Saturday, November 18, 2006

Some warm November knitting

Since the silent auction in September, I've mostly been making small gifts for various wonderful folks. An enjoyable-rib scarf in red Lamb's Pride for my friend Judith, who bravely left the security of her agency job and to go to graduate school. Another in black Paton's Brilliant for my daughter, who bravely teaches 21 first-graders in Brooklyn each day. Warm wool socks for my husband's mother, who at 84 still braves the Colorado snow to help her ailing friends get to the doctor and the grocery store. Some slippers for my nephew David, an Army medic recently returned to Baghdad, who's got all of us beat when it comes to bravery and honor.

With those projects caught up, I wanted to make a few children's hats for Maureen's classroom stash. I've slightly adapted Norma's Dulaan hat for more shaping at the top, and I really like the results. You won't believe how quickly these things whip up! And they're so thick and cushy, they trap a lot of air and will make little ears feel so snuggly and warm on a cold day. Here's how to make one for a middle-sized child:

Use two strands of any acrylic or acrylic/wool blend worsted weight yarn. On a 16-inch circular needle (size 13), cast on 42 stitches, place a marker, and join. Knit in stockinette stitch until piece measures about 8 inches long. Start your decrease rows, switching to DPNs as needed: K5, K2tog around; knit one row even; K4, K2tog around; knit one row even; K3, K2tog around, etc. etc. Continue decreasing until you've K2tog around, then break yarn and thread your tail through the remaining stitches, drawing tight to close.

Now you've got half a hat - and you'll pick up 42 stitches around your cast-on edge and make the same hat all over over again, letting it "grow" in the opposite direction. You'll end up with a weird-looking thing like this (about 21 inches long):

Then just punch one end in to fit inside the other. Tack the tops together if you want. Fold up a cuff, and you're done! (I did end up making a pom-pom for this one later, which was good mindless activity while watching the finals of Dancing With the Stars this week - way to go, Emmitt!!)

The interior of this hat measures about 19 inches around, but it's really stretchy - so it should fit almost any grade-school child or small adult with ease. Just add or subtract a few stitches to adjust the size. My gauge was 2.5 stitches per inch.

This hat is a great way to use up stash yarn in a hurry, and the results will warm your heart.

1 comment:

Joe said...

Anne, you are so sweet. All will appreciate the gifts...certainly one soldier missing his family.