Non-scratchy hat yarns

Some folks, often but not exclusively the young ones, complain about “scratchy” hats and other articles made of wool. I knit these balaclavas in Berroco Vintage and the grandkids are all smiles. (You can tell by Evelyn’s eyes that she’s smiling.) No scratchiness. It’s possible some of the smiles are because the children decided these balaclavas are actually Lego helmets.

Vintage is an excellent workhorse acrylic (52%), wool (40%), nylon (10%) worsted weight blend. The wool adds warmth and wicking qualities. And the acrylic and nylon tame the perceived scratchiness.

This is a Carol A. Anderson pattern from pages 6-7 of Cottage Creations booklet R18, “More Projects for the Community and Family.” It’s a super easy ribbed facemask that stretches to fit all the sizes heads come in. These are the youth size. Seventy grams of Vintage gets the job done.

And when your granddaughter is no longer wearing her balaclava, she can put it to all sorts of other uses. Like swaddling a wolf stuffed buddy.

Or as a peekaboo spot for her Snow White action figure.

Kids definitely know how to have fun with hats.

With the extra Vintage I knit a less-than-beautiful, but totally non-scratchy Wherever It Points. This hat is a freebie from Darn Knit Anyway.

Please don’t hold my gaudy rendering of this fine pattern against it. Some of the projects on Ravelry are stunning. In fact, here’s another I made, this time using Berroco Comfort. Comfort is a 50% acrylic 50% nylon worsted. So no pitiful little voices will accuse that their hat is scratchy.

Now that is a fine hat. With an excellent non-pointy crown.

Wonderful Wallaby

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Cottage Creations’ “Wonderful Wallaby” was described as an “adventure in seamless knitting” when seamless knitting really was a bit of an “adventure.” Most sweaters were still being knit in separate sections and then seamed together. For sure there were others doing seamless knitting, but Carol A. Anderson’s Wallaby was a milestone.

The booklet is chatty, pure Anderson, with sweet illustrations throughout. But the directions are totally clear and totally correct. The booklet includes directions for sizes 2 toddler to adult super-sized. It’s available in many local yarn shops, on-line, and direct (but not downloadable) from Cottage Creations.

Wonderfull Wallaby was copyrighted in 1984 and the booklet has been reprinted 23 times. It’s Anderson’s most popular pattern.

My Wallaby is knit in Plymouth Encore. Just over two skeins, 410 yards, was enough to knit a size two, complete with the garter stitch version of the hood and a full pouch.

And what’s most important? It’s very comfy and my grandson likes to wear it.

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Cottage Creations’ Babies and Bears Sweater

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Possibly this is a tad over the top colorful for a teeny one, but I still like it. Mine is sized for a six month old. And when the baby outgrows it, then it will fit some teddy bear or other stuffed buddy just fine. It’s Cottage Creations’ Babies and Bears Sweater. Not downloadable (yet) but if you can’t find the pattern booklet at your local yarn shop the good folks at Cottage Creations will now snail mail it to you.

This is knit in Opal 8-fach X-large, by Zwerger Garn, a worsted weight in 75% wool/25% nylon. The yarn has been in my stash for a few years and I’m not finding it on the Opal website anymore, though this is pretty close.

Here’s a look at the back.

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My heavily patterned yarn is overwhelming the guernsey detailing on the front and back. Here’s one I knitted in a solid color that shows the detailing better. The pattern booklet includes instructions for a simple fair isle detail in the front and back panel. That’s totally sweet too.

The Babies and Bears cardigan is constructed in one piece. Off the needles, sew on the buttons, and baby will be snug as a bug in a rug (and cute as a bug’s ear).

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Celia’s Blankie supersized

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Celia’s Blankie is a simple stylish baby blanket pattern by Carol Anderson, of Cottage Creations. Carol is well known for her chatty style in writing patterns. Lots of details are given. You feel as if she’s sitting in the room guiding you along. I like that. Her booklets can sometimes be hard to find in local yarn shops. But now the patterns are available through her website. Great move, Carol!

In my first Celia’s Blankie, I made it basically toddler-sized. This one almost covers a queen-sized mattress. It was designed as a stash buster. There’s almost 3400 yards of wool knit into this garter stitch blanket. The red and blue are Paton’s Classic Wool and the yellow, oh my that bright yellow, is Plymouth Galway worsted. Two no-nonsense, workhorses. Never mind how I managed to stash so much of these yarns, but it all had something to do with a sale.

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It’s 9 mitered squares wide and 11 squares long, with a 14 row garter stitch border all around. I’d be fibbing if I told you it was a quick knit.

It will be warm. It will cheer up a room. And it reminds me of all the fun my son used to have playing with his Legos.

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Grabbit

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This is a Grabbit. It’s another interesting Cottage Creations pattern by Carol A. Anderson. Cottage Creations pattern booklets are available in local yarn shops, many on-line retailers, and via Carol’s website. The booklets aren’t (yet) downloadable, but they’re so worth the effort to find them.

A few more views of Grabbit show what makes it a tad idiosyncratic (if knitting can be called that).

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It’s a carry-all. To create a neat bundle of belongings, you just thread the knitted loop through the gigantic buttonholes rimming the edge. But it’s also a nice playmat. It even works as a small blanket.

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Grabbit_blocked5This Grabbit is knit in my seemingly endless supply of Martha Stewart Lion Brand Extra Soft Wool Blend. I believe I purchased a tad more than I needed for LeCirque Baby Playmat, even if the  bunny, the lamb, the lion, the bear, the vest and the Grabbit had all been planned from the outset. Let’s just say, the layette is shaping up. And Grabbit is going to be the packaging for the stuffed buddies.