Monthly Archives: December 2013




If I mention felting again…just shoot me and get it over with…there is sooo much more knitting in a felted hat.  I have done 4 of them in a little over a week…I do love how they stand up and hold their shape though.

As you may have gathered in previous posts, Heather is NOT happy with my ‘artistic’ direction.  The other day she said the blog has ruined my hat making ability.  In her opinion, I am trying too hard to be creative for my fans.  I did point out that 20 friends and family and 5 other people following me does not constitute much in the way of fame, but she was having none of that.

I think she just likes plain hats, no bells or whistles, just some pattern stitches and maybe a bobble on top.  None of this wacky stuff.  And I think she has a point.  I do like making the hats with novelty yarn and frills  but I am not sure many would wear them, holidays notwithstanding.

For today’s hat, I didn’t want any of the Bernat Boa left over, so I made the topper first.  I just kept crocheting chains 8 stitches long and returning to the base with 6 single crochet.  I kept this until I thought it had enough spikes. I then cast on 100 stitches and knit until I ran out.  I then switched to Patons Classic wool and increased to 150 stitches.  After 8 rows, I decreased to 144 then lost 8 stitches every 6 rows.

Party hat number two

New Years Party

New Years hat with Bernat Truffles and Patons Classic Wool

This is the second of (hopefully by tomorrow) three felted New Years party hats.

For this one I used Patons Classic Wool as the felting yarn and I combined it with Bernat Truffles as the accent.  I decreased more aggressively (10 stitches every 6 rows all the way up) on this hat than the one yesterday and I don’t think it was such a great idea.

I am going back to a less aggressive decrease for tomorrows hat.

Elegant fireworks…New Years edition

New Years hat

New Years hat

I have FINALLY finished the three balls of eyelash yarn.  This will be the last hat in the series.  The concept is that it is f…g cold for outdoor activities on New Years Eve.  This would provide a warm alternative to the traditional party hat.  I am working on another of these party hats,  which I will post before New Years.

For this hat, I knitted the eyelash yarn first with the same wavy stitch I used for the frilly hat with lots of colours.  I knitted one repeat with orange, then blue, red, blue and orange.  I then joined the white Patons Classic Wool and increased the number of stitches by 50% (from 90 to 135).  I reversed the direction of the knitting as I joined in the white then knit up in behind until I had about one and a half times as much length in the white as I had in the eyelash.  I then joined the cast on edge in from the front (I went through the cast on eyelash stitch, then the white in behind).  I picked up two eyelash stitches for every three white.

I knit the rest in white.  I decreased 10 stitches every 7 rows until I had 50 stitches, then 5 stitches every three rows until I had only a few stitches left, then I pulled my yarn through.  I put the whole thing through the washer and dryer.  It wasn’t felted enough so I put it through the washer again and let it air dry.  I made the topper with a combination of knitting and crochet.

A reversible Christmas hat

For this hat, I knitted “Bah! Humbug” upside down, then did several rows plain before knitting  “Peace on Earth” upright.  I knitted another two rows, then rejoined to the cast on row to make a rolled brim.  After rejoining the brim, the main body of the hat was then knitted with a reversible stitch.

Heather came up as I was finishing the second set of letters to ask what it said.   I explained the concept of the reversible hat with a saying on each side of the brim, which could be turned inside out depending on the wearers mood.  In her capacity as provider of constructive criticism, she only had two simple words: “Oh, dear!”

The actual idea for the two sayings came from a reversible Christmas ornament I found in a magazine in my brief phase as a crafter of plastic canvas.  When Jacob was a baby, I discovered plastic canvas and, after doing the ornaments from the magazine, I did a whole series of baby blocks with rattly stuff inside and 3-d crocheted animals and holes on the faces so a baby could grab on easily to the toys.  This phase scared Alan.  He had seen me as a potter, doing a two year college diploma in ceramics.  He had seen me designing knitted sweaters (Heather discovered a few in the attic and wears them regularly now).  He had seen me dabble with weaving and hand spinning.  He kept coming home in the plastic canvas phase to me excitedly showing him my new creations.  After a couple of weeks, he looked at me quizzically and said “are you sure this is actually a real craft?”.

If I had it to do over again, I would definitely leave more space between the words in the two sayings. Or I may use smaller lettering so that you can see a whole saying at once.  In designing hats, as in many other things, hindsight is 20/20.

Merry Christmas!

Heather as Santa

Heather as Santa

This is one of only two Christmas hats I made this year.  I will post the other one tomorrow (when it is hopefully finished!).

This hat was knitted and then put through the washer and dryer twice.  The brim and bobble were made with a machine washable and dryable yarn.  I made a rolled rim, then switched to Patons Classic wool and increased the number of stitches significantly.  I decreased evenly up the hat, loosing 10 stitches every 10 rows.  As I approached the top, I started decreasing less per row, more frequently so I didn’t have large jogs.

Who are the models???

A friend from work who follows the blog asked me the other night who the models were, so this post will hopefully provide some insight on that.

I have seven siblings.  Our names, in birth order, are Jane, Charles, Felicity, Gillian (me), Philippa (Phil), Penelope (Penny), Nicola (Nicky) and Melanie.  Many of us also have spouses and children.  Not all of us were at the photoshoot.

Diagonal drifts

Nicky in a travelling rib patterned hat

Nicky in a travelling rib patterned hat

grey and white diagonal pattern

grey and white diagonal pattern

There are some pattern stitches which move diagonally.  I think this gives the hat a nice dynamic quality.  Here are two hats that use this diagonal movement.  I was happy with both of these hats when I made them.

As with most of my hats, I was again using Patons classic wool.

I follow another blog that has some really nice hats with diagonal movement in her photo gallery, in case you are interested in other (possibly better) examples.

Decreasing differently

from the back

from the back

Surya and the boys (Sam and Jay)

Surya and the boys (Sam and Jay)

This shows three very simple hats made with knit 1, purl 1 rib.  One has no brim, the other two a simple folded brim.  The difference lies in the decreasing at the top.  The one in the middle uses the simple spiral I explained before.

The hat on the right uses a stacked double decrease.  In this one, you do a slip one, knit 2 together, pass slipped stitch over, or slip one purl 2 together, pass slipped stitch over (depending on whether you are getting rid of a k1, p1, k1, or a p1, k1, p1) in the places that you decrease.  Every 4th row, you do a decrease, using the same middle stitch each time.

For the hat on the left, I unfortunately did not make notes (because I thought it looked like a mess and didn’t think I would want to repeat it).  This one has double decreases which, instead of staying separate, converge on each other further up the hat.

Simply by changing the placement of the decrease, you get very different looking tops on the hat.

Similar hats

two similar hats

two similar hats

I am not getting much finished this week as I haven’t had a lot of time to knit.  Rather than let it go without a post for too long, I am showing a pair of hats that have a lot of similarities but are different.

Meg gets in her sisters face

Meg gets in her sister’s face

Both are made with the same off white wool (Patons Classic wool) and a rolled rim.  They also both have the same 6 stitch cable, but the stitches connecting the cables are quite different. The tops are also different.  One has the i-cord rose and the other has the cables disappear into each other at the top.

They definitely look related, but just changing a couple of things can really change the hat.