Twinkle Twinkle

Here’s my version of the Shining Star hat. It might be hard to see but there’s a star on the crown with lines radiating from the sides.

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Kate mentions in the pattern that she uses 6 double point needles but I decided to use the “magic loop” since I only have one circular needle in the correct size. While the “magic loop” can be a little cumbersome to handle at times, I happy to make due with one needle.

The start was a little challenging. Although the pattern doesn’t mention that the hat is knit from the top, I quickly surmised this bit of info from the small number of cast on stitches. The biggest puzzle was how to cast on with so few stitches. It took a little thinking but I finally remembered the figure 8 cast on that I learned in a sock class with Sarah Hauschka. She mentioned that this cast on could also be used to start lace patterns from the center.

Once I figured out the cast on, my needles started flying and after a couple of hours I got half way through the pattern. Kate’s innovative approach to color coding the stitch counts is ingenious. This pattern comes in six sizes and each size is denoted by a different color to easily keep track of which size is being knit.

For more information on the figure 8 cast on check out The Magic Loop or Wendy’s article (with double point needles) in Knitty.

Yarn Auditions

I was going to continue working on the Christmas stocking that I started last year but got side tracked by this cute Shining Star hat pattern by Kate Gilbert.

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My small yarn stash didn’t have any soft worsted weight yarn so this weekend I made a trip to the yarn store and came back with a couple of skeins of dark blue Classic Elite Inca Alpaca. It seemed like the softest worsted weight yarn in the store but now that the swatch is finished it doesn’t seem soft enough for a tight fitting child’s hat.

Yesterday I looked through my stash again and found a lone ball of Classic Elite Lush that was originally auditioned for the Tea Tree sweater. This green three-ply yarn, made of 50% angora and 50% wool, is definitely soft enough but I’m disappointed with the quality. I keep finding spots where one out of the three strands is frayed. Gosh, this reinforces the fact that swatching is a good thing. I’m so glad that I decided against using this yarn for a sweater.

I was hoping to join a local knitting group this evening but I’ve been sniffling the past few days and don’t want to pass around my germs.