Category Archives: novelty yarn

using novelty yarns to add visual interest

Barbara Walker…week 5

shaker fruit baskets from

shaker fruit baskets from

I had better get my skates on if I am actually going to get through the 500 or so patterns in this book…If I continue at four a week it could take upwards of 2 years! Oh, well, I will keep going till I am not enjoying the process any more.
Easter Basket hat

Easter Basket hat

This is the hat I did this week using Slip-Stitch Honeycomb from Chapter Five, Slip-Stitch patterns and Twisted Knit-two Purl-two Ribbing from Chapter Three, Ribbings. I decreased aggressively in four places to get the pointy bits that look like an upturned Shaker Fruit Basket…see image above.
Easter Basket Hat

Easter Basket Hat

This hat and mitt set are in a style I had been working on quite a bit earlier this year. I use random balls of novelty yarn from the discount bins and combine them with plain worsted weight yarn. I usually enclose the back of the novelty yarn with regular worsted yarn, because a lot of them are on the scratchy side, which is probably why they end up in the discount bins in the first place. For the Easter theme, I used a novelty yarn that had Easter Colours in it.
the inside of the Easter Basket hat

the inside of the Easter Basket hat

Last spring, I made a pile of hat and mitt sets, so I got pretty good at making mitts to match any hat I made. I decided in the interests of diversity, to include mittens to go with this hat. In order to use more stitches, they are not totally a set, but rather the mittens use Baby Cable Ribbing from Chapter Three, Ribbings and Woven Stitch from Chapter Five, Slip-Stitch Patterns. These mittens were quite popular with the waitresses this weekend, but maybe they were all just sucking up for tips.
n.b. If you are ever going to use woven stitch, add stitches. I increased from 40 to 46 from the ribbing to the body of the mitts and I could have done more, say 48 or 50, although they are not bad. I had to restart because I had not originally increased.
Easter Mittens

Easter Mittens


The urge to felt seems to have somewhat abated for awhile….

Did I mention that I bought 4 balls of eyelash yarn just before I started the blog? (and you thought it was only 3 and you were done hearing about the them with the demise of the elegant fireworks…).  Not so lucky you…   Anyway…this is the only hat I came up with for the fourth ball.  The rest of the ball will languish with the other part balls of novelty yarn that are left over from the only hats I have made out of Them…..

I called this post Perestroika because whenever she wears it, Heather reminds me of someone from a Russian novel.  I figure this hat is actually successful because Heather chooses to wear it all the time.  I have seen her wear it at least a dozen times to school…you know,,,that place she goes most days that is chock full of her peers…she did however decline to pose for the picture as you can see from the ‘model’.




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.

Elegant fireworks…i-cord ropes

Heather in Elegant Fireworks...i-cord edition

Heather in Elegant Fireworks…i-cord edition

This, the 3rd edition of the elegant fireworks series. (see the first and second) (and I STILL haven’t finished the balls of eyelash yarn!).  This one uses i-cord to make a rope effect around the bottom and top.

I knit the basic hat casting on 104 stitches and doing a k2, p2 with a fake cable every 4th row (k2tog then knit first stitch again on each of the k2’s).  I stopped when I had decreased to 18 stitches to make the top

To make the i-cord rope along the cast on edge, I used the eyelash yarn and with the first colour, I picked up and knit into the first 3 stitches along the cast on edge, then used them to make a 3 stitch i-cord for 12 rows.  I reduced to one stitch with a  slip one, k2tog psso. I left this while I worked with the other two colours.  I used the next 3 cast on stitches to make an i-cord with the second colour, then reduced to one stitch and left it too.  I used only 2 stitches from the cast on edge and picked a stitch up between them for the third colour and made a third 12 row i-cord

attach third colour into place

attach third colour into place

I then took the first i-cord and brought it in front of the other two and picked up into the next two cast on stitches and made a new I-cord.  I then brought the second colour over and in front and picked up two stitches…I continued until I had gone around and joined into the beginning,

For the top, I did the same technique, using live stitches instead of picking up from the cast on edge.  For the first i-cord of each colour, i used two live stitches and picked up a third between them.