Greenleaf Baby Hat

As previously mentioned, I made a hat to go with the sprout blanket. I chose the Greenleaf Baby Hat pattern by Evelyn Uyemura due to the leaf motif. The parents told me that they have lots of hats but most of them are too large so, using the same yarn as the blanket, I followed the instructions at the end of the pattern for the smaller size using a 4mm needle.

I don’t own any 4mm double pointed needles, and only have one 4mm circular needle, so I used the magic loop method to knit in the round with that one circular.

In the end, it looked something like this:

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It’s a very pretty hat and I managed to finish it in a weekend which is a record. Unfortunately, it was a bit too small after all that! So last week I made a Hat Mk II, casting on with 8 more stitches but still using 4mm needles and trying to “knit loose”. This time it was a success, confirmed to me with (extremely cute!) visual evidence of baby in said hat. Yay!

So this counts as several first for me: First time knitting in the round, first time using the magic loop, and first time making I-cord! The only problem I found with the magic loop method was that the the first stitch you make on each “half” pulls the last stitch of the previous “half” tighter around the cable, so it’s no longer the same size as your needles. On Hat Mk I this left two slightly odd looking columns of stitches (one for each half), but I think it was better for Hat Mk II.

Finally finished!

I kinda went on a hiatus there didn’t I? I blame the clocks going forward, I really do. More daylight hours in the evenings = more time outside gardening, and therefore less time on the blog. I also must admit that various Steam Sales had something to do with it (I can’t find an apt link, so you either know what that means or you don’t – it involves my new PC, the internet and games).

Anyway, the sprout blanket is finally knitted, ends sewn in, washed, blocked and labelled up to go to the recipient, who is now nearly a month old (oops). I got everything together last Friday to finish it off.

Yarn review: The yarn (Patons Cotton Twist Aran) was quite pleasant to use. The resulting blanket is soft and drapey, and the acrylic nicely tames any harshness from the cotton. However, it is a “Z” twist yarn, which according to Doris Chan is better suited for crochet than knitting and I believe her. Basically, yarn is either “S” twist or “Z” twist (to find this out, hold the yarn vertically and see which letter the twist represents). “S” twist yarns have the twist reinforced during knitting, and get unravelled during crochet. “Z”s are the other way round. Therefore I found that the yarn became a bit easy to split with the needle tip, but I reckon if I crochet with it it’ll be fine.

Pattern review: The pattern was easy to follow and not that difficult knitting-wise. My only complaint is the use of pfbs, as these leave a larger loop on the right side of the fabric which to me looks untidy (even when there’s a nice pattern of larger loops). I did make a mistake here or there, the most noticeable of which left a hole in the stem of the central sprout. Oh well. Have some photos!

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Starting off using the long tail cast on. I really like this cast on (was my first time using it). You get a neat edge and it’s very quick to do once you get used to it.

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Adventures in frogging. I noticed I’d made a mistake when I suddenly had the wrong number of stitches and the pattern no longer fit. I tried to fix it from the current row, but it just made it worse so I got a contrasting yarn and threaded it into every stitch of the last correct wrong side row. I chose to go back to a wrong side row as the stitches used were either purl or knit, nothing fancy to think about. The second picture shows the yarn going underneath the right hand “leg” of the stitches.

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Success! The first photo shows one of the sprout tips correctly hung on the lifeline. I was so, so, SO relieved by that. I spent ages trying to work out just which bit was the right hand leg of all those stitches. Patience and logic is definitely the key to success there. I might do some sort of tutorial when I get some time (and can remember what it is I did).

The second photo shows threading the needle back through the loops, following the lifeline (and putting the stitch markers back on when prompted by the yarn ends). And then voila! Back on the needles! Woohoo!

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And there we go, one finished blanket, all ready to go to one baby girl. :) I used a sewn bind off to match the long tail cast on. It’s a reasonable approximation, not exact, but you’d only notice if you look very closely (and that’s probably more to my lack of skill than anything).

To go with the blanket, the parents said that they didn’t have enough hats that fit (their baby is super cute but very tiny) so I decided to make a Greenleaf Baby Hat from the left over yarn (found via Ravelry pattern suggestions which worked very well). I’ll post up about it in more detail later, but until then here’s a photo of the finished article:

DSCF5452I’m going to try very hard to avoid another hiatus. It might be that every couple of days or so I just post up a quick photo and a short line of what’s been going on since I last posted or during the 2 month(!) hiatus. We’ll see.