Yep…more hats

I do like knitting hats. A bit too much, some might say.

This is Scrappy Ski Cap by Justyna Lorkowska, a freebie on Ravelry. Instead of making it out of assorted oddments as Lorkowska suggests, I used leftovers from two colorways of Plymouth Yarn’s Worsted Merino Superwash. So, mine is a somewhat more organized looking scrappy hat.

I’m very pleased with how it worked out. The last few years have been the years of the pompom, pom pom, pom-pom…however you want to spell it. Possibly that’s the star of this hat.

Everyone who looks at my Scrappy Ski Cap chortles on about liking the two-color pompom. There’s no trick to that, of course. I just wound a second color onto one section of my trusty Clover pompom maker. It comes in three sizes. I have them all. For this one I used the largest size. And, in case you’re wondering, Clover thinks pompom is spelled “pom pom.”

Also, in case you’re wondering, Webster’s apparently favors the hyphen and says that “Pom-pom is derived from the French word pompon, which refers to a small decorative ball made of fabric or feathers. It also means an ‘ornamental round tuft’ and originally refers to its use on a hat, or an ‘ornamental tuft; tuft-like flower head.'”  OK. I did not know that.

“And now for something completely different.”  A beret. Lordy. She’s knit a beret. She’s knit Natalie Larsen’s Star-Crossed Slouchy Beret. I used the Aran-weight Berroco Peruvia rather than the suggested Malabrigo worsted. It’s a different look.

Here’s Glasshead wearing it like a beanie because she doesn’t much like berets either. Why did I knit this beret? Mostly because I’m knitting hats for others and Ravelers have knit and posted projects on this hat 14,754 times (as of today) and the pattern is in 13,916 Ravelers queues of patterns they hope to knit. So, apparently, some people do like berets. And a lot of people definitely like this particular beret.

After knitting my beret, I steamed it gently, placing the round of increases on the edge of an appropriately sized bowl. Speaking of the increases, at least in this yarn and knit at this gauge, they show up in a rather unpleasant ring as the hat broadens out to a beret. Knit 2, make one (along the whole round) by doing a backwood loop on the left hand needle and knitting into the back of the stitch seems a bit too prominent an increase for me. And I think that would be true whatever the yarn. So, if I knit this again, I’ld probably try a different increase. It is a pretty head-thing, though–as berets go.

This next hat I’ve knit twice before. It’s Breck, by Susan Vilas Lewis. It’s a great sport-weight slouchy. I knit the body of the hat in Mrs. Crosby Hat Box. Hat Box is an unusual (but wonderful) merino (55%), cashmere (12%), acrylic (33%) mix. I used Debbie Bliss Cashmerino for the red of the mosaic work. Hat Box’s heathered quality, which I normally think is a plus, caused the mosaic work to be a bit subdued. But I still really like this hat.

Here’s the mosaic-work detail.

My only modifications were to: (1) knit the ribbing at the start on size 5 needles, down one size from the main body of the hat, and (2) add a knit round before and after round 10 on the crown decreases–just to pull the stitches a bit closer together as the crown closes.

Breck is one hat I believe deserves a LOT more attention than it’s gotten so far. There are only 6 projects posted on Ravelry and three of them are mine! Maybe the sport weight scares people off. But this hat could also work well in DK weight. It’s a cool hat and if you want it to be beanie style, you just stop knitting the body a tad sooner.

This next Ravelry freebie, Irma Hat by Anneta Gasiorowska, totally surprised me. I knit it because a hat-of-the-month group on Ravelry chose it as our group knit-along one month.  I decided to go along with the crowd even though I thought the zigzagging and a ton of make one lefts and make one rights would be a pain. I even dug out what I took to be an unpleasant colorway of Berroco Comfort, thinking I’d at least further my stash-down efforts.

It was a bit more work than most hats. That’s partly because my brain often gets confused by the combinations of left leaning and right leaning make 1s. But wow! I think it worked up great. I even now think that the colorway is pretty. And check out the crown:

That much cool detail on a free pattern makes me incredibly grateful for the generosity of the knitting universe.

Every little bit counts

My 2019 resolution was to try hard to knit all usable quantities of a colorway before I proceed to a new yarn for a new project. Kind of “finish your peas before you eat dessert” thing. Well, except that Schoppel-Woole Zauberball and Cascade Yarns Superwash Sport are hardly the peas of the yarn world. Apologies, to you pea lovers, but peas taste terrible and I bet somewhere deep down you know that too.

So, first I used a smidge of the Daffodil colorway to knit my Annita Wilschut Vera bear a rain hat.

Perfect. That was in the summer of 2014.

My Daffodil languished. Next, in the fall of 2018 I knit Wolkig in my black/gray/white Zauberball.

I broke into the  Daffodil for the cuffs of my adult moc-o-socs.

Such a great pattern by Rebekah Berkompas.

Then, with most of the leftover Zauberball and a dainty amount of the Cascade 220 sport Daffodil, I knit Justyna Losorska’s freebie beanie, Fasolka. I followed her instructions exactly, except that I went my own way on the color combination.

I see this sportweight hat as a great success. It even has an excellent crown, with no hint of the dreaded pointy beanie syndrome.

The Zauberball colorway worked out so excellently, I will be indulgent and give you another view.

What next to knit. I’d been eager to give Cecelia Compochiaro’s “sequence” knitting a try. My first attempt was her Swirl Hat, using her spiral sequence method.

If case you haven’t heard about or tried sequence knitting yet, let me intrigue you. All the patterning on this hat repeats the same 10-stitch sequence. Yep, the diagonal slices, separated by a few rows of stockinette, are several rounds of the same sequence worked over and over again, ignoring the end-of-round marker. The shift in the direction of the slice happens magically (or so it seems to me) by a minor adjustment to the number of stitches in the round that happens in the stockinette section.

There was even enough Zauberball left for a right-sized pompom.

My Cascade 220 superwash sport hadn’t run out yet, so I couldn’t quit on it. This next hat is Susan Villas Lewis’s Vitruvian Man.

The Vitruvian Man, at least the one who isn’t a hat, is DaVinci’s drawing of a man stretched out in a circle, with his arms stuffed into the top of a square and his legs stuffed in the bottom of a circle. You know, this guy:

It’s a fun motif to knit. The entire hat is very cleverly designed.

Check out the great crown.

I have a big gumball sized ball of Zauberball left. And what’s left of my Cascade 220 sport isn’t quite a golf-ball sized ball. Every useful bit is used up.

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

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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.

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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.

cater

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.

sokosu

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.

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Glass head declares it cozy and classy.

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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.