Blocking Hats

“Ooh, You Must Be Having a Party!”

That was the first thing out of the mouth of my Target cashier recently when I was buying a couple of bags of balloons.

“Well, actually, no,” I replied.  “It’s time to wash hats.”  Of course, I was met with a blank stare, because obviously, she wasn’t a knitter.

Balloons in Hats

In the past, I would wash the hats and lay them flat to dry.  It seemed like it took forever, even with my regular fluffing and flipping.  And when they were finally dry, it seemed like the tops were pointy.  But when I felted a bowl last year and read how to hold the shape while it was drying…  Voila!  I had my answer for my hats.  Balloons!

So this spring, I headed to the basement with my bag of balloons, a stack of cereal bowls and a pile of wet hats.  Pretty soon, it looked a little funny on the ping-pong table with the hats and balloons, but it really did work great!  Just varying the amount of air in the balloon made this perfect for any size hat.   The hats dried quickly and the balloons helped shape the tops.

It was magic! But then again, I think almost anything to do with knitting has a bit of magic to it.  String (albeit really nice string) knotted into wearable things?  Who would ever think it could work?          Suzanne

Knit’n from the Heart: Suzanne…we could have a party with the leftover balloons.  🙂

Balloons in Bowls

Babies Galore!

It seems like every time I turned around this spring, someone was having a baby.  And who can resist knitting baby gifts!  They just fly off the needles in no time.

Back in the 90s when my boys were born in Louisiana, even if I could have found yarn easily in Baton Rouge, it was just too hot most of the time to think about knitting.  My issues of Vogue Knitting would arrive and I would dream of someday living back where I could happily knit with and wear wool.  And not having a yarn shop nearby made browsing for that perfect baby sweater pattern nearly impossible.  (How did I EVER live without Ravelry?)

Sweater 1

Move ahead 18 years or so, and the minute the word baby comes out of someone’s mouth, my mind is a-racing to think of what great color I can use for my two go-to baby sweaters.

1. Knitting Pure and Simple #982 Babies Neck Down Cardigan by Diane Soucy

If ever there was the perfect sweater, this is it!  This top down cardigan knits up quickly in worsted weight yarn (Plymouth Fantasy Naturale or Cascade Sierra are perfect!) and there is no seaming at all.  Three of the four this Spring have been this pattern and all look a little different.

The first one I used Fantasy Naturale and knitted the sweater with the hood option.  I used the kitchner stitch to sew the top of the hood seamlessly and it turned out great!

Sweater 2

For the second sweater, I was getting a little daring and wanted to experiment with some stripes.  This time I used a Baby Bamboo, which is a DK weight yarn, 80% bamboo and 20% wool.  It definitely feels amazing to knit with.  The sweater was a little small which I knew going into it using smaller yarn than the pattern called for, but the end result was really nice.

The third one looks pretty much like the first, but without a hood.  I was glad to use up this cotton yarn from my stash that I have moved around the country twice.

Sweater 3

2. February Baby Sweater by Elizabeth Zimmerman

Many of you have heard about the February Lady Sweater, since it has been all the rage on Ravelry for the last year or so.  Well, the inspiration for that sweater was this original, written in I think the 50s by the grand dame of knitting, Elizabeth Zimmerman.  This pattern is again knitted from the top down using worsted weight yarn, but has a lace pattern in the arms and body, making it perfect for little girl. (Although I have to admit, that this was the one pattern that I did have 18 years ago when Ben was born and since I went through the effort to make a green one, he wore it anyway.)  I did make a tiny modification to knit the sleeves in the round like the Pure and Simple pattern to eliminate the seaming. No one is the wiser.

February Baby

So these four sweaters were a fun diversion during the gloomy spring we have had.  But now it is time to finish the sweater that I have been making for myself.  I cast on a Bicardi sweater last summer when Judy started her class at the shop.  The body and one sleeve are finished, but the last sleeve seems to be taking forever!  If only mom size sweaters knitted as quickly as these four cute little ones!


A Knitting Diva Departs


Our Wednesday morning divas are a close ‘knit’ group. When a diva departs for other environs, it is an emotional time at the shop. Recently, Teresa, a morning diva for several years, attended her last event at Knit’n from the Heart. Thus…the party was on. We certainly wish Teresa the best, and hope she finds a new “second knitting home” as enjoyable as the one she left.

Goodbye Cake

Teresa & Eileen

The Wednesday Morning Divas