Tag Archive | baby hats

Review: SmartStix DPNs

I have made no sweater swatch, nor have I made progress on my current WIPs. Instead, I spent yesterday making something new and completely different. But I finished it, so it’s still a win in my book. I had some SmartStix DPNs from Knitter’s Pride I wanted to try out, and one more hat to make for my donation box, so I selected the Gooseberry Hat and a skein of superwash sport yarn from my stash. I’ve used the SmartStix before for mittens, and I find them perfect for that. So easy to measure cuffs and body length as you go!

But I wanted to try them with a different project, and even though I don’t typically knit hats with DPNs, it seemed like a good option.

IMG_5640These are the 5″ length, in size 4, and I will say they were a tiny bit short for a hat, even this baby hat. At this point, these DPNs are only available in 5″ or 8″ lengths, so while the 5″ are perfect for mittens/gloves (and would be brilliant for socks!) for hats I’d definitely buy the 8″ length. I loved being able to measure my progress so easily. Plus, even though the needles are aluminum, they aren’t super slippery like others I’ve used. They seem to grip the yarn just enough so the needles don’t go slipping out or the stitches sliding off. They’re lightweight, and the markings are laser etched. I have three sizes of needles and have used them all multiple times, and the markings are still clear and easy to see.

I’m definitely not as fast on DPNs as I am with circs, but I made this quickly enough and didn’t have to worry about switching when I was ready to decrease. They do offer the SmartStix in fixed circs and interchangeables, and I might like to try the 16″ for hats. I definitely want to try the size 1 DPNs for socks! Have you ever tried the SmartStix?

Thank you to Stitchcraft Marketing and Knitter’s Pride, who generously sent me three sizes of 5″ SmartStix DPNs (retail value $38) for free. I received no other compensation for this review. All opinions and photos are my own.

A hat in a night

The other day I saw a post on Instagram calling for hat and mitten donations for asylum-seekers in Maine, and I knew I had to send a few things. I even knew which yarn to use: I had some Cascade Superwash Aran in green, tan, and brown. I’m pretty sure the only reason I bought it in the first place is because it was on sale. It’s very nice yarn, just not my colors. It’s thick and warm, soft for kids, and easy to take care of. Plus it knits up quick: I made this in one evening after work.

IMG_5494This one is child-sized, which made it quicker too, and a very simple ribbed pattern. But it’ll be stretchy and forgiving, and I hope it keeps a little head warm this winter!

I’ve already got a second one done, a little smaller and in the brown, and I’ve got a few balls of leftovers that I’m hoping to make into simple mittens. But first, I discovered a partial skein of hot pink KnitPicks Brava Bulky in my stash that will make a great hat too. It’s a pretty small ball, though, so it’ll probably become a baby hat.

Happy Friday, friends! I hope you have a wonderful weekend awaiting you!

Bonus: Baby Knits

Thanks to the holiday, I can make an extra post today and show you the wee baby knits I’m working on. This is the preemie-sized Yoda hat from last week:

IMG_3866

I finished a tiny rolled-brim beanie too, and it’s so very tiny that I’m a bit worried it won’t even fit his little head! But as we all know, handknits are forgivingly stretchy, so I’m remaining optimistic.

fullsizeoutput_bf7

I used leftover sock yarn, the Frolicking Feet by Done Roving in color Dancing Leprechaun, and it only took about 17 grams so I’ve got enough left to make another, slightly bigger version too. That one might be for another new baby I know, one of a set of twins. But first I’m determined to make them each a blanket, because I’m crazy like that. Before they were born, I said I wouldn’t make blankets because I always get bored making blankets and take forever to finish them, and to make two would drive me batty. Then the babies came and they’re adorable of course and they deserve pretty handknit blankets. I took advantage of the Knit Picks summer sale to get some Swish Worsted and have cast on the first blanket.

fullsizeoutput_bf6

This pattern is Raishan and it’s going well so far, with a pattern that’s intricate enough to keep my interested. It won’t be a travel project, but if I keep on track in the evenings, I should be able to get both blankets done before it gets cool. I’m aiming for small blankets, ones that will fit nicely in a car seat or stroller. And hopefully if I balance it with sock knitting on my lunch breaks, I won’t completely lose interested in the blankets! Anybody else get bored with blankets?

A Frog and Three FOs

Well. It has been a while since I posted and there’s no way I can remember everything that’s happened in that amount of time. I’ve finished some projects, started new ones, frogged one, and bought some yarn. And along with all that I’ve been trying to get ready for Christmas and still go to work every day! So, apologies for what will probably be a disjointed post today, but hey, at least you’ll get to see some pretty knitting pictures.

I’ve been working on the Black Diamond cowl in Charcoal Anzula. It’s fantastic yarn, a gorgeous pattern that’s fun to knit…but I ran out of yarn with six rows left. I contacted a knitter on Ravelry who had some left over, but I didn’t think to ask for a photo or a dye lot or anything like that. She was so very kind and sent me the yarn for free, and despite my misgivings on seeing it, I started knitting with it.

img_2467I made it through three rounds before giving up. I could have tinked back a bit and tried to blend by alternating rows, but I thought that would still be too obvious, and given the luxury of this yarn, I wanted it to be as close to perfect as possible. So I have frogged the cowl and cast on with smaller needles, and have high hopes that I will finish with *just enough* yarn.

My other Anzula project got finished yesterday and I’m so happy with it. I really love this yarn, and it feels so squishy and warm when I’m wearing it.

img_2476Pattern is Fields of Green, yarn is Anzula Cricket in Pesto. I knit it nice and tall and still have a bit of yarn left over. I liked this pattern a lot too; it was soothing without being completely mindless, and the resulting cowl is pretty and comfortable and so cozy.

I finished a little hat yesterday too, just a little toddler hat for fun.

img_2471

Another fun project was this little cat. I think he’s going to my nephew as an extra present; I just need to give him some whiskers. Pattern is Beans the Cat and I used some fun glow-in-the-dark yarn.

img_2462Anybody have a great tip for perfect stiff whiskers? I’m thinking glue.

The reason I had so much knitting time yesterday: we spent all day in Columbia, MO for All-State Band auditions with our flutist, and after two rounds of auditions and a very very long wait, we found out she earned THIRD chair in the band! We’re so stinking proud of her, it’s ridiculous.

img_2479

Part of that long day was a trip to a new LYS, but I think this post is long enough, so I’ll share my yarn photos soon, I promise! They deserve a post all their own. Until then, I do hope you all are managing your holiday stress better than I am, and I’m loving seeing all the Christmas-y knits you’re sharing. Let’s all take a deep breath and remember: Just keep knitting, just keep knitting!

Thomas Hats

I recently received a request for a hat for an almost-2yo. They wanted a striped beanie with a pompom but said I could do whatever colors I wanted. At first I was at a loss, because I want to make it the way they want it, but then as I pondered, I remembered that the boy is a fan of Thomas the Tank Engine and it all fell into place.

My only requirement was that it be soft and washable. For a kid’s hat, that means acrylic, and that meant a trip to my nearest big box craft store for the right blue. Thomas blue is tricky, you know, but I think I found a pretty good one.

IMG_6995

I used Tin Can Knits’ Barley hat for my base pattern and cast on. It grew quickly.

IMG_6997

It wasn’t until I was at the decreases that I realized I’d looked at the wrong number for cast on stitches and had a hat too big for a 2yo. Oops! Rather than frog, though, I decided I would finish it for my Thomas-loving nephew.

IMG_6998

The second, correctly sized hat went even faster. This morning they’re being washed to soften the acrylic a bit more, since to get the right blue I had to use a different brand than I prefer.

IMG_7001

The color is off in that photo, by the way. The first two photos are more true. Anyway, now it’s time to make pompoms. I’m debating between solid gray, solid yellow (which the nephew says would make the hat “more beautifuller”) and a mixture of colors. Personally, I would like to do a solid black to represent the pipe-thingie sticking out of his head (seriously, WHAT is that called?? And why can’t I remember it??) but I’m afraid only die-hard Thomas fans would get that. What would you do?

Henry’s Hat: Take Two

Okay, so I re-knit Henry’s Hat in the smaller size, and it really is darn cute.

IMG_6915

But it’s still nowhere near the size it’s supposed to be.

FullSizeRender

This *might* be doable for my nephew, but it’ll still be kind of big. It was supposed to be for Christmas, but I’m thinking I need to try it on him earlier than that so I can make a smaller one if needed. And in the meantime, I’ve started another one on smaller needles, and we’ll see how that turns out.

In other news, today was the first day of school and I forced my kids to take first day photos and I couldn’t believe how grown up they are.

IMG_6931

And just for fun, here’s a couple of puppy photos.

IMG_6909This is Jack waiting for the girl to get home from work last night. He does love his people.

IMG_6912And here’s my cuddle bug, Grace. She loves to lay on the back of the couch behind my head so she can reach over and sniff my hair and ear.

Hope your week is going well!

Dogs & Yarn

Weekends in May are jam-packed for us. We started with a Friday afternoon Picnic in the Park with a local weatherman and the jazz band from the girl’s high school. The weatherman always brings his dog, so it’s a pet-friendly event, and we were crazy enough to take our two. I’m not sure it was a great idea. IMG_6196Sure, Jack looks all cute and friendly, but in reality, he’s not great in a crowd. He’s protective enough that he’s uneasy with all the people and pulls hard to sniff them out. Or when he wants to greet another dog, he thinks he has to bark and act all crazy. *I* know he’s not trying to attack; I know my dog. I know his body language and barks and having seen both “on edge/aggressive” and “hey I just want to see hello”, I can tell the difference. But they don’t, and I know he sounds scary, so trying to manage him was a challenge.

IMG_6194Grace did better. She just wanted to lick all the people, play with all the dogs, and follow me when I walked away with Jack to help him calm down. So she was a bit wild, but in a friendly, non-scary way. And in her spare time, she wriggled around and ate grass. IMG_6195

IMG_6202Jack finally calmed down enough to sit on the girl’s foot and hang out in the audience…until someone walked up with a bike. Bikes freak him out, so off we went again to walk off the crazy. I think it was good practice for him, but he’ll never be a big-crowd party animal.

Saturday, the girl auditioned for the local youth symphony…IMG_6207and I finished a fingerless glove while I waited: IMG_6218

Yesterday I did two and a half hours of yard work to earn some guilt-free tennis-watching crochet time, and I worked A LOT on the mermaid blanket. It’s growing slowly and I think I’m getting very close to joining and working in the round. IMG_6217

Unfortunately, the several hours of crochet set my wrist to aching so I took a break to knit a tiny baby hat with leftover Malabrigo. I love baby hats. I want to add a button; I just need to decide which one.

Today is the last day of school, so I’m relishing my last bit of solitude. It’s likely to be a busy summer, what with driving the girl to summer school and work etc, but at least we’re not moving like we did last summer! Now I just need to find some fun, inexpensive things to do occasionally to get the boy away from his video games.