Smitten

Aaaaand here’s the rest of it.  As always, I like to clip it up and try it on to check the height.

I feel like brioche grows just a tiny bit more than most knit fabrics, so I’ll err on the side of ever so slightly shorter if I have to, but I also like my hats awfully tall, so not too short (yeah, I know, not super helpful, sorry about that, I think you just really have to try it on and see what you like best).

And the decreases are, of course, adorable.

As is the finished hat!

Now, the inside looks a bit chaotic here, but when it’s stretched (aka when it’s on my head), it looks grand.  I’ll get it on one of the head forms at some point and show it off properly.

This is before it’s blocked and before it gets proper photos, but I confess I’m smitten with it.  If you’re similarly smitten, you can do that mailing list thing and I’ll let you know when it’s out.

Overcome

I was overcome earlier this week.  Some yarn winked at me.  I found myself unable to resist.  And before I knew it, there was a whole new hat in the world.

This might well be my personal record holder for speed knitting.

I cast on Monday night and cast off Tuesday night.  It was less than 24 hours from cast on to bind off (I mean, it took it a bit longer than that to dry after I blocked it…but I’m totally saying drying time doesn’t count).  This is what happens when you’re home alone, have a shiny new audio book, and use really bulky yarn.

Like most brioche, it looks awfully nifty on the inside and the outside.

And like most hats, I secretly wish I’d been more stoic and knit the brim about 5 inches deep so I could cuff it.  But that would make it a much-more-than-24-hour hat.

I’m going to be a meanie and spread this out over more than one blog post (because I’ve been doing this ten years now and the one constant truth of putting stuff on the internet is you always need more content).  But it won’t be long.  And I think I may actually be able to turn this into a pattern and sneak it onto the calendar here in the next few months too!

Yarns are Malabrigo’s Mecha in Lotus (the purple one) and Worsted in Natural (the white one, but you could probably guess that).

The fun bits

The ribbing is never my favorite bit.  In fact, the ribbing is the bit I sternly make myself do because I know I will like wearing the finished thing better as a result.  But really…my heart is in it for the swirly middle bits.

Though to be fair, I was rather pleased with myself for being comfy enough with brioche to reach the ‘yup, ready to be done with the ribbing’ stage right on schedule.  I’m pretty sure you can’t be both bored and scared at the same time, so if I got to bored, then I’m well past scared, right?

But now I’m on to the fancy bits, and oh but wow do I love them!  In fact, I’m going to be all shameless and just flash the pretty.  Because I’m tickled!

Oh, and before I forget, yarns are Ontheround’s Everyday DK in Natural and Plush Single in Ring of Fire.  And they are yummy!  Brioche is totally going to get me to experiment with more adventurous color combos over time, but for now, I’m going with bright and high contrast, and magical orangey bits and mellow neutral totally work!

Pretty much like that

So after that ‘let’s go straight for a nice long time…no…longer than you think’ part, then comes the ‘aaaaaaand three rows and you’re done’ bit.

At least that’s how my hats tend to work.  I’m a tremendous fan of a quick decrease on hats.  It actually means you’re knitting a bit more fabric (because you have to make the straight part a bit taller before you start the decreases), but I feel like it fits better and it doesn’t give me hat hair.

Plus it lets you do all sorts of delightfully dramatic stuff on the top.  This one is going to be all starburst-y sparkle pony on the top (yes, that’s totally the technical term).  It’s going to be grand.

And, as you may have noticed, I’m nowhere near through the whole color progression on the gradient yarn.  Which could be a bummer if I were only planning to knit a hat.  But once again fingerless gloves will come to the rescue.  I used a long gradient on fingerless gloves once before and was a tiny bit worried I’d be bugged by the whole ‘ack, they aren’t technically exactly matching’ thing, but it turns out I’m actually ok with it.  Which is good, because this yarn is way to pretty to let it go to waste!

 

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Remiss

Yeah, so somehow I’ve been distracted and not shown you as much of this as I should have.

Which is a shame, as it’s lovely.

But it does pretty much do that thing all hats do in the middle where you can just sort of assume ‘and then it got taller for a while with no particularly notable changes.’  Because well…that’s how hats work.

At least with this one you can distract yourself by wondering if the color is changing yet (hint, yes, yes it totally is).

Yarns are Malabrigo Rios in Natural and Friea Handpaint Sport in Flare.  If you want to see things in something slightly closer to real time, I tend to post a bit more on instagram than on the blog these days (sad, I know, but true).  This is absolutely totally going to be a pattern (likely in May).  And the way to hear about that is to make sure you’re on the mailing list (magic linky thing down below).

 

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Bespeckle (plus giveaway)

Bespeckle is up on ravelry, there’s yarn to give away on instagram, and the pattern is 10% off for the first few days it’s out with the code SPECK.

This was just supposed to be about the pompoms. I had this burning need to put all the stuff I find myself saying about pompoms (how to get them really full and round, how to make them detachable, how to add stripes or polkadots, what tools I like) down in one place.  So I figured fine, I’ll embrace the delightful ridiculousness that is my life and do just that.

But then it turned out that you can’t really put a pompom pattern on ravelry by itself, they want something you actually knit or crochet to go with it.  And I’m cool with that, it’s their house, they get to make the rules!  So I thought sure, I’ll add a basic hat (because clearly you want a hat to show off your new pompom).  But it turns out I am unable to knit a truly plain hat.  Oh and I’d been sort of wanting an excuse to explore adding speckles to my knitting.  And if I’m already giving serious thought to pompoms, well, I’ve clearly abandoned all pretext that my knitting should be serious and somber…so why not combine the two!

 

And you know what…it turns out that when I talked about this over on insgatram, no one came up and said ‘you’re not being serious enough, I’m taking your yarn away and making you sit in time out until you feel like knitting a steeked, colorwork cardigan on fingering weight yarn.’  Instead, at least some of you said you wanted to play too.  And so that’s how we find ourselves here, with an absurdly detailed pattern talking about pompoms and speckles.

So, if your first though was ‘actually yes, that sort of is what I’ve been looking for,’ then you can grab the pattern for 10% off with the code SPECK for the next few days.  And if you’re thinking ‘sooooo…about that time out corner’ then don’t worry, I’m sure I’ll do something more respectable soon…maybe…no promises!  But either way, be sure to check out instagram for a giveaway of the awesome SpaceCadet yarn I used to make these with…it’s yummy, you totally want it!

 

 

And now we start actually knitting

So, after all those swatches, it’s time to actually knit the thing!

I’m doing a rolled brim (in part because I like how it looks and fits, but also in part because I want to get to the color change bit as quickly as I can, and plowing through a solid brim in the colorful yarn lets me get there quick).

And I generally cast on over two needles (not to make the cast on stretchier, it doesn’t do that, but it does make the loops of my first row of stitches a better match for the rest of my knitting…I’m a loose knitter but a tight cast-er on-er, and this balances things out).

And then it’s time to cruise along, clicking happily away, and wait for the color change!  You know, assuming I don’t get distracted by cupcakes and fall down that rabbit hole…

Colorful yarn is Freia Fine Handpaints’ Sport base in the color Flare. White yarn is Malabrigo’s Rios in Natural.  And the needles, alas, have no brand as they’re some random ones I found somewhere along the way.

 

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Tip top

So this is done…

And it’s unquestionably adorable.  Like that’s totally a good looking hat, no doubt about it.

But wait till you see the top.  I mean that’s just pretty much magic!

I’m not even going to pretend to say anything modest or self effacing.  That’s grand, I love it, and it makes me gloriously happy!

 

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All grown up

So, those itty bitty hats we did back before the holidays?  Yeah, they needed people versions.

Now…I am totally not diligent enough to make all 12 of them into people versions.  Because that is…well…that is an unreasonable amount of knitting/photography to pull off for one pattern.  A dozen hats is a book, not an individual pattern.  I’m just not that cool.

But…I can manage a few…likely three.

So I’ve picked some of my favorites and am zipping along.

Yarns are Alegria Grande (in Natural) and Maxima (in Daffodil), both by Manos del Uruguay (looks like one skein of each yarn should be enough to knit two hats).  If I knit with a color called daffodil, it’s pretty much guaranteed to make the flowers come up sooner right?  That’s totally how it works?  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

 

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Just about done

Home stretch…

The decreases on this are fun.

You work them inside the cables (like on Imply and Welter) and it’s just a really neat trick to have in your knitting tool kit.  It keeps the lines of the cables zipping along perfectly.

Plus you’ll feel super clever when you do it.  Which is a not insubstantial part of my motivation for knitting anything!

Pattern Tuesday, at which point you’ll see just how pretty the top of this one really is!