Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Earflap Hat - Modified

A while back I made a plethora of earflap hats based on the Very Basic Bulky Ear-Flap Hat by Anne Carroll Gilmour, and now that winter is coming (yet again!) I am revisiting the pattern. I was digging through my stash and I found a ball of yarn that has been sitting around forever and decided to make use of it. A couple people asked about the pattern, so here's what I did:

Pink Toddler Ear-Flap Hat
Patons SWS (Soy Wool Stripes) - 70% wool/30% soy - 1 ball (100 m/110 yds) "Natural Geranium"
1 set of US #8 (5 mm) dpns
H (5 mm) crochet hook
Darning needle

Gauge: 4.75 sts = 1" and 6 rows = 1" (4 sts = 4 cm and 5 rows = 2 cm) 

The pattern I modified to get this hat can be found as free download at Ravelry here. I am not going to reiterate what it says, just note my modifications. Please reference it for clarification.

I followed the instructions for the earflaps EXCEPT that I worked it in garter stitch, not stocking stitch. This makes it noticeably shorter. If I were to knit this version again, I might increase every 3rd row, rather than every 2nd, to make them longer.

I did an e-loop cast on of 10 sts for the back and 20 sts for the front, just as the directions called out for the smallest size. (Total: 64 sts) I joined to work in the round and did 4 ridges of garter stitch.

After the garter stitch brim, I switched to stocking stitch and worked it until the hat was 4 inches (10 cm) deep, rather than the 5 inches called out in the original pattern. I based this measurement on the sizing in patterns I have for toddler beanies.

64 sts divides by 8 nicely, so I decreased by *k6, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round, then knit one round, and *k5, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round, etc. I decreased in this manner (every other row) until 8 sts remained, then I used the darning needle to cinch the stitches together.

Using the crochet hook, I joined the yarn at the bottom of an ear flap (where the ties will hide it). Since the earflaps are begun by casting on 3 sts, I made the 1st and the last stitches like corners, ie. I 2c in one st, 1c in the middle, then 2c in the third. Everywhere else I just worked a single crochet (c). The ties were made by cutting 6 strands of yarn approximately twice the length of my arm. I connected them to the earflaps by hiooking the middle point of the yarn through the center single crochet (the one between the two 2c's, or "corners") and making a slip knot. I added one to either side on the corners in the same manner, and then braided them together, being careful to keep an even tension on preventing the strands from twisting. This produces a nice flat braid. I simply tied a knot at the end when it seemed long enough, and then trimmed the loose ends.

I blocked it, and that was that.

If you have ay questions, please leave a comment. I hope you enjoyed this explanation! 

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

More Fair Isle-ish

I find Fair Isle-type knitting fairly addictive (no pun intended), hence the hat below.
 It's a toddler hat with added ear flaps. Do I have a toddler? No. But it's so cute!
Generally speaking, I like working in fine gauge yarn because I find it more economical. About $20 of yarn will keep me busy quite some time, especially if there is more than one color.
And I just love how it looks. You'd think I'd make one for myself, wouldn't you? Well... I've been thinking about it. I lost my favorite winter hat (a Peruvian beanie in alpaca I got at the thrift store for $1. I know, I know... I do all this knitting and wear something from a thrift store!) and started a replacement during the early spring, which is now sitting in one of my work baskets, totally neglected. It's an ACTUAL Fair Isle hat, in ACTUAL Shetland yarn, but... I have to frog it back because I changed my mind about one of the color combinations. But I'll no doubt be getting on it soon, because winter will eventually arrive, and I am on the East Coast.
In Other News 
It looks like I will be getting off my tukas and doing a table at Go West! this December 13th. Yay, me!

Monday, November 02, 2015


I hope everybody had a swell Halloween! As usual, V. got thrown into a last minute costume, a character of her own choosing:
Well, ok, this did take a little planning, because I ordered the fleece weeks ago. But I DID wait until Saturday afternoon (a.k.a. Halloween Day) to sew it.

I based it loosely on the Jaguar costume she wore last year, but instead of a hood with a face, I made her a hat with just the ears. The ears and tail were fabric covered pizza box, and the only closure was some Velcro under the chin. All in all, I think it turned out great, and she got praise everywhere she went. Naturally, I was in medieval clothing (yet again), but instead of wearing my 1400's Flemish clothing and posing as a plague victim, I wore my new toque with my new blue wool dress (no photos yet, but soon!). Last year I was asked several times if I was a zombie Pilgrim. Um... no.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

My Camera Hates Me

I knit V. a really lovely, simple cardigan recently, and just got the buttons on it this weekend. It's from a 1965 pattern for a girl's raglan sweater in fingering. However, as the title of the post says, my camera hates me. Here is a terrible photo of the book:
And here is a terrible photo of the pattern in the book:
And here is a truly horrendous photo of my finished project:
I swear, this really is a nice sweater, but I'm experiencing a profound level of resistantalism. Photos I took last week on this camera (set to Auto) came out just fine (you know, if you like pumpkin patches):
But try to photograph a sweater I spent about two weeks knitting? Noooo.
But anyway, here are the fun facts:
Child's Raglan Sweater (1965)
Needles: US #1 & #2
Yarn: KnitPicks Palette in Navy (about 4.5 balls)
Notions: 7 5/8" navy plastic buttons
I could not tell you the gauge, because I did not check. Probably about 7 sts = 1 inch in the stocking stitch body, which was on US #2 needles, because that's a typical size for me to use and it usually runs about that.
I'm fairly certain I have almost this exact same pattern in another vintage book that is seamless, but I was too impatient to dig it out. (By the time I did, V. would probably have been size 7, instead of size 6.) V. complained at first try-on that it was itchy, so I gave it a good soak in conditioner, which seems so far to have solved that problem because she hasn't complained again. I ironed on a name tag I usually put on all her outwear so that the sweater won't get lost at school. This is a real problem. Six year olds are not known for remembering where they put their cardigan, much less anything else, unless you don't want them to have it. Last year she had a store bought navy cardigan very similar to this one which she lost on the first day of wearing it. This cardigan cost me roughly the same, if not a little less, than the store bought one, so I am not losing it.
I actually like this pattern well enough that I'm considering making her one in another color, such as Kelly Green or yellow. A simple pattern like this has a lot of potential, because if I wanted, I could make it Fair Isle, or anything else I want. We'll see.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Slip Slip Skull Fingerless Gloves Sale!

Halloween is almost upon us again! To celebrate, I'm running a 10% Halloween Sale on my Slip Stitch Skull Fingerless Gloves pattern. 
 Slip Stitch Fingerless Gloves specs:
One Size Fits Most
Needles: US #2 (2.75 mm) dpns
Yarn: light fingering
Gauge: 11 sts = 1 inch in skull pattern
I have updated the pattern this year to include written instructions for the skulls as well as the chart.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Say What -?

Belding Bros. & Co.'s The Self-Instructor in Silk Knitting, Crocheting and Embroidery (1886) gives very precise instructions as to what method to use when casting on. It is, according to them, "the only one admissible in silk." They are as follows:

Well, now, that was truly illuminating, wasn't it?
After a bit of pondering (wherein I probably formed brand new frown lines), I deduced that it is very likely the Knit Cast On method. If I am wrong... well, I hope I'm not.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Hodgepodge Hat

I had this idea in my head for a while to make a tam style hat out of mitered squares. Sort of like the ubiquitous mitered square blanket, but in a hat. And in the round. It seemed like a viable solution to small scraps of yarn, or a pathological need to do intensive knitting. The opportunity finally came along when I scratched a baby sweater project in Noro fingering weight yarn.
This was the result:
My blurriness is in direct proportion to my fussiness fuzziness.
I call it my Hodgepodge Hat, not because it resembles mutton soup, but because "Patchwork" would have been too trite. 
I began by knitting the brim, and once it was long enough,, I then worked the mitered squares along live stitches until I'd come full circle. At the last square of each round I had to pick up the edge stitches of the first square to join it. This became a very fussy thing to do once I was decreasing for the crown. I was really wondering what I was thinking in doing it this way. Originally, I was going to write the pattern up, but after I was done I swept that right out of my mind. Plus, I think the ribbing is too loose!
An excellent view of my Sherpa-wear
But all-in-all, I think it's a nice hat. Maybe I'll knit it again someday in a sensible manner that is easy to convey to others in writing, as opposed to a video of knitting contortions.