Doubles

A major stash-down is underway. That means getting reintroduced to lots of fun wonderful yarn that’s been lolling about in my stash. It also means deleting all those wonderful yarnie emails I get–without even opening them. Ok, that’s a bit militant. But I’m going to attend a few knitting events in the next several months and my plan is to be sure there are major holes in my stash by the time I get to the marketplaces. So, I’m not feeling one bit deprived. Well, maybe one bit. Still, stash-downing is turning out to be fun.

I’m tending to knit small projects and patterns that I’ve knit before.

These first two hats are Jo Klim’s Totalee Slouchee, knit in Merino Extrafine Color 120 by Schlachenmayr. That’s a DK-weight superwash merino. Here’s a closer look:

I know. Not everyone’s cup ‘o tea. But what one set of eyeballs sees as garish another sees as daring and colorful. These are my 4th and 5th knits of this pattern, in this yarn. And my friends and family chose all three original knits as holiday gifts. In fact, the one with the orange highlights already walked out my door as a birthday present for a friend’s head.

I enjoy that the crowns of these hats, in this yarn, create that flower or bulls-eye. I suppose that what you see might depend on whether your head prefers shooting or gardening. I don’t like either. But I do like this hat.

I had three skeins of each colorway and used up the remaining yarn with a simple freebie pattern that showcased this yarn to good effect. These next hats are Janet D. Russell’s Child’s Self-Striping Hat. The pattern name throws you a bit of a curve on the sizing. Russell’s pattern includes from an extra small to an extra large. I knit the large, figuring it would work well even for the young ones and used just under 180 yards, DK-weight.

Here’s glass head looking all cheerful, as if it hadn’t just recently reached twenty-five below at our water’s-edge weather station. And that’s real degrees, none of that wimpy wind-chill stuff.

 

Again, this yarn rewards knitters with an excellent crown. Children are the likely recipients of these hats. I decided to add a pompom to both. Yep, I know that even grown-ups can stick pompoms on the top of their heads if they want to. The pompoms ended up ringed by that nice splash of color.

Such fun.

This week, what with February 14th coming up, is a good time to show off a pair of Knitwise Design’s Young at Heart Hats.

Rather than work with traditional heart motif colors, and consistent with the stash-down underway, I knit these in pastels of Plymouth Yarn’s Worsted Merino Superwash. It works. Good yarn. Great pattern. Those slip stitch hearts are the best.

Well, maybe the little dangling heart toppers are the best.

How would we smile our way through the long cold winters without knitting?

As the weather turns…more hats

slouchee3

I typically proceed through the world hatless. It takes super cold weather or knowing I’ll be out in the cold for prolonged periods before I wear a hat. But still hats are among my favorite things to knit. You only need to make one. And gauge isn’t super important because I always have access to some some head of the right size. Twenty below this winter in Michigan has even managed to improve my personal attitude toward wearing hats.

This is “Totallee Slouchee” by Jo-Anne Klim, of KBJ Designs. The pattern is available for purchase on Ravelry. The hat uses an interesting, easy, slipped-rib brim. Slouch seems to be a currently popular style and this hat slouches nicely.

My Slouchee is knit in my new favorite self-striping DK weight yarn: Merino Extrafine Color 120 by Schachenmayr Original,  I used the London Mix colorway. The yarn had no knots or color breaks in the two skeins I used. I’ve since found some knots in another colorway I used for a project, but these two skeins were perfect. One of the cool things about this yarn? The skein has a slotted band with the proper end to pull taped and easily accessible. No more yarn barf!

slouchee

This next hat is Amy van de Laar’s “Paper Planes” from her Paper Hats series. The hat features a ring of classic paper airplanes as seen from above, outlined with twisted stitches that make for nice crisp edges. Well, honestly, you have to let your imagination roam a bit to see that. Still, it’s an interesting design.

paperplanes

paperplanes2

The pattern and the entire series of origami-inspired hats are available for purchase on Ravelry. This was a fun knit. I used String Theory Caper Sock. Caper Sock is an 80% merino, 10% cashmere, 10% nylon mix that worked up beautifully in this pattern. I’d have been a tad more pleased with this toddler-sized hat if I had increased the length to the crown decreases by an inch or two.

This next one is Alicia Plummer’s “Rainy Tuesday.” The large-size version, which mine is, maintains the raindrops motif around the entire hat. It’s an appealing stylish hat. The challenges the pattern presents are all surmountable, with a bit of experience and a bit ‘o help from your Ravelry-mates.

Rainy_Tuesday

My Rainy Tuesday is knit in Plymouth Yarn Worsted Merino Superwash. Great yarn with excellent stitch definition.

Here’s a few more views of Plummer’s Hat.

Rainy_Tuesday3

Rainy_Tuesday2The instruction for taming those pointy crown decreases was to block aggressively. I haven’t tried that yet, but it’s a tall order. I’m prepared to declare it a design feature.