This years birthday gifts for the little ones included hand knitted hats! Both my niece and nephew have January birthdays, and it was pretty cold here in Florida so they were a perfect addition to the birthday bounty. The truly wonderful part is that I finished them! Niecey-poo received hers on her actual birthday, and the Little Prince's was only a little late.
Princess got a Hello Kitty hat - its an easy pattern, and available from Beadwhore Knitting's blog here. After a foolish misguided start, I eventually followed the pattern exactly and it turned out to be a great size for my now 6 year old niece. The embroidery on the front was the best part of course when it comes to instant gratification - the hat really comes to life once Miss Kitty's features are on her sweet face. I gave her a pink nose instead of yellow. This used less than one skein of Loops & Threads White from Michaels, and I added some leftover pink from Bernat. Isn't Miss Kitty adorable?
So the Kitty is cute, but obviously the Birthday Boy needed something considerably cooler for a 9 year old. He loves Star Wars, especially the Clone Wars stories so I did a hat with an Imperial Storm Trooper motif in the round. I found this fabulous chart by Sarah Bradberry here, through Ravelry of course, and added it to a simple hat pattern. Unfortunately, I did not do any calculations as to the size of the pattern and the overall height of the hat, so it turned into a sort of Cat in the Hat tall affair. Precious child that he is, the Little Prince is still willing to wear it at home. I haven't caught a shot of him in the hat, but here it is on its own featured in the snow from one of the Washington DC blizzards this winter.
I loved Sarah's idea of the checkerboard border, and as a special bonus I used white glow in the dark yarn. Very cool. I do try to keep my title of favorite aunt, and I think I've managed it for the moment! If I were to do this particular hat again though, I'd need to have fewer rows before the pattern starts, and perhaps decrease for the crown more dramatically than I did. I would like to start designing my own patterns, so these are good lessons, right?