A few pictures today of knitting projects I completed this year. They all helped me to learn something new about this wonderful world of knitting, from the simplest purl stitch to the more complicated knitted lace with its many slipped stitches.
First up, a really simple woolly hat, ideal for the freezy weather we’re having now. I know that winter happens every year, but part of me seems to be eternally convinced that, this time, it won’t.
The pattern for this hat is really simple, and it’s knitted flat which is a great bonus when you’re just beginning and are a bit frightened of knitting in the round. Double pointed needles? But… but… they’re so pointy! You can find the pattern here at Gina Michelle – I’ve used it twice to make quick, plain hats. You use really thick yarn and big needles, and you can whip up a hat in a few hours. I’m not positive what yarn I used – I bought it in real life so there’s no paper trail – but I know it was a value, chunky yarn, possibly King Cole Super Chunky in heather. If you don’t make the ear flaps, the hat only takes one 100g ball of yarn, which is convenient – what you don’t use in knitting the hat, you use in making a pom-pom for the top. I’ve also made it with Stylecraft Life Super Chunky in Damson. Any really chunky wool will work a treat, though you may want to check your gauge and leave out a few stitches here or there.
Yes, the original pattern calls for ear flaps, and I skipped them my first few goes around. That said, it was only a matter of time before I got involved in making some of those…
Cunning, dontcha think? This is modeled on Jayne from Firefly’s hat, as some of you may already realise. It’s supposed to look homemade and kinda goofy. That mega seam down the side might be excessively rustic, though. I knitted this on a train in about four hours, start to finish. This included trying it on and watching from the corner of my eye as my travel comrades tried not to look directly at me. This was knitted mainly in Stylecraft Swift Knit Super Chunky, shades ruby red and pepper. The yellow, again, I’m missing the paper trail for – it was a chunky wool that matched the colours in the original hat. I compared it very closely to the reference photo I was using on my phone. I didn’t notice anyone else in the shop doing that.
The Jayne hat was a combination of the Gina Michelle pattern and this Megan E Sass pattern for a simple beanie hat. I skipped the ribbing, which did create a weird ridge where I’d cast on. Also, if the ear flaps weren’t there to weigh it down, the brim on the hat would definitely roll up round the edge. Stockinette stitch is a bugger for that.
My final hat for this post (it turns out that hats are really easy so I’ve made a lot of them), is my sock monkey hat. I made this after a fruitless scour of Glasgow city centre, looking for a sock monkey hat for GISHWHES-related activities. Since I couldn’t find one (and a lot of the people I asked didn’t even know what I was on about), I put one together myself.
I cheated on the mouth and used some white felt. The whole thing took about three hours, and I still can’t decide if it’s adorable or terrifying. I like the raggedy braids a lot. Side note: button shopping is awesome. I would never have guessed!
So, we now know that I can knock up a serviceable hat in a short space of time. I’m pretty sure that counts as a zombie apocalypse skill. But moving on from hats, here’s a really early creation – a little TARDIS cushion.
It’s adorably (or amateurishly, depending how you want to look at it) lumpen and the seams are a bit wonky… But it’s a knitted TARDIS and that makes up for a lot of sins, in my book. It’s created with a series of strategic purls, so nothing fancy or advanced, but it’s good practise in following a pattern, because get one of those purls wrong and you’ve lost the game. You can find the pattern from Holynarfcrafts here. I made two, then sewed them together and stuffed for a tiny cushion. It’s made in Marriner Double Knit, in dark blue – the same as my TARDIS tea cosy.
Finally, the most complicated of the lot – a lovely leaf lace scarf from The Purl Bee. This demanded a lot of concentration, and there were times when I slipped the wrong stitch or knitted when I should have purled. I think this scarf brought my knitting abilities on tenfold. It also taught me how much a stockinette stitch will roll when left to its own devices.
The wool was the same value brand I made my checkered blanket from – Knitting Essentials. I went through maybe 200g of it to get a decent length. This particular pattern is knitted in two halves, and then joined in the middle. To make a (theoretically) invisible seam where the sides join, I used the Kitchener stitch. This is a way to join two live rows of knitting – ie rows that haven’t been bound off – and it’s a bit of a mind-bender, but when done right it looks just like another row of knitting. The Kitchener stitch tutorial from Purl Bee is really good, though I did have to try it a couple of times to get it right.
Thus ends this highlights post. It was fun to look back on some of the things I’ve made already. I have so many more lined up for next year, too. It’s getting ridiculous – I have more bookmarked patterns that there will ever be hours in the day. I think that counts for normal, among knitters…