Wednesday, November 30, 2011
counting the days. . . .
I am amazed at how fast Christmas comes each year. Apparently faster and faster, with every passing year! But I know that this is just a common place illustration of the relativity equation. With only one Christmas season under my belt, the next one took forever to arrive. With 50-plus under my belt, they're a bit more commonplace these days. . . .
I like this season. I like it perhaps better than any other season because it brings magic and wonder back into our lives as possibilities.
In that frame of mind, I present to you this year's act of whimsy: the Christmas elf hat. Yes, I've made one for my grandson, that magical wee man!
I used Lion Brand Cotton Ease - and (giving due credit to Elizabeth Zimmerman, whose Snail Hat was a basic inspiration) -
HERE'S THE PATTERN:
Spirello, the Elf Hat. . . .
With size 8 double-pointed needles cast on 65 stitches and distribute amongst your needles. join and knit 5 rounds for roll-up brim.
Begin spiral pattern as follows:
Row 1: *K 10, M1 (which means= make one stitch using backward loop method), P 1, P2 tog - repeat from *.
Repeat that row 15 to 20 times - or until you wish to start decreasing. Here, suit yourself as to how fast to decrease. The fastest decrease is simply to omit the "M1" in Row 1. What I did was to start a bit slower, omitting the M1 in one Row 1, then working 4 or 5 pattern rows before again knitting a Row 1 without the M1.
Things get a bit complicated when the knit sections get down to 2 stitches and below. . . . You can either keep it to a K2, P2 tube, or continue a spiral by working K, Kf&b, P, P2tog. Decrease further as you think best - I did: K2tog, P2tog - and worked in K1, P1 ribbing for a bit before cutting the yarn and running the end through the remaining stitches and pulling tight.
I worked the ball in sock yarn, using #1 dp needles, and this pattern HERE, posted by "Em-En" at I Like Lemons.
I only increased to the K4, Kf&b stage - then knit 3 rounds - and then decreased starting with K4, K2tog. I stuffed the ball with fiberfill before the opening got too small, and then knit the remaining rows and fastened off. I also picked up the stitches directly on the hat, rather than casting on separately and then sewing the pom-pom on. . . .
I like that they will stand on their own:
And for those interested in EZ's Snail hat, you can find it in her book Knitting Without Tears - which is a game-changer for most people who knit and who've read it. . . .