Small and smaller stuff

Well, well. Doesn’t Lambie look stylish?  She’s partial to pink and purple and told Glasshead that this is her favorite ensemble.

Lambie is wearing Dolly Milo, the doll-sized version of Georgie Nicolson’s popular child-sized DK-weight vest. Her pint-sized version sports a simple cable. I knit the 9 inch version of the pattern, which includes modifications for a 5, 7, and 11 inch doll as well.

For Evelyn’s Milo I knit the 4-yr old size and selected the hugs ‘n kisses cable strip. Nicolson’s pattern is sized from newborn to 6 years. It includes directions for six different cable strips. So, knitters’ choice.

Milo is a very clever construction. It’s knit top down, in one piece. No seams, despite the boxy “yoke.” My set is knit in Debbie Bliss Rialto DK, a superwash.

Now, keep this next bit quiet. Lambie is not much of a reader, and neither is 3-yr old Evelyn, so I think the news is safe here. Evelyn is getting a second Milo as part of her New Year gift package. There wasn’t enough yarn left to knit one for Lambie, so I’ve not blabbed much about it. But for Evelyn? Well, ta da!

Totally cute, methinks. The cable is the horseshoe pattern. The yarn is Done Roving Yarns Frolicking Feet DK gradient. It’s another superwash. I purchased it for socks. But then I realized that not everyone likes their socks unmatched, which is what this gradient would have translated to as socks. Plus 350 yards of DK isn’t always enough for socks. What to do? Milo turned out to be a perfect choice. There was a bit of yarn chicken to the ending though. I shortened the vest some, which will still be fine for Evelyn, and I had about a yard of yarn to spare. The gradient really shines in this pattern.

Ok. Lambie is baaaaa-ing over on the bookcase, demanding she get back into the spotlight.

She’s modeling Keweenaw, a freebie from the Berroco Design Team. In 2013, Berroco’s Team bear, Barrison, traveled to Michigan’s upper peninsula. Barrison’s human lived in the UP for a few years and knew that the UP is jaw-droppingly beautiful. She blogged about the trip here. The Keweenaw peninsula, copper country, juts out into Lake Superior. Anyway, Barrison traveled about very cozy in his hoodie, complete with ear slots.

Lambie’s pottery ears have zero floppiness. So Lambie couldn’t cooperate in showing off the hoodie part of this hoodie. But Evelyn’s bears will do better. I knit my Keweenaw in what the pattern calls for, Berroco Comfort, and even managed to honor copper country by using yarn from the pumpkin colorway.

The next addition to the doll wardrobe is another Ravelry freebie Little Kina, by Muriela.

Little Kina is designed with 12 and 15 inch dolls in mind. The green and pink sweaters are knit in oddments of Stonehedge Fibers Shepherd’s Wool, a worsted. The wine-colored sweater is knitted in a much beefier worsted (more Aran, actually) Harrisville Design’s WATERshed.

These Little Kinas are really getting a work-out. When last I saw the pink one, Evelyn’s Strelka the Valiant was wearing it. Here’s the secret test to figure out if a recipient is knitworthy. Have their hand knits been used so frequently that they’ve developed pills? Yes? “Callooh, Callay.” I chortle in my joy. My granddaughter is among the knitworthy!

Cooper’s Hats

So, there’s a little guy I’ve not met named Cooper. But I know his uncle. He’s six years old. Cooper, that is. Not his uncle. Cooper needed some hats pretty quick. Fun ones. Sporty ones. Ones to cover up some bad hair days his doctors have decided he needs. Cooper’s not an “off-the-rack” kid, so finding some not-off-the-rack hats seemed like a good idea.

This is Capitan Hat, a free pattern by Rosie Garmendia. Cooper’s is knit in Valley Yarns Superwash Bulky, the Webs house brand. It comes in 26 colorways and, unfortunately, what I had in my stash was not the most exciting of them. But I pressed “tan” into service anyway and I’m quite pleased with the results. I was concerned if the two-surface brim would hold up without stiffener inside. It does.

Here’s a view of the interesting crown decreases:

Just the thing for a baseball fan, I’d say.

This next one is an old stand-by. Cooper has a connection to Michigan State University so the Sparties were the inspiration.

This is a vintage (but still available) Fiber Trends pattern: “School Colors Hat, AC-53,” by Betsy Lee McCarthy. That’s a double roll brim. You start out with the green and do reverse stockinette. Then you do the white, in stockinette, then the green at the top. You sort of pull the white down and roll it back on itself, so the reverse side shows, and then the green from the first band of knitting falls in place.

Bottom line: follow this pattern exactly as it’s written and it will all work out. There are no errors.

I wanted something very comfy so I used Berrocco Comfort, worsted weight. No scratchiness.

Very well-behaved crown decreases.

Bet you can’t make just one!

This next hat is another Susan Villas Lewis’s “The Thinker.” I have knit so many Thinkers it’s getting kind of embarrassing to keep linking to them all. But search for Thinker here on my blog and up they’ll pop.

Cooper’s is knit in Plymouth Yarn Worsted Merino Superwash Solid. Soft. Easy care. Great stitch definition.

My trusty Clover pompom maker worked overtime on this batch of hats.

I know, The Thinker in this size doesn’t fit Glass Head really well. But Cooper’s a little guy.

Cooper like clowns. So I bought a skein of clownish-looking Plymouth Yarn Toybox Candy. It’s  an acrylic that can’t help but put a smile on someone’s face.

This is Purl Soho’s “Classic Cuffed Hat,” another freebie available on Ravelry and on the Purl Soho website. Everything this designer produces is classic. Sophisticated. So I gave in to the temptation to knit her design in a gaudy colorway. That’s because Purl Soho patterns go to art galleries. In New York City. They practice yoga. But Cooper’s Classic Cuffed Hat shouts.

And this last hat is Clayoquot Toque, a modern fair isle freebie from tincanknits that tincan says is a great blank canvas for testing yarns and color combinations. It really is. I wasn’t sure about whether these three colorways of Shalimar Yarns Breathless DK would play nice together.

But I think they did. And this 75% merino, 15% cashmere goat, 10% silk concoction is so soft it should keep a little guy’s head brightly covered but not overheated.

Repeat performances

Calorimetry times three, in my favorite yarn for this project, Plymouth Yarns Boku. One 99 yard skein, about 3 hours of time (maybe), one button, and you have an excellent gift for any size female head.

Oh, it’s not the first time I’ve knit it. Here’s two more, another, another, another, three in this post, three more here, another, another, and my first, back in 2011. Can it really be that I’ve knit 17 of these?  And that I still don’t have one of my own because they are selected as gifts from my gift stash almost as soon as they’re knit?

If you haven’t yet given Kathryn Schoendorf’s free Knitty pattern a try, it’s available through Ravelry. I recommend that you knit one. Tonight. 18,526 Ravelers have knit it and posted it on their project pages. Calorimetry is currently the 7th most-knit pattern on Ravelry. And it’s the only one that’s a head thing.

Here’s a closer look at these three.

Speaking of knitting multiples, Windschief, by Steven West is another frequent knit for me. Here’s my latest batch of three. This trio of Windschiefs is knit in Berroco Comfort. It’s a tad splitty. But for the wool adverse, and for some reason more of the men in my life are of the “it’s itchy” type, Comfort is an excellent choice. Here, in gray.

In cranberry.

And in a very, very, dull brown.

They-who-must-not-be-named tussled a bit over the dull brown. Who’d of thunk it? Actually, it’s a warm brown. Just a nice warm, dull brown.

My six dollar investment in this pattern has given back excellent value. These three, plus these five more (with a Windschief hat), and one more. The pattern includes a hat pattern that starts from the same cowl base and just works upward through crown decreases. Steven West when he was still designing dull. His designs aren’t dull anymore. But I think this one is still one of his best.

Comforting Windschief

windchief

This is a stand-by knit for me. Mindless. Always comes out just the way it’s supposed to. I often knit this close-fitting cowl in Berroco Comfort worsted weight. Those who say “no way” to wool cowls can be convinced to try this on and it will pass the itch test.

It’s Stephen West’s Windschief, one of his older patterns before he got into theatrical presentations of super-creative stuff. I rather like the old West. And this is a great little pattern.

windchief2

My young neighbor chose the purple Windschief as one of his pick-your-gifts this year. He promptly pulled it up over his nose and struck a ninja pose.

I knit this next one during a long car ride over the weekend. And, yep, I was passengering. Another Comfort cowl. Comfort comes in a great range of colors. But, for this one I decided a dark dignified gray would work.

windchief_gray

This gray one was my 7th Windschief. Here’s a few I’ve knit that show off the Comfort Colors to good effect.

windchiefs

This cowl pattern has a nifty extra. West provides instructions to work a crown decrease rather than that top ribbing. The resulting hat is super-cute.

windchief_cap

Tincanknits’ Barley

bluebarley2This is the hat, Barley, in tincanknits’ free set of patterns designed for beginning knitters and the rest of us drawn to straightforward, easy knits: The Simple Collection. Don’t confuse Barley the hat, with Rye the socks, Wheat the scarf, Malt the baby blanket, Oats the Cowl, Maize the fingerless mitts or the sweaters Flax and Harvest. It’s a wonderful collection, complete with special on-line tutorials to help the knitter over any bumpy spots.

My blue Barley is knit in Lion Brand Martha Stewart Crafts Extra Soft Wool Blend. Here’s a few more views:

bluebarley

bluebarley3

All the patterns in the collection include sizes infant through adult. Egad! And all are free. Here’s an infant-sized Barley knit in Berroco Comfort, an easy-care acrylic with a wonderful range of colors.

greenbarley

I even tried a Barley variant (that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it), where I substituted reverse stockinette for the garter stitch insert and made the insert a few stitches wider:

barley

And, all together now….awhhhhh!

melanie_isaac_lowres