Tag Archive | slouch hats

Bittersweet Birthday Cowl

I have made some progress on my quest to knit all the things. Yes, I only have one FO, but I think that’s reasonable given my WIPs. One is a Sockhead hat, yes, a hat knit with sock yarn on tiny needles. It’s my brainless knitting so it doesn’t come out all the time. But I do love knitting on it. It’s so pretty and the yarn feels so nice. I have about two inches left before starting the decreases.


I also worked on my KC Royals Crackerjack scarf, and I’m all caught up to last night’s game. We only have eight games left, which is 16 rows, and then I’ll graft the ends together and it will be done! And I’ll probably set it aside and not want to wear it right away because I’m tired of looking at it. I just should have made it last year, when we won the World Series. Oh well. Who knew, right?


Here’s the FO, the Bittersweet Birthday Cowl. I worked on this during lunch at work and really enjoyed it. I modified the original long cowl to a short version, and I think it’s perfect. The lace pattern is beautiful. And this might be some of the most gorgeous Malabrigo I’ve used yet; it’s Rios in the Sabiduria colorway. The photos don’t even portray the color honestly. It’s deeper, darker, richer. Just gorgeous.


It’s not blocked yet. It will look neater when it is.

I didn’t work on any of my other WIPs this week, and I might not get much done this week. I have a couple more chemo caps to make, special color requests, so those come first. But when they’re done, I might be casting on a new project. Check out The Secret Way of Patterns. It’s a beautiful buttoned cowl pattern, but the story touched me too: a young girl who wants to be a fashion designer, who lost her grandmother and now wants to support her grandma’s charity. Yep, I bought the pattern, and would have even if I hadn’t thought it lovely. But I do, and I’ll enjoy making it.

Until next time, I’ll leave you with a nice thought from a movie we watched last night: “Have courage, and be kind.” Just about says it all, doesn’t it?

Isabella Lacy Beanie

Finally, the second pattern I test-knit has been released so I can share it with you! It’s called the Isabella Lacy Beanie by Ashlee Lackovic (smashleestitches on Ravelry, WordPress, Twitter etc) and I think it’s super cute. It’s got a garter stitch brim and a fun vertical lace stripe pattern.


Once again my daughter was willing to be my  model, as long as she got to keep the hat when we were done! (Note: the hat had not been blocked at this point.)


That was fine, because it came out too big for me. I got a bit carried away and knit it a little longer than I was supposed to, but it looks great on her.


The pattern calls for two stands of fingering held together, and I’m still not crazy about the colors I chose, but it’s okay. If I make it again, and I probably will because it was a fun knit, I’d choose two colors closer together.


So if you need a quick late-summer hat, check out the Ravelry page here.

Waffles Hat

I finished a hat today! This has been my work lunchtime knitting and today was an extra-long lunchtime, so I was able to finish it up. I’m quite pleased with it.


Pattern: Violet Waffles. This is my third one and I love the pattern. Yarn: KnitPicks Preciosa Tonal in Boysenberry. LOVE this yarn.

I also got some new yarn in the mail! That’s always a good day, right? ErikaShmerika shared a destash on Instagram and of course I couldn’t resist checking it out. Sigh. Her prices were ridiculously good. Like, I got Malabrigo Rasta for FIVE DOLLARS. Yes, it needs to be wound, but…FIVE DOLLARS!


I also got some Araucania Coliumo. I haven’t knit with it before but it’s a bulky purple yarn. I’m pretty sure I’ll be happy with it.


This is StitchJones Dyepot, worsted merino in a colorway called Conspiracy. The colors are AMAZING.


Last but not least, I got another skein of Manos del Uruguay Alegria. It might be my new favorite yarn. I love the colors, love the feel, love how it knits up. Look at this! Isn’t it gorgeous??


And that’s ALL. I’m not buying any more yarn for…at least another week or so.

Getting Over Rejection

Let’s play Bad News/Good News. Which do you want first? Bad? Okay: I’ve now gotten four rejections on my memoir queries. They’ve all been very kind and gentle, but they’re still No. The first was fine, the second was disappointing for a moment, the third was a deep breath, and the fourth kicked my butt for some reason. I really was expecting this, but apparently that doesn’t make it easier. Those rejections, combined with the knowledge that memoirs are hard to sell and have to be extremely unusual and compelling, had me thinking I should scrap the current manuscript and rewrite it as fiction.

But, good news: after several days of extreme self-doubt, I feel ready to get back to work. I have more agents to query; I might as well get through the list before giving up. I had a very kind friend who offered to read my query letter and synopsis, so I’ve got some strong feedback to help me as I revise. My family is heading out for the day so I’ll have some quiet time to really focus…if I can resist the call of my knitting.

I finished the newest hat yesterday; it was a super quick one. IMG_5606The pattern is called Sneaky Snakes and the easy 4-row lace pattern made a nifty squiggly pattern. There are only three decrease rounds so you definitely want to make sure you’ve got a long enough body. I like how mine ended up.IMG_5607With that done, I made some more progress on my Color Block Wrap. I’ve got the first block done, but I only made it to 65 stitches instead of 69. It’s fine, though. IMG_5608It’s delicious to knit and I’m looking forward to moving on to the second color tonight. It will be my reward for revising my query letter!

Two Hats Done, One Begun

As expected, the kids’ spring break has interrupted my knitting/writing/blogging processes, but at least there is a little bit of knitting going on. And today our calendar is empty so both children are still asleep at 9 a.m. and I am stealing the time to catch up with all of you. Of the four projects I started last weekend, two are now complete! First up is the Hot Pink Waffles. IMG_5594The pattern was written for DK, so I lowered the number of stitches to cast on with this worsted weight, but not enough. It’s a little looser than I would like, but it will do. It fits well enough on my noggin.IMG_5578The girl and I went to watch Room with my mom yesterday, and I got this hat up to the decreases while watching. It was a good movie, grim but moving, definitely wonderful performances. I still liked the book better.

I also finished the bulky ivory hat, and there’s more of a story to that one. There’s a book out called Weekend by Jen Geigley with fabulous bulky-weight patterns. I love them all. She had a sale on it recently so I splurged and bought the book, and decided the hat Sliver would be my first project. But I didn’t really like the dropped stitch “run” so I just omitted it. I had some super bulky yarn and the right size needles, and no, I didn’t test for gauge because it’s a HAT and it will fit someone and I almost always knit to gauge anyway.

Not this time. I cast for the size medium and knit away, and it looked small but I ignored it. When I picked it up yesterday to finish it, I decided to face the truth and put it on my head. It was definitely NOT a size adult medium. It was easily a child-size hat, but long. I thought about frogging and starting over with the XL, but realized I didn’t have enough yarn. So I frogged back about an inch of the body and finished off a cute little kid hat, and added a pompom because pompoms are adorable and I had exactly enough yarn left. IMG_5583Maybe I knit more tightly than Jen, maybe my “super bulky” yarn wasn’t as bulky as hers, I don’t know. But I still love the hat, and I still want to make an adult version at some point. But for now, I’m going through the book to decide which pattern I want to try next! Until I decide, I cast on for another lacy cotton slouch hat, this time in a peachy pink. IMG_5592Yesterday was National Puppy Day but I didn’t have the time to blog, so Grace and Jack will send you belated happy puppy wishes! IMG_5586IMG_5589

Duality Hat

As promised, I have knitting to show you after our long day yesterday. Both kids competed in the regional National History Day so we were there from 9 am to 5 pm. The girl is moving on to state and is quite happy, the boy is not moving on but doesn’t mind too much because it means he can stop working on it and stressing out about it! So yes, lots and lots of knitting time but it’s not the Because I Love You Wrap. I did start that shawl, and I’m loving my yarn choice so far. It’s going to be quite lovely. IMG_5412This was knit with size 6 needles, as the pattern recommends. But it was too loosey-goosey for me so I frogged that and started over with 5s, and I like it much better. I learned how to do picots and those are pretty darn nifty. But guys, there’s a trick in this pattern that I didn’t discover until I started knitting. When you start the first garter stitch stripe, you do the first three stitches in the other color and then pick up the stripe color. Well, that left a big stupid hole in my knitting! That irritated me so I frogged back (and frogging picots are interesting) to before the stripe. A bit of investigating showed another Raveler recommending the intarsia technique of twisting the yarns at that point. I’ve never done intarsia but I’ve carried yarns up the side of my knitting; is the twisting the same as that? I’ll do more investigating before going back to knitting this but I’d love any advice you have!

After that rough beginning on Friday, I knew it wasn’t a good travel knitting project, so instead I cast on Karin Michele’s newest pattern, the Duality hat. It’s a classic ribbed beanie but with broken rib for the body, and the decreases are written so well! I love how she managed to carry the broken rib pattern all the way up. Best of all, it’s free through March 7th, so move quick, knitters! I got it almost completely done at the competition, stopped only because I forgot to bring my DPNs with me, so the last six rounds were done at home. I love love love this hat. IMG_5435IMG_5434I used Malabrigo Rios (the recommended yarn) in color Teal Feather, and knit to 8.25″ before decreasing. I think it’s the perfect amount of slouch and I’ll definitely be knitting this pattern again.

Now we have a quiet Sunday at home and I feel brave enough to tackle my shawl again. Wish me luck with my yarn-twisting!

I beat the yarn

Guess what I did yesterday?? I untangled yarn. Yes, seriously, that was the bulk of my day. That stupid mess of pink silk took me probably four hours to untangle, and I should have set it aside to do something else but I couldn’t. I’m stubborn enough that I just couldn’t stop, especially when I got close to the end. But hooray hoorah, I prevailed and now have a lovely ball of yarn ready for the right pattern. IMG_5388

I wasn’t ready to cast on with it right away, though. I’d spent too much time with it by that point. So it’s back in the stash, and instead I cast on for a new hat last night. I switched to a quick crochet pattern and it felt so good to have a hook in my hand again. I love being able to go from one to the other, and being able to incorporate both into one project like I did with this hat. IMG_5410IMG_5411These are lazy pics, sorry. The lighting inside wasn’t great and I didn’t want to go outside, but these still show the awesome pattern. This is the Spinning Summer Slouchy Beanie by Tamara Kelly, aka Moogly. It was SO fast to make! My modification was to pick up stitches for a knitted ribbed brim instead of doing a crocheted brim. I love the stretch of ribbing for a hat, and it’s super easy to do.

That’s all I have for today, folks, but I’ll have plenty more on Monday. Tomorrow is competition for National History Day for both my kiddos, so I should have plenty of knitting time while we wait around. Maybe I should cast on for that Because I Love You wrap…

Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

I got complacent. Grace was being so good the last couple of months, not chewing things up when we were gone. I mean, yeah, she was stealing butcher knives, but whatever, right? Then yesterday I was gone for almost four hours and came home to stuffing on the floor. Now, she’s already destroyed our throw pillows, so at first I had no clue what it was from. Then I realized: we have an upholstered chair in the sitting room. It’s one of her favorite spots because it’s in front of a window, so she drapes herself over the back and watches the world go by. Not anymore, pup! Not anymore. Not after this: IMG_5168Oy. This dog. So yeah, she was in the doghouse (figuratively) for the rest of the day. At least until it was time for me to stretch out on the couch with my blanket. Then both puppies thought it was cuddle time with mom. Fine. They’re warm and snuggly. IMG_5371Fortunately, I did have some good to counteract the bad. The yarn store was indeed open yesterday and I did indeed find some yarn. More than I meant to find, honestly. (That’s always what happens, isn’t it?) Last night I hid in my craft room and wound yarn. It was lovely. Please note: not all of this is new yarn! Some of it was in the stash and I decided it needed to be wound. Mostly to make room for the new yarn. IMG_5369This is the new yarn. Yes, I have plenty of cotton now, in a nice variety of colors. IMG_5374The three on the left are Berroco Weekend, which my LYS has for 35% off. It’s a crispy yet soft cotton/acrylic blend and I’ve made several hats with it in the past. The two on the right are Universal Yarn Cotton Supreme, which is a deliciously soft yarn. I’m hoping to get one adult hat and one baby hat out of each skein. I don’t have patterns picked out yet, so some of today will be spent perusing Ravelry.

And some of it will be spent on my manuscript. I have an idea for a new first chapter, so I’m going to play around with that. A fellow knitter/blogger/writer/reader has generously offered to be an extra set of eyes, so I’d like to get it as ready as possible before that happens. I thought it was, honestly, but then I started doubting myself again. There’s a blog I follow written by a literary agent, and she’s strongly anti-memoir. By that I mean, she seems to believe that unless you’re a celebrity or super funny, your memoir won’t sell (with a few obvious exceptions, and I don’t think I’m Cheryl Strayed either). And I know she has the experience to back that up. So yeah, I’ve got that in the back of my mind. But I’m still going to keep pushing forward. I haven’t hit a roadblock big enough to stop me yet!

Oh yeah, one last thing. Here’s the finished purple hat! IMG_5365Ravelry notes are here if you’re interested.

Until next time, happy Wednesday, friends! Go forth and create stuff!

One hat done, one hat begun

Just as I thought, the Oscar Night hat was quick to finish yesterday. I love how it turned out, except it seems a little big. IMG_5358 But this head is pretty slippery, plus it doesn’t have any hair to fill out the hat. Why not try it on a person, you say? What a novel idea! Nobody was around when I finished it, and somehow it didn’t occur to me to try it on myself. And right now it’s upstairs and I’m downstairs and it’s not worth it to go fetch it. It will fit someone, I’m sure. And it’s pretty and I had fun making it. You can find the details on the Ravelry pageIMG_5359IMG_5360You might remember I mentioned I was going to babysit my wee nephew yesterday, and I was afraid he’d be very cranky? Well, I did and he wasn’t!! Sure, he had a few fussy moments but overall we had a lovely time. He’s about 8 months old and desperately wants to be more mobile than he is, so he gets frustrated. But he seems to be warming up to me and has a perfectly charming grin.

Anyway, the reason I’m telling you this: I was weak yesterday! I was running early so I decided I needed to stop by the yarn store. Spring is coming, and I want to make lots and lot of cotton hats. Thus, I need more cotton yarn. Green yarn, I decided. A bright, cheerful grass green. I could see the yarn in my mind’s eye and it was beautiful. I pulled into the parking lot…the empty parking lot…in front of the building with dark windows…it was CLOSED. The yarn store is closed on Mondays, darn it all. Well. Saved me some money, didn’t they? Instead I came home and picked out a pretty lavender cotton from the stash and cast on with that. Jack helped.IMG_5362Speaking of Jack: he’s pretty sneaky. Both pups sleep with the girl at night, but they think they want to sleep in my bed. Every night they sneak in when I’m getting ready for bed and jump up and make themselves all cute and comfy so we won’t have the heart to kick them out. (It never works. The husband is stern in this regard.) Last night Jack jumped up and promptly claimed my pillow.IMG_5363“Dis is pillow for me, right?” Ha. Right. (Actually if it weren’t for the husband, I would let him have it. Even though I don’t sleep well with puppies in the bed either. He’s just that cute.)

Okay, sorry, back to the knitting: the hat is going swimmingly, and I have some waiting room time this morning so I should make good progress on it today. IMG_5364I’ll also be driving right by the yarn store again today. And I’m pretty sure they’re open on Tuesdays.

Oscar Night Hat

Last night was the Oscars, and of course I was there from the red carpet to the bitter bitter end. No, I’m not commenting on the winners. I really had no preferences. It was just bitter because by then I was so tired but didn’t want to miss any Chris Rock. The upside to a show five hours long (if you count the pre-show) is plenty of knitting time. Our warmer weather made me want a Spring-y project, so I pulled out some Lion Brand Cotton-ease and cast on for a lacy hat. IMG_5344The pattern is Lace Ribbon Slouch Hat and I’m really enjoying it. I love the zig-zag. I did switch the brim from garter stitch to ribbing, because I figure hats always need that stretch, especially one made with cotton. You’d think with that much time it would be done, but I did have to pay a little bit of attention to the lace at times, and I kept getting distracted by the show. Some parts I just had to watch. So I’ve got just one more pattern row and then the decreases. It’ll easily get done today, but not right away. I’m babysitting my newest nephew today for the first time, the one who’s cute but often cranky, and I’m really hoping he treats me well!

I also got my manuscript back from my second reader over the weekend, and she said she really enjoyed reading it. I’m choosing to believe her! But she also gave me some good feedback, so yesterday I dove back in and did a bit more revising. I’m so close to being done with this silly thing! But now I’m wondering if the beginning is too boring. I mean, if someone only asks for five pages, are mine good enough to make them want more? So I’m pondering that, trying to figure out if I can jazz up the first chapter. Still, my goal is to get it submitted to at least one agent by the end of March! yikes scary exciting am I ready for rejection?

Here’s what I found when I got up this morning. IMG_5343Yes, that’s a knife on my couch. Grace is a knife thief. Usually it’s butter knives, because she’s obsessed with butter, but we’ve gotten pretty good at keeping our sharp knives out of her reach. Last night we must have gotten lazy (I was watching the Oscars. I couldn’t leave to wash dishes. Seriously.) so sometime this morning she was probably thrilled to reach the chicken knife. She’s fine. She didn’t have it very long, and I know that because the handle hasn’t been chewed on. She’s grown up a lot but I guess she’ll never lose her love for knives.

Happy Monday, friends. Here’s hoping you don’t find any hidden knives in your house.