b r o o k l y n t w e e d
Montera: Part Deux
I was rummaging through my photos today, as I'll often do when I'm seeking solace from stress (or when I'm just straight up procrastinating), and came across these pictures of the second version of the Montera Hat that I knit up at Christmas. After gifting this to a dear family friend, I completely forgot about the photos and hence forgot to share - good thing it didn't quite get away from us!
Pattern: Montera Hat by Pam Allen [Ravel it!]Source: Classic Elite Alpaca StoriesYarn: Classic Elite Montera in 3875 Inca Grey; Just barely under one skein (pattern calls for two)Needles: US 7 (4.5mm) and US 10 (6mm) circulars using the Magic LoopWhen: Christmas Eve and surrounding hours, stuck in an airport due to snow storms.
It's much the same story as the first one - aside from using a different yarn, they were both knit during snowstorm-induced airport hysteria (collective) at Christmas. Extra gift knitting, in retrospect was the silver lining of the story, if only a minor amount of silver proportional to the rest of the chaos. I'm over it though, can't you tell?
My gauge on US 10's was slightly tighter than instructed by the pattern, although I like the finished product with slightly less slouch. I blocked the hat over a 10" lid to the pot we use to boil water for pasta - it's my go-to form for blocking the slouchy and tam-like. Cardboard circles cut from old boxes work well too. This accounts for the shaping you see, although it would fit more like a beanie without this. Knitter's preference!
I squeaked in at just under one skein - it was a nail biter, since I only had that one skein and limited time. If you knit one, I'd play it safe and grab an extra skein. If you end up making it with just one, you can be sure you'll have enough yarn for another! I guess I should mention the one skein trick didn't include the survival of my swatch - I used everything.
Last week was "Spring Break" (term used loosely) - although I did take a day or two off for myself to knit, think, and re-acquaint myself with my spring priorities. The weather is warming up slowly but surely and the Perfect Storm of spring, as I've affectionately dubbed the coming season for myself is on its way. The good news is that I'm really having a light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel moment and there are some really exciting things on the near horizon - I'm really looking forward to sharing these with you, faithful friends! I'm entertaining the idea of taking summer off and knitting next to my air conditioner for three months as an effective transition into a new chapter... sounds good (and not at all irresponsible), doesn't it?
There has been a gaggle of baby knitting going on over here - a very important little person is coming into the world and I've made it my personal mission to instill a high wool tolerance, nay, dependence on the little one.
Also - baby stuff can make anyone feel like a super knitter - little projects that give you the similar types of construction satisfaction (sometimes) as larger garments, take about a tenth of the time, and give you an excuse to play with all those beautiful yarns you were saving for something special but didn't have enough of to make anything substantial with. Works for me!
Now, Cisco. Here's a project that is almost too cute for it's own good. You know, the project that makes you giggle as you work because it's so darned cute... and because you know that any little head when wrapped in little ears like this will be ten times more likely to induce cute-baby-sighs.
Pattern: Cisco [Free Pattern from the Berroco Design Team] [Ravel it!]Materials: "Lazy Daisy" Handspun light-worsted-weight 2-Ply Merino from Pigeonroof Studios; Scraps of Solid Brown Cascade "Cash Vero" for trim and I-cord
Size: With my very limited knowledge of baby sizing... I'd guess this came out to fit around a 6-12 month old
Needles: US 8/5mm circulars (the piece is knitted flat)Start Date: March 1, 2009Finish Date: March 8, 2009
The original pattern is written for various brightly colored yarns, striped together. I opted for a more subtle self-striping look. As I always say, when the yarn can do the work for you - just let it. And when you have the chance to put a little handspun to good use (with garter stitch) - do it.
I had just enough handspun left over from this hat to make a miniature - and the big bonus? The original hat was made for the baby mama... meaning yes, we have a matchy-matchy scenario on our hands. I love it. [See a photo of the un-knit handspun here]
There are some fun and clever little construction details on this - like the formation of the ears, mitered forehead point, and shaped back-of-head portion. All pieces are knit flat, but picked up and worked directly off of one another, so no seaming is involved (brownie points).
Aside from the difference in yarn choices, I only made a few small modifications to the existing pattern. I omitted the stockinette center peak of the forehead - I liked the look better keeping it in garter, and rather than using YO increased, I worked raised bar increases to omit holes. I trimmed the whole thing in a solid contrasting color - one ridge of garter stitch with a bind off in purl from the RS. I left 3 live stitches at the base of each earflap as I was binding off and made them into I-cord. I made the I-cord just long enough to tie, but not so long as to be a dangling nuisance for parent or child.
I thought the ears, being the absolute best part of the little piece, needed a little extra pop so I worked a crochet chain in the darker solid around each ear to emphasize their shape. I think they look much better with it than they did before.
What a little gem of a pattern this is - highly recommended and definitely worthy of getting of the regular-baby-knits list if you ask me! Thanks to the lovely ladies of the Berocco DT for another winner!