Finished Object {Sweet Pixie Bonnet}

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This bonnet is just as it says in the title, SWEET. I am most inspired by my daughter when it comes to knitting. I’ve made her a number of things but mostly hats. She didn’t really need another one but I couldn’t resist anymore, the urge to cast on was too great. I wanted to make her a pixie-style bonnet and I think that older toddlers / young children look so adorable in bonnets. I started a different bonnet and got more than half way but just didn’t like it. I couldn’t get on board so I riiiiiped it out and went straight to buy this pattern (I had had my eye on it for a bit). It is called “Sweet Pixie Bonnet” and it’s designed by Ainur Berkimbayeva. (You can find the pattern on ravelry here). She is also on instagram as MamasTeddyBear.

The Details

The yarn I used is DROPS Flora. It is a fingering weight wool and alpaca blend yarn and this was my first time working with it. I pretty much fell in love with it! The pattern calls for sport weight yarn so I held it double and worked with an appropriate needle which was a US3 for me. The gauge I got was slightly larger than what the design calls for: 19sts & 34 rows = 4″ so, I knit the 2 year old option in hopes to get a larger bonnet, to fit my 4 year old daughter. I worked the pattern without any modifications.

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A favorite thing about this bonnet are the ties and tassels. I have used twisted cords in the past but never made a tassel. The night before I bought this pattern the designer did a live video tutorial on instagram of how she makes them and it was extremely helpful to me. These went off without a hitch and are such a perfect way to finish this bonnet.

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So how about some shots of it on?

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I can’t handle her cuteness.

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While I’m at it, I will also mention that the adorable owl cardigan she’s wearing in these pictures was something I made for her in 2014 when she was 2. The pattern info is “Baby Owl Yoke Cardigan by Abby Belnap. (Find it on ravelry here). It was big on her at the time so she’s been able to wear it for a few seasons. Finally this year the sleeves are starting to creep up past her wrists and I haven’t yet decided if I rip out the cuffs and make the sleeves longer or what. I totally could, as this isn’t tight around her waist and it’s long enough to cover her butt. I’ll save that for a rainy day.

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Finished Object {Sweet Pixie Bonnet}

Finished Object {The Kachina Bag}

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One of my plans for this blog is to share completed projects as I finish them. I love to look at FO’s (finished objects) that others have done and read about any modifications they made so I thought I’d like to do the same. And if I can help someone out along the way then that’s great! The very first FO I’ll be sharing here is my “Kachina Bag” by Diana Troldahl. (This pattern is available on ravelry here).

Many Christmases ago my mom & dad got me a NY Giants handbag. I loved that purse and used it until it fell apart, literally. When one of the handles fell off it was time to get a new purse. I thought about going out and buying one but frankly I didn’t want to spend the money. I took to searching ravelry (as I often do) and found this bag. I didn’t want anything too big or too fancy. Maybe something with a long strap so I could wear it crosswise if I wanted. One of my favorite knitting techniques is stranded colorwork so this bag was especially perfect. I never have felted anything before so I was excited to give this a try.

The Details

I used the yarn recommended in the pattern which was Knit Picks Wool of the Andes worsted. I am a big Knit Picks fan so I wasn’t a stranger to this yarn. I had green in my stash so just needed to order the other colors. The colors I choose were A: Everglade Heather (green), B: Fjord Heather (light blue) C: Gosling (grey), & D: Midnight Heather (dark blue). I used US 10 needles and casted on 10/1/15 and bound off 1/19/16.  I did not made any modifications to the purse except I opted for a single button hole in the center of the front flap. The other option I picked was a knitted strap which was the longest length suggested in the pattern. I actually ran out of the midnight heather halfway through the strap but luckily I had some sport weight WOTA in the same colorway and you can’t even notice that there’s a weight difference since it was felted.

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Felting Process

Speaking of felting, I was worried it would be unsuccessful because we have a front load HE washing machine. I’ve heard it can be tricky and they don’t work as well as the old fashion agitating machines. I did a little bit of research on the web and decided to just wing it. With the purse, I added two pairs of jeans and three large towels to help with the agitation. The settings I used were a normal cycle, hottest water, max fill and added a squirt of “Soak” wool wash to the detergent dispenser. I pulled the purse out and it was perfect! Even the strap was fully felted and didn’t need any hand-felting. Matter of fact, the strap had folded over on itself in a few places and felted together. I had to use scissors to carefully split the strap and pull it apart from itself. I stuffed a rolled up towel inside and let it dry for 24 hours. Found the perfect button at JoAnn Fabric and ta-daa! A pretty purse 🙂

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A shot of the backside. Pretty simple. And here are some cell phone snaps of the bag before felting.

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There you have it! The Kachina Bag! There are a few projects that are favorites of mine. Although they’ve been done for a while I think I’ll be sharing them just because I love them so much, so keep an eye out 😉

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Finished Object {The Kachina Bag}

MJ’s Hospital Hat

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My fourth niece was born last week, two days before Christmas. I had planned on being present during labor & delivery at my sister’s request to document this beautiful life changing moment with my camera, and I wanted to bring with me a little hospital cap for little Madelynn to wear after she was born. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to be there just because of timing but none the less I still had to knit her her first hat from Auntie Caryn.

I browsed online to try to find a quick and basic newborn hospital hat but couldn’t find one I loved so instead I just made one up as I went. It’s a very basic hat, no bells or whistles but it knits up quick and will fit a newborn’s head perfectly. What’s nice about this hat is you can use it as a blueprint to customize it however you’d like. Knit it up in a solid color, variegated yarn, add some stripes (as I did in mine), choose 2×2 or 1×1 ribbing for the brim… endless possibilities. You could even throw in some fair isle motifs in there if you’re up to it. So without further ado, here is the pattern for MJ’s Hospital Hat!

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SKILLS
Casting on, knitting in the round, decreasing.

ABBREVIATIONS
DPN – double pointed needle
CO – cast on
St(s) – stitch(es)
K – knit
P – purl
K2tog – knit two together
SSK – slip slip knit
MC – main color
CC – contrasting color

MATERIALS

Yarn
1 ball of Knit Picks Swish Worsted – 100% superwash merino wool (50g/110 yd).
I used “rogue” as my main color and a small amount of “squirrel heather” for my stripes.

Needles
US 4 (3.5mm) DPNs or size to obtain gauge
US 3 (3.25mm) DPNs or one size smaller than gauge needles

Gauge
Stockinette Stitch: 9.5 sts = 2” with larger needles
*Please check your gauge. I am a very loose knitter so make a gauge swatch and choose needles that obtain the gauge above.

Other Notions
Stitch marker, tapestry needle, scissors.

Sizing
True Newborn (head circumference of 13”-14.5”)

Notes
-This pattern has directions to make the hat pictured. If you choose to, just omit the stripes and continue knitting in your main color.
-This hat is “true newborn” size which means that it should fit the average newborn head, perfect for just born babies.

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With US 3 needles and main color, CO 56 sts.
I suggest using Tilly Buddy’s Very Stretchy Cast On. It’s a fantastic cast on and I highly recommend it. It is great for both 1×1 and 2×2 ribbing and has fantastic stretch. You can learn it HERE on TillyBuddy’s youtube channel.

Divide the sts evenly on three DPNs and join in the round being careful not to twist your sts. Mark your beginning of round.

Rounds 1-9: *K2, P2* Repeat from * to * until end. Your brim should measure 1.25” now.
Alternate: You can also do 1×1 ribbing by *K1, P1* around for 9 rounds.
Change to US 4 needles.
Rounds 10-13: Knit every st around with MC.
Join with CC, do not cut MC.
Rounds 14-15: Knit every st around in CC.
Drop the CC and pick up the MC.
Rounds 16-19: Knit every st around with MC.
Drop the MC and pick up the CC.
Rounds 20-21: Knit every st around in CC.
Drop the CC and pick up the MC.
Rounds 22-25: Knit every st around with MC.

Crown Decreases
Round 1: With CC, *K2tog, k10, ssk* Repeat from * to * around. (48 sts)
Round 2: With CC, knit all sts around. Cut CC.
Round 3: With MC, *K2tog, k8, ssk* Repeat from * to * around. (40 sts)
Round 4: Knit all.
Round 5: *K2tog, k6, ssk* Repeat from * to * around. (32 sts)
Round 6: Knit all.
Round 7: *K2tog, k4, ssk* Repeat from * to * around. (24 sts)
Round 8: Knit all.
Round 9: *K2tog, k2, ssk* Repeat from * to * around. (16 sts)
Round 10: Knit all.
Round 11: *K2tog, ssk* Repeat from * to * around. (8 sts)
Cut yarn and thread through these 8 sts, fasten off, weave in.

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FINISHING
I always block my pieces as a part of the finishing. This is how I wash and block all of my knits:
– Prepare a clean basin (or sink) with tepid water and a small squirt of wool friendly soap.
– Let your knit soak for 10-15 minutes. Gently squeeze out water (no wringing).  I do not rinse because I use “Soak Wash” by Soak Wash Inc. and rinsing is not required. If your using something other than this, give a quick rinse and squeeze out water again.
– Place in a towel, roll it up and squeeze it to remove the excess water.
– Shape your piece by using pins or I like to place my bonnets/hats on a ball to shape. Let dry 24 hours.

I would LOVE to see all of the beautiful babies wearing this hat. If you happen to make one and share it on instagram, tag it #mjshospitalhat or #rdpknits so I can see them all 🙂

Here’s a cell phone shot of my beautiful niece wearing her hat!

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I hope you enjoy this little pattern. If you prefer a downloadable pattern to print, please visit this link: MJs Hospital Hat
If you are on ravelry, create a project and link to my pattern so I can see all your beautiful hats. You can find me as RDPKnits.

© Caryn Prouty, RDP Knits. You may sell items made from this pattern but please do not sell or reproduce any written or photographic content of this pattern.

 

MJ’s Hospital Hat

New Beginnings

Hello! How about an introduction? My name is Caryn and together my husband, our daughter, and I live in a small valley in western New York state. He is a captain at the fire department and I am a veterinary technician at an animal hospital a couple towns over. But, the reason I’m here is because I love everything knit! Occasionally I’ll throw some crochet around too… but mostly knitting is what I do. I taught myself how to crochet about 4 years back but really I was desperate to learn how to knit. I tried time and time again but I’d make a mistake, wouldn’t know how to fix it, rip it out, and stash it away for months until I thought I’d try again. Cycle repeat. One fateful day my Great Aunt was over visiting my family and our new baby. In conversation I learnt that she knew how to knit and I asked her to show me a couple of the stitches. It finally clicked and ever since that day, I’ve been a knitting fool. It’s become an obsession I think.

In 2014 I started up “3:23 Knits” and ran a little prop shop on etsy. At the beginning of summer ’15 I decided to take a break from making props so I could concentrate on the many personal projects I had in mind. Now, gearing up for a 2016 re-opening, I’m going through a complete re-brand including a name change! So very soon, I’ll be RDP Knits. I know, what an original name, right? Well, the very reason why I wanted to learn how to knit so badly was because I wanted to make adorable things for our daughter. Her initials are… yup, you guessed it! RDP.

I hope to share work-in-progresses, finished objects, random ponderings, and since I’m also a photographer, lots of pictures. Please bear with me as I get this blog up and running though. It may take some time as I am a full-time Momma and I also work full-time out of the house. 😀

If you’d like to check some of my things out, here are a couple links:
Facebook – RDP Knits
Etsy – RDP Knits (currently closed)
Instagram – @RDPknits
Photography website – Caryn Prouty Photography

Other knitters can find me on ravelry under user name: cbp323

Thanks for joining me on this journey!

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New Beginnings