Hatty New Year!

This is a severely hacked “Scrappy Ski Hat.” It’s a great little free pattern by Justyna Lorkowska. If you’re just returning from that link you are probably scratching your head as you ponder how different my version is.

My Scrappy is knit in two partial skeins of Shepherd’s Wool Worsted, by Stonehedge Fiber Mills. The shades are Antique Rose and Spruce. The pattern calls for changing the colors after just one pattern repeat. The thought of weaving in all those ends felt daunting, so I decided on a two-color version.

And that pompom is made with the largest sized Clover Pom-Pom Maker. Such a clever little tool. If you have one and haven’t been able to make much sense of the rather compact directions on the packaging, this is Susan B. Anderson’s great video on its operation. I feel like the extravagant pom-pom really makes this hat.

This next hat is Joan Sheridan’s “Freedom Cap.” It’s also knit in Shepherd’s Wool Worsted.

I’ve knit this before. Recently, I was at Joan’s great shop, Heritage Spinning & Weaving in Lake Orion, Michigan. I just couldn’t pass up the chance to buy an additional kit and knit this one again.

I enjoy knitting warm wool hats in yarns that are bright and cheerful. This kit definitely fits that description. (But Joan also stocks these kits in other colorways–jewel tones and grays.)

This is easy Fair Isle work, even though there are a lot of ends to work in. There are very few longer floats. I often take the measure of a hat by the crown decreases. It can’t get much better than this one,

Not every knit a knitter tackles turns out wonderfully well. I’ll save what’s off about this next one to the “reveal” at the end. This is Hanna Maciejewska’s great free pattern: Snow Bunnies. Let’s start at the crown this time.

My Snow Bunnies is knit in Plymouth Yarns Worsted Merino Superwash. That pom-pom isn’t hiding an icky crown decrease. The crown is quite nice. It’s a slouch hat and the gathers are very appropriate.

So, here’s a view of the snow bunnies.

So cute. Really. I like this hat, a lot. But I made a rookie mistake and didn’t check my gauge before knitting. I knit hats for all sizes of heads, so gauge usually doesn’t really matter much. And when hats come out rather large, both Steve and I have gigantic heads. So big hats fit us well.

Every hat eventually gets its head. If you know an offensive tackle who wants to wear bunny butts and a fluffy pom-pom, let me know.

Sometimes your knitting can give you some challenges. I wasn’t quite up to this one. I couldn’t just get with the program for the crown. More on that in a bit. This is Black Brook Beanie, a new free pattern by Tammie Canavan-Soldaat. The hat is a glory of two-color linen-stitch. It’s slow going, but so so much worth the effort.

My Black Brook is knit in Plymouth Yarns Worsted Merino Superwash. The pattern had one teeny hiccup in it, which the designer corrected–so if you downloaded it in its earliest days, be sure to download it again or read the errata on the Ravely pattern page. Despite the crown decreases being correctly written, a knitter needs to be able to read the knitting to keep the linen stitch colors properly lined up through the crown.

I just wasn’t up to it.

After a few tries, I gave up and just knit the entire crown in a salt and pepper “fair isle” pattern. It worked. It’s cute. But I have to call it my Black Brook Beanie Hack. Do give this pattern a try. In the original, it’s a beauty!

Close to you


This is Close to You, by Justyna Lorkowska, a free small shawl pattern available on Ravelry. Knitters have started calling these small shawls a word that doesn’t fit well in my mouth. It’s a shawlette to some. Neither my dictionary nor my spellchecker knows that word. And when I hear it my head thinks towelette or worse, toilette.

Lorkowska has such a sweet story to tell about this design and how she named it. Compactly, her husband Martin decided he wanted to start hand dyeing yarn in their flat. He’s not, or wasn’t, a yarnie. Martin just did it to be “Close to you,” he explained. Now he’s off and running with his own yarn and fiber shop, Martin’s Lab.

Close to You is an almost mindless knit, with just enough interest in that easy lacy edge to keep a knitter’s hands interested when a knitter’s mind sort of needs to be someplace else. And the delicate picot bind-off is the perfect ending to this quick knit.


I decided I liked the bouncy garter stitch feel of this, knit up in caterpillargreen yarns self-striping fingering weight. So I decided not to block it. 400 yards. Knit on size 6 in a true fingering weight. My (ahem) small shawl turned out to be 13 inches at its widest and 32 inches from point to point.


I know the self-striping went a bit wonky, but I’ve declared it interesting. Even without the self-striping, its 70% merino, 20% cashmere goat, 10% nylon blend would be interesting.

I enjoyed this knit so much that I soon decided I wanted to knit another Close to You, this time in a more tame colorway.


A second Close to You was my first time knitting with Whimzy‘s Sokkusa O yarn. (The O is for “original.”) Other than the yarn being afflicted with bad spelling, it’s wonderful. Seriously wonderful.100% merino. Rich color. No knots. A little bit of clingy fuzz here and there to be easily picked off without affecting the integrity of the yarn. It was wonderful to work with.


Glass head declares it cozy and classy.


This time I decided to block. I wanted those yarn overs to open up a tad more than in my first effort. The steam-block worked well. It retained the nice squishy garter stitch feel, acquired a bit more length and width, and is now showing off its yarn overs to nice effect.