Stash Knit Down

Late last year I found my fade.  Such a beautiful shawl, in seven coordinating (and expensive) skeins of fingering weight.

Having invested in all that beautiful yarn, I set the task for myself to use up the remnants. What I call my Faded Ursula Sockhead Hat worked out well.

This is a total mashup, that doesn’t bear much resemblance to Wendy Ellis’s After Ursula. But it was the inspiration for my hat. I cast on the Ursula number of stitches.  After 5 inches of ribbing in Madelintosh Merino Light in the “gilded” colorway, I worked 4 rounds of gilded in stockinette, followed by pairs of that shade, faded in with a second color from the shawl.  I worked the fade section over 12 rounds. Then I knit 8 rounds of color 2. Next came a fade section, alternating pairs of rounds in color 3 with color 2 over 12 rounds, followed by 8 rounds of color 3. And so on. I worked almost 8 inches of stockinette, after the ribbing, and then started the decreases.

I used the decreases from Kelly McClure’s Sockhead Slouch Hat–decreasing 18 stitches every 3 rounds. So, this is a mash up of Sockhead Hat, Find your Fade and a bit of After Ursula. And I used 6 of my 7 colors from my Find Your Fade shawl.

But there was still a ton of yarn left.The remaining color with the most yardage was Malabrigo Mechita in the Sabiduria colorway. I decided to knit tincanknits light version of their much-loved “Barley.” Here’s my child-sized Barley Light.

Glasshead wanted to model it, but I didn’t want it all stretched out.

Hmm. What to do with short yardage? I decided to knit for baby feet even though I don’t presently have many babies in my world. These are Vauvan Sukka (roughly, train socks, in Finnish), knit in Alexandra’s Craft’s Diamond Lake and a bit of Bad Amy yellow-gold.

I like to make these socks in interesting and sometimes arresting color combinations.

The Train Socks story has been retold a good bit, including on my blog.  The pattern is attributed on Ravelry to Kerttu Latvala, and is posted by her daughter Terttu Latvala as a free pattern. The story of Vauvan Sukka is explained by Terttu, as translated into English at Teakat Translation, where the free pattern is also available. In 1939, with World War II already underway in Europe, mother and child were evacuating.There were delays because sections of railroad track had been bombed. Terttu was an infant. An infant with no socks. While they waited, a fellow passenger unraveled yarn from her white hand-knit sweater and knit Terttu a pair of socks. To pay forward that passenger’s kindness, first Kerttu and then Terttu have gifted hundreds of pairs of these baby socks to newborns.

I gifted my pair to Cecelia, who has lots of socks but now has one more pair. A pair with a story.

With one set of warm baby feet, I sort of couldn’t stop myself.

This is Frankie Brown’s free pattern, Baby Boots. One piece, worked flat, on size one needles. That Number 2 pencil eraser (remember pencils, people used to use them to write stuff) is included to show you the tiny scale of these booties.

Totally sweet, in Hedgehog Fibers Sock, in the Truffles colorway. I don’t associate gold and rose with truffles, but maybe. And it’s wonderful yarn. These were the only booties Isaac didn’t kick off.

Emboldened, it was time for a booties and hat set for the baby I’ve not yet met. This next knit is an old favorite. I’ve knit it many times.The pattern is from Homespun, Handknit, edited by Linda Ligon. It’s a wonderful Interweave Press book published in 1988 filled with patterns for hats, scarves, socks, mittens and gloves.

This is Bouncing Baby Set, by Jean Scorgie, minus its thumbless mittens. Babies look super cute in this head-hugger hat. And the kneesocks. Well they stay on a baby’s feet, unlike so much other stuff that we knitters knit for the wee ones’ feet.

There was still a bit more yarn left. So I knit a pair of my very own bears, Sunrise Side Bear. But instead of using worsted weight and size 5 US needles, I knit this set in fingering weight Malabrigo Mechita on size 1 needles.

These Sunrise Side Bears stand 5 and 1/2 inches tall, with a fist-to-fist span of 3 and 1/2 inches. To appreciate the scale, that mouse in the middle is holding a US penny.

They were bare. I had a little yarn left. It was enough for a vest for Boy Bear and a dress for Girl Bear. And with the last bits, came their tiny scarves.

I am feel quite proud of completing my de-stash challenge.

“Yes, she’s knit even more hats.”

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I know. It’s summer here in Michigan. (It did finally arrive.) It’s warm. And, if you knew me better you’d know that I don’t really even wear hats very often. But I do enjoy knitting them.

This is Rikke Hat, by Sarah Young of Happy Knits. It’s a free pattern on Ravelry. Young designed it for DK, but I knit mine in Mountain Colors Twizzle, a fairly lightweight worsted. The colorway is Beartooth. It must be a bear’s tooth after the bear’s been been munching on some sun-ripened protein. Anyway, I love the colors.

The pattern calls for using a German Twisted Cast-on and refers the knitter to YouTube for the “how to” on that. I just could not get the hang of it. I ended up using a wonderfully easy cast-on from page 41 of Cap Sease’s excellent 2014 book, “Cast On, Bind Off: 211 Ways to Begin and End Your Knitting.”  She calls it Thumb Cast On and writes that it’s also called the Twisted Right Finger Half-hitch Cast On. Sease says it’s a suitable substitute for the German Twisted. It’s a nice stretchy cast-on.

Here’s a look at the top. As always, no pointiness is what I favor and this crown decrease delivers.

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Rikke sits lightly on the head and several knitters have commented that it doesn’t give its wearer a case of hat-hair. Rikee is a very popular hat on Ravelry. 8,143 knitters have completed the hat and posted it on their project page.

This next one is another very popular Rav freebie: Wurm by Katharina Nopp.12,971 Ravelers can’t be wrong. The pattern is available in German, Finnish, French, Italian and English.

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Wurm calls for a sportweight, though it’s quite forgiving if you use other weight yarn. I knit mine (this time) in sportweight “Hat Box by Mrs. Crosby.” I have no clue about that yarn name, but it’s great yarn. It’s a 5-ply, 75% merino, 15% silk, 10% cashmere. We can cut good yarn some slack on the silly name scale. I call my hat Creamsicle Wurm.

Here’s the crown.

orange_wurmtop

A bit unruly, but in a interesting way. Here’s a few other versions I’ve knit: here and here.

Kelly McClure’s Antelope Slouch Hat is another worthy entry in the free hat patterns on Ravelry. Mine is knit in Cascade 220’s freshly hatched Effects, a new superwash. I enjoyed working with it.

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Some knitters decrease the number of eyelet rows in Antelope. But I know folks who think the slouchier the better when it comes to hats. The fold-back picot brim adds a nice touch. You knit a few rounds, do a round with yarn over, knit 2 together, and knit a few rounds more. Next you knit together each live stitch in the round with one of the cast-on stitches. It’s awkward at first, but hands catch on pretty quick. When you’ve completed the maneuver, the cast-on is knitted into the working round. And that yarn-over round becomes the picot brim.

This is also not the first time I’ve knit Antelope Hat. Here’s a few more samples, including views of the crown decreases.

Pair of antelopes

This is Kellly McClure’s Antelope Hat. It’s a free pattern available on McClure’s blog and on Ravelry. It’s shown here in the beanie version, knit in seriously soft Mirasol Miski. It’s 100% llama and 100% great to work with. My two modifications for this version were an extra knit row between the colors, to avoid having two-color stitches facing forward, and a traditional sewn picot edge replacing McClure’s no-sew version. The hat even has interesting crown decreases that emphasize the yarn over placement.

This is the slouch version of antelope knitted in Malabrigo merino worsted in the azul profundo colorway. The slouch uses three sets of the pattern repeat instead of the beanie’s two.

A quick, satisfying knit. I completed both of these in a weekend. This version uses McClure’s no-sew picot. You knit a few rounds, knit a knit two together, yarn over, round. Then you reach down basically to the first round, on the inside, and knit a purl bump in with the knit stitches on the needle to create what I know as a “welt” and what now is often called a “tuck.” This technique has a tendency to curl when used on an edge. My curl mostly steamed out.

Now for the naming question that I habitually ponder. Why is this the antelope hat? According to Wikipedia, Antelopes are all the members of the Bovidae family that aren’t sheep, cattle or goats. My hat isn’t a sheep, a cow or a goat so that must explain why my hat is like an antelope. Most antelope are native to Africa. Perhaps this extra warm hat would be a good one to pack for my next safari. Antelope have well-developed molar teeth on account of being cud-chewers. Maybe the very regular pattern of holes looks a bit like strong teeth have bitten through the hat in nice even rows. Or could it be that we are seeing hoofprints in the snow where the antelopes have galloped through?

I really like this hat! Great pattern and so generous of McClure to release it free. I would not poke fun at the hat even one teensy bit. But, it is an odd name and it is fun to contemplate the whys of oddly named patterns.