Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Beanie for the Boy (& Girl)

Last winter I decided to learn to knit. Nothing too crazy about that is there? Lots of people are learning to knit, it's nearly a cool girls game! Weeellllll, it's just that my mother is a fantastic knitter and has been since I can remember. So I had a brilliant opportunity to learn when I was living at home didn't I? I could have learnt all the fancy stitches and how to use circular needles and all the other knitting-type things that I can't even imagine. Now I live too many kilometres away to duck around for a knitting lesson.... lucky for YouTube! You see, I discovered that there are many other people out there who can knit too and they have made these great little videos and popped them on YouTube just for people like me! Good on them, I say!

SO. I learnt to knit. Just. I could do the basics. I could knit and purl but only after I'd checked in with my other learning resource to work out which stitch was which:-) My other learning resource is a fantastic little book .......given to me by my mother inlaw (another knitter of note). Casting on was mastered, along with increasing and decreasing. The ultimate was learning to cast off so I could finish my first scarf! In total I made one beanie and two scarves last year. The beanie was really too big, but I told my gorgeous girl it was to fit over her pony tail and keep her ears warm - which it does very well thank you! But really it was all very basic. It was a short career which disappeared with the cold weather.

As Monday's mandarin post noted, the cold weather is setting in again. And the knitting thing has resurfaced. You see, there are now two little heads bobbing off to school each morning in the fog and frost. Being the proper mum that I am I wanted those heads warmly clothed and in school uniform colours as well. There's the knitting challenge..... a beanie for the boy and girl.

After a quick trip to Spotlight I was equipped with wool (acrylic actually, it's tougher for the hurly-burly of school). Then I hunted about for my needles and that trusty little book. And after a quick refresher, 'cos I couldn't remember anything from last year, I started casting on and knitting. I love the look of the knitted piece, those ripples almost look like a clam shell! Plus, it feels so lush.

After knitting to the point above something made me pause (knitting is compulsive you always just have to do 'one more row'). Lucky! One quick hold-knitted-square-to-head measurement showed me this boy wasn't going to fit in this beanie. So I started again, which is always good practise isn't it? Eventually I got to this point and checked that it would cover his head and ears... It looked pretty right. Phew.

This next shot was a bit of a mistake but I like it :-) 

While I was happily knitting away I was trying to casually gauge the boy's level of commitment to his beanie. You see I was showing plenty of commitment to this beanie, I even knitted in the car on a recent daytrip. So I wanted to know that he was going to be as least as committed as I was. He could then continue where I cast off (and yes, I meant that pun!). It didn't seem too promising though, oh he wanted a beanie alright, he just didn't have the vision to see how a piece of knitting would become a beanie. Until I decreased and cast off. Here it is just waiting for a sewn seam.

Then he was in. He got it! He could see it was a beanie. His beanie.

Overnight (well it happened that way for him) a beanie was built. One quick seam, a few knots and we had a beanie for the boy. This shot is him modelling one version of how he is going to wear it. Apparently. I was going for the skull-cap look, he's done something even more extreme. His imagination is MUCH more developed than mine! We'll see how it stands up to the playground ribbing. But at least his head and ears are warm. And yay for kids with character (controlled character though!).

That's not the end of the story though. As soon as the girl saw this uniform-blue version she was asking questions.... hers from last year is a pale lilac (!?!). Her choice! And I wasn't proficient enough to decrease and then cast off so it's of the stitches-drawn-in variety. Mind you, after decreasing to a centre point whilst my fingers tried to play twister, I'm quite the fan of her basic beanie! But what's that saying? What's good for the goose is good for the gander? Well, we had it in reverse, the gander got the beanie first. And the goose wanted one.

Well, of course I made her one too! I was quite happy to, I need the practise! I dropped one stitch in hers, bummer. Don't tell her though, it's near the seam and you can't really see it. Actually one of the photos below has it in it, see if you can spot it! Here she is, grudgingly posing after a long day at school. She's our girl with gorgeous hair.

And so we have a beanie for the boy, and girl. I'm actually thinking I'd quite like one! The girl could do with a pony-tail fitting version too. I even hunted through the old needles in the 2nd hand shop today! Maybe this is the year to increase the job description, I just might try for more than two scarves and one beanie. Who knows?! But at least two little bobbing heads are already warm and happy. 

Hope you are warm and happy too!

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