2019 is here with a bang, and while I’ve been quiet I’ve been busy!
I’d like to show you my Christmas knitting. I made 3 hats, none of them from a pattern. Hats are generally simple enough that unless I’m going for something really specific I don’t usually need to follow a pattern.
The first hat was a 2×2 rib base with a cable motif I modified from Norah Gaughan’s Knitted Cable Sourcebook. This was for my husband’s grandmother.
The 2nd hat was for my husband’s grandpa, and it was completely in 2×2 rib. I detest knitting ribbing, but it’s stretchy and manly, and sometimes you just do what you need to do.
These first 2 hats were knit in Cascade 220 Superwash Merino. The third hat was in a textured knit/purl pattern and was for my Father in Law.
I knit it in Cascade 220 Superwash, and was pleasantly surprised with how next-to-the-skin soft it was!
The hats were well received. I used to try to knit something for everyone in the family, but I find that it’s more manageable to knit for just a few people at a time.
Do you knit Christmas gifts?
I love this time of year. The thrill of Autumn is in the air and the leaves are slowly starting to change colours and fall. The days are beginning to be cooler, making this the most lovely time of year to be outdoors. I love Fall. Fall is when I can start to wear all the beautiful woolens I’ve knit throughout the year. I get to pull scarves and shawls and hats out that may not have been used since last winter. Fall is a time for layering and for earth tones and warm things to drink. In Fall I can enjoy the nip in the air without longing for it to be warm again.
I’ve a colorwork hat in the works that is so very Fallish. I can’t wait for it to be off my needles so I can wear it. I’m using handspun from the first time I spun Batts. They were little tiny things made of Merino, Alpaca, and Bamboo, and I had no idea how to spin them.
This may have been my first attempt at woolen spinning, but by the end I was just spinning worsted. The yarn is a 2-ply sport-weight(ish) and is very soft. My contrast yarn is a light fingering weight yarn from Hedgehog Fibers that I bought on my honeymoon. Fingering weight on it’s own wouldn’t stand up well to the sport-weight handspun, so I’m holding it doubled for the most lovely Marl. Really, I can’t tell you how beautiful this is!
I’m making the pattern up as I go, but for the colorwork section I modified a chart from a book the owner of my LYS gave me for my anniversary (Thanks, Krista!!). And last, but not least, I am using Jane Austen stitch markers. This project is just so perfect in so many ways. I can’t wait to see how it comes out! Hopefully you’ll see a new pattern coming soon. Watch this space!
5 years is a long time. 5 years ago I had just graduated from college and gone on a trip to Europe: I was broke. It wasn’t a great time for jobs, so I was working part time and sharing a 1-bedroom apartment with 2 other girls (my “bedroom” was actually the dining room and my “door” was a curtain).
I was a new knitter, so I barely knew what I was doing and had no idea what good yarn was. But I was passionate about knitting, so I made do with what I had and somehow not everything I knit during that period was crap. I had found Ravelry by this time and I adored Tin Can Knits (I still adore them. They’re fabulous!). It was Christmas time, so I bought their Sitka Spruce hat pattern and some KnitPicks yarn (Wool of the Andes Superwash) and began to knit (note that I did not swatch).
I had trouble with the pattern – not because it wasn’t a good pattern (Tin Can Knits patterns are awesome), but because I was a new knitter and I was still figuring the whole knitting thing out. By hook or by crook I finished the hat and then realized it was too big. It probably would have fit a giant perfectly. I stuck it in the washer and dryer and hoped it would shrink some…no dice. So I threw it in the bottom of my stash and started something else. I was really sad though. I had spent so much time (and a decent amount of money to me at the time) on this hat, only to have it not fit. I knew it was my fault because I wouldn’t take the time to swatch…but it still hurt, and from time to time it niggled at my brain.
I did a few google searches and found out that I could sew elastic thread inside the brim to tighten it up, so I bought some elastic thread and set to with gusto. I got halfway through hat surgery and tried it on to see how I was doing, only to find that now my beautiful hat was too small. The Horror! The Irony! The knitting goddess was really trying to beat this lesson into me: For the love of wool, swatch before you start! (For the record, I swatch pretty religiously now. I still dislike it.) I threw the hat and elastic back in the stash and there it has stayed for the last 4 1/2 years.
Today I pulled the hat out and found the elastic, determined to fix the darn hat once and for all. First I loosened the elastic I had already sewn in, then I sewed elastic into the rest of the brim. 30 minutes was all it took. Why did it take me 5 years to do 30 minutes’ work? Next time I need to amend my knitting remind me of the 5 year hat.
Friends, I am so excited to tell you about my newest pattern, the Ribless Hat.
This hat started when a dear friend gave me a beautiful skein of yarn. It wasn’t something I would have bought for myself, but when I really looked at it I realized how lovely it was. I knit on this hat through a move and a job change, and once it was finished it became my go-to hat. It is stylish and easy to wear and just the tiniest bit slouchy.
And (this part is key) it doesn’t have any ribbing.
To celebrate the release of the Ribless Hat, I am offering you a discount. Use the code HOORAY18 to receive 18% off the regular price until January 18. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.
Whew. This is a busy time of year! About a month ago my husband and I moved into a new apartment. We are loving the new space. I especially love our new wool rug!
And then this past week I started a new job. Wrapping my head around my new responsibilities has been a bit of a challenge, especially since I am working from a remote office and my boss and coworkers are all far away. I didn’t love my old job, but I had a lot of downtime, which I used to knit (I know, lucky me). My new job is much more challenging (I love a challenge), but I don’t get to knit at work anymore (boohoo). Also, in my new job I am typing and using the computer a lot more and I have hurt my wrist somehow and can barely knit. But that’s all part of life and I will get through it.
By the way, I am still looking for a few testers for my Ribless Hat. If you’re interested click here. I love this hat so much that it has become my go-to hat! It fits great and has the perfect amount of slouch.
What have you been up to?
My husband and I moved to a new apartment last week. I know myself well enough to know that when my life is in uproar I need something simple and soothing to knit. One of my knitting friends just gave me the most gorgeous skein of yarn (it’s Ella Rae Lace Merino DK in colour 201), and rather than tossing it into the stash I decided to cast it on right away. Originally I planned to make a Rikke Hat, but I just cannot stand the jog you get when knitting garter stitch in the round. So what is a knitter to do, but design her own hat?
I made a swatch and blocked it before measuring my gauge (Can we just take a moment to discuss how important blocking is? If you plan to wash your knitting ever, you need to wash and block before checking your gauge. Wool reacts to water. Sometimes it grows, sometimes it shrinks. Sometimes there is no noticeable difference. But you don’t know until you block it. Block your swatches, people!). Then I measured my head, calculated the number of stitches I needed, and cast on.
In order to avoid the dreaded garter jog I added a cable to my hat. Simple, effective, and very cute. I can’t wait to wear this thing!
What kind of project is “comfort knitting” for you?
A few weeks ago I knit my husband gloves from the Viking Yarn he bought.
The gloves only used about half the skein, so I decided to make a hat out of the rest. I wasn’t sure how much yarn I had or how much I needed, so I made the hat top down, using the gloves as a swatch to base my stitch counts on.
Hubby loves his hat and I love him in it. Win-win .
The Call Box Hat is live! Get your copy of the pattern from Knotions Magazine, find your worsted weight yarn, and get knitting! Winter is coming.
The Call Box Hat is available in only one size (21”/ 53cm unstretched), but it is very stretchy and should fit most adult and teen heads. It is easy to knit – using only knit, purl, and directional decreases. The contrasting brim is a great way to use some worsted weight leftovers, but you will need a little more than a full skein of yarn for the main color.
At the end of May, Karen from Fringe Association announced a make-along that she called Summer of Basics. The goal was to use the months of June, July, and August to make wardrobe basics. Sewing and knitting were both allowed, and everyone got to decide what was a basic for their individual wardrobe. Brilliant!
I didn’t seriously consider joining until a reader commented that I should, at which point I realized that I make things all the time and wardrobe basics are super smart things to make since they get used all the time.
First up is my Call Box Hat:
This is a pattern that I wrote (and it will be released September 30 in Knotions Magazine!). I had made a prototype version several years ago, but somehow I lost it and I missed it last winter. I wrote all about it here.
Second is my Alabama Chanin T-shirt tunic:
This tunic was a super easy make. It’s the perfect length, and I love wearing it! You can read more about the details here.
And Third is my Watson Bikini:
I just finished these last night, and they fit well. Part of me can’t believe that I just made my own underwear, but there they are staring me in the face. You can’t get much more basic than underpants (also, I’m planning to make a matching bra. You’ll see that in the next few weeks).
So that’s my Summer of Basics. What counts as a basic in your wardrobe?
I hope you are having a lovely Valentine’s day!
Today I am swatching for socks.
I’m knitting on this hat.
And I just finished this headband (I’m thinking about writing it up as my first published pattern!)
What are you doing this Valentine’s Day?