April KALFH #1: Whittle Hat

It's KNIT GRAFFITI month, y'all! 

Ok, I'm not from Texas so the "y'all" likely isn't necessary but that's where the lovely Lesley lives so I'm channeling her a little bit. 

Also, she's not originally from Texas so it really isn't necessary but it sounded good in my head. 

So... shall we just get right on down to the making of this hat, then? Ok! 

Whittle Hat by Lesley Anne Robinson

Man I wish I'd used a lighter-colored yarn for photos sake... but I love the color of this hat so I'm definitely not disappointed. 

Hat 101

When I sit down to knit something, there are some things I KNOW. None of these "things" are something I can take credit for - they're things taught to me by the masters along my knitting journey. And the first thing that I KNOW about this hat, is that the brim needs to be knit on a smaller needle.  For it to stay on my head, it needs to be tighter at the cast-on and brim. If you like a super loose hat all the way, disregard this section. The hat is obviously wearable and comfortable at it's originally designed brim circumference, I just know that, for me, it would be too loose. 

Here's my breakdown on the brim: My general rule of thumb for hats is, when knitting the brim, use a needle 2 sizes smaller than the needle being used to work the rest of the hat. In this case, becasue I used a US 8 (5mm) needle for the body of the hat, I would use a US 6 (4mm) for the brim. 

HOWEVER! I also know that a fitted hat (for the average woman's head) is usually around 80 sts and a slouch hat is around 96 sts. This hat is actually even just a tiny bit larger than that so I made an executive decision and used a US 5 (3.75mm) for the Ribb pattern on the brim. 

IF! If you are an average to loose tension knitter, I do recommend a US 5 (3.75mm) for the brim, going up to the US 8 (5mm) for the body of the hat. If you are a slightly tighter knitter, go with a US 6 (4mm). 

Urm... that's kinda it?!

So, beyond my minor qualms with the size of the brim needle, there's not a whole lot to share about this hat. Lesley has provided both written out and charted instructions for the body of the hat, which I LURVE! I'm a chart girl all the way. 

If you're up for a challenge, I recommend learning how to cable without a cable needle on this hat. The cables are fairly simple and while there aren't a ton of them, I always like to learn a new skill on a simpler project where I don't feel like I'd be overwhelmed using the new technique. 

Here's a great video tutorial from Knit Purl Hunter if you want to learn the cabling without a cable needle technique: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qq-qWMz1lQY

TIP! One thing that Michelle doesn't mention in her video that I find helpful: using your right pointer finger, put pressure below the two stitches that are being removed from the needle. This way they cannot unravel as you move them! 

One final note...

The last note has to do, again, with a personal preference. I hate working the decreases at the top of a hat but I'm forcing myself to get better at it. Something happens to my tension and my fingers freak out when they see DPNs. So I did 2 things:

  1. Because I know my tension gets wonky when i switch to DPNs, I changed a needle size. I went down to a US 7 (4.5mm) set of DPNs. This helps keep my tension in check for the crown shaping.
  2. I didn't decrease the FINAL round. I find that up to about 10 sts is an acceptable number of sts to cinch closed. So I didn't decrease down the final round so that I didn't have just 1 st on each DPN. Just a personal preference. If you're ok with that few sts, go for it! 

Blocking

Ok, so I guess technically THIS is my final note! *insert sheepish smile here*

I wet blocked this hat over a balloon blown up to a 20" circumference. I know that with wear, a hat will stretch out so I didn't block to my full head circumference (which is 22"). 

Keep in touch!

Thanks for knitting along with us on this project! If you're on social media, feel free to tag #unapologeticknitter (or use @notsorryknitter on IG) so I can see your amazing creations! I can't wait to KALFH with you! 

April 2017 KALFH Projects

Last month, I was lucky enough to host a Knit Graffiti Trunk Show at my LYS. Yes, I know I design my own patterns but I'm a big fan of supporting amazing women around me. I have a lovely, albeit long-distance, relationship with Lesley, and wanted to promote her designs in my area. 

So April is pretty much an ode to Knit Graffiti

Remember! 

If you're in the Portland/Beaverton, OR area, you can always come take these classes in person with me at Nitro Knitters

Whittle Hat by Lesley Anne Robinson

Whittle Hat by Lesley Anne Robinson

Tuesday, April 11, 2017: Whittle Hat

This adorable hat matches the Chop Mitts and the Carve Cowl, also patterns designed by Lesley.

Materials

  • A copy of the pattern available on Ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/whittle-hat
  • Worsted weight yarn in a solid or tonal colorway, 50-200 yds depending on size being made
  • US 5 16" circular needle (not noted on pattern, but trust me!)
  • US 8 16" circular needle and DPNs
  • Stitch marker

Finished sizes: 

  • Baby: 12" circumference, uses 50 yds
  • Child: 15" circumference, uses 110 yds
  • Adult Small: 18" circumference, uses 145 yds (the hat shown above is an Adult Small modeled on a 22" circumference head)
  • Adult Large: 20" circumference, uses 190 yds
Deco Mug Mat by Lesley Anne Robinson

Deco Mug Mat by Lesley Anne Robinson

Tuesday, April 18, 2017: Deco Mug Mat

The perfect brioche-alicious instant gratification project to get you familiar with the technique (and use up scrap yarn!)

Materials

  • A copy of the pattern available on Ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/deco-mug-mat
  • DK or worsted weight yarn in two colors – high contrast is recommended; one can be as variegated/striped as you like, the second should be solid/tonal: 50 yds of each color
  • US 7 (4.5mm) circular needle
  • Tapestry needle
  • Row Counter

Finished Size: 8 x 8 inches measured at longest and widest points

Washed Ashore hat by Lesley Anne Robinson

Washed Ashore hat by Lesley Anne Robinson

Tuesday, April 25, 2017: Washed Ashore Hat

An extra thick beanie with delightful details: lacework, cables and even some bobble knots!

Materials

  • A copy of the pattern available on Ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/washed-ashore
  • Worsted Weight yarn in a solid or tonal - see quantities below
  • Fingering Weight yarn in a solid or tonal - see quantities below
  • US 6 (4mm) 16” circular needle
  • US 6 (4mm) set of DPNs (or 40” circular for magic loop method)
  • US 3 (3.25mm) 16” circular needle
  • US 3 (3.25mm) set of DPNs (or 40” circular for magic loop method)
  • Small crochet hook (size E or F)
  • Stitch markers

Finished sizes: 

  • Adult Small: 19" circumference, 8.5" height; uses 120 yds worsted weight yarn and 150 yds fingering weight yarn(the hat shown above is an Adult Small modeled on a 22" circumference head)
  • Adult Large: 21" circumference, 9" height; uses 150 yds worsted weight yarn and 200 yds fingering weight yarn

Keep in touch!

If you're on social media, feel free to tag #unapologeticknitter (or use @notsorryknitter on IG) so I can see your amazing creations! I can't wait to KALFH with you! 

March KALFH #3: Arika Cowl

I can't tell you how many of these gorgeous cowls I saw when I was at Stitches West last month. There were such an array of sizes, colors, fringe length, etc., but every single one of them was beautiful. Made me a bit jealous that my sample was on display at my LYS rather than around my neck at the show! 

Arika Cowl by Jane Richmond

As you knit this cowl, I DARE you not to be all "it's too small, it's never going to look right, oh mannnnnn". 'Cuz I sure did! And then I blocked, and seamed, and fringe'd it and it just blossomed! 

Um... you're kinda on your own?!

Not much of a tutorial, eh?! I'm kidding... kind of! The beauty of this cowl, beyond the objective beauty of how it lays and it's coziness factor, is that it's actually quite easy to knit. It's the final construction that can trip folks up! 

There's not much to tell as far as the flat construction of the cowl. The shaping is quite unique but the schematics included in the pattern pretty much tell the tale. Knit the cowl flat, as per the pattern, and wet block it to the dimensions shown in the schematic.

One minor clarification!

The only clarification I can make has to do with the Abbreviations section. The instructions for sk2p should likely include that you should slip the stitch knitwise. So, for sk2p, read it as: sl 1 knit-wise, k2tog, pass slipped stitch over. 

Aaaaaaand... fast forward a few hours!

I'm going assume you've now finishing knitting your cowl and have blocked it and allowed it to dry?! Yes? Good! 

The seaming is the true magic of this project. I used a collection of removable markers and about 36-inches of project yarn to graft the flat project into the cowl shape.

With the RS facing, use a removable marker to clip the bottom stitch in each COLUMN of knit stitches (omit the purl columns) to one slipped edge stitch each. What you'll end up with is 18 removable markers clipped to 18 slipped edge stitches. This is the best way (in my opinion, of course) to ensure that you're seaming the correct number of stitches, and at a ratio that makes sense for the project. Obviously, you can remove the markers as you seam the project, otherwise they kind of get in the way.

Seam knitting in 2 different directions

Here are two resources for seaming a vertical knit edge to a horizontal knit edge (i.e.: your stitches were worked in different directions).

Annie's has a great pictorial that shows a static picture of your working yarn in and around the fixed edge: this creates an incredible, invisible seam between the two edges (click the image to be directed to the actual page with written instructions).

And, if you're like me and you prefer a video tutorial, here is the inestimable KnitPurlHunter with another gem of a video! In this video she references set in sleeves but is using two flat pieces - which is perfect since you've got two flat edges of the cowl to seam. Your ratio of picking up will be one knit stitch to one slipped edge stitch. Because we're omitting the purl stitches in the vertical columns, the stitch ratio works out. 

Here's the video: http://tinyurl.com/hmpztbt

Adding the Fringe

Fringe is pretty straight forward, right? Cut some lengths, and attach?! Yep, pretty much. For this project, I actually used a few more lengths than Jane's recommended, but that's just a function of having a difference row gauge. I cut my fringe to length per the pattern, and ended up using close to 100 yds to do it.

I attached a fringe (a fringe?! Is 'fringe' plural... if so, what's the singular of 'fringe'?) every 2nd slipped edge stitch. My very fringe was the botton point of the shawl (the triangular point) and then every other slipped edge stitch for the entire circumference of the shawl. I have seen some folks wear it with fringe JUST along the wide edge, or just to the shoulders (and none behind the neck/back) - it's truly up to you how much you want to fringe. 

Here's a great video from Very Pink Knits to show how to attach fringe (and cut it to length, if you're new to it. Jump ahead to 1:50 in the video to see the actual method of attaching the fringe. Tutorial: http://tinyurl.com/zsgk3q8

Is that all there is?

Yep yep! Isn't it a fun one?! I'm pretty sure that by the end of the year I'll have more than one. It was a luxuriously quick knit, save the fringe-making. That took some time. But all in all, a relatively simple knit with stunning results. 

Keep in touch!

Thanks for knitting along with on this cowl! If you're on social media, feel free to tag #unapologeticknitter (or use @notsorryknitter on IG) so I can see your amazing creations!