Monday, February 05, 2007

Super Bowls Hats

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I actually had a two-hat deadline yesterday, and managed to finish them both:

Specs:
  • Yarn: Misti Alpaca Chunky in Sage (VR1380)
  • Gauge: 3 stitches per inch
  • Pattern: Cast on 66 stitches, Join in round, K3,P3 for 8", decrease in pattern & finish according to Super Simple Hat Calculator
  • Needles: U.S. size 11 Denise interchangeable circulars & Crystal Palace bamboo DPNs
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Specs:
  • Yarn: Cestari 3-ply 100% merino in Bulky Black Rose & Bulky Poppy
  • Gauge: 3.5 stitches per inch
  • Pattern: Cast on 54 stitches, Join in round, K3,P3 for 1", then knit every round for 4", adding stripes as desired; decrease & finish according to Super Simple Hat Calculator
  • Needles: U.S. size 10 Denise interchangeable circulars & Crystal Palace bamboo DPNs
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Creating that hat was an interesting process. I decided at the last minute (late Friday) to knit this for my nephew's 11th birthday, for which the family party was yesterday, and coincided with a Super Bowl party at my brother's house.

I had no favorite, but chose to root for Chicago. Whoops!
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Nephew is a Baltimore Orioles fan and had asked for an Orioles beanie for Christmas, but didn't receive one. So, I at least had a head start on color choice and style preference. After blogging here and also sending an email to every knitter I knew asking for advice regarding sizing and yarn, I got some great suggestions from various folks, and ended up buying the yarn locally at Unraveled. Shop owner Mary Jane and employee Ann were incredibly helpful in the midst of their busy Super Bowl weekend sale, and I'm extremely grateful to them for that! Mary Jane rocks, (and Ann does, too!) and we're so blessed to have them come knit with us at TNK when they have time. Ann was wearing the gorgeous mitered square skirt she knit, which looks fabulous on her, and is also currently working in the shop on a mitered square bedspread with all her leftover yarns. Stop by and see it -- it's amazing!

But I digress....

Anyway, the Castori bulky is an interesting yarn, one produced right here in Virginia, (although I have no idea where Churchville is), and although it's a very smooth, even yarn, it definitely has a "homespun" feel to it, I guess because there were little bits of straw (or something?) every foot or so, which I felt compelled to remove while I knit, and that slowed me down a bit. It's a 3-ply merino, and is very firm and not very sproingy like other merinos I've knit with, and knits up to a very tight, firm fabric on size 10 needles. If I'd had more time for adequate swatching, I'd go back and knit this yarn on 10.5 needles, to loosen the fabric up a bit.

I Eucalan-washed and blocked the hat, (in hopes of stretching it a bit, as I was afraid it might be too small), but the yarn held firm and the gauge did not relax much, (which is normally a good thing!) But I was able to manually stretch the hat some, and dried it stuffed with towels on a rack in my dryer. It took about 4 hours to dry on medium-high heat. The yarn did not bleed at all during it's wash. (I even put a strand of the black and orange colors together in a glass of water and let them soak overnight to see if they'd bleed on each other, but there was no bleeding whatsoever).

(Now I feel like Clark Parkes with a yarn review!)

Here are the recipients with their hats:

My older brother and his #4 son, both with birthdays this week
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Smokey did not have Super Bowl fever
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I leave you with two final questions:


Nephew's older brother wants a similar hat, knit in these colors:

1) Any suggestions on yarn?
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(I've got a couple weeks this go-round, so could order it online, if need be). Soft, bulky, sproingy yarns are always preferable!


And finally, this was an unintended effect captured yesterday:

2) What should this photo's caption be?

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8 comments:

Robin said...

WHEW! Gift crisis diverted!!! The hats look great! Cool photo --Oriole-a-GO-GO???

Issy said...

The hat was knit so fast that the recipient speeds up when wearing it!

Liz R. said...

Great hats, Mary!! And cute boys, too!!

How about trying Iceland from crystal Palace?? Sienna is a great burgendy, but I'm not sure about the Limeade (yellow). I just love that yarn!!

Link to colors: http://www.yarnmarket.com/yarn/Crystal_Palace_Yarn-Iceland_Solid_Yarn-1776.html

Sachi said...

Great hats!!!! And fantastic kitty.

Suzanne said...

I knitted a warmly received (ha!) scarf and hat set for my fave uncle who is a RABID redskins fan.

Knitpicks andean silk--wool, alpaca and silk--he wears them all constantly and he loves the feel. And the colors were perfect--and the price was right!

Of course, for a hat you will not have enough for free shipping. How about knitting a blanket.....?

Robin said...

Great Hats...especially the black & orange!!
Poor Smokey...

Monet said...

Hey Mary -

I made my youngest son a Harry Potter scarf. My husband, HUGE Redskins fan (my dog is named John Riggins, Jr., aka Riggo for goodness sakes) thought that I was knitting a Redskins scarf - I got the yarn at Unraveled and it was the UTOPIA Maroon (#187) and the Maize (#176).

The colors together look great and totally Redskins.

I did go back to get more to make a scarf for myself and they were out of the Maroon so I got the Pomegranate (#153) and it's considerably lighter than the Maroon so that's what I would go with.

Monet

somebunnysloveDOTcom said...

Hello from Rhode Island!
Though you are a bit busy this weekend, I figured I should tell you the yarn I found while visiting my family in Virginia Beach at Ewe Knit Kits. Trekking XXL in color #805. Hope you are having a blast!
=:8