I know, SHOCKING, isn't it?
My nieces all live in snowier climes than I and I got a little plan to make them hat and mittens set (scarves would be nice, but this was October, and I was trying to be realistic). I wanted them to be warm, wool, superwash, and I was feeling in a cable-ey mood. Here's the first set, for the 3.5-year-old:
It's out of Louet light worsted in, I think, "Burgundy". This yarn's very nice to work with. Kind of expensive for a workhorse superwash (I admit, there was a sale), but I ripped out the top of the hat a few times, trying to figure out what to do, and it took the ripping like a champ. It feels very nice; it's got a good bounce to it and it's not superslick like some superwash wool. Let's show off the cables in all their relief-ey glory:
And can I just say that mittens for young children are just the fastest thing ever? It took way more time trying to figure out the design at the top than to just knit the thing.
Here's the set for the almost 2-year-old:
Also Louet light worsted, in a dark purple. The light's all off for that picture. This is probably the closest in color:
The hats are my own design -- the big one was something like 16-17" unstretched and 20-21" stretched. My only model was my coworker's (admittedly small) 8-year-old daughter, and the hat fit her perfectly, so I figured it'd work ok for my large-for-her-age niece.
The red mittens are based off the mitten pattern in Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns, for the stitch counts and when to branch off the thumb and what height to make it. The cable and the top closure are mine and differ from the pattern. The purple are almost identical, just minus a few stitches around the hand and thumb, and a little less vertical height. I used 1 skein and a little extra for the red set (I made my coworker's daughter another hat with the rest, since she'd really liked the hat and had been such a good model). The purple set was took than a skein.
I whipped out the red set right away, except I dinked around with the crown decreases for a month and then started running of time and ploughed through the purple mittens and hat. I got stuck again on the crown of the purple hat and sort of made something up I'm not entirely pleased with, but I was out of time and had to send the Christmas package.
A little funky:
Needles: US 4 bamboo DPNs for the ribbing at the bottom (both hats and mittens), and then US 5 Addis using magic loop for the rest. Oh, I think I went back to the DPNs for the thumbs; I find it a pain to magic loop on only a few stitches. Take into account that I wanted a thick but not inflexible fabric and I am a really loose knitter.
My brother reports they fit the girls well (he could be lying, but I tried to encourage him to send them back if they don't fit), so, success!