Yep, more hats

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This is Concentric, my first Woolly Wormhead knitted hat. Woolly, or maybe I should adopt the NY Times style and say, Ms. Wormhead, thinks of herself as a “hat architect.” She “builds them with her head” and “constructs them with her hands.” Looking at her hundreds of hat patterns on Ravelry and her own website, I’ll accept that hat architect label. Heck, she is sort of the hat whisperer.

But despite the knitting kingdom’s many hats off to Wormhead, Concentric was the first pattern I tried. I like it.

Mine is knit in Stonehedge Fiber’s Shepherds Wool worsted. The Lakeshore colorway is a favorite. Glass head likes it because it matches her cheek so nicely.

This is  top down construction, so here’s a look at the top:

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And now the top all nice and concentrically rounded:

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A great hat. If you give it a whirl, be careful to bind off very loosely. I knit the hat on US size 7 needles and switched to a size 9 for the bind-off. It’s still a tad tight.

Now for something completely different.

When Berroco’s newsletter arrived with news of the free Memphre pattern a few weeks back, it quickly went into my Ravelry queue. It’s inspired by classic gansey stitch patterns,

Soon I was in a shop that stocked Berroco’s fairly new Artisan yarn–the very yarn the pattern calls for. Two skeins insinuated themselves into my basket and this is the result:

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Artisan is an 80% merino, 20% silk, worsted weight. It’s a tad slubby, which I’m supposing is what makes it artisanal. But, for this hat, I’d have liked a little better stitch definition. Still, I like the hat, the pattern, and the yarn’s OK too.

Here’s a look from above at the excellent, non-pointy, crown decease section.

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I didn’t know what a Memphre is. It’s a long-headed lake monster that some claim lives in Lake Memphremagog in Quebec, Canada. It was first reported in 1816 and was last reported in 2005. Wow. I wonder if Berroco knows about that.

Knitted wits

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I’m very pleased with how Cuba Street Hat turned out in Knitted Wit’s Victory DK. I am a bit chastened though because I was a complete sourpuss while knitting it. Cuba Street is designed by Nikki Jones for sportweight. I bought the Knitted Wit kit for this hat pattern (which doesn’t include the pattern, by the way) expecting that I’d have the correct yarn for the pattern. Think again. OK. There I go with the sourpuss thing.

Cuba Street Hat is supposed to be knit at 27 stitches to 4 inches and the pattern suggests size 1 for the ribbing and 3 for the body.  I used size 2 and 4. The hat doesn’t quite stand up on its own, but Victory DK (the gray) and the little “Double Bubble” skeins are beefy DK. I thought “no way.” And knitting this at such a tight gauge made my hands hurt. Sourpuss again.

Obviously, this…

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turned into this:

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So, in the end, no complaints. No complaints.

My only modification was to knit (not K1, P1) one round of purple and then one round of gray before starting the gray ribbing. It made what I think is a nice clean demarcation between the two colors. I like it and will probably keep it for me.

I’ve been on a bit of a Knitted Wit binge lately. First, it was the Amazing Technicolor Dream Cowl in Knitted Wit Gumball, a fingering weight. Then came the Cuba Street Hat in DK. I decided I’d try a worsted weight Knitted Wit kit in Gobstopper.

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This time the kit suggests Kira Dulaney’s Kaleidoscopic Cowl. Game on! I enjoy slip stitch and a worsted weight cowl doesn’t cut it for springtime, but winter will be back in two shakes of a lamb’s tale. In fact, we have about a foot of snow at Long Lake right now.

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Glass Head declares this a success. It needed an aggressive block. But it’s holding it nicely. If you decide to give this pattern a try, I suggest knitting more than the two rows of ribbing at the top and the bottom that Dulaney calls for. Four rows of ribbing and you won’t have to fret about the edges rolling.

Here’s a closer look. 10.5 by 10.5 inches. I like close-fitting cowls. But you may want to cast on for a few more repeats of the pattern. I had 61 grams left from the kit, which would have been plenty for a wider cowl.

I liked working with Gobstopper. A little less shading in the colorway might have worked better for this pattern though.

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Vernal equinox sunset

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Long Lake is beginning to wake up. The lake ice has been groaning something fierce for the last few days. This is the day that the sun shines directly on the equator and there’s almost exactly equal amounts of night and day. It was cold enough today that the water at land’s edge has refrozen. But the ice at the edge is just a thin clear crust. If something swam by you’d see it perfectly. I haven’t seen anything swim by though.

The branches that ice fishermen set in their holes to warn of thin ice are still standing up straight. And the surface of the ice shows snowmobile and ATV “scars.” Why that happens, I don’t know. But as the ice melts the paths habitually taken this winter show up clearly.

Scrawny looking deer have been visiting every evening. They drank at the water’s edge a few nights ago. Not tonight though.

We are anxious for ice out and dock in.

Boxing Clever Cowl

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This is Boxing Clever, a bulky weight cowl by Susan Ashford of Stitchnerd Designs. It’s available, free, on Ravelry. I decided to splurge a bit and use the yarn the pattern calls for: Malabrigo Mecha. I used the Indiecita colorway. As is often true of Malabrigo, which is not released in dye lots, the skeins were extremely different. So I alternated skeins. That was quite easily done working in the round.

I cast on 108 stitches (a few extra), on size 11 US,  because I decided I wanted an extravagantly oversized cowl that I could pull over my head if I wanted to.

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Such a pretty thing. And in superwash it will also be easy-care. I knit only 4 repeats, instead of 5, and ended up with a cowl that is 16 inches by 9 inches, laid flat.

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I enjoyed this knit enough to make two. Here’s Boxing Clever, slightly smaller. I cast on 90 stitches, again made 4 boxes (2 repeats of the 24-round pattern). This cowl turned out to be 8.5 inches by 11.5 inches in Valley Yarns Valley Superwash Bulky left over from yarn I purchased to knit my Welcome Home Blanket.

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A nice creamy white. An excellent, and simple, pattern.

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Boxing Clever has been the Black Sheep Knitting Guild winter knit-a-long. Great choice Harriet!

Red Hats

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No, not red for heart health and the “go red for women” campaign currently plastering big red sexy dress decals on the entrance doors to my workplace saying something about women being strong and knowing how to get things done. And not red hats as in the organization of women who call themselves the Red Hat Society and do good deeds. All worthy outfits. I just mean I like to knit hats and lately a lot of them have been red.

This is Etta, by Kim Whelan, a Black Sheep Knitters Guild mate of mine. Her pattern is free on Ravelry. I knit mine in Stonehege Fiber Shepard’s Wool worsted in the garnet colorway. Great pattern. 1156 projects currently posted on Ravelry wouldn’t fib about that. Great yarn. And, a really great pinwheel crown decrease.

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This next one is a newish pattern by Susan Villas Lewis called Chicken Wire. Mine is knit in Berroco Ultra Alpaca, a worsted weight. Here’s a closer look at the chicken-wire fence material patterning.

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Great detail. The tiny cabling in the ribbing is a nice touch. Good slouch. And the crown decreases also make the grade.

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One nice, blunt-tipped top, with no pointiness.

And to complete the red hat trio, here’s an excellent free pattern on Ravelry: Circuitry, by Agata Smektala. I knit mine in a discontinued older-than-the-hills skein of Anny Blatt Mini-Sport, which (paradoxically) is a worsted weight not a sport weight. The only place you should look for this yarn is in my stash and the yarn bequest an elderly knitting relative left you.

Let’s start with the spectacular crown decrease and work our way down from there.

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As I saw this developing, my knitter’s eyeballs popped. If someone is going to take this much care with the part of a garment that most people don’t even look at, I’m definitely going to knit it multiple times.

Here’s a more normal view of Circuitry.

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Circuitry makes for an interesting knit. It hugs the head nicely. It keeps the ears toasty warm. Agata has a winner here!