It’s ages since I’ve written a blog post so I’m determined to make more of an effort now.
I’ve loads to catch up on so there’ll be a flurry of posts for a while.
I’ll start with James’ owl hat. It’s not very exciting but it was the first time I knit something without following a pattern.
James (age 9) was to play an owl in his school Christmas play and came home looking for an owl costume. Eek!! I had a look through Ravelry at owl hats and there were some fab crochet ones but I’m of the extremley-basic-crocheter variety so I decided I’d come up with something myself.
I settled on some Studio Donegal Aran Tweed in a chocolate colour for the main body of the hat. I just adore tweed with all the beautiful coloured flecks in it. My plan was to knit a plain beanie-type hat and then to knit some squares in other lighter shades of Studio Donegal, then felt them and cut out some eye shapes.
I knit rectangles (20 stitches, 16 rows) in báinín Studio Donegal & black Lamb’s Pride then felted them at 60 degrees in the washing machine. I cut the eyes out of these felted pieces & then finished the eyes off with two buttons to give better definition. They felted really nicely and came out just as I hoped. What really helped drive this on was James’ excitement at each stage and his input into the design right from the choice of yarn and shade onwards.
I cast on 88 stitches for the main body of the hat on the Saturday night and knit 8 rows in 2 x 2 rib. I knit the next row and continued to knit in stocking stitch until the hat measured 19cm (7.5 inches).
I decided that instead of using decreases for the crown, that if I just continued knitting I could use a three-needle bind off and make cute owl-like ears from the corners. To get the tufted owl ears I used a 3 needle bind off on the 20 stitches (10 on front needle, 10 on back) either side of the hat. I used a Kitchener stitch to graft the remaining 48 middle stitches (24 on each needle). I then turned the tufted ears up a little and held them in place with a few strategically-placed stitches.
When everything was assembled I still felt something was missing – they eyes just didn’t work well enough. I trawled through my button box and tried lots of buttons in position and we eventually settled on buttons that we thought suited the hat well.
It was no major design per se but I got a buzz from it all the same and James was more than happy with the results which was the main thing. He loves the hat and has actually worn it in public since so that’s all good.