Posts Tagged ‘hat’

Universal Hat: in-between sizes

uh-oh, hat's too big!

My Universal BJD Hat pattern aspires to make it possible for every doll to have a basic toque (or beanie, or watch cap, or whatever it’s called in your neck of the woods), based on wig size.  But some dolls don’t wear a standard wig size and in this post I’ll walk you through the arithmetic of customizing the hat beyond what’s in the pattern to fit unusually-sized heads – or unusual wigs!


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Universal BJD Toque Pattern


Just what you’ve been waiting for: a simple sock yarn hat for ball-jointed dolls written in the same increments wigs are commonly sized by!   Written for every wig size from 3-4″ PukiPuki and similar teeny-tiny dolls, right up to the melon-headed 9-10″ large BJDs, the Universal Ball-Jointed Doll Toque is an easy beginner project or a great jumping-off point for advanced colourwork and funky stitch patterns – or just something quick to knit for a homecoming hat, swap gift, wig cap, etc.  The pattern features two different styles of brim, rolled or ribbed, and has been tested in all of the commonest wig sizes.


The pattern is available as a free download through Ravelry, or you can get the PDF directly from my blog, here.  You may also want to check out my tutorial for micro-adjusting the sizes to accommodate in-between heads or unusual wigs.


Happy knitting!  And remember, in the immortal words of REM: everybody hats sometimes; sometimes every brim is long, but now it’s time to knit along…

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1. V-Junkie socks for G.  The same spiral pooling that was annoying me in the Mince Pie Mayhem pattern is working amazingly with the slipped stitches in V-Junkie.  There’s no way I’ll get these done by Christmas, though – just finishing the toe on #1 right now, though, so I’ll wrap that to put under the tree.


2. More Christmas decor!  Bundle-up Bears from Mochimochi Land and the beginnings of a jingling garland of bells.  As always, the Mochimochi Land pattern is unbelievably adorable, and of course well written; I’ve knit 4 so far and hope to do a couple more before winter’s end, including one in the specified yarn weight (as usual, I saw a cute thing and had to make it smaller, using sock yarn instead of worsted weight).  Two of the bears (centre & right) were knit while visiting family, and they stayed with G’s twin cousins (age 8); the white bear has now joined my MIL’s collection of festive Barrista Bears!



I have knit 2 jingle bells so far – it’s a long-term project, knitting a few every year out of my recent sock yarn scraps.  My eventual plan is to make a vertical hanging strand, along the lines of a rain chain.


3. Train Toque for The Nannee.  I knit this while away from home as well, so I’m not sure if the pattern is actually really large or if my gauge was off.  Either way, I ended up decreasing the number of stitches I cast on by about 15% and I still think the toque will be quite roomy for this particular little man.   Instead of repeating the 3 cars in the pattern (engine, car, and caboose), I made a longer train (engine, 3 cars, and caboose).  I also added earflaps ’cause his folks are from the Prairies and they are concerned about cold extremities.  Hope they are well-positioned – I decided to wing it, but they look approximately right.



4. Carol Service Cowl.  Left over beads!  Left over yarn (from my Angelus shawl)!  An awesome cowl pattern that’s been sitting in my library for a little while!  Do you think I can get it done in time to wear it before Christmas?  I don’t know!  But I’m sure going to try!


Okay, enough blogging, back to knitting!

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Everybody hats, sometimes…


I’ve got four out of seven prototypes for my every-size hat pattern tested out!  This is the 9-10″ size, modelled by the beautiful Vasilisa.  Now I am scratching my head and poring over numbers, because I’ll admit that for each of the four finished hats I have had to try them on time and again trying to figure out a good length (the circumference was pretty easy to figure out before knitting) and while I have local folks lined up to try the fit of the remaining sizes, I don’t think I’m on close enough terms with anybody to borrow a doll or head over to their house for an evening of hard knitting, frogging, and re-knitting to try and get things right.  So I have to figure out the proportions somehow, and I think that somehow will involve arithmetic.  Well, Mr. Salamander is working this weekend and I have the house to myself.  Sounds like a good time for a little Saturday math, right?  And then probably some spinning for a reward!

Speaking of which, here’s the first plied yarn I’ve made that I feel truly deserves the name!  I am planning to knit up a little collar/neckwarmer with it.  There’s really not very much – around 45 yards, gulp!


I’m also working on trying to spin a thicker single that could eventually become a small wrap/shawl, but it’s not going so well.  The ability to get a reasonably even single eludes me at a heavier weight and my efforts so far have been a little disappointing.  I’m not giving up, though!  I will learn even if it kills me!  Or, more likely, makes my fingers bleed!  Or even more likely, makes my arms slightly tired!  Yup, that’s dedication!

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Folks who read the ABJD Knits group over on Ravelry might have already divined that this is in the works, but here’s the official announcement.  I’m working on a super-simple pattern for toques of all sizes, sized not for “tiny” and “large” but for wig sizes (e.g. 5-6″ and 8-9″) to make things easier on owners of dolls with unusual head sizes (not that I know any of those…).  I’ve worked out three sizes so far, 3-4. 7-8, and 8-9.  I’m planning to do at least two more, 6-7 and 9-10, but I’m not sure if there are many dolls who wear size 4-5 or 5-6 wigs.  NEED MORE RESEARCH!

Here’s a teaser photo showing two sizes and two styles of brim.


By the way, aren’t the two of them cute together?  I didn’t expect them to form a couple when I brought Suzuha home, but then BJDs love to surprise you!  Somehow I find their size difference adorable – in Edik’s embrace she literally has a handspan waist!

My design work, however, has been interrupted by a new hobby: hand spinning!

On Thursday evening I started messing around with my spindle and some youtube videos and some Corriedale fibre that was a “learn to spin” gift along with my BFL/silk top from Everything Old.  Here’s what I came up with:


It’s awfully uneven – there are cocoons of fibre almost a centimetre thick, and it thins down to cobweb weight in a few places.  But it’s…yarnlike?

Then yesterday, I took a drop spindling class at Knotty By Nature, joined by my lovely sister.  I learned a lot, bought some more fibre, and had a lot of fun! Here’s my sister, spinning her impressively fine and amazingly even single.


And me with…mine.  It’s miles better than the first already – I’ve learned how to deal with those cocoons and how not to let it get quite so thin – but I’m still having a very tough time getting the spin distributed evenly, so I have sections that are very soft-spun and others that are corkscrewing like mad.  But that’s okay; I now have lots of fibre to work on!


When I got home, I was in such a great, energized mood, and I didn’t want to stop spinning!  So I took the rest of the white Corriedale and some scraps from the braids I bought today as well as my needlefelting stash and spun a ridiculous riot of colour, which I attempted to ply with that first single.  Here are the results – my first yarnity yarn!


My plan is to knit a couple of coasters from it – something decorative yet useful.  I’m still waiting for the yarn to be fully dry after setting its twist, but I should be able to knit it up soon.  Meanwhile, more spinning!

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Size matters

I do a lot of knitting really fiddly stuff on tiny needles, and don’t get me wrong, I love it.  I finished the hood on my test knit of Ur-Bun, started the sleeves…but sometimes I just want to do something quick and easy!  Especially since I just had a super long weekend (FIVE DAYS!  BOOYA!  KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS?  WORK TWO DAYS GET MORE WEEKEND!) where I spent the first couple of days catching up on fiddly projects, blogging, and the like, and then wanted to catch up on my sense of completion.

I thought I’d become less baby-mad over the summer, but I think I was just too busy planning out the week ahead to think about the farther future because as soon as my contract was up last week, I got home and spent the whole weekend catching up on my favourite parenting communities and blogs.  So of course my quickie projects were ones for the hope chest.  Future!babby had better like hand knits, I tell ya!

First up, a super simple hat from a free pattern, Presto! Baby Hat


This hat has been in my queue for a long time.  It’s just so cute!  Unfortunately, Panda is a bit small to actually wear it like I hoped, especially since the sizing seems a little large (the pattern is for preemie, newborn, and baby; I knit the baby size but I can actually get the hat onto my head without difficulty, so I’d say it’s more of a toddler/child size).

G asked me where Panda was going when I fetched him out of the spare room…”It’s his first modelling contract!  Just wait, one day he’ll be famous!”  Watch for him on the cover of Vogue, he’s going to be big news.

The other instant gratification pattern I chose was the Sheepy Soaker.  We are planning to cloth diaper down the road (well, I am, and G has agreed to give it a try at least for the first 6 months) and while many cloth diapering systems in this day and age come with a PUL waterproof cover, many people also make use of wool “soakers,” which, if used and maintained correctly, don’t actually soak up anything, but use the natural water resistance of lanolized wool to keep the upholstery dry.  You can read a little bit more about soakers and why you would choose wool over PUL or oldschool plastic covers on the Sheepy Time Knits website.

I figured I would start with the newborn size, and I added a little dip at the front for a brand new baby’s healing umbilicus.  If you are knitting a soaker and want to know the extremely simple method by which I did so, check out the notes on my project page.


One thing about knitting for babies, I can never believe that it’s really the right size.  Once I’d finished the soaker, I could imagine a baby fitting into it, but for about 80% of the knitting process I kept stopping and examining it going “Really?  Really?  You can fit a whole person into one of these?”  And then on the other hand, Presto is not the first hat I’ve knit up only to go “hmm, not so much for the 6-9-month-olds in the crowd, more for the 3-year-olds.”  And it’s not like I don’t check my gauge!  Well, okay, with a project like this I’ll usually check at the halfway mark rather than knitting a gauge swatch ahead of time.  But still!  It’s almost as though the correlation between age and size were highly erratic due to massive individual variation among children!  Crazy!

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