Friday, December 19, 2014

Just a plain old hat

After I finished knitting up the Skull Isle Hat and Hutchin, my oldest boy requested a hat, too. He was very specific in what he wanted, a black hat with a double layered brim to keep his ears warm. I asked him if he wanted stripes, or colors, or cables...but no, just a plain old black hat.

Despite its plainness, the hat was pretty fun and easy to knit up -- the perfect project for multiple episodes of Broadchurch. I think it could easily made into a stripey hat.

In the language of the great Elizabeth Zimmermann, here are my pithy directions for this hat.

A Plain Old Hat:

This particular hat was knit for a 10-year-old boy, who has the same head circumference as my own, a pretty standard 22 inches. If you want to size up or down, change the needle size accordingly.

I used a nice standard worsted weight wool, Cascade 220 (220 yd/3.5 oz)

Size 6 (4 mm) circlular needles with a long cable


Brim - Using a provisional cast-on technique of your choice, cast on 96 stitches onto a circular needle. Begin a 2 x 2 rib in the round using a magic loop technique. (A 2 x 2 rib is just as it sounds, k2 p2, all the way around.) Continue rib for 15 rounds or about 2 inches. Purl next round. Continue in rib for another 15 rounds, or the same amount of rounds you did before the purl round.

Body - Now fold the provisional cast-on edge toward the inside of the hat, so that the purl row now forms the bottom of the hat. On the next round, knit together the stitch that is on the left-hand needle with one provisional stitch from your cast on row. Keep working the provisional stitches into the stitches on the left-hand needle as you knit all the way around until you have completed the round and there are no more provisional stitches. (Count your stitches to make sure that you still have 96!)

Continue knitting in the round until the hat measures about 6.5 inches from the bottom of the brim.

Crown shaping -
Round 1 - *K14, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round.
Round 2 and every even round - k all stitches
Round 3 - *K13, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round.
Round 5 - *K12, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round.
Round 7 - *K11, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round.
Round 9 - *K10, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round.
Round 11 - *K9, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round.
Round 13 - *K8, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round.
Round 15 - *K7, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round (48 sts)

Round 16 - k
Round 17 - *K6, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round.
Round 18 - *K5, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round.
Round 19 - *K4, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round.
Round 20 - *K3, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round.
Round 21 - *K2, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round.
Round 22 - *K1, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round.
Round 23 - *k2tog, repeat from * to end of round. 6 sts remain.

Cut yarn and thread through the last 6 stitches. I like to go through twice, to make it feel more secure. Weave in the tail and fasten off. There -- you've got yourself a new hat!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Goose in the Pond blocks and PDF instructions

Here they are! These are my first two blocks from the instructions I drafted for a 15-inch block. Each block requires not quite 1/4 yard each of a main print and a solid/neutral. I turned the instructions into a PDF for you to download -- just click here.

The top block uses a print from Alison Glass's Handcrafted collection, and the fabric from the bottom block is Priory Square by Katy Jones. The solid is a great go-to neutral, White Linen from Art Gallery's Pure Elements collection. The weights of these fabrics match perfectly.

I'm going to have to put these blocks away for a bit to concentrate on other projects, namely a couple of Super Totes that I've committed to making for upcoming fundraising auctions.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Goose in the Pond

I've been obsessing about this Goose in the Pond block for months now, ever since seeing this quilt a while back.

Here is a schematic for the potential lay-out, although I still have to work out whether to include a border. I have a 15-inch test block cut. It looks like each block will require a fat quarter of a print and a fat quarter of a background/solid fabric. Now on to the fun part, the piecing!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Printable Monthly and Weekly Planners for 2015

It's very old fashioned of  me, I know, but I'm a visual person so I like to keep a paper calendar/planner. As I'm keeping track of activities and appointments for three other people in addition to myself, there are certain features I like in a calendar/planner. Each year, I struggle with finding The Perfect Calendar.
So this year, I got proactive and made my own planner! I had so much fun creating these planners, I thought I would share them with you all.  Here are the links to the Monthly Planner and the Weekly Planner for you to download.

The two-page monthly spread is meant to be used in a three-ring binder (or a Circa notebook, as I use). There are 25 pages for the monthly calendar, which should be printed front and back. I also print the weekly planner (with space for daily tasks, meals, shopping list, and errands) front and back, so that I can take the single page with me when I'm out and about.
It's still a work in progress, and I will likely tweak or add features as I go along. If you have any feedback or suggestions, feel free to shoot me an email at elvycrafts(at)gmail(dot)com, and let me know.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Another Hat: the Hutchin by Brooklyn Tweed

Despite the fingering weight yarn and the cabling, this might be my quickest knit to date! I cast on a couple of weeks ago and finished Friday, a day late for Mr. Elvy's birthday.

I absolutely love this pattern. I am ambivalent about the yarn. The pattern is Hutchin, by Jared Flood of Brooklyn Tweed. The cabling looks complicated but was actually quite easy. The pattern diagram was excellent.

The yarn, Brooklyn Tweed Loft in Birdbook, knit up beautifully. However, it had a tendency to break easily when pulled. I accidentally sat on the tail once and broke all but an inch off the tail, which made it difficult to weave in at the end. Also, when I was tightening up the hole to finish off the crown, the yarn broke, again leaving me with only an inch with which to work. I had to make an ugly knot to have enough yarn to weave into the hat.

All in all, though, this is my favorite hat to date. Eventually, I'd like to make myself one in cream. That will have to wait, as my 10-year-old has also requested a hat. His request is for a black watchman's type hat. You wouldn't know it, but it's somewhat difficult to find a nice quality yarn in black, but that's my next mission.