Tall enough

So we’ve talked about this before, but it’s helpful enough it bears repeating.  If you’re doing a hat with fast decreases (and a lot of mine use those), my favorite way to know if it’s tall enough is to get all the stitches on two needles and try it on.

Fast decreases distort the fabric (and that distortion uses up some of the fabric you’ve made), and arranging it like this does a good job of mimicking that distortion.  If it’s tall enough on two needles, it will be tall enough when you’ve done the decreases.

Here I needed a few more rows, but it’s way easier to try it on this way to find that out than to do the decreases first and then have to rip back.

Speaking of, that’s rather nifty I think!  Standard disclaimer about how it will be rather more tidy once it’s blocked, but I’m quite taken with it!

 

 

Looking for this pattern?

Tell me when it's out!

If you're reading this shortly after it was posted, the pattern's probably not out quite yet. But if you'd like an email when it is, click the link above and sign up!

It grew

So there’s this nifty thing where, if you keep working on something, it will usually grow.  That does seem to be happening here.  The hat is getting markedly taller.

It still needs another inch or two (I have a few things in mind for the decreases here, but any of them will need the hat to be pretty tall first), but the end is in sight (this is the inside, because some folks have asked…though honestly that feels a tiiiiiiny bit like asking to peek in my medicine cabinet…).

Then?  Then I think maybe it will need a pom pom…

Woven

I’m loving how this is shaping up.  Once you’re done with the colored bit on the brim, you don’t actually ever make another knit stitch with the contrast yarn.  You just weave it in and out of the stitches knit with the gray yarn.

For some reason this both entertains me and makes me feel clever (and yes, I realize that I probably am not actually terribly clever if that entertains me, but I’ll take what I can get.

And once more, for anyone wanting to track down their own, the yarns are Tosh Vintage in Smokestack and Tosh Merino Light in Turquoise (and they’re lovely…I haven’t had any problems with the dark yarns bleeding onto the light, which is always a worry with contrasting colors).

 

Looking for this pattern?

Tell me when it's out!

If you're reading this shortly after it was posted, the pattern's probably not out quite yet. But if you'd like an email when it is, click the link above and sign up!

Underway

So you saw the swatches the other day, and here’s how it’s shaping up.

There’s no way to make a few rows of stockinette all that interesting…so I’ll distract you with the purple hat (Entrapment, that one’s out now) and the pink hat (out soonish…probably) instead.

Then you join in the gray bits…though it’s still not all that interesting.

Then you get to do the fun bits!

That’s much better…

 

Looking for this pattern?

Tell me when it's out!

If you're reading this shortly after it was posted, the pattern's probably not out quite yet. But if you'd like an email when it is, click the link above and sign up!

Compunction (plus giveaway)

Ok…moment of truth here…think about your stash.  Do you have a skein of sock yarn you just know isn’t going to become socks?  I suspect you do, and I have a feeling Compunction might be just the thing to do with it!

Now I want to be clear…just because a skein of sock yarn isn’t destined to be socks doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with it.  In fact, quite the opposite.  It could be too lovely to hide away in shoes, or too delicate to be subjected to the rigors of life as a sock.  Or it could be something special you just want to see and touch and interact with in a way you don’t normally do with socks.

That’s sort of what happened here.  On one of our trips to Maine, The Boy spotted some yarn he really liked.  It was made by a local shop and named after one of our favorite places and just seemed too perfect to leave behind.  But it also wasn’t the sort of thing I wanted to make socks out of (I tend to favor chunky yarn for socks and this is skinny stuff).

But it would be perfect for a hat.  A hat, and just maybe some mitts too. Because really, sometimes you don’t need something huge and bulky, and something a bit lighter is just the ticket.

A simple little herringbone stitch let the yarn shine (and makes the knitting fly, you’re slipping about half the stitches which always feel super fast to me).  And I suspect you can get both pieces out of just about any full-sized skein of sock yarn (I got a large man’s hat and cuffs out of mine with yarn to spare).

And one more confession, I totally don’t have this exact yarn to give away (there was only one in the shop!), but I do have two other beautiful skeins of sockish-yarn-that-just-isn’t-destined-to-become-socks to send home to two lucky winners.  They’re both yarns I got on various adventures, and they’ll both look amazing in this pattern.  Just leave a comment telling me about a special skein of yarn in your stash to be entered to win.

And I am not quite cool enough to send yarn to everyone, but I can give everyone a discount.  You can use the code DESTINY to get 10% off the hat between now and Friday.  Just put Compunction in your ravelry cart, click on the ‘use a coupon code’ button, and type in the code DESTINY.  You’ll see the change in price reflected right away.

Comments left between now and the end of the day (eastern time) Friday, April 7, 2017 will be entered to win.  I’ll pick winners, contact them to get their addresses, and arrange to send yarn their way.  Be sure to use a real email address so I can contact you if you’ve won (I won’t do anything with those email addresses besides notify the winners).  If I do email you, I need to hear back from you within 72 hours or I will pick a new winner and contact them. Sorry, but I can only ship physical prizes to US addresses.

This is why we swatch

So every now and then, some lovely person says ‘oh, all your knitting is so pretty.’  And that’s very very kind, but it’s also totally not true.  A fair bit of my knitting actually looks like absolute trash.  It’s just that I usually go through that stage while I’m swatching, not on the full project stage of things.  See?

Absolute crap.  There is nothing appealing about this save the yarn.

But the secret is, that’s just a swatch.  It’s all of three inches across.  That means I can keep going and keep experimenting and it’s just not a big deal.  And if you keep going long enough, you usually end up with something better.

See now this is way better. Same yarn, same needles, same general ideas…just this variation is starting to look orderly and intentional and dare I say it, pretty.  This I can work with…

Yarn is Tosh Merino Light in Turquoise and Tosh Vintage in Smokestack, and this will (once it’s done being a whole long strip of swatches) be the third in the set of hats.

But really…if you start thinking my knitting is pretty all the time, remember that the only reason that’s even maybe true is that I knit a lot of ugly swatches!

 

Looking for this pattern?

Tell me when it's out!

If you're reading this shortly after it was posted, the pattern's probably not out quite yet. But if you'd like an email when it is, click the link above and sign up!

And this is done too

I’m pretty sure this is cuter and more fun than should be allowed…

Of course it’s also unblocked and has its ends waving shamelessly in the wind.  But we won’t talk about that.

How about we distract ourselves with the cute way the top of the hat folds over on itself instead, yeah?

Or, failing that, we start daydreaming about how the third in the series should work…swatches soon (just as soon as I get the book off to the printer and sleep for 48 hours straight).

 

Looking for this pattern?

Tell me when it's out!

If you're reading this shortly after it was posted, the pattern's probably not out quite yet. But if you'd like an email when it is, click the link above and sign up!

Next…

This is just about ready for the decreases.

Which means it’s time to start figuring out what to do for the third one (the blue one here).

Expect swatches soon…

So when I say a set…

So when I say I’m thinking of doing a set, I’m speaking fairly loosely.  We’re not talking a hat and mitts and a cowl, we’re talking a few pieces that all explore a similar idea.

In this case, that idea is ‘what if I start with a lovely, neutral background and a simple shape…and then pull another yarn in to do something a bit crazy with a funky stitch for some fancy texture?’

So here you can see the first iteration of that (it’s Entrapment, and it’s already out on ravelry if you simply must have it).

And here’s the pink one I’m working on now (as of yet unnamed, and not yet finished being knit, so clearly not available as a pattern just yet, but it’s coming somewhere down the road).

These both use the exact same yarn for the background (Tosh Vintage in Smokestack), and then use a colorful single ply yarn for the accent color.  I’ve got a third accent color all lined up (and another skein of the gray waiting) for when this is done!

I just have to decide what I want to do for the texture stitch…

 

Looking for this pattern?

Tell me when it's out!

If you're reading this shortly after it was posted, the pattern's probably not out quite yet. But if you'd like an email when it is, click the link above and sign up!

Because one is never enough

The hat continues to grow, and I continue to be hopelessly smitten with it.

It starts out with the rows of doobly-dos all squinched up together, but then as you go along they spread out. I love having things taper off like that.  It makes it feel like the hat is picking up momentum as you go along (because the fancy rows do take a bit more time than the plain ones).

Yarn is Tosh Vintage in Smokestack (the gray one) and Tosh Merino Light in Alizarin (the pink one), and I’m loving the combo!

 

Looking for this pattern?

Tell me when it's out!

If you're reading this shortly after it was posted, the pattern's probably not out quite yet. But if you'd like an email when it is, click the link above and sign up!