Monthly Archives: January 2016

This one is warm, Barbara

Just the ticket for our January/February weather here. I made the bottom band with Tricolor Basket Plaid, pg 74 and 120 stitches, then went back and picked up 100 stitches from the back of the second row and knit an inner band of knit one purl one ribbing.  This gave me a double thick headband for the forehead and

I joined both back together, reduced to 96 stitches and continued up the hat with Woven Diamond Pattern, pg 97.  I gotta say, I am in love with these patterns that use the floats as decorative elements on the front of the work.  This was one I had been savouring the thought of for a while.  I am glad I like this hat, because I really wanted to make a decent hat with this stitch.  I am also glad I was with my Canterbury Piecemakers (aka Wednesday coffee group) when I was about to do the top of the hat.  Albertina said I shouldn’t do a big topper, just a button or something to bring the maroon back into play.  I did 8 rows of garter stitch on the last 12 stitches, then k2tog around, did a row on 6 stitches and drew my end through.  I used the end to secure the button on

To decrease, I did slip 1, k2tog psso at six points every other row, on top of one just completed set of diamonds and in between another set of

A plain Jane hat today, Barbara

Great news… I booked a six week trip to Eastern Europe yesterday.  I am going with my brother Charles again.  He was an excellent travelling companion a few years ago for Central America, so I am looking forward to this.  We will arrive in Budapest on the 23rd of March, then work our way south to Greece and come back up to Budapest for me to fly out on May 4th, just in time to start work.  I am hoping to get a new sleep apnea machine that is smaller for the trip.  It also has the ability to work for one night on battery power, so this gives more flexiblity when travelling.gillianknits.comI saw the two Cloverleaf Eyelet stitches on pg 170 and decided to stack them on top of each other for this hat.  The Cloverleaf Eyelet Rib was only a 6 stitch repeat as written and the Cloverleaf Eyelet Cable a 7 stitch repeat.  I started knitting the Rib on the bottom and I was not happy with the way I was doing the ssk.  Things turn out differently if you slip the stitches knitwise, purlwise or a combination.  I ended up settling on slipping the stitches knitwise.  I originally added an extra purl between the pattern repeats because I wanted the whole thing to go like a watchcap, so I turned the 6 stitch repeat into a 7.  When I changed over to the Cloverleaf Eyelet Cable and did this for a while, I realised that I had actually increased to an 8 stitch repeat because Barbara Walker had added a knit stitch between each repeat that was not written in the instructions.  I was not happy with anything so I ripped it back all the way.  This meant that I basically knit the hat twice if you count both rip backs

I decided that no matter what, I had dicked around enough and even if things didn’t match my vision, I was finishing anyway and moving on.  I had cast on 108 stitches in the final time, this way I had 18 six stitch pattern repeats.  I got rid of them by first reducing every third repeat.  I did a sl 1, k2tog, psso over the cable , then every other row twice more.  This left me with 12 repeats.  I got rid of every other repeat the same way, then finally the last 6.

What to do with a ball of Allure, Barbara

gillianknits.comI was in one of my local wool stores, Wool Tyme, the other day and they had this Patons Allure in the deep discount area.  It knits like a chunky so I cast on 54 stitches and did a band of stockinette around the bottom with a 6 mm needle.  I switched to Classic Wool, worsted and a 4.5 mm needles, picking up one stitch in between each stitch, doubling the stitches to 108.  I turned around on the needles as I did this so the curl of the stockinette would be to the inside instead of the

I have done this successfully with lots of different yarn combinations.  I just figure out how many stitches and which needle size I need for each yarn, then either pick up or reduce evenly around the hat as I am changing yarn and needles.  It just happened that doubling the stitches was right for these two yarns, sometimes the ratio would be 4 to 5 or 3 to 2, for example.  If you are going up a few needle sizes, it helps to do your last row in the smaller yarn with the big needles or things can get impossibly

I continued up the hat using a combination of Single Eyelet Rib and Double Eyelet Rib, pg 46.  I got rid of all the Single Eyelet Ribs first, then turned the Doubles into Singles and got rid of them at the

This second hat was done for a good friend of my sister in law, Anne.  We were at Anne’s house and Jackie mentioned that her maiden name was Desroches.  Her husband, Terry, had always jokingly called her some rocks, the English translation of her former last name.  I thought this would be cool on a hat.  I did the hat in Criss Cross Pattern, pg 73.  It looked harsh so I put crocheted bands of Allure and strung them through behind the crosses, then made a topper.  I am not sure about the Allure. I may redo the bands in a flat light

Barbara is Channelling Patsy

gillianknits.comShe is definitely falling to pieces.  But still in large chunks for the most part. The nice thing about this is that I can take a small piece with me if I need to.  Although I am finding that it usually only takes me a couple of minutes to translate the stitch from straight needles to round in my head and fix it in my mind.  That is what comes with having done 175 stitches already.  I have a much better grasp of knitting stitches than I used to, even though I had already been knitting for almost 50 years when I started.  At the beginning, I often had to chart the stitches out so I could do them in the round.

The other nice thing about the book falling apart is that I feel none of my usual reverence for it as a book.  I am totally fine with scratching notes throughout and highlighting the stitches as I do them in the table of contents.  Of course, my reverence for it as an inspirational work of knitting history grows constantly.

Today’s hat uses Double Mock Ribbing, pg 97 and Woven Diagonal Herringbone, pg 96.  I dug in my bag of weird and wonderful odd balls and got one that is mostly cotton (80%) with a bit of glitzy nylon.  It was called Gedifra Fiocco from Italy and was originally $7.75 a ball.  I combined it with plain grey Patons classic wool.  I cast on 96 stitches.  For the Herringbone, that was 16 repeats.  Basically the stitch is slip 3 with the float in front, then knit 3.  One round of plain knitting, then shift the float one stitch to the left.  To decrease, I ssk  once in each repeat and still moved the float, but there were only 2 stitches between the floats.  I did several rows like this, then ssk in each repeat again so both the floats and the in between parts had 2 stitches per.  I did this again for a while, then decreased the in betweens to 1, then after a while, the float to one also.  This left me with 32 stitches which I reduced first to 16 then 12, then made the rose.  This seemed to maintain the integrity of the pattern almost to the top and the rest was hidden under the

We had some family fun Barbara

Gotta love January.  Oscar movies in the theatres, Australian open tennis on the computer.

bad picture, great party

 We went to Toronto last weekend for a party at my cousin Jonathan’s house.  He is sadly moving to Australia in a couple of weeks.  They had a moving party to empty their liquor cabinet and freezer.  Being a chef, Jont made fabulous food for the adults on Saturday night, then a great family-friendly breakfast on Sunday.  At one point I looked around the room and felt completely at peace and happTy surrounded by family and a friends having a great time.  I thought, not for the first time how lucky I am to have such a great family.

This picture contains two cousins, one cousin in law, one nephew, one brother and one husband.

gillianknits.comToday’s hat is for Charles, a very good friend of the family.  Because it is a man’s hat, I get to roll out the Styrofoam man I found in Michaels one day.  This hat is a special request because he likes my reversible swearing hats and asked specifically for this.  It uses Fancy Bricks, pg 74 for the brim and Vertical Parallelogram Check, pg 25 for the main part of the hat.  This stitch is virtually the same on both sides.  If you are offended by bad language, please ignore the last photo.  He claims he will wear it proudly, but of course he will have the fancy brick option as well.

Barbara is looking pretty in pink

Mum just phoned to ask where today’s post was so i thought I better get on it.  I am on a bit of a knitting roll these days, so I have a build-up of hats.  These all have pink in them, so I thought I would show them

Before I started on the Barbara Walker thing, I was going to wool stores and buying stuff from the deep discount bins.  I looked through them last week and found the one on the bottom of this hat.  I did the bottom in Lattice Cable, pg 276.  gillianknits.comI cast on 120 stitches because I knew the heavy cabling would pull it in a lot.  The Lattice Cable has an 8 stitch repeat.  I decreased one stitch per repeat down to 105 as I switched to the pink for the Traveling Ribbed Eyelet, pg 169, which has a 7 stitch repeat.

I think the top worked out fine.  I love playing with the decreases to get hopefully interesting patterns on the top.  When I was a quilter, I was all about the back of the quilt looking good with the quilting, now I am all about the tops of the

Hat number two got switched upside down, and I think it is a much better hat than it would have been if things had worked out as originally planned.  I cast on 120 stitches and I thought this would be enough for the draw-in I knew would happen with the Close-Woven Basket Lattice (pg. 278).  I was wrong.  gillianknits.comAfter I had enough of the Two-Color Twisted Ladder, pg 120 to start the decreasing, I realized that if I kept going, it would have had to be another little girl’s hat, so I did the decreases to make this happen.  When I finished, the solid bottom was much too strong visually.   I  could have folded the bottom in two, but I didn’t want to loose the lovely cabling.  I forgot to take a picture before I ripped it back to before the decreasing,   I finished off the now bottom and cast off, then I picked back up from my cast on edge and adjusted the stitch pattern so I could make a top that worked, at least for

I actually love the top

This last hat reminds me of something from the sixties.  It uses Horizontal Parallelogram Check (pg 25) on the bottom, then switches to Royal Quilting, pg 72.  I figured out a trick for the tension on the Royal Quilting which was to put my thumb in the travelling strand before knitting the stitch.  This seemed to give the strands just enough slack to pull up without distorting the knitted

I was going to put a pompom on top like the style seems to be right now, but I like the top and it took a couple of tries to get it ok.  I will probably make the pompom and put it on anyway

Happy bobble day, Barbara

I did a couple of hats with bobbles this week.  This first one uses Basic Lattice, pg 276, then a couple of rows of garter stitch before a row of bobbles and another row of garter stitch.  I continued up the hat with Diagonal Rib, pg 24.  I am not thrilled with the top of this one, but it is not bad enough to rip out and redo.  Besides, I am not sure what I would do to improve

The next one uses Ribbed Lattice with Bobbles, pg 277.  gillianknits.comI reduced quite aggressively at the top so it is pretty flat. I like this top better than the other

One for my sister Penny, Barbara

gillianknits.comI made this on the weekend in Toronto and delivered it on the way home.  Penny didn’t approve any of the shots of her, so this is Alan in a girlie hat.  I cast on 102 and did an inch of Diagonal Ribbing, pg 45 before switching to Beaded Stripe Pattern, pg 71.  I put an extra big i-cord rose on top in fuschia (actually Orchid according to Patons)

I took a picture of some hats and mitts on a beanbag chair at Penny’s and I thought it looked kind of


One for my Grandniece, Barbara

I cast on too few stitches and it became apparent that this could not be an adult hat without severely distorting the stitches.  I decided to end it early and make it a childs hat.  I swung by my niece Cate’s house and delivered it on my way out of town the other day.

Arya got a new hat...

Arya got a new hat…

I used 102 stitches and Striped Quilting Pattern, pg 72.  I used four points of decrease and decreased two stitches every other row three times in each 8 row pattern

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2016 Barbara

Sorry, no actual New Years Hats this year.  I was going to make one but it changed away from the original concept on the needles.  That sometimes happens.
gillianknits.comThis will be one of the last of the alpaca hats.  I used Rickrack Ribbing, pg 44, then Blister Check or Coin Stitch, pg 69 and ended with Reverse Double Cable, pg 243. I actually made it before any of the Christmas hats but didn’t show it till now.gillianknits.comThere were 15 cables, I got rid of every 5th cable, then every 4th, 3rd and 2nd and then the final 3.  I was actually pleased with the effect.