Monday, 29 April 2013

Monkey Hat

April 2013

I have been meaning to make something like this since the Twist Collective published pattern for a blanket with the same monkey motif on it about 4 years ago. The blanket version looked a bit on the small side to me, and required knowledge of steeking which I don't have (yet, but soon...) and so it made more sense all round to have a go at the hat instead.

This version was made on 2.25mm DPNs, giving me a gauge of roughly 27 stitches to every 4 inches after blocking. The brim measures about 19 inches around, which fits my almost-18-month-old toddler fairly loosely. I would guess it would last him until he was 2 at least.

But it's not for him. It's for the son of a friend of mine who has made a habit of buying yarn based souveniers for me when he goes travelling, and his generosity is staggering. I hope this doesn't sound like bragging, but last trip I got 4 skeins of Berroco Vintage, 2 skeins of Dream in Color Smooshy, 3 skeins of Madeleine Tosh Sock and 2 skeins of Cascade 220. Don't ask me how he got that through customs.

I would like to make this again at some point, probably in a larger size. To get it much smaller I'd end up having to use 1.00mm needles or something, and I don't fancy that much. The thin ones are too liable to snapping if you're a bit of a klutz like me.

I made a few mistakes with this - my decreases are all leaning the wrong way, the monkey with its tongue out should have his eyes shut - that sort of thing. The finished object is pretty enough that it doesn't need to be perfect, in my humble opinion...

Pattern: Monkey Hat by Mary Ann Stephens
Yarn: Cygnet Truly Wool Rich 4-ply (brown), Cygnet Truly Wool Rich 4-ply (green), King Cole Zig Zag (red), Patons UK Fairytale Dreamtime 4-ply (cream), Rowan Pure Wool 4-ply (yellow)
Amount: Less than one skien of each
Size: 18 - 24 months
On ravelry: here

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

White Hart

March 2013

It feels a little bit strange to be making something with a reindeer on it in April, even though the weather this year has been disappointing... Having completed this, though, I've decided it's not such a Christmassy-looking deer that it shouldn't be worn year-round. It looks just as much like a white hart as a reindeer to me, and given that that's a very common UK pub name (on account of having been the livery of Richard II), that's what I decided to call it.

Don't get me wrong - it would make a superb Christmas jumper, and thankfully it's a generous enough fit that I think he'll still be wearing it in 9 months. By next Christmas we should have a baby cousin, too, and I'm either going to make him a matching one of these or a Baby Norgi, depending on his mother's preference.

I fiddled with this pattern rather a lot - the original Reindeer pullover as designed by Jill Wick is a raglan sleeved worsted weight sweater with a raw-edged neckline. I'd never really thought about it much before, but there does seem to be quite a shortage of worsted weight yarns in the UK, and I guess it's probably because the market here favours dk instead.

I took the reindeer chart and transposed it onto another dk toddler sweater pattern I had which I thought gave a good result when I'd tried it previously - Shiri Mor's Pirate's Cutie Sweater. I could make that over and over with a million different motifs.

Pattern: Reindeer Pullover by Jill Wick
Yarn: Stylecraft Special double knit (MC) and Hayfield Bonus dk (CC)
Amount: 1.5 skeins / 0.5 skeins
Colourway: 1027 Khaki / 0961 White
Size: 18 months
On ravelry: here