Reversible Hat!

Ok.

It’s time to start posting again. No more holidays, no more craft shows looming on the horizon. (Just an imminent move to another state…)

So here’s the first No-Law Knits post of 2016!

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I subscribe to the VeryPinkKnits YouTube channel. If you don’t, you’re missing out. She has THE BEST tutorials. I learned how to “flick” knit by watching her videos and now I knit SO. MUCH. FASTER.

Smarten up, people.

Subscribe.

Anyway, I got this amazing sock yarn for Christmas and I wanted to do something special with it. The first thing I needed to make was a hat for my husband. Too easy. Bam. Made a hat. But it was too thin 😦

So I (painstakingly) picked up stitches just where the ribbing transitioned into stockinette and made a liner for it. I loved the result – a reversible beanie! But I didn’t like how the ribbing was one-layer and the rest of the hat was 2 layers. Then fate stepped in and showed me this super easy provisional cast on method. Boom! New hat pattern!

I love it! Are you feeling sporty? Wear the super sleek, sexy red side! Feeling a little wild-eyed and don’t want to do your hair today? Wear the rainbow side!

The Pattern:

Needles, Notions & Notes

About 40g of each color yarn (my final product weighed 77g)

US sizes 3 & 2 16″ circular needles, set of US 3 dpn

Size E or F (somewhere around there) crochet hook & length of scrap yarn

Tapestry needle, stitch marker

This pattern makes a hat that will fit most adults – there is no stitch pattern to take into account here, so you can adjust this quite easily to fit smaller/bigger heads.

My gauge = 6.5 stitches : 1″

Directions

Using the super easy crochet provisional cast on method (linked above) from Very Pink Knits, CO 128 using your US 3 16″ circular needles and your length of scrap yarn.

Join first color and knit all stitches, joining to work in the round when you reach the end of your provisionally CO stitches. Be careful not to twist your CO stitches!

Note: you will work only a portion this side of the hat before transitioning to the other side and working it in its entirety. I suggest starting with a solid/semi-solid color way rather than a variegated one (particularly one that pools like the hat in the photo). That way when you go back and pick up those provisional stitches, you won’t have a noticeable jog in your color way.

Work in stockinette for at least 3 inches, but no more than 5. Then switch to smaller needles and work for 1 inch (about 10 rows).

Purl 2 rounds, switch to second color (if you’re going to make one side variegated or striped, here’s where you start working with that yarn) and work in stockinette, knitting all rounds, for 1″ or 10 rows. Switch back to larger (size 3) needles.

Work in stockinette until piece measures 6″ from purled rounds. Begin crown decrease, changing to dpns when necessary.

Crown Decrease

*k6, k2tog, repeat from * to end

knit 2 round

*k5, k2tog, repeat from * to end

knit 2 round

…. and so on until you get to

*k1, k2tog, repeat from * to end

knit 1 round

k2tog around

knit 1 round

k2tog around

Cut yarn, sew end through remaining stitches, pull tight. Weave in ends.

And now’s a great time to weave in all the other ends as well. You won’t be able to reach back inside the hat when you complete the other side, so make sure you’re weaving in ends as you go!

Now you’ll go back and complete the first section of the hat. Grab up all those provisionally cast on stitches, join the first yarn color and knit this side of the hat the same as you knit the first: knit in stockinette until piece measures 6″ from purled rounds, then begin the crown decreases, making sure you weave in all ends before you get the the final few rounds.

Finishing

 

Fold the hat in on itself so the purled rounds make the brim. The hat sort of naturally IMG_7770stays put because of those two purled rounds, but I wanted to make sure it didn’t get all waffly, so I decided to put a little tassel on the top. I only sewed through both layers of the hat to establish the tassel – after that, I only sewed through the red layer. You can see a little thread at the top of the rainbow side, but I wasn’t too worried about that.

Just needed a little tassel to make it even more awesome. It’s super cozy too!

Vacay Crafting

A simple cuffed hat WIP using Fantasia by jojoland.
A simple cuffed hat WIP using Fantasia by jojoland.

For a lengthy plane ride, train ride, and other cramped crafting locales, I’ve brought the makings of a simple, but satisfying hat. I’m using some crazy yarn for this, which I’ve found is a great method for working your way through a mindless hat. If you use crazy yarn, you’re always wondering how the next row is going to knit up, so it doesn’t get boring. Here I’m using Fantasia by Jojoland. Ah! Who knows what’s going to come next?

For the hotel room and other let-me-just-spread-out-all-my-yarn-cakes-I-know-you-don’t-mind locations, I brought my first-ever Vertices Unite shawl (pattern here by Stephen West). It was mostly complete by the time my trip rolled around, but I couldn’t just leave it at home when it’s thiiiiis close to being finished. So along it came (with a few colors to start another). Needs must.

An inner-view of my first Vertices Unite shawl (squeeeee). I LOVE IT. All colors are Malabrigo Arroyo.
An inner-view of my first Vertices Unite shawl (squeeeee). I LOVE IT. All colors are Malabrigo Arroyo.

I finished the body of my first Vertices Unite shawl a few days after getting to Germany, and (brace yourself for some sad news) I realized I hadn’t brought the right color to do the border. Obviously, it needs a pink border. And I only brought purple. Blergh. So it remains unfinished, but at least it’s not home alone. The border is easy enough and will get whipped up (perhaps with some Shibui Silk Cloud held together with my Malabrigo Arroyo?) when I get home.

Starting my second Vertices Unite shawl using some of the same yarn, but this one is going to be muted, woodsy tones. I’m already loving how the colors are playing together. More on that later!

Taking Stephen’s advice I brought a completed shawl with me on my vacation. (“It is very important to have a shawl on you at all times … I have your standard collection of 200 shawls, so do I ever leave my house without one? Yes. And then I feel stupid. So don’t do that to yourself. Smarten up.”) SUCH good advice.

Here it be:

Never leave home without it!
Never leave home without it!

This beauty was knit up with some lovely alpaca yarn brought back from Peru by a dear friend who will remain nameless. (Her name starts with an E.) The pink, dark green and yellow are straight from some child’s yarn stash that E raided while in Peru. The other colors here are Frog Tree Alpaca Sport which I felt complemented the Peruvian alpaca quite well. You might be thinking … Hmm, No-Law Knits …. that shawl looks REAL similar to Smooth Moves by Stephen West. And you’d be right. Except I ran out of yarn (and time), so I had to tweak the pattern a bit. So it’s missing a section and a little smaller than a legit Smooth Moves, but I think it’s perfect!

Fisherman’s Hat on a Super Model

Pattern: Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Maltese Fisherman’s hat (from her Knitter’s Almanac).

The first one I made was a little short (the first one is always a bit of an experiment, isn’t it?). So it now graces my toddler’s knobby head. His grandfather (my FIL) asked for a matching one last winter and I failed to oblige until July (the BEST time for a winter hat in Kansas) when I discovered I had perfect yarn for a macho maltese fisherman’s hat right there in my stash. That NEVER happens. So off I knit and whipped it out in no time adding a little height to it for an adult-sized head. It is perfection.

I quickly knit up two more using some chunky-ish yarn I’ve been wondering what to do with. See for yourselves! Click on the photos for full details about the yarn I used.

More to come on this front. I think these hats will do nicely for a little show I like to call the Bizarre Bazaar.

Up next: My latest Dotted Rays by Stephen West. You see a little peek of it in that last photo, but here’s the full monty:

You saw this one in progress in a previous post, and I’ve finally finished it. It took AGES. I kept messing up and having to tink for DAYS. But now it exists and it’s error-free!

I used some left over Anzula Squishy here in Peach, Maple, and Cocoa. For those little accent slivers I used two strands of Shibui Knits Silk Cloud in Poppy. Yummmmmmmmyyyyyy.

WIPs

Lots of stuff on the needles & wheel this week!

I dyed 4 oz. of Blue-faced Leicester this weekend and am sitting down to spin it this morning while bingeing on Undisclosed. (If you enjoyed Serial, I think you’ll like Undisclosed. It gets a little more in-the-weeds about the investigation into Hae Min Lee’s death than Serial did, if you can imagine. And if you can power through the first episode, which I think is less professionally produced than following episodes, you’ll be in for a treat.) But enough about what I’m listening to – let’s see what my hands have been doing while I listen to stories about the ineptitude of the B-more Po-Po!

Here’s what I’ve spun so far:

4 oz. of immersion-dyed (spearmint) blue-faced Leicester wool. Yummy! Will make another spool and ply tomorrow.
4 oz. of immersion-dyed (spearmint) blue-faced Leicester wool. Yummy! Will make another spool and ply tomorrow.

That’s what’s on my wheel. Here’s what’s on my needles!

Another Sexy Vesty! Still using Knit Picks Billow for this. I think I’m going to order some more so I can make a handful of these vests as I got some good feedback from my last post! These colors are natural and sagebrush, but I plan on incorporating a little scrap of left over gosling as well.

IMG_5538And a scrappy version of Stephen Wests’ Dotted Rays Shawl (available from his Ravelry store for $6). I’m using Anzula Squishy in Peach & Maple (adding Cocoa after the Maple) and that little sliver of softness is Shibui Silk Cloud in Poppy.

Vesty for my Bestie

If I’m being a smart knitter, a prudent knitter, a practical knitter, then I have a pattern in mind when I go into the yarn store and I buy the perfect gauge and precise amount of yarn I’ll need for my well-planned project. That happens about one out of every six time I go to the yarn store. More often then not, I wander through the store picking up skeins here and there telling myself I’m sure to find the perfect project for each tomorrow afternoon. It’s not often I find the perfect project. I have a large yarn stash. But recently, I did a grand thing and found the perfect project for some Knit Picks Billow chunky cotton I bought on a bit of a whim a few months ago. (It was on SALE. How could I not?) And now, my friends, I give you my racerback vest!

Look at this beauty!
Look at this beauty!

I found inspiration here. I liked the racerback and flowy elements of the vest, but really didn’t like how it looked in such a small gauge and tight fit. So I tweaked the pattern a bit, as we knitters do. The original pattern (knit on US7 needles) probably takes far too long to knit up. Mine takes an afternoon. Can you imagine! One afternoon of very satisfactory knitting and you’ll have yourself a beautiful summer vest! It practically makes itself.

Here’s my pattern:

Needle: US 11  (worked back and forth on 24″ or 32″ circulars)

Yarn: Knit Picks Billow (rustic cotton) in Gosling & Natural  (I added a little thread of neon green/yellow wool at the very bottom to add a subtle pop of color … I like the effect!)

Ready.

Set.

CO (55 )

Row 1: K1, m1, knit to last st, m1, k1

Row 2: purl

Repeat Rows 1 & 2 four more times until you have 65 st.

Work center back:

Knit 27 st, and place them on a holder. Knit 11. Keep these 11 stitches on your needles and place the remaining 27 unknit stitches on another holder.

Working on the 11 st at center back, Knit 12 row in stockinette.

*Row 13: k1, m1, knit to last st, m1, k1

Row 14 & 16: purl

Row 15: knit

Repeat from *until yo have 17 st on needles then begin increasing in the same fashion every other row until you have 27 st. on your needles. End on a WS row & place center back 27 st. on holder. Cut yarn.

Work front sides beginning with the front right side (as if you’re wearing it):

Join at back edge (closest to center back),

*RS: ssk, knit to last st, m1, k1.

WS: purl

Repeat from * five more times (6 total). Then stop decreasing at beginning of row, continue to increase at end of RS row:

* RS: Knit to last st, m1, k1.

WS: Purl.

Repeat from * until you have 36 st total. End on WS row. Then put these on a holder and begin the left front. Join yarn on a WS row and purl first row, then complete the left front in the same manner as the right:

*RS: K1, m1, knit to last 2 stitches, k2tog.

WS: purl

Repeat from * five more times (6 total)

Then continue without the decrease at the end of the row until you have 36 st. End on WS row, do not break yarn.

BODY:

Join all

RS: K1, m1, knit to end, CO 10 (knitted cast on), knit across center racerback, CO 10, Knit to last stitch, m1, k1.

WS: purl

Then work to desired length, continuing to increase at beginning and end of each row:

RS: k1, m1, knit to last st, m1, k1

WS: purl

BO when you’ve reached your desired length. To ensure a nice stretchy bottom edge, I used EZ’s sewn bind off. Because the whole thing is done in stockinette, the edges naturally curl a little. I like the rustic vibe of the slightly curled edges, but if you prefer a more tailored look, I think a nice seed stitch edge worked for two inches or so would look lovely.

Have fun knitting, you knit wits!

While You Knit

I consume a lot of media while I’m knitting. Sometimes I feel guilty about it, “I’ve watched SO MUCH TV this week! What am I doing with my life? Oh, look! I’ve got three new shawls! What was I thinking about before?” All’s well that ends well, I suppose.

So I’ve started a new category in which I shall discuss said media. I have a bit of an appetite for TV shows, podcasts, and audiobooks, so hopefully this section will be of some use to you if you’re looking for something other than quiet to lull you through your yarny projects.

Let’s kick things off right with a podcast recommendation!

The Slate Daily Podcast. 

If you’re into podcasts at all, you’ve probably already got this one queued up. If not, I highly recommend it. Slate is an online magazine that publishes a new podcast every five minutes … ok, it’s not every five minutes, but they publish a lot.

My favorites are:

The Double X Gabfest (published bi-weekly) about lady-topics.

The Culture Gabfest (weekly) about all things cultural. I get a lot of my audiobook, TV and movie recommendations from here.

The Political Gabfest (weekly). I’ll be honest, I used to listen to this one all the time – it was my gateway drug into podcasts. But it’s gotten way too wonky for me. Every once in a while I’ll queue it up again, but it’s a fall back these days, not a true favorite. I still like it when Emily Bazelon comes on and talks about what the SCOTUS is up to, but the rest is just a little too in the weeds for my wave-top political tastes.

Mom & Dad Are Fighting – this one’s all about parenting, perhaps obviously.

Spoiler podcasts discuss new movies – sometimes I’ll listen to these even if I haven’t seen the movie because it’s such a smart discussion.

The ABC (audiobook club) podcast. I’m never sure when these come out, but whenever I’m looking for something new to listen to, I check out their webpage and see what’s on deck.

Also, there’s a daily one called The Gist with Mike Pesca that everyone raves about, but I’ll be honest, I really don’t like the sounds of his voice or, generally, his topic choice, but it could be perfect for you – and if so, you’re in luck because it comes out EVERY day. My feed is clogged with this guy.

More to come on this front! Hope you enjoy your Slate podcasts!

Longies

I’ve never found a pair of booties that make my heart go pitter-patter. I make all these adorable baby sweaters & bonnets and I deeply want to make an entire set (even though I’m not crazy about how matchy-matchy baby sweater sets get). I’ve desperately searched for baby footwear that is: quickly made, cute, and practical (i.e. stays on a squirmy baby’s foot). I’ve not prevailed.

I gave up.

And then …

Longies.

I made these two out of the über durable Berroco Vintage DK in Minty & Oats. I used some scrap wool for the drawstring.
I made these two out of the über durable Berroco Vintage DK in Minty & Oats. I used some scrap wool for the drawstring.

Turns out, the problem with most baby booties is that they’re not connected to baby leggings. Elizabeth Zimmermann knew this all along. In EZ’s Knitter’s Almanac (gifted to me by my constant cheerleader, my MIL), she gives the directions to make a pair of longies. EZ writes that she first encountered them on the chubby legs of little German children. And how practical are those Germans? Pretty practical. I’ve made two pairs using DK weight yarn and US size 7 needles. I tried them on a robust 8 month old and discovered they were a perfect fit. Thanks to the accommodating nature of knitting, these squee little longies will fit babies from 3 mo. to 1 y and then they’ll be a beloved hand-me-down because you just don’t see these floating around much these days, do you? But you see so many baby booties. I’ll let you in on a little secret. Those baby booties will not stay on your baby’s foot. They’re cute to look at and coo over, but they’re completely impractical.

I’ll stop there and say: get EZ’s almanac if it’s not already on your shelf. Even if you’re not an avid knitter, her commentary and observations on life & knitting are entertaining enough that you can gobble up this thin volume in a single sitting. Because knitting is a joy and you need some more joy in your life.

Now, let us ruminate on the beauty, the practicality, the adorableness of these longies.

The waist on these longies looks high - and it is. On a newborn, these will come up to the armpits, which I think makes them the perfect undergarment for a layette on a wintry day.
The waist on these longies looks high – and it is. On a newborn, these will come up to the armpits, which I think makes them the perfect undergarment for a layette on a wintry day.
IMG_5369
On an older baby, these look SO. FREAKING. CUTE. over a simple onesie. SO. FREAKING. CUTE. And that waist will start to come down as your baby (and their diaper butt) grows.

And guess what. EZ’s Knitter’s Almanac includes a pattern for these IN ADULT SIZES.