted and then cast off with the crochet chain method. This one is a little less than five feet in length. I guess you could wear it as a sash and just tie it around the waist, or it would also look cute with a buckle of some sort.

Well, that's it for now. We're heading to a movie when the hubby gets off work; we're going to see Scary Movie 4. I hope it's as funny as the third one was!

Happy Looming!

Friday, April 14, 2006

What Kind of Coffee are You?

You Are a Cappuccino

You're fun, outgoing, and you love to try anything new.
However, you tend to have strong opinions on what you like.
You are a total girly girly at heart - and prefer your coffee with good conversation.
You're the type that seems complex to outsiders, but in reality, you are easy to please

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Let's Make a Scrunchie!

Scrunchies are so easy to make! They are basically just a hat brim with a pony tail holder inside. When I first started making them, I was trying to place the pony tail holder on the pegs -- mission impossible. Then I had a lightbulb moment (actually a slap the forhead, DUH moment) and figured out there was an easier way. Here's how I make my scrunchies:

* Blue Knifty Knitter loom
* pick tool - so far, the one I bought from In the Attic is my favorite - I have pencil grips on mine to make it more comfy in my hand
* yarn - for this one I used Moda Dea Espree yarn in Majesty -- Fun Fur is also great
* elastic pony tail holder

Cast on by ewrapping all pegs around the loom. Ewrap all pegs again - now you have two loops on each peg. Knit the bottom loop over the top loop - this is your first row. Continue wrapping and knitting off for 10 rows.

Place the pony tail holder in front of the first few pegs. Don't put it on the pegs; just rest it there.

Find the first loops you made; bring up these first loops and place them on the pegs, just like you're making the brim of a hat. As you place each loop on its peg, make sure the pony tail holder is between the peg and the loop. Take a look at the pictures -- you can see that the pony tail holder is inside the brim but not on the pegs.

After a few pegs, you can bring up the remaining loops through the pony tail holder. I use my pick tool to place the loops on the pegs.

When all loops are placed on the pegs, do a double check to make sure you have two loops on each peg and they are lined up correctly.

Knit the bottom loop over the top loop. Remove with the flat removal method with one or two crochet chains.

Ta-da! In less than 30 minutes you have a cute scrunchie!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

It's Finished! It's Finished!!

I finished my first afghan this evening! Yippeeeee! I thought I had one more skein of Homespun to add, but hubby said it was long enough. As soon as I got it off the loom he snuggled up under it (while talking on the phone of all things). It seems much wider than the 48" I was expecting. I'll grab the measuring tape and measure it as soon as I can get it away from the hubster.

Just to recap -- the afghan was made on the Decor Accents 48" Infinity Board with just a little bit less than eight skeins of Lion Brand Homespun (I believe the colors were Fawn, Harvest and Ranch). I used the Lucet cast on method and the zig zag or fashion stitch as described in the KK II Pamphlet. When it was the length we wanted, I took it off with the crochet chain method. Is that what it's called?

What's to love about the 20" AJAL from Decor Accents? Well, I was doing the Month of Spring Knit Along and had the first six rows of the yellow dishcloth finished - one more row and it would be all done, but it wasn't due to be posted until the next day. We had a basketball tournament on Saturday afternoon, and I wanted to take along something to knit. So I grabbed my AJAL and another ball of cotton yarn and started the KAL again on the other side of the board. How cool is that?

If you click on the photo you can make out the flower pattern. I have used one of the dishcloths and washed it already, so the stitches are tighter, showing off the pattern much more clearly. I know it's crazy, but I just love using those little cotton squares. I want to fill up my dishcloth drawer with them!

Now it's off to bed, and then tomorrow I'll be stalking the postman again. I'm waiting for my new DA looms which should be in any day now, or so I think. Hubby received the email saying they had been shipped, but he can't remember when they shipped or how they're even getting here. Okay, he's not the greatest secretary, but he's cute and he can reach the top shelves so I keep him around.

Thanks for reading. Happy looming!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Afghan Progress & Some New Hats

Oh, I just LOVE my Infinity Loom!!! I'm working on an afghan for my hubby -- so far I've used six skeins of Homespun yarn in colors he chose. Only three more skeins and we're finished! Unfortunately, I don't think he'll be using it alone. Miss Whiskers has claimed it for herself.

I love the way this baby is turning out. At first I was afraid the colors were too bland, but it's really looking rich and plush. And it's so SOFT!

I finished two baby hats last night.

I saw a candy cane hat on the Good to be Girl blog and decided to try it out. Being the big chicken that I am, I made a small version on the red knifty knitter just to make sure I was smart enough to recreate the pattern.

For the pink and white one, I started with two strands of pink and knitted enough rows for the rolled brim. Then I wrapped two pegs and skipped one peg around the loom. Since the red KK has an odd number of pegs, I had to improvise when I came to the end and left two blank. Then I added the white yarn (holding two strands as one) and wrapped all the skipped pegs. After knitting off, I started the next row with the white yarn and wrapped the peg just before the peg in the previous row that had a white loop. (Does that make sense?) Then I used the pink to wrap all the skipped pegs. In other words, you're changing where you wrap the white yarn on each row by one peg. Since the red KK has an odd number of pegs, I had to wrap the last two pegs with white.

So the pattern goes like this on the red KK with 31 pegs:
P = pink, W = white


and so on until you reach the desired length.

When the hat was about 6 inches long, I did a complete row of pink with regular e-wrap, then a row flat knit, then finished with the gathering removal method.

For the blue and white hat, I started with the cable cast on and did a few rows of K1 P1 to create a ribbed brim. Then I started the pattern, this time wrapping two pegs white and one peg blue. The rest was the same as with the pink and white hat.

When I do this hat again, I'll use either the green KK or the travel hat loom that should be arriving soon and make it with my son's basketball team colors. Instead of wrapping two, skipping one, I think I'll wrap two, skip two so the stripes will be the same size.

Okay, this has nothing to do with knitting, but don't you just wish you could learn to relax the way a cat does?

Bud makes napping an art. That's why we knit, isn't it? Because we don't have that inherent ability to release life's stresses and just chill out on demand. Oh, to be a cat!