The first one that I knit more than once--actually, I knit at least three pair--were those Fiber Trends Felted Clogs. I think HWWV still rocks his pair from time to time. I can't believe, that after more than 7 or so years, that he can still wear them.
The other pattern that I've knit more than once was my Torn-Up Toque. I knit three of them and I'd totally knit another three.
Other than that, unless I *had* to knit more than one sample for a book or a pattern, I haven't chosen to knit a particular pattern more than once. Not sure why, because there are plenty that I have enjoyed, but I have not really felt the urge.
One thing I do knit over and over are things like hats, mittens and socks from basic recipes. You know, the ones where you generally know your intended measurements and you follow a few guidelines that are easily kept in mind or jotted down on paper so that you can knit without having to follow too many steps.
So, when Girlfriend all of a sudden decided her "signature" look in middle school will be a beanie and her new-to-her prescription glasses, I thought I'd better hand over some of my samples and knit her some new ones or she'll be wearing the same my-name on her head day after day after day--something that she has been known to do; you know, she'll wear a favorite shirt every day until I creep into her room at night and remove it.
Anyway, the other day I asked her to go in my stash and choose some yarn so I could whip up a new cap for her beanie wardrobe. She chose Dream in Color Everlasting (a merino that is interesting; almost knits up like cotton, which I adore. Not to mention I doubt it'll ever pill) in the color "Daylily," and I was able to immediately cast on--without swatching.
I know you anti-swatching people will love this because this is the one case I can make for not swatching and coming up for something that actually "works." You do need to find needles suitable for the yarn, though. You can't just grab some 10's and use fingering and come up with a nice cap, otherwise you'd end up with a hole-y mess.
This is what you do:
- Get some dpn's and your yarn.
- Cast on 8 stitches on to one of the needles.
- Double the number of stitches on the needle by knitting in the front and the back (kfb) of each stitch.
- Purl one row.
- Next row, you'll have 16 stitches. Just *K1, kfb across the row. You'll have 24 stitches.
- Now grab a couple more dpn's and knit one row, placing a marker after 3 stitches. There will be 8 sections now.
- Join in the round.
- Now, work one round where you *Kfb, work to next marker, sm; rep to end (adding 8 stitches on these increase rounds) and work a plain round where you just knit each stitch.
- When you've repeated these last two rounds enough times to make about 2 inches' worth of fabric, measure your stitch gauge.
- Then, decide how big you want your cap to be.
- Using your stitches per inch gauge, work your cap until you have the proper number of stitches on the needles.
Here's an example: Let's say you have a stitch gauge of 5 stitches per inch and you want a 20" hat. You'll work your increases on every other round until you have about 100 stitches on the needles. But since you have 8 sections, you'll knit to the closest number to the magic 100 stitches, which would be 104 stitches, or 96 stitches; pick your poison. When you get there, remove all the markers except for the one that tells you the beginning of the round and then knit, knit, knit! Once you've hit to a length you like, minus some room for ribbing, change to your rib of choice then bind off.
You'll have a tail at the top there by the hole you created by knitting back and forth. Just use it to sew the few rows you knit before you joined in the round, then weave the yarn through the stitches you initially cast on and cinch.
I know that you know that I know you know what to do from here. . .
BTW: Girlfriend edited the photos, hence the flourish.
BTW2: Disclaimer: If your hat changes size after laundering, don't call me.