, , , , , , , , , , ,

In all of the hustle and bustle lately, photography and blogging have kinda fallen to the bottom of the list.  A few days ago I finally got my act together to get a few photos of my recent projects for my head – the Oscar Leaf Headband and Handwarmers, and my Vintage Sage Hat.  Lil One “borrowed” all of it before I could get my act together to have Hubby take my pic, so of course she steals the show with her Holly Hobby meets french cinema doe-eyed look wearing my sage hat:

 This is the “Mulberry Hat” from the Modern Top-down Knitting, by Kristina McGowan, a book I borrowed from the library a while back.  Now that I’ve had time to knit from it and really think through the patterns, it is going on my wish list for sure.  It was a very clear pattern, and I love, love, love, the little brim.  If I had gotten a picture of me wearing it, you’d see it is really rather vintage paired with my burgundy velvet coat and a silk scarf.  I had not done top-down hat making before, but I am now in love with this method.  As with other top-down things, you can try it on as you go, so the fit is really easy to customize.  I liked McGowan’s innovative use of a crochet band to both stabilize the fit and give the brim a nice sharp turn.  Blocking was really helpful with the brim.  I placed it over a nice curved dinner plate, face down, and pinned the brim over the edge.  This blocked the slightly roll prone brim into a nice classic shape and it seems to be holding nicely in the sticky wool heather yarn I chose, Harrisville’s New England Highland. 

Now, the Headband is a totally different look for me, but because I wear my hair up in a bun/clip a lot, it seemed to be a good thing to try.  I hate raking leaves or shoveling snow with hair falling in my face, but I do like warm ears while doing it.  I had bought a smooshy soft skein of Misti Alpaca’s Baby Alpaca Chunky on my last trip to WEBS specifically to solve this problem with a nice fat headband.  The pattern is the Blue Leaf Headband by Adrienne Krey (free on ravelry!), and it is a quick easy to make pattern that I’ve made before.  Tah Dah!

I finished the headband with yarn to spare, so then I decided to make up some matching little hand warmers.  Again, not my usual thing, but I am finding that dexterity is key when wrangling a two-year old, and the attendant buckles and clips, so the fingerless option seemed good, and economical yarn-wise 😉 .

To make the hand warmers, here’s what I did:

Using US 8, Cast on 24 sts joined in the round and did 2×2 rib for around 11 rows. 
Then I switched up to a US 10 needle, and knit one round plain knit.
I placed the lace leaf pattern from the headband across the top of the hand (removing the edge stitches from the original pattern, a 13 st pattern block) and then plain stockinette for the palm side.  I increased 1 st. in the middle of the palm on the first patterned round (25 total sts now). 
After 10 rows in pattern, I began creating a thumb slot by turning at the thumb ( work left and right differently, at beg/end of patterned section), working two stitches garter at both edges, and maintaining pattern, working back and forth for 6 rows total. (16 total patterned rows) 
I rejoined to work in the round on the next row (17th patt. round).
On the next round, I k2tog over the thumb slot to tighten the join (18th patt. round) (back to 24 sts. in round).
I then knit one round plain knit, changed back to US 8, and completed around 4 rounds in 2×2 rib.  Bound off in rib.  (I think EZ sewn bind off might have been better however.)

Not a perfect pattern, but it worked for my slim hands, and I finished a with a little yarn to spare.  I think if you have larger hands, all you’d really need to do is add 4 sts. and go for it.

Of course, just to show versatility, here’s one last shot of Lil One trying on the goods:

Have a great week everyone!!!