Va Bene!

So it all started when my little guy is ALREADY growing out of the little froggie hat I made him.

frog11

So, what’s a knitter to do?  Knit a new hat, of course.  I already had one skein of the softest, cushiest, gray washable wool waiting in my stash.  I had actually purchased it for something else, and majorly misjudged my yardage requirements for that project.  So, said project was re-knit in a different wool, and this was left over.  What is this wonderful fiber, you ask?  It’s Mondial, Merino Plus – 52% new wool and 48% acrylic. – From Italian sheep.  (OK, so it’s made in Italy – I’m just guessing that the sheep are actually Italian).

Back to my story.  I love the Margart Bauer’s “Jack’s Hat” from the 2008 Knitting Patterns a Day calendar.  Problem?  That pattern is written 1. for an adult and 2. for a much lighter yarn with lots more stitches/repeats.  Even if I cut the pattern down, I would still run out of my lovely Italian sheep wool before I even got half-way through the hat.  So – never one to be stopped that easily.  I used Jack’s Hat as inspiration, and created my own pattern.  It still keeps the same cabled feel of the pattern I like so much, but I’ve changed the stitch pattern, and, of course, the gauge and construction, so that it would work as a baby hat, and only take the one 100gr skein in my stash.

So, without further delay, here is my “Va Bene” Hat.  (“Va Bene” is one of the few Italian phrases I know, and I wanted an Italian name to go with my Italian sheep.  Can you tell I have a thing for Italian sheep???)

vabene2w

vabenehatw

Yes, it is a little big, but after the froggie hat only lasting a couple of months, I decided to give him a little wiggle room, so he has some room to grow.  Plus, I love that my soft, cushy knitting covers his little ears.

In fact, I’m so pleased with this hat, that I decided to write up the pattern.  For anyone that’s interested, here it is:

Va Bene Baby Hat Pattern

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Happy Birthday!

Well, my little-one has made it to the ripe old age of six!  I can’t believe it.  She’s getting so big!  To celebrate she took two friends and we headed off to the local paint-your-own-pottery place.  I think all three of them had a great time!

paintw1

Some of the pieces turned out better than others, but I think they all had fun.  We followed that with lunch at a 1950’s-style diner and arcade, complete with hand-spun milkshakes!  Rob and I combined my chocolate with his peanut-butter (“Hey – you got your chocolate in my peanut butter!” – OK, now I’m dating myself), to make peanutbutter-cup – muy, muy delicioso!

Here’s how I know she’s growing up.  As always, we got our Geoffrey’s Birthday Club mailing, and headed out to Toys R Us for a little mother-daughter birthday celebration.  I fully expected her to use her gift card on a toy – probably something small (junk) that would be forgotten within a day or two.  To my surprise, she told me she wanted one of those things where “you put the things in your ears and listen to music.”  My mouth dropped open and I said “An MP3 player????”  She answers “Yeah, one of those!”  So we looked, and, turns out, they had a nice little one on sale.  So, she is the first in our family to own an mp3 player – I put a couple of her favorite songs on and she’s already figured out how to use it!

All in all, I think it was a great birthday.

OK – so now here’s the thing.  While we were painting, there was a birthday party going on at the pottery place and the birthday girl (she was five) had on a knitted hat.  It did look cute on her, but was very poorly knitted.  Still, being a knitter myself, I am always interested in encouraging/comparing notes/comparing projects/etc., so I asked her if someone made the hat.  Get this.  It came from Target!!!  Now, it’s one thing if a beloved aunt or grandmother made a hat like that (it really could have been a cute hat, had it been knitted better), but to sell something like that in a big-box store. I just don’t get it.  I guess the fact that it looks so lumpy gives the impression that it’s handmade????  I’m not sure what I think other than that maybe this is the perception of handknits held by the general public.  Very disappointing.

And, speaking of Target, I was in there the other week, and saw they were selling fingerless gloves!  I guess they must be gaining in popularity.  I’ve always thought of them as the property of knitters only, and you had to actual be a knitter or know a knitter to acquire your own pair.  Apparently, that is no longer true.

Regarding my own knitting.  I am making progress on the Christmas stuff.  I am happy to report that the knitted doily is completed (not blocked yet, but bound off).

Mom's Doily - Unblocked

Mom's Doily - Unblocked

And, last night I finished Sianny’s Slippers Take Two!  (Yea!).

Sianny's Slippers - Take Two

Sianny

I’m extremely pleased with them.  They are so soft and cushy.  They definitely can’t be mistaken for socks, so I think that’s a good thing.  I did this second try in green (my first version was red) just because, and I actually think I like the green better.  So, it’s all good, right?

YEA!!!