A bit of cabling for Barbara


Alan and I went to a fabulous Culinary Historians of Canada event on Saturday. It was the tenth and final version of “Mad for Marmalade” at Fort York in Toronto. Luckily they are going to replace it with a similar event about comfort foods. Hours of demos and workshops gave me ample time to get going on this hat. I finished it this morning, since I had virtually no time to work on it on Sunday, which was taken up with another shoe making class. I will be returning to Toronto to finish the shoes next weekend and will post about them if they are not too embarrassing. I have now come home for a rest!

I decided that since the bottom of this hat wouldn’t curl because of all the cabling, I would leave it without anything else. I was fully prepared to pick up and knit down from the cast on edge if I wasn’t happy, but I think it is fine as is. I cast on 118 stitches and used Aran Diamonds with Popcorns, pg 256, Flying Buttress, pg 257 and Fancy Bobble Cable, pg 262. I added an extra purl stitch on each side of the two Fancy Bobble Cables. I like nothing better than figuring out how to get rid of cables at the top. I am not sure I am completely thrilled as the Flying Buttress are kind of clunky in my opinion. I was ok with how I got rid of the other cable patterns.

When I started to decrease the bobble cable, I had to take 4 stitches back 3 rows and turn them from knits into purls. I did this one stitch at a time and it worked fine. I have found that if you try to rip back too many stitches at once, it gets increasingly difficult. I found at one point, I had made a mistake 4 rows down on the flying buttress. The mistake involved two cablings. I tried to reknit the 5 stitches involved, but ended up with a dog’s breakfast and ripped the whole hat back 4 rows instead.

All abuzz about Barbara


I have a long standing love of Bumble bees, starting with doing my Masters degree back in the day. I have been horrified of late to notice that I have seen less diversity in the species I see foraging. For the last two years, all the bumble bees I have seen at the village are the same species. I have not seen a Bombus terricola, the species I did my masters degree on for several years.

As a crafts person I have revisited bumble bees a couple of times, not as much as rainbows, but sometimes.gillianknits.comThis is a quilt I did in a mystery bag years ago. Different people made the squares for me and I put it together. I also have collected some bumble bee stuffies over the years and I have been putting stuffies as I come across them in the baskets I made. gillianknits.com

I decided to do a hat with Welting Fantastic, pg 143. Barbara Walker mentioned that you could do it in two colours. I had black beside my chair and I thought the stripes in the pattern would go well in bumble bee colours. I liked the look of the scalloped bottom on the stitch picture in the book, so I thought a nice scalloped edge to frame the face with a flapper style hat might be good. On the opposite page from that stitch was Double Wing Pattern, pg 142 and I thought, great–wings for my bumble bee. I cast on 99 stitches and did two full repeats of the 12 row pattern and an extra 6 rows to finish it off. I then decreased to 96 for the double wing pattern (6 x 16 stitches). I did two full 10 row repeats before decreasing. I did 6 points of decrease and did a double decrease each time – slip 1, k2tog, psso instead of doing the third purl triangle in the pattern. Again I say…black hats are a bitch to photograph!

A Valentine for Barbara


This is my semi-successful valentines day hat. I looked in the index of A Treasury of Knitting Patterns (aka my raison d’ĂȘtre these days) and found two listings that sounded about right… Lover’s Knot, pg 267 and Valentine Cable, pg 253. I cast on 108 stitches (a few extra to compensate for the cable draw-in) and did four repeats of each pattern stitch with extra purls between. I started the valentine cable right away and did two rows before starting the lover’s knot. I didn’t think repeating the lover’s knot would add much to the look of the hat so I made up an embossed heart using the idea of the embossed diamond stitch from pg 139. It is the least successful part, but I couldn’t think of anything better to put in it’s place so I left it. I decreased 8 times every other round and when I got to around 24 stitches and had finished off the cabling, I just purled two together around to finish.

Still playing with the short rows, Barbara


I am continuing with the short row concept here. There are a couple of things I like about the short rows. I like that the hat looks different from different angles. I got the idea for hats that look different on different sides because I was watching the Australian Open and Eugenie Bouchard had a skirt that was like this. I have a way to go before I capture what I want from the skirt, but this hat is the one I like best so far.
eugenie-bouchard-australian-open-2017-nike

The other reason I like short rows is that I can use stitches which I am not sure work in the round. Some stitches have stuff going on on the return row of the instructions which I am not sure work if you do them from the front of the knitting. Any stitch that just has you knit the knits and purl the purls on the back of the work are fine in the round. I am always careful to maintain the integrity of Barbara Walker’s stitches, so if I am not sure if they will translate into the round, I do them on straight needles with a seam (ugh!). Neither of these stitches (Threaded Stitch, pg 132 or Quatrefoil Eyelet, pg 171) would actually have to be done on straight needles, but I may use the short row thing if I have stitches like that.

I cast on 100 stitches with black and did 4 rows of garter stitch, I switched to pink and threaded stitch and started short rows after a few rows. When I had finished the short rows, I did four more rows of garter stitch then switched to grey and increased to 104. I joined the grey where the short rows ended at the highest point on the front and did a repeat of the quatrefoil eyelet before starting short rows again. I did four rows of black garter stitch again and switched back to pink and decreased to 90 stitches. I knitted the top using Waterfall Pattern, pg 151. I did a full pattern repeat, then got rid of every third repeat, then every other repeat and then the rest of the stitches.

Tried a high ponytail hat, Barbara


My mum had heart surgery a week ago and you might think that sitting around a hospital ward would be a golden opportunity to knit, but no. This hat is all I have to show for it. I brought her home from the hospital yesterday which gave me access to this beautiful young blonde for the modelling. She is my nephew Jay’s girlfriend, Meagan. I am sorry I don’t have an actual picture of her face but I stressed I was going for hat photos not girlfriend photos. They took me very literally. I had received this photo of the skull and dice hat I made for my brother in law last week and you can maybe see why I was adamant.gillianknits.com
I have been hearing about high pony tail hats, but have never actually seen one, so this is my take on how I think they may be.

For this hat, I cast on 100 stitches and did two rows of each of 5 colours that I had little bits of. I then switched to Powder Puff Stitch, pg 136, and did 2 1/2 repeats before starting short rows to build up the front of the hat. I treated each set of 5 stitches independently once I started the short rows and just did whatever row of the pattern presented itself. I tried it on and when I thought I had enough hat, I started decreasing by doing p3tog instead of increasing for a new puff. When I came back on the next row, I purled 2 together which got rid of the whole puff. When I was down to 30 stitches, I went back to the garter stitch but only used 4 colours. If I had the whole thing to do again, which I will until I am happy, I would put an extra repeat in because I like hats which totally cover the ears.

I had a concept, Barbara


This hat is a bit weird, I freely admit it. I know I often start with “I had a concept”. I think there may still be some potential here, but it is not quite realised yet. It has a third colour that you can only see from certain angles. I may play with it over a couple of hats until I either “get it” or give up on it.

I cast on on two needles and made the band using green yarn and Horizontal Ridged Herringbone, pg 136. I picked up off the edge and adjusted my picked up stitches to 102 and started with Wager or All Fools Welt, pg 16 (I started something with this stitch two years ago but have decided to give up on it). For this stitch, you knit 7 rows and purl the 8th. I did one repeat of 8 rows, then started short rows. I turned around 3 stitches sooner each time until I had 20 stitches in the middle. This made the front have much more yellow than the back. I switched to blue and reduced to 96 stitches. At this point I also switched to a circular needle and sewed up the back seam on the green and yellow. I finished the hat with Pineapple Stitch, pg 137. I got rid of every 4th repeat, then every 3rd, then the rest. To get rid of a repeat I decreased 2 stitches in the 5 purl section on the 3rd row(p2tog, p1, p2tog), 5th row (p3tog) and 6th row (slip 1, k2tog, psso)thus getting rid of the repeat.

A headband for Penny, Barbara

gillianknits.comI did a post a week or two ago on cotton lined brims for the more sensitive Canadian forehead. My sister Penny requested one in the comment section of that post. I had been unsatisfied with the way I rejoined my mums headband, because I picked up from the back of the cast on edge with the cotton, then just cast them off together at the top. This made the top and bottom slightly different. I was sort of unhappy with this, but it took me a day or so of rumination to decide that I really did have to do what I knew all along I should do, so I cast off at the top of the front section and picked up a second set of stitches on a separate needle with cotton, and grafted the two sets of stitches together in the middle of the inside. Notice I am not showing that hack job I did of grafting! I am not a happy grafter in rib. Suffice to say, it is on the inside and no one will really see it.

two live needles....

two live needles….


I cast on 108 stitches and did one repeat of Ribbed Cluster Diamond Pattern, pg. 126.