I knew this would happen. Once I tried an amazing yarn (like this Malabrigo), I’d find it really hard to go back to the bargain stuff. My budget is in the bargain range and, don’t get me wrong, I’m so grateful for brands out there that make decent, affordable yarn. But sometimes you need a little luxury. What a better way to do it that with a one-skein hat?
Also, it turns out, knitting a hat every month leaves you with a lot of hats. I’ve been trying to mix my 12 hats up by throwing a few baby bonnets in the mix but still—so many hats for someone who normally doesn’t wear hats. I’m thinking of gifting a few but… maybe not this one.
This was originally supposed to be a surprise holiday gift for my brother but I showed it to him halfway through and he didn’t seem too interested in it. (He has had his hopes set on a sweater from me.) For a while, I debated whether or not I should go ahead and finish it or rip it out and use the yarn elsewhere. I chose the former, which is a big deal because finishing things isn’t really my strong suit. I’m not a huge fan of it for myself but hopefully I’ll warm to it or gift it to someone else. The pattern originally calls for lightly felting but, from the beginning, I didn’t plan to. Now I’m wondering if I should? I’ve never felted before so if you have any tips, links or helpful advice, it’d be appreciated.
Pattern: Cabled Cowl
Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Cobblestone
Needles: sz 9
Modifications: Didn’t felt it.
Final Verdict: Fun design to knit. It ends up bigger than you think.
Ravelry project link
My Grandmother’s daughter’s son’s daughter is having a baby girl soon. I was aiming for the Aviatrix to be a 3 month size but, while I’m no expert on baby head sizes, it looks more like it will fit next winter. So, for this winter, I whipped up a little teddy bear hat to gift as well.
Pattern: Aviatrix Baby Hat
Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Encore Worsted
Needles: sz 7 + 8
Modifications: Added an extra button to make the strap adjustable.
Final Verdict: Sweet pattern and a quick, fun knit. Might be smart to swatch.
Ravelry Project Page
Pattern: Baby Bear Hat
Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Encore Worsted
Needles: sz 8
Modifications: Did ribbing along the edge.
Final Verdict: Also a sweet and simple knit. Allison made a few of these hats and said the rolled hem might not stay on a baby’s head too well, so I went with ribbing on the edge. Do kind of wish I did the ears like these, where it’s a neater curve.
Ravelry Project Page
Another month, another hat! Turns out this pear inspired hat design suits my beet green dyed yarn perfectly. I chose the large size and since I didn’t swatch (as the author suggested), it ended up a lot bigger than I thought. Tossing it in the dryer for a bit helped a little. Although it’s still bigger than I would like, I’m glad it’s not too small since a lot of my recent hats have been snug.
Unfortunately, now I am taking a break from knitting to give my wrist a chance to rest and heal. After this hat, I started up a sweater for my brother in a tight gauge and set a goal for myself to finish it by the end of November. After knitting up 18 or so inches rather quickly, my wrist decided it had enough. I never realized just how attached I’d become to knitting and admit I’m feel rather lost right now. I might be a slow knitter but I’m a constant knitter.
Pattern: Bosc Hat
Yarn: Lion Brand Fishermen’s Wool (hand dyed with beet greens)
Needles: sz 5 + 7
Final Verdict: Beautiful hat and a perfectly written pattern. Don’t forget to swatch.
Ravelry project link
A little over a month ago, I finally sat down to make myself a case to hold my knitting needles. Personal, handmade storage for needles has been on my to-sew list ever since I started knitting. I originally drew up designs for holding mostly straight needles. But I’m glad I waited since I pretty much exclusively use circular needles now. And although I love my Knit Picks Interchangeable Circular Needle Set, I’m not a big fan of the case they came in. This new design considers places to store my cables, needle tips, double pointed needles, fixed circulars as well as a zipper pocket in the back for the small, loose items you need, like stitch markers, scissors, cabling needles, etc. My original intention was to share a tutorial on how to make this and I actually have the photos to do so, but although I like mine and am so glad I don’t have to dump everything out just to find one cable, I’m not sure I have the design quite right. Fellow knitters, what do you think? Did I forget anything important? Would you ever want to see a tutorial for something like this?
I am officially halfway through The Twelve Hats in One Year Challenge! This month, I chose a baby bonnet to use up some more of my Lark yarn and fit it in between my many other projects. It’s a pixie style hat that looks so much cuter when worn than lying flat. So be sure to check out the photos at the pattern page!
Pattern: Little Heaume
Yarn: Quince & Co. Lark in Frost
Needles: sz 8
Final Verdict: Easy, well written pattern. Quick, fun knit. And adorable end result.
Ravelry project link
My adventures with natural dye continue! We had a storm come through last week that, unfortunately, knocked out our power for about 17 hours and took down trees and branches elsewhere, but luckily for me, scattered a ton of walnuts to the ground. Ever since early August, I’ve been attempting to gather and store walnuts properly to dye some yarn this fall. I thought I could get some here and there until I had enough but every attempt to store them left me with moldy walnuts (which must have been the humidity since I was keeping them upstairs in the barn.) But after this storm, I was able to forage for all I needed and dye with them in one day.
And as you can see by the resulting color, I had plenty enough to get a rich brown shade. I did the process almost exactly like I did the onion skin and beet dyes, except I skipped the cream of tartar. In my travels I read somewhere that the purpose of it was to ensure an even color throughout the yarn. I figured I liked variegated yarns and was open to experimentation so I skipped it. Hopefully it will add a little interest to the final knit. Now I have about 1,000 yards of a worsted weight yarn and I actually know what I’m going to make with it! But first, to finish some other knits.
I’ll be back tomorrow with a post asking for some feedback and opinions on what to do with the onion skin yarn. I can’t seem to make up my mind on that one!
Important Note: Walnuts splatter a lot when you crack them open. And, obviously, they stain! It reminds me of henna—deceptively light at first, then grows dark, then a fades a bit and sticks around for a week or so. Be sure to wear sturdy gloves, goggles and an old long sleeve shirt. Maybe even a mask on your face. I had a brown thumb for a while and now I have tons of walnut freckles on my arms and some on my face and neck. A simple internet search will provide you with all kinds of helpful links explaining the walnut dye process, particularly here.
Introducing the Liesl Made Weekender Bag Tutorial. Finally, it only took me two years! This bag is the perfect size to carry all you need for an overnight trip or weekend getaway. It also makes a great gift (and the holiday season is coming up.)
Here are the links to download the PDFs for the instructions and the pattern. (EDIT on 9.15.13: the first link I posted wasn’t the right PDF. It should be four pattern pieces on ten pages. If you don’t know how to, this article explains how to use print-at-home patterns. For mine, the letters are where you line things up. Also, the bit about doubling the length of the one piece means that pattern piece should be a total of 25 1/4″ long. You can either print or copy two of them and tape them together to create one full length piece to use as your pattern piece or simply place the one 1/2 length pattern piece on a fold of the fabric. But note the grain line since it is sewn to curved piece.) As I said in the PDF file, this tutorial is for an intermediate sewer. It’s not that complicated but it is better if you’ve had some experience sewing zippers and curves. I did not go into specific details or steps I assumed an intermediate sewer would know. However, if you have any questions, feel free to email me or comment below.
A few notes: I made the photos in the PDF small so you wouldn’t have to waste too much ink if you print it. If you want to see any of them larger you can see them at this flickr set. Also, the 1″ scale square is on the last page of the pattern PDF, so it would be smart to print that first and measure it make sure it’s accurate. You may need to adjust your printing options to get it right.
4.18.14 Update: I’ve received a lot emails and comments from people stating they are having trouble viewing, downloading or printing the pattern file from a tablet or smartphone. You may need to do so from a desktop. The instructions are in PDF format and hosted here on my blog. The pattern file is also a PDF but uploaded and hosted via Google documents. This was the easiest way for me to upload and host a file of this size. To my knowledge you do NOT need a Google account to view or print the document. Also clicking the “share” button does not work the way people think. For whatever reason, when you click “share” it means you are asking me, the document author, to share the file with you, so you can be a co-author and edit and whatnot. If you want to share the document in the way that any normal person would want to “share” something like this, simply copy/paste this post URL or the document URL with your friends. I’ll work on getting this file hosted as a simple PDF in the future so there is no more confusion.
And if you make one of these yourself, I’d love to see it!
Pattern is offered for free and intended for personal use only, meaning you are not permitted to sell or distribute the pattern, instructions or any finished bags made from this tutorial.
Back when I shared a how-to for the paper bag mailers I make, the post was featured on WordPress’ “Freshly Pressed” page and that brought in a lot of traffic, traffic that was only here because I was featured not because my content truly appealed to them. This included someone who commented along the lines of: Why not just buy a mailer and save yourself the trouble? It reminded me there are two kinds of people in this world: Those who DIY and those who don’t.
This business card project that will only appeal to someone who derives joy from making things themselves. It’ll be awfully time consuming if you need a hundred cards but it’s great if you are a small operation and only need a dozen or so cards at a time. And if you’re like me and love the look of brown paper and lace.
I originally made these brown kraft paper and lace doily business cards back in December of 2011 and since then, that post has been one of my more popular non-tutorial, non-recipe posts. So, I figured a little more info on how I put mine together might be nice. Plus, since reopening my shop, I realized I was in need of some business cards. There are fancier ways of constructing these cards but I like that this uses the things I have around the house. I have a lot of small pieces of brown paper left over from projects and a big stack of paper doilies bought at a yard sale. As you can see in the original ones, I hand stamped each letter but this time, I wrote the letters out. Clear contact paper might be nice but since packaging tape is in the house, packaging tape it is.
1. Gather your materials:
2. I traced the business card on my kraft paper. If you are using brown paper bags, be aware of any graphics printed on them that you might not want on the back.
3-4. Then I cut a piece from the paper doily to fit in a pleasing position on the card—it looks good on the side, top or corner.
5. Apply a thin layer of glue to attach the doily to the paper. The main area of concern is the solid white part, which can peel back if not glued down.
6. Add any words or graphics to your card, either by hand or with stamps, etc.
7-8. Lay the tape down. My tape width is a little smaller than a standard business card, so I lined it up evenly between the top and bottom lines.
9. Now trim down to the business card size—again, if the tape is smaller in width, cut along the tape line rather than the line you traced earlier. Your cards might be an 1/8″ or so shorter than standard cards.
All done! Repeat from more cards, getting clever with your placement of the doily.
Obviously, you can use this as springboard and use all kinds of other papers and stamps.
My original cards were stamped with Inkadinkadoo stamps (like these but lowercase.)
My main goals for this month’s hat were to use up more of my synthetic hand-me-down yarns and to practice stranded colorwork (in hopes that someday I can feel confident enough to knit a whole sweater—maybe like this one.) The end result is a hat I don’t personally want—the style doesn’t suit me and, although the color is nice, I don’t care for acrylic yarn. But, my goals were met and it was a fun knit.
Pattern: Norwegian Star Earflap Hat (free)
Yarn: Brunswick Windrush in teal heather and off-white unknown acrylic
Needles: sz 8
Modifications: Removed one star pattern repeat out of fear of it being too big. Also knit the hat body first, then picked up and knit the earflaps later.
Final Verdict: Fun, but not my style. Passing it on to a friend if I can. I recommend going up a needle size when doing the color work.
Raverly Project Link