Knitting Wits

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Embellishments to Hats

Pam Kelville, owner of the LoomClass yahoo group is fabulous. She is working to open up room on the group's files. So I am posting the Embellishments class I developed here. BTW, thank you Pam for working so hard on the group.

So you’ve made hats, scarves, placemats, a sweater or two. You know the difference between knit and purl, stockingette and garter. You have amassed a stash of yard beyond your spouse’s comprehension: eyelash, bouclé, homespun, acrylic, wool, pebble, sports weight, baby soft.

Or maybe not. Maybe you’ve just started and are lucky to use the knitting tool without puncturing your finger or eye. Maybe your skill level is rank beginner and you want something easy to do that still looks fun. Maybe you’re advanced enough to be able to knit the Statue of Liberty but want to add something “je ne sais quois” to it.

Embelllishments! They’re easy. Adding beads, paillettes or using different combinations of yarn can add pizzazz to your projects. Brighten them up from ho-hum to wow!

What you’ll need:
A project – for the sake of this class, let’s make a hat.
Yarn – Any type of thin yarn will do. This is a great opportunity to use that blasé stuff you bought on clearance.
Pony beads – those larger sized plastic beads you can buy by the bag at craft stores
Paillettes - flat sequin like bits. The ones I saw at my friendly neighborhood craft store had holes that were too small. There are many online outlets for purchasing those.
Crazy yarn - I’ve seen some that looked more like ribbon
Jingle Bells
Letter beads
Whatever strikes your fancy
Yarn needle
Knifty Knitter Loom for hat size
Knitting tool

1. Decide what size hat you want to make. My daughter had a “bead” on this one. So I’ll be using the green KK. (I am using a thin yarn with no stretch, so I have to go a KK larger than normal.) I recommend you use the fold-under brim style so that your bead embellishments are not rubbing on your head.

2. Before you start casting on, string your beads/paillettes to your yarn (yes, it is as simple as that). If you are string your beads on the end of your yarn that will be the start of your project, string them on in reverse order. If you string them on the end of your yarn, then go in the order you’ll use the beads. Remember, some beads have an alignment to consider. Fish go sideways, or stars have a top. Keep this in mind when choosing different shaped beads.

3. Cast on your favorite way. For a folded brim, I usually e-wrap two rows on.

4. Knit in the round for several rows without placing beads. This is the fold under part.
5. When you get to the point where you would have the actual fold, knit off a 2 – 3 more rows. Then start adding your beads between the pegs. If you have a specific image or pattern you want to make, graph it out in paper first. If you want random placement, then place beads where you please.

6. When you reach double the length you want for you brim, loop the bottom row onto your current row, knit off.

7. As you wrap the remaining rows, continue placing beads where your plan or whim decides. I found when I did an every five peg beaded hat, I got a cool spiral design. My paillette hat, using the mock crochet stitch was all in columns. It’s up to you.

8. To finish, gather and tie off per KK instructions.

9. Other embellishments:

a. Use letter beads to spell out your name.
b. Thread a jingle bell on your gathering/tie off yarn for a topper.
c. Combine a yarn with a ribbon yarn for interesting contrast.
d. Add beads or charms to the halfway point of your brim for a fringe effect.
e. Make I-cords and add beads as you go to make a necklace, bracelet or anklet.
f. Make I-cords with beads, loop them up to make flowers to add to purses, shawls, hats.
g. On a finished hat, make a long tassel to tie off the top of a hat as a “ponytail.”
h. Tie pieces of ribbon yarn randomly on your hat for a “flyaway look.”
i. Sew buttons randomly on your hat. (Buttons are another buy by the bag thing from craft stores.


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