I made a hat!

I’ve been knitting merrily along on the hat for the Cabled Baby Set (the mother was due Monday, and I haven’t heard news yet). As I approached the shaping for the crown, it occurred to me that I’ve never made a hat before!

The instructions said to decrease 6 stitches evenly spaced over every other row, 6 times. Of course, I had to figure out how to space the decreases, so this is the math that I did:

Decreasing 6 stitches over a row of 80 stitches involves 6 x k2tog=12 stitches. 80-12=68. I then divided 68 by 6, figuring that I should put 11 stitches between each decreasing pair, splitting the remaining 13 stitches at each end, as follows:

7 – (2) – 11 – (2) – 11 – (2) – 11 – (2) – 11 – (2) – 11 -(2) – 6

where the 2 in parentheses indicates a k2tog and the regular numbers indicate knit stitches.

For each subsequent decrease row, I then had to reduce one stitch from one of the ends (I alternated these), then one stitch from each middle section. The next decrease rows went like this:

6 – (2) – 10 – (2) – 10 – (2) – 10 – (2) – 10 – (2) – 10 – (2) – 6
5 – (2) – 9 – (2) – 9 – (2) – 9 – (2) – 9 – (2) – 9 – (2) – 6
5 – (2) – 8 – (2) – 8 – (2) – 8 – (2) – 8 – (2) – 8 – (2) – 5
4 – (2) – 7 – (2) – 7 – (2) – 7 – (2) – 7 – (2) – 7 – (2) – 5
4 – (2) – 6 – (2) – 6 – (2) – 6 – (2) – 6 – (2) – 6 – (2) – 4

Then I was to decrease 6 stitches evenly spaced over the next 6 rows, every row. I used almost the exact same pattern, though because I was turning the work between the rows, I alternated back and forth on how I decreased, reading through the lines as if it were a snake.

3 – (2) – 5 – (2) – 5 – (2) – 5 – (2) – 5 – (2) – 5 – (2) – 4
3 – (2) – 4 – (2) – 4 – (2) – 4 – (2) – 4 – (2) – 4 – (2) – 3
2 – (2) – 3 – (2) – 3 – (2) – 3 – (2) – 3 – (2) – 3 – (2) – 3
2 – (2) – 2 – (2) – 2 – (2) – 2 – (2) – 2 – (2) – 2 – (2) – 2
1 – (2) – 1 – (2) – 1 – (2) – 1 – (2) – 1 – (2) – 1 – (2) – 2
1 – (2) – 0 – (2) – 0 – (2) – 0 – (2) – 0 – (2) – 0 – (2) – 1

The last row basically involved knitting a stitch, then 6 k2tog’s, then knitting the last stitch.

Really rather elegant I think.

It made a lovely set of decreases with a sort of scalloped look before I sewed it together, a snowflake-like expanding shape once seamed.

Seaming it was a little tricky, and I was a bit unhappy with the first go at it. As I was weaving in ends, I decided to reinforce the seam, and that made it a lot neater. I was hesitant about a baby hat that had a seam running up the back, thinking it would be uncomfortable, but it’s a 12 month size hat, so in theory by then, our baby should be able to hold his head up without trouble.

Next up, seaming the sweater and knitting some booties!

Some Nice Harmony

I really like when my knitting matches my reading.

I’ve finished knitting the pieces of the sweater of the Cabled Baby Set, but have not begun to sew them together, nor have I even thought about how to pick up the neck stitches and knit that part.

I moved onto the hat instead. It’s good to have engaging reading to break up what has become the mind-numbing tedium of garter stitch.

Cabled Baby Set

Recently my boyfriend told me about a friend’s baby shower with less than a week’s notice. I wanted to give them something homemade, and I was excited to have the occasion to knit something for a baby, as I’d heard how fast and fun baby sweaters were.

After a ridiculous amount of time searching patterns online, I decided on the Cabled Baby Set from Lion Brand. In case you are not registered with their site, it looks like this:

Pattern: Cabled Baby Set, Lion Brand free pattern #60604A, 12 month size
Yarn: Caron Simply Soft, 100% acrylic, color #9905 Bone
Needles: Susan Bates size 7 straights and Boye size 6 straights
Modifications: Omitted pants from set
Started: March 7, 2007

This was my progress as of the morning of the shower, after several days and nights of practically non-stop knitting. I was incredibly frustrated with garter stitch (which wow, I really hate) and the way that such a small project was dragging so interminably.

It goes without saying, I didn’t finish on time and was extremely relieved that we had another gift to bring. My boyfriend mentioned the sweater to our friends, though, and I promised I’d get the set to them before the baby is born (he’s due April 2nd). I’m knitting a 12-month size, so he’ll have time to grow into it, and by next fall it will probably fit perfectly.

Because I personally am so sensitive to wool and other animal fibers, I completely understood the recommendations I’d read to make baby garments only out of acrylic and non-irritating synthetics. Luckily the Simply Soft is really beautifully plush and cozy – it’s been a pleasure to work with. If only it would go faster!

I decided that if I finish this set by the end of March, I’ll be submitting it in this month’s Craftster knitting challenge, which involves knitting a project using $10 or less of materials. The yarn for this set cost only $5, so it definitely qualifies.