Archive for November, 2010

100g of Possum

Saturday, November 27th, 2010

Remember when I had 50g of possum yarn, generously mailed to me from New Zealand by my travel buddy Clare?  At my most recent trip to Wool-Tyme, I noticed that they also sell the very same brand of possum yarn in several really nice colours.

I picked up a ball of oatmeal coloured yarn, and started knitting the most luxurious pair of mittens I’ve ever felt.  My hands are ready for a change, since I’ve been knitting a lot of acrylic robotic hats lately.

I love how the 2 colour cast on looks paired with the braided cuff, and the possum rivals alpaca for softness and warmth.  I could get used to this luxury!

Hat #36…and there’s more to come!

Saturday, November 27th, 2010

This hat was knit using bits and pieces of all of the colours in our collection.  It’s topped off with little bobbles that are easy to knit.

Cast on 4 sts, knit in round

Round 1: Kfb in each stitch [8 sts]

Round 2:  Kfb in each stitch [16 sts]

Round 3: K each stitch

Round 4: K2tog around [8 sts]

Round 5: K2tog around [4 sts]

Round 6: K2tog around [2 sts]

knit a 2 stitch i-cord as long as desired.  Join to corners of hat.

And in other robotic knitting news….We received a donation today of 70 balls of yarn for future hat knitting projects.  Thanks very much to Anne at Wool-Tyme Kingston for the generous donation.  We appreciate your support!

Finally…A Two Hat Day

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

Hat number one was cast on while riding the bus to Ottawa.  Knitting and bus rides are a no-brainer for me, and this fall, it seems like I’m only knitting robots!  This is the beginning of hat number 34 for K-Botics.

This hat is unique in that the robots are not all the same colours.  I attempted to work 3 colours in each row without tangling everything into a giant knot.  It’s a challenge….and I don’t know that I’d do it again.  Another issue is that with carrying colours behind the work all the time, you have to really be careful that the hat doesn’t get too tight.  I think that this one worked out alright.  It fits my head anyway.

The hat enjoyed a visit to the Canadian Currency Museum.  It’s free, and really really cool!  I recommend going next time you are in Ottawa.  The hat and I were both surprised to see a $7 bill.

The next stop was lunch and a tour of the Rideau Center and the Byward Market.  The hat got bigger over lunch, and was finished while watching a game of “cut the rope” on the i-pads at the apple store.

The hat made some friends at the market.  Someone tried to sell me a hat for $20 dollars….they said it was hand made.  I showed them my hat.  The sales man couldn’t believe that I could make a hat.  He wanted to see my tools.  I showed him the needles, but I don’t know if he was impressed or not.  He stopped trying to sell me the hat, and let me take pictures.  I tried to explain my blog, but I don’t know if he understood.

There were really cute mittens there too.  I think they can double as puppets.  A neat idea!

Back on the bus again, and I wasn’t the only one knitting.  Here’s a guy from the K-Botics team who has taught himself how to make robot hats.  What a kid.  He’s wearing one of the hats I made last year.

We were on the road again, headed for Carp Ontario, home of the Diefenbunker.  My hands were idle, and before I knew it, I had cast on for another hat.

the bomb is a replica

I knit on the sly during the tour, but was so caught up with the information being delivered that I totally forgot to take any pictures.  Coming out of the bunker, I tried, but the lighting was weird.

Pictures didn’t really turn out until I got outside again.  This hat is striped with bits and pieces of blue and purple.  It’s going to have some finishing touches added later.

The hat was finished on the bus ride home, but since I don’t travel with a bodkin with me, the embroidery will have to be completed later.  I love how every new hat is my favourite until the next one is finished!  Here’s hat number 34.

And here’s hat number 35.

looks different in daylight. I love the stripes!

I have even cast on for hat #36.  I don’t know when this obsession will end!

Super Power Bracelets

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

This week has been a rather intense one.  Some people I know are wrestling with issues of life and death, future and past, questioning what’s going on in their life and wondering how to deal with their circumstances.  In many cases there’s nothing that I can do to help them solve their problems.  In many cases all I can do is listen.  Sometimes that doesn’t really feel like I’m DOING anything.

I’ve spent quite a few hours this week making super power bracelets.  These are rather simple macrame projects with beads that glow in UV light (eg. sunlight).  To make them extra super power bracelets I’ve started to do macrame with glow in the dark yarn.

It surprises me how much a friendship bracelet or “super power” bracelet means to people.  Many people wear them until they fall off, and some even request a replacement when that happens.  It’s a reminder, I suppose, that someone out there cares.

Everyone needs to be reminded sometimes, that someone out there is looking out for them.

Hat #31

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

This hat was technically done before the Tweedle Toques, but needed a bit of extra embroidery to finish it off.

The robots at the front are cheering together for a job well done!  The yellow is added because this hat is for someone who works with other robotics teams too, and their colours include yellow.

The hat was knit bottom up, and earflaps were added on after it was completed.

Tweedle Toques

Sunday, November 21st, 2010

This is a bit hard to explain–as some inside jokes are–but these toques are number 32 and 33 for the K-Botics team.  These two are going to two mentors who have been nicknamed the Tweedles.  Their hats are fraternal twins, one purple, one blue (although the picture doesn’t do the purple justice).

The Tweedles can often be found helping repair robots for our team or for others near by.  They can also be found studying hard at Queen’s University, or building Lego robots as members of Team Pancakes!

There’s nothing really crazy about these hats, but there is a surprise….something that can only be seen when you turn out the lights!

Almost A Two Hat Day

Friday, November 19th, 2010

Have you ever been in a meeting, where people are talking and delivering lots of great information, and you want to pay attention, but find yourself fidgeting or tapping your fingers or toes, or just getting restless?  This happens to me sometime, and then once I get restless, it becomes more of a chore to focus and listen to what’s being said.

At a long meeting today, I finally just rummaged through my bag and got out my emergency yarn/needles and cast on for hat number 31.  I’m getting rather predictable these’s all about the Robot Hats, and I’m ok with that.  I was just not sure if it would be considered rude, or distracting to be knitting while someone was speaking.

Thankfully, the presentation was being given by an occupational therapist who recognized that my knitting was serving a purpose, and helped me focus, while she spoke.  I was so focused on the learning, that before I knew it there was a completed hat sitting on my lap, with no recollection of its creation.  

After returning home, having dinner and a nap, I picked up my cousin and headed to the theatre to line up for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows-part 1.  We wore costumes over our coats, and appreciated the extra layers while waiting in line for 1.5 hours.

There were three sold out theatres at the cineplex!  It was exciting to be amidst the crowds of Harry Potter fanatics, and be the first ones to watch the film.

To keep myself awake, I cast on for hat #32.  I’m not going to reveal any Harry Potter secrets at all….but it was a long movie!  I’m so close to having accomplished the near-impossible task of knitting two hats in a day.

I think that I may attempt the Two Hat Day in the future, but for now (at 3:30 AM)….sleep seems much more important.

Am I the only one that knits through movies at the theatre?

All Thirty Hats In One Place

Monday, November 15th, 2010

It’s hard to believe I’ve made 30 hats.  It’s amazing what these hats have done for our robotics team (K-Botics).  We’ve set ourselves apart and created an identity–we certainly stand out in a crowd.

Each hat is unique, but bonds our group together–some have even said the hats are helping to make us such a tight knit group!

It’s not just me knitting…students and mentors are getting into it too. Some of the Knitters Anonymous have now started building robots. Some of the robotics team members have learned to knit specifically so they can make a robot hat!  The smile on a kid’s face, when they get a hat–made just for them–is priceless.  That’s why I keep knitting!

Here’s a free pattern, so you can make some too.

This hat making enterprise would not be possible without the generous donation of K-Botics coloured yarn from one of the team’s families.  If you’d like to help us purchase yarn, please donate. For $5 you could sponsor a hat!

And here are the hats that I’ve made….All 30 of them!  Click on the pictures to enlarge.

It all began in the spring of 2009, on a very long bus ride to Atlanta for the World Championships of FIRST robotics.  I needed something to do on the bus for 24 hours.  Robot knitting, inspired by hats I’d seen on Ravelry, seemed to be the right choice.

First to get hats were our drive team and some mentors

Some hats were quite plain, while others had huge pompoms, and curlicues coming out of the tops, for added flair.  This was a sign of things to come!

Spring 2010: Hat making began at the kick-off of our season in January.  Hats had horns knit with copper wire, or were reversible “transformer” hats (ravelink).

Preparation for our Chairman’s Award presentation required more hats!  They are kind of a trademark of our team now.

Hats now had holes for hair (ponytails or many curls) to show through.  We even made a hat for the MC of our competition to wear.  His team colours included red, so we added red just for him.

There was a sad tale…the first version of this hat went missing on a ski trip, so the second version was created–note the pink tentacles…that’s why they’re there!

Head bands are preferred by some…

Others don’t mind the more unique aspects like tassels and beads.

Sometimes the hat needs only one robot.

Fall 2010: It’s not yet kick-off for this season, and hats are being made at an astonishing pace.  Some of these hats include glow in the dark yarn.  If you want some, you can order it from Seed Stitch Fine Yarn in Salem MA.

A Hat With Ears!

Sunday, November 14th, 2010

Want an easy way to make a hat with ears?

It’s simple!  Cast on enough stitches to go around your head, then just keep going!

Knit until the hat is about 10 inches long.  It should look approximately like a square.  Finish the top in kitchener stitch.

Since this is for our robotics team, I sewed on the team number after weaving in all the ends.

If “ears” are not what you’re looking for, you could attach pompoms, or bells and make a very simple jester hat (with only two points).

Miles of I-Cord

Saturday, November 13th, 2010

Saturday is over, and I now have a completed ruffled hat.

I like the top part.  It reminds me of soft serve ice cream.

I added an unfolded paperclip to the top of the spiral to keep it upright on top of the hat.  The ruffles don’t roll so much now that the miles of i-cord have been added.

So, now the hunt is on to find someone on the robotics team with enough spirit to wear this hat well.