Thursday, October 16, 2008

Top-down EZ 3-spiral hat?

My current project is a version of Elizabeth Zimmermann's 3-spiral (aka snail or conch or Dairy Queen) hat for baby N.

The original pattern (for adults) published in The Opinionated Knitter, as well as this adorable baby version, are knit from the bottom up. I tried and failed several times while Baby N was in the NICU. I winged it without making a gauge swatch, but N's head was growing fast, and I knit real slow. After frogging for the third or fourth time, I gave up.

I'm trying to convert the pattern to knit top-down, but it's a little harder than I expected. For example, does "K2tog" bottom-up convert to
(a) Kf&b
(b) M1, K1
(c) K1, M1
(d) M1, P1
(e) P1, M1
(f) other ???
The only way I could figure it out was to actually try each and see how it looks. Finally, I think I'm close to a pattern that, although isn't exactly like the original, has a very similar effect.

To be continued....

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Vintage apron patterns make cute dresses

Just scored these patterns on ebay for $12:

They're described as "aprons" but I think they'd make really cute dresses, especially the Butterick 9579. I have a thing for back-wrap dresses and skirts, probably because my fashion sensibility developed in the 70s.

Now I really need to go on a pattern diet. I already have so many patterns I haven't used. And I should be able to create (or cobble together) any style I could possibly want to sew or wear with what I have. It's ridiculous how much time I waste on ebay poring through the pattern listings. I think I may need an intervention.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

FO: Top-down knit hat for baby

The hypothetical hat pattern worked!

(Everything looks cute on a baby, don't you think?)
(Definitely cuter than on a roll of paper towels, viz.:)

Specifics for this version:

Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton-Ease (cotton-acrylic) in Lime. (This yarn was such a pleasure to knit--I loved the feel and color both.) One skein can probably make at least 2 baby hats.

Needles: 5mm and 4.5mm needles for knitting in the round (e.g., 2 circulars, or a set of double-pointeds)

Gauge: 5 st/inch in stockinette on the 5mm needles

Fits actual head size (with a little room to grow) as follows:
eyebrows-to-base-of-head measurement=11" (laying the tape measure over the top of the head)

Using the larger needles, CO 12 sts using Wrap (aka Figure-8) method and join to knit in the round.
Rnd 1 and all odd rounds: Knit.
Rnd 2 : *K1, Kb&f, repeat from * around. (18 sts)
Rnd 4: *K2, Kb&f, repeat from * around. (24 sts)
Rnd 6: *K3, Kb&f, repeat from * around. (30 sts)
Rnd 8: *K4, Kb&f, repeat from * around. (36 sts)
Rnd 10: *K5, Kb&f, repeat from * around. (42 sts)
Rnd 12: *K6, Kb&f, repeat from * around. (48 sts)
Rnd 14: *K7, Kb&f, repeat from * around. (54 sts)
Rnd 16: *K8, Kb&f, repeat from * around. (60 sts)
Rnd 18: *K9, Kb&f, repeat from * around. (66 sts)
Rnd 20: *K10, Kb&f, repeat from * around. (72 sts)

Place a marker to mark where rounds begin (and end). Knit straight until piece measures 5 inches from cast-on.

Change to smaller needles, K1 P1 for 3 rnds.

BO using tubular cast-off.

Testing the Hypothetical Top-Down Hat pattern

Ready to bind off (using TECHKnitter's Tubular Cast Off)!