Friday, November 21, 2008

FO: Cashmere Beanie for Baby Emily

This morning I put the finishing touches on the hat for my friends' new daughter, Emily. This is a bit of a victory for Piggy; as modest an item as this is, I completed it before the recipient was 36 hours old, rather than a child ready to enter kindergarten.

Here it is lying flat...

And here it is standing up, with the brim turned up...

As I mentioned yesterday, this little beanie is made with 100% cashmere. Extravagant, not to mention impractical, I know. Piggy is not a mother, but she ain't stupid, either. I know that hand-wash-only items aren't likely to be favourites on new-mama Jen's list.

But it is oh-so-soft. It's scrumptious. And, because the yarn is discontinued, I got it at the comparatively rock-bottom price of $7/ball at Elann. Amid the feeding frenzy that is an Elann sale, I managed to get out with my life and three balls of this very pretty red shade, which, alas, doesn't look nice on Piggy. If I didn't use the yarn, it would be taking up room in the stash. And who better to knit for than a new (and tiny = fewer stitches = theoretically greater chance of project completion) babe?

Besides, (Piggy can rationalize anything, if you hadn't figured it out yet) , a newborn's noggin is probably the part least likely to get pooped or spit up on, so a hat probably won't need much washing anyway.

Hopefully I'll have photos of the beanie being worn by Miss Emily soon.

Project details:

Yarn: Lana Gatto Presitge, Colour 10095
Needles:  3.25mm/US3 double points

I'm happy with the pattern; the instructions are super-clear, and the end result very sweet. My only quibble with the hat is in my knitting, rather than the pattern.

There are ladders. I used five dpns (the first time I've done so) rather than four, as I gather this is supposed to cut down on the ladders. I also made sure to knit the first and last stitches on each needle snugly. Mid-way through, I started knitting the first stitch of each needle onto the previous needle, rather than the "free" one. That helped a bit, but I would that work for a pattern that was something more complicated than straight stockinette?

This isn't usually an issue for me; I've yet to try sock knitting (with one short-lived exception), and I normally knit hats on a circular needle, which pretty much eliminates the problem.

How do you prevent ladders when using dpns? 


  1. It looks very nice. And I'm certain baby will love the way it feels.

    To avoid ladders, it is generally best to pull the stitches tighter when moving from one DPN to the next one.

  2. It looks lovely and the baby is lucky to have you knitting for her. We love to knit cashmere, silk, and baby camel.

  3. Super cute hat! To avoid ladders with dpn's I do the following, after I've finished the current needle's stitches, I knit one stitch from the next needle onto the end of the needle I just finished. Then I take my empty needle and knit the rest of the stitches on that needle + one stitch from the next live needle. You end up moving the start of each needle's stitches by one stitch each round. Stops there being one straight line of joins where each set of needles meets. Clear like mud? If not let me know and I'll try to find a video on youtube.

  4. I love your blog, took me long enough to find it, but glad I did...why don't you try magic loop and do away with half the ladders at least and most of the needles...easy to learn just go to video on magic loop, sit down and follow the video...that;s how I did it after 40 years of four can magic look in the round for four stitches, and you don't have to worry about losing a needle when you are on a trip, so to speak, as you just have the one long needle...its worth the time and effort in my mind.

  5. Adorable and incredibly cuddly looking!