Wednesday, January 14, 2009

If At First You Don't Succeed......

Back in November, before the holiday craziness set in, I had the grandiose idea of knitting Oliver a matching hat/scarf/mitten set for the winter. I found the pattern for the Norwegian Star Earflap Hat by Tiennie and loved it. I cast on for it right away and I was going to adapt the star pattern to a scarf and some mittens. I followed the pattern for the child's size, measured Oliver's head, was spot on for gauge, and it came out way too big. He was swimming in it.

Now that the holidays are over and things have settled down and we are stuck inside due to freezing temperatures, I figured it was a good time to revisit the hat. I cast on again for another hat and I made some modifications which worked out well because now it fits my son perfectly.

Pattern: Norwegian Star Earflap Hat by Tiennie
Yarn: Cascade 220 Wool in Natural and Ella Rae Classic in Blue
Needles: Size US 7
Mods: only knit 5 rows below the pattern (eliminated 8 rows) and eliminated 2 knit rows at the decreases, added a pompom

This was my first try at Fair Isle and its not that difficult. Oliver really likes his new hat and he was the one that insisted on the pompom because his other hat has one. So picky. I have no idea where he gets it from.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


It has been quite a while since I have blogged. Then again, it has been quite a while since I have knit anything. I took the Christmas season off from knitting. I had too many other things to do and I had to prioritize. It was the first Christmas that my 2 year old could really understand and I wanted it to be extra special. But as soon as the holiday was over, I was more than ready to get my needles moving again and the first thing on my list was to finish the mate to the mitten I had finished way back in November.

Pattern: Green Autumn by Jared Flood from the Fall 2008 issue of Vogue Knitting
Yarn: Jamieson's Shetland Spindrift in color #130 Sky
Needles: size US 1 dpn's
Mods: Knit the mitered pattern on the cuff of the right mitten to go in the opposite direction than the cuff of the left mitten

These mittens were a tour de force. The chart alone was daunting but to actually knit them required my full attention and they were not a quick knit. I have not, so far, had second sock syndrome but I was pretty close to second mitten syndrome with these. Luckily, I am not someone who likes to leave my projects unfinished. The end result was well worth the effort. It is quite a stunning design and they are mittens you will not likely find anywhere else.

I had a little trouble with needle size when I first started. I used the recommended size 3 and the stitches were way too loose. I ripped it all out and started again on the size 3's but tried to knit much tighter with pretty much the same result. Thank goodness for Ravelry - I checked there to find many people having the same issue and they all suggested to move down to size 1. After that, things moved along.

I used the yarn that was recommended and I love the wooliness of it. I also love the different colors that run through it but it still looks solid. This was my first time knitting mittens and I love them! They are nice and warm - and very pretty!