Thursday, February 25, 2010

E1 reports in...

E1 has finished her HAT #50!
We, collectively, are easily past the 1/3 mark!


49 - What *is* it about stripes?

Hat 49 is a regular old cap, nothin' fancy like mosaic knitting. It's black with wisteria stripes and a seed stitch cuff. Sweet, simple, used up the last of the black.(I have plenty of wisteria left!)

What *IS* it about stripes that makes my kids go wacky? Certainly the mosaic eagle, puppies or trees were more work. Even the stand of droopy pine trees took far more concentration than hat 49. But my kids have ENTHUSED over the last 3 hats, the striped ones. You'd think I had invented stripes or something. Surely I did not.

Maybe it's the black that makes the stripes particularly eye-catching. I just don't know. I've made other striped caps without their receiving such an exuberant reception. Maybe it is due to the black.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Homing in on 50

Hat 48 is Paton's Merino Classic wool in Wisteria and Black.

I will tell about the miracle hat soon. Its story needs to be told.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Hugs from Above

Hat 47, Hugs from Above, is crocheted in honor of Leah in Richmond. See how that gorgeous blue stripe is hugged by the black? May we always know the LOVE from ABOVE even in the midst of personal darkness.

By the way, I wish I could find more of that blue yarn. It's Paton's Merino Classic Wool in a color called "That's Blue!" I've checked three stores and cannot find it any more. I believe it's still made. I am sure I bought it locally only within the last month or so.

The hat: crocheted according to basic crochet hat instructions, but no brim of any kind. Instead, I did crab stitch as the very last row.

Monday, February 22, 2010

I've been away...

I was away for a week; that is why there is a delay in hats and their stories. My cell phone will allow me to put photos in the "drop box" but not to move them from "drop box" to the blog photo album. Additionally, I simply could not write blog posts on an itty-bitty virtual keyboard which causes me to get every third letter wrong when I type even if I were able to put photos onto the blog photo album. My regular touch-typing at a good speed turns into "hunt, peck, and curse" typing (which I loathe).

So, I've been away but now I have a moment before kids come home from school. I can tell you a bit about three of the newest hats.

RIVA hat
: E1, my sister, told me about the Hat Head design contest at Patternworks. She said, "Since you're making hats any way, maybe you can design a winner." I like contests. I even won one once. :-) I picked one of the yarns for the Patternworks contest and ordered one skein to see what it would be like. There was a little snafu with my order (my fault ... who knew that a "shop safe" credit card number can only be used by ONE vendor? I didn't!) Patternworks was great and they shipped the yarn at lightning speed once the credit card mystery was solved. The yarn arrived on the day before we left for our trip. So I took the Bretton yarn on the trip. I knit the Bretton purple hat on the ride south to our vacation destination. I started it in Rhode Island and finished it in Virginia. Hence the RIVA hat. I probably could have knit TWO hats in all those hours but hubby let me drive at least a little bit of the way. >;-)

The Wolle Baum hat (picture A, and picture B): This hat is a little visual pun, if you will. In German, the word for cotton is "baumwolle", or "wool from trees". I've always found that more than a little bit funny. Wool from trees! That's a better description of how Qiviut yarn is made than cotton! Nevertheless, you look at a multi-language label for cottons and you will see "baumwolle". While in Kitty Hawk, NC, I indulged myself in one of my favorite tricks ... Phone Google. I send a text to Google asking for all things yarn in Kitty Hawk, NC. I learned about a shop called 'Knitting Addiction' in Southern Shores, NC. I liked the name, for sure! So, when nothing else was pressing on the family agenda, I popped over to Southern Shores and had fun shopping in Knitting Addiction. There I fell hard for some Mission Falls wool in a tree green. With a pattern from a Barbara Walker book, I made a stand of droopy pine trees. So, they are Trees of Wool (Wolle Baum) instead of 'cotton' (baumwolle). Get it? A little pun.

At Knitting Addiction I also fell hard for Plymouth's Baby Alpaca Grande Paint yarn. Oh my! How yummy is THAT yarn? One skein. I only indulged in one skein. But gosh, that made a delightful hat!

For a while on vacation I thought I'd completely lost my knitting mojo. I ripped out at least two hats. So I'm glad that the three above suited me.

The William Hat and the Miracles Hat stories will have to wait. It's too hard to tell them so I'll have to postpone for a bit.

Thank you to Mrs. S of Kalamazoo who told me that there is quite a stir about the 310 Hats project in Kalamazoo! Also Thank You to Teri C of Kalamazoo whose lovely letter I received today. Thanks to Charlene A of Portage, MI who will be sending me a box of hats soon! WOW! Thank you to one and all who will warm beautiful heads of beautiful children at the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma Head Start program in Fall 2010!


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A lovely hat from Dale

I entered this morning's Toastmasters meeting and was immediately greeted by Dale who was bearing a lovely hat for the project! She said that as soon as she finished that hat her fingers were itching to keep going so she immediately cast on another hat. Welcome to the addiction, Dale! And thank you for the lovely hat to warm a beautiful head of a beautiful child this coming autumn!

The color of flight? The color of North Carolina?

Hat 41 is knit from Lion Brand's Jiffy yarn in a color called "Kitty Hawk". It's soft, it's pretty, it's kid-friendly, but I don't know what it has to do with flight or North Carolina in general or Kitty Hawk, NC. Maybe there's white sand with green and pink speckles on Kitty Hawk's beaches. Maybe it's named for some Kitty Hawk other than North Carolina's Kitty Hawk. Maybe it's just a random name. Maybe some day I'll find out.
(I note that most of the Jiffy colors are city names.)

Hat 41: diagonal rib 2 x 2 on 55 stitches, 6 mm needles, stockinette, and pie wedge top.

Question for D in California ---- Why does 2x2 diagonal rib angle one way but 3 x 3 diagonal rib angles the other way if they're both on the same number of stitches? This hat started out with 3 x 3 rib but I had the dreaded TWIST ON FIRST ROW which I didn't discover until after 6 rows. (Argh.) When I unknit it all and cast on again, I did 2x2 rib instead of 3x3. I notice that the two angle differently. Why is that, mathematically speaking?

Friday, February 12, 2010

letters back and forth

E1 wrote to Rebecca H of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma Head Start program to tell her that she could count on getting 310 Hats this summer in time for the next school year. She was very excited to read such news and wrote back to E1 saying that she and others would be watching the blog, and that the children who receive the hats are blessed.

It is true! E1, E2, E3, P, D in California, Angela, D in Cumberland and her friend Gigi, some knitters from Saint Francis Knitters and beyond,... perhaps others, too... will be blessing beautiful children with beautiful hats next school year. And not just the knitters and crocheters and people who sew will be blessing the children: I've received money from Anne to help towards postage and a promise from V to help with postage. What blessings! I get teary eyed just to think of it.

Hi to Rebecca if you are reading this! Know that many people around the country are going to be warming 310 Heads with 310 Hats before Autumn 2010.


I finished hat 40 last night so I'm counting it for yesterday. That makes 40 hats in 47 days. Still not a hat/day.

Hat 40 is a small one; it cannot be cuffed up. It's a single layer hat only. I used up the very last of the skeins of Impeccable Chunky. (Michael's, Loops & Threads). It's soft. I hope it's warm.

On my needles for Friday is a hat in Lion Brand Jiffy, color "Kitty Hawk". (The description of the color reads, "White with a tiny and subtle print of pistachio and rose.") I bought the yarn just because I liked the name of the color!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

car repair = knitting time

I don't feel compelled to plug in my laptop and work while I wait for a car repair. Instead, I have the luxury of knitting. Today I even found a place to knit where I could escape the regular waiting zone (with its plethora of Dunkin' Donuts mega muffins, noisy people talking on cell phones, occasional kids crying, and a GIANT TV with shows I totally do not want to watch). While the car was repaired I knit Hat 39. It's an igloo hat of Michael's store brand Loops & Threads Impeccable Chunky.

[47 days, 39 hats. Still not a hat/day but better than 38 hats in 47 days!]

38 - a very soft ear flap hat

I finished hat 38 last night. It's an ear flap hat crocheted with very soft (!!) Michael's store brand Loops & Threads Impeccable Bulky yarn. 100% acrylic. [The link shows the worsted weight; my store carries a bulky weight.]

(47 days, 38 hats. Definitely NOT keeping up the hat-a-day pace!)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

36, 37... No, I didn't knit/crochet these today

Yes, it's a snowy day. Yes, we've been indoors all day. Yes, the kids had the day off from school. But no, I didn't manage to knit the ribbed cowl hood or crochet the ear flap hat today. I merely finished them and photographed them today.

The ribbed cowl hood is a pattern from Morehouse Merino. (Picture) The yarn is Plymouth Encore. [The charming young model has a dress knit from the same yarn. This cowl hood finished up the last of the Plymouth Encore left over from making that dress.] I knit this one on a rosewood needle from Lantern Moon. Yum - I love knitting with those needles. As they get warm from working they smell SO NICE. They also have just the right amount of friction for happy knitting. Their points are a wee bit sharp, however. If I could change one thing, I'd dull the points a bit.

The ear flap hat is from a Caron pattern. I made it in Leader acrylic yarn. My #2 child said I should skip the ties and tassels because they just get in the way. The hat certainly stays put on a head and covers ears thoroughly without dangling ties and tassels.

I have another ear flap hat that needs to be finished, photographed, and uploaded. I hope to finish that tonight.

Hat 35 --- maybe it's "coral"

Hat 35 is another mosaic hat. It is made of Paton's Classic Wool Merino, on size 8 (5mm) needles. The pattern is from the Mosaic Knitting book (Barbara Walker), and was called "Branches". However, I'm renaming it "Coral Reef" for this hat.

Here's the scoop: I wanted to use up the last bit of pink from a prior hat, so I bought a skein of black. Black goes with anything, right? Then I picked the "branches" mosaic, but didn't like that the branches point downward in the book. I showed it to a friend who said "willow tree branches". Eh. Not droopy enough for willow tree branches. Real tree branches point upwards.

So I turned the chart upside down to knit it. (Mosaics can be turned upside down but you may have to make a few tweaks.) I wanted pink tree branches pointing skyward on a black hat. That's what I knit.

However, I didn't anticipate that pink branches pointing skyward on a black hat meant that the human eye would seek out the black and *still* see branches pointing downwards. ARGH! If only I'd knit the chart right side up, I'd see upward-pointing black branches!


So, instead ... if you look really hard ... you'll see upward pointing pink "branches" (if you can ignore the downward pointing black branch-like things). Hubby says "evergreen branches droop like that". Agreed, but that's not the look I was hoping to achieve.

So, dear reader, please focus on the pink. If you focus on the pink you can see coral in the dark water. Pretend you're snorkeling in the Bahamas, OK?

Hubby says "Yup. Coral imagery will mean a lot to Choctaw Kindergarten students." Funny guy.

So there you have it; the reason why I'm renaming the "branches" mosaic to "coral" mosaic for Hat 35.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Thought you might like to see this picture

This is a size XL Ziploc bag. It is presently JAMMED FULL with 43 hats. My hat #34 had to go into a new bag. This XL bag would not take even one more hat.

E3 and E2 collaborate on hat 34

E3 sent me some really lovely yarn a little over a year ago. I forget the occasion, and I forget precisely what I made with the rest of it. I think I made mittens for Saint Francis Knitters. (E3, do you remember?) The yarn is Universal Yarn's Fiber Natura superwash baby merino chunky. I had knit up all of it, or so I thought. The other day I encountered two last balls of it. Two balls made precisely one igloo hat (hat 34). Thank you, again, E3. The yummy yarn has now all been knit.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Caught someone's ear with the puppy dog hat

I was working on Hat 33 (The puppy dog mosaic hat) at the pool yesterday while the kids took swim lessons. A young girl and an older gentleman (perhaps her grandfather) came up to me. The young girl said, "Nice knitting! Who's the hat for?" I didn't think she would really want to hear the whole 310 Hats story so I simply said "It's for a Kindergarten student in a Head Start program." The older gentleman's ear caught this and he genuinely, enthusiastically exclaimed "Oh COOL!" I'm serious. This wasn't your average "oh. cool. (let's get going I'm hot and hungry after sitting poolside during your lessons.)". No, this was a genuine, hearty, hardy "Oh COOL!" It made me wonder:
- Is he an educator?
- Is he involved in Head Start?
- What makes him find the idea of gift knitting for a Kindergarten student in a Head Start program to be particularly noteworthy?

Perhaps I'll see him again on a future swim Saturday. Perhaps I'll have the nerve to ask him. Perhaps I won't and I'll never know the answers to my questions.

The puppy dog hat is a mosaic pattern from Barbara Walker's MOSAIC KNITTING book. It is done in Wool-Ease (Lion Brand) yarn on #9 needles. I couldn't find a short #9 needle so I did the hat on magic loop.

It was a different experience doing mosaic on magic loop. I got to appreciate all the more the magic of the pattern's continuing from edge to edge. This is hard to explain if you haven't done mosaic knitting (or magic loop), but I'll try to explain. When you do mosaic knitting from these patterns, and you're doing them in the round, you skip the edge stitches that the pattern calls for in the book. (If you're knitting the mosaic flat, the pattern will call for "repeat of 24 stitches plus 3", for instance. The +3 is the edge stitching. You skip those edge stitches when working in the round.) The mosaic pattern ends at stitch 24 and starts again at stitch 1. The picture continues!! Now, that amazed me when I was working on short needles for the previous three hats. But it didn't amaze me too much; I took it for granted and didn't think about it too much.* When I was working on the magic loop, I had two puppy dog repeats on one side of the magic loop and the third repeat on the other side of the magic loop. So I really and truly got to see that there is no break of design between stitches 48 and 49, and again between stitches 72 and 1. Yes, I saw that there was no break in design on the previous three mosaics, but it was brought home all the more by having two repeats on one side of the needle and the third repeat on the other side of the needle. Perhaps if I worked with DPNs and had one repeat on each of three needles that I would have been equally astounded. (But first I'd have to overcome my loathing of DPNs!)

I did a double hem for extra warmth, softness and thickness about the ears.

* I did note that you do not get the "beginning of row jog" from color changes when you do mosaic knitting. That little issue just disappears. I can't explain why. It just does. It makes me happy. :-)

Friday, February 5, 2010

Hi. My name is E2 and I'm a mosaic junkie.

Warning - if you are prone to obsessive thinking or compulsive behavior, do NOT start doing mosaic knitting. You are warned. Seriously. You think regular knitting leads to the "just one more row and then I'll stop" phenomenon? HA! You ain't seen nothin' until you start mosaic knitting.

Here is why mosaic knitting is particularly addictive:

1 - First of all, since it takes 2 rows of knitting for every one row of the chart, you automatically want to do 2 rows of knitting at a minimum.

2 - And then you think, "But if I stop now, I might not remember which yarn to pick up next."

3 - And then --- on top of that mental twist --- you think "just one more row so I can see how the picture is progressing."

4 - Mind you, "just one more row" is really "just two more rows" because of fact number one (see above).



You have been warned.

See the latest hat which is an eagle mosaic hat. The mosaic pattern is from MOSAIC KNITTING by Barbara Walker. The yarn is Lion Brand's Wool-Ease. I used 5 mm needles. The double-thick ribbing is done on 80 stitches, and then I increased to 88 to start the eagle mosaic. There are four full eagles around the hat, four eagle heads below, and four eagle tails above.

On my hooks to finish - two earflap hats (they just need the flaps).
Next mosaic - puppy dogs.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

another mosaic & a PS

E2's Hat 31 is another mosaic hat. Not a hat with another mosaic. :-) I used the same mosaic pattern as hat 30. But the two hats are different because the cuffs are different and the number of repeats is different. I changed needle sizes. Hat 30 was done on #10 needles with 60 stitches (6 repeats) and Hat 31 was done on #8 needles with 80 stitches (8 repeats). Same yarn: Paton's Merino. Next mosaic hat will have eagles. Keep an eye out!


PS - I heard from E1 who heard from her friend, P. P has done over 20 hats and her daughter will go to her house to take digi-pics of them! So, shortly there should be some digi-pics of at least 20 more hats. Our total count is easily over 100 now. I've seen P's knitting before. (She was on the Land's End Feel Good knitting team with E1 and me.) She's a great knitter! I'm sure the hats are lovely.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

30 for me

My 30th hat is done.

Here at my house I have 30 (mine) + 4 from E3 + 3 from SFK + 3 from Angela = 40
(I think I'm remembering all of them!)
They are all squished into a great big Ziploc bag, size XL. The bag won't hold many more! [Maybe I can fit in one or two more if they don't have pom-poms.]

E1 has done more than 30 hats but I don't know the present count.

And D has at least 20 done that will come.

Therefore, the count is at least 90... maybe almost 100. Maybe even over 100!


A long overdue visit to SFK, 3 new hats, and 3 hats nearly done

I have three new hats to show you!

I popped into Saint Francis Knitters today because Roberta phoned me last week. It has been a really long time since I'd been there. (Shame on me!) It was delightful to see every one and chat. I told the story of the 310 hats. (It's part of the reason I've been away from SFK for a bit. My hands have been busy and I hate to go empty-handed!) Roberta, Francine and Anne immediately dug into the bags of today's delivered goodies and insisted I take some for the project!

See these beautiful hats!!
SFK 1 - knit by Anne
SFK 2 - knit by Anne
SFK 3 - crocheted by one of Francine's friends

I have three hats that are nearly done (but only one photo).

Two hats are Peruvian-style ear flap hats in crochet. One's in spring green and the other in royal blue. The spring green is delayed because I ran out of yarn and have to go out to "the garage" to get another skein. (My garage is not attached to my house. It's about a mile and a half away.) The blue is on hold just 'coz I haven't finished the ear flaps yet.

The third hat nearly done is blue/blue mosaic knitting, using mosaic 41 (p61) from Barbara Walker's A Fourth Treasury of Knitting Patterns book. To finish it I need to close off the top and darn in the ends. It's wool - Paton's Merino in light and dark blues.


Monday, February 1, 2010

It's a lot harder to make a hat a day when....

It's a LOT harder to make a hat a day if you have to jettison a whole day's work.

Hometown USA was NOT the right yarn for the Peruvian Earflap Hat pattern.

Like artist David Cole (a la "The Knitting Machine"), I *could* make that hat out of that yarn ... just like I *could* make socks out of dock line... but neither would be very comfy to wear.

I'll have to use the Hometown USA yarn for some other pattern.

I'm ripping the hat out and will make something else with that yarn. I've restarted the hat with Michael's store brand "Loops & Threads" Impeccable Chunky yarn in royal blue. I cannot find a link to that particular yarn on the Michael's web site.

Crochet Basic Roll-Brimmed Hat

From 310 Hats

Worsted weight yarn
I hook (5 mm)

  • Chain 2
  • 6 sc in 2nd chain from hook. Place marker in last stitch.
  • 2 sc in each sc (12). Move marker.
  • (1 sc in first stitch, 2 sc in next stitch), repeat around (18 sc). Move marker.
  • (2 sc in each of first 2 sts, 2 sc in next stitch), repeat around (24 sc). Move marker.
  • (3 sc in ea of first 3 sts, 2 sc in next stitch), repeat around (30 sc). Move marker.
  • Continue in this manner for 13 or 14 rounds (increasing the number of scs before the increase by 1 each round) until your radius is about 3", diameter about 6", and circumference about 18". (78 scs or 84 scs). This should make a nice flat disc, which is the hat top.
  • Work even without increasing. It will start making a bowl shape. Continue even until the depth is about 6". It needs to be long enough and and big enough around to cover a Kindergarten-age child's head and ears.
  • To create a rolled brim, increase the stitches by 50%: (1 sc, 2 sc in next stitch) repeat around.
  • Work a few rounds even.
  • Slip stitch around to give a nice tight, neat edge.
  • Cut yarn. Work in ends.
  • If the hat is too "airy", you can weave colored yarns through the stitch spaces. Colored yarns will be very decorative.