Thursday, September 24, 2009


I knit a tiny newborn size hat for my incoming niece:

Between this and the pirate hat, she'll easily be the coolest baby in Portland, which given the hipster population of Portland is really a meaningful title.

The hat was made on #5 dpns with scraps of Zara from baby projects past - the beautiful green is, alas, discontinued. I used the proportions of the hospital hat that db wore right after she was born - basically, I cast on 70 stitches and knit random stripes in the round in a 1x1 rib for 3.5 inches; I then switched to stockinette and reduced as follows: k8, k2tog for one round; knit one round; k7, k2tog for one round; knit one round; continue in pattern until you reach k4, k2tog round, at which point eliminate the knit rounds. When only 5 stitches remain (you'll have to improvise at the very end since the pattern of reductions only gets you to about 8 stitches at the end - for the final round, I think I k1, k2tog to get the final stitch count down to 5), change colors and knit about 1.5 inches of i-cord.

The flower itself comes from this Knitty pattern:

Having a baby has given me great insight into the uselessness of most baby knits - I can't imagine a newborn hat staying on unless it's knit in 1x1 rib and for slightly older babies, unless the hat ties under the chin, I don't see it staying on, either. Or maybe my hat-despising daughter is exceptional (well, of course she's exceptional in every way...) and she's given me a warped perspective on babywear.

Together with the pirate hat, I think this is a great gift, which is to say a gift I'd like to receive. It's amazing to look at the tiny flower hat and the pirate hat together - babies' heads really do expand at a disturbing rate during the first three months. The only thing that immediately strikes me as more disturbing (crossing my legs as I type) is the thought of pushing out a three-month-old size head rather than a newborn-sized head.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


The baby pirate hat is finished - icord around the edges and a good blocking on a cereal bowl worked wonders for both the evenness of the colorwork and the curling of the earflaps.

Db was obliging enough to model the hat - and I do mean obliging, since she absolutely hates having anything on her head. It's a bit large for her eight week old head - I figure it's about the right size for a three month old, which is about what I was going for, amazingly enough.

Basically, I knit this free earflap hat pattern

on 100 stitches (the jolly roger is a 20 stitch pattern from this pattern: and made these few modifications which make sense if read alongside the original pattern:

I used Zara (salmon) and Aurora 8 (gray); it was exactly enough Aurora 8 - hardly any leftovers. Knitting the hat with two colors of Zara would be safer since Zara has more yardage. I knit the non-fairisle parts of the hat on threes and the fairisle on fives. Gauge for the threes was 6 stitches per inch and gauge for the fives was 7 stitches per inch.

Increase to 19 stitches for the earflaps; after knitting both earflaps, cast on 15, knit the first earflap, cast on 36, knit the second earflap, cast on 15, join to work in round. 104 stitches (which becomes 100 stitches after one round if you follow pattern's advice of k2tog four times on the first round after the join). Begin working the jolly roger motif after knitting two or so rounds in the base color.

After the jolly roger motif is finished, knit one or two rounds in base color and then decrease every other round as indicated in the pattern (knitting a round in between every decrease round) until there are 68 stitches on the needle; then decrease every round until 5 (?) stitches remain.

Finish with 3-stitch applied i-cord; tassels are 4-stitch i-cord.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Rage, rage against the pale pink blight

Despite a recent trip to the local second hand store with several bags of the most egregiously pink baby gifts, I still feel as though there's way too much pink in db's wardrobe. Not that pink seems to bother her.

She's just started smiling.

On the one hand, it's very gratifying to finally have an interactive baby after six weeks of newborn aloofness. Adorable aloofness, of course, but still. On the other hand, I feel strangely sad about db's passage from newborn to baby - she's totally different now. Probably this won't be the last time I marvel at how much she's changed.

I've also been forced to take it really easy for the past few weeks because of the abnormally long hard labor, and one can only watch so many episodes of the Sopranos before cabin fever sets in. The solution to both problems was, obviously, stenciling. The internet is full of free stencil images, and a few trips to the local art store and several swipes of the exacto knife later, we've begun to build a onesie wardrobe befitting a thinking, hip baby girl (as opposed to a wardrobe befitting a Barbie dream mansion-esque baby girl):

I'm quite pleased with the results so far.

Probably db is, too.

The stencil patterns are all from this website:

Instructions on stenciling here:

In other thinking-hip-girl-baby wardrobe news, I'm knitting an earflap hat for Todd's brother's incoming baby girl. This is the swatch of the jolly roger motif:

The pattern is a highly improvised combination of this free adult-size hat design:

With this free baby hat pattern

I'm knitting it in Zara (salmon) and Aurora 8 (gray) merino. So far, so good, except of course the earflaps curl. I'm hoping blocking and applied i-cord will solve the problem but thinking maybe I should have done the earflaps in garter stitch. Oh, well. It's amazing what acute sleep deprivation will do to one's perfectionistic tendencies.