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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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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!