Keepsies (plus giveaway)

Every now and then you stumble across an opinionated skein of yarn…a skein of yarn that wants to be knit in stockinette and simply will not take no for an answer.  I happened upon a skein like that, and Keepsies is the result!

So I’m not going to lie.  This is more or less just a tube of stockinette.  Yes there’s ribbing at the bottom to make it behave, but after that, you just settle in and knit every stitch until it’s tall enough.  No fancy business at all.

But then?  Then you come to the top.  And that’s where all the fun bits happen!  First you have to decide if you want the knit side or the purl side facing out (in these pictures, the lighter hat has the purl side facing out, the darker one has the knit side facing out).  Then you do a little bit of magic (nothing hard…no grafting, no seams, no sewing, no extra ends to weave in), and you have that adorable bit of business you see here.

Well, that’s not quite true…you have an adorable hat in need of a good blocking.  But blocking this one is ridiculously fun (yes, I totally got out my childhood marbles to do it…hence the name and the photo shoot theme), and the pattern walks you through it, so there’s no reason to be scared.

I think you’re going to have way too much fun with this.  The knitting itself is dead simple.  You can use a huge range of yarns (anything from fingering to light worsted).  And you get to do what is more or less a knitting magic trick at the end that will have you feeling ridiculously clever.  I suspect you won’t be able to get away with making just one.  But don’t worry, it comes in five sizes, so you’ll be able to fit pretty much anyone who is asking you for one of their own!

I’ve got a skein of the lovely, opinionated (and that’s compliment, not a complaint!), yarn from The Lemonade Shop that started it all to give away (and they’re doing kits with the pattern, yarn, and even some marbles for blocking).  If you think it should come live with you, just leave a comment telling me about the most outspoken yarn you’ve worked with.  Tricky speckles? Fuzzy bits?  Bright colors?  There’s no right or wrong answer, I just know we’ve all encountered one along the way and I want to hear your stories!

And for everyone I can’t send yarn to, I’ve got a coupon for Keepsies.  You can use the code MARBLES to get 10% off between now and Saturday.  Just put Keepsies in your ravelry cart, click on the ‘use a coupon code’ button, and type in the code MARBLES.  You’ll see the change in price reflected right away.

Comments left between now and the end of the day (eastern time) Saturday, July 8, 2017 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.

 

Coming soon…

So you remember the marble hat?  The one that’s so cheerful it will pretty much slap you in the face?  Well it will be out next week (I normally do pattern releases on Tuesdays, but next Tuesday is a holiday in the states, so I’m doing it Wednesday instead).  Here’s a little sneak peek.

If you want a note when it’s out, be sure you use the link at the bottom to get on the mailing list.  I’ll let you know when it’s here (and send you a coupon too).  You’ll have to find your own marbles though!

 

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A fold here, a tuck there…

So when the knitting’s done, you do a little magic, and end up with something like this.

Which sure, it’s cute enough, though a bit ruffled.  Well you know what I’m going to tell you to do.  You need to block that hat!

And for this one?  For this one we get to use a whole new blocking prop.  Marbles.  Yes really marbles.  I’m every bit as amused as you are (quite likely more).

And when it’s done?  Well when it’s done it’s rather delightful.

And yes, yes there will be a pattern down the road (almost certainly in July).  Make sure you’re signed up for the mailing list if you want to know when it comes out (folks on the mailing list get a coupon code when it comes out too, and it’s for a bigger discount than the one I do here on the blog).  I have a feeling this one is going to be a lot of fun!

 

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Cohesive

So you know how sometimes I say something like ‘this project has big stretches of reverse stockinette so you may want to consider a more subdued yarn than you might otherwise use’?  Like with the top of the foot on Cataphyll or the background on Enchase or the heel and background on Greenhorn? Yeah well let’s look at why.

Take a look at this and notice the difference between the stockinette side (that’s the bit that’s all knits…the bottom in this picture) and the reverse stockinette side (that’s the bit that’s all purls…the top in this picture).

Trace one of the rainbow bits on the stockinette side.  See how the colors are nestled up next to each other and you pretty much get a solid line of color?

Ok now look at it on the reverse stockinette side. Because of the way knitting works, the purl side has the colors much more jumbled up.  Instead of seeing one solid line of color, you get a row of little bumps of color, then two rows of little bumps of gray, then another row of bumps of color.

Now there’s nothing wrong with that.  That’s how knit fabric works.  But it does mean that colors that hang out tidily together on the front will be more interspersed with the background color on the reverse.  That can be awesome.  But if you’re not expecting it, it can be jarring especially in a project where you have both kinds of fabric next to each other.

So my approach, if it’s a project with large stretches of reverse stockinette (like a big cable on a reverse stockinette background) is to go with a more mellow yarn.  And while I won’t go so far as to recommend you do the same (we all know I’m more reserved with color than some of you), I do recommend getting in the habit of looking at both sides of your swatch and seeing how the colors stack up on the reverse stockinette side.

Oh, and because someone will ask, the yarn is the Stormy Day colorway from The Lemonade Shop on their DK base.

Mellow

Ribbing done!

And stockinette underway.

Now let’s be frank…the stockinette part will be the entire rest of the hat.  That means this is going to just get taller and taller and taller until it gets tall enough (or I give up and quit…that’s totally an option too).  Luckily, the yarn provides a heck of a distraction!

 

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Take two

So you remember the folded hat from a few weeks ago?  Uh huh.  Well there’s going to be a second version (I want to fine tune a few details and show a second way to put it together).

And that means more yarn (it’s the DK base from The Lemonade Shop in Stormy Day).

And more ribbing.  Someone come by and sneak in a row or two while I take a quick nap, ok?

 

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Flip

Alright, so when last we spoke, the hat was looking a little something like this.  Which is totally cute…but may be a bit too…enthusiastic? for my tastes.

But then, in a happy accident (also known as weaving in the ends), I flipped it inside out.  And look what the top does!

That’s really rather magical.

And just just like that a plan was hatched.  I wanted a second version with a few modifications.  And the good folks over at The Lemonade Shop were happy to oblige (this is their Stormy Day colorway), and more yarn is on the way.  I have concocted a scheme, and with any luck at all, you’ll be seeing more of this (and its variant) in the next few weeks!

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Meanwhile…

So, I’m eyebrows deep in Curls 3 swatches.  Which is a fairly pleasant place to be (this is the part where I get to have All The Ideas), but it does make for rather limited blogging.

I did start getting twitchy about not having finished anything just lately though and so finished up the World’s Most Cheerful Hat.  It started out looking something like this.

Then with a bit of a fold here and a pinch there and a wiggle there looked like this.

And with a bit of strategic fiddling that turned into this.

Which is all well and good and lovely.  But then…then I turned it inside out and it looked like seven kinds of awesome (completely to my surprise…I never planned for that to happen).  The kind where all of a sudden I have a whole new plan and suddenly find myself planning to do a second version and show it off properly.  I’ll show you what the inside looks like next time!

 

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