Winter blues

Blues. It’s too soon for the real wintry blues, since winter is only just getting revved up here in Michigan. But blue hats. Well, blue hats seem to be leaping off my needles. This one is Dani Sunshine’s Rockhound. One of her free patterns. Anything feathery and fanny is fun for me. This is knit up in Plymouth Yarn’s Worsted Merino Superwash Solid. Excellent stitch definition. Glass head likes how well it works with her blue vintage mohair cheekbone.

Here’s a look at the nicely rounded crown.

This next bit of blue is Speargrass, in another shade of the same Plymouth worsted superwash I used for Rockhound. It’s another free pattern, this time by Susie Gourlay.

How cool is that? Possibly, very cool. “Holey hats, Batman!” But not every hat has to be super-warm. This one is a lot of fun to knit. And the pattern is easily memorized.

At first I thought that I didn’t care for the way the ribbing transitioned into the body of the hat. And next time I might try knitting a round to make the transition to the body a little more defined. But the more I look at it, I sort of like the added texture.

Here’s another view, this time off-the-head.

The crown decreases lay nice and flat and maintain the pattern well. In those last few rounds, that’s not easily done. But it looks neat. And anyway, the very tops of hats aren’t visible. Well, unless they suffer from PHS (Pointy Hat Syndrome) and this hat doesn’t.

Next up is another freebie, “Jaye a Copy of CC,” by Elaine Long. I had no idea who or what CC referred too. About the only thing I know about current popular culture is what can be gleaned from HGTV. (What waterfall islands are, that everyone wants “open floor plans,”  and that for some reason parents now want to be able to see their kids all the time when kids are playing in the house.)  But, the internet teaches that the CC Beanie is Colorado Chick‘s. Hopefully imitation, especially with attribution, remains a sincere form of flattery.

My Jaye is knit in, you guessed it, Plymouth Yarn Worsted Merino Superwash, this time in one of their hand-dyed hanks. The rim is doubled, which will definitely help eliminate cold ears.

The crown decreases work well. My only modification was to continue the decreases a few extra rounds so that there would be fewer stitches to gather at the top.

Here’s my favorite hat of this style: Aimee Alexander’s Central Ave. It’s not a freebie, but the few extra touches make it worth the purchase.

Alexander’s pattern uses an easy “trick” to get the reverse stockinette ridges to pop nicely. Same for the twisted rib. Great pop factor. And the crown decreases are well-organized too.

Even though I knit this one in Brown Sheep worsted, which made it a bit stiff, I am very pleased with how it worked out. It disappeared quickly from my holiday pick-your-gifts stash.

In fact, as soon as I finished my Central Ave in Brown Sheep, I cast on for another. This time in Swans Island Natural Colors Merino Worsted. I can be forgiven for that purchase because I bought the skein at half price, which made it only twice more expensive than seems right. Not so. Organic. I get it.

Oops. Not blue. So not blue. The colorway is Bittersweet. By now, I figure we’re sick of the blues anyway. Central Ave is an especially satisfying easy knit.

And reports are that people who don’t tend to look good in hats, look good in Central Ave.

Baby shrug with booties

Sundae“Ice Cream Sundae” by Dani Sunshine has been in my Ravelry queue since “Kelsey was a pup,” as my mother-in-law used to say. She didn’t ever have a pup named Kelsey, but the gist of it was that Kelsey’s pupitude was a unit of measure for a long time.  Anyway, I spotted it while it was being test-knit a few years back. I had to wait for a reason to knit it. Evelyn is my reason.

This is worked in Plymouth Yarn DK Merino Superwash. My experience with this yarn is that worsted weight is a bit more reliably unsplitty. But I definitely like the DK results.

It’s an interesting construction. But still very easy and a quick knit. Of course, it’s tough to not have a quick knit in a baby’s shrug pattern. I knit the smallest size, 6 months. The pattern, available for download on Ravelry, is sized in one-year increments all the way to 7 years. I like this one enough that I can definitely see myself knitting it again as Evelyn grows.


I stocked enough of this yarn to knit the Rabbit Illusion blanket and planned for a sweater to match (sort of). But after I knit Ice Cream Sundae something was still missing from my (lovingly) cobbled-together summer-baby layette.

Booties. The shrug took such a small amount of yarn that I had plenty left for a pair of booties. Teeny feet can get a bit chilled even in the summer.

bootiesThese are Gail Hill’s “Flower Booties.” The free pattern is available on Ravelry. I like this little pair so much that I giggled my way through much of the knitting–even the second one. And every knitter knows that the second of any pair is always the test.

These booties really merit more attention on Ravelry. I’ve knit and posted them on my project page (Noreen1009). And one other knitter living in Turkey (crimeamom1) has knit another pair. And that’s it. OK. Every knitter with a few projects under her or his belt looks at these and can see that the petals are a tad fiddly to work up. But it’s so worth the effort. I decided that the wrap and turn wasn’t needed in the foot part of the booties because garter stitch thoroughly hides that tiny hole. Except for that one modification, I followed the pattern exactly and it was 100% correct.

Cudos to both these talented designers!