Knit One…. Crochet Two…

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Since I haven’t been posting as much as I would like lately, I thought I would share what is currently on my needles….. and what was recently on my hook!

Last year, I decided to enter not only some knitting, but also a crocheted item into the county fairs.  I couldn’t find any fair-worthy pot holder patterns for my entry this year (but I think I found a pattern for NEXT year), so I decided I would crochet a hat instead.

I chose this:


It is a tapestry crochet pattern.  Tapestry crochet is sort of like stranded colorwork in knitting, except with single crochet stitches.  The resulting fabric is really thick because you carry all of the yarn strands within the stitches of your work.  For this reason, it is often used for elaborately patterned baskets. 


I chose some worsted weight wool yarn for the project in colors I thought would work well together.  All of the yarn was from my existing yarn stash.


My hat about half way done. You can see why this technique is often used for patterned baskets.

I should have chosen a sport weight yarn, and dropped down a few hook sizes because my hat came out way too big to be a pull-on cap as the pattern intended.  In order to shrink the hat, I soaked it and ran it through the dryer, which did help to some degree.




Since the hat could still work as a ‘slouch’ style hat, I added a really large pom pom to the top to weigh the hat down and make it slouch better when worn.



I entered the hat into the Lake County Fair this year, and despite its challenges, it scored a second place ribbon.  I was excited and happy to have ribboned.

Etsy 052a


The red hat in the front right corner of the case behind me in the photo (below) was my knit hat entry which actually won a blue ribbon this year.  I love fair season.  My items are still on display at Lake County Fair at the time of this post, but up next for me will be the Will County Fair. 

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Since I have no socks to enter in that fair this year, I picked up my only half completed Snowflower socks that I started making for my cousin Sharon a year and a half ago.  I thought I could finish the second sock, enter them into the fair, and then finally send them to Sharon, who lives in Canada, when the fairs are all done.


So far so good on that plan.  The second sock is currently in the Soak wash in preparation for blocking, and I expect to have the pair ready in time for the fair in another week.

~Happy knitting!

FO: Summer Slouch Hat

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This past week, I began to think about knitting summer hats.  I like wearing hats, and I thought it would be cute to knit a hat from some light fiber that I could wear with my jeans.  I began looking through my stash to see if I had anything that fit the bill, and I found some Lion Brand Organic Cotton in the colorway Pistachio.  This yarn is so soft and smooth. 

I was envisioning a cute cap with maybe some earthy looking beads along the ribbed band, but I kept looking at the yarn and thinking that it would be perfect for a slouch hat.  It’s smooth and drapey, but still not too thin, and even more, it has a bit of a nubby, thick and thin texture.  A slouch hat would be so cute knit from yarn like that! 

I actually don’t personally wear slouch hats because they are not quite me, and they don’t really look good on me, so I knew that this hat would go up in the Etsy shop.  I began looking for a pattern, and I found this one  on Ravelry that I thought would work.  I adjusted the pattern for the weight of my yarn (a heavy sport weight) and got to it.

As I knit along, I began to feel like the yarn itself had enough character that I might be best off avoiding the actual lace stitch described in the pattern, and instead just use stockinette to show off the yarn. 

Etsy 072a

As you can see, that’s what I did.  I improvised the hat, essentially, and I’m so happy with how it turned out.  I like the broad band of ribbing, and the fact that the hat is only a little slouchy.  And I know I already mentioned it, but this yarn is so soft!  If you could feel this hat, you would love it even more!

I used the dinner plate trick to block the hat.  I gave it a good soak , rolled it in a towel, and then stretched it over an 11 inch dinner plate to dry.  This method encourages the slouchy shape. 

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I balanced the plate on a Ball jar to facilitate drying (it took about two days).  It reminded me of a space ship!

I wanted to add some vintage, red buttons to one side of the ribbed band, but I was worried that it would take away from the potential versatility of the hat, which matters since I planned to sell it.  If I were making it for myself, I would have totally added those buttons.

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I’ll have my chance to do some embellishing since I just bought some yarn I found on super-clearance at Web’s online that will work great for a hat for me.  It is actually cotton with a teenie bit of llama, of all things!  It’s called Queensland Collection Llama Soft Cotton —  80% cotton, 20% llama.  I had to have it! 

I bought a hank in an unnamed reddish, brownish, marroonish color that I will use to knit MY cute, summer hat sometime soon.  If I can figure out how to bead the brim, I think I want to do that too.

~Happy knitting!

FO: Warm, Winter Hat

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A few weeks ago, I knit this ribbed, wool-blend, winter hat.


I love this yarn.  It is a really great shade of pink with subtle orange and purple striping. 




I improvised the pattern, in hopes of making a cute, functional hat.  The main part of the hat is 4 x 4 ribbing, with a folded brim to keep it snug.  I added a home-made pom-pom to finish it off.  I think it worked out well. 




In spite of the fact that it’s almost April, it’s still hat weather here in the Midwest.  Believe it or not, we are still getting snow!

~Happy knitting!

FO: Children’s Hats – Hearts and Stripes

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In February, I knit these hats from some textured yarn that I picked up at a local chain craft store.  I loved how pink the pink was, and I thought it would look great with the grey color.


I had no idea what I was going to make with the yarn when I bought it.  These hats were just experimental – I improvised both patterns.  The hearts were inspired by the proximity of Valentine’s Day.   This was supposed to be my Valentine’s Day post! 

I think that the heart hat would look even cuter with a thin, pink stripe above and below the row of hearts.


Maybe a third experiment is in order…


~Happy knitting!

FO: Binge Colorwork Hat & Simple Roll Brim Hat

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Since I’m still catching up on posting from my little blogging hiatus, you get two finished objects today, all in one post.

The Binge Hat was made last summer as an extra entry for the Will County Fair.  I was looking for a ‘fair-worthy’ pattern that wouldn’t take me too long to make, and this pattern fit the bill.  I knit this from the Brown Sheep Company’s washable wool. 


I actually got this yarn from a clearance bin over a year ago.  I loved the way the colors looked together, so I knew I would use it for a colorwork project someday.


I mentioned in a previous post that I did some charity knitting in November, and I knit a stack of around 10 hats for a fundraiser.  Most of the hats were just improvised with yarn that I had sitting around that I hadn’t yet found a purpose for, but was hoping to knit with. 

One of the hats that I was knitting in a simple, roll-brim style from this pretty, self-striping wool ended up with a weird point on the top.  I don’t know what I was thinking while I was making my decreases, but after I finished the hat, I knew I probably wouldn’t donate it for the sale since I doubted it would sell.


Since it was warm, and I liked the yarn, I just kept it, and it has become my favorite hat to wear this winter.  It looks a little goofy, but I’m fond of it.  It is light, not too thick so it fits easily into my coat pocket, and it has the warmth of wool.  My friends at work keep saying I should just put a pom-pom on the point, to make it less goofy, but I choose to embrace its pointy-ness as a ‘design element’.

Baby, it's cold outside.

Baby, it’s cold outside.

~Happy knitting!

FO: Swirling Eddies Hat in Black

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Swirling Eddies Hat

My current projects on the needles include some socks, a sweater, and until this past Saturday, this hat.  When the serious cold weather came in, just after the new year, my cousin asked me to knit her a new hat.  I have made hats for her before, both in shades of pink.  This time, she asked for a black one to go with both of her coats.

It took a few days for the weather to let up enough for me to get out and find some washable, wool yarn in black.  Of all of the zillions of storage containers full of yarn in my house, not a single hank of black could be found (with the exception of some old acrylic that is destined to become the rest of a granny square afghan). 

I ended up purchasing some Rowan Classic Wool in black from a local chain craft store.  I decided to knit the Swirling Eddies pattern that I have wanted to make since two summers ago.  I actually plan to make this hat again with some yarn that I purchased at the Michigan Fiber Festival.  The vendor had a sample knit up in her yarn, and it was gorgeous.  She told me that the pattern was Swirling Eddies, so I went right home and bought it on Ravelry so that I could make the hat.


Swirling Eddies2


I thought that this pattern might add some interest to a black hat, so that it would not look so plain.  Some of the detail of the pattern gets hidden a bit by the dark color, but I think it works out as a nice compromise. 

I have to say, photographing a black hat is NOT easy.  These photos will have to do, though, since I want to get this hat to my cousin tomorrow.  It has been super cold, and I’m sure she could use it.

Swirling Eddies3


~Happy knitting!

FO: Dawn’s Hat

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Last Friday, after the longest staff meeting in the history of all staff meetings, I decided to hit the local, large chain, craft store in order to cheer myself up.  Heaven knows I don’t need any more yarn, but I visited the yarn anyway.

I found 4 hanks of yarn that I wanted to buy, and I wanted to let myself buy them because I felt that I deserved a treat after managing not to stick my pen in my eye during the previously mentioned staff meeting.  I just had to find a way to justify the purchase, in light of the fact that my house is shamefully filled with every type of yarn imaginable. 

My solution was this:


It’s a hat that I knit for my friend Dawn.  She and I had planned to meet up again at work the next day (the first day of our week off) to do some catching up on loose ends, and to tidy up our work spaces.  I was really relieved that she agreed to come in since I was not looking forward to the tasks themselves and her company always makes things fun.

Surely she could use a hat!  A bulky weight, Bernat, alpaca blend hat in the colorway Indigo, knit in the round with cables!  Right?!  It was the perfect excuse to buy the yarn, and a great way to kick off my spring break knitting projects (and to show appreciation to my friend)


I was not lucky enough to get a photo of Dawn wearing it, but you can trust me that she looks super-cute in it.  Dawn is not a big hat fan, but I’m told her hubby gave it a big thumbs up, which I’m sure will increase the odds that she may sport it when the weather gets cold again.

~Happy knitting!

The Best Laid Plans (and FO: Glen Cabled Scarf & Hat)


I finished my scarf on Sunday night and promptly began the matching hat.  The hat was completed late last night. 

I think that the detail in the scarf will show up better once the scarf is blocked open a bit, but I sort of aborted that plan in order to begin wearing the scarf immediately (it’s been cold here in the Midwest, and I have to be at work by 7:30 in the morning which makes for a chilly, dawn commute).

Even with my modifications for the bulky gauge of this yarn, the hat ended up too big.  Sigh.

I’m toying with the idea of using the remaining yarn to knit a second hat that fits me correctly.  If I do that, I will likely not have enough left for the mittens I originally planned. 

The good news is, I’m exhausted from this crazy week, and I don’t need to decide all of that tonight.  Off to bed for me for some much-needed sleep!

~Happy knitting!

Stitch Red

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Another of my very favorite booths at Stitches Midwest this year was the Stitch Red booth, which represents a joint campaign involving Jimmy Beans Wool, the entire yarn industry, and The Heart Truth (of the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute)  to raise awareness of “the number one killer of women in America:  heart disease”.

Stitch Red products for sale include special edition yarn from high quality vendors such as Lorna’s Laces, Classic Elite and Blue Sky Alpacas, patterns written by well-known designers, knitting notions from our favorite sources like Soak Wash and Lantern Moon, and an excellent book of patterns and information called Knit Red.  

Five percent of the profits from the purchase of these goods are donated to the National Institutes of Health, and women’s heart health education and research.

I fell in love with this hat:  a kind of tam with a lace heart motif.

The recommended special edition yarn was this Classic Elite blend of wool and silk in the colorway Ruby.  Again:  love, love, love.

I bought enough to make two hats, and the vendors supplied the pattern to me for free with my purchase!  I was delighted! 

You can get the pattern for free on Ravelry HERE.

Even better, visit Jimmy Beans Wool online to get your yarn and support their efforts for women’s heart health awareness.  Get the free pattern and buy your yarn HERE.

I had seen some patterns from the book Knit Red a while back and made a mental note to buy a copy when I could.  Again, it benefits an important cause, but it’s also a really great compilation of patterns.

There are several I definitely want to knit.

I can’t wait to knit this cowl.  I just bought so much lovely yarn from Stitches.  I was dreaming last night about which yarn I will use. (I actually was!  Isn’t that crazy?)

This looks like a lot of work, and you know I have issues with sweater seaming, but someday, I may try my hand at this.  In any case, isn’t it fabulous?

OK guys.  It’s a cotton tote…one of my newest weaknesses (see my post FO:  Green Grocer Bag).  I’m totally making this!

See what I mean?  Great patterns, along with stories of how heart disease has touched the lives of the knitters involved, not to mention recipes and tips on staying “heart healthy” .

You can find your own copy of Knit Red  at Jimmy Beans Wool or just about everywhere that books are sold.  Learn more about the Stitch Red campaign at .

~Happy knitting!

Sheep and Butterflies



Happy spring!  It’s been quite spring-y here in the Midwest, and I have some spring-like topics for today’s post.

First, I wanted to say that I wore my Raglan Sleeve Topper to our holiday dinner this weekend.  I found this really great shawl stick at

Doesn’t it work out nicely with the sweater?  I knew the dark colored wood would look pretty. 

My Momma brought spring themed cupcakes to dinner, and they had little animal toppers on them, including these super-cute sheep!

I took this photo of them drying on my chopping block in the kitchen.  I had to wash frosting off of them if I plan to keep them (which I do).  One is already clipped to my knitting bag. 


And lastly, I got side-tracked from my Primavera socks (which I will finish soon, I swear) and started a little spring, Fair Isle project:

It’s the Butterfly Beanie designed by Erica Jackofsky. offered the yarn and pattern in a kit.  I actually substituted the contrast color with another that I bought extra, but it was a great deal and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the pattern and the yarn and the hat.  Isn’t it cute?

So fun. 

Another work week begins tomorrow…

Keep on knitting!

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