Wednesday, December 20, 2006

What's Happening Here

I had good intentions. I didn't mean to drop the ball on blogging. I have lots of knitting and sewing to show. But with the kids out of school 10 days before Christmas, (breathe, Emily, breathe) I knew I had to be prepared early this year.

Last week, with final Christmas prep and end of school soirees, my blood pressure was a little on the high side. But it was worth it, because the presents are wrapped and locked in the attic, and this week is crafting-playing-napping-baking bliss.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Baby Santa Hat

I mentioned that I was going to have a little suprise for you!

I want to thank you readers for the comments and encouragement you have given me this past year. I really love the contact with like-minded people that the blog brings into my life. Thank you!

Here is my Christmas gift to you: a free pattern for a sweet Baby Santa Hat.

This little nugget is so quick that you still have time to make one for the sweet baby in your life!

copyright Emily Parson 2006

1 ball white dk weight yarn. I used unknown from stash.
1 ball white Crystal Palace Squiggle (or other funky carry-along yarn.)
1 ball red dk weight wool. I used Jaeger Extra-Fine Merino dk.
16" circulars size 6 (or size you normally use with dk weight yarn, I used 4 because I am a super loose knitter and almost always go down 2 sizes from the ball band recommendation.)
dpns size 6

Gauge: approximately 22 sts/ 4" but this is not critical. Because the ribbing is stretchy, it can be a little smaller or bigger and still be fine. This hat fit my 6 month old and still fits her at age 2 1/2, although it is getting a bit snug.

Begin the white band: Starting with the white dk weight yarn only, and the circular needles, cast on 80 stitches.

Add the Squiggle to the plain white wool, and join to knit in the round, being careful not to twist. Place a marker for the start of the round. Do K1 P1 ribbing for 2", or approximately 15 rounds.

One thing you might notice, is that with funky fluff type yarn, the "fluffs" tend to come out on the wrong side. You can either take a hook and pull them out to make the right side fluffy, or at this point, you can flip your knitting inside out so the "wrong" side becomes the "right" side, and save yourself some work.

Begin the main section of hat: Drop both white yarns and start your red yarn. Knit 6 rounds.

Start your decreasing: if you look closely at the photo, you see that you will be staggering the decreases with every decrease round. If you line them up, you will have ridges going up your hat. Instead, by staggering them, they won't be too noticable.

(At some point below, you will want to switch to the dpns when the knitting becomes unmanageable on the circulars.)

K8, K2T all the way around. (72 sts)

K 6 rounds.

K4, (K7, K2T)* repeat until you have 3 stitches left in that round, K3. (64 sts)

K 6 rounds.

K6, K2T all the way around. (56 sts.)

K 6 rounds.

K3, (K5, K2T)* repeat 8 times until you have 2 stitches left in that round, K2. ( 48 sts.)

K 6 rounds.

K4, K2T all the way around. (40 sts)

K 6 rounds.

K2, K2T (K3, K2T)* repeat 8 times until you have 1 stitches left in that round, K1. (32 sts)

K 6 rounds.

K2, K2T all the way around. (24 sts)

K 6 rounds

K1, K2T all the way around (16 sts)

K 2 rounds

K2T all the way around (8 sts)

K2 T all the way around (4 sts)

Cut yarn, pull through remaining stitches and fasten on inside of the point. If you don't have this exact number of stitches left, or at any point if you are off by a stitch or 2, just fudge it. These number are here as a guide but it will be fine if it is not exact! I promise!

Make the fluffy ball: I thought it would be difficult to make a regular pompom out of this crazy yarn, so here is what I did instead: I cast on about 15 stitches with both white yarns and knit until it was a little square, then bound off. Using the plain white yarn and a darning needle, I made a running stitch around the edges, rounding off the corners a little to fudge it (again with the fudging it!) and gathered it up. Tuck the squared off corners to the inside, and fill the ball with a little fiberfill or even scraps of yarn. It doesn't take much.

Use the ends of the gathered yarn to stitch the ball to the top of the hat.

Put it on your favorite baby and bask in their cuteness!

Christmas 2004: Sophie, age 6 months.


Friday, December 08, 2006

Christmas Lights

Due to some serious interest in the above colorway, "Christmas Lights", which sold out immediately when I listed it on etsy, I dyed another small batch and just relisted it in the shop.

This is pretty much the last of the yarn until the new year, unless I have time here and there to skein up a few.

It's time to move onward to the Christmas sewing and knitting!

And check back with me later tonight or this weekend, I'm cooking up a Christmas suprise for YOU!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Catching You Up on the Christmas Clothes and Volcano Action

The week before Thanksgiving I realized that our annual Christmas event at church was earlier than usual this year, and I didn't have a Master Plan for 3 adorable matching outfits.

I happened to be in the car when I had this realization, came to a screeching halt outside LYS , and 10 minutes and 3 colors of Cascade Superwash later, I had myself a plan.

A stripey vest (no sleeves being the key concept here) sounded like the perfect jaunty Christmas wear for a 6 year old boy. It would match last years adorable dress for middle daughter, and well, the youngest was going to wear a hand me down. I'm not completely off the deep end.

Ann Budd book. Made up stripey pattern. Lots of car knitting. Chatting-with-relatives knitting. Good times.

My daughter's dress from last year still fit, except I had to add 2" to the sleeves! What's up with that?!?

Here's the finished vest!

"Winging it" may be faster at first, but it can create problems later into the knitting.

Like....the 3 row blue stripe is great when you're knitting in the round, but when you split for the armholes what do you do when you knit 3 rows and are now at the opposite side as you are supposed to be? (You knit on circulars and slide your knitting back to the other side.) is that cute 4 x 2 rib that you did at the bottom going to look going around the tip of the v neck (in the end, I think it looks ok--thanks to that nice double decrease in the book.)

And here it is, the best of the 20 pictures I took:

I added the leftover burgundy Cascade to a ball of Gedifra Fashion Trend Stripe to finish up the week with a scarf for the Red Scarf Project. This was my small contribution to Knit Unto Others sponsored by Carole and Margene.

This yarn reminded me of Kureyon, although maybe not quite so artistic in the color arrangement. But nice. And definitely softer.

So that's it in knitting news. Here's what you really came here for. Volcano cake. (Thanks to Diane, Queen of all things Birthday, with the link for this cake.)

That's a chocolate bundt cake on the bottom, and cake baked in a bowl on the top, with a plastic 1 liter bottle poked down into the center. The Magma Chamber. (I like saying Magma Chamber. It's never really been part of my vocabulary before. Magma Chamber.)

Here is the entire tableau. Pre dry-ice insertion into the Magma Chamber.

Close up of the dinosaur kingdom.

Once I inserted the dry ice, things got a little exciting and I didn't really get a good picture of the voluminous smoke that filled the room. Here it is after the smoke is dying down. (Note the little raptor hanging from the side of the volcano in the upper left!)

A good time was had by all!