Sunday, May 27, 2007

The divil makes work for idle hands

One way or another I've made a few things for wee Patrick since he was born. First there was the "play station"
a red coat for winter

Then the bibs made from scraps of my theatre hats
and several muslin and flanellette wraps, and a laundry hamper (which combines my love of woodworking and sewing).
But the last few days I have been making hats:
This is Patrick in my newest creation: a hat that cost me 79 cents. (And, incidentally, a flannellette wrap I made). I made it out of less than one ball of Moda Vera “Flurry” that is on sale at Spotlight for 79c (damn’ cheap) and made up the pattern . It has to be one of the easiest (and quickest) things I have ever knitted, and I am not a knitter! The secret here is to use enormous needles: the red hat I knitted in 12 ply and 8mm needles so it took me about 2 hours from go to whoa.

Basically you knit a big rectangle and then sew it together. The corners of the rectangle turn into the ‘ears’. First measure your baby’s head (or if you are making it for someone else, use the head circumference charts at
or use a hat that fits them well (which is what I did). Then, you need to find your guage: make a swatch (this is really easy). Cast on 20 stitches of you chosen wool and knit about 10cm and cast off loosely (without tying off). Measure how wide this is without stretching it. This gives you how many stitches per cm, and you can then calculate how many you need to go around the baby’s head.

For example 20 stitches makes 15cm, then there is 20/15 = 1.3 stitches per cm. Say the baby’s head circumference is 39 cm,, then you need 1.3 x 39= 52 stitches.

Unravel the guage swatch and re-use the wool. Use needles a size or two smaller than the ones you used for your swatch for the first five rows; this will be slightly smaller and stop the hat falling off the baby’s head. For non-fuzzy wool, maybe do five rows (or about an inch) or rib. Then change to the larger needles and knit until the hat measures about 13 cm from top to bottom. Cast off and sew it up (I actually did a knitted seam on the red one and blue one- I learned how to do it and now I’m hooked- but you can quickly sew it up instead.

Finally, I've decided that we need a holiday together before my maternity leave finishes, and I've heard Fiji is very baby-friendly. So we have to get a passport for P. Taking passport photos for a baby is not easy. Just look at the DFAT website stipulations! But here is Paddy's mugshot. Shifty looking... a terrorist in the making, no?


Anonymous minnie said...

babies are all lazy and shiftless i tell you. it's shocking really.

28/5/07 13:48  
Anonymous minnie said...

i'm inspired now to go finish up the blnket i am making for my bean.

28/5/07 13:49  
Anonymous Matthew M. F. Miller said...

Those hats are amazing. You make me feel so un-crafty.

31/5/07 13:16  
Blogger jen said...

yeah matt, but you can run... I can't do that!

31/5/07 22:29  

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