I only have about 10 hats to go. Phew. Problem is I get bored making the same ones, but they cannot be complicated or time-consuming cause time is short. I have a couple more variations that take no more time than the basic hats (well, nearly) and one that takes a bit longer but is stupid cute, I think.
1. The first one looks like it has a little yarn mohawk. this is the one that take a little bit longer. But it isn’t hard.
Make the standard, 28 stitch hat, two purl rows, 12 stocking stitch rows, then cast off. Don’t do a fancy cast off, no need. Cut 28 lengths of yarn (about 4 inches long) then fold them in half. Fold the hat in half. Using a yarn needle or a crochet hook, pull the fold thru the two cast off stitched and slip the ends thru it to seal the top edge and create the fringe.
2. The other one is even simpler. Create the standard hat, do the decrease rows, and cut with a LONG tail, at least 12-15 inches. Thread the end thru the last stitches to close the top and pull it snug. Slip a crochet hook into the hat and pull up a loop from the tail. Chain at least 10, but more works too. Pull the tail thru to secure the chain then add the pompom to this tail. Adorbs.
WAY easier than the decreased long tail hats. And you can tart it up, as usual, with additions:
Or even add another colour:
3. On that one, I did a pattern at the top that creates a little starburst. I did two colours but it works equally well with just one. Make the basic hat but stop stocking stitch at row 9.
Row 10: K2, P2
Row 11: K2tog, P2tog
Row 12: K1, P1
Row 13: K2tog
This makes a cute central star that works well with the crochet tail. I may try adding a punch of crochet tails and see how that looks.
We are doing the Thanksgiving feast tonight as last night was too tight on time, so lots to do. If I get time I’ll update this with more step-by step photos but until then, I hope the verbal description will help anyone who wants to make one!
I bought another set of handwritten fonts that I love, and a total bargain at £7 for 20+ of them. OK, so not ALL of them are winners, but more than 50% are. I needed an excuse to play with them. This is the result:
I also made the sheet with blank space instead of a calendar month. I thought it would be useful for journaling. You can grab the 4 page PDF here. I called it Last2016, but I may still make more, if the mood strikes me.
This is also a chance for you to comment to say which of my past calendars you would want to see for 2017! I’ve made…well, I haven’t counted but I am guessing is at least 20 unique designs. I may have to do a post with samples of them all, and do a poll LOL! But I still have one more super-easy, very cute Big Knit hat design to share. I am SO CLOSE to being done with my 100. I also have to knit a couple more Baby beanies Santa hats for that charity, then a trip to the post office and I am DONE.
Oh and HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all my American readers. We have acquired some fresh turkey parts at the grocery store and will be creating another Franken-bird. Finding a fresh turkey in the store is near impossible before the big Christmas pre-order date. As it is just us three this year, a bit pointless to order a £45 massive bird, even if we could have gotten it in time, which is a big IF. I suppose it saves me from having to cook TWO big birds this year…..
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!
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.
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:
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!
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.
Repeat rows pattern rows three more times, for a total of 12 pattern rows.
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.
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…
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!
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.
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:
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
Split the stitches for Magic Loop, 14 per needle, and join to knit in the round, being careful not to twist the stitches.
Knit 3 rows.
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)
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!