Thursday, April 29, 2010

Cabled Baby Hat to go with the Pembroke Baby Vest

I had extra yarn so I invented a hat to match the Pembroke Baby Vest. It turned out lovely and stretchy in the cotton, so I tried the same pattern (to test my written directions) in fuzzy handspun thick-and-thin alpaca. Very different look, much less definition of the cable twists, but still stretchy. I like them both. Hopefully the future owners will enjoy them and have toasty warm noggins.

PATTERN: Cabled Baby Hat

Light worsted (or thereabouts) yarn. Sorry, but I do not know specific yardage needed, but it is not much. The red yarn in the picture is "Cotton Supreme" by Universal Yarn Inc. The green is handspun alpaca at approx 11-12wpi.

Sized to fit an approx 14in head (0-6mos, so I hear)

Gauge: 10ss = 2" across cable pattern repeat on U.S. size 7 needles, but don't worry about it. Babies grow and the hat is likely to fit at some point (hopefully not mid-summer). I did not knit a gauge swatch and don't see why anyone else should have to either.

Needles: U.S. size 5 and 7 double points, plus a cable needle.
Also: safety pin to mark rows (optional, but very helpful)

Note: "*" on each end of a set of instructions means repeat these stitches until end of round.


Using smaller needles, cast on 70ss loosely using your stretchy cast-on of choice. (I used a long-tail cast-on.)
Join into round.
Rounds 1-8: *K1, P1*
Change to larger needles

Cable Pattern:

row 1 - *P2, K4, P2, K2*
row 2 - *P2, put 2 stitches on cable needle held to front, K2, K2 from cable needle, P2, K2*
rows 3 and 4 - same as row 1

Work 4-row Cable Pattern 5 times, ending with row 3. (Use the safety pin to mark the last stitch of each twist-stitch round (pattern row 2). This will make it easy to keep track of when the next twist-stitch round is due.)

Narrow for crown:

Round 1: *P2, K1, K2tog, K1, P2, K2*
Round 2: *P2, K2tog, K1, P2, K2*
Round 3: *P2, K2*
Round 4: *P1, K2tog, K, P2, K2*
Round 5: *P1, K1, SSK, P1, K2*
Round 6: *P1, K2tog*
Round 7: *K2tog*
Round 8: *K*
Round 9: *K2tog*
Pull yarn through remaining stitches and tighten.

Weave in ends. Give to baby.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Baby things

Spring arrives bringing many things. In my case it brought a bout of flu. Oh joy. On a more upbeat note, it also seems to be bringing a surprising number of announcements of incubating little humans. Family, friends and co-workers are set to increase the population come fall. What's a knitter to do?

Last weekend (before the flu descended upon me) Allison and I drove up to Truckee and visited with Kelly at the Lake Tahoe Yarn Company. A very nice, stylish yarn shop and well worth a visit. I bought this oh-so-soft brick red cotton yarn to make the Pembroke Baby Vest. Previously I thought cables were a pain and hadn't attempted much with them. Turns out I was wrong! Cable knitting, so long as the pattern is charted, is addictive. I made the 6 month size, figuring it will fit the baby at some point. If I make this vest again, and I probably will, I will mirror image the cables so they meet the armholes a little neater.

Now back to bed...

Friday, April 09, 2010

Second Trailer Light

Remember the reading lamp I built for over the bed in my trailer? I needed to build a mate for it for over the desk. Where the wiring is installed above the shelving unit is not really optimal for a desk lamp. With both 12 volt and standard outlets on the desk, I really don't need a wall mounted desk lamp anyway. Instead I have built another copper-shaded light, this time more for ambiance lighting.

I found a sheet of embossing copper at Nevada Fine Arts. This was way easier to work with than the copper-leafing over foil that I used for the first light. This time I built the shade's hardware cloth frame in a simple retro-ish half column. I covered the hardware cloth with the copper, pushing it into the grid for texture. Between the two coats of metal sealer, I used a pushpin to poke holes in each of the hardware cloth squares.

From a functional point of view, it is a totally unnecessary light. Doesn't matter - I think it is cool. I especially like the sun pattern the light casts in the ceiling. And since the LED panel came from inside a boat light, I can even switch the light to red for a nightlight.

Now I only need to find the perfect flooring and she will be complete!

Saturday, April 03, 2010


Here is a grainy shot of my finished project! I will take better pictures tomorrow when I have some natural light. The before shot is here.

Removing the ugly turquoise paint (complete with brown paste wax) was a bit painful. My finishing job purposefully left the scratches and dents of age and use. The brushy paint job lets the wood grain (and leftover old paint in dents) show through. I used only 2 coats of varnish to protect it without giving it a plastic look. After painting I put back the original hand-cast brass hardware, using the original old screws.

Perhaps some future owner will be pleased to remove my paint job as ugly and inappropriate. Me - I like it very much.