handspun handknit hat revisited :: Norie

At last, I got the second rendition of the hat I made for my mother-in-law photographed.

isn't she adorable?

isn’t she adorable?

As I’ve mentioned before, she saw my own handspun Norie and asked if I would make her one. So I spun up some yarn and banged one our in time for Christmas. Only I failed to check my gauge. And you know the risk involved in that.

When I realized it was WAY too big on her little noggin, I ripped it out and made it again. But I wasn’t able to get modeled pictures until now (the weather wouldn’t comply with an outdoor shoot).

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I love the way my handspun Hello Yarn Polwarth in “Troll” striped up just right in this hat (I did manipulate it in places). Hello Yarn’s colors are, as usual, to die for.

20140301-162802.jpgAnd I adore this pattern. I make it without the lace bits, and I shorten it. Such a lovely slouchy hat, and perfect for handspun.

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raveled

 

 

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Once more, with feeling :: Handspun Norie Hat

I made my mother-in-law a handspun hat for Christmas, at her request. It turned out great, except for the sad fact that it was way too big. So Christmas night, I frogged it and started over. I didn’t really mind knitting this thing twice, because handspun is just too much of a pleasure to begrudge any extra knitting. Next thing I knew, I was done (again).

Handspun Norie

Handspun Norie

I’m very pleased with how it turned out, and I especially love how the color transitions match up with the garter ridges so well.

20140204-084019.jpgAlmost like I manipulated it to come out that way (I confess – I did, in a couple of places).

My mother-in-law is very pleased with the hat. I haven’t yet gotten a picture of her wearing it, but it looks a little like the first version did:

20131227-110416.jpgExcept this time, it fits.

Raveled.

Take Time to Save Time

It’s one of those things that’s true no matter how long you’ve been knitting: take time to save time, make a gauge swatch. And I usually do! But sometimes I think I can just eyeball things and know how they’ll turn out. And sometimes that actually works. But this time it didn’t.

My mother-in-law asked me to make her a hat like my handspun Norie, and I was very happy to oblige. I spun up some Polwarth:

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(Hello Yarn, in “Troll” – 2-ply)

And I got to work. The hat went quickly.

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(shown folded) (with random bit of tissue paper that I’m too lazy to edit out right now) (I’m blogging from my phone, on the road)

The hat looked really cute on my mother-in-law:

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But it came out way too big. At first I thought maybe it was just because she has a pretty small head, which i had not really accounted for (with my ginormous noggin, the hat fit me fine, though not particularly snuggly). But then I checked my gauge. The pattern calls for 6sts/inch; my gauge was 4.5sts/inch! If you know how gauge works, then you will understand – even tiny differences in gauge can make big differences in the final size of a project. The difference between 4.5 and 6 stitches per inch can add five inches to the size of a hat, y’all. And it did!

So now I’m frogging and reknitting, which is fine because it’s handspun, so it’s a joy to knit. But still y’all, lesson learned (maybe). Take time to save time! Knit a gauge swatch!

(Instead of going down a couple of needle sizes, I have simply modified the numbers in the pattern to work with the gauge I’m already getting. I love how basic math knowledge empowers a knitter to be the boss of her knitting!)

Butterfly Hat, Mackinac Mitts, and Craft Friday

Here is something I didn’t really appreciate until I became a knitter. Crafters love to see their creations in use. I wish I could rewind about nine years, to when my kids were wee. So many wonderful people gave us handmade baby gifts, and most of those people never got to see the gifts actually in use. In retrospect, I wish that I had snapped pics of the babes on their various knitted, crocheted, and quilted blankets, and sent those along with my thank you notes. I was a frazzled new mom of twins, though, and I was barely managing to keep everyone fed, clean, and dry (including myself!). Also, I just didn’t realize how much it might mean to the makers/givers.

But now I know – there is a particular joy that comes from knowing something you’ve made with your own hands is being both loved and used. So my heart is super warm and fuzzy looking at this picture:

my beautiful niece and great-nephew

my beautiful niece and great-nephew

That is the Butterfly Hat I made for my niece (previously shown to you on my stepson; he’s good-looking, but for some reason the pink butterfly hat didn’t seem to suit him), along with the Mackinac Mitts I designed and knit. My niece rocks pink like no one else I know. (It doesn’t hurt that she’s pretty much super-gorgeous in whatever she wears.) And her sweet five year-old is just killing me with the cute. It actually makes my heart hurt to see this picture because we live so far from each other and see each other so rarely.

By the way, if you’re knitting either the Butterfly Hat or the Mackinac Mitts, Tumped Duck just posted a tutorial last week on how to knit lifted strands with slipped stitches. It’s a great how-to, especially if you are a visual learner.

In other crafting news, have you read about Craft Friday? I am in total solidarity with this and I will NOT be doing any shopping on Black Friday. Here in Ann Arbor, lots of shops (including most of the mall) are opening on Thanksgiving Day, as well. I worked retail in high school and college, and working Black Friday filled me with a special kind of anxiety and dread; I can’t imagine how I would have handled leaving my family, including out-of-town guests we only saw once a year, before Thanksgiving dinner was even done. I guess there is no way now to turn back this tide, but I won’t participate in it. I’ll be having brunch with out-of-town family on Friday morning and then settling in for some craft time later in the day.

I hope you find some craft time, too, in the midst of these busy days!

knitted :: Butterfly Hat

A few months ago, my sweet niece asked if I would knit her a pink hat. I sent her pictures of several options, and she picked the Butterfly Hat, a free pattern by Sofiya Cremin.

I’ve been interested in this pattern ever since my pal Heather made a pair for a couple of sweet little lasses in her family. Heather Knows Hats. So if she likes a pattern, I know I will, too. This one was fun and interesting, and, most importantly, cute. And it’s not just for the kiddos. My niece is a grown woman with kids of her own, and I thought this hat was perfect for her (especially in her favorite color). I had to get it away from my stepson first, though….

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It’s very difficult for me not to make a Zoolander quote right here.

Anyway! I made this hat in one of my favorite yarns, Stonehedge Mills Shepherd’s Worsted. As I mentioned in my last post about this yarn, my local yarn shop closed last spring (sob) and I no longer have local access to this Michigan-made yarn. But this summer, while vacationing on Mackinac Island, I stumbled into what looked like a drug store but turned out to also be half yarn store. What are the chances? The owner (a knitter herself) had a delicious assortment of Shepherd’s Wool; I actually had a hard time settling on which pink.

The yarn was its usual delight to work with – look at the great stitch definition – and the pattern was a sweet one.

work it, baby!

work it, baby!

Total winner.

raveled

(The hat only used about half the skein (125 yards), which left plenty of yarn for a matching accessory. So I designed a new pattern, which I’ll be releasing tomorrow.)

designed :: Corktown Slouch

Earlier this year, one of my most-loved handspun hats met with a sad demise. So when Sweet Sheep sent me some of her gorgeous handspun as part of a 13 in 2013 Tour de Fleece giveaway, I knew exactly what I wanted to make with it.

boom, a hat

boom, a hat

Inspired by the hat I was replacing (Felicity), I wanted to create a simple slouch with bulky yarn and an intentionally-loose fit, even at the brim, in order to accommodate maximum hair volume and corkscrew curls. This hat stays on your without squashing down your mane. (If you prefer a tighter fit, go down two needle sizes for the first two inches of the hat.)

a hat for big-haired people

a hat for big-haired people

I made this hat right after returning home from a week spent doing volunteer work in the neighborhoods of Detroit. I’ve lived 45 minutes from the D for more than a decade, but I’ve never spent much time there. The week I spent there this summer introduced me to the city in a new way, and I totally fell in love with it.

Detroit Hustles Harder

Detroit Hustles Harder

I named this design for the oldest neighborhood in Detroit – Corktown, home to Slow’s Bar B Q, urban farms, the historic (and abandoned) Michigan Central Station, and, formerly, Tiger Stadium. Founded by Irish immigrants after the potato famine, Corktown is considered by many to be one of the most up-and-coming neighborhoods in the country, a charming community with a vibrant scene for food, culture, and entertainment.
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The Corktown Slouch is a simple design with a laid-back feel; it would be equally at home in the barbecue kitchen, on the urban farm, or out on the streets of Motor City.
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Though I first designed the hat with handspun, I also whipped up one in some Plucky Knitter Plucky Rustic in a particularly luscious fall gold. It took less than a skein (roughly 125 yards).

in Plucky Rustic, "Princess Phone"

in Plucky Rustic, “Princess Phone”

Though this one is made at the same bulky gauge (3.5sts/inch), it has a looser feel overall (the yarn is aran weight, whereas the handspun I used was a true bulky). I like both fits.

perfect amount of slouch

perfect amount of slouch

I’m keeping the purple one for myself (are you surprised? I mean, it’s purple), but I have other plans for the gold (more on that in another post).

front view

front view

Now that the days have turned cool, I’ve been getting lots of wear out of my new favorite hat. I seriously love how the handspun (made from Funky Carolina BFL in “LaStrange”) striped out.

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(nothing beats a handspun hat, am I right?)

This is such a fast and easy knit, perfect to kickstart your holiday gift-knitting. It truly could not be simpler to knit. There’s almost nothing to it (except for a little shaping) which is why I’m offering it for free.

fall is for handknits

fall is for handknits

Download the pattern on Ravelry, and don’t hesitate to contact me with questions.

knitted: hat trick (Thorpe)

A hat trick in sports is associated with succeeding at anything three times in three consecutive attempts — Wikipedia.

Well then, all the more so if those three consecutive attempts are actual hats, yes? This Thorpe was actually the first of the three-in-a-row hats I knitted, but I had to wait to blog it till I had gifted it.

Thorpe

Thorpe

pattern:Thorpe (rav link) by Kristen Kapur
yarn:Lamb’s Pride Bulky, Spice, a little less than one skein (left over from my Fabulous Lace Inset Cardigan from a long time ago) and Lamb’s Pride Bulky, Sable, for the crochet trim and braided tassels
needles:size 9
size:medium
for:Chris, My Old Man’s son, who was visiting us from England
cast on:November 20
finished: not quite certain – it took me over a week because I was knitting Luggy Bonnets during that time, as well as fiddling with fixing my Moonshadow Stole for the wedding, as well as having to redo this hat when I ran out of yarn
modifications: None needed, except that since I had less than a skein of the Spice to work with, I ran out of yarn right before finishing the second ear flap. So I had to rip back and take out a row or two of the body of the hat, and then I made the ear flaps a tad smaller than the pattern called for.
verdict: This is an awesome pattern and I will be making it again. A fast, fun knit with beautiful results. Also, doing crochet trims on three hats in a row kind of made me love crochet a little bit.

Love those earflaps!

Love those earflaps!


Chris goes camping a lot and keeping his ears warm is a requirement for any hat I make. I love the shape of these, and the fact that they are in garter stitch.

crown decreases

crown decreases


Love these beautiful crown decreases.

I’ve been wanting to make this hat for awhile, and I’m glad I finally did. I think Chris likes it too.

handsome like his father

handsome like his father

I had wanted to get a picture of all three guys in their new hats, but I knew Tiny Dancer would never cooperate with that, given how much he hates his. I did get a couple of good-bye shots at the airport though.

brothers saying good-bye

brothers saying good-bye


hugs

hugs

Good-bye, Chris. We miss you already!