Fetching though the insides are, I will admit to loving the outside more than I should.

The stripe is just perfect (and yes, yes it does go rather nicely with last week’s hat, this is not an accident).

And the thumb increases are deeply, deeply satisfying.  It’s probably indecorous to love them as much as I do, but I’m not going to pretend I don’t love them.

Now…let’s get started on mitt two!


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Remember how I was smitten with the outside of the cuff increases?  Well the inside is also oddly charming.

Same with the inside of the stripe.

Now, I don’t think it’s necessarily practical to actually think of these as reversible (I can’t think of a suitably hidden way to weave in the contrast color ends to pull that off…

But it is pretty enough I like flipping it inside out from time to time to coo over it (though this does slow down the knitting quite a bit if you indulge in it too much).  And I do think I might put the thumb together that way in future for something that is reversible.


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Detachable Pompoms

Remember how I said I’d sorted out a clever way to do detachable pompoms?  And how I said it was all in hideous detail in the Wavering pattern, but we’d do a quick rundown here?  Yeah, how about we do that!

So, you’re going to need one tiny extra gizmo to pull this off.  You need a set of toggle clasps (like for jewelry making).  I used these, but you can probably find them at your local craft store or anywhere that sells stuff for making jewelry.

The idea is that you use your yarn tail to sew the ring half of the clasp inside your hat (make sure you leave a big enough opening when you cinch up your live stitches that you can pass the bar half of the clasp through later)

Then make your pompom however you like to make them (I use these pompom makers), but be sure you’re tying it off with about a yard of super strong thread held double (I like the stuff for sewing jeans).

Once it’s off your pompom maker, part the strands around the thread, and tie on the bar half of the clasp (I use a darning needle to tie a series of overhand knots, nothing fancy).  Be sure you’ve got the bar tucked up inside the pompom. That keeps it from being floppy.  You want it to almost disappear inside the pompom because the strands around it stick out farther than it does. Then trim your pompom down (and steam it if you like) and you’re ready to go.

When you want to put it on your hat, just pass the bar half of the toggle clasp through the hole in the top of your hat and through the ring half of the toggle clasp, and you’re all set.  That’s what it looks like on the inside.

The toggle holds it firmly in place (making sure the bar half is inside the pompom keeps the pompom from flopping around too much).  It’s easy to remove if you want to be a bit less exuberant (or swap in a different one) or just if you want to wash the hat.

Doing it this way is less fiddly than sewing it in and picking it out if you change your mind.  It’s a lot sturdier than doing it with a button (because it distributes the force of the pompom over that whole ring instead of just the bit of knitting the button touches).  And it works with a smaller hole at the top of your hat (because the toggle is smaller to pass through the hole than a button is).  You do need to buy a toggle, but I got ten of them for 8 dollars, and you can find them for even less if you want fewer of them.  I just knew once I figured this out I’d be doing it to a lot of hats!

If you want even more detail (or if you want to make the hat), there’s an expanded version of this in the Wavering pattern.  And that yarn is Alegria (in Nickel) and Clara (in Meil), both by Manos del Uruguay (and both absolutely awesome)!

Wavering (plus giveaway)

So it seems I’m not alone in either my love for this stripe, or for the ridiculously adorable pompom.  Which is reassuring if I’m being honest!  If you’ve been waiting for it, Wavering is out on ravelry now (and you can get 10% off with the code FLUCTUATION).

I fully admit this should not be as enchanting as it is.  It’s a stripe.  An simple little stripe.  But somehow having it run vertically (easier than it looks, I promise) and having it swirl around like that makes for an absolutely adorable combination.  And don’t worry, it’s not hard at all. I’ve got a tutorial in there to take you though it step by step in case you’re feeling nervous, but I expect you’ll have the hang of it in about three minutes flat.

Oh and speaking of tutorials, I used this pattern as an excuse to geek out on detachable pompoms and wrote about that at ridiculous length as well (I’ll do a short version on the blog later this week too, because it’s too good not to share).

Pretty much the only thing you’ll have a hard time with is picking colors.  Team colors? House colors? School colors? Something to match your favorite coat?  Do the same background color for everyone in your family and make the stripe and pompom their favorite colors?  Use up the last tiny bit of that super precious yarn as the stripe (you only need about a dozen yards)?  The possibilities are pretty much endless!

I used Manos del Uruguay’s Alegria in Nickel and Clara in Meil for mine (because gray and orange are pretty much my perfect combo).  But I can’t wait to see what you folks come up with.  The good folks at Manos are going to send yarn to one lucky knitter, so be sure you check out this instagram post for all the details on that.

And I can’t quite send yarn to everyone, but I have set up a discount code everyone can use for the next few days.  Use the code FLUCTUATION to get 10% off between now and Friday.  Just put Wavering in your ravelry cart, click on the ‘use a coupon code’ button, and type in the code FLUCTUATION.  You’ll see the change in price reflected right away.

And don’t worry, the matching mitts will be coming soon (most likely in about two weeks).  So if you’re convinced this should be a set, you can totally make that happen!