Monday, April 12, 2010

My first knitted hat...

Matilda in her new hat...just in time for summer...ha!

Oh my goodness...I love my knitting friend Stephanie, who sat me down and demanded that I learn how to knit one day, (this past January to be percise).  I actually thought I was incapable of knitting, after trying to learn years ago, but it appears that I just needed a different teacher...one with the patience of a saint!
So, after knitting a few long scarf like rectangles, I decided to move onto better, rounder things!  We took a trip down to Perth and Carleton Place in February, to check out the knit shops, and holy yarn!!!  The beautiful wool and alpaca and bamboo...it can't help but inspire one to think outside of the box.
I decided that I would start on a hat for little miss Matilda first.  Here is the pattern I used for her hat, (and please bear with me, as this is the first time I have ever tried to pass on a knitting pattern).  I should mention that this pattern is courtesy of my friend Stephanie, who guided me along every step of the way.

Baby Hat
you will need
4.5 mm circular 40-cm needles
4.5 mm double pointed needles, (4)
I used 1 1/4 balls of SITAR (Nashua) in Deep Blue Seas

First cast on 80 stitches onto your circular needles.  Then on your second round you will be doing K2, P2 all the way around...continue doing this for about an inch.
What I did after this was add some extra stitches, (in a feeble attempt to make something tam-like), I increased by 10 stitches in plain knit stitch, and continued doing plain knit stitch all the way around for the next 4 inches.  Then you get to begin decreasing, (this is where the fun begins).  Make sure you have an even number of stitches on your circulars...you should have 90 stitches.
For every 10 stitches you do, you will want to add a marker...do this once around, then begin decreasing by knitting your last 2 stitches together before each marker.  (so, you will be knitting stitches 9 & 10 together), and so on.  Do this once around, and then knit all the way around without decreasing.  Then you will decrease again...(now you are knitting stitches 8 & 9 together), do this all the way around, and then knit all the way around without decreasing.  Continue doing this until it starts to feel uncomfortable and difficult to knit.  I think I started to feel a bit "stretched", when I had about 3 stitches left between each marker.  Now you are going to want to transfer onto your double pointed needles.  You will be dividing however many stitches you have left by 3, and putting equal stitches onto each needle.  You are just knitting your stitches onto your new double pointed needles, (it's not that hard)!  Using your 4th double pointed needle, continue with the above decreasing and then knitting around...until you have about 3 stitches left per needle.  This is when you will want to clip off a tail of yarn, and using a large eyed needle/darning needle you will weave your tail through your stitches and pull tight.  Then sew your yarn into the hat! 
I realize that this pattern is not for experienced knitters, but I just want to encourage those of you who are stuck on rectangles, squares, what have you, to think outside of the box and knit a hat!!!
If you wanted to knit a hat for an older child, I would start by casting on 90 stitches, (I am doing a hat for my 6 yr old, and it seems to be turning out well)!

This is the top of the hat...it reminds me of an umbilical stump!

If you are interested in knitting with the same lovely yarn, you can order some HERE, at the Real Wool Shop in Carleton Place, Ontario...they will ship to anywhere, and do it fast!  Also, I have discovered that YOU TUBE is full of great knitting tutorials...from casting on, to purling, to plain ol encouragement!

Happy knitting!
Maureen

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