Monthly Archives: February 2017

Another cable-y hat, Barbara

I seem to be making hats the same shape since I went back to the Cables chapter. For this one, I cast on 120 and did one 12 row repeat of the Double Zigzag, pg 266, then decided to continue for a second repeat. Not really thrilled by this, but not willing to give up on that much work, I picked up from the cast on edge all 120 stitches again and did two repeats of Crossed Cable, pg 206 and cast back off.


I then went back to the top and finished it off by mostly decreasing 12 stitches on every other row, 2 stitches per 20 row repeat. I first decreased inside the cable by purling 2 together twice, making the cable close faster than normal. For the next decrease, when I was putting these two stitches to the outside of the cable, I purled them together with the stitches already on the outside of the cable. Next time, I crossed the two sides of the cables together and held the top two stitches in front of the back two stitches and knit through both stitches together. This both crossed and decreased the cable simultaneously. Next time, I only decreased six stitches in the round by doing a slip one, knit 1 psso at the top of the cable. For the next 2 decreases, I did a purl three together above the cable I had finished off until the other cables started coming togethergillianknits.comI decreased the other cable like the first one by simultaneously crossing and decreasing the top of the cable, then doing a slip 1 k1, psso. Next decrease was a p3tog above the cable I had finished first. After I plain round I then just did continuous purl two togethers until I had six stitches left and pulled the end through.

The Barbara Walker project turns two….

I can hardly believe how much of my life I have spent thinking about Barbara Walker this past two years. And I am sure she doesn’t know I exist. I got all my hats out of their storage bags and did a quick sort into things from the Barbara Walker Project and the leftovers. I did the sort from memory so forgive me if one or two things are not in the correct pile. This is my dining room table with the projects I have not given away that are made from the stitches from A Treasury of Knitting Patterns, and my chair aka “the command center” as Alan is wont to call it with the leftover hats I have designed, mostly from before I started the project.

The Barbara Walker Proect story thus far:

Chapter 2. Simple Knit-Purl Combinations. 65/67 stitches used
Chapter 3. Ribbings. 27/28 stiches used
Chapter 4. Color-Change Patterns. 78/78 stitches used. DONE
Chapter 5. Slip-Stitch Patterns. 48/48 stitches used. DONE
Chapter 6. Twist Stitch Patterns. 20/24 stitches used.
Chapter 7. Fancy Texture Patterns. 20/33 stitches used.
Chapter 8. Patterns Made with Yarn Over Stitches. 6/35 stitches used.
Chapter 9. Eyelet Patterns. 13/34 stitches used.
Chapter 10. Lace. 3/105 stitches used.
Chapter 11. Cables. 24/56 stitches used.
Chapter 12. Cable-Stitch Patterns. 14/30 stitches used.

Grand total: 318/538 stitches used. That’s 60% … oh well, at least I am more than half way. The book, as you can see is not in great shape, but this is ok as I only have to take the relevant bits with me, instead of the whole book.

…and p.s. after looking at the two piles, I may start calling myself a hat designer soon.

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.

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.

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
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.