Thursday, July 26, 2012

Christmas in July - Start making gifts now! (Hats)

I know it's hard to imagine with the blue sky and hot sun blazing overhead, but Christmas is less than 6 months away.  With finances a little tighter for everybody these days, homemade gifts are on the rise. With some inexpensive pretty yarn and a little know how, you could make some easy hats and scarves for the people you love!

The only thing you need after that is a set of looms and some time, and (hint hint) if you start early, like say  NOW, in the summer, you will have all of your Christmas gifts done by winter time.

How my addiction to yarn started:
(otherwise known as "Confessions of a Yarn-aholic" )

A few years back I was over at my Mother-in-law's house and she was making a scarf on a little round loom.  I was intrigued.  She gave me an extra loom and a skein of yarn and I'm telling you, I couldn't put the thing down.  Soon I had a  5 foot tube of yarn and no idea how to get it off the loom.  She was left handed and I was right. She lived about an hour away and couldn't really tell me over the phone.  Reading the instructions for the loom only included a hat.  I went on youtube to try and find out how to do it, and had the hardest time finding clear instructions from start to finish. There were some that said how to cast on, others how to cast off, and most were very confusing, out of focus, and hard to hear.  After figuring out what actually worked I decided to make some youtube videos of my own teaching people how to make at first a hat, the easier of the two, and then a scarf.  The key was showing something from start to finish. 

You can get a 4-pack of looms for $16 or less (Knifty Knitter Round Loom 4-pack) online and the four sizes are great. It also comes with a loom hook and a plastic needle. The tutorial I made shows the example with the smallest sized loom, but the techniques can be applied to all sized looms, depending on your needs and the size of the heads your are making things for.  Here are the four sizes and what they are good for:

Blue Loom  (24 pegs) - Makes preemie or American girl doll-sized hats

Red Loom (31 pegs)  - Makes child-sized hats from about 2T-6T

Green Loom (36 pegs) - Makes teen and adult-sized hats

Yellow Loom (41 pegs) - Makes extra large hats for adults with bigger heads or extra hair.

Here is a link to my you tube video on how to make a hat from a round loom.  It is in two parts and walks you step by step, from casting on your yarn to completing the hat with a pom pom.  Again the tutorial is for a doll-sized hat but you can get any sized loom and make the right sized hat you need.  By the way, the tutorial shows me using only one strand of 4-ply yarn.  That is mostly for demonstration of technique.  If you are making a hat for warmth, you will need two strands (meaning buy two skeins of the same kind of yarn), held together at the same time and wrapped at the same time to get a strong, warmer hat with no holes in it.

Part I: 

Once you make the brim of the hat, do a few more rows, cinch up the hat, add a pom pom for the ultimate cuteness factor, and va-la, you just knitted yourself a hat!

Part II:

In the next post I will talk about how to make beautiful scarves with these exact same looms.  Not only that I can teach you how to change colors!  That means you could make a Santa hat with a white border, red hat, and white pom pom.  That means you could make hats and scarves in your favorite teams' colors.  I love that you can tailor colors and themes to fit whoever you are making the items for.  Personalized gifts cost only a little bit of time and very little money, but the end result for a gift is awesome!  Thanks so much and happy knitting.

PS.. Just as a warning!!  These round looms became what I like to call the "gateway drug" to crochet.  It was from these looms (well, actually the long rectangular looms) where I was making a blanket and wanted to do a finished edge, then taught myself crochet on you tube and now I can't stop crocheting.  Like seriously, I have 7 giants bins stuffed full of yarn  and a ton of crocheting projects in the works.  So I warn you, don't start all this loom fun without understanding the risks that you might fall in love with all things yarn related!  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing. Not to many people in your position are so gracious. Your article was very poignant and understandable. It helped me to understand very clearly. Thank you for your help.

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