Sidereal (plus giveaway)

The hat? The lovely, loopy, purple hat that lots of you have been asking about since December? Well it’s out and you can grab it now!

I really did have a good time with this one.  At heart, it’s just a standard ribbed hat with a deep folded brim.  Because really, that’s an awfully good thing for a hat to be.  Hats like that are easy and comfy and cozy.

But if ribbing is all you’ve got going on, things can get a tiny bit dull.  So you throw in a little something fun every few rows to make those loopy stitches, and all of a sudden it looks all fancy and complicated…even though it’s really easy as can be.  It’s fun too.  I found myself wanting to do just a few rows more so I could watch the next set of loops take shape!

The result is something deeply satisfying…fun to knit, lovely to behold, and super comfy to wear.  I’m not sure you can ask for too much more from a hat!  Well maybe you can ask for a really really pretty set of crown decreases…but I’ve got you covered there too!

I knit mine in Skinny Singles from Hedgehog Fibres in Ghost.  I wasn’t sure when I bought the yarn if I’d be doing one project or two, so I bought extra.  But the hat only took one skein, so I’ve got another to give away.  Leave a comment on this post telling me what you like in a hat to be entered to win.  Folded brim or straight? Pompoms? Slouchy or fitted? There’s no right or wrong answer, I just like to know what you look for!

And, for everyone I can’t send yarn to, I’ve got a coupon for Sidereal.  You can use the code LOOPY to get 10% off between now and Friday.  Just put Sidereal in your ravelry cart, click on the ‘use a coupon code’ button, and type in the code LOOPY.  You’ll see the change in price reflected right away (if you don’t, be sure you spelled the code right and don’t have any extra spaces before or after it).

Oh, and if you’ve fallen madly in love with this type of stitch, check out Constellate (that’s the other hat in the picture here).  It uses a similar technique, and if you like Sidereal, you’ll probably like Constellate too.  I have a feeling I’m going to explore this some more and do a little collection of projects using stitches like this at some point!

Comments left between now and the end of the day (eastern time) Friday, March 9, 2018 will be entered to win.  I’ll pick a winner, 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 winner).  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.

Heads up

This lovely little bit of business is coming one week from today.

I used a skein of Hedgehog Fibres’ Skinny Singles in Ghost (it took me a little less than 300 yards), just in case you want to do a quick stash dive or a bit of yarn procurement before it comes out!  This is the perfect thing to do with single ply yarns (which can be a bit delicate, so hats are a perfect choice).  And of course the pattern will be written so you can easily use fingering, sport, or dk weight yarn.

And as always, folks on the mailing list get a heads up and a discount when it comes out! (Rumor has it mailing list folks are getting a special extra goody later in March too…)

Gizmos

So I’ve talked before about how I really do think you should be blocking your hats.  And I definitely practice what I preach.  You’ve never seen a hat in a pattern photo that wasn’t blocked (and blocked firmly at that).  But something we haven’t talked much about is brims.

I like folded up brims, and I often like fairly deep ones (this one is approaching the upper limit of brim depth acceptability, but I like it, so I’m going with it).  Now if you use twisted stitches on your brim, your fabric is likely to bias a bit.  And really, that’s fine.  It would be annoying on a sweater (you’d feel like you were tugging it straight all day long).  But hats can bias all they want and still be adorable and comfy.  But if you want to tame the twist a little, you can.  And blocking is the time to do it.

See how my brim is straight?  I just folded it that way when I blocked it, making sure that each column of stitches lined up straight when it was folded.  I pinned it in place in a few spots and then left it to dry.

If you use regular T-pins for that, there’s a chance the head of the pin will leave a dent in your fabric.  So I keep a handful of bent ones on hand for this job.  It’s just my regular pin (I like these, they are long and they don’t rust), bent at a 90 degree angle to keep the head off the fabric (as always, amazon links are affiliate links).  I bend mine by holding the head with a pair of pliers and bending the shaft over with my thumb.  It doesn’t take a lot of force, but do be careful (and maybe use two pairs of pliers instead if you’re feeling skittish).  They make a nice addition to your blocking toolbox!

 

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Proof

There. I can now say, with certainty, that I am perfectly able to knit a hat on circular needles.

Turns out I can also say, with equal certainty, that it is not my preferred method of knitting a hat.  I figured out that I just really really REALLY dislike sliding the stitches off of the cable and back onto the needle.  The physical sensation of it is just unpleasant.  And I’m not a tight knitter, so I don’t think that is the problem.  So unless someone makes circs where the cable and the needle are nearly the same size, I just don’t think they’re going to be for me.

But, now that I’ve proven I can knit a hat on circs, I get to go back to my preferred method and try out these amazing new DPNs I got!  They’re from Indian Lake Artisans, they’re twelve glorious inches long, and I suspect I’ll love them to bits.  Fingers crossed this will be the end to my quest for the perfect long DPN!  Expect a full report once I get a project underway, but for now, I’m expecting good things!

And if you’re looking for the hat pattern, rest assured it will be coming out later this year (most likely early this spring if I have my way).  I know lots of you are waiting for it, and I totally want to get it out for you!

 

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Lest you worry…

So I know it’s been all hearts all the time.  That’s because they are clearly a force for evil and have some sort of nefarious plan to take over the world by co-opting all our needles at once.  They may even succeed.

But just in case you were getting worried, there has been progress on the hat since last you saw it.

It is, in fact, starting to be quite recognizable as a hat to even non-knitters (always a positive sign)

Just a bit more to go and it will be all done.  This will probably be the next pattern I put up for testing, and will likely be out in the spring (yeah, I know, just in time for it to get hot…but winter will always come again).

 

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Flip it around

I keep peeking inside this hat because I like how it looks on the inside almost (almost…there’s still a clear winner) as much as how it looks on the outside.  So here’s the outside (look…it’s gotten bigger)!

And here’s the inside.

And here’s another shot (pulled properly inside out so you can tell what side is the top…because that last one is a little crumpled).

I should have this done fairly soon here (I’m finally better enough and have found a comfortable enough way to sit that I can knit, which is awfully helpful for moving forward on patterns!).  I suspect it will go up for testing some in the next several weeks, and with a little luck it will be March’s pattern!

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Now for the fun bit

Made it through the ribbing…all 6 flipping inches of it.

I console myself with the idea that my ears will be warm and cozy.

And that the fun part is pretty enough to make up for the quiet start!

 

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Proof of Concept…

So I mean yes, it does seem to be technically possible for me to knit with circular needles…

But I’m still finding it deeply, deeply awkward.  But I still fail to have suitable long DPNs in this size, and I still do not want to knit a hat on short DPNs (I’ve done it, it’s pain).  So I’m still pretending this will work.

Tell me it eventually feels less like wrestling with an angry squid?

And in case it doesn’t, lots of lovely folks recommended the needles from Indian Lake Artisans when I posted about this on instagram.  They apparently make awesome needles and can do them in custom lengths.  I’ve placed an order and you can expect a full report when they arrive!

Edited to add:  Don’t worry folks, I totally am magic looping it when I’m actually knitting! I just have the stitches all slid together for pictures/trying on (trying hats on being one of the few places where I’ll grant that circs have the advantage).  I’m not trying to knit with one hat spread out over the whole cable, I promise!

Well fine, be that way

Alright…so apparently I should have just tried out the original yarn before deciding it was too thin.

And it is thin…I’m going to have to cast on at least 6 and if I have any common sense at all (probably not) actually 12 more stitches than I want to.  But really, that’s not that much of a hardship when the yarn is this pretty!

They get to decide

When I was in college I took a history of religions class.  On the very first day, the professor declared (repeatedly and emphatically) that we would absolutely positively not under any circumstances be offering our own opinions on whether one group or another were ‘really’ any particular religion.  The official class position was “if they said they were, then as far as the class is concerned, they were.  They get to decide.”

It seemed reasonable to me then.  It has proven to be a pretty good way to handle a whole host of other identity issues in the intervening years.  And it’s coming in handy now as I put together yarns for Curls 3 (who said those history classes wouldn’t be useful…).

As I’ve been showing off the Curls 3 yarns, I’ve had quite a few people get in touch to say some variant of oh, that yarn is lovely, but it isn’t really speckles/a gradient/what you should be using for this book.  And I’m afraid I must hereby officially declare that my position is “if the dyer says it’s speckles or a gradient, it is.”  And, as a corollary, “if I say it’s what I plan to use for this book, it is.”

Now, I completely and totally understand if one yarn or another isn’t right for you.  That’s one of the other nifty things about this approach.  If you say a yarn isn’t right for you, it isn’t.  And that’s absolutely ok.  We all get to decide for ourselves.  It’s one of the most marvelous things about knitting…there’s room for us all to create whatever makes our weird little hearts sing.  But if you start trying to decide for me, I’m going to very gently point you back to this post.

And for the record, those bits of lovely in the picture are are Blue Moon’s Sugar Plum Fairy Dust colorway (from their BeSpeckled line of colors) and Hedgehog Fibres Construct colorway (and they do lots of speckle-y delights).  They’re both lovely yarns that I’m enjoying very much!  I hope you like them too.  And if not, I hope you find something you like every bit as much as I like them.