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I was squeeing all over the place when the mail came today — I had almost forgotten that I hadn’t yet received my wee tiny sock! And there it was…

0324_weeswap

Lovingly knit by Joni from Union Center Knits. She’s also a spinner (woo!) and had a great etsy shop with lots of goodies for those of us who aren’t on a yarn diet. (sigh) She also enclosed the most adorable stitch markers, made with wee tiny beads. I puffy heart them! Thanks, Joni!! 😀

I couldn’t resist…though Trellis is not yet seamed, I just had to start these…

0324_socksthatrock

I needed to have something portable on the needles in case there was enough light to knit during the craptastically corny (but FREE!) kids’ movie we went to see this morning. (There wasn’t.)

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0323_trellis

Really, more than the knitting — I joined the shoulders and knit the collar months ago. Now only the sleeve seaming remains! (Trellis, started an embarrassingly long time ago.)

I like to think that I’m a good swap partner. That’s what they’ve told me, anyway, my former swap-ees. I put a lot of thought into the packages I send. And oh my goodness, hello karma, I got the mother of all swap packages in the mail today. And it wasn’t even a huge swap or anything — a pretty simple one, actually. But o. m. g. The *s w a g* … Read the rest of this entry »

Of all of the things I’ve ever made, the project that gets the most compliments, hands down, are the earflap hats that I knit for my daughters. Everywhere we go it seems, people rave about how cute they are. I’ve also noticed that I get a ton of blog traffic from people who are looking for a baby/kids’ earflap hat pattern. It didn’t take much dinking to convert the adult pattern I use to kids’ sizes, in fact I’ve done it for a lot of people, I’d just never written it all up.

What follows is a version for DK weight yarn — I’ll eventually get a worsted version up too.

0320_earflaphat

Size: Newborn (Infant, Li’l Kid)
(These are roughly 14″, 16″, and 18″ around, for heads a wee bit larger than those measurements.)

Supplies:

  • about 50g of DK weight yarn (I used KnitPicks Merino Style — less than one skein for the newborn size — but you can use any yarn that knits to gauge. RYC Cashsoft DK would be perfect!)
  • at least three DPNs and a matching 16″ circular needle (I used US6, but again, you can use whatever knits to gauge)
  • one stitch marker

Gauge: 19 sts = 4″ in stockinette stitch (5 sts/inch is probably close enough!)

Ear Flaps
CO 7 stitches.
Row 1: K1, P to last stitch, K1.
Row 2: K1, Kfb, K to last 2 stitches, Kfb, K1.
Repeat these two rows until there are 15 stitches on the needles.

Knit straight until piece measures 2.75″ (3″, 3.25″).
Cut yarn, leaving a 12″ tail, and leave the earflap on its DPN.
Repeat for second ear flap.

Hat
Using a cable cast on, CO 10 (12, 14) stitches on the circular needle. Knit the 15 stitches from first ear flap, then CO 24 (27, 30) stitches. K15 from second ear flap, then CO 10 (12, 14).

(Confused? Here’s a video that shows what I’m talking about!)

Join, being careful not to twist stitches, place marker and begin knitting in the round. As you knit around this first row, you’ll notice four gaps, on either side of each ear flap. When you get to those, K2tog to close them up. At the end of the round, you should have 70 (77, 84) stitches on the needles.

Continue knitting all rounds until hat measures 3″ (3.5″, 4″) from the cast-on row. (Rows 4-12 would be a great place for colorwork!) Then begin the decreases as follows, switching to DPNs or two circs (video here) when the diameter of the hat is too small for your circular needle:

(Decrease) Row 1: *K8 (9, 10), K2tog*
Row 2: K all sts
(Decrease) row 3: *K7 (8, 9), K2tog*
Row 4: K all sts
(Decrease) row 5: *K6 (7, 8), K2tog*
Row 6: K all sts

Decrease in this manner until there are 35 sts on the needles.
Then decrease in the same manner, omitting the “k all sts” rows, until there are 7 sts remaining.
Pull yarn through the last 7 sts with a tapestry needle, pull through to inside and weave in end.

Finishing
Weave in all ends. (I like to leave the tails where I ended the earflaps long so that I can use them to tighten up of otherwise correct anything that looks wonky around the earflap join area.)

There are a few ways you can add straps — pick up 3-4 sts and knit in garter stitch or seed stitch until desired length. OR pick up 3-4 stitches and knit i-cord until desired length. OR, thread through three long pieces of yarn and braid the double-strands until desired length, then tie off and trim.

Block and lay flat to dry.

(While you could absolutely use an acrylic or other non-blockable yarn for the hat, your earflaps might be a little curly. 😉 )

This pattern is and always will be free! If you extra-specially love it and can’t quite find the words to say thanks, you can always give me a dollar. 😉

Wee bitty socks and money origami…yeah, that about covers it.

IMG_4393

I’ll get back to more useful pursuits tomorrow. Wait, maybe today. I’m off to the gym. 😉

getting in on this??

squee!!

Pics from this weekend. But first: thanks for the comments! They seem to be functioning fine now, so as long as I don’t start getting spam comments, I think I’ll leave the settings as they are.

First, the merino that was awful to spin but is very pretty:

0304_merino

I plied a third of it with the remaining natural alpaca I had on the bobbin, and the rest with itself.

0304_merino-alpaca

I’m not in love with the merino/alpaca, but it is very soft, and the two yarns could definitely be used together in a project. The new Cast On magazine has an article about using multiple yarns together in one project that is quite cool.

I’ve dinked with the comment settings a little (thanks, Mer!). If you’re reading this, would you mind trying to post a comment? I’m not a comment whore, really. I just want to make sure they’re working. Thanks 😉

I forgot to take pics during the daylight hours today…more new handspun photos will be up tomorrow!

Because so many people rave about it, I got my hands on a copy of “Spinning for Softness and Speed” through interlibrary loan. I’m so glad that I didn’t buy it, because really, what a waste it would have been…after trying the method described therein, I totally would have thrown it out the window.

Really, it was awful and frustrating and it made me absolutely irate. So I’ll pack this batt away in the hopes that someday someone can show me this technique in person. (I purchased a batt especially for this, because you have to use carded fiber, not roving. Sigh.)

0302_batt

So I thought, okay, I will take out the yummy yummy fiber that i have been waiting to spin — alpaca/silk/angora or something like that. Super soft, lovely stuff. Mmmmm.

I couldn’t spin it to save my life. Tried it on the wheel, failed miserably. Tried to spindle it, did a little better, but it was not a fun nor a relaxing experience. In fact it made me pretty irate.

0302_asa

On to fiber #3 (a day or two later, of course) …a completely lovely merino from an etsy shop that I shall not name, because while it is a visual delight it has been an absolute nightmare to spin. It obviously sat in the stash for quite some time because it was compacted and very, very hard to draft. I couldn’t even successfully pre-draft it. I had to tear it lengthwise into teeny tiny thin little strips, which took for-freaking-ever. Sorry, lovely little etsy shop with beautiful roving, you won’t be seeing me again. 😦

0302_merino

(And let’s not even talk about the red 220 superwash that bled like mad in the wash. grr.)

I’m starting to feel a little more at home over here! I’ve got buttons! And a blogroll!

The header photo is my BFL and tussah silk plied together…if I do say so myself it turned out beautifully. About 300 yards, and I haven’t set the twist yet so I’m not sure what the WPI is. Seems DK-ish. It’s soft and scrunchy and I’m still thinking about what it might want to become.