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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Wee flowers

Rowan Fine Tweed

The only thing more utterly charming than these little cakes of Rowan Fine Tweed is the hat that I'm knitting with them.

Peerie Flooers

I am completely in love with the way that the yarns look together and how the main colour in one shade is picked up by the tweedy flecks in another. The hat is, of course, Kate Davies' Peerie Flooers and I have enough yarn to knit the hat plus matching mittens and then maybe another smaller hat when I'm done. The  only colour that I've substituted is the blue for the flower petals - John Lewis, Reading were completely out of Murker so I've used Skipton instead. I did toy with the idea of using a different colour scheme (I think grey with pinks and purples would look completely fabulous) but I just love the perkiness of Kate's original design. The other thing I love is how quickly this seems to be knitting up. The temptation to knit "just one more repeat" means you whip through the rows really quickly.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

And that's your lot

sheepie mosaic

So if you count the hats in these mosaics and add them to the 32 in this post and the 20 in this post you get the grand total of ...

mosaic 2

... 90 hats!

Favourites this time are of course the pink sheep in the top mosaic and all the little Fair Isle hats. I started making the Fair Isle hats last Friday and just got sucked in. I think I might have been missing 'real' knitting and I was definitely feeling the colourwork urge (maybe because I have these hats mentally lined up to knit as soon as I get the yarn).

In the meantime I'm doing some Finnish colourwork.

Rovaniemi mitten

These are Rovaniemi mittens and I've got the full yarn kebab going on.

Rovaniemi mitten

They're knitting up surprisingly quickly given that I'm working on 2mm needles. Of course it was helped by a mammoth knitting session in the pub last night. I thought it was going to be a quiet night but we had three new knitters - autumn is obviously the season for joining the knitting group.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Hats off

I've just parcelled up the little hats to send to innocent for their Big Knit 2011. And how many did I knit in the end? Well you'll have to wait for the final round-up post to find out but the parcel weighs just under 500 grams - that's nearly a whole sweater!*

Wee hats

You can see one of the latest batch of hats in the middles of the photo. I got a bit carried away with the Fair Isle in the end (which I think is a sign that I'm ready to get back to some 'real' knitting now).

*Although I suppose a fair amount of that is pom-pom.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Perfect pompoms every time

In response to Lynne's comment on my last post here's my quick and easy recipe for making pompoms. I came up with this method the first year that I started knitting Innocent smoothie hats when I realised that the traditional technique was just going to drive me insane.

1) Cut out two 1 inch circles (I draw around a 2p piece) from a piece of cardboard.

Making a pompom

2) Fold each circle in half and make two cuts to cut out a small square from the centre (life's too short to be cutting out tiny circles).

Making a pompom

3) Measure out three arm lengths of dk weight yarn, tie the ends in a knot, double the yarn and then thread the doubled yarn through the eye of a large yarn needle and pull through so the ends are even (i.e. you will be pulling 8 strands of yarn at once through the hole).

Making a pompom

4) Sandwich the two card circles together and wrap the yarn around them until the hole in the centre is absolutely filled (this is the real secret to a properly plump pompom).

Making a pompom

Making a pompom

5) Cut a 4-5 inch piece of yarn and thread the yarn needle. Pull aside the strands of yarn and insert the needle between the card circles and out the other side (don't go through the centre of the pompom). Repeat until the yarn goes all the way around the pompom then tie the ends in a single knot.

Making a pompom

Making a pompom

Making a pompom

6) Taking care not to snip the ends of the yarn you're using to tie the pompom use a pair of sharp scissors to snip through the strands of yarn wrapped around the card circles.

Making a pompom

7) Pull the single knot tight around the centre of the pompom and then tie another knot to secure it.

Making a pompom

8) Trim any long strands until the surface of the pompom is even and then use the two ends to secure your pompom to your hat.

Making a pompom

More wee hats

wee hats mosaic

I had thought that I was running out of steam on the wee hats but it turned out that all I needed was a fresh injection of stash odds and ends into the project bag and another seven hours on trains this weekend to get me going again. Yes, it turns out that I am that easily amused that simply knitting with different coloured yarn is enough to enthuse me. In addition to the twenty hats featured above I've got another ten knit up and simply needing a pompom - the pompom-less beanie is not a good look on an Innocent smoothie it transpires - plus one more where the pompom completely blended into the wall behind when I took the photo.

Favourites from this batch include:

ladybird hat

The ladybird spot hat


Another sheepie hat - this time with added loopiness (loops made every other stitch rather than every fourth stitch).

wee hat

and all the hats featuring Harris rib stitch (as it's called in my Harmony guide).