Saturday, January 24, 2015

Sir Knight Helmet

I don't remember when my SIL saw the Sir Knight Helmet and asked me to make her one, but it was certainly after last Christmas because I immediately added it to my queue.  Flash forward to November 2014 and I have not really made anything for ANYONE for this holiday season.  I underestimated my abilities to knit and crochet gifts for people this year, but as of mid November I wanted to see if I could whip out this hat.

My head is 21” around so I selected the “Adult” Size. I know my husband would need “Large Adult,” but my SIL should be fine with the smaller version.  My SIL has a lot of hair, but I don't think this is a helmet that you could fit over a bun anyway.  

As I prepare to start the pattern, I gasp.  A "J" hook!  I didn't like the gauge I got with an H hook and the same brand yarn when I made the Minion Mitts.  I think I'll hold the yarn double for the hat portion to make things thicker and keep the stitch count the same.  Maybe I'll go to single stranded for the embellishments.  

I crocheted this hat with a size J (6.0 mm) hook and two strands of KnitPicks Wool of the Andes Worsted Weight yarn in Silver held together.  I was about to join each round but then I caught myself and read the instructions to proceed WITHOUT joining.  Look at me, reading.  I haven't done an HDC spiral before but I think it looks okay.  

After round 8, the hat measured 7" across.  It fits the top of my head comfortably, so hopefully it will fit when I start adding more pictures around.  I am gonig to leave a marker at the end of this round so if I have to tear back I know where to tear back if necessary.  Note to myself:  Light marker is last stitch of round 8, dark marker is the first stitch of the new round.  

I've done a number of crochet projects, but most of the hats have had a DC base so they whipped up really fast.  I think knitting is MUCH faster than doing a hdc brim to a hat.  Since I am holding the yarn double I do have some yardage concerns, but at the time I'm crocheting KnitPicks' Cyber Monday sale is just around the corner so as long as I make good progress before Thanksgiving I know that I'll be fine.  

The hat is fitting on my head with no ease.  Perfect!  This is the way a helmet should fit a head, right?

I finished the first two balls of WOTA on the last round of the main hat body.  The hat measured 7.75" I'm not very good at counting crochet rows, but by my best guess I have completed 20 rounds total.  I'm ready to start the back of the helmet and I still have a full ball of yarn left.  Will I have enough to complete the project?

I finished the 4 rows of the neck piece and then fastened off.  If I have yarn at the end and want this longer I can always add another row (a great benefit to crochet vs knitting!)

I felt really confused as I looked at the next directions.  What is the visor button?  OH, I just realized that the larger sizes (child-large adult) have a button attachment for the visor where the younger versions are sewn on.  I'm not crocheting a button for the visor, I'm making the visor with a button hole.  (EEk, I need buttons!)  I feel a little silly, I need to work on my reading comprehension.    

When I started the visor, I had 31 g of silver yarn left.  I am surprised to realize that the vents are sewn on, versus made in alternating colors.

Whoops, I didn't switch to a smaller hook for the visor.  This isn't a huge issue, but I'm already on Round 7 and don't want to start over if I don't have to.  Uhoh.  16 g remain after the first half of the visor.  I now know that I will need more yarn to finish this project.  I would have stopped here (I have to work on my Pins and Needles Challenge project) but I wanted to finish as much as I could of the second side so I could try to keep some consistency with my tension.  I will order another ball of yarn on Cyber Monday.  

There is a bit of a ridge in the face mask so I blocked this out while taking the break waiting for more yarn to arrive.  I only lightly blocked it by wetting the center yarn and laying flat.  

I finally have my 4th ball of silver and am ready to finish up this hat.  I whipped up the blade of the hat using ## g of yarn while watching Storage Wars.  I still held the yarn double with the J hook.  There was no round 2 written in the adult version so I did rounds 2-5 as SC around for the blade.

Now it was time to make the vents on the blade.  I really didn't want to crochet separate pieces for each vent and sew them on.  I saw some projects on Ravelry where they just slip stitched blak up in various places, and that is exactly what I'm going to do.  I used a G hook and a single strand of Wool of the Andes in coal.  After I put the vents on I did a sc border around the edge of the mask (I realized that I forgot to do this before.)  I used a single strand the G hook.

It took some playing to get the button placement correct, but I think that I'm happy with it in the end.

Seriously, how cool is this hat?  There is a slight chance that the visor will actually keep your nose warm, but mostly it is just super cool.

Would you wear this hat in the winter to keep you warm?  

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Tiny crochet whale - 3D

I needed a project I could work on during a movie that needed minimal attention to gauge.  I went through my queue and too many things required a lot of charts, or some design work that would have me staring at my computer.  This is a project I'd need to look at line by line, but I also could finish it while watching my move. (What movie was I watching? Captain America: The Winter Soldier)

I started crocheting with 11 g brava bulky in celestial that I had in my remnant stash.  I used a size E 3.5 mm crochet hook even though my yarn was thicker than what the Tiny Whale Crochet pattern called for.  The pattern has great step by step pictures that accompany the row instructions.  I love it when crochet patterns have this because things are so much more modular than knitting.  It really helps me when I would have trouble seeing things spatially otherwise.

I don't know how to do an invisible crochet decrease, and since I'm watching a movie (very exciting action movie!), I didn't want to stop to look it up on YouTube.  I therefore did Sc-2-tog to decrease.  (What a knitter way to write that out, eh?)

Around Row 6 I had 7 g left of yarn.  It was becoming quickly apparent that I would not have enought yarn to finish this small whale.  I had two choices:  1) rip it out and start over in a new color, or 2) finish the Celestial yarn and then add another color for the rest of the whale.  I chose option 2.  You don't see many two tone whales out there, but this is really just something for fun rather than an important project.  Plus, it could give me an opportunity to actually bust up some of my every growing stash.  (seriously, I keep TRYING to make it smaller but it just keeps growing bigger and bigger.  I don't have a similar blue in my stash, so I picked the lime green that was the contrasting color for Lucky's birthday party theme.

Thankfully whoever shipped me the safety eyes labeled the packages with a 6 and an 8.  Otherwise I never would have remembered what sizes I had!  I selected the size 8 mm safety eyes for this little whale.  Because this is crocheted in a spiral, it was hard making sure I had the placement in the right spot but in the end I'm sure that it is fine.

Keith and I had a genius idea to make this rattle.  I took two coke bottle caps, filled them with some seed beads and then covered them with tin foil and tape.  I inserted these inside of the whale and VOILA, a rattle.  (The first idea was to fill a ping pong ball with beads, but I had finished too much of the whale for that to work.)  I used two bottle caps and the vulnerable sides (tinfoil/tape) are in the middle, so it should be hard to puncture.

I ran out of blue yarn after row 15.  I needed just two grams of the green yarn (peapod) to finish up the tail.  I was SO CLOSE to one color.

I'm so happy that i turned this into a rattle.  When I sewed the robot  I regretted not adding something that rattled in the middle.

It is too bad I didn't have all yarn in one color, but now this whale really fits the theme of Lucky's first birthday party.  I hope that he likes this present!  

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A Year of Lucky's Measurements - Head Sizes of a Newborn and the Hats that Fit

What size is a newborn's head really?  When I was pregnant with Lucky I had no concept of how big his head was and when certain hats would fit him.  I used a baby hat size chart as a guide, but many patterns still seemed pretty small to me.

I became determined to measure Lucky's head every month, both in circumference and in height.  For height I chose to measure from eartip to eartip because I could be consistent that way.  This height matters to knitters because depending on where you want the hat to lay you want the hat to be at least an inch longer than the eartip to eartip distance.  In this post you will find the results of my data collection.  I am also providing pictures of Lucky with the measurements of the hats he is wearing as a reference point. Some of these measurements were taken NOW, so they may have been smaller after they were first knit.  I hope that this is helpful, I know that I will refer back to this post myself!

5 days old, 7 lbs 3 oz. 
  • Head 13.5" around
  • 8" eartip to eartip.
  • Feet 3" long 1.25" wide
1 week old - Newborn Owl earflap hat .  6" across (flat) and 4.25" from front edge to crown. Photo credit Sarah Severson Photography.  
1 week old - Pumpkin Hat.  6" from brim to tip (unfolded), 6.5" across.  Photo credit Sarah Severson Photography.  

12 days old (~2 weeks)
  • head 14"
  • 8" eartip to eartip
  • Feet still 3"long
~2.5 weeks old, Newborn Owl earflap hat..  6" across (flat) and 4.25" from front edge to crown.

3 weeks old (11/1/2013)
  • head 14.5" around.  
  • 8.5" eartip to eartip
  • Feet 3.25" long.  
3 weeks old - Ribbed Newsboy Visor Hat.  14" around, 5.5" brim to crown.

3 weeks old  - Charlie.   6" wide, 7" with brim rolled out, 6" with brim rolled.   (After months of wearing and washing, the hat now rests at 7" wide, but still is 6" deep.)   

1 month 
  • head 14.75 inches around. 
  • 8.5 inch eartip to eartip
  • feet relatively unchanged.
1 month old - Turkey Head  7.25" wide, 6.25" brim to crown unrolled.  4.75" rolled.  

5-6 weeks old - Hungry Caterpillar Hat - 7.5" wide, 5.25" brim to crown rolled, 6" unrolled.  

6 weeks old - Pumpkin Hat.  6" from brim to tip (unfolded), 6.5" across

7 weeks (11/26)
  •  Head 15.5 inches
  • 9 in eartip to eartip
  • feet just shy of 3.5 inches long

7 weeks old -  Charlie.   6" wide, 7" with brim rolled out, 6" with brim rolled.   (After months of wearing and washing, the hat now rests at 7" wide, but still is 6" deep.)   

8 weeks old -  Ribbed Newsboy Visor Hat.  14" around, 5.5" brim to crown.

8 weeks old - Thanksgiving 2013 - Turkey Head  7.25" wide, 6.25" brim to crown unrolled.  4.75" rolled.  

2 months old (12/9)
  • 15.75 inch circumference
  • 9 in eartip to eartip
2 months old - A Lucky Christmas Hat  ribbing 5" wide, stockinette 6.5" wide when flat, 9.5" long from brim to the beginning of icords.  

2 months old - Baby Marley Hat - 6.75" wide (flat after lots of wearing), unrolled 7" brim to crown.  rolled 6".

2.5 months old -  Charlie.   6" wide, 7" with brim rolled out, 6" with brim rolled.   (After months of wearing and washing, the hat now rests at 7" wide, but still is 6" deep.)   

3 months old
  • 16.25" circumfrence on the head
  • 9.5 " eartip to eartip
  • feet remeasure - 3.75"  when toe stretched

4 months old - Hungry Caterpillar Hat - 7.5" wide, 5.25" brim to crown rolled, 6" unrolled.

4 months old (2/10/2014)
  • 16.5 head circumference
  • 9.75 eartip to eartip
  • feat measure 3 7/8 "

5 months old

  • Circumference 16.75"
  • 10.25 eartip to eartip.
  • Foot 3.75"
Lucky wore the Charlie and Baby Marley hats for the rest of the winter.

6 months old (4/9/14).  Lucky is 55% for height and head circumference.  
  • 17.125" circumference.
  • 10.25" eartip to eartip
  • foot 3.875" 

6 months old - Baby Marley Hat - 6.75" wide (flat after lots of wearing), unrolled 7" brim to crown.  rolled 6".

7 months old (5/18/14)
  • Head  just over 17  3/8"
  • eartip to eartip 10.5"
  • foot 4"

7 months old - Charlie.   6" wide, 7" with brim rolled out, 6" with brim rolled.   (After months of wearing and washing, the hat now rests at 7" wide, but still is 6" deep.)   

8 months old (6/13/2014)
  • head 17.5" around (ish)
  • eartip to eartip 10.5"
  • foot ~4" long

9.5 months old (7/25/2014)
  • head 18" (widest part)
  • eartip to eartip 10.5
  • foot 4-4.5"

10.5 months old (8/21/2014)
  • Just shy of 18" around
  • 10.5 eartip to eartip
  • foot 4.25"

11 months old (9/18/14)
  • Around 18"
  • eartip to eartip 10.5"

11 months old. Foxy Hat 8.5" wide (above ribbing), 6.5" brim to crown. 

11 months old -  Hungry Caterpillar Hat - 7.5" wide, 5.25" brim to crown rolled, 6" unrolled.  

1 year old
head 18" (approx)
eartip to eartip 10.75
foot 4.5

1 year old - Snowy Penguin Hat 16” around, 6.25” deep. 

Lucy is now 15 months old!  He is still wearing the Snowy Penguin Hat and the Foxy Hat.  I am not collecting as much data on his head size because as you can see the growth slowed dramatically.  The biggest differences (understandably) happen between birth and the first few months.  Ribbed hats with a rolled brim are the best gifts because they grow with the baby in terms of width and length.  

I hope this resource helps you as much as it has helped me already!   Happy Knitting!