Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Illustration Friday - Winter

Copyright © Cheryl Coville 2010
What could say "Winter" more than catching snowflakes on your tongue?
Friday, December 24, 2010....Winter

Friday, December 24, 2010

A Little Christmas Rant

Grandma Coco has a love/hate relationship with Christmas. She loves the Norman Rockwell version with the Coca Cola Santa Claus. She loves Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. She even likes the movie (with Alistair Simm). She loves the decorations, the lights and the music. She loves the food. She actually loves Christmas.

In theory.

It's just making it all come together that gets her down. All the hustle. All the bustle. It's just so .... pointless. Running here. Running there. There seems to be an unwritten rule that families (who've somehow managed to avoid each other all year) absolutely must get together in spite of the fact that in Canada, it's  pretty dicey weather-wise for travel at this time of year. Who thought that up? You see people crying in airports, for heaven's sake, because a freak storm has grounded all the planes. I repeat: It's December. In Canada. It shouldn't come as such a shock.

Grandma Coco also has a bone to pick with news reporters who must constantly remind us that any disaster is somehow made worse by happening "only days before Christmas!'" As if the death of a child, for instance, would be more easily borne in the carefree days of summer or workers would be better off if their lay-offs occurred in January (when the Mastercard bills start rolling in). Humbug! 

And speaking of credit card bills, there's the absolute orgy of gift-buying and debt. People going into debt to demonstrate their affection for each other does not spell Christmas to me.

Now, lest you worry that Grandma Coco will be visited tonight by a trio of ghosts, I should hasten to point out that she has made her peace with the season. Oh, it's taken a few years but it's true what they say. With age comes wisdom. Here's her strategy: Take the best. Forget the rest. From the smorgasbord of Christmas offerings, choose those things that resonate with you and....quite simply....ignore the rest.

For example, chez Coco, we don't decorate. It's so much easier to get those pine needles out of the carpet without a tree. This year we're cooking the Christmas dinner and we're really looking forward to hosting our family at our own table. (See how cleverly Grandma and Mr. Coco have figured out how to avoid that Canadian travel issue?) We'll make a pretty simple meal and other family members will bring dishes to add to it. There won't be any Martha-esque decorations. In fact, the plates won't all match but all the guests will be very welcome. There will be warmth and peace in our home. And music.....but no Little Drummer Boy, please. That's just lame.

When Grandma Coco was a child, her mother, a typical 1950's stay-at-home mother, would bake her heart out every year. Martha Stewart had nothing on the mothers of the '50's. My mother would kick off the season in early November with the first of two different fruitcake recipes. Then there'd be squares and bars and drop cookies and shaped cookies with chopped nuts and jam. But the star of her show...and the one treat my father actually acknowledged she made better than HIS mother...was her Shortbread cookies. She'd take an afternoon to mix them and roll them and cut them out with fancy shaped cookie cutters and decorate them with cut-up cherries and sprinkles. Buttery and rich, those cookies speak of Christmas to me...and of course, they remind me of my mother. So, in honour of the season, and with my very best wishes, here's the recipe. Enjoy!

Grace's Shortbread Cookies
1 cup real butter (no substitutes) softened
1/2 cup fruit sugar (NOT icing sugar. Fine sugar. If necessary whiz some regular sugar in the food processor for a couple of minutes)
2 cups sifted flour

Cream the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Add 1-3/4 cups of flour, reserving 1/4 cup for rolling out the cookies. Knead the dough on a floured surface. Roll out and cut with cookie cutters. Mom liked them thin, about 1/4 inch thick, and Dad likes them thick, about 1/2 inch thick. Place them on an ungreased pan and bake at 300F for 30 -35 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges.

Copyright 2010 Cheryl Coville 

"And it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God Bless Us, Every One!"
- A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, 1843

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Winter Solstice

Today marks the shortest day of the year and of course, the longest night as well. Pull your chair up a little closer to Grandma Coco's woodstove. Have a cup of hot chocolate and enjoy.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Pillow Gift Box Tutorial

Some of the people on Grandma Coco’s list this year are getting gift cards. I hope they’ll like them but they do look a little boring in their plain white envelopes. I was inspired by some gift boxes that Karen (of Sew Karen-ly Created) made. If you haven’t seen her tutorial, you can find it here: http://sewkaren-lycreated.blogspot.com/2010/10/applique-outside-box-literally.html You really should look. I’ll bet you’ll be inspired, too.

I decided to follow her lead but put my own Grandma Coco spin on things (as usual).

If you’d like to make some Pillow Gift Boxes, too, click here to download the template

First, we'll make the base box. Cut a rectangle out of card stock or lightweight cardboard the same size as the downloaded template. Make a separate scoring template out of cereal box cardboard. 

Using a knitting needle, trace around the cereal box template to score the card stock, scoring the curved lines and the straight lines that connect the points. 

Crease all these fold lines ...
... then smooth the card out and apply fabric using Wonder Under or some other fusible web to the  back side of the card stock. 

Trim the extra fabric close to the edge of the card stock all around EXCEPT for one of the straight edges (an edge without the curves) where you should leave ¾ inch of extra fabric and web. This is the glue that will hold the box closed. 

 Fold the 2 sections over and iron all 3 layers making a good bond with the fabric flap. 

When that’s cool, bend the end flaps down on their scored lines. 

That’s it! Pillow gift boxes. Fill ‘em up and ship ‘em out!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Motorcycle Madness

Copyright Cheryl Coville 2010

Someone close to Grandma Coco’s heart bought himself a motorcycle this year. It seemed like a silly purchase for a man with grey hair and high cholesterol. It seemed like the quintessential mid-life crisis. However, I’ve watched how much joy his bike has given him as he’s explored all the roads within a day’s ride of his home this spring, summer and fall. And I noticed how reluctantly he put his bike away for the winter.

When I saw some pre-printed motorcycle panels at Sew-Sisters.com, I just knew I had to make a quilt for him. The quilt is intended for him to keep beside his chair to curl up in as he dreams of next year’s rides. (And it's a secret (for now)! I don't think he reads this blog...)

The panel had motorcycles and speed boats and racing cars. I bought 2 panels to get enough motorcycles for my 20 block quilt. Then I fussy cut the motorcycles and used them for the centres of Attic Window blocks.

It seems to have the Cassie seal of approval.

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Quilter's Secret Handshake

I think humans of every stripe have one thing in common. We seek contact with other humans.  And generally we feel most comfortable among people who share our interests and our cultural background. Quite simply, at school, the nerds sit with the nerds and the jocks with the cheerleaders. How we gravitate toward each other is a little more complicated.

Gay men are said to have gaydar…. a concept that I find fascinating since the penalty for misidentifying a possible contact could be pretty severe given the level of homophobia these days.

Women my age shepherding young grandchildren around the shopping mall give each other extra wide smiles in unspoken sisterhood.

Organized groups like the Freemasons….who included people like Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Mark Twain…have a secret handshake.

So I guess it’s not surprising that when I see another woman knitting socks in the waiting room of my Toyota dealership, it feels totally natural to strike up a conversation with her. Oh, so what are you knitting? Oh, my, they’re beautiful. And who are they for? You know, that sort of easy introduction.

Several years ago, I was settled into the waiting room of the cardiology unit at a big hospital in Newmarket, Ontario. I’d been warned I’d be there for a while so I had brought along my knitting. Others came and went over the day. Most of them were silently worried. Some obviously bored, restless, not good waiters at all. But the knitting broke the ice for quite a few…both men and women. People wanted to reach out and make a connection. Women told me about their knitting projects and one man was intrigued that I seemed to be able to knit without looking at my work (which isn’t a very big trick at all….the totally blind knit, after all….but it’s fun to pretend we’re more accomplished than we really are).

The knitting is incidental to my story. It was the bag that held my knitting that tells the tale. I had made a quilted bag just the right size with just the right number of pockets for my knitting. I had appliquéd a design on the front of it and made the handles just long enough to sling over my shoulder. It was on the floor at my feet.

I can’t tell you how many women remarked on my bag over the 8 hours I sat there asking “Are you a quilter?”, each having recognized a kindred spirit. Once we made that connection, we could talk as if we were longtime friends just catching up.

A quilted tote bag. A quilted jacket or vest. These are the badges of our avocation. Like the silent nod or knowing smile, it’s the secret handshake that signals our membership in a very special club.

Copyright 2010 Cheryl Coville
In case you’d like to make a bag like mine, click here and you’ll be able to download a .PDF of the bird design.  I added 2 inch borders. The bird is appliquéd and the details are embroidered. The feather is embroidered and I embroidered Carpe Birdie-Yum! on the front…. a silly riff on Carpe Diem (Seize the Day). Now, go out and make a new friend!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Spare a tree, save the world CONTEST!

Copyright 2010 Cheryl Coville
Everyone’s going green these days…and that’s a good thing. More and more people are trying to do their part whether that’s by recycling or re-using or even going paperless altogether. It seems to me the more we can do away with unnecessary paper the better off we’ll be. I don’t know about you but in my studio there’s an awful lot of paper sitting around as magazines and patterns.

The knitting world has been out there in the forefront for a while now eliminating paper  with a couple of successful online magazines like Knitty and Knitchmagazine and Knitcircus.  Lately, even the big knitting magazines are going digital with the option to purchase digital subscriptions.

Ravelry is an extremely successful social networking site for knitters. They recently celebrated their one millionth member! Ravelry not only allows independent designers to sell digital downloads of their designs on its site but has actually provided the platform for those sales. Everybody wins in that equation.

In the quilting world, CQMagazine Online  has been around for a while but its focus is Crazy Quilting only. I used to enjoy Cotton Spice but it seems to have gone now. So, why has the quilting world been so slow to jump on the digital bandwagon?

Are we less tech savvy? Are we older? Less educated? All that seems doubtful.  Is there something about quilting patterns that make them so different from knitting designs? Well, I suppose there’s the fact that quilting patterns often involve templates but  .PDF’s are accurate and traditional quilting magazines are pretty much limited to the same page size as home printers. Why, Burda Sewing Patterns (which by definition are usually larger than 8-1/2” x 11”) are successfully sold by digital download for heaven’s sake … so what gives?

Could it just be that that’s the way it’s always been done?  Well, Grandma Coco says it’s time for a change. Here at Grandma Coco’s Designs we’ve gone completely digital. If you like one of our designs, you don’t have to search for it in the shops or wait for it to come in the mail. Oh, you may have to wait until Grandma Coco wakes up from her nap and gets to her email but that’s never more than a few hours. :)

And Grandma Coco is also happy to see that she’s not alone in this digital revolution. There’s a new online quilt magazine about to make its debut.  The Quilt Pattern Magazine  will be an online only ezine. It promises monthly issues with no fewer than 5 patterns per issue and a couple of interesting articles as well. All that for only about a dollar a month! Because that’s the thing, you see, not only is it better for the environment to go digital,  it’s also cheaper. They’ve got a sample preview up HERE so you can see how well it works.

The editors of The Quilt Pattern Magazine have given me a FREE year’s subscription to give to one lucky reader of this blog. If you’d like the chance to win it, just leave me a comment. Tell me what you think about digital downloads (good or bad).  I’ll draw the winner at random at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve and that lucky quilter will be notified during the first week of January 2011.

Just remember that even if you don’t win the year’s subscription, by going digital, we all win.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Rave Review for the Cosy Quilted Cap and Mittens Patterns

First of all, I have to confess that Grandma Coco's not the best of housekeepers. That's just the truth. Every once in a while, when cleaning can no longer be denied, I clean. Grudgingly. Recently when that happened I unearthed a magazine clipping that I had saved. It was the very first magazine review of my patterns ... the Cosy Quilted Cap and Mittens. And it's dated Fall 1994.

Obviously, Grandma Coco's no spring chicken. That's for sure. She started designing patterns way back before the age of computers....when all patterns were printed paper ones. And mail order meant waiting for the mailman. The world moved slower then and I remember how pleased I was that someone, anyone had taken notice of my designs.

Mary's relatives in their Cosy Quilted Caps
One evening, out of the blue, I got a phone call from a lovely woman, a writer named Mary K. Young, who had seen the patterns at a show in Toronto and made them up as Christmas presents for several of her relatives. She proposed an article to the Canada Quilts Magazine and she interviewed me for that story on a stormy January day in Perth ON. (How flattering to be taken seriously! Grandma Coco wishes that kind of experience for all her readers.)

On top of all that, Mary loved the designs.  She wrote,  "Every once in a while there's a good idea, a really good idea..........[the Cosy Quilted] Mittens and Cap, two great ideas."

I fear Canada Quilts Magazine has now gone the way of the dodo bird but I still have my magazine clipping ... and the memory.

Monday, November 29, 2010

And the Champeen IS......

As promised, Grandma Coco's here to recount another exciting tale of Woman VS Machine. Sewing machine, that is.

Lots of quilters talk about binding a quilt totally by machine. No biggie, they say. Just stitched that binding on in no time at all. Well, I've always done it by hand which, as we all know, is very time consuming. So, I thought I'd just give this  new-fangled machine binding a try.

My very best source for this kind of information, Karen, of the Maple Leaf (online) Quilt Guild, stitches her binding on the backside first. OK, I can do that.

Next, she turns the binding (double fold binding BTW) to the right side and uses a decorative stitch to topstitch the binding.  Hmmmm.....my machine doesn't have a lot of decorative stitches. It's got Zig-Zag. That's pretty decorative, right?

So, I started to Zig the Zag. After a few inches, I got in the groove. In the end, I like the look of the Zig-Zag stitch when it isn't centred but it just barely Zags onto the front of the quilt.

I have to admit, it looks pretty good.

What would Grandma Coco do differently next time?

She would take the time to turn the corners and tack them in place first.....or maybe just a little more practice is all that's required. (Why do you suppose she isn't showing you the corners? Ah, well, there's always next time.)

The quilt in all its glory is a wall hanging that grew out of a BOM project on the MLQG. All the blocks are pinwheels and I chose (mostly) blue and white for mine. I was going to make 20 blocks but then we had our bathroom renovated and the designer suggested pale blue walls and then we had this big, blank, boring wall and....the rest is history. Sorry I can only show you such a long, narrow shot. The room itself is TINY and this is the only angle that will let me photograph the quilt.....but, trust me, it looks great from the bathtub.

So, to recap.....Grandma Coco ....one.....Machine.....Zip!!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Learning, learning....always learning

If we're lucky, that is. Everyday is a new opportunity. Another chance to learn something new.

When I was a kid I had an elderly aunt whom I loved dearly. She was actually my Grandmother's sister so she was a great-aunt. She was fun and always interested in us kids. However, it quickly became apparent that she was a little out-of-touch with cultural current events. For instance, she didn't really care for the Beatles (gasp!) or, I suppose, Elvis. But Elvis was a tad before my time and that didn't bother me so much. But the Beatles!!!

As I've gotten older, I've promised myself I'd never give in to Auntie Gertie-ness. And I really thought I could avoid that trap by reading widely and listening to the radio, always with an eye to keeping in touch with pop culture.

Well....it's becoming apparent to me that it's not going to work. Oh, I get some of the references. I know about Lady Gaga's meat dress and Holy Crap Cereal for instance. I get my daily dose of Jian Ghomeshi (CBC radio).  It's a struggle. A lot of work really but I'm staying afloat....for now.

As part of my on-going effort, I give you the newest up-date on this blog. You can purchase any of my patterns now simply by clicking on the Add to Cart button beside each pattern in the side bar. It will take you to Paypal where I'm assured you can safely pay for your purchase with the credit card of your choice even if you don't have a Paypal account. Now that's progress! Is Grandma Coco not a hip chick???

I was going to blog about my knock-down-drag-out fight with my sewing machine to bind a little quilt entirely by machine but that's going to have to wait until tomorrow because Grandma Coco (while triumphant) is just a little bit tired right now and needs to lie down for a while in a dimly lit room. A demain, mes amis........

Friday, November 26, 2010

November Morning

There's something about November that I really like. Everyone's turning inward, preparing for the winter that's on its way. Like squirrels, we've readied ourselves for the dark days ahead. We've got firewood for the woodstove piled high in the garage and bags of pellets for the pellet stove. We'll be warm and dry and safe in our little house in the country. And the garden's bounty is all harvested, tucked away in the cold cellar and freezer. I like this feeling that we're just waiting for the snow. Any day now it will come and we are ready.

Sunrise from our front window
November is a good month for working in my studio. I'm well stocked with supplies there, too, with a large stash of fabric and yarn and art supplies of every description. That's one thing you learn when you live out in the country far from a grocery store or a fabric shop. I've got lots of projects on-the-go but some of them are secret and will be revealed in due course. One thing I can share.....Tuesday, December 7 will be a big day here for Grandma Coco. I hope you'll join me then.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Some Thoughts on Perfection

I've always been one of those up-tight, gotta be perfect people.....sort of the exact opposite of Cassie here who doesn't worry too much about anything. Someone who thinks if it's worth doing, it's worth doing right. The problem is, I'm finding that sometimes "just doing" may be better than doing nothing at all.

Apparently, those poor souls who show up on episodes of Hoarders are perfectionists. Who knew? They get into trouble because they can't clean and organize perfectly (due to time constraints or whatever) so they do nothing at all. I learned this on Oprah, I think. So, it's got to be true, right? :)  The Fly Lady on the other hand gives everyone permission to do a half-fast job (as my sister-in-law would say). What a concept.

A few years ago, I had the marvelous opportunity to learn from some of the best quilters around....The Kingston Heirloom Quilters of Kingston, Ontario. Have a look at some of their quilts. Those ladies are as generous as they are talented. I was fortunate to be there when they set up a new group quilt for quilting and they showed me how they do it. Precision. Patience. Talent. And a beautiful result.

I did notice that the group was kind of split when it came time to set up the quilt. A very serious bunch get it ready while another group waits to just start quilting. One of those ladies-in-waiting told me quietly that the serious ones "suck the fun right out of it."  To each her own, right?

They stretch the quilt taut and hand quilt it. Beautifully and perfectly. I tried to do that at home but it's hard to do all by yourself. The frame occupies a big chunk of real estate and it takes forever to quilt!! As well, I'm really more about the design process. So, I needed a short cut. Grandma Coco is all about the shortcut and she gives you permission to look for the shortcut, too.

If you want to hand quilt.....do it in small sections quilt-as-you-go-style and to get that perfect smooth-as-glass look, run to your closest art supply store and pick up some canvas stretcher bars. They come in all sorts of lengths. You buy 2 pairs and assemble them. They slide into each other. Couldn't be easier. Now you can thumb tack your block to the frame and hand quilt it easily. Just remember to leave some extra fabric on the edges (for tacking).

Of course, if I'm really going to jump on this imperfect band wagon, I'm going to have to get more comfortable with my sewing machine.

I'm working on that. :)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Spring is Sprung

Click on the bird drawing and it will enlarge so you can print it full-size. There is a very faint outside line that should measure 8 inches square. A machine zig-zag stitch works well for the branch. It doesn't have to be exact....it's a branch! Work the branch first and then layer on the appliqué. In last week's post, you saw how we used this motif to make a group project with the Maple Leaf Quilt Guild. We added borders to each bird block and completed it in a quilt-as-you-go manner.

For perfect circles...especially small ones....cut a cardboard template (cereal boxes work well for this) of the finished size circle. Cut you fabric slightly larger all around and run a basting stitch close to the edge. Draw up the basting with the cardboard inside and iron it. When it's cool, you can loosen the basting and remove the cardboard template.

Edited Dec. 4/10 ..... If you have any difficulty with the template, just click here for the .PDF.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Quilt-As-You-Go is the way to go!

I started out a couple of decades ago doing everything the hard way. You know....hand-piecing, hand-quilting. As if there was some merit in....oh, I don't know....suffering!!? :) Well, like a lot of people, I found I had more ideas than I had time to complete them so I started cutting corners.

I really like the idea of machine quilting for speed but I never really got a nice product. I like the look of smooth stitching...no puckers. I have a very old Singer sewing machine. I bought it in 1976 after I graduated from university. It was my graduation present to myself. I just love that machine. It still works well. But, even with a walking foot, the layers of fabric shift and the more I stitch across a large expanse, the worse it gets. And, did I mention I'm a bit of a perfectionist?

Somewhere along the way, I discovered quilt-as-you-go and I've never looked back. QAYG allows you to piece/appliqué, layer and quilt each block and then assemble all the blocks at the end. And the final quilt looks good, too!

Birds of Hope
This is a quilt that my online quilt guild (The Maple Leaf Quilt Guild) made for the last charity quilt auction that TheQuilt.com offered in 2009. Twenty-four quilters made blocks for this quilt. Each block was completed right  down to the quilting and sent back to me to assemble.

Close up of an individual block
If anyone wants to attempt this as a group project, the only suggestion I would make is to choose a block which can be trimmed when it comes time to join them. This one has a simple outer border. It's easy to trim this border so each block is exactly the same size and your eye won't notice if one block's border is a tiny bit smaller than the next.

One other feature of QAYG is the ability to make a statement on the back by varying the backing fabric.

The back is pretty, too!
Next week.....I'll have the Spring Has Sprung appliqué design as a free pattern.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Angelic Appliquéed Christmas Tree Skirt - FREE PROJECT

My mother was a wonderful and enthusiastic quilter. 
She's been gone for a few years now but I still have her quilts 
and my memories and photographs!! 
Here's a photo of her with a Christmas tree skirt 
she made a couple of years before she died. 
She made it for the fiancée (now wife) of her favourite grandson.

This is the complete tree skirt. 
You can see there's a slit to make it easy to place around the tree stand 
or I suppose, you could just lay it flat and stand the tree on top of it.

Here's a detail. She appliquéed a ring of dancing angels around the outside. 
This is the motif you can find in the free patterns listed on the right side of this blog.

To make the template, cut a square of last night's newspaper, 
the same size across as the diameter of the skirt you have in mind. 
Fold it to make wedges (like cutting a pie). 
The number you need will depend on how big your circle is. 
You'll want each wedge to be big enough for an angel. 
Mom's had 16 wedges with angels. While the newspaper is folded up in wedges, 
you can make a graceful arc to get the outside circular shape. 
Hers has a scalloped edge as you can see.

I hope you'll enjoy making her Christmas tree skirt 
and I hope it gives you as much joy as it did her....and me.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Cosy Quilted Cap and Mittens Patterns

When you combine quilting with knitting everybody wins. This cap and mittens set is warm and elegant.  The cap pattern includes 5 sizes to fit Child Size 4 (19in.) to Adult Large (24in.). The mitten pattern includes 5 sizes as well to fit children to adults. Both patterns include full-size templates and complete illustrated instructions. The patterns come as a set for $8. They are delivered to your email box as .PDF attachments. Paypal accepted. Email me at: grandmacocosdesigns (at) gmail (dot) com to order.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Coco's Cap

6 stitch/8 rnd repeat
Knitted in the round.

oco's Cap is designed to use up odds and ends of sock yarn to make caps for preemies and newborns. It came from a challenge from The Knitmore Girls to design caps for the Head to Toe Design Contest. It was a PRIZEWINNER!!

This plaid stitch pattern is a traditional double knitting pattern used for mittens here in Canada (mostly in the Maritimes) and in the northeastern United States. The double knitting makes for an extremely warm garment and I have used this pattern in socks as well. In Robin Hansen and Janetta Dexter’s excellent book “Flying Geese & Partridge Feet” this stitch pattern is called Chipman’s Block.
Designed for leftover sock yarn (fingering weight), my blue and grey preemie cap is made with 6 gr. of Trekking ProNatura (blue) and 4 gr. of Phildar Preface (grey). My pink and white newborn size cap is made of 9 gr. Fearless Fibers 100% Superwash Merino wool (pink) and 5 gr. Kroy sock yarn (white). The preemie hat is about 7 inches in circumference (unstretched) and the newborn size is about 10 inches in circumference (unstretched).

Chipman’s Block Stitch Pattern Written Out:
Rnd 1: * K1 MC, K1 CC * work from * to * all around.
Rnds 2 & 3: * K3 CC, K3 MC * work from * to * all around.
Rnd 4: * K1 MC, K1 CC * work from * to * all around.
Rnd 5: * K1 CC, K1 MC * work from * to * all around.
Rnds 6 & 7: * K3 MC, K3 CC * work from * to * all around.
Rnd 8: * KI CC, K1 MC * work from * to * all around.
MC = Main Colour
CC = Contrasting Colour
(Since this is worked in the round, all stitches are Knit.)
These 8 rnds represent one pattern repeat.
Preemie Size:
CO 62 sts on 3.5mm (US4) needles with main colour. Immediately change to 2.5mm (US1) double point needles and join in the round. Alternatively, you can cast on with a tubular K1 P1 CO and the 2.5mm needles. The goal is a nice, stretchy edge.
Work K1 P1 ribbing for 1 inch.
Knit one round increasing 4 sts. evenly around. Knit 2 more rounds on these 66 sts.
Introduce the contrasting colour by following the pattern chart. Work these 8 knitted rnds until the piece measures 3-1/2 to 4 inches from the CO edge ending after Rnd 2 or 6.
Reduce for top of cap: K the first of the 3 sts., then K2tog. (in whichever colour you would normally use for this 3 stitch group according to where you are in the pattern).
Next rnd: K2, P2 (alternating colours to fit the pattern)
Cut the yarn leaving a 12-inch tail and draw through all the sts. on the needles. Draw up tightly and secure. Darn in ends.
Newborn Size:
Cast on 90 sts. with the main colour yarn and 2.5mm (US1) needles using your preferred cast on and work 1 inch of K1 P1 ribbing. Work 2 more knit only rounds.
Introduce the contrasting colour by following the pattern chart. Work these 8 knitted rnds until the piece measures 4-1/2 to 5 inches from the CO edge ending after Rnd 2 or 6.
Start reducing for top of cap:
Start knitting with the colour that would follow according to where you are in the chart,
[(K1, K2 tog) twice, K3, K3, K3 (changing colours with each group of 3 as usual] 6 times
Next rnd: This will be a round of alternating colour single knit stitches. Start with the same colour as the existing stitches you’re about to knit into and then alternate with the opposite colour.
*K2 tog, K2 tog, K9 * Repeat from * to * 6 times.
Next rnd: Start with the opposite colour to the first stitch you’re about to knit and knit all around alternating colours.
Reduce for crown (using only MC from now on):
Rnd 1: Knit all around
Rnd 2: (K9, K2tog) 6 times
Rnd 3: Knit all around
Rnd 4: (K3, K2tog) 12 times
Rnd 5: Knit all around
Rnd 6: (K2, K2tog) 12 times
Rnd 7: Knit all around
Rnd 8: (K1, K2tog) 12 times
Rnd 9: (K2tog) 12 times
Cut the yarn leaving a 12 inch tail. With a darning needle thread this tail through all the sts and draw up tightly. Secure and darn in the ends.
Copyright 2010 Cheryl Coville. You are welcome to use this pattern for personal use.

Edited July 30, 2011 ... You can access a printable PDF of Coco's Cap by clicking HERE.