Giantest Shawl Ever

Before I got distracted by my little minifig hat, I did manage to crochet cast off my giant shawl. It was not exactly fun, but I got there in the end. And the end result is … big.

When it was on the needles, it was hard to tell just how big, but it turns out making increasingly open lacework, with increasingly large needles leads to quite a lot of material, when all is said and done. I had to take over the living room to block it, and I have never been so grateful for my blocking wires.

Worn just over my shoulders, the back hits me mid thigh, which means it’s actually longer than my hair, which is not a mean feat. And it’s oh so light but warm! It feels like it’s barely there, but takes the chill off the winter evenings.

Even wrapped up it’s still fairly substantial.

The weather here isn’t quite cold enough yet to get proper use out of it, but I’ll be packing it into my suitcase for Christmas.

I also, somewhere along the line, finished a Dew Drops Shawl. Because apparently I cannot have enough.

Right, back to knitting, I have another shawl to work on!

Minifig Baby Hat

A family friend has just become a father for the second time. As he’s a big lego enthusiast, my husband asked me to make a lego baby hat for the new arrival. I checked Ravelry for a pattern, but none of them were quite what we wanted, so I set out to make one myself. Although this is my pattern, it has been heavily influenced by this lego baby hat, so major hat tipping to Drunken Aunt Wendy Designs!

Materials:

MillaMia Naturally Soft Merino Yarn, 1 ball in Yellow. (This was the best lego yellow.)

3.5mm needles, either dpns or a long circular.

Ribbing:

Cast on 81 stitches.

Knit K2P1 ribbing for about 1 inch, or around 5 rows.

Short rows:

This section adds some extra dept at the back, and helps position the stud towards the top of the head, rather than too far towards the back. Often short rows are knit with the longest short row section, reducing the stitch count as you go back and forth and then picking up all the wraps in one go at the end. For this hat, I went the other way, starting with the shortest short row. This helps hide the wraps in the top of the ribbing, making the hat neater, but does mean having the pick up the wraps as you come across them.

Knitty has a good guide on short rows, with how to wrap the stitches and then how to pick them up again afterwards.

Knit the first 40 stitches. These will be the front of the hat. The short rows will be worked over the next 41 stitches.

Knit 27 stitches, wrap the next stitch, and turn work.

Slip the first stitch purlwise, purl 12 stitches. Wrap the next stitch and turn work.

Slip the first stitch purlwise and knit 15. As you knit this row, you will reach the wrapped stitch from the previous row. Pick up the wrap and work it together with the stitch. Wrap the 16th stitch, and turn the work.

When working the following rows, remember to pick up the wrap of the previous row as you pass it.

Slip the first stitch purlwise, purl 18 stitches. Wrap the next stitch and turn work.

Slip the first stitch purlwise, knit 21 stitches. Wrap the next stitch and turn work.

Slip the first stitch purlwise, purl 24 stitches. Wrap the next stitch and turn work.

Slip the first stitch purlwise, knit 26 stitches. Wrap the next stitch and turn work.

Slip the first stitch purlwise, purl 28 stitches. Wrap the next stitch and turn work.

Slip the first stitch purlwise, knit 31 stitches. Wrap the next stitch and turn work.

Slip the first stitch purlwise, purl 34 stitches. Wrap the next stitch and turn work.

Slip the first stitch purlwise, knit 36 stitches. Wrap the next stitch and turn work.

Slip the first stitch purlwise, purl 39 stitches. Wrap the next stitch and turn work.

Knit to the end of the round, picking up the wrap from the previous knit round.

Knit 1 round, picking up the final wrap.

Keep knitting in the round until the hat measures 5 inches in height.

Crown Decreases

K2tog, knit all. 80 stitches left.

*k8, k2tog* 8 times. 72 stitches left.

*k7, k2tog* 8 times. 64 stitches left.

*k6, k2tog* 8 times. 56 stitches left.

*k5, k2tog* 8 times. 48 stitches left.

*k4, k2tog* 8 times. 40 stitches left.

*k3, k2tog* 8 times. 32 stitches left.

*k2, k2tog* 8 times. 24 stitches left.

*k1, k2tog* 8 times. 16 stitches left.

*k2tog* 8 times. 8 stitches left.

Cut the yarn and pull the end through each of the remaining stitches.

Stud Bobble

While trying to get the dimensions right, I made two stud tops, one slightly larger than the other. Instead of using just one, I discovered that the smaller stud fit perfectly inside the larger stud, and helped give it some substance. An alternative is to make the larger stud and stuff it with baby safe wadding when you sew it on to the hat.

Smaller (larger) stud.

Chain 2.

6 sc into the second chain from the hook.

Ch 1, 2 sc into each sc from previous round. 12 stitches.

Ch 1, *sc into first stich, 2sc into next stitch* 6 times. 18 stitches.

Ch 1, * sc into each of the next two stitches, 2sc into next stitch* 6 times. 24 stitches.

Ch 1, * sc into each of the next two stitches, 2sc into next stitch* 6 times. 24 stitches.

Ch 1, * sc into each of the next three stitches, 2sc into next stitch* 6 times. 30 stitches.

Ch 1, * sc into each of the next four stitches, 2sc into next stitch* 6 times. 36 stitches.

(For large stud, Ch 1, * sc into each of the next five stitches, 2sc into next stitch* 6 times. 42 stitches.)

Sc into back loop of each stitch. This gives a slightly sharper edge to the stud.

Sc into each stitch for four (for large stud, five) rows.

Attach stud(s) to top of hat. Weave in ends.

 

 

A Kiwi Yarn Haul

As promised, our trip to Wellington included a yarn stop for my birthday. Several people advised me that the LYS is the Holland Rd Yarn Company in Petone, a Northern suburb. The little shop was yarn heaven for a deprived tourist,  complete with knitting couches and friendly staff. I splurged on local Knitsch hand dyed sock yarn and some Zealandia Air – an incredibly soft blend that includes possum! I left chuffed, laden a bit guilty :) No pictures because Internet is very poor hear in the mountains.

My only regret was when we came across quilting crafting heaven by accident one morning in Blenheim on the South Island. They had an amazing selection of craft fabric and an extensive selection of completely different New Zealand yarn. I first spied a rainbow Opal yarn I’d coveted for years. Then some lovely 4ply merino to make pretty things for my beautiful new niece. I can’t wait to get home to meet her but I’ll enjoy my last two weeks holiday anyway :)