We're playing catch up here today, because I have two projects that have been done for varying lengths of time but go together thematically. First, there is Rainbow's handspun hat, which was completed nearly a month ago, but, in usual toddler fashion, she refused to let me take a picture of her wearing it until a few days ago.
Pattern: Slouchy Butterfly Beanie by Faye Kennington
Yarn: handspun East Friesian top from Crown Mountain Farms
Needles: US 0 (2.0 mm) and US 2 (2.75 mm), magic loop
Started/Completed: November 8/November 17
I'd seen this hat when it was being tested and knew that it would be perfect for Rainbow because a butterfly is her symbol at school (they use symbols before the kids can read their own names -- clever, isn't it?) and loves all things butterfly. She also loves purple, so this yarn was destined for her. I really liked the finished hat, though I must admit I didn't really love knitting it -- too much purling! I also couldn't make sense of the written directions for the cable part, so I just followed the chart and my own intuition; it seems to have worked out okay. And really, the most important thing is that Rainbow is happy with it. She wears it on a regular basis (it's in rotation with several other hats, including two others that I knit for her).
Who else is happy? My kid brother:
Pattern: my own, improvised
Yarn: Berroco Comfort (50% nylon, 50% acrylic) in navy and brown
Needles: US 6 (4.0 mm)
Needles: US 6 (4.0 mm)
Started/Completed: December 1/December 5
When my brother sent me a link to a beard hat that was for sale online (but sold out at the time) and asked me if I could make him something similar, I couldn't say no. I browsed several patterns on Ravelry but then decided that I could just as easily make my own. After all, this was just a basic beanie with a beard, and the beard was the only thing that would require a little thinking. I took some basic measurements of his head and face on Thanksgiving so I'd have some numbers to work with.
I did four inches of 2x2 ribbing on the hat (so that half of it could be folded up) and did a basic stockinette beanie with a spiral decrease pattern on the top. For the beard, I cast on enough stitches to stretch across the middle of his face (under his nose) and added an additional five stitches on either side so that I could put in a buttonhole on each tab. After the buttonholes were done and there was a little bit of fabric below them, I bound off those extra 10 stitches and then decreased two at each end every right side row until the beard was just about the right length (and somewhere in the middle I bound off about 15 stitches for the mouth and cast them on again on the following row). To finish it off, I did a few short rows in the center so that it would curve around and hug his chin.
Although he modeled the hat for me when he came over for dinner on Saturday night, he hasn't actually received it yet because I still have to sew in the buttons. They'll be hidden inside in the ribbing, and they'll enable him to attach the beard when he wants to wear it and remove it when he just wants a plain hat. A friend suggested that in the future I could make him different beards, which I think is a brilliant idea. I could have gifts covered for several years!