Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Scrappy Cap

It's the fall! Which means, it's vaguely cooler than it was a few weeks ago. Cooler weather always leads to me wanting to knit something. It's a hobby/craft that I really shouldn't drop just because it's not chilly, but I always do.

I started with the thought that I wanted to make the Bean (one of many nicknames for my daughter) a fun, unique hat for the winter. So, I hopped onto Ravelry and started looking for a pattern. The only caveat being that I was pretty sure I wanted ear flaps and I definitely wanted a free pattern (yes, I am cheap).

I found an adorable Snowman Hat but it required Fair Isle Knitting, which I had never done before. Yikes! What do I do? First, I polled the few experienced knitters I knew. Unfortunately they didn't have much experience/advice to offer. So, I polled my friends to see if they knew anyone who might know.

I ended up (at the suggestion of a friend of a friend) trying out a snowflake pattern (again, from Ravelry) to see if I could do Fair Isle. Success! So then, being the crazy person I am, I decided to attempt the Skull pattern (which is, of course the boy pattern- but that's a story for another time/blog) of the original Cheery Scrap Cap, put out by Petite Purls.

The hat calls for seven colors. Seven! Yes, I don't choose anything easy as a first try. I ended up using six, and modifying the pattern a bit- which I knew I would have to do anyways, as I wanted to make a version with yarn I already had. My colors clearly did not match those of the original pattern.

When I finished the hat (which I made in the "infant" size, but it came out a little small as I used a smaller weight of yarn/needles), I decided that I liked it so much I wasn't going to bother with the Snowman hat. Not to mention, I'm currently trying to "up-size" the pattern for my adult head.

A few notes (take them or leave them, as you chose): for me, the infant size was a little small to knit in the round. If I make another one in that size, I would use double pointed needles for the whole thing. I left my tails (when I changed colors) suuuuuuper long. Which worked out fine for me, as I just used the extra to make the pom pom. I'm pretty sure the reason the word "scrap" is in the name of the hat is because it uses such a small amount of each color, that you could use left over yarn in your stash (from other projects). This was a super quick project for me- even with the newly learned Fair Isle technique. I made the hat entirely on my train commute. It took me about a week- so about 8 train rides for a total of maybe 16 hours.

I'm calling this one the Scrappy Cap because of the book the Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles. I love that book so much. In the book, the children wear/use what they call "Scrappy Caps" to boost their imaginations. I have great associations with that, and I can't wait for the Bean to be old enough to read that book.

If you're on Ravelry, you can find me as "risykay99."

Also? I'm trying to figure out how to add a Pinterest button on my blog. That's where I store a lot of my ideas and inspiration lately. I'd love for you to join me!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Felt Truck

I went to a birthday party for a friend's two year old son a few months ago (yes, yes- I know it took too long for me to get this post up), and even though we weren't supposed to bring gifts you know I couldn't resist something small and homemade.

My friend's son, G, is really into trucks. I don't know much about trucks, but thankfully I happened upon this great tutorial on Make it and Love it. I omitted several of the details because G doesn't have the book that was used for the model, and I really did want something relatively quick to make.

It was so easy, I can't believe I never thought to try something like this before. I've made some two dimensional things out of felt (and other fabrics) before, but now that I have a vague idea on how to make them three dimensional, I'm looking forward to trying it again.

This has been dubbed G's "snuggle truck" and apparently doubles as a comfy pillow. Hooray!