I’m a beginner when it comes to knitting. Previously, I mainly made basic scarves, and you may remember my blog post about my first attempt at knitting a simple hat and completing it.
That first hat was very difficult for me because I had never done anything like it before, and my then-boyfriend lost his winter hat, so I really wanted to make him one from scratch.
After a lot of hard work (it literally took me weeks to complete because I kept running into problems since it was my first time knitting in the round), I finished it. To my great joy, when I gave it to him for Christmas, it fit his head perfectly, and he loved it! (Funny thing was that a month later, he dumped me. And, yes, he kept the hat…although I’m not sure if the hat is now in the garbage or not. I hope he’s still wearing it because I put a lot of effort into it.)
So…this time, I decided to knit myself a hat. Didn’t know if I could do it, since I never used a cable needle before, and I never did any fancy patterns. I literally only knew how to cast on, knit, purl, and cast off.
But I still wanted to challenge myself to make the mustard hat because it’s totally my style, and I find that these types of hats not only keep me warm, but look good, too.
After just a few days of knitting for a couple of hours each time, I finished it, and I was thrilled with the results! It fit, it was warm, and I liked the design.
Haha, now I’m going to make the exact same hat in every colour I love. (Yes, really! I’m not kidding!)
I’ve also started thinking about what to give my baby niece and 2-year-old nephew for Christmas since the season will soon be upon us. When I went to Michael’s (the craft store) and saw pom-pom yarn, I knew I had to make my niece a baby blanket with it! For my nephew, I may knit him a hat and matching scarf. I’m not sure just yet. (Ideally, I want to learn how to crochet so I can make him knitted plush toys in the shape of an octopus or a frog.)
In today’s Smorgasbord Sundays post, I have a lot of photos to share with you. Some are of the progress of the hat I knit because I think it’s neat to see the journey from start to finish. And I’ll also show you how I’m coming along making the baby blanket. (It’s my first baby blanket!)
Knitting is quickly becoming a new addiction of mine. It’s right up there with nail polish, I’d dare say!
What I enjoy about it is that you can choose exactly what colour and yarn you want to use and then design the hat, scarf, blanket, or whatever you’ll be making. You can customize it completely, and nobody will have exactly the same thing as you. (Even if they knit the same thing, it won’t be 100% the same because every stitch you make is unique, so the outcome is slightly different.)
And it feels incredible wearing something you made yourself. It’s an accomplishment. Even though the mustard hat I made is a small thing, I felt very proud of it. And I felt like a trillion bucks when I wore it to the office and all my co-workers fawned over it and asked me about it.
Because of it, we even bonded in new ways since before, I didn’t even know that some of them were also knitters! Now we’re sharing ideas and techniques, talking about projects we’d like to work on, and even different types of yarn to use!
Just like how a love of nail polish can bring people together, so can knitting!
And what’s wonderful is that you don’t have to be highly skilled at knitting to make something nice. Look, I’m a beginner, and if I can knit this hat, you can, too. It just requires patience. And even if you make a mistake with a stitch, don’t get frustrated. Just like manicures, knitted projects don’t have to be perfect. As long as they make you happy, that’s what counts.
With this mustard hat, I made a few mistakes with stitches, but I’m not going to let that annoy me. I prefer to focus on the fact that I set out to knit something complicated (for me, this was the most complicated thing I’ve ever knit!), and I finished it. So I’m a happy camper!
And I figure that if anyone is going to take my hat and inspect every stitch for perfection, well, there’s something wrong with that person…haha! If I wanted a perfect hat, I could just buy one that was mass-produced and sold in a department store. I wanted a custom hat…and I got it, flaws and all.
So…are you ready to see some photos? (I took a lot!)
Here’s what I used to make the hat:
- #11 Circular Needles (16 inches)
- #10 Circular Needles (16 inches) – Haha, it’s missing from the package because I’m actually using it now to make the brim of another hat!
- Stitch Markers – Used to indicate the end of the row/round
- Yarn Needles – Used for tying a knot when you’re finishing the hat
- Mustard yarn – Michael’s had it on sale for $3.99 CAD, so it was a must-buy! Plus, in case I forgot to mention, the hat I made uses less than one ball of this yarn! SCORE!
- Cable Needle – Used for slipping stitches off one needle end and holding the stitches at the front or back of the work and then returning the stitches to the needle
It was my first time using a cable needle, and I must say that it was incredibly fun to use! You could also use double-pointed needles, but since I’m a beginner, I opted for the cable needle since I was afraid that it’d be easier for me to accidentally drop stitches with the double-pointed needles. The cable needle securely keeps your stitches in place. (It’s like a knitting security blanket.)
The beginning of this project is the hardest for me because you can’t visualize what the completed hat will look like yet.
Here’s what it looked like when I worked on the brim using the size 10 needles:
You can see the pattern change and how the hat starts to grow width-wise. I used the size 11 needles for this and the remainder of the hat.
Continued to knit while watching The Emmys…
Here it is fully finished!
I like this shot the best because from the top, you can really see the shape and the design better. (Haha, and it reminds me of a Frisbee I used to play with when I was a child!) Plus I must be hungry because it now looks like a delicious apple pie. *She said with a strand of mustard yarn dangling from her mouth*
After making that, I went back to Michael’s and bought more of the yarn since many of them were on sale for just $3.99 CAD! I was able to use a coupon for 40% off one item as well as a 20% off your entire purchase somehow. (Thought you couldn’t stack coupons, but the cashier did it!)
I also picked up an additional set of size 11 circular needles because I want to work on two hats instead of waiting to just finish one before I start another. (Yeah, I’m “going berserk,” as my dad would say.)
Edit: In case you’d like to knit this hat, this is where I got the pattern from. It’s free, and I found it online. The woman who designed it also has YouTube videos on how to knit it. I watched all 3 videos, and it made this project very easy! I recommend you check out her YouTube channel and blog.
Here’s some yarn I picked up.
(I forgot to photograph the maroon one I got in this group shot, but you’ll see it later on in this post.)
Yup, all the yarn I bought for my future hats are cheap, unlike the yarn I used to make my ex-boyfriend’s hat last year. And I’m fine with that. As long as it’s durable (it is), it’s okay.
Eventually I will pony up and purchase a really high-quality wool or even cashmere yarn to work with, but I want to practice more first on less expensive yarn to improve my knitting technique before I make the investment.
I literally just started making a purple hat. Here is a picture of the stitches I cast on. In person, it looks more like a grape type of purple.
I really like purple, so I got a light purple, too.
Yes, I needed a swampy green. You know I’m a greeeen fieeend!
A dusty blue…
A dusty rose…
A vivid turquoise…
Also, I’m curious to work with this one because the yarn has a slight sheen to it compared to the others. It should give the hat a different effect.
A rich maroon…
You may have noticed that I chose solid colours for my yarn. That’s because when you’re a beginner, it’s easier to see what you’re doing when the yarn is just one colour. Eventually, I’ll want to branch out and go for cool tweed-like, multi-colour yarn because the hat will look completely different.
I know you were probably the most curious about the Bunny Tail yarn, right? Isn’t it so adorable? Now do you understand why I just had to make my niece a baby blanket with it?
It’s incredibly soft and light. In the store, I found myself petting this yarn like a weirdo.
It came in different colour combinations and even solid colours, but I opted for this. I didn’t want to make a gender-stereotypical pink blanket for baby girls.
(There’s nothing wrong with pink, but when given the choice to choose traditional gender colours like pink for girls and blue for boys, I’ve been known to go out of my way to avoid them. Why? I don’t believe in assigning colour to gender. If they had green, I would’ve picked that instead since it’s neutral. Haha, no surprise about the green!)
This colour combination really reminded me of bedtime, and I pictured my niece sleeping under it. How precious!
Here are the cute bunny tails up close! Awwwwwww! I wish you could pet it through your screen to feel how adorable and soft they are. (Or, just go to Michael’s. If an employee sees you, you can just blame me.)
The pom poms are attached by a thin cord.
I like how the colour varies so the blanket won’t just be a single colour.
This is the first time that I ever knit with this style of yarn. Thought it would be hard, but it’s easy and fun!
Basically, you just knit the cord between the pom poms and let the pom poms line up with each other. Because the pom poms are fairly large, they take up a lot of space, and I was able to go through an entire ball of this yarn in just 2 hours of knitting! (I think I’ll finish the baby blanket a lot sooner than I thought…Good thing, too, so I have more time to make the hat, scarf, and/or crocheted toy for my nephew before Christmas.)
Here’s what it looked like when I cast on the initial stitches and began knitting:
Here I’m using size 4 circular needles (29 inches). And, even though it looks like I’m knitting a circle, I’m not. The ends aren’t connected, so it’ll be a rectangular blanket when I’m done.
Here’s my progress so far:
Haha, it looks like a collar, doesn’t it! It also reminds me of Arkanoid, the old video game my brother and dad used to play and were so good at! (I sucked at it and always ended up accidentally taking the falling pill that would make you half the size…and therefore it would be harder to catch the ball to bounce it back up.)
It’s not perfect. I made some mistakes, but considering that my niece is just a baby and can’t speak yet, I don’t think she’ll complain!
Here are some more photos with flash, in dim light, closer up, and father away.
I’m having so much fun using pom-pom yarn. When you knit with it, it feels super lightweight and soft. I feel like angels probably knit with this stuff up in heaven!
Haha, and now I want a baby blanket for myself! But I’ll refrain from making an adult-sized baby blanket. I’ll enjoy it vicariously through my niece.
It would be nice to show you photos of my niece under the finished blanket eventually, but her parents are reallllllly strict and won’t allow me to post any photos of their kids, even newborn pictures! So you’ll just have to trust me when I say that she’s going to look so precious underneath it while she’s dreaming about what she’ll grow up to be one day.
Hope that you’re all having a great Sunday so far!
P.S. In case you missed it, you may see my previous blog post about knitting here where I showcased the first hat I ever knit as well as a scarf I was working on.
What was the last thing you finished knitting or crocheting? If you could knit or crochet anything, regardless of skill level or material, what would it be? What’s the most unusual yarn you’ve ever knit or crocheted with?