Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Dippy Hats

I don't know where that name came from, they're really bucket hats, or maybe you call them fising hats?  Any which way you say it, they are cute!  I've been working on a pattern.  I found a cute hat on Pinterest, but it was in another language., pretty sure it's Dutch.  Hey, I'm Dutch, how come I can't understand the patroon?  Thank goodness for photos.  I'm pretty sure the pattern is under copyright.  You can view the pattern here.   I've made a few changes, mainly because I wasn't sure what the pattern was saying and also because I like my hats to have a little interfacing in for support.  Tonight I add piping.  I will take photos as I work and put a little instructional together for you.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

If Billy can knit... I want to learn.

My journey to learn how to knit started in college with a friend named Billy. He worked at the front desk of my res. hall and we were both active in our hall government. I think at some point my hall had a knitting night that I couldn't attend, but Billy learned how. He was somewhat clumsy and uncoordinated, so I figured if Billy can knit, I HAVE to learn how. I had many friends who crocheted and I dabbled in that craft, but something about knitting seemed so refined. I told my mom she had to reteach herself so she could teach me. And shortly after, I was hooked. I made my first scarf in basic garter stitch in camouflague yarn. It is skinny on one side and fat on the other! Not intentionally of course. I worked through guaging and made several more scarves for friends. I ventured into baby blankets and added purling and yarn overs to my repertoire. But I stuck with scarves and other straight knitting. Eventually I moved onto knitting in the round with dpns, but the magic loop changed my life of knitting. That brought me into the real world of hats, and mittens (hopefully soon into the land of socks). So it took the competitive nature in me to be "better at crafting than a boy" to become the knitting snob that I am today. Ha! eem

Monday, February 27, 2012

Baby gifts

I’m in the process of knitting some baby gifts, a frog pacifier holder and baby buggy buddy.  The pattern is based on Susan B Anderson’s pacifier clips, you can find that here. I’ve also made some of the flower and elephant pacifier clips from Susan B Anderson’s book.  I strongly suggest buying the book.   The buggy buddy is  pretty much the same way minus the clip.  I’ve made a few variations of this pattern:  red monster, blue monster, bunny, kitty, lamb and duck, sock monkey Just change the colors and eyes and you’re good to go.  Mitten clips are a good idea for keeping those little one’s mittens together.  You can see some variations below. 

We have been busy little knitters and are booked through St Patty’s day, 2012.  We’ll let you know when we have some items in stock and give you the link to purchase (donate) with all proceeds going to the National MS Society. 

Blue monster with a cape pacifier holder close up.


Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Multiple Screwballs

This is my MS Challenge Walk team.  The MS Challenge walk started in Wisconsin in 2008, I joined in 2009.  It's a 3 day, 50 mile walk in the beautiful Door County Penninsula.  Seriously gorgeous.  The goal is to raise money and awareness, the benefits are lifelong friendships and a feeling of accomplishment.  Here's a photo of my team.  Aren't they great? 

As you can see, we had beautiful weather, shorts in Wisconsin in late September?  Getouttahere!  If you wish to support our cause, you can donate to our team...right here

That's me and my oldest daughter at mile 45 last year.  Don't we look fancy in our tutus?
It was a little windy last year, that's my bff Lori and me
day 2, I was running so fast...

Friday, February 24, 2012


A little more about us.  Shortly after I found the sock monkey pattern, I headed out to visit my parents.  Mom was in the hospital, another battle with MS, or so I thought.  When I arrived, I found out that mom was not doing well.  I was able to show her my monkey hat and tell her that her Christmas gift had really gotten my creative juices going.  Mom, always cheerful, was happy that I brought the monkey hat to show her.  I made several hats in the days to follow, sitting with my family as our mother left her earthly body.  Later that spring, when my daughters and I prepared to walk in the annual Walk MS, we decided on our team name.  What would Nancy do?  WWND?  That phrase has been sung out over and over (many times silently).  The words that come to mind when I think of mom (Nancy) are: faith, family, kindness, charity, compassion, humble and loving.  Mom wasn't a complainer, something I need to work on.  I started knitting for charity soon after mom passed away.  My daughters and sisters have joined me.  We have branched out into sewing as my poor old lady wrists (there I go complaining) have a hard time with knitting. 

We hope to share our patterns and inspirations with you.  That's me and my mom when I was about 15, mom was so beautiful.

More later,

The monkey hat

A few months after the knitting bug bit me I found this pattern for a sock monkey hat. I really liked the concept, but couldn't find the yarn at a local yarn shop (LYS). So I made a few modifications and use worsted weight yarn from Vanna's Choice in tawny. This was my first experience with intarsia, the link in the monkey pattern (click on the word monkey above) was very helpful. I was so proud and pleased with that first monkey hat. I made more modifications to the original pattern and now make them sized from preemie to adult. I'll see if I can figure out how to upload some photos a little later and write out my modifications.
This is the the version from the link above.  I really like it...thank you so much for posting in Knitty. 
Here's a version of the hat that I made, infant sized with matching baby (thumbless) mittens.
I like a bigger pom on top and don't worry about adding ears.  My pattern is almost exactly like the pattern posted in Knitty, but I liked a little larger mouth (go figure).  You can follow the pattern linked above or try my version.  Have fun!
To make the hat I use size US size 7 needles and worsted weight yarn.  I found a good deal on Vanna's choice varigated in Tawny and use bits of Vanna's choice red, white and black to complete the look.  I also knit using the magic loop method
You need to work out of both ends of the Tawny in order to do the Intarisa method (or roll off a few yards and use that for the 2nd portion of the cuff). 
Vanna's choice acrylic yarn 3.5 oz tawny
bits of Vanna's red, white and black (for embroidery)
Size US size knitting needles.  You can use 4 double pointed or as I do interchangable needles with at least 36" long cable.
Infant size
Cast on 54 stiches in tawny
Row 1 K2, P2 to end, you should end with K2
Turn...we are not joining yet
Row 2P2,K2 to end 
Row 3Turn, K2,P2 for 16 stitches,  K the next 22 stitches, back to the pattern for the remaining 16 stitches.
Row 4 turn P2,K2 for 17 stitches, P1, change to White and Purl 20 stitches, change to Tawny and
P 1, then back to the pattern K2,P2 to end.
Row 5, Turn, K2, P2 for 16 stitches, switch to white K22, switch to Tawny repeat pattern to end
Rot 6, Turn P2, K2 for 16 stitchs, switch to White, P22, switch to Tawny, repeat pattern to end.
Repeat rows 5 and 6 one more time
Repeat row 4
Repeat row 3
Repeat row 2
You're going to join your work now and work in the round, P2,K2 around (ending on P2).
Continue in the rib pattern for the next 8 rows.
Voila the cuff is complete, don't drop anything...we're going to do the body of the hat next.
You need to increase one stitch in the first row only...I do it right away.  Kin the back and front of the first stitch.  You should have 55 stitches on your needles. You should cut off the white at this point.
Knit in the stockinette pattern (just plain old knitting if you're doing it in the round) until the body of the hat measure 3.5 inches from the start of the stockinette pattern.  If' you're using a small ball of Tawny to work the intarsia, make sure you're working off of the large skein to complete the hat. 
Start the decrease
K9, K2tog, repeat to end
K8, K2tog, repeat to end
Switch to RED, Cut main yarn.
K7,K2tog to end
K6,K2 tog to end
K5,K2 tog to end
K4,K2 tog to end
K3,K2 tog to end
K2,K2tog to end
K1,K2tog to end
K2tog to end
Cut yarn, leaving a nice 4-6 inches for the tail
Run the tail through the remaining stitches.
To make the nostrils I determine the center of the mouth and then embroider an inverted triangle on either side in Black.  I embroider the eyes equidistant from the nostrils (triangles right side up). 

Don't forget to sew in your ends.

Turn the cuff up, sew the seam and YOU ARE DONE!
I hope you enjoy making your monkey hats. 

And it begins

A few years ago my mother, Nancy, gave me a knitting kit as a Christmas present. I had learned to knit at my mothers side on a long (3week) vacation when I was about 9, but I hadn't been knitting on a regular basis. Anyway, the pattern in the kit was way above my ability, but I took the nudge to start knitting again. I told mom that I'd have to work up to the challenge of the pattern. I googled free knit patterns and found a simple hat pattern that caught my attention and I was hooked. My yarn did not leave my side, I even knitted while waiting for the lights to change at an intersection. I know, I know, a little excessive. I'll post some photos as soon as I figure out how to do that. More later...mpr