New year: more hats

This is Not Cabled, by Claudia Eisenkolb. You’ve seen it here before.  This time I knit it in Plymouth Yarn Worsted Merino Superwash. This superwash is a favorite yarn of mine especially when stitch definition will really matter. My only modification was to use my regular long-tail cast-on rather than the recommended tubular cast-on. I knit all the rounds the pattern calls for in a large size and my gauge was true.

Here’s GlassHead modeling it:

One reason why I am likely this hat, a lot, is that it puts great texture on a head without squashing whatever hairdo is underneath. Many slouches look like they’d do that but turn out to be more like beanies with a rippled puff on top.

This next Not Cabled is knit in Jones Street Worsted by The Copper Corgi Fiber Studio. It’s 60% merino, 30% alpaca, and 10% silk. Jones Street is a beefy Aran weight, with good stitch definition, and a wonderfully soft feel. It’s another one of those budget-busting yarns that I reserve for special one-skein projects. I was confident Not Cabled would work well.

My stitch gauge was off a bit and my row gauge was off too. I liked the feel of the material at this gauge and, rather than move to a smaller needle, I figured following the pattern would basically work. All I did to modify the pattern was trim 6 rounds from the hat, moving from round 13 to round 20 on the second pattern repeat. To keep the not-cables lined up, I needed to adjust the end of round. I knit more stitches in round 13, beyond the end of row marker, so that the pattern would line up and still start round 20 with a purl 6, knit 2. It was a bit of trial and error–enough so that I can’t tell you exactly what I did– but it got sorted out. This version of Not Cabled has a snood quality to it. I like it!

Here’s a view of the nicely organized crown decreases.

Next up is the Ravelry freebie Koko Bean Hat by JudithMarieknits. I worked it in my trusty fav Plymouth Yarn Worsted Merino Superwash, this time in the Primavera colorway. There are many versions of this hat, copycatting a commercially produced hat that I’m unfamiliar with. This one’s a keeper.

It’s a well-behaved hat with a well-behaved crown decrease.

The next hat is Andi Satterlund’s Cabot. It shares some features of Not Cabed.  It’s another good hat to prevent hat head and avoid bad hair days. I would tend to wear it to hide a bad hair day, though. I knit it back in 2014 in a two-color version, ahem, on account of I didn’t have enough yarn to knit it properly. I always meant to knit it again but it took me 5 years to cycle back around to it.

I’m pleased with the result. It’s best knit as Satterlund intended: one colorway. The textured triangle pattern is quickly mastered and makes for a fun and easy knit.

I worked my Cabot in the excellent worsted by Anzula: For Better or Worsted. It’s 80% merino, 10% cashmere, and 10% nylon: a warm, soft, bouncy yarn. The triangles even find expression in the crown decreases.

I’m thinking that 2020 is likely to be The Year of the Hat for me. Oh, wait. Every year for me turns out to be the year of the hat.

If you record each project on Ravelry and include the yardage used and then filter your project page by the year–2019–your total yardage knit during that year will appear at the bottom of the page. I knit 31,153 yards in 2019.  This past year’s yardage total includes 51 hats. I think I got a bit carried away.

Cat bed cozies

You saw two of these five cat (or dog) bed blankets a few months back. I think they make an interesting color statement as a set, so I’m including my first two attempts along with the three newer ones. My bed blankets are inspired by Donna Druchunas’s Garter Stitch Cat Shelter Blanket pattern.

I’ve knit mine in 100% wool–totally impractical for shelters. And maybe some will decide that they’re also impractical for households. From what I hear, cats don’t agree. Now that I think more about it, cats probably just don’t care about practical. If it feels cozy and a bit scratchy, they want it. As for practicality, I recommend the cats’ humans just wash the blankets and put them in the dryer when they need to be cleaned. I knit them somewhat oversized. The blankets will felt and the cats will still like them.

I’ve knit mine in Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Worsted.

More on my modifications of the pattern in a quick bit. These color studies turned out to be great fun to knit.

Here this pair is awaiting their test run.

Halo approves.

Feisty does too.


Lucy votes “yes.”

In fact, she even managed to co-op her housemate Jasmine’s blanket for awhile.

Here are my modifications to the Druchunas pattern.

  • Instead of working the blanket at a superbulky weight of 2 stitches to the inch, I used a worsted weight at 4 stitches (and 8 rows) to the inch.
  • For Squares 1-3, I cast on (or picked up) 48 stitches and worked for 48 rows.
  • I worked a few random rows of color, not so much because I planned it as that I thought I would run out of yarn otherwise.
  • For the final square, I worked a miter. I picked up (and knit) 48 stitches on the left side of Square 3 and 48 on the top of Square 1 and marked the middle stitch. Stitches are always picked up looking at the right (the public) side. Work on circular needles on this square. Count the pick-up row as Row 1. Row 2, knit. Then on every right-side row: knit to within 2 stitches of the center marker, K2 together. Slip the marker. Reverse the next stitch on the needle and then K2 together through the back loops (including the flipped stitch and the next one). Knit the remainder of the row. Decrease this way at the center of every right-side row. Knit every wrong-side row without any decreases. When 2 stitches remain, knit them together. You end up with a square the same size as the other squares.
  • I worked an “applied I-cord” border.  Cast on 4 stitches on double points. Start working the I-cord at a corner. Slide the stitches and knit 3 stitches, slip the next stitch (purlwise), yarn over, pick up and knit 1 stitch from the edge. Pass the yarn-over over the picked-up stitch. Then pass the slipped stitch over the picked-up stitch. Repeat the bolded directions until you’ve knit the entire border. The yarn-over trick covers the color blip that would otherwise appear. I picked up one stitch for every garter ridge, picking up the strand between the garter bumps. It will probably look best if you work the I-cord looking at the wrong (nonpublic) side. I worked an extra pickup or two at each corner. Graft/sew the beginning of the I-cord to the end of it.

Peerie Flooers Heid

What to call this, without being a total toot-your-own-horn. The bees’ knees. The cat’s meow. The greatest thing since sliced bread. All toot-your-own-horns so I’ll just call it what it is: Kate Davies Peerie Flooers hat pattern from her book Millarrochy Heids. I didn’t buy the entire book. The patterns are individually downloadable on Ravelry and I purchased only Peerie Flooers.  I’d bought a Blackberry Ridge fingering weight yarn pack kitted for Peerie Flooers at the Minnesota Knitters Guild 2019 Yarn Over event. I was game to try it but I wasn’t sure I’d be likely to knit more of the 15 fingering weight fair isle hats included in Davies’s book.

The yarn. The colors. The pattern. It all came together and I ended up with this.

“Heid” is Scots for hats. And I’ve assumed that peerie flooers means small flowers because it sounds like that’s what it would be and it felt like I was knitting little flowers.

I’m a sucker for a great crown decrease section. This one may be among the best I’ve been able to pull off.  Usually when I post about knitting hats I include a whole selection of them. That’s because I knit a lot of hats. But I decided this heid needed a post all its own.

Yowza and one thing leading to another

I’ve only rarely knit with Miss Babs. It always seemed like a lot of buck for the bang. But this set of 100% merino DK weight Yowza really captured me. And so did Boxes and Towers by Kirsten Kapur.

I am basically speechless, OK wordless, about how much I like this wrap.

I can’t get enough of looking at it and petting it.

I made very few modifications to the pattern. It calls for the knitter to cut the yarn and reattach the next color on each piece of the towers and boxes. Speaking of “yowza,” why would I do that and be left with all those ends to weave in? I didn’t cut the yarn except where new colors were needed in a new section. I carried the unused yarn up the side of the piece. It worked fine, including when I needed to pick up stitches along the side where the yarns twisted. When picking up stitches, I made sure to catch the float between the stitches, not merely the yarn being twisted along the edge. I was also careful to twist the yarn the same way each time, bringing the yarn I was using under the yarn I wasn’t using. I don’t know how necessary that was in this piece but I’m obsessive about such things. And I kept it loose and didn’t tighten up the yarn being carried.

The only other modification I made to the pattern was to increase the width of the edging a bit. I purled one round, knit one round, purled one round, and then worked the Icelandic bind-off–instead of picking up the stitches and immediately binding off. I did a yarn over at each side of the corner stitch on each of the three edge rounds.

Here’s another look at Boxes and Towers.

Yowza was wonderful to work with. No knots. No globby sections. The dye creates some heathering in the colorways, but there were no white blotches of undyed yarn. I’d use it again in a heartbeat. I liked working with it so much that I was determined to knit up every yard of it I could. Boxes and Towers required me to purchase six skeins of 200 yards each. The wrap used up about 800 yards. I needed to put that last 400 yards or so to good use. I had 28 grams left of Oakmoss (the green), Haydrick (the gold), Earthenware (the light burnt orange), and Slot Canyon (the light rosy shade). I had 20 grams left of Polished Stone (the gray), and 32 left of Sealpoint (the beige)–so, a total of 164 grams, about 400 yards.

I am really liking how my leftovers turned out.

Both the hat and the cowl are tincanknits knits from their “Mad Colours” book. The patterns are also downloadable on Ravelry. I just wanted to mention the book because I love to spell colors the wrong way, just like the Canadians and Brits. Just kidding. Live and let spell. The cowl is Undertone and the hat is the triangle version of their Prism hat.

I bet you spotted my little cheat–that spicey orange in the ribbing and alternating rows of the cowl. Yep, that’s not Yowza. It’s another oddment from my stash. It’s String Theory merino DK in the Rose Madder colorway. It really anchored the pieces, I think. It also left me enough Yowza to make an extravagant pompom.

Here’s another angle on the pompom, since knitters know that we knit in an era when you can work up some pretty elaborate hats and the first thing people say is…all together now…”I love the pompom.” Here’s another look at the pompom. It is a pretty good one.

Here’s a closer look at Undertone. It’s a quick, fun knit, with lots of potential for interesting color play.