Sunday, December 09, 2007

Our Yearly Giant Scarfathon

This last Saturday was our yearly holiday hands-on meeting for our NCL chapter, and we had lots of hands-on philanthropy projects for people to do. We filled candy bags for Monarch School, made fleece blankets for Senior Community Center, created holiday cards for Meals on Wheels, and of course, everybody's favorite: knitting scarves!

We knit pink scarves for Susan G. Komen, we knit scarves for St. Vincent de Paul, we knit scarves for the Salvation Army. And if you've been looking for Homespun at the San Diego Michael's, good luck. I think our chapter must single-handedly wipe out the inventory every November because that's by far people's yarn of choice. I personally would rather knit with snakes (although - I actually like snakes! Especially - heh heh - gartere snakes! Get it? Garter Snakes! No Purling!) but hey, to each her own.

I usually opt out of knitting any kind of long skinny rectangles of acrylic, but I do like to knit baby things for Salvation Army's Door of Hope. I usually crank out a few pairs of booties or little caps every year.

This year I made up a new little pattern for the more adventurous beginners. Those who are afraid of circular needles or doing decreases or anything like that. I threw in a YO so they could learn something new, and followed it with a K2Tog just to really spice it up. You can see Anna above knitting away on one...she started this about a half-hour before I took that picture and is almost done with hers. I can only wish I knit as fast. And, p.s., witness Fiona up there scheming with her cousin about how soon they can leave the NCL meeting and go hang out somewhere where they won't have to do any good deeds. But I digress...

I think they came out pretty cute, so if you feel like knitting for a local charity, grab some washable worsted and have at it! The image down below shows a schematic - the drawstring hat is on the bottom half of the page and the World's Easiest Baby Hat - truly! - is at the top.

Drawstring Baby Hat

This super high-tech design consists basically of a rectangle with some holes along one side of it. Your gauge isn't that important, since babies are variable in size...The finished dimensions are about 7x10". Make the holes every inch or inch and a half or so, just making sure you end up with an even number of holes for lacing up later. Six or eight will work fine.

If you're afraid to wing it, here are some more specific instructions.

You'll need to be able to:

1. knit plain garter stitch (knit every row)
2. do a YO (a yarn-over, which will open a new world for you, and which you can see a tutorial for here - scroll down to the bottom - you probably want the English version)
3. follow that YO with a K2Tog (knit two together, which is just what it sounds like, and which you can see here)

Using a washable worsted-weight yarn, CO 30 sts and knit 2 rows

Row 3: k8, yo, k2 tog, knit to end
Knit 11 rows.

Row 15: k8, yo, k2 tog, knit to end
Knit 11 rows.

Continue in this manner, putting in a lacing row every 12 rows, so that:

Rows 27, 39, 51, 63: k8, yo, k2 tog, knit to end
and all others are knit plain.

After you have 6 holes and have knit approximately 9 - 10 inches, get ready to finish.

Rows 64 - 70: Knit

Bind off, fold piece in half and sew the cast-on edge to the bound-off edge. Weave in ends.

Make a lace: braid some yarn, use ribbon, etc. Thread through the hole, draw tight and tie securely. Trim if too long.

Click on the schematic below for a larger image of the Drawstring Hat as well as a folded-over garter rectangle hat.

Copyright 2007 Lydia McNeil - You may not use this pattern for profit or reproduce it for profit; you may use it to knit hats for yourself, for others, or most certainly for charity, but not to sell.

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