Note from Sandi: Knitting for a child seems to bring out in us the longing to make something worthy of being passed down through the generations. Here is Lisa Shroyer's contributrion to the staff design challenge for Interweave Knits Summer 2009: "Design an Heirloom."
Sweet Hex Child’s Hood
by Lisa Shroyer
Thinking about heirloom knitting brings up visions of intricate tapestry fabrics, long-loved silk baby items with deteriorating edges, natural colors, bits of lace as seen through a glass display case in a museum. I thought about fine gauges, rich patterning, and traditional techniques for this staff project. But what function for my heirloom knit? Heirlooms tend to collect around the milestones of life—births and weddings and religious ceremonies. None of those celebrations are personal to me at this time, so I was free to think about what I just really wanted to knit. And for me, that’s always stranded colorwork.
This child’s special-occasion hood is worked in two neutral colors in the round with one steek. You can see from the blocking photo how I cut open the steek with the stitches still live, blocked it, then later Kitchener'd the live stitches at the top of the hood to make a pocket-like shape. The steek edges and decorative cords are tucked into facings and tacked down.
In a silk/wool blend, this hood has a luxurious feel and shimmer, but does require machine reinforcement for the steek. It’s not that scary! (The Winter 2006 issue of Interweave Knits has a great tutorial on steeking.)
The hood is intended for a child about 8 years, but the fit is versatile and could work on kids from 5 to 10. You can see we also tried it on an adult model, and it’s really cute! The hood fits her more like a bonnet, but you get the idea. On a smaller head, the back edge will fall closer to the nape of the neck. If you want the hood for yourself, try working in a worsted weight yarn for a larger version.
PS. The title for this project comes from the decorative hex designs of the Pennsylvania Dutch. It’s a loose interpretation, but the motif here is an isolated, self-contained square with elements radiating from the center.
For more great ideas on how to "Design an Heirloom", get your copy of Interweave Knits Summer 2009, or for year round inspiration, subscribe to Interweave Knits today.
Download the free pattern for the Sweet Hex Child's Hood
Sandi Wiseheart is the founding editor of Knitting Daily. She is now the author of the popular Knitting Daily blog: What's on Sandi's Needles.
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