I have always been a crafter, and I attribute that back to my grandmother, Ola Askew McKinley. Her passions were sewing, quilting and crocheting; I wonder why she never knitted? My mom tells me that although my grandmother couldn’t follow a written pattern, she only needed to see the item and she could duplicate it. I have many of her artistic accomplishments which I will be featuring in my Heirloom posts – so stay tuned for them.
I don’t remember when I first began knitting, but my mom says she taught me; I have no memory of it though. I might have had lessons early on, but I believe I probably picked it up more from my mother-in-law as she was an accomplished knitter. I recently fell in love with the Baa-ble sheep hat that has been in popular demand on the Internet since last August when it previewed. The free pattern, crafted by Donna Smith, can be found on the website of Shetland Wools. While their original pattern calls for Aran weight yarn, I used worsted weight; many have said their hat comes large with the original pattern and Aran yarn.
The best model you could ask for – she stays still and always willing to model a hat! This is my baby doll by Madame Alexander. She’s been with me for a long time and is coming in quite useful now in modeling my hats.
From the first moment I saw the Baa-ble hat on my knitting Facebook group, I knew I wanted to make it. I had much hesitation at first, as I had never knitted from a graph and carried more than one yarn at a time, but I kept reading the directions and finally decided I would try and just take one row at a time. Before I knew it, I had made one hat and have almost finished my eighth one. I’m sure I drove everyone crazy on Facebook posting all my hats! I have been bombarded with requests to make hats, but sorry to say I’m not taking any orders, but I will teach you how to knit! I have lots of projects on my list that have been waiting for me to stop making Baa-ble hats!
Work in progress – it was exciting to first see the sheep’s feet come into view and then came the sheep. It’s such a cute and addicting pattern!
The original pattern was written only for an adult, but after reading through the many posts and websites, I soon discovered another blog post by Susan B. Anderson, who adapted the Baa-ble hat to better fit an adult. I changed it somewhat with needle sizes to fit my granddaughters from ages two through five.
My needles were off and running…
A few of my hats!
I followed the page directions of Susan but made changes of using circular needles 5 and 6 on the hats for the young girls and only size 6 for the older girl. Susan had suggested to cast on 90 stitches, which I did and worked the brim of knit 2, purl 2 for 23-24 rows; judge the child as to size of brim. After brim made, I followed the graph pattern all the way to after decrease 8 row. After that row…. Knit all around next row, then next row was knit 1, Knit 2 tog; next row Knit all around; next row Knit 2 together all around. You can add one more knit row or bind off at this point by cutting your yarn, leaving a long tail, and binding off by threading the yarn through a tapestry needle and pulling yarn through. Secure the top and bury all stitches. Make a pom-pom and your finished! For an adult hat, I used a size 7 needle for complete hat and worked all the rows in the graph – it seemed to be perfect for an adult – fitting me and my daughter perfect! If you feel you need a larger hat, then you might want to follow the original pattern as you’ll end up with 120 stitches instead of the 90 I used. (FYI – Read through Susan’s directions good as she tells you to cast on 88 stitches for the brim, then add 2 more to make 90 when starting graph.
Susan suggested casting on 60 stitches for a baby, which sounds good, not sure what needles I’d use; I just might have to make another one to make a cute baby hat.
Actually my first hat I knitted, using the graph, was made by using two patterns; the second one was to add the ear flap. After a quick practice on making the ear flap, I managed to understand the pattern and knitted the hat, but it turned out too small for my almost two-year old granddaughter. It was awfully cute with the fuzzy sheep I added using Bernat’s brand of Pipsqueak yarn. Although I did like it, I didn’t feel the sheep had enough definition and it was tricky to knit – very slow going. But feel free to make one – a little one would probably love the fuzzy feel of the sheep on their hat. Looking at it again, makes me want to make a bigger ear flap hat, and with the fuzzy sheep. I can feel my needles clicking already!!!
My first “fuzzy sheep” hat using two patterns, the ear flap hat I used in combination with the Baa-ble hat was the “Garter Ear Flap Hat” and is a free pattern on Ravelry.
I had never carried yarn before working in more than one color and watched a few video’s on You Tube and found them very helpful. I also suggest watching a video on maintaining tensions on the “floats” behind your work. Floats are the long strands of yarn you carry as your colors change around the rows. You must keep them loose or your work will pucker, be too tight, and have no stretch. I only had to watch one video to understand, so I strongly suggest to do so and work loosely.
Here is my Baa-ble hat in all grey’s for my daughter – and awaiting a Pom-Pom. I turned it inside out so you could see the floats carried in the back. Remember, keep a loose tension as you work!
And my final hat No. 8, goes to my daughter-in-law in shades of purple…
I hope, if you’ve taken the time to read my post, that I have encouraged you to make a Ba-ble hat! Feel free to message me with any questions. I would love to see your creation when finished!!!
Special thanks to my grandmother Ola Askew McKinley and my mom Helen for passing their crafty genes down to me!!!