Monday, January 24, 2011

A Red Hat That Goes With Purple

Very soon I'm going to perfect the whole picture taking process. This is actually a very red hat with some very purple flowers. It was fun to make. I made up the flower and leaf patterns as I went along. I wish I would write these things down! But, alas, this may be a one of a kind hat! It is a little larger than some of my hats, but not much. I like a hat that is just a little big for my head. That way it doesn't smash my hair.

By the way, please read Charlene's Story. It is a wonderful success story of a mother of four who was dangerously close to being homeless. I'm pleased to say that Hats For Helping The Homeless was able to help her along the way. If you have bought one of my hats, then you have made this success story possible! Thanks! Perhaps I should save this hat for her older days, when all the stress of the past is over and she is ready to wear purple, with a red hat that doesn't go and doesn't suit her.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Classic Cloche

As I was looking through the first few entries of my blog, I realized I haven't shown one classic cloche. This is one of my personal favorites because of the neutral color scheme and the "knit-in" hat band. The flower is actually a pin that can be taken off for the classic look, or left on for the bonnet look. This hat looks great on everyone. The flared brim is about two inches and the hat is a medium size, about 22" around. I start the knitting on the outside edge with 95 stitches, knit 2" and decrease 10 as follows: (k7, k2tog) x 10, then k5. Then I knit another 2" and decrease another 10 stitches: (k6, k2tog) x 10, then k5. That leaves a nice 75 stitches with which to knit the dome of the hat. I knit this for 8". Then I begin the crown by decreasing the next row by 10 as shown above, then knit a row, then repeat. Once you get to 55 stitches you decrease 11 times around on every other row until you end up with 11 stitches. Slip the yarn through the last 11 stitches at least twice and then weave the end in. For the band I used an alternate yarn for 4" immediately after completing the brim. I don't usually follow an exact pattern as I am always making adjustments for yarn, hat band width or other small style variations, so don't be afraid to experiment. Any flower pattern works, because the flower is a separate item. This flower is crocheted. I don't actually follow a pattern for it, but I really do need to write one at some point. Both are felted in the washing machine for 10 minutes with hot water, a little soap and an old pair of jeans. I allow them to go through a cold rinse and the spin cycles. Then it is pull, stretch, and form onto the hat form. (If you don't have a hat form you can use your head or a bowl.) It should take about a day for the hat to be dry and ready to wear. Because different yarns felt differently, always knit and felt a square to see how it shrinks. The primary yarn in this hat is Fishermen's Wool (Cream Color) by Lyon Brand and the hat band and flower are "Iceland Print" (Roses) by Crystal Palace. Remember that making felted hats is not an exact craft. It is an art. Each hat will come out with its own unique personality. Happy knitting!

Monday, January 3, 2011

It's a New Year and a Fresh Start!

Okay, I have been absent for the holidays, but I have been knitting! When I actually have someone following this blog, I'll make sure I update it regularly. So, let's get caught up. I'm designing my personal signature hat now. Currently I'm calling it the splat hat, but as the design gets perfected I'm considering changing the name to "Spot On". It's a fun design that uses any hat pattern. The idea is to knit in stripes and then pick a contrasting color for the spot on the top. Then add a flower in that accent color. I use the basic rose design because it can be made to look a lot like another spot. Here are a few color schemes, including one that isn't striped. What do you think?