Monday, May 30, 2011

Baby Hat with Leaf

About a month ago, Fred told me that I should knit a baby hat for his nephew and the nephew's wife because we were going to see them at his brother-in-law's birthday party, and it would be a good thing for me to knit something for this baby they're expecting. I said, "Baby hat? I could knit that in a day."

When Fred reminded me on Thursday that the party was on Saturday, I panicked and said, "Baby hat?! I only have three days!" (Really only two since we were scheduled to leave the house at 13:00 on Saturday and really only like a day and a half since we were supposed to go to the Hague on Thursday and I did not have the right yarn.

My original plan was to recreate the fabulous cabled extravaganza that I had knit for Miranda's second son, Alex. I still want to write that up and offer it as a free Ravelry download. One of my goals is to have a pattern on Ravelry. I have a few ideas. Just you wait!

Anyway, the point is that I realized that with the limited time I now had, I would need to simplify my plan. I sort of have a lot of irons in the fire, as it were, with my knitting. (See previous post.) I decided to go with the Umbilical Cord Baby Hat that I have seen and that people love.

I announced that after the museum (our goal), we'd be visiting Woool, a yarn store in the Hague that I had never been to and that I wanted to see. I said I would by a ball of yarn there and that Fred could pick it out. The museum was good. We saw an exhibition about James Ensor. It was good, but they need some help with their translations. They were horrible.

Pauline, the lovely woman who runs (and probably owns) Woool helped me pick out a ball of Rico Baby classic. Fred chose a greeny-blue I would have never picked out. They're pretty sure it will be a girl, but Fred didn't go with anything pink.

I cast on and quickly realized that the yarn was thinner than it looked on the ball. I re-cast on and began knitting in a circle for five inches. Half way there, Fred suggested that instead of that little top knot, maybe I could put a leaf, like I had put on the original. Love the idea.

The whole hat was finished in about four hours. I knit on Thursday and then on Friday morning a bit because I had other things to get to and I didn't want to wait until the last minute because that's just asking for problems.

The original pattern suggests casting on 64 stitches. I went with 72. It's a very simple pattern. At five inches you just divide the stitches by eight and decrease every round until there are eight stitches. Then you knit two together and you have four. After that, you just do i-cord for a centimeter or so and then throw on a leaf, which is (as one woman I know says) dead easy. The leaf comes from Hinke, a local knitter and artist who I saw on Thursday. It's available as a free download on Ravelry.
The yarn is...machine washable. I also bought a ball of it in 'real' blue since it was only €3,50 per ball. I love the rolled rim. It hides the Cast On point beautifully. And this yarn is very soft.

While doing the hat, I heard myself promise Fred that I would finish his sweater before continuing with my sweater, the Terrarium beauty that is going to be done next week. Fred's sweater is finished. I bound it off this morning. More on that later.

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