Monday, December 19, 2005

I finished my Tannenbaum! Check it out...

I decided to leave off the star and just knit to a point at the top. This was a quick and fun project and I completed it just in time. I'll try to post better photos tomorrow, I had to take these by myself.

Monday, December 12, 2005

How is everyone's Tannenbaum doing? I need help (already!) getting it to be sized right. I have a big head (hats that are "ine size fits all" never fit me). I had already cast on and started to rib when I saw the diagram sketch on the pattern's last page. It would seem to indicate that the circumference of the hat is 18". If this is true my hat will turn out much too small for me, unless the ribbing stretches a lot! I would appreciate hearing from other people whether their Tannenbaum seems to be a good size. I am tempted to cast on provisionally, skip the ribbing altogether and then add the ribbed band on afterward just to be safe. What do you all think? - Karen

Friday, December 02, 2005

Hi! I am so excited to be joining a KAL for such an amazing project! I am just the sort of person who can never leave well enough alone (you know, making changes in recipes the first time I make them) so the idea of a hat that is not just a hat really tickles me! It turns out I have some forest green sock yarn already in the house, although I am still looking for a nice variegated yarn in shades of green. I bought lots of little bells at A.C. Moore the other day - it was the only thing they had that looked to have big enough spaces for the yarn. I also bought some "pony" beads - they have really large holes, so I guess the yarn will fit, but I hope they will not make the hat too heavy (they are made of plastic). So if I use those materials, I will have a green hat with red and gold bells and white beads. I looked everywhere for something snowflake-like to knit on as a bead but didn't find anything (not even a snowflake shaped sequin!). Now to find some time to get started!

Knit in peace,

Monday, November 28, 2005

I started my Tannenbaum this weekend and I've already finished the first two rows of branches. What a fun knit! I'm using Louet Gems Opal Merino. The color is calledd charcoal but it looks like a dark gray/green to me. Definitely the color of an actual tree. It's a bit thicker than the Lorna's, so I began by casting on 114 stitches and working as directed for the second row of branches. I have a great variety of beads from Fun2Bead (6th and 38th for those of you in the NY area) and even a few little bells. This was the best picture I could get...

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Well, this is one of the quietest knit-alongs . . .

How's everyone doing?

And, as promised, I made a donation to Habitat for Humanity today--$1 for every pattern sold, rounded up a tad to a nice, round $50. (Who says money doesn't grow on trees?)

Hope everyone's doing okay!


Sunday, November 13, 2005

Just some tips (things it might have made sense to add to the pattern itself, but . . . )

  • For the beads, make sure the ones you pick have holes big enough to get your tiny crochet hook through AND pull that yarn back through the hole. My third hat, the holes were really too small--it worked, but it was frustrating every, single time.
  • I used the smallest, possible steel crochet hook, a Boye 14 for all but one of the beads I used. It was really too small for the yarn and sometimes pulled just a single ply through the hole, but worked pretty well once I got used to it. A 13 would have been easier, but didn't fit in most of the beads I picked.
  • Which brings me to this point--practice pulling the yarn through the bead before you actually need it for the hat. Just to get a feel for it before you're juggling stitches on your needles and trying to deal with the bead and crochet hook at the same time.
  • There's a tutorial for "string as you go" at Knitters Review. And a great one with pictures over at FluffyDeb's blog.
  • If you prefer not to use the crochet-hook method of getting your beads on the stitches, you can just string them on your yarn like a necklace and knit them into the stitches as you come to them. This method, though, sometimes lets the bead hide on the wrong side of the knitting, and I think does not work as well for this hat.
  • I used 6mm or 8mm beads for my hats--anything much larger is going to weight it down. For that matter, keep the weight of the beads in mind when you pick them out. Remember, you have to be able to wear the finished product on your head!
  • If you want to make the "branches" pointier or more shallow, you can make either more or fewer short-rows for each branch--the pattern's flexible.
  • I ordered my beads online at I admit it would have been more fun if there had been a local bead shop I could have gone to, but they have a great selection. (In my experience, their packages always need to be signed for, so I have them sent to my office, not my house.) Jewelry has a good selection, too.
  • In terms of time, each hat took me about a week--that's about 7 hours of knitting, and I'm not the speediest knitter around.
  • The first row of branches is by far the longest row in the entire hat. Trust me, it only feels endless, and you'll be amazed at how fast the hat goes after you get past the first two rows of branches.
  • Please, if you get stuck, feel free to ask me questions--that's part of why I started the knit-along.
  • I absolutely can't wait to see your finished hats!


Friday, November 11, 2005

Welcome to the Tannenbaum Knit-Along!

This knit-along is open to anyone who has purchased the Tannenbaum pattern, and there will be a prize for the first one completed.

Also, for every pattern purchased between now and November 25th, I will donate $1.00 to Habitat for Humanity--it might not be a lot, but every little bit helps!