Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Nightmare Yarn Hat

Nightmare Yarn Hat
Nightmare Yarn Hat
Pictured in Adult Large

Okay, first and foremost, let's get this straight: I'm not actually saying that this yarn (Lana Grossa Colorato Nodo) is a nightmare - I mean, heck, I picked it out, and was pretty darn excited when I saw it! However, as you can clearly see in every picture, this yarn has one peculiarity that makes it difficult to work with - the significant size changes of the fiber, which make roughly 1/10 of the stitches look like they gorged on cured ham until they become monstrously swollen. And because this is not a peculiarity that I noticed until I got the yarn home, my original plan for this yarn was a total disaster - this stuff doesn't take ribbing (who knew ribbing could look terrible!?!?), and looks even worse as a rolled brim (unless you want to look like an incompetent knitter). So, basically, I had to punt. Therefore, I went with the most fool-proof design I could think of, and one that you, too, can put to work for that almost-novelty yarn you accidentally bought and then realized swallows every pattern you put near it (or that you bought on purpose! hi there! no shame, we'll start a club!). (Of course, this pattern is perfectly good for non-nightmarish yarns too!)

Oh, and a quick word on sizing - usually, of course, when you're sizing your hat the biggest concern is head size. That doesn't work quite as well with the nightmare yarn conundrum. And in fact, if you're working with a fiber that isn't predominately wool, you may want to veer in the adult small direction just to accommodate the inevitable stretching.

Sizes: Adult Small (Adult Large)

Yarn: Lana Grossa Colorato Nodo (90% Virgin Wool, 10% Polyamide; 120 yards [110 meters]/50 grams); #109 - two skeins 

Nightmare Yarn Hat
A better look at the finish,
the cable, and those pesky big
Needles: One 16" circular needle in size US 10, one set of double pointed needles, also in size US 10, one cable needle (cn) or dpn for cabling, and one needle in size US 11 for provisional cast-on

Notions: Tapestry needle, stitch marker, scrap yarn for provisional cast-on

Gauge: 15 stitches = 4 inches in stockinette

So let's make a cute hat from some difficult yarn! Using your size US 11 needle, cast on 18 stitches provisionally. Then, transfer the stitches to either one of your dpns or your size US 10 circular (you can use either since we're starting by knitting flat). Then we'll work the cabled bottom edge of the hat as you'll find below. To do this, you'll need the following notation. And remember you can always cable without a cable needle!

back cross (bc): transfer next 2 stitches to your cn and hold in back; k2, k2 from cn

front cross (fc): transfer next 2 stitches to your cn and hold in front; k2, k2 from cn

Friday, December 9, 2016

Bump Up From Basics Beanie

Bump Up From Basics Beanie
Pictured in Child Size

Okay, I'm doing something a little bit different with this pattern, since I'm not offering it on my website, but through a video tutorial I created on Skillshare instead. Which means that, yes, I've had to face my fear of being on camera (don't worry, I deleted all the takes where I opened my eyes super-wide for no reason), and that this pattern is not technically "free" since it requires a membership on the website to access it. If you sign up through the link above, however, you can get 3 months on the website for $0.99, and access to tons of video content from all sorts of talented and amazing people (and I get some compensation as well!).

Oh, and as far as the actual pattern is concerned - I designed the Bump Up From Basics Beanie as a sort of next-level project for beginning knitters who've gotten comfortable with knitting and purling and are ready to move on to something more complicated. Or in other words, I demonstrate every technique you need to make this hat in the video except for knitting, purling, and tucking in your ends! :)

Anyway, here are the details: