Thursday, July 9, 2009

FO: Football hat & sneaker booties

Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
A friend of mine is having her second child, a boy. I happen to know that her husband is very much into college football, so I decided to make the football helmet hat for them, from Itty-Bitty Hats. I chose Northwestern University's colors, because that's where the parents went to college, and where they met.

I was looking around for an appropriate bootie to go with them (while the knitted Converse sneakers are very cute, they're not really footballish) and I found these great sneaker booties. I ordered some Cascade 220 superwash from WEBS and got started.

The ear flaps, while quick to knit, were HUGE. Like, they'd cover my ears and then some. But I persevered on (you know, like the Harlot has said many times before, your inner knitter knows this is wrong, but you have this hope that when you complete it, the rest will shrink to fit the size it was supposed to be?) Finally, I finished the hat and it was ... okay. The cap part seemed baby sized. The ear flaps were impossible. I thought and I thought, and I said, I am a knitter. I can fix this.

I decided that the culprit was actually that the ear flaps are in seed stitch, and my seed stitch (apparently) is way, way looser than my stockinette. (I'm starting to suspect that it's either switching to purl or purling itself that is looser than my knit stitch.) So I decided, the ear flaps are modules, I can cut them off and kitchener new ones on. But then I thought, well, the first few rows of the brim are also seed stitch, so I could just redo the beginning of the hat, and kitchener in stockinette. Much better. (And along the way, I can correct the number of stitches to be odd, so that I can seed stitch around. And I can center the ear flaps on the brim - the original offset them toward the back of the head.)

So while TLD was napping in the car, I took a deep breath and picked up stitches around the bottom of the hat, checked twice, and snipped the yarn. Pulled out that sucker, and I had a brim and a hat to attach to each other, with about the same number of stitches.

Then I had my inspiration - I could use the 3 needle bind-off instead of kitchener, and it would create a nice line between the seed stitch brim and the stockinette. I ran it past my knitting group, and it was decided.

I finished it with some brown KnitPicks swish DK I had around. Why is it that the Swish DK and the Cascade 220 knit at the same gauge? (I know it doesn't matter for the football but I used it in the booties below also). Exact same!

Pattern: Football, from Itty-Bitty Hats
Yarn: Cascade 220 superwash in royal purple, KnitPicks Swish DK in brown and white.
Needles: Size 7 circular 16" (my first needle; forgot the brand), DPNs (Bryspun), and size 5 circular 16" (Addi Turbo, I think) and DPNs (Probably Clover Takumi) for the seed stitch section.
Mods: I accidentally had too many stitches in the first few rows of the stockinette section, so I did a k2tog to fix it. It's visible, but I put it at the back. Should've seen if I could sew the football over it!

The booties were really wonderful, quick, and easy. And I'd wondered for a long time why I hadn't seen any bootie patterns that knit the bottom and attached the sides at the same time. I'd thought that's how I'd like to make a bootie, but I assumed there was something wrong with it that I'd find out. Nope, nothing wrong, just not a very common construction. This is great- it makes a rectangular sole, and no seams at all (no seam up the bottom, no seams up the side, just no seams!) The roll-top is perfect (I did sew it down, as it was threatening to reveal my woven-in ends), and the lacing was fun.

Pattern: Sneaker Booties
Yarn: Cascade 220 superwash in royal purple, KnitPicks Swish DK in brown and white.
Needles: Size 2 DPNs (Clover Takumi)

I gave these to my friend, and she asked if I'd put the hat on TLD. It was so cute, I've got to make another hat for him to wear during college football season!


KnitTech said...

The hat and booties are adorable! Nice job "fixing".

RobinH said...

Aw, these are adorable!

(and my word verification is 'sceakers' apropos is that?!)

R... said...

Ok, those are even cuter than some of the stuff you've done before!! Too bad my little football fan is already too big for those booties!