Tuesday, January 27, 2009


This baby hat features twists (cables) and tassels – combine and you get Twissels! This will fit a newborn – 9 months, as the yarn has lots of ease. To make the hat fit an older baby or child, simply add more stitches to the stockinette section (the back of the hat).

Reality by Artful Yarns, 1 skein (70 yards), or other bulky yarn
Size 10 needles, either circular or DPNs (instructions are for magic loop technique – your needles should be at least 24”)

Gauge: 13-14 stitches = 4” (10cm) in stockinette stitch

CF6 = Slip 3 stitches onto cable needle in front of work, K3, K3 stitches from cable needle

CF2 = Slip next stitch onto cable needle in front of work, K1, K1 stitch from cable needle

CO 60 stitches, divide in half on the wire, and join, being careful not to twist. Work K1P1 ribbing for 1”.

Begin pattern:
Rows 1-4: K4, P2, K6, P2, K2, P2, K6, P2, K34
Row 5: K4, P2, CF6, P2, CF2, P2, CF6, P2, K34

Repeat these 5 rows until piece measures 6”, ending on row 3.

Turn hat inside out, and using 3-needle bind-off, bind off all stitches.
Weave in ends.

With remaining yarn, make 2 tassels, each 4-5” long, and attach to each corner.

Copyright 2009 RMS Original. You may use this pattern for personal or charity use only. Please link to this site rather than posting this pattern elsewhere.

"I Need A Baby"

As I uttered the words, my husband stared at me with incredulity. When he was finally able to speak, he asked, "You do realize that there's at least a nine month waiting period?"

Well, clearly I don't want a real baby. I've never wanted a real baby. I just need a reasonable facsimile to try on hats, sweaters and booties. Butternut and acorn squash will do in a pinch, but they don't sit up straight, and the stem can have ill effects on the hat decreases. And, of course, I'd like to cook them, rendering them useless for modeling purposes.

Thus my plaintive wail. My husband continued to stare at me, then in his soft, practical tone of voice, he reminded me that I have a million dolls upstairs, and that surely one of them would be willing to pose for photos in one-of-a-kind knit- and crochet-wear.

Hits forehead with heel of hand! Of course I have plenty of babies available. How could I forget? Well, because I never play with them, because they weren't mine. My mother was the doll collector. She never stopped playing with them until she died. Porcelain, bisque, plastic, cloth, babies, children, and celebrity figures - all were welcome in her arms.

I've been keeping them safe, waiting for someone in the next generation to love them. In the meantime, they finally have someone to dress them up again.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Dadgum Sweetgum Balls!

Let me state at the outset that I am all for the cultivation of trees, even in urban areas. I applaud Mayor Daley's initiative in Chicago to encourage planting on skyscraper roofs. I think parks are terrific.

I don't believe, however, that all trees are created equal, and should have the right to pursue their happiness wherever they seed. Or wherever they are planted by city governments. Especially when it's a sweetgum ball tree. Especially when it's at the curb in front of my house. Especially when I can't kill it or cut it down without incurring a large fine.

My gripe isn't even with the tree itself. It's a noble tree. It stands straight and proud, with a leafy canopy to shade my car in the summer. Okay, it also provides perches for the local avian population which covers my car with an undesirable substance, but birds are nice, too. My complaint is solely with the spiky, indestructable balls it drops in the fall and winter.

You can't destroy those balls! They don't crush even when driven over again and again. They appear just when you step, and they roll underfoot. They are especially prevalent when carrying groceries and your vision is obscurred. They multiply tenfold when you have to run out to the car in your slippers.

So I offer a challenge to all you scientific, environmental types: surely one of you could devise a method of processing these dadgummed sweetgum balls into yarn, and I'd keep you supplied with them for free!

Saturday, January 10, 2009


Here is my first crochet pattern!! I've been procrastiknitting lately, and crochet is a great way NOT to waste time, while truly wasting time. This is a child's hat, but could easily be adjusted to make an adult size.

Size: Child (18” circumference)
Yarn: Nashua Wooly Stripes, 1 skein
Hook: US H
Gauge: 12 sts = 4”/10cm in sl st, hdc pattern

Foundation sc: Ch3, insert hook in the first chain and draw up yarn, yo and draw through 1 loop (this creates a chain), yo and draw through 2 loops (this creates a sc). Repeat, inserting hook in the chain from the previous foundation sc, until you have the required number of sc
Sl st: insert hook in next st and draw up yarn and pull through the loop on the hook
Hdc: yo, insert hook in next st and draw up yarn, yo and draw through 3 loops
Dec1: [insert hook in next st and draw up yarn]2x, yo and draw through 3 loops

Notes: The hat is worked in spiral rounds, so you will not join at the end of each round, nor do you have to mark the beginning. When you get to the decreases you needn’t be concerned about the math ending precisely at the end of a row – using your cast on tail as the guide, you will start your round at approximately where the tail is. Since this pattern is worked inside-out, if you want to peek and see the pattern developing, you’ll have to look at the inside!

Make a foundation row of 51 sc.

Being careful not to twist, sl st in the first sc (the one farthest from the hook). Hdc in the next sc. [Sl st in the next sc, hdc in the next sc] until the hat is 5” from foundation row.

([Sl st in the next sc, hdc in the next sc] 5x, dec1) for 2 rounds.
([Sl st in the next sc, hdc in the next sc] 4x, dec1) for 2 rounds
([Sl st in the next sc, hdc in the next sc] 3x, dec1) for 1 round
([Sl st in the next sc, hdc in the next sc] 2x, dec1) for 1 round
([Sl st in the next sc, hdc in the next sc] 5x, dec1) for 2 rounds

Leaving a long tail, cut yarn, and draw through loop to fasten off. With darning needle, draw tail through back loops to close the hole at the top, weave the end in to secure.

Turn the hat inside out, and you’re done!

Copyright 2008 RMS Original. You may use this pattern for personal and charity use only.