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Topic: 1st Knitting Project: an Iraqi-bound Jayne hat for Hubby *new pic added*  (Read 6150 times)
Tags for this thread: firefly , hat , jayne_cobb , serenity , whedon , tv , earflap  Add new tag
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BeltwaySpinner
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« on: November 14, 2007 09:42:30 PM »

So all you evil knitters, that have been making me look bad these past several months, I have finally joined your ranks!

 Cheesy Cheesy AT LONG LAST!!! THE ART OF THE NEEDLE HAS BEEN DEMYSTIFIED!!!  Cheesy Cheesy

I joined Craftster in July this year and one of the first things I spotted a lot of were 'Jayne hats'.  My hubby, Firefly/Serenity geek that he is, became a petulant pouty child and has been constantly nagging me to knit him one.

Jeepchick BEFORE Craftster would have gotten out the Visa and ordered one from any of the knitters selling these online.

Hubby has been deployed since August and at least once a week, he asks me on the phone - don't forget my JAYNE HAT.  Mind you, he insists I KNIT one, not buy one.  Slight hiccup:  I haven't picked up knitting needles in over 23 years ( I am 35).

Enter Jeepchick AFTER Craftster.

My grandma taught me when I was 9, but I haven't attempted anything since I was 11 or 12.  Resourceful little craft vixen that I am, I tried to teach myself with books, podcasts, and videos.  To no avail.  I am just not wired to learn that way.

Finally I said the heck with it, and I signed up for a Knifty Knitting and Crochet class at my nearest Michael's.  Happy DAY!  Yesterday I went for my lesson and found I was the only pupil.  My grandmotherly instructor (with the mouth of a sailor) and I had a swell time.  I had my very own personal knitting tutor for two entire hours.  I told her I was hoping it would be like riding a bike, that it would just 'come back to me'.  She told me it was more like sex. This was our first verbal exchange to one another, and I was too shocked to reply.  Shocked Too bad I didn't. I now find myself wanting to know what she meant exactly. Huh

Well, after some trial and error, it finally did come back to me.  Apparently, my grandmother had taught me a speedy version of something called the continental method.  It was frustrating at first because my instructor kept scolding me for not using my right hand to pick the yarn up and I appeared to be knitting the wrong way.  She reminded me of the nuns at school from when I was a kid.  (Well, except for her potty-mouth.)  I swear I expected her to rap my knuckles with a ruler.  We finally got it all worked out though and I 'found my rhythmn' and was knitting like a champ only one hour into the lesson. 

I had brought in the pattern from http://redshirtknitting.com/?page_id=222 and she took some time to patiently decipher and demonstrate the mysterious terms like k2, purl, cast, and bind.  She also explained things like dye lots, types of yarn, needle sizes, gauge, etc.  I got the ribbing done and the first 2 rows after that, and then my class was over.

Last night I put my son to bed and settled in for a night of knitting, I got into my groove and tore through my project.  By the time I had 'decreased' the top of the hat and was ready to bind, I realized I had forgotten how to do it.  eek!!!   I ended up destroying the last 20 minutes of work and it looked like some yarn monster had taken a big jagged bite out of my project (4 rows worth).  Not knowing how to fix the big chunk missing, I had to undo those rows in their entirety (which was a pain, because every other one was decreasing) and reknit them.  It looked almost as good, but not quite.  Still by the time I got to the end, I did not know how to bind off.  I  scoured my knitting books, laminated drawings, and You Tube knitting videos - but I was hopeless without my surrogate knitting granny.

I wish I could tell you what I did, but I am not exactly sure.  I can tell you that the top row ended up being something like a drawstring opening.  I pulled the yarn through tightly and was able to close the opening that way.

I knit the red ear flaps right onto the orange part of the hat.  One side looks perfect, the other one, I must have done something wrong because the orange is showing through as a thin line in my top row of red.  I forgot exactly how I started the first earflap by the time I started the second.  Oh well.  At 7:40 am this morning, it was all DONE!

You may wonder why the rush, since I waited this long already.  Well, tonight our Air Force base held an event called Project Happy Holidays.  They were photos with Santa, crafting tables for kids (none for grownups - wahhh!), and several tables full of free goodies like books, christmas music CDs, toiletries, and snacks, snacks, and more snacks.  Add food, a 4 piece band playing holiday tunes, and a play area for kids and you get some idea of the madness taking place.  In short, we had everything we needed to prepare awesome, diabetic-coma-inducing postage-free Holiday care packages to our deployed family member.

*NEW PIC* HUBBY FINALLY FINALLY Sent me a pic taken with his isight cam.   Actually he sent me a little video  and this is a screen grab.  Trust me - you DON't want to see the vid.  PLEASE IGNORE Hubby's absolutely HIDEOUS Deployment moustache.
I think the hat adds a nice bit of color to an otherwise blah monochromatic outfit of tan flight suit and tan boots.  It is colder there than I would expect, plus the planes themselves are cold - so he wears it all the time.  (He better - as much as I sweated over it!)  Two more months and I can finally start preparing for him to come home.  (sigh)



*********





This first photo is my son wearing Daddy's hat just before it went into the box bound for Iraq.  The pom-pom doesn't show up well, as the oversized hat just flopped towards the back on his tiny head.  The other photos are of myself with our son making a foam photo frame, and our boy with the wall of Holiday boxes.  Our box to Daddy is easy to spot, as it is the only box on the entire wall covered in stickers.  It is also directly over his head.

So now, I am going to bed early to make up for last night's lack of sleep.  Tomorrow, I will start on a matching Little Jayne hat for my son.  Although since I don't know to make the pattern smaller, I may just duplicate it exactly and run it through the washer and dryer until it fits.   Huh  Any suggestions on pattern modification would be appreciated.

My hubby has been gone since this summer and isn't due home for another 3 and half months.  Craftster has been a life-saver to me on many a lonely evening.  I have been frequenting the sewing board and am thrilled to finally make it over to the knitting board (where all the cool kids hang).  I am looking forward to many more knitting projects this winter, now that I am finally got back on my bike and learned to knit.  Sad to realize though, over seven months without a spouse, when he gets back, I will be lucky if the sex is just like knitting. Lips sealed
« Last Edit: January 04, 2008 08:54:19 PM by JeepChick.net - Reason: new pic added » THIS ROCKS   Logged
Ameythestlily
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2007 10:18:42 PM »

Well I don't care what you think.. that hat came out beautiful (and just like Jayne's it was made with love not perfection) Grin

Hmm to bring it down a size for your son maybe switch to a size 8 needle and don't double strand it? That should change your gauge enough that it might be the right size for him. I'm thinking the gauge you want is close to 4.5 stitches x 6 stitches = 1 inch. Other than that I'm still relearning how to do this too. (I think running an acrylic through the wash won't shrink it. Only natural fibers will change that way in the wash. the most you might get is a really soft hat).

Do you crochet? I've found one of the easiest bind offs is to transfer the first stitch to a hook (similar in gauge) and then just do a crochet decrease all the way across (ie. go into the next stich, loop over then pull through both previous loops. always have just 1 loop on the hook).
As for the picking up stitches I know if you pick them up from 1 side they become invisible but from the other side they show. It's a 50/50 shot on picking the right one but I wanna say pick them up with the outside of the hat facing you.
Still I hope your hubby loves that he's finally getting his Jayne hat.
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2 more months till little Emmalyn makes her debut. So nervous but just can't wait Smiley
celticgoddess
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« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2007 10:25:01 PM »

Great job and cute kid! Before you know it, you'll be making your own Ipod cozies!  Wink
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cranberry
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2007 01:54:44 AM »

She told me it was more like sex. This was our first verbal exchange to one another, and I was too shocked to reply.  Shocked Too bad I didn't. I now find myself wanting to know what she meant exactly. Huh

Probably it's all clumsy the first time, fingers and thumbs everywhere. You know of the technique, but not how to do it properly. Then, the more you knit [or have sex], the better your technique becomes, and you can make it as hard or easy as you please.

That's what I tell myself anyway.

It's rough that your hubby has been called to war. I do hope that he's safe and that he comes home unharmed. I've been reading a lot of books on war and Navy SEALS recently, and it's just hit home to me the committment men in the armed forces take on.

That hat is proper cool. There are basic hat patterns on knitty.com that you can use for your kid, flaps and all.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2007 01:56:47 AM by cranberry » THIS ROCKS   Logged
artcat81
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« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2007 06:20:57 AM »

Pretty Cunning!  Looks great, much better than my first hat  Smiley
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vivcrafts
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2007 08:44:50 AM »

I felt like I was there with you in class. Welcome to the Dark Side, realm of the evil knitters. Soon you will be buying yarn just because you like it. At that point you know you are one of us.
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Meggieriam
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2007 09:11:16 AM »

Congrats on your first hat! It looks great!
I too took up knitting while hubby was deployed, it was very theraputic to make things to send to him, Now I'm just obsessed with it!
 Grin
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~Meg~
ScotSkipper402
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2007 10:15:23 AM »

Tomorrow, I will start on a matching Little Jayne hat for my son.  Although since I don't know to make the pattern smaller, I may just duplicate it exactly and run it through the washer and dryer until it fits.   Huh  Any suggestions on pattern modification would be appreciated.

....
 Sad to realize though, over seven months without a spouse, when he gets back, I will be lucky if the sex is just like knitting. Lips sealed

the sex IS just like knitting... only now you can do cables and intarsia (nudge nudge wink wink)

Don't felt your son's Jayne hat. Instead, you could use smaller needles. OR you could use the same pattern, but reduce the number of stitches by 10% to 25%.

Best wishes!

Scotskipper
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summerfun37
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2007 12:38:57 PM »

I felt like I was there with you in class. Welcome to the Dark Side, realm of the evil knitters. Soon you will be buying yarn just because you like it. At that point you know you are one of us.

I do that! I make scarves...
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BeltwaySpinner
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« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2007 12:49:55 PM »

Ameythstlily: thank you.  It is rather imperfect, but he better love it if he knows what is good for him.  Good idea on the smaller needle size and single knit, it might do the trick.  Yes I used acrylic yarn this time, as I couldnt find the colors I needed in wool @ Michaels or JoAnn.  I need to hit an honest-to-goodness yarn boutique.  No, I dont crochet.  I bought a Happy Hooker book a few months ago and it sits on my desk taunting me.  Maybe next week I will try it out.

CelticGoddess/Craft Partner Extraordinaire.  You were actually the one who pushed me over the knitting cliff so to speak.  It was the fun fur you used in that awesome Ipod cozy you made me.  I had no idea yarn could be so well FUN. So I figured I would start with the Jayne hat, then move on to fun fur projects just because I love the texture and colors so much.

Cranberry, maybe that is exactly what she meant.  It makes sense of course.  Thanks for the kind words and link to knitty.com!

Thanks artcat!  I bet your hats are lovely.  I kept asking myself: why didnt I start with a scarf like the rest of the world?  oh well.. too late now

Vivcrafts, I just cant wait to start stalking yarn and becoming a bonafide knitting junkie.

Meggieriam, what types of things did you make  for your hubby?  It is already chilly over there and the planes are usually cold and drafty anyway. Since my husband flies 6 days/week the Jayne hat is perfect, as he doesnt have to wear regulation headgear during missions.  But now I wonder what else I can make for him.  They arent permitted to wear civilian clothes, even for working out.

ScotSkipper402, now I have to go look up intarsia you naughty girl.  Wink Wink

Thanks for the tips and comments everyone!  Smiley
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