More hats

Kylie's_spiralLately it’s (almost) all hats all the time. I’m incentivized, as you’ll see at the end of this post. This is “Off-the-Cup Caps for Kids,” an Effectiveness by Design pattern by Michele Wyman. The pattern provides three variations and this is the spiral design. It was a “go to” pattern for me when my son was young and I haven’t knit it in ages. I used Lorna’s Laces Shepard Sport, but double-stranded it. The bow on top is a minor modification of mine. With 8 stitches left, I knit two 4-stitch I-cords.

It’s always a surprise to me to see how this:


Turns into a most unexpected this:


You’ve met Vogue Knitting’s Pompom Hat before on this blog. It’s back, jazzed up this time in Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Worsted in RPM Pink. Using a worsted, even though this is a beefy one, down-sized it to fit a child.

Sadie_pompomhatThe cables are great fun and look and feel totally cozy. But I also think that the seed-stitch back is a great touch.


This next one is Robin Melanson’s Hugs and Kisses Cabled Hat, from her hat and mitten set published in Tanis Gray’s “Cozy Knits: 50 Fast and Easy Projects by Top Designers,” published by Interweave.


I also knit this in Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Worsted (Lotus Pink) rather than in the bulky weight called for in the pattern. Again, the point was to downsize for a young one.

And this next cutie has a story to tell of knitting perseverance. But I’d not have been able to pull it off without the designer, Cynthia Spencer, having gone the extra mile and without Ravelry being available as support for our communication.


Kylies'cablehat2This is a two-color, one-pompom, no-top-tassle, modification of Spencer’s Cabled Earflap Hat included in “60 Quick Knits From America’s Yarn Shops.” It’s a Sixth and Spring Books publication. The errata are starting to pour in from the many corners of the knitting world on this book. I’d link to it, but for the last few days the website has been down. Spencer’s corrections hadn’t made it to the errata list as of about a week ago, though.

The pattern is correct except for the chart that is the body of the hat. I wouldn’t have been able to figure it out if Spencer hadn’t been so generous as to email me the chart she provided to the editors. She gave them line-by-line instructions too, but they only printed the chart and only after shrinking it down so small as to assure these senior eyes could barely read it. Well, that’s an old story and Sixth and Spring can’t be faulted for that any more than any other publisher can be. So, as for that chart–here’s the skinny:

Knit rounds 1 and 2. Then flip the chart upside down and start reading it backwards and knit rounds 23, 22, 21…and so on..down to round 3. Except when you get to round 17, 15 and 7 and 5 (reading the lines with their original chart labels, that is, upside down), reverse the 3-ST RPC and 3-ST LPC cables so that you switch the positioning of the 3rd and 4th set of cable crosses in each of the two halves of the figure eight.

Sigh. And then twirl around three times, shout “Callooh! Callay!” and chortle in your joy because once you knit the hat that Spencer entrusted to the publisher to print, you’ll have a great hat. Mine is knit in Cascade 220 Superwash Worsted.

kylies_cablehat3About being incentivized to knit these hats? Isn’t this just the best incentive ever?



Knitting hats in polar vortex country

hobbit_hat2I’ve gone rather hat-crazy lately. This isn’t even the half of them. Friends and family who like to wear hats have ordered up a few and they’ve kept me busy. Hats are one of my favorite things to knit. You knit a sock or a mitten and then you really do need to make another one pretty much the same. But hats, you can try this or try that and when you’re finished you don’t have to start all over again.

This is what I call a Hobbit Hood and what CreatiKnits calls her “Pixie Hood.” It’s a paid pattern, available on Ravelry. My niece liked the shape and style of this one, so I purchased the pattern instead of just winging it. As you can see more clearly below, this is not a rocket-science knit. The recommended yarn is LIon-Brand Woolease Thick and Quick Solids and that’s what I used. The pattern called for two skeins, but I only used about 5 yards of the second skein. Melanie reports, and you can see it on the glass head, that it curls under on the bottom edge–not really an endearing trait. Maybe a more loose bind off would have helped what steaming didn’t.


Trilobite is a favorite hat that I’ve knit a number of times, including here  and here. The newest Trilobite is knit in Lion Brand Martha Stewart Craft Extra Soft Wool Blend, let’s not call it LBMSCESWB for short.


Trilobite is a free pattern from a 2009 Knitty edition. It’s designed by Hannah Ingalls. It’s such a hoot to see those Trilobites emerge as you knit. LBMSCESWP–I know, I wasn’t going to call it that–has a few issues with unsightly knots hidden in the midst of the yarn every once in awhile, but if they could just lick that problem I’d give it very high marks. It’s 65% acrylic, 35% wool but it feels like the reverse might be true. Plus, of course, it’s easy care.

This is Knitwise Design’s Castle Hat, available on Ravelry or via Linda’s website. I knit it in Berroco Comfort–a great yarn for the sensitive heads among us.


This is also a repeat knit for me. Check it out here in another shade of Comfort. Of course the knitted castle is the star of this hat, but the crown decreases are also nicely done, with the placement of purl stitches.

castleHere’s what I think is another cool hat, again worked up in that alphabet soup yarn LBMSCESWL. Such a delicate shade of pink for a hat that designer Robin Melanson named Silver-Plates Dragon Scale Cloche. Since my young neighbor chose pink rather than gray yarn, the name doesn’t quite fit. But the dragon scales still show up clearly.


Melanson’s pattern is included in Tanis Gray’s Interweave book, Cozy Knits: 50 Fast and Easy Project by Top Designers. The book features Cascade Yarns, great yarns at a value price point. But I’ve been knitting hats from stash and this substitute worked well.



Dobby’s hat(s)


You know the story. Dobby the house elf is a free elf. Harry Potter managed to trick Dobby’s master, Lucius Malfoy, into giving Dobby a piece of clothing (a sock) and that’s how you free an elf. Now, as Winkie proves, most elves don’t want to be freed…or at least most think they don’t want to be freed. Hermione decides to knit hats and leave them where the house elves can pick them up while they are cleaning, which would free them. Hermione doesn’t realize that all she’s managed to do is make more work for Dobby because none of the other elves will clean up in Gryffindor House for fear of being freed. But Dobby loves clothes and collects up the hats and will wear them piled one atop the other.

But you know all about that.

This is my Dobby hat(s). The stack of five hats are knitted together. They are made to look as if they are piled haphazardly with placement of short rows. This Kendra Nitta pattern is included in The Unofficial Harry Potter Knits 2013 by Interweave Knits. Honestly, there’s a lot more Harry Potter chatter in this magazine than I enjoyed. And nothing but this hat really calls to me from the patterns presented. But the hat called loudly, so I bit the bullet, paid $14.99, and downloaded it.

Oh. This being the “unofficial” Harry Potter, this is not actually a Dobby hat. It’s the E.L.F. Hat (Elf Liberation Front).


A save for sure

rainbow_socksI really liked these Rainbow Socks, designed by Lucy Neatby and knitted in Shelridge Farm yarns. I liked knitting them. And I really liked wearing them. I totally wore them out. OK. It didn’t help that after years of wearing them they inadvertently ended up in the washing machine and the wool sort of dissolved everywhere it was thin.

holey_socksSigh. They were such great socks.

I stared at those wonderful cuffs. They were in good shape. The colors were still vibrant. No holes. So I snipped off the feet and stitched a hem in place. And then:

wristersA great pair of wristers.



pembrokeThis is Pembroke, a free pattern by Kirsten Kapur of Petite Purls. It is my new very cool, very long hat, with great cables even in the crown section and I’m not going to obsess about that unfortunate little pointy top. Everyone’s Pembroke has that little pointy top.


On a real head (with hair) instead of my glass head, the point is tamed quite a bit. This is MadTosh DK, in the Candlewick colorway. Pembroke was a really fun knit, with cables intelligently organized and accurately charted. That kind of precision and design-sense means a lot.

pembroke4Pembroke is designed for a worsted weight yarn, with 26 stitches and 34 rows over 4 inches, on a suggested size 6 US needle, measured over the cable pattern. Measured over this cable pattern is tough to figure, but my row gauge was accurate and the stitch gauge seemed (basically) on target using a DK weight yarn and size 6 needles.  Your mileage may vary, obviously.

With an added pattern repeat (or a few added repeats) wouldn’t this make a great cowl?