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Big Hat Updates

Sometimes it takes me a while to check things off my piles of to-do lists, but I do get to them eventually.

I will cut to the chase.

When I first published the designs for my two favorite hats, Samoa and the Best Hat Ever, two years ago, I referred to the braids as “horizontal chains” or some such nonsense because that’s what they looked like to me. I remember searching and SEARCHING YouTube for “how to knit a horizontal chain” and coming up with zilch. It struck me as odd, but I was sleep deprived at the time and soldiered on.Fast forward… An ENTIRE YEAR AGO, I stumbled upon something in the knitting blog-o-verse that made me realize my “horizontal chains” were referred to as Estonian braids or lateral braids by normal people (AKA everyone but me). As soon as I saw this, it made perfect sense and I had one of those Oprah A-Ha Moments.

Of course there are TONS of You Tube video tutorials for Estonian Braids and lateral braids.

Only me.

At the time, I made a note to update my two beloved hat patterns with the terminology and improved technique. This was a year ago, mind you. The task has been on my list ever since. Anyway, here I am an entire year later (and two years after first publishing these designs), and I am STILL sleep deprived. (Surprise. Surprise.)

However.

I can now proudly say that I have indeed made video tutorials of my own (predictably quirky…what can I say, video production is NOT my greatest talent in life) and updated the Ravelry information for each pattern. I also made a video tutorial demonstrating the I-Cord Cast-on for my Samoa hat pattern.

If you have already purchased one of these super fabulous hat designs, you should have received a little note via Ravelry with a link to the updated pattern. (If not, let me know.)

The videos are linked right into the Ravelry summaries for each pattern (Samoa is here and Best Hat Ever is here.) I know designers more typically provide links to video tutorials AFTER people buy their patterns, but I would rather knitters have the opportunity see up-front what they are in for before deciding to invest their hard-earned cash. There’s nothing worse than buying something only to realize after it’s too late that the required techniques are beyond your comfort zone.

Knitting is supposed to be fun!

If you missed these hats when they were first released, now’s your chance! These are knit up in DK weight yarn, which goes reasonably quick. You still have JUST enough time to work a couple up for stocking stuffers!

P.S. In the event you adore my ridiculously dorky YouTube tutorials, you can subscribe to my You Tube channel here. I doubt I will be winning an Oscar anytime soon, but I am having fun nonetheless! 

P.P.S. Subscribers, check your email inboxes for a special two-for-one deal on these patterns! 

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Surviving the Pom Pom

Reed has asked so many crazy adorable questions lately. I know I am biased, but my kid might be a genius.

Reed recently learned how to use the Google Voice app on the cell phone to search for interesting videos. He’s been asking the phone a litany of standard kid questions.

Reed will ask:

Show me a video of the sun.

And the phone promptly shows him videos of the sun. Or whatever. It is fun to look through his search history each evening, curious as to what Reed has researched that day. It’s all just too cute and modern at the same time.

This morning I heard Reed ask the phone this:

Show me a video of making yarn in a factory.

Yep. He’s a smart one.

Although apparently he hasn’t met a hand spinner yet.

Last week on the way to pre-school, Reed asked me the following questions in under thirty minutes:

  1. Why do clouds float?
  2. How do solar panels work? (This required that I detour past my office en route to pre-school to show him the solar panels on the roof.)
  3. Do we live in the world? (I answered yes.)
  4. If we live in the world, and the world is spinning, then we are spinning too? (I also answered yes.)
  5. Why doesn’t it feel like we are spinning?

A couple of days ago, he provided further evidence of his brilliance (assuming one disregards his ineptitude toward cleaning up after himself and lack of ability to blow his own nose without smearing snot everywhere), by asking:

What is in other planets?

They have been learning about the solar system in pre-school. Tuition money well spent, indeed!

I finished this hat at the end of December, but procrastinated a full two months before making the requisite pom pom to attach to the top.

I had my reasons.

Mostly they were fear-based.

I hadn’t made a pom pom before, and I thought it would be hard.

Not to mention, I had lived the prior 37 years of my life decidedly anti-pom pom as a sort of moral position, and it took me a while to digest my new insatiable NEED to make a pom pom and stick it on the top of Reed’s hat.

I had to process.

It all worked out. I resolved my inner philosophical dilemma on the fine art of pom poms and other accessory attachments. I borrowed the pom pom maker from my favorite knitting friend. I watched the You Tube tutorial. I made the pom pom.

It took under twenty minutes and left me loving pom poms.

I am now trying to ignore that inner hunger to make strings and strings of pom pom garlands with my heap of scrap yarn taking up way too much space in the hall closet.

Because who doesn’t need strings and strings of pom pom garlands collecting dust in their house?

I KNEW you’d understand.

P.S. Many thanks to Julie @ Knitted Bliss for featuring Reed’s hat on her Mod Monday series earlier this week. We were both so flattered!

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Ari’s Wish (Finally, Redemption!)

knitting-pattern-for-aris-wish-baby-hat-in-madelinetosh-tosh-merino-light-by-andrea-from-this-knitted-life

Hi!

My name is Ari.

I live down the road from Reed, so he likes to play with my big brother a lot. I don’t mind. I find it fascinating to watch them run around like monkeys, screeching and making all kinds of racket. (Auntie Andrea seems less enthused about all the messes they make.) Reed’s okay, I guess. He really seems enthralled by me (young love, I know), although he always smiles like he’s really happy and calls me his “Little Moose.” I am not sure that is a good thing. For now, it works. Sometimes he tries to pick me up and carry me around by my neck when I cry if left behind (apparently he’s still learning the proper way to carry a baby…). I tell him NO THANKS, I’d rather crawl.

Ari's Wish baby hat pattern by Andrea @ This Knitted Life

Once my mom had to go to the dentist and Auntie Andrea foolishly offered to look after me and my brother while my mom enjoyed her one hour of peace and quiet getting her cavity filled. Auntie told my mom to drop us off at her office and assumed she would just keep on working while I napped peacefully in my car seat and my brother watched cartoons on the Ipad.

Ha ha ha ha.

Boy was she amiss on that one. I woke up as soon as my mom walked out the door (like the VERY second).

I screamed the ENTIRE time my mom was gone. And I’ve got some lungs, let me tell you.

Auntie had to evacuate her office before her coworkers through a clot at as a result of the PHENOMENAL amount of noise I was generating from my itty bitty lungs, hauling little ol’ wailing me out the door STAT. We walked around the block at least ten times before I lost count.

On the bright side, my mom had a nice little break at the dentist’s office. I overheard them mumble something about motherhood and how it’s never easy. Hmmm.

Ari's Wish baby hat pattern by Andrea @ This Knitted Life

Auntie told me to tell you she FINALLY finished up that baby hat she was reworking. You know, the one she screwed up the first time. (Yes, the one she was going to finish two months ago. She said something along the lines of slow and steady, or maybe it was just slow.)

She’s trying to make all right in the world, at least in the knit-universe. She said to say she reworked the pattern and had it reviewed by a tech editor. This time, it should work. If you subscribe to her blog, you just received a coupon code to download the pattern from Ravelry for FREE. Because she’s sorry and is trying to atone for her earlier knitting sins.

If you aren’t a subscriber and did not receive the coupon code but REALLY WANT this pattern (because it is awesome…seriously, look how cute I am! Eep!), you can find it on Ravelry here for a mere $4.00 USD.

Ari's Wish baby hat pattern by Andrea @ This Knitted Life

Auntie also wanted me to pass on some basics about this pattern. She says it’s knit up in Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light (Logwood colorway) because she LOVES that yarn and usually has enough laying around to suffice for a baby hat. The hat has the CUTEST faux-picot brim. You have to seam the brim for the faux-picot business, but it’s small and whips up lickity split. Plus, the brim doesn’t fold or roll, which Auntie can’t handle. And seriously, it’s so cute. Don’t I look like a little flower?

I thought so too.

Auntie says the pattern includes two sizes for brand new babies all the way up to a year or so.

Did I mention I turn one in less than a month? I’m not sure what I want for my birthday yet. So hard to decide.

dsc_0052

Auntie’s doing some sort of Yarn Along business today, and she’s about to start reading Carl Hiaasen’s new novel, Razor Girl*. Auntie says she LOVES Carl and reads ALL of his books. They make her laugh.

*Affiliate link. Thank you for the support!

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Redemption, Vol. 2

A new baby hat in the works over at This Knitted Life using Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light.

Unsurprisingly, I still haven’t redeemed myself.

I thought I was all (well, mostly) in the clear when I finished my last cream colored baby hat…but then the hat was actually a wee bit too small for the neighborhood baby (AKA Baby Hat Model).

Of course.

I had been cleverly working up these Much Improved baby hats from my ample stash of scraps of Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light, which of course I LOVE. My scraps had run their course and I seemed short on sufficient yardage of a suitable shade to make a third hat. This tragic fact left me with no other choice but to order more online (I settled on the Logwood colorway) and patiently wait for the U.S. postal system to work its magic.

In the meantime, the too-small hats were shipped off to a brand new baby with a smaller head. As it seems, the list of these newborn creatures seems to be growing at such a staggering rate, and I just can’t keep up. I’m backlogged in the New Baby Gift Department, with more and more on the horizon, and have actually wondered if I shouldn’t just buy a gift like a normal person instead of holding on to this bizarre determination to knit something for all these new babies.

A knitter need not be defined by an unspoken responsibility/obsession/expectation to knit things for new babies. A knitter can still be a knitter and knit things for people other than new babies.

That’s precisely why someone invented Target.

All the same, I am determined to get this hat right, as my own knitting karma is directly attached to fixing and finishing this pattern before sharing it with the masses for free.

I have this knitting journal of sorts where I scribble significant knitting notes to myself, particularly when developing a pattern. It’s where I work out my math and write down the steps I take such that I can eventually decipher my illegible handwriting and type up my notes in a manner that might actually make sense to other human beings. In the case of the cream colored baby hat, I had indeed written down the number of cast on stitches so I could easily tell how many additional stitches I would need to make a hat correctly sized for the Neighborhood Baby Model after my prior failure.

Except…and I won’t go into detail here…it didn’t exactly work out that way, and I couldn’t actually BE CERTAIN how many stitches I had cast on. Was it 78 or 88? I anguished on this a bit and even tried counting stitches and pattern repeats from the photos in my prior post and Instagram, but in the end I just couldn’t be sure. I even went so far as to ask my friend and recipient of the cream colored baby hat to please count the picot points on the brim for me and text me with the results.

I’ve heard nothing. New moms have a lot on their plates.

So I’ve taken a wild guess for Try Number 3, hoping the hat will be larger than Try Number 2 but not so large as to be unsuitable. This invariably means I have guessed wrong and am spending all my free knitting hours knitting a hat identical to Try Number 2, which will also be TOO SMALL for the Neighborhood Baby Model, thus requiring Try Number 4.

I can say this: I am making sure my notes are clearer and I am not mailing away Try Number 3 until I am absolutely positive I have documented how many stitches I cast on with unequivocal certainty.

So help me, Great Wool Spirits.

Amen.

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Trintara Hat Pattern Release

trintara-hat-knitting-pattern-using-madelinetosh-pashmina-worsted-in-sugar-plum-on-us-size-7-needles. The modified cable brim transitions into an easy cabled fabric with tons of dimensionality but not too much fuss. Happy knitting!

I hate to say it, but it’s pretty much hat knitting season ’round these parts. We’ve had crisp mornings and evenings (some days), shorter days (I haaaate!), and, gasp, the holidays are approaching.

The Trintara hat knitting pattern. This easy pattern uses Madelinetosh Pashmina Worsted and US size 7 needles.

Hats are perfect fodder for holiday knitting.

Especially this hat. Meet Trintara. It’s knit in Madelinetosh Pashmina Worsted (Sugar Plum colorway), so it works up quick (yahoo worsted!) and it’s the Super Soft Squishy factor is out of this world. Seriously. I do not lie. This hat was a winner from the very beginning. I just love it when pattern development works out that way.

The Trintara hat knitting pattern. This easy pattern uses Madelinetosh Pashmina Worsted and US size 7 needles.

Trintara is available on Ravelry for $4.00 USD…BUT…Subscribers have received this pattern for free. (Subscribers, check your inboxes for a special email with your coupon code.) I love my subscribers and am so grateful for your support and general devotion. I have know idea how I got so lucky!

The pattern has been tech edited by the lovely Dana Gervais, without whom I would surely be found muttering to myself in a dark, lonely ditch. Clear, written instructions are available in both English and metric units.

The Trintara hat knitting pattern. This easy pattern uses Madelinetosh Pashmina Worsted and US size 7 needles.

Trintara is all about easy, cozy, beautiful knitting warmth. The simple modified rib brim transitions gracefully into a cable fabric stitch to add depth and dimensionality to the main body of the hat without being too fussy, difficult, or busy. (I am not a fan of fussy, difficult, or busy knitting projects.)

Madelinetosh Pashmina Worsted has been one of my favorite yarns this year, and I have knit with it on a couple of other occasions. Sadly neither of my local yarn stores stocks it, but I have noticed WEBS carries it from time to time. I have also had GREAT luck Googling for it, as a lot of smaller yarn stores seem to have it on discount often and will happily ship. It is available in all (most?) of the fabulous Madelinetosh colorways. Seriously. You truly can’t go wrong with this yarn, and it’s worth the online order if that’s your only option.

I actually believe this pattern would work for the male half of our species, although perhaps not in the Sugar Plum colorway. The finished size is equally suitable for both genders. Should you end up knitting a male-destined Trintara, please do share with me so I can see how it turned out!

Okay knitters, please scurry off to snag your pattern (and subscribers, please don’t miss out on your free pattern…your coupon code is only good for three days).  I have a hunch you’ll like this one as much as I do!

Happy knitting!

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Redemption

Hand knit baby hat in Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light. With just the perfect amount of lace and a faux-picot brim.

Apparently being sleep deprived when Reed first born was more impacting than I realized. I thought I had it together back in that first year of Never Sleep Ever. But I didn’t.

As evidenced by actual written text that I myself typed roughly three years ago, my brain was not at all functional. I just thought it was.

You know what that is?

I’ll tell you: DELUSION.

A couple of months ago, I finally got it together to knit Ginny’s baby shower gift. Yes, that child was born eons ago, but, hey, better late than never? I was puttering about Ravelry looking for a suitable baby hat, no longer needing a newborn size as the child may be older than one by the time I pull this off.

Anyway, there I am on Ravelry when it hits me. Wait a minute. I don’t need a pattern for a baby girl hat. I HAVE a pattern for a baby girl hat that I already wrote and offer for free on Ravelry. I will use that.

Brilliant, right?

I dig out some Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light scraps and figure I can adjust gauge. The original version was knit in Baby Boo, and, well, I don’t really care for Baby Boo much anymore.

I’m already writing my little card to Ginny in my head. Dear Ginny, Sorry this is three four five six? months late. But, isn’t it great?!?!  Love, Me.

Except…it didn’t take me long to realize my original pattern SUCKED. Like, REALLY TRULY SUCKED KNITTING ARSE. Embarrassingly so. Even giving away this pattern for FREE as I had been doing was like a crime against knitters everywhere.

Truly, my heart goes out to any poor fool who downloaded this free pattern and actually tried to knit the thing. I AM SORRY! I should be paying you for pain and suffering. Wow.

First, there were all these k4togs everywhere. I was actually so incredibly exhausted and dysfunctional as a new mother that I thought knitting four stitches together over and over again was a good idea.

And there were math errors that I had made in conversion of one size to another.

AND, all kinds of other things I am too ashamed to tell you about. IT WAS BAD.

A few months ago, someone even messaged me on Ravelry and politely asked about a potential error in the pattern. I actually opened the pattern, looked at it, and messaged back that all was well. Uh, if this poor soul is out there right now, reading this and thinking Hey, that was me. I hate that lady, I am SO INCREDIBLY SORRY.

You will be happy to know I have reworked the pattern*. I got rid of those stupid k4togs. They are now k3togs, which is more manageable although still loathed by many. I adjusted the stitch pattern a bit so it is a wee less lacy…and I fixed all the math. With a little luck, the pattern will go off to the tech editor THIS WEEK. My tech editor, who I obviously wasn’t clever enough to know I REALLY NEEDED those years back will DOUBLE CHECK everything so I can rest assured that the release of the corrected and updated pattern will not ruin anyone’s life.

At least not for reasons that are my fault.

After that, I just have to track down a cute baby model to confirm that it actually fits a human of the appropriate age and size. I have one such tiny human in mind. I just have to catch her when she is awake and in a good mood. Not always easy for these cute babies!

Then…and only then…this pattern will be released for FREE to all of my subscribers. I am attempting redemption of my knitting karma from this treacherous woolful sin that I committed, good intentions and all. I am hopeful this will happen in the next month!

If you aren’t already a subscriber and you are interested in receiving this FREE pattern, sign up today. I will never share your email and will only occasionally (rarely) email you anything other than regular blog posts.

And, Ginny, if you are reading this, little Mabel will hopefully have a new hat before 2020. Emphasis on hopefully.

Love to all and may the knitting spirits be generous with my tormented, now slightly less sleep-deprived soul.

As always, I am joining the Yarn Along this week and still reading A Man Called Ove . Apparently I don’t make as much reading progress with a real book vs. an E-book. Kind of sad.

*On the upside, it is slightly comforting to see how far my knitting and photography have come over these past several years. I’m making progress. Slowly.

**Affiliate link. Thank you for being you!

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All the Reasons I Will Never Win An Olympic Medal

Knitting a hat with Madelinetosh Pashmina Worsted in Sugar Plum.

There are so many reasons why I never win things, Olympic (knitting) medals* in particular. Yes, I practice. I can knit. I do it all the time. Here’s the thing: practice isn’t enough.

One must prepare to be a winner.

When I finally found myself on the sofa late Friday night ready to watch the Olympics after frantically getting everything ready to launch the Linto Creek Cowl pattern (did you see it?!?!), I was a Big Hot Knitting Mess (BHKM).

Yes, I had my yarn. And needles. I knew my yarn would become a hat. But that’s where it all ended.

There is the difference between a so-so Olympian and a medal -winning Olympian. I am the so-so Olympian.
Why?

Fail #1. The Cast On.

My first long-tail cast on suffered from a too-short tail, causing me to re-do my cast-on 100 stitches in. Bad judgement on my part.

Fail #2. The Swatching.

Uh, swatching? I had pseudo-prepared by knitting and soaking a basic stockinette swatch** the previous night so I could at least figure out how many stitches to cast on. This wasn’t enough. As I sat and pondered what kind of hat I was going to knit (for the first time), I considered a herringbone stitch brim. I hadn’t knit herringbone before. Is it roll-proof like the linen stitch, or does it still roll?*** I HAD NO IDEA.

I knit some and couldn’t tell. (I did like the stitch though).

I Googled “does herringbone stitch roll?” and got nowhere. How can Google know so much about knitting and not be able to answer this very simple question for me? (Although Google didn’t write back, “How should I know, you ninny. Didn’t you swatch?” So at least there’s that.)

I did a bit of YouTubing herringbone stitch videos but couldn’t manage to watch the Olympics and YouTube at the same time. My brain just isn’t that coordinated.

Like I said, I was a BHKM. And I still didn’t have an answer.

Fail #3. Cave Under Pressure

I was too lazy/frantic/ready-to-just-knit to swatch herringbone like I should have to resolve my whole will-it-won’t-it roll. Instead I unraveled, cast on a THIRD time and went with a rib of sorts.

Not for the first time, I simply panicked at the starting line. Maybe my next little disaster will involve some herringbone. Sigh.

Fail#4. Settle for Slow

Here’s the thing about winning Olympians: they don’t settle. They do what it takes to win. Me? I settle. This hat isn’t going anywhere quickly. But it is going. At my own pace. Medal or not, that’s a win in my book.

Administrative Notes

*There is a new thread for posting your final Olympic Knitathon yardage and any FOs here. (Although recall your knit does not have to be finished by the end of the Olympics to qualify for competition. Just be sure to log your final distance (yardage).

**Last night I discovered said swatch deep within the horribly frightening dregs of Reed’s hoarder-style backpack along with a gallon of trash and recycling that has since been removed. Apparently he told dad I said he could have the swatch. Uh, no.

***I have this thing against rolling, especially in hat brims.

This week as always, I am joining the Yarn Along. I am still singularly focused on the final bits of the fourth Neapolitan novel+. I truly recommend reading this series. It has been fabulous.

+Affiliate link. Thank you for being you!

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A Hat, I Think

Madelinetosh Pashmina Worsted in Sugar Plum. On its way to becoming a hat.

I have to be honest here. I am not really a winter hat person. For me, wearing a hat (regardless of season) is an all-day commitment. Vanity isn’t my strongest virtue (frumpy, lumpy me could use a little more vanity, actually), but I have found that wearing a hat does something odd to my hair in an unrecoverable sort of way. Flat. Smash. Moosh.  My head just doesn’t look the same once the hat comes off my head. This requires that  I (a) walk around for the balance of the day with goofy, flat, off-kilter hair or (b) keep that hat on all stinking day long.

Neither option is really that ideal.

On the other hand, I think you all might be more pro-hat than I. (My hunch is based on your ongoing interest in the two hats I knit around this time last year: Samoa and the Best Hat Ever.)

Maybe this is because it is colder in your neck of the woods than my temperate home.

Or maybe you simply find hats more stylish.

Or, maybe you also aren’t pro-wear-hat but like to knit hats to give to other people you know to be pro-hat. Hats are a particularly fabulous genre of knitting gift. Smaller. One skein. Achievable.

Either way, this here skein of Madelinetosh Pashmina Worsted (in Sugar Plum) is about to become a hat. I hope. Nothing too fussy, although I have no plan WHATSOEVER at present.

We will see…

In the meantime, I am very much aspiring to finish my shawl by the weekend so I can cast on the hat for the Summer Olympic Opening Ceremonies. This would make my math for the Olympic Knitathon easier to track. (Please join! ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING YOU ARE ALREADY KNITTING ANYWAY COUNTS.)

This week as always, I am joining the Yarn Along. I am now singularly focused on the final bits of the fourth Neapolitan novel*. I truly recommend reading this series. It has been fabulous.

*Affiliate link. Thank you!

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Knitting A Perfect Hat for A Perfect Toddler

The prefect simple toddler hat.

I am shamed to say my toddler child had been zipping about in a too-small hat and was in need of a new hat with proper fit to keep his head smuggled and warm during this dreadful winter weather.

It seemed simple enough at the time.

  1. Day 1: It’s New Year’s Eve. Decide to knit needed toddler hat. Quick and easy project. Surely mother will be done by midnight.
  2. Honoring New Years resolution, scour yarn stash for the one remaining ball of yarn color appropriate for a male child, left over from holiday’s past (like, way back) when an intended Man Hat never quite got knitted. Apparently the ol’ stash leans more toward the female-colored palette. Who knew “neutrals” could be so, well, gender biased. Select singular skein if Tahkin Yarns Tara Tweed in a sort of turquoise/navy color (surprisingly soft 80% wool:20% nylon).
  3. Browse patterns on Ravelry. Quickly become overwhelmed. Decide to make one up instead.
  4. Read yarn label for stitches per inch and recommended needle size en lieu of swatching. Place child in front of the Lion King II (not age appropriate, BTW…found that out too late…) and measure child’s head. 19 inches. Decide to cast on for 20 inches, fearing a too-small hat that would defeat the entire purpose.
  5. Cast on 90 stitches and knit happily for an hour. Child goes to bed. Knit more. Three inches or so at this point. Fret a bit that the hat looks a wee bit big. What was that I read a while back about Negative Ease? Might have been important…
  6. Go to bed exhausted at 9:30. On New Year’s Eve.
  7. Day 2: Child awakes. Place in front of Dinosaur Train (PBS cartoon about dinosaurs…much more age appropriate). Set hat (still on needles) atop child’s head. Surmise, yes, it does look a bit big but surely he’ll grow into it. 
  8. Continue knitting for 30 minutes. Gut instinct is still saying The Hat Is Too Big!!!!!! Ignore gut instinct. Set project aside. Do something else. Denial is always a suitable solution.
  9. Day 3: Another episode of Dinosaur Train. Take deep breath, slip hat entirely off needles and place upon child’s head. Hat is so large it quickly slips down over the ears and onto shoulders like a cowl. Humph. Hat is also too big for mother. Not a good sign.
  10. Take note of the number of stitches that need to be reduced (18). Unravel project. Mother seriously questions overall brain function and wonders if she has forgotten to count.
  11. Day 4: Cast on the revised number of stitches. Knit for one episode of Dinosaur Train (30 minutes) and again in freezing cold afternoon outside while child digs in dirt with glee. Fingers require one hour to defrost after coming indoors. Well worth the sacrifice. As long the fingers don’t actually fall off.
  12. Continue knitting after child goes to sleep. Begin reducing at 4 inches, noting mother typically reduces an adult-sized hat at 5 inches. This makes perfect sense at the time. Again ignore gut feeling that hat seems oddly too short. Finish hat. Go to bed.
  13. Day 5: Child awakes. Full of hope and pride, place hat on child’s head (while child is distracted watching Dinosaur Train). Feeling not unlike placing crown upon a prince. Hat lands awkwardly more than an inch above the ears.
  14. Whoops.
  15. Child goes to bed. Mother unravels top of hat. Continues knitting another 1.5 inches before reducing (again!!!), plus an extra round for good measure. Then reduces, binds of final stitches. Goes to bed.
  16. Day 6:  One final fitting. At last. It fits. Now mother just needs to weave in ends. And drink wine. (Possibly tequila…)

So much for a project by New Years.

Super cute toddler hat.

Joining Ginny’s Yarn Along and reading How To Knit A Heart Back Home.

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Samoa Hat

A beautifully simple hat with a clean, I-cord cast on.

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better in the Hat Department, it did. At last, the knitting universe is on my side. For the time being. Fingers crossed.

I am so pleased to share another new hat pattern with you today. It’s called Samoa.

Samoa is a clean, stylish hat featuring an I-cord cast on for a finished, tidy brim. Step by step instructions are provided if you are new to I-cord cast-ons.  They are more work up front, but it’s entirely worth it. I-cord cast-ons aren’t as scary as they sound. You can totally do this!

I loath stockinette brims that roll, and sometimes I just get sick of ribbing. It’s nice to change things up now and again. Keep it fresh.

The textured band, a simple combination of knit and slipped stitches, is divided from the brim and clean upper stockinette section with rounds of knitted chain stitch. Step by step written instructions are also included.

I used Madelinetosh Tosh DK in Great Grey Owl (I have been so into greys lately!) on size 6 (4 mm) needles, but the pattern is flexible and can be knitted with similar needles and yarn types.

This hat is sized to fit an adult woman but can easily be adjusted for a smaller or larger circumference by casting on fewer or more stitches in multiples of ten.

All instructions are provided in both English and metric units in a professional, sleek pattern.

Pretty pattern = pretty hat.

Samoa is just challenging enough not to bore you to tears with a few fancy but completely achievable details to keep things spicy in the knitting department.

Looking for holiday knitting gift ideas but you want something a little different from the ordinary hum drum? This hat is for you! Impress your friends and family or knit one up for yourself. Less than two months of holiday knitting time remain!

{Pause while I recover from brief panic attack…}

Samoa is available on Ravelry for $3.00 USD. Enjoy and happy knitting!

Joining Ginny’s lovely Yarn Along and reading How to Knit a Love Song. Completely cheesy and predictable, but I truly can’t put it down. Sigh.

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The Best Hat Ever

The name speaks for itself.

I am so incredibly excited to be releasing my most recent pattern: the Best Hat Ever.

The name speaks for itself.

The name says it all.

 

This hat has it all. Simple. Fun. Stylish. Just different enough to be exciting. Not so difficult as to cause undue stress, misery, or tears.

A perfect Just Because knit. A timely only-two-months-left-of-holiday-knitting-holly-crap!!! knit. Or, my-best-girlfriend-deserves-something-special knit.

Whatever your fancy, this hat is a winner.

Scout’s honor.

Choose to embellish the Best Hat Ever with a knitted flower or forego the accessory to the accessory. The hat works either way. It’s like deciding between merlot and pinot noir. You simply can’t go wrong.

The textured brim, a simple combination of knit and slipped stitches, is divided from the clean, upper stockinette section with a single round of knitted chain stitch. Step by step written instructions are included in the pattern.

Of course.

This hat is sized to fit an adult woman but can easily be adjusted by changing the cast on in multiples of ten. Easy peasy.

Big head? No problem.

Want to knit one for your young daughter? Don’t sweat.

For pattern development, I used Madelinetosh Tosh DK in Fallencloud on size 6 (4 mm) needles, but the pattern is flexible and can be knitted with other yarns.

All instructions are provided in both English and metric units. This is the first time I have offered a pattern that actually looks sharp and professional. Hello, graphic design! Works wonders. I can’t wait to reformat my earlier patterns. Even a knitting pattern needs a little spruce up now and then.

You can find the Best Hat Ever on Ravelry for $3.00 USD.

Enjoy!

Joining Ginny.

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Workhorse Yarn

This poor yarn. It has worked so hard. I knit a few inches. Then start over. Time after time.

I had planned to complete my projects weeks ago…My quick, two-day hat is taking longer to knit than a full size sweater.

This single skein of Madelinetosh Dk (in Fallencloud) has been knit and reknit again and again over the past month. I have lost count of the number of times I have frogged and started a new, although I have completed at least two entire hats, I-cord edging and all, before ripping back to the Very Beginning.

After all that, I will say this: the yarn has held up very well. Madelinetosh DK is workhorse yarn indeed.

I am not sure if I will ultimately be successful in perfecting this pattern design I have been flirting with…darting around the edges of my creativity…trying to capture my vision just so. Somewhere along the way or even at the very end, I look at my final product and admit defeat. I unwind, and it all begins anew.

After all this ripping and reknitting, I feel indebted to this skein of yarn. Like I owe it something. It has worked so hard for me. All in the name of a hat. I owe it something beautiful and treasured. It deserves that much, I know.

Linking up with Ginny’s Yarn Along. In between books.