Pom Pom Obsession

IMG_8330It has been a long while since I have had the opportunity to go back to what started my whole blog, which was making baby hats!  I was thrilled at the chance to make another hat when I found out that one of my co-workers is expecting his first child, a sweet baby girl.

I’m really liking the look of a beautifully knit, simple baby hat, and I have been wanting to try a very large pom-pom as a surprising element in the proportions of the hat.  I opted to go for a very simple alternating striped hat as the base: classic and timeless.  I then added an oversized pom-pom to the top as a surprising and bold element to an otherwise conventional pattern.

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I must say, when I finished the hat I thought “perfect!”. Then I finished the pom-pom and thought “woah, that’s big!”  I had to giggle a little because I was so incredibly excited about the success of the pom-pom!  After I made this hat, my daughters both found it and immediately tried to squeeze their large noggins into a newborn baby hat!  Then they made me promise to make them their own hats, so I guess I got more than I bargained for!  Anyways, I couldn’t be more excited for my co-worker and hope that this hat will keep his new daughter cozy and warm as this cold weather sets in!

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Where the Heart is

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So I have to begin by apologizing for being so terrible about keeping up with my crafting.  I have not have a lot of free time lately, but I’m going to try and get back into it this year.  Part of the issue is that I haven’t had a lot of time to browse and get inspired to make something new.  However, when I see something that I want to try, it drives me to make time for it.  Case and point, I saw this really adorable hat from Portlano and I thought maybe I could try and modify it.

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Portlano Heart Hat

When I saw this, the wheels in my mind started turning and I thought I may be able to figure something out.  I had a perfect opportunity as well since one of my co-workers recently had a sweet little baby girl and we just survived Hurricane Jonas here on the east coast.  Done!

I still have winter white and lavendar yarn leftover from my previous knitting forays with fair isle hats so I just used the same yarn as it is relatively easy to work with, is very lightweight, and makes a very nice finished product.  I did a mash-up of patterns that I got from a great blog here, combining the heart pattern and the stripe pattern.  As always seeing the pattern unfold before my eyes as I’m knitting is always so much fun, especially since I seem to have a serious problem following patterns closely and tend to improvise.  Every project is a new challenge!  One thing I did grapple with was if I wanted to make heart pom-pom for the top, or to try and knit a heart like the original inspiration piece.  I finally opted on a plain pom-pom, but I think that in the future I may try to make an over-sized pom-pom pom.  We’ll see what happens!

I already had the pleasure of seeing my hat on the adorable new owner, which is always such a nice treat!  Welcome to the world sweet baby, and I hope that you are toasty warm with your new hat!

Monkey Business – part 2

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I haven’t had a lot of time to crochet lately so I was afraid I had grown a little rusty. One of our friends recently had their first baby and they were coming to visit us at our new house. Since crochet items are such great baby gifts, I decided I needed to dust off the old crochet hooks and whip out an amazing gift for the new little baby! I checked my yarn stash and looked at the time. OK, It’s 9pm, they were coming at around 10am and the baby wakes up at 6am. I would have to work fast!

I quickly decided I wanted to make a sock monkey hat, partly because I thought it suited our friends so much. If you have been following my blog, this may look familiar as it is the hat I made my first daughter! I had one eye on the clock as I was furiously crocheting and trying not to make any mistakes so I was able to keep pretty good track of my time. I used a 9 month size pattern since the baby won’t be able to use it until this winter. I was able to make the whole hat with the features attached in about three and a half hours. That left just the pom pom for the next day. Looking good so far.

The next morning was a bustle of activities getting everything ready for the guests! I was finally able to sit and make the pom pom, attach it, and wrap the gift right before they arrived. Whew! Just made it! The hat turned out great and the baby was so adorable and tiny! I can’t wait to see her when she gets old enough for the hat! Welcome, little cutie!

Fairly Fair Again

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If you recall from my previous post, I had knitted a beautiful little fair isle hat, one of my first knit-in-the round projects I’ve taken on.  Unfortunately, due to the gauge of the yarn, the sizing turned out a little smaller than I had anticipated and I was thus not able to give this to my daughter to use in the future.  However, I was determined after my first go, to do it again, but this time to make one that would fit.

I expanded the pattern I found by one additional pattern repeat from the toddler size and I also decided to do an inverse of the colors from the previous project.

IMG_5620I decided to add a pom pom to the top of the hat in lieu of the little loop that the patter calls for.  I just love pom poms and I was trying to make this a little more roomy and “slouchy” so there would be a little extra length should my daughter need it.  I added a little purple into the predominantly white pom pom to give it a little bit of a color balance.

As you can see from the front photo, this hat fits my daughter and seems to be stretchy enough and large enough to allow her to grow into it.  She also, surprisingly, let me put it on her head and take a couple of shots of it before exhibiting her more common behavior of ripping it off her head and throwing it on the floor.  Sigh…. I’ll take what I can get and hopefully she’ll be more amenable when the weather gets colder!

Whooooo’s There?

Well, I’ve gone and done it again. I keep telling myself that I’m going to try new things and I keep making owls! I swear, they are growing on me. I’m hooked (no pun intended)!

I had the very great surprise of learning that our daycare provide is pregnant! A big congratulations! We couldn’t be more excited for her and her expectant belly. She is hands down one of the most nurturing, patient, and loving people and I feel so blessed to be able to have my daughter watched by someone like this each and every day. She also has a beautiful little girl who seems to follow in her mother’s footsteps. I know that she is going to be such a wonderful older sister, given the interaction I’ve seen between her and my own daughter.

I thought about what I wanted and I just keep thinking “owl.” This time I tried something slightly different. I made this hat for a 9 month old so that the baby (who I discovered is a girl!) will be able to use it next winter. I recently saw this uber-adorable owl hat from baby gap that was made out of fleece. Now, instead of just a traditional owl head, it also had these patches on the earflaps that served as the owl’s wings. Well, I thought, this is just a fabulous idea and I should try it!

I had a lot of fun with this interpretation of an owl hat.  I love how the little nubby horns makes it seem more like a baby owl, and the little pom-poms instead of the traditional ties, balance out everything.  I hope that the new owner loves it as much as I do and that it keeps her nice and toasty warm!

Snug as a Bug in a Rug….

I know that I’ve been a bit remiss in posting lately and I apologize.  I’ll try and do better in the future!  Anyways, Happy Monday!  If you recall from one of my previous posts, I had taken a trip to Boston for a good friend’s wedding.  I was very excited because there was the possibility that I would be seeing another friend of mine and get a chance to meet her daughter!  Now it just so happens that my friend’s daughter and my daughter share names.  This was such a pleasant surprise to my husband and I when we learned it and we thought it was so cute that we instantly started referring to them as “name-twins”.

I hadn’t met my daughter’s name-twin before, but I’ve seen many pictures of her.  She is really adorable with a round little face and these large, round eyes.  When I tasked myself with making something for her, I immediately thought of a ladybug!  Now, the real challenge here for me was that I wanted to see if I could incorporate the ladybug spots into the pattern without having to attach additional pieces.  I tried a couple of different ways, but in the end, I did end up making separate pieces for each of the spots and attaching them afterwards.  I found that it just looked a lot cleaner this way.  Maybe if the hat were made of smaller stitches, it may work and still look okay, but with the chunkier gauge of the yarn and hook I was using, it didn’t quite work out.

While we weren’t fortunate enough to cross paths during our short stay in Boston, I was able to transmit her gift via her aunt, who we were lucky enough to be able to catch up with.  I am very pleased with the end result and was rewarded by seeing a picture of the new owner in her hat!  I love seeing a happy new owner!

Déjà Vu

I know that some of you will recognize this hat!  I was lucky enough to be talking to a friend and when he saw my blog, he wanted to give a winking owl hat to his niece.  Up until now, I had only been making things for kids that I knew personally.  I still wanted to make something personal, so he showed me some pictures of his niece, who is absolutely adorable.  I immediately thought of this wonderful coral-colored yarn that I had yet to use and thought that it would be a perfect complement to this little girl’s deep blue eyes and fair complexion.

As I make more hats, I find that I’m learning little tricks to speed the process along, such as how to introduce new colors to a project more seamlessly.  There’s a great video tutorial here.  This was the first hat that I did this consistently and I found that it made finishing off the hat much easier.  While it pretty much looks the same, I feel that with each hat, I am more confident with my skills.

All in all, this hat went fairly quickly.  I decided to experiment with slightly different proportions from my first owl hat, so you may see some minor adjustments.  There are so many ways to make this hat, I can’t wait to try another one!