Polka Dot Sheep hats


This is Polka Dot Sheep designer Aimee Anderson’s newest hat pattern: Maeve’s Hat. I was part of Alexander’s test knit on Ravelry. The pattern hasn’t yet been added to her website, but it’s available for download on Ravelry.

When you check out the pattern you’ll notice I modified it some. Everywhere there’s one of those beefy bobbles, Anderson’s pattern has a bead. In the test-knit phase, bobbles were an alternative in the pattern. The beaded version is elegant. My version is, well, not elegant. Mine is funky and fun.

This is a fingering weight pattern. I didn’t want puny bobbles, so I knit one, purled one, three times into the stitch, to create six from one. Then I turned and knit back on those six stitches, turned and purled those six stitches, then passed each of the 5 stitches, in turn, over the one nearest the right needle tip. In the body of the hat, I placed a bobble at each spot where the pattern called for a bead. In that first set of bobbles near that sweet picot edge, I spaced the bobbles four stitches apart.

Here’s another view, with a bit of the pentagon-shaped crown showing.


Ah, what’s that yarn? It’s Wollmeise Sockenwolle 80/20 Twin (80% merino, 20% nylon) left over from my kayak shrug I knit a few years back. I was saving it for a special project and decided the time had come.

This next hat is Evelyn’s. The pattern, though, is Margot’s Hat. And again it’s a Polka Dot Sheep pattern by Alexander.


The pattern calls for DK weight, but the DK I had on hand didn’t want to get to gauge. So I knit it instead in Malabrigo Rios, a worsted weight.


Alexander’s patterns are very attentive to small details. In this hat, it’s the way the picot edge is created and how the earflaps are tucked in place. My only modification was to use I-cord ties instead of twisty cord ties.

Of course, little ones look very sweet in pastels. But, I enjoy seeing them in earth tones.

Alexander’s two daughters are Maeve and Margot. Now they each have a hat pattern named after them. Both my creations will end up in Evelyn’s collection.

Farm to Market Hat


This is Aimee Alexander’s Farm to Market Hat. Her pattern, a Polka Dot Sheep publication, is available via Ravelry. I’d knit the Farm to Market mitts and was very pleased to be included in the test knit for a matching hat. Even in the test knit phase, the directions were clear and very sensibly presented. The minor corrections have all been incorporated in the final pattern.

The pattern includes directions for heads sized from 17 (basically newborn) to 23 inches. As with the fingerless mitts, the cables are the star, but the turned-under brim is a really nice touch. It’s very gentle on the ears!

My hat, actually, Isaac’s hat, is knit in Shalimar Yarns Breathless DK–a yummy concoction of 75% merino, 15% cashmere, 10% silk. No scratchiness here!

Isaac actually did wear the hat outdoors, under his hoodie. But the little guy is not fond of hats so I had to press another model into service for this one.


I have no idea what this yellow fellow is. But he’s quite heavy. Not at all cuddly. And kind of creeps me out. But I love the hat! It even sort of tames the toy and makes it easier to take.

Farm to Market Mitts times three


Ravelry Indie designers have been staging the second, hopefully annual, “Gift-A-Long” (GAL) since November. The event started off with zillions of patterns discounted. It’s meant to help knitters get their holiday knitting in high gear and, in the process, to learn about designs and designers we might miss in the highly competitive knitting pattern environment. It’s been lots of fun. And I’ve been especially productive, finishing 17 projects from ten different designers, including eight whose patterns I’ve not knit before.

These fingerless mitts are the Farm to Market Mitts by Aimee Alexander of Polka Dot Sheep. I’ve knit three pair during the GAL. The pattern is downloadable on Ravelry. These are worked up in Shalimar Yarns Breathless DK, a superwash blend of merino, cashmere and silk. The tamarillo colorway is beautiful and the 15% cashmere (10% silk) makes for a wonderfully soft fabric.

The cable, which needs to be knit with two cable needles, is the star of this mitt, for sure.


I prefer mitts with a thumb gusset rather than just a hole, or even less attractive, a stovepipe thumb that juts out from the mitt with not a touch of grace.

Here another sample, this time in Classic Elite Chesapeake. Chesapeake is a lightweight worsted and I used the same size needle thoughout (a US 5) instead of the 5 and 6 I used on the DK weight ones. It’s 50% wool/ 50% cotton and has excellent stitch definition.


Yes, I know you see it. The beautiful chain cable is screwed up on the right mitt. I didn’t see it until I cast off and I was too lazy to rip back. They will not be less warm than if they were error-free. Hopefully a non-knitting recipient will not be as bothered by the botched cable and I am.

The next set was my first pair–before Aimee decided to increase the number of yards a typical knitter will need to 140. I had the bare minimum recommended in the original version of the pattern (130) and it was just barely…not enough.

So I decided to make this mismatched set, knit in wonderful Plymouth Yarns DK Merino Superwash Select DK. This yarn has amazingly great stitch definition.


It’s getting to be my new “go to” yarn. This is my first time using the DK, rather than the worsted. No knots. No slubs.

farm_mittsAlexander’s pattern is totally error free. It’s also very intelligently laid out, with both line-by-line and charted directions. The key abbreviations–for the cables–are repeated on the page with the chart. Such a good feature, because you don’t have to keep flipping pages. She even helps the knitter out by telling you exactly how many stitches you will have in the gusset increase rows and includes a table (on the same page as the chart) that shows the stitch count and what row of the chart you’re supposed to be for each of those rows. The gusset increases in alternate rows, and then changes to every third row, so she signals the increase rows with an asterisk. Much appreciated!