Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Free Pattern Link: Knitted Elephant Hat--and a Fair Isle Technique

A lot of my friends are expecting grandbabies these days, and I heard one of the mothers-to-be is leaning toward neutral colors and elephants as a general nursery theme.  I used this as an excuse to knit this child sized hat, from a free pattern I found online:  Elephant Hat.

It's a little too large for a brand new baby, but I wanted to make it anyway.  I like those elephants!  The pattern is straightforward, as far as following the color changes in the charts.  Since it calls for more than one color in each row, I had a chance to dust off my skills with "throwing" the yarn.

That's the first way I learned to knit, holding the working yarn in my right hand and throwing it around the needle to make a stitch.  It's a bit unwieldy, and in my case, tended to cause losing the right needle entirely since I had to let go of it.  Which caused loss of stitches.  Which caused much wailing and gnashing of teeth.

I finally learned the Continental style, holding the yarn in the left hand, and just "picking" it with the tip of the needle.  Being a long-time crocheter, it made a lot of sense to me.  I knit almost everything this way now.

But the first time I knit something resembling Fair Isle, I held both colors of yarn in the left hand, and picked the one I needed as I went, causing much tangling of yarn, which in turn caused much pausing to untangle the yarn, which caused concomitant irritation and frustration.

Then I took a class where I learned to use both knitting techniques at once.  In case you haven't done this yet, here's how it works:

Hold one color in the left hand and the other in the right.  Knit the left hand color Continental style, and use the throwing technique with the other color.  Far less tangling!

Here's a link to my photo tutorial on how to catch the yarn you aren't using every 3 to 5 stitches, so you can carry it along invisibly on the "wrong side" of your project.  (Just scroll towards the bottom on that page to find the tutorial.)

Now I'm thinking, I really need to make more baby hats for all my other friends' grandbabies.  But I'm not promising anything!  And I'm not promising elephants.

1 comment:

I love getting your comments. Thanks for sharing!