Best Crochet Cap in The World

I have crocheted the best hat in the WORRRLLLD! Well, at least for me anyway. :P I crocheted this swirls cap in… wait for it… wait… ONE day. Yip. One warm, gorgeous, too cute for my head, hat in less than 24 hours.

Crochet Swirl Cap

Crochet Swirls Cap

Crochet Swirls Cap
@ Ravelry

I started after dinner on Saturday night and crocheted till bed time around 11pm. By that point, I had already finished the main hat. I woke up in the morning and did a few more rounds. I crocheted the brim in the car on the way to James’. All it needed was a piece of plastic for its brim.

File Used to Make Brim
While everyone was busy preparing lunch, I cut myself a brim from a plastic folder and crocheted the edges closed. Too easy!

I LOVVEEE this hat and I was so pleased to see how I looked in it. Perfect fit despite using a thinner yarn than recommended. Of course I wanted to take photos of the hat straight away. And there happens to be beautiful autumn tree in the backyard and a grinning mother-in-law happily sharing the moment with me.

MIL & Me
Pattern: Swirls Cap {Ravelry} from Sophia Kesssinger
Yarn: Cleckheaton Country Naturals 8ply
Hook: 4.5mm
Mods: Used 8ply wool instead of 10ply/worsted weight

James, Mum & Me

I washed the hat the next day and the yarn was even softer. I’ve not used Cleckheaton before and I’m glad to know that I’ve got soft, cheap, machine washable wool at Kmart. Makes life a lot easier as I’m only minutes away from the shop. I only used 2 balls for the hat and I’m sure I got the wool on special months ago. I think this hat would have only cost me $7 in wool! *pats myself on the back

Well, I’ve leave you today with a photo I took of James’ backyard. He is damn freaking lucky to live in such a beautiful place for such a cheap rent. It’s just disgusting!
James' Backyard

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Luxurious Knitted Hats

First and foremost, I hope everyone had a great Mother’s day and that you’re all well rested and ready to start a brand new week. :)

Two weeks ago, I received the 2009 Bendigo Woollen Mills shade card, together with their proud announcement of the new “Luxury” range. The range boasts to be softer and at the reasonable price of $11.50 for a 200g ball/400m. As a bonus, orders received before 31st May from the new Luxury range will receive two “Luxury” patterns free!
Bendigo Woollen Mills "Luxury" Range

I had promised Emma, my sister-in-law, that I will knit hats for her and her son, Jackson, just before receiving the shade card so the timing couldn’t be better. She picked the colour Lake and I chose my two free Luxury patterns from Bendigo Woollen Mills.
Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxury 8ply

The yarn arrived a few days later and it was soft! I was pleasantly surprised as I’ve bought from their other ranges which promised to be soft but they weren’t. I was thrilled to have finally found machine washable soft merino wool at such a low price. Their shipping is only $3 and if your purchases are more than $30, postage is free.

I immediately casted on for Jackson’s hat and was happily knitting when I found loose bits of yarn poking out of the strand of wool. It happened 3-4 times but it was no big deal as it disappeared into my knitting with a little snip.
Unusual Yarn

I was determined to finish the two hats before Mother’s Day so I had a knitting marathon for 3 days straight. The hats were completed, washed and dried well before my deadline and I was very pleased with the results. The yarn was even softer after washing!
Knitted Hats for Mother & Son

Emma Wearing Hurricane Hat
Pattern: Combined Odessa {Ravelry} and Hurricane patterns
Yarn: Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxury 8ply
Needles: 3.5 mm and 4 mm
Mods: Details below

CO 110sts on 3.5 mm needles.
Followed the instruction from Odessa for ribbing.
M1 and then changed to 4 mm needles.
Work Hurricane’s body and decrease.

Decrease didn’t work too well. Probably decreased too quickly on the last 2-3 rows. Hat doesn’t lie flat but fits okay.

Emma & Jackson
Pattern: Jacques Cousteau hat
Yarn: Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxury 8ply
Needles: 3.5 mm
Mods: Knitted the woman’s size and knit in rib for only 16cm (instead of 20cm) before decreasing.

Emma and Jackson received their hats on Mother’s Day and they both spent the day at home lazing around. We took a quick family photo before we left to have lunch at James’. Notice how well behaved the dog, Ash, is sitting on Emma’s foot while the photo was taken. Hehe… Silly dog!
Family Photo @ Emma's

More hats on Wednesday! ;) See you then. Take care!

Related Post:
Two Skeins of Malabrigo Later…

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Knitted Bamboo for Spring

Celtic Cable Neckwarmer
I knitted in bamboo/cotton yarn for the first time recently. I thought it would be perfect for spring. The yarn felt cool and really soft to touch. I found this awesome Celtic Cable neckwarmer pattern on Ravelry and happily began my bamboo adventure.

And then I discovered a few things about the yarn. It splits. But I perservered. I tried cabling without a cable needle but the yarn is just too slippery and splitty. I finished the neckwarmer the traditional way and blocked it heavily. It looked so nice blocked. The cables really popped! I wore it proudly the very next day but low and behold, the neckwarmer went back to it’s pre-blocked state. It became long and skinny and squished where it was wrapped around my neck. Why didn’t I think of this sooner? Bamboo and cotton has no memory, unlike wool.

I thought long and hard on how to resolve this issue and the best I can come up with is to line the neckwarmer. I had some lovely pink cotton fabric that Teresa gave me and handstitched the lining on. I stitched around the edges and also zig zaged across the middle. I think the lining has done it’s trick. The neckwarmer has a much better shape to it now and the lining makes it even warmer.
Celtic Cable Neckwarmer

Overall, I think the pattern is absolutely wicked and I would love to make it again in wool.
Celtic Cable Neckwarmer
Details on Ravelry

On the up side, I did have leftover bamboo/cotton yarn and this time, I’ve learnt my lesson and picked a pattern designed for this kind of yarn – A Slouch for All Seasons. I’ve made hats in the past for other people, but this one is meant just for me. I’m not a hat wearer but I LOVE this! I don’t look like a dork (at least I don’t think so… hmm…) and it’s perfect for Spring mornings.
Bamboo Slouch Beret
Bamboo Slouch Beret
Details on Ravelry

I really like the swirl and you might catch me touching the bumpy bits along the swirl when I’m on the train. Just leave me be if it doesn’t bother you. I’m a touchy, feely kind of girl. :P

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Two skeins of Malabrigo later…

I wanted to knit Richard a hat and a pair of gloves for his new job in the city. He is commuting to Sydney everyday; that’s an average time of three hours of travelling each day! So the wool for his hat and gloves has to be soft and warm for his wintery journey. There was no doubt in my mind that I needed Malabrigo. I bought two skeins of Tortuga from Jolene who has an online shop selling Malabrigo. I don’t think you can buy it online elsewhere in Australia.

Malabrigo didn’t disappoint. It’s fantastic value for money. I knitted a hat and two pairs of gloves for $32, including postage! The quality of this hand dyed merino wool is the best I’ve ever knitted with. It’s luxuriously soft and warm. The subtle colour changes makes it even more exciting to knit with. The only downside is that the gloves I made pills. I think the friction from being stuffed into pockets probably caused the pilling.

Richard picked the Jacques Cousteau hat pattern because he LOVES the spirals at the top and the big foldover bit (that’s the technical name, isn’t it?). The wool feels softer the bigger the surface area so it was just a pleasure to knit with.
Jacques Cousteau Hat
Jacques Cousteau Hat
Details on Ravelry

And then the troubles began. My first attempt at full fingered gloves and boy was it a pain right to the end. I only wanted to knit one pair of gloves for Richard and picked the Cigar gloves from Knitty. I tried it on his hand so many times as I was knitting it but after I finished the entire glove, I realised that the glove was too small and the cuff kept riding up his hand. Grrrr!

So I thought he probably needed a different type of thumb gusset to fit him better and knitted up a pair of Ken gloves. I thought I was going alright. I finished the pair and then realised they were still small for him! The cuffs still ride up and some of the fingers are too short. I have underestimated how wide his hands were. I kept thinking that he has small hands because his fingers are the same length as mine, but his hands are wide, MUCH wider than mine. But Richard doesn’t complain. He says it fits him fine and they keep his hands very warm so he is happy. What a wonderful, appreciative husband!
Ken Gloves
Details on Ravelry

I have learnt an important lesson from knitting these gloves, beside measuring your recipient’s hand properly. The holes between the fingers annoys the heck out of me. I tried all sorts of different ways to reduce the size of the holes. But I figured the bottom line is to darn the holes properly. This Knitty article is very good at explaining how to fix those very bothersome holes up.

So I had a right hand Cigar glove which fitted me but not Richard. Drudgingly, I finished the other glove and I’m glad I did. It’s soooo warm and what a near perfect fit! I modified the pattern to be full fingered and also to included buttonholes on my right thumb and forefinger so that I can flip the glove tips over. Why? So I can sms, write and take my train ticket out of my pocket. I got the idea from other Ravelers who have done the same thing to their gloves. There are so many clever people out there!
Cigar Cloves Cigar Cloves
Cigar Cloves
Details on Ravelry

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Holy Knitted Baby Tomatoes, Batman!

I haven’t had the oppotunity to knit baby clothing. Last week however, I found out that my friend and his wife had a baby girl 7 weeks premature. Mum and bub are healthy and doing well. This baby girl is really special as her lovely parents have waited many years to hold her in their arms and ironically, she couldn’t wait to meet them too! So I thought it would be perfect to knit her something equally special.

My friend’s wife is Italian and so I’ve knitted with a stereotypical Italian theme – Tomatoes! First, a little Tomato Beanie to keep her head warm this winter.
Tomato Baby Hat
Tomato Baby Hat
Details on Ravelry

Then adorable Saartje’s Bootees (pdf) to keep her little toes warm.
Tomato Baby Bootees
Details on Ravelry

Together, they make a very cute gift set! Carino!
Tomato Baby Gift Set

P.S. I’ve also completed a few more knitted objects. Not as blogworthy as the tomatoes though -
Fourteen #4 for sis-in-law, a pair of red tweed handwarmers for me, a pair of leaf bookmarks and fuzzy slippers for my mum-in-law, and a razor shell neckwarmer for my neighbour.

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