This is bat country


Sorry, still with the hats….

Just working on the last group of hats for The Big Knit.  I have a couple more of my own designs, including a “long-tailed hat” and a corkscrew curl one.

The long tail one is the basic hat up to round 10 – cast on 28, purl 2 rounds, knit eight rounds and then a series of decreases. Since I work them all Magic Loop, the decreases are worked first on the front needle then on the back needle, NOT around – the knit stitches at the beginning and end of the needle makes for a nice, graduated decrease, rather than stair-steps, so it is a bit of a pain but super-cute:


The long-tail flops over nicely.  In a bit of a green phase, I guess. I like the jingle bells instead of the pompom sometimes:


The other one is also the basic hat, just with the addition of some crochet corkscrews – again, easy to do, just a chain of about 20, then 4 sc in one loop of each if the chain stitches to the end.


and so cute as a topper!


The array:


And a couple of close-up ones:


Beaded edges, added snowflakes, and little wreaths.  The snowflake ones will certainly work for February, when they go on sale.  I will probably make a lot more of the ones with the little crochet hearts stitched on, and I have some red heart buttons as well.

I should finish up in the next few days and send them off in the mail.  I’ve enjoyed the process.


One last easy The Big Knit hat pattern

Again, not so much a pattern as a method, with details.  I do like this one. it’s very simple but looks adorable on the bottle.


It is super simple.  Well, except for the Turkish cast on.

Turkish cast on can be tricky if it is new to you, but not very tricky.  You are essentially wrapping the yarn around both needles, the slipping one out and knitting the first side of the wraps, then flipping it as if for Magic Loop and knitting the other side of the wraps.  Here are a couple of links to people who show you better than I could how to do it. First a video:

and a link to still shots. Both are useful, and there are 100 others if neither suit you.


Turkish cast on for 28 stitches.


Knit 12 rounds

Purl 2 rounds

Cast off using a stretchy bind off.

Use the stretchy one you prefer.  There are loads.  I use the Decrease method. That is essentially *k2togtbl, slip the stitch on your right needle and place it back on your left needle, repeat from * until all stitches are bound off. You can see it in more detail here.  Video and photos.


It looks good with either the floppy pompom, or a little tassel, and I bet the fork-sized pompom are cute too!


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The floppy pompom and the textured hat pattern for The Big Knit

I mentioned another hat pattern the other day and here they are again, to remind you.



This is a basic bee stitch pattern, worked in the round. You can see the bee stitch here.

Textured Bee Stitch hat pattern

  • Cast on 28 stitches and divide for Magic Loop.  Join to work in the round, being careful not to twist the stitches.
  • Purl two rows

Pattern rows:

  1. K1, k1B
  2. purl
  3. K1B, k1
  4. purl

Repeat these four rows two more times, for a total of 12 pattern rows.

  • Repeat row 1
  • K2tog (7 stitches on each needle)
  • K2tog across first needle, k1  then K2tog across second needle, k1

thread the tail thru the stitches on the needle and pull tight. Finish off and weave in ends.

If you wanted to make this as a flat hat and sew up the side seam, just swap the PURL rows for KNIT rows.  or the K2tog rows, just do that for the length of the needle.  Even easier.

Now, this isn’t rocket science, but in case you can’t work it out, here is how I make my floppy pompoms:

Fold a piece of yarn that is about 10 inches in half.  Drop the folded yarn between your fingers.


Wrap yarn around your fingers. Don’t get the looped yarn caught up in your wrapping.  It’ll depend on how fluffy you want your pompom, and how big your hand is, but I do about 25 wraps.



Thread the two loose tails around the wrapped yarn and thru the loop.  Pull tight.  Wrap the ends back around and tighten.  Tie off tightly.



Snip the loops.


Give it a good shake by the tails.


You can leave it as is or you can trim smaller.


Secure the pop pom to the top of the hat with the tails. This works with standard little hats too, and I bet it would look cute with lots more wraps on a big hat as well!




WOYWW337 – hats galore!

What’s on my W this W is still hats.  I am over half way to my goal of 100. Such a colourful array!


And the hats!


I also created another new pattern – well, not created so much as worked out the details of a simple texture stitch.  But it’s so cute!


And I love the floppy pom pom even more than the tiny fork ones. Another colour…


Even floppier LOL! easy too, but the explanation will have to wait.  Busy day today.

HAPPY WOYWW! and I’ll be popping round to yours later……

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My favourite BIG KNIT hat pattern

I have been experimenting with the patterns I have found online, but one thing I realized is that the complex patterns bring in no more money than the easy ones, but they take more time.  I could make say 10 super-complicated character hats and bring in £3 (30p per hat is, I think, the figure I read) OR I can knit 100 interesting but fairly easy hats and bring in £300.  Seems an easy choice to me.

I had a sock pattern I wanted to try, and I thought I would use the basic idea (a slip stitch) but adapt it to the small hat size.  I think it is super cute, takes no more time to knit than a bog-standard basic Smoothie hat, and works beautifully with a short-run variegated yarn.  By that, I mean a yarn that has colour runs of a couple of inches, rather than a self-striping yarn that knits up as a few rows of a colour. Like this stuff:


As you can see, the runs of each colour are very short, about 4 inches.  And the hat looks like this:


The thing about the short colour runs is the slip stitch carries the colour from a lower row up to a higher row, for a nifty, but easy, colour effect!

Pattern, to be knit in the round using Magic Loop:

Cast on 30 stitches. Split at 15 stitches, and join to work Magic Loop, taking care not to twist the stitches.

Purl two rows

Pattern rows:

  • Knit 1 (double-wrap yarn, k2) double-wrap, k1 (Elongated stitch – see below)
  • Knit 1 (release/slip wrapped yarn purlwise, k2) release/slip, k1
  • Knit 1, (slip elongated stitch purlwise, k1) slip, k1

Repeat rows pattern rows three more times, for a total of 12 pattern rows.

Top shaping:

  • K2tog to the last stitch on the front needle, k1
  • K2tog to the last stitch on the back needle, k1

With 8 stitches on each needle, k2tog

Cut. Thread tail on needle and insert thru the stitches on the needles.  Pull tight to gather. Weave in end.

I managed to take a few photos. Maybe they will help.  I have seen this stitch called the Elongated Stitch, and here is a video of the double-wrap if you need the extra help.

Pattern Row 1:


Pattern Row 2:

The next row, you release the wrapped yarn, slipping purlwise, without knitting it. Can you see the wrapped stitches (the doubled yellow ones) upcoming?




Pattern Row 3:

Slip the elongated stitches purlwise


And you can see how the green and the yellow slipped stitches now divide the orange in this row.  THAT is what gives the hat it’s funky colour pattern.


That’s all!

I’ll also offer my quick pom-pom making tip.  I use two methods.  THIS hat pattern, I use the fork method, with an added tip. I first double the yarn, using maybe 40 inches, doubled.

Slip the fold over one tine of the fork


Wrap the yarn around and around, as normal. Slip another say 10 inch folded piece thru the middle tine – you can even slip this thru BEFORE you start winding.  I do that too.


Thread the loose ends thru the loop and tighten


I then wrap one end around again and tie the two ends tightly, leaving the tails.


Snip the loops and trim any stragglers, but be careful not to snip the tails! To join it to the top of the hat, I thread one tail thru on one side of the centre top, then the other tail thru on the other side.


and tie them off inside the hat.  It keeps the pompom sitting perky and stable at the top, rather than it going all floppy.

I did do one using yarn with a longer run – it’s fine, but less interesting, I think. I like the colour when it extends across the rows.


You can see a couple of my other hats there too – I did a few Christmas themed ones, but then I think I read they won’t go in the stored till February, so I might not bother with any more.  I do quite like the little ninja.  I saw a pattern someplace for a crochet one (maybe not a hat, maybe and egg cosy, now I think back) but mine is knitted, except the little ties on the side – those are a crocheted chain with a slip stitch, some single crochets into the chain and another slip stitch to finish, then folded and stitched to the side.  The face is cut from felt and the eyes are sequins. The shaping at the top has more gently tapered k2tog rows, for a more rounded top.  Not the best photo but you get the idea.


I have another pattern, and another pompom that I love, but I need to get ready to do WOYWW tomorrow so that will have to wait for Thursday!  Also easy, but using another stitch I’ve always been meaning to try. I find practicing on these tiny hats a great way to solidify a stitch pattern in my head.

I will probably do a count for WOYWW to see where I am on my goal of 100 hats in a month.  I have my doubts I’ll manage it, but I’m still trying…

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Double-talk PL printables

Every month, I make a set of printables to accompany the challenge over on UKScrappers.  I’ve been adding them here too, because I’m sure there are people who will find them useful, even outside the challenge.  But this month I have really struggled.  I’ll add them first then stuff that you can skip, if you only want the download. Cause I’m nice that way….

One of the challenge elements this month is DOUBLES. Only two of these really qualify.  But I went thru a few days of playing with the design, looking at double talk, double speak, double vision, double trouble, double occupancy.. etc etc. I just could not settle on a design I liked.  And I liked the simplicity of this one.


You can grab it here. They can be used for friends, for partners, for married couples, for twins, etc etc.  Some work for filler cars, all of them work for journaling.


My Mac has been struggling for at least a year.  I am so far back in terms of upgrades on the OS it’s criminal. DH is appalled.  Replacing it has been on out TO DO list for a while, but I kept backing off, worried that I would lose my old programs, struggle to do the things I need to, and spend too much time learning a whole new way of doing things.  When my graphics card went last week, we whipped one out of an otherwise unused Mac and swapped.  It works, but the full swap has to happen.  Over the weekend DH replaced my huge Mac with a tiny mini – more powerful, faster, etc etc, but smaller. I played around with the up-to-date OS and I like it.  But there are issues, some good (loving the new version of Intaglio – so many improvements!) and bad (like I can’t see my Cricut, or my HiTi printer – are drivers still available?  Will SCAL still work?? What about my PSE 10?)  It will take me weeks to get things stable and usable, I imagine.  So for now, till we work out all the stuff that needs to be done, I am back on the old machine.  So I’ll be even more AFK than I have been.  Perhaps in the new year things will settle down… I can but hope.

Oh, and I’ve caught up on the book-folding template requests, for now, but things may get sidetracked there depending on the technology issues. If you are wanting one for a Christmas gift, do ask sooner rather than later, cause I may not be able to get to them from next week – of it may take me longer to reply!

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Those other Thanksgiving printables!

You thought I forgot.  I didn’t.  I just got sidetracked during the whole graphics-card-epic-fail.  But here they are for download. They look like this:


I called them a bit more “elegant” than the first set, found here. Maybe not the perfect word, but they do have a totally different feel to them, I think.

And because my country of residence (and I am the only one still awaiting my letter – are they really going to leave me the sole single-citizenship member of the family?) doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving I have another generic Fall/Autumn set.  Some filler, some with room for a bit of  journaling, maybe even place cards for a harvest dinner – and not a Pilgrim hat or turkey in sight….




WOYWW 336 – The Big Knit

I keep trying to find the time to join in with WOYWW, and keep failing.  I decided if I wait until I feel confident I will have a block of time to do the visits, I may wait forever.  So I am just taking the plunge and vowing to do my best.

What is all over my desk is knitting.  Little tiny hats for Innocent Smoothies.  It’s called The Big Knit, and every year the campaign raises money for Age Concern.  You can buy a Smoothie, with a hat, at stores, and a portion of the price goes to the charity.  You can read more about it here.  Last year they raised over £215,000.


As you can see, my desk is littered with yarns.  Lots of bits, old, leftovers from past projects, as well as a few fairly new skeins I bought in a sale, for knitting baby beanies.  A few random googly eyes.

Here are some of the hats I showed a few days ago, and a few new ones.




So, you are probably wondering about that odd-looking lump on the right. I thought you might.  I had seen a full-sized hat, years ago, that I thought was an absolute hoot.


I was never going to make it, but I admired it for sure.  Get the pattern here if you would like to make one! I thought I could figure out a way to make a much MUCH smaller version for the Smoothie bottle. Basically I made a basic mini-hat, then made two 18″ 3 stitch i-cords and coiled them up in a brain-like fashion.  Well, what *I* thought looked brain-like – I’m not a doctor, and I don’t play one on TV, so I have no idea.  It turned out OK, despite the small surface area.  Ideally I feel like a cord made from fingering weight/ baby/ sock yarn would have been better but this is what I had.  My own rules are that I can’t buy anything for this, I have to use up stash yarn.


I wonder if they will accept it or if it is a bit too “out there,” alongside all the cuter hats they show? I also have a trio of plain ones on the go.  My goal is 100 hats.  I am not sure I’ll make it before the December 11th deadline (so maybe the 8th or 9th for the mailing deadline) but I’m having a go.  I’ll need a bundle of plain ones to go with the novelty ones that take longer to knit!


So that’s my desk. Messy as ever, just a different sort of mess… Hopefully I’ll be round to see yours soon.


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More knitting! Pac-man ghosts

Still knitting.  I have maybe 20 hats, half done, half in progress.  More on that in a bit.  I found a cute little Pac-man ghosts pattern but for crochet.  Now, I can both Knit and Crochet, and at various times I have preferred one over the other.  At the moment I am knitting.  So when I saw the pattern was for crochet, I had to figure out how to convert it.  It’s just my nature LOL!

I hate sewing up, so all my hats are done in the round, just like socks. And the thing is, I really like magic loop knitting. for the two (or more)-at-a-time knitting.  And you can’t make multiples with crochet.

So the tricky bit was the scalloped edge, the “feet” of the ghosts.  Easy to do in crochet.  Harder, or at least more time-consuming, to knit, and fiddly across only 14 stitches per needle. But I eventually worked it out. Like so:

  1. Cast on the standard 28 stitches, in DK weight yarn and 4 mm needles.  All the hat needs to do is fit the top of a Smoothie bottle.  And a Smoothie bottle’s not alive (sing it with me now, Sesame Street fans, “no, no, no, no, No!”) so tension/gauge is not critical.  But do leave a long tail
  2. picot Split the stitches for Magic Loop, 14 per needle, and join to knit in the round, being careful not to twist the stitches.2picot
  3.  Knit 3 rows.
  4. On the 4th row, work a yarn over, k2tog  across.  This creates an eyelet round that you will turn into a picot edge.

The trick to the first yarn over is to do what they always tell you YOU MUST NOT DO when knitting magic loop, have the yarn in front of the needle.


That way, when you wrap to knit the first two together, you will create a yarn over – normally a bad thing, but exactly what you want in this case.



That probably isn’t as clear as it needs to be but when you are doing it, it will make sense.  You want the extra loop.

Normally with a picot edge, you then knit the k2tog stitches and the yarn overs, creating a gap, but resulting in the exact same number of stitches, then knit three rows, so the rows below match the rows above, then fold and knit the cast on edge together with the next row.  For a nice explanation of this with good photos, check out Craftsy.  I just knit two rows,  then stop. I’ll explain why after the rest of the pattern, which is:

5. Knit 14 rows

6. Knit 2, k2tog across the first needle, then repeat across the back needle (22 stitches)

7. Knit 

8. Knit 1,  K2tog, around (shift the last stitch on the first needle to the back needle to k2tog), ending with a knit stitch  (14 stitches)

9. K2tog to the last stitch on the front needle, k then k2tog across the back needle 

Thread the end thru and pull tight to close the top. Secure end. Fold so the picots form the bottom edge and use the long tail to whip stitch the cast-on edge in place on the inside.


Sorry, you can’t really SEE the picot edge but I’ll try to get a better shot if we EVER see the sun again.  It’s been dismal for a week!

So back to why I stop at two knitted rows.


I would normally cast on two socks, for example, and knit them together from the beginning, but frankly, the picot edge is just that little bit tricky, and working with so few stitches, keeping everything tight and neat at the joins takes focus.  I only want to have to focus on one at a time.  So I make all of the hats that I want up to the same point, then I shift them to a longer needle.  Mine are interchangeable tips, so I just shift the small number of stitches onto just the needle tip, unscrew that, screw on the longer cable, and slide it over.  The needles then go back on to the shorter cable and I knit another hat, up to the second row past the picots, then slide them over.  In the end I have all four ghosts on one long cable, and it’s all knitting in the round till the shaping.


That got long.  Sorry.  Hope it all makes sense.  The picot edge looks cute on a normal, simple hat with a bobble on top but I think it would be cute NOT folded back, maybe with a little scrap of ribbon threaded thru and tied in a bow.  Might have to give that a go….

Still have a visitor, and a few drs. appointments, but I am determined to do WOYWW tomorrow to the best of my ability.  Best snap a shot of my desk before it is too dark!


The Big Knit – little hats

I have been a bit dead in the water, due to my graphics card in my Mac failing, big time.  When I went to my desk, and wiggled the mouse to bring the screens back to life, the displays were full of squiggle lines.  Rebooting didn’t help.  DH determined it was a display issue (to be fair, over the phone, only from my description) and that seemed to be it, once I disabled the large TV display.  But then it happened again, within the hour.  The additional data meant it was probably the graphics card.  And it was, it just took a couple of days to sort it out  In the meantime, a new visitor has arrived  Departure date? 20th Nov.

Just before the mac went offline, I got an email from Deramores, regarding The Big Knit.  This is the annual tiny knitted (or crocheted) hats that top Innocent Smoothies, with sales generating donations to Age Concern  Well, heck – *I’M* ageing, and I am darn concerned about it, and I knit, and I like charity knitting, so this seems a match made in heaven. Since I was limited to what I could do on my iPad (i.e. not much) I thought I would have a go.  Knitting from a web page rather than a printed copy was annoying but I made a few of the basic ones.

I then found some more interesting patterns, some from this year and some from previous years  and I made one pattern up (but based on a sock pattern I am just beginning, so I can test it out.)  I knit them in the round with Magic Loop, rather than knitting flat and sewing them together, cause why purl, when you can knit?  Here are the ones I have done so far  There are a few extra of that basic hat pattern, but those aren’t worth photographing individually – hover to see the names.

I love the Jellyfish – totally my favourite.  Our visitor asked why I didn’t just find one I like and make 100 of them.  He’s one of our oldest friends, yet he clearly doesn’t know me at ALL.  LOL!  I am working on one that is going to be quite interesting, I think, and have an idea for another I want to work out.  We’ll see…

And now the Mac is up and running, albeit slightly sluggishly, I have actual UKS work to do too.  Plus the house is a total wreck and the laundry is all in a heap.  AND I have an hour to do on the treadmill, to keep my heart healthy.  AND the visitor is vegetarian so recipes to research as well.  And I am well aware that Christmas is looming, so some handmade gifts need addressing too. I’m knackered already….


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