Thursday, 27 November 2014

How To Knit A Simple Hat and L's Blanket Is Almost Done (A Woolly Post)....

Thanks for your lovely comments on the hat post. For all those who wanted it, here is the recipe for How To Make One:

I used Katia Sfera Mega Chunky Wool and 12mm needles and got through just over a ball in making the hat.

It really is a very simple template- you count out the number of casting on stitches you need (youtube has several excellent 'how to cast on' videos if you've not done it before, and likewise 'how to knit' and 'how to cast off' as well). I did 30 cast on stitches for the hat and that seemed to work for me, M and L in terms of fitting all our heads so I would suggest using about that number. The first hat I made I cast on 40 stitches and it was way too big. Then you simply knit the first row and purl the second. HERE is a really good simple explanation of knit and purl stitches and how to do them.

I had intended to carry on with the knit one row, purl another for the entire hat but got distracted watching Ruth, Peter and Tom on the excellent How To Make A Medieval Castle prog which is currently on TV and muddled my stitches, so some rows were two knits together instead of one. I didn't unpick the stitches (mainly because I can't, not without getting in an unravelling muddle, losing my temper and throwing the knitting at the wall :o) ) but decided to keep them because the emerging pattern created a thicker band around the base of the hat which I think worked well. So basically, whenever you want to create a ridge effect you knit 2 or 3 lines together without purling any, and then go back to alternating knit one row with purl the other for the chain-stitch effect which is smoother. Does that make sense?

Here's the hat again which will hopefully demonstrate what I mean:


When you do follow the knit one row and purl the next, knit the next and purl the next and so on, you get a chain-stitch effect that looks like this. It's called a Stocking Stitch:


The green one is my Second Hat! (which I wore while out coppicing in the woods yesterday amid the damp and chill and it kept me so toasty warm I had to take it off to cool down). This one was knitted on 20mm needles which gave a slightly looser knit to the stitches and I left it longer in terms of height too so it is more slouchy when it's on.

Carry on knitting until you've got sufficient depth to wrap it around your head with a few cms left over at the top, then sew the two ends together (I used a wool sewing needle and some slightly thinner wool) so you make a sort-of cylinder or tube shape. Then you just gather the bit that's left over above your head and tie it tightly with some spare wool, making the bobble-type shape you can see in the pics above.

It really is that simple, and each hat took me about an hour to make so they aren't time consuming and fiddly in any way. Honestly, if I can make one anyone can, so give it a go :o)

I took it to college and everyone was suitably impressed. M likes them so much he has asked me to do one for him. I've got some nice deep brown wool which I'm going to use for his. I suggested to L he might like a pink one- he just grinned and said if I paid him he would wear it. They are super-warm so perfect for this cold weather.

In other Wool News, L's blanket is nearing completion, as amply demonstrated by my Lovely Assistant Poppy....


It looks a Rag Tag and Bobtail affair at present (THIS is a great little sight about the origins of such phrases, in case you were interested), but this will vanish once the squares are sewn together and then it comes out all neat and shiny. 
L's blanket is a single blanket; I've got a few more squares left to do as well as runners for the sides to neaten them up. Any stray wool tails from ball ends can be tucked through to the underside of the blanket so they aren't visible when it's on the bed. 

I like all the squares to be different shapes and sizes; some of them I do standard knit, and some I use the knit one row, purl one row theme to create a slightly different effect. I'm going to give some of the patterns on the link at the top of the post a go as well- I quite like the 2x2 rib - and if I can remember how to crochet I might stick some of those in too.

This blanket is going to be a Christmas Present for L as he's been casting covetous eyes on the double blanket I made for M and my bed last Christmas. He knows it's in progress but doesn't know when it will be ready so I hope he will be pleased and like it. Occasionally I show him bits of wool and ask if he like the colours so he has sort-of chosen some of the squares :o)

I found some really cheerful wool on ebay t'other day which I bought and have already started knitting with. It's going to go in L's blanket too. It's from the Cygnet Seriously Chunky Range and I use 12mm needles for this one too....



I love this time of year for knitting in front of the fire. It feels very traditional and always makes me think of my ancestors, who of course would have made their own clothing and blankets to keep them warm in the winter. My father's grandfather was a clothier in Hawick in the 19th century so maybe a bit of his love of fabrics has rubbed off?

There is something about creating an item yourself that makes a significant difference to your well being when the weather is cold. I love the fact that these things are originals- no one else has a hat like it, or a blanket like it. In this world where most of us buy things from shops instead of making them ourselves it's a nice feeling to know you have something from your own effort that isn't availabl anywhere else.

Hope everyone's well?

CT :o)

25 comments:

  1. Fab post. I really MUST get on with my knitty blanket, otherwise it will be Summer again.

    Jean x

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    1. Winter is a good time for these projects. It's too dark and chilly to be outside. I look forward to winter for the knitting :o) x

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  2. Thank you!! I was thinking of knitting a wooly hat for myself :)

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    1. You'll have to post a pic of it when it's finished :o)

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  3. Thanks so much for the pattern - I think have some leftover chunky wool so if I have enough I will try and make one of these lovely hats :) Love the blanket - up to 21 squares here now! and have managed to buy some balls of cream, oatmeal and petrol blue wool from The Range - seemed quite reasonably priced although not a huge selection. They did have some rainbow wool though and having seen your knitted up square I think I will go back and get some :)

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    1. Am looking forward to seeing your completed blanket. The new wool sounds lovely :o)

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  4. I just got back from the yarn store with 2 balls of interesting yarn to knit a couple of things for myself which rare. And rare that I only come out the shop with only 2 balls.

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    1. Ooh- put them up on your blog so I can see what you got. Two balls is very restrained, well done :o)

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  5. Now, I really like that multi colour chunky, might just have to get some of that.
    Briony
    x

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    1. I got three versions of it, this rainbow one, a more pastel shade and a darker blue. Haven't tried out the other two yet because the bright one called to me more loudly :o) x

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  6. Well done with the knitting! I've knitted a few beanies as well as dozens of jumpers over the years. I got back into knitting some years back when suffering a really bad case of SAD one winter and it was the only thing that got me through it. Then I got into photography and bugs and the knitting got forgotten. Still if I ever do lose my hair through chemo (may be having to have another course of it after my surgery, via IV and probably stronger) I will have plenty of hat choice to cover a bald head with!!
    Take care xx

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    1. I'm impressed with the jumpers. I might start to feel brave enough to take one of those on before long :o)

      Knitting is comforting and soothing and productive so I'm not surprised it helped you through a difficult winter. I look forward to nightfall here at the mo, lighting the fire, pouring a glass of red and getting the wool and needles out.

      If you do lose your hair I will knit you a hat and send it to France. I had a very good friend who lost all her hair through breast cancer chemo and she wore wigs, which looked fantastic on her and were easily mistaken for her real hair. Another friend who had the same wore bright colourful scarves which also really suited her.

      Keep strong my friend x

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    2. You're a sweetie! Surgery is due around February sometime but I'm not worrying about too far ahead, just wanna get through this bout of treatment which finishes the end of the week before Xmas. I would probably opt for a wig for going out but I would imagine they could get itchy and a nice (non itchy!) hat for at home would probably be something easy to just pop on when necessary. I'm not a scarf person and haven't a clue how to wrap them round my head..... ;-) But we'll wait and see. Thanks so much. xx

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    3. I think wigs now for post-surgery are better than they were so would imagine they have soft linings etc and maybe ventilation too to prevent heat and itchiness. For what it's worth, I think you are quite right to take things one step at a time. I shall be willing you on come Feb! x

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  7. My wife started knitting again. Told her it's ignorant keep clicking, and she says I am keeping hold of the tv remote control. It's going to be a long winter!

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  8. Think you are going to start a hat revolution :)

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    1. I am! Mastered x2 rib stitch last night. I was ridiculously pleased with myself :o) x

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  9. You've almost persuaded me that I too could knit! It sounds wonderful and you are a terrific spokesperson for the craft. But I have no such skills, Im afraid. Full of admiration for those that do however. I'm sure Poppy is eyeing up the blanket as a cosy prospect - I know Flossy would love to be wrapped up in it - and I'm looking forward to seeing the pix when it is finished. - Lily x
    ps how is Poppy getting on in her harness when you run?

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    1. You could knit Lily, I'm certain. And I say this because if I can, anyone can :o) I have to be very careful about not leaving balls of wool at Poppy-height....
      She's doing brilliantly in the harness for walks, I haven't taken her running recently because it's been too dark for her to come with me, but I'm sure it will work well when we do. Thank you for the nudge to get one. Hope you and Floss are well x

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  10. Your hat looks so easy to do, I will have to go out and by some wool tomorrow and try it! I love the wool you found on ebay so colourful! Sarah x

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    1. Ooh, do let me know if you do make one. They are really warm x

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  11. I love this CT!!! I love wearing my knitted ear-warmer and snood for exactly the same reason! I created my own pattern and no-one else has one :) I do love those hats - they look incredible snuggly! I look forward to seeing the finished blanket soon - looks fab! xx

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  12. Awesome Job!!! But do you have any other hats recipe such TMT hats and other stylish hats.

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Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them and will try my best to reply to every one. CT x