Saturday, January 21, 2012

How the USM saved Christmas!

I'd like to thank my USM (Ultimate Sweater Machine) for saving Christmas 2011. When November rolled around, I had virtually no Christmas knitting done. I have 13 people to knit for...what was I thinking? I had procrastinated till fall to start the "Sweater Vest of DOOM" (aka my dad's 3X vest with dk weight yarn). My mom had given me a bag of yarn & a pattern to magically turn into a poncho for her...but what about everyone else?

First, I started with some flip-top mittens...but, of course I didn't like any of the patterns I found so I had to write my own. This was already taking too long... Plus, I can't use wool for half the people so I still needed more ideas.

Finally, one day I looked at my mountain of partial skeins of various acrylics from past presents for my nephews & kids. I knew what I had to do...striped scarves!

So, the kids got some ninja/superhero/ski mask type hats that were done on the USM too. And then I had to make some striped wool scarves to go with the flip-top mittens I made. And MIL got a scarf from us last I made some dishcloths for her instead.


That was 9 scarves, 4 hats, 4 dishclothes, and one HUMONGOUS sweater vest! All done on my USM :D Using convention circular needles, I knit 3 pairs of gloves, one hat, my mother's poncho and dh's socks...I'm finally on the cuffs now...yes, I know it's already January ;)

Here's a pic of a mitten/scarf combo.

The kids (2 nephews & my 2 munchkins) loved their ninja/superhero accessories. Her scarf is around her neck & hanging down her a cape ;)

Can't forget the dishcloths ;)

And the largest garment I have ever knitted FIT my dad!
This vest could be a whole 'nother blog I'll link my project page instead: Dad's Vest

I'm so glad the holidays are over now :D

Friday, January 20, 2012

Top Down, No Swatch Hat Pattern

I recently wrote up and uploaded a pdf to Ravelry for a top-down hat pattern/recipe that I've been toying with for a couple years.

The link: Top Down, No Swatch Hat
Here's a pic of the most recent hat I made.

Several of my first attempts used Judy's Magic Cast On at the top, but I didn't like the tight line it made with yarns thicker than fingering weight. So, the solution was a simple long-tail cast on that is closed up with the tail yarn when you're done.

I've also made a few double-layered hats with this recipe. For that variation, you just double the amount of ribbed cuff, repeat the plain stockinette section, then reverse the shaping by doing mirrored decreases. Finally finishing off by grafting. Here's a link to my Flickr pic showing one of these hats. I can't find the file to upload it must be on my old PC...