Posts Tagged ‘hat’

Unbroken bough

April 16, 2014

I’ve wanted for a long time to actually knit with Shelter from BrooklynTweed.  It’s my kind of yarn for a certain kind of knitting.  It’s ~ sheepy.  Some call it a little “crunchy.”  I don’t judge wool by its softness.  I find that an utterly subjective yardstick that’s rarely relevant in my world: I’m able to wear any kind of wool next to skin.

BrooklynTweed Shelter ~ Tent

BrooklynTweed Shelter ~ Tent

That said, I’m also stuck in the realm of accessory knitting for the present.  Too much happening around this Owl’s nest to dream of executing a garment.  And with a lot of my time spent at a construction site, I needed a second really warm hat since I kept misplacing my favorite Rosebud.

It was high time to pull out some Shelter in the colorway Tent (somewhere between the 1st and 2nd photos) and get it on the needles.  But which needles?  Frankly, I wasn’t going to spend a lot of time swatching for a hat.  I did the next best thing: I asked Jane about her experience with Shelter.  She indicated that it did relax with a bath, so she suggested that a US 7 needle and I’d be off and running.

I knew the pattern I wanted to make was Leila Raabe’s Bough.  Cables and texture for a nice woolly yarn, sure to keep my ears warm.  I did

Bough hat blocking

Bough hat blocking

spend some significant time searching the “Helpful notes” on the projects in Ravelry.  Several people indicated the hat was very large.  I do have a large noggin and a lot of hair.  But if there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s a hat that won’t. stay. on.  Hmmmm.   Time for some fiddling.

Some knitters indicated trouble with Shelter and breakage.  I had experienced that with Shelter’s skinny sister, Loft, but I knew how to work around that, cables or no cables.  (And no, I do not use a cable needle, just some nice slick Addi Turbo Rockets.)

Frankly, it worked up like a dream.  I used the Magic Loop technique and experienced neither breakage nor laddering.  The yarn performed perfectly.

Pattern:  Bough Cabled Hat & Cowl Set by Leila Raabe

Yarn:  1 sk BrooklynTweed Shelter in Tent ~ about 4 yards left without making pompom

Modifications:  C/O 91 stitches, then increased to 105.  Also added one row to the end of the pattern, using k2tog or p2tog as needed to close the hat more, as I did not intend to add a pompom.

See the tree?  Bough?  Get it?

See the tree? Bough? Get it?

Unblocked: Ribbing unstretched measured 15 inches

Blocked:  After soaking in lukewarm water and drying over an inverted vase (as you see here), ribbing relaxed to 19 inches unstretched.

Project marriage: 10  These were indeed made for each other.



January 30, 2014

Newsflash:  The shoemaker’s child is no longer barefoot.  But I’m not quite ready to tell you about that, because it involves actually committing knitting to a form another human could decipher and reproduce.  No sense telling you about it if I can’t tell you how to make it.

Daisy Hat turned ruby

Daisy Hat turned ruby

In the meantime, I have made good on my promise and followed up the Daisy Hat with another for L., this time in the most scrumptious cashmere it could only be called Elysium.  The colorway is Ruby, from the Spirit Trail Fiberworks 2012 Knitting Club. It is the warmest, most beautiful glowing red; it could easily be a bouquet of roses, given where we are on the calendar.

The specs are virtually identical to its predecessor, with only the yarn changing.

Detail - faux cable and lace

Detail – faux cable and lace

Pattern:  Daisy Hat by Irina Dmitrieva

Size: Large, but knitted with DK weight instead of worsted

Needles:  Addi Turbo US 2 and US 1

Yarn: Spirit Trail Fiberworks Elysium, a special yarn for its 2012 Knitting Club, 100% cashmere, 1 skein

The finished hat weighed 39 g with 15 g remaining.

Project marriage score: 9, based on delight of the recipient

My campaign to establish something approximating order in our shoebox house is spreading to my knitting.  However, everything in my world cannot, in fact, be cured with a basket.

There will be frogging.  Widespread frogging.  A few are projects that I do intend to make at some point, but not right now.  At least one has been in time out for awhile because I lack the brain power to focus properly.  Time to rip that out, too.  It’s not the yarn’s fault or the designer’s.  Just knitterly distraction.  Little things, those I can handle right now. I feel a hat obsession coming on, largely owing to spending too much time outdoors with only one properly warm hand-knitted chapeau.

And in spite of having created something special just for her, Darling Girl is already clamoring for Maman to make something else.  Immediately.  She is relentless.  (Wonder where she gets that from?)

Time to reclaim some needles.

Purple power

February 19, 2012

Once upon a time, there was a little girl named L who loved the color purple.

L was a spirited and clever girl.  So much so, that when doctors found something very scary, everyone knew that such a strong and brave girl would fight hard to be well again.

Rosebud for L

But those who loved L knew that the road would be long, and they reached out to their friends for help.  They said, “Our L loves the color purple.  This family is full of talented knitters.  Can you please use your gifts to make her purple hats?  The hats will keep her head warm, and and remind her of all the people who love her.”

And so, as a member of the Knitter’s Review family, NutmegOwl went to the airport and cast on a purple hat for L, a scaled-down version of her favorite-of-late Rosebud, executed on US 4 and US 6 needles

madelinetosh Vintage - Blackcurrant

and madelinetosh Vintage in Blackcurrant.  The purple is there, blended with hints of blue jeans, the right thing for a young girl in cool weather or warm.  NutmegOwl knitted it in airports and on airplanes and late at night on vacation, watching the moon shine on the Gulf.

May it bring L currents of purple power as she journeys along the road and reaches a triumphant destination.

Cozy Rosy

January 30, 2012

It’s been awhile since I wrote about Rosebud.  It’s taken that long for me to be in a location where I actually had a model to photograph wearing this Jared Flood design from the BrooklynTweed Fall 2011 book, probably the single best collection of knitting patterns I’ve seen in a decade.

A relaxed Rosebud

A good bath in warm water made all the difference in the world ~ and helped this hat relax significantly.  It also made the angora in the Blackstone Tweed bloom into a nice soft little halo.

I like to block three-dimensional objects in three dimensions, so rather than drying it flat and

Top of the Rosebud

rotating it periodically to try to avoid creases, I stuck a couple of crushed plastic grocery bags in the top and placed the hat over my favorite inverted blocking vase.  No creases to worry about, and the hat lengthened about three inches, too.   I made the larger “slouch”  version on purpose.  (My original, made for charity, was the one-skein non-slouch and would not stay on my head when tried on.)  The second photo is the more accurate color.

Yes, to those who have asked, this is garter stitch knitted in the round, so it’s not for you if you (for reasons I fail to understand) dislike purling.

I’ve road-tested Rosebud in windchills below 10 and out sledding.  It stays on my head, keeps my hair dry and my ears warm.

That’s a winner in every sense.


January 5, 2012

Oscar Wilde had it right.  Sometimes the only way to get rid of temptation is to give in.

I did.  And in the space of 3 days, here is my first FO of 2012.  The pattern is Rosebud from the out-of-this-world BrooklynTweed Fall 2011 Collection.  I knitted a one-skein version of it on smaller

Rosebud, unblocked

needles as a charity hat.  The yarn is Berocco Blackstone Tweed from our Knitter’s Review Retreat swag bags in 2010.  I thoroughly enjoyed knitting with this blend of wool, mohair and always-loved angora, and knew it (desperately) wanted to be on a bigger needle.  The pattern was fun and thoroughly addictive.

So at this year’s retreat, I watched the Stash Lounge in the hope that other knitters might destash their skeins.  Lo and behold: Two in the same dyelot!  Bingo!

Since Christmas, I have been trying – really trying – to finish up some UFOs that have been waiting patiently on the back burner.  But I need someone clever to explain to me please how it can be that I can knit for three nights on the same sock cuffs and still NOT have achieved the last half-inch before the heel flaps?

Confronted with that physics problem, I did what any smart knitter would do:  I put down the socks for some instant gratification.  Rosebud.  With two skeins, for the full-sized slouchy version to cover my noggin and head o’hair.   Still needs blocking and modeling.

Back to the UFO parade for me.

And to see if those little sock legs (on US 0 needles) might have knitted themselves while they sat in Time Out.

One can hope.

Fenced in

February 18, 2011

Living in New England means snow.  We’ve had more than ample proof of that, with a healthy over-under pool going on when it might all be gone.  (At this point, I’m in for Easter – bearing in mind that it’s the latest Easter can be …)  I have a lot of hair, and one of the few things I hate about it is when it gets snowy wet.

Fenced In, in Romney

That won’t be a problem now that I have Fenced In.  I chose this terrific one-skein pattern by Tracey Kay for my bulky Romney yarn for this month’s wool-along in the Knitter’s Book of Wool group on Ravelry.  I was looking for a project with enough texture to show off the properties of this very smooth wool, and the reverse stockinette background was just the right canvas.  I also wanted something simple enough where the tonal variations in the colorway did not detract from the finished product.

In addition, I’ve been enjoying the many variations of cabling without a cable needle.  This project gave me more good practice.

Standing out in sharp relief

It was a wicked fast knit — just four days from cast-on to bind-off.  That is, after all, one of the benefits of working with bulky yarn ~ something I rarely do these days.  I used all but 2 yards of my 90-yard skein from Foxhill Farm in Lee, Mass., to make the small adult size with no modifications.

Project marriage score: 9.5  (Yes, this is something new.  I may as well start scoring the matches.)

Probably the most interesting observation from the month’s exercise was how unwilling the yarn was to become saturated with water.  It just didn’t want to get really wet, and took a good soak.   I blocked it over an inverted vase with a couple of plastic grocery bags on the top to provide some height/ventilation and prevent creasing.

I can’t decide which is better:

  1. having a really warm hat that will keep my hair dry
  2. actually completing our wool-along project on time two months in a row

Before you start applauding … if you’re keeping score at home, you know that I am still working on last February’s project … which, in all fairness, I did not start until months later … but still.

The charm

March 22, 2010

The countdown clock says less than two days until YarnoraMama.  I. Cannot. Wait.  Life is complicated right now.  I. Need. This.  Nothing – not rain, nor snow, nor doctor’s attempts to schedule things, will get between me and YarnoraMama.

In the meantime, I really have been knitting.  And frogging.  And knitting. And frogging.

I believe in swatching.  I do.  But swatching only gets you so far.  Especially with hats.

Case in point:  Snapdragon Tam by brilliant genius Ysolda Teague.

Having finished my Ivy Vines cowl in Briar Rose Glory Days – an indescribably delicious dk-weight Blue Face Leicester (see previous post) – I was ready to cast-on for this companion piece as part of our BFL-along on Knitter’s Review.  Or so I thought.

There is much anecdotal evidence that this pattern runs HUGE.  SO:

Pattern gauge:  20 st/4 in (on a US 6, but that’s irrelevant)

My gauge:  22 st/4 in on US 4.  Thus, casting on the medium size would result in ribbing that would be 2 inches smaller than the finish in the pattern.  Fine.  I will use a US 3, the same needle I knitted with on most of the Glorious Vines.  It’s a nice density, so I should be golden.  Near the end of a three-hour board meeting, I cast on and start ribbing.

Five rows in, it is clear that this is too loose.  The ribbing is not dense enough and surely won’t hold onto my head.  In the privacy of the loo, I try it on — still on the needles — to find it is, indeed, waaaaaaay too big.  (Make your own mental picture of me doing this with project still live.)

Sadly, I do not have smaller needles.  I keep knitting – must have busy hands during meeting.

Mercifully, meeting ends.

I subsequently cast on the small size using US 2 needles.  Yarn likes smaller needles.  Head is not so sure about smaller size.  It does stretch to fit my head and unruly mop, and I imagine some bit of stretching after blocking.  Bumped up to US 4 for the cabled part of the hat.

While I like the density, I’m now afraid that the hat is, on the whole, going to be too small.

I’m beginning to feel trapped in Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

This hat will not win.  It must be knitted into submission.


  • Fudge some more.  It’s not like I don’t have most of a 500-yard skein to work with.

The latter wins.  I cast on for the Medium size using a US 1 needle.  It’s a winner!  Ribbing on US 1, body of hat on US 4.  Onward in BFL delight.

Glorious Tam aka Snapdragon


March 3, 2010

Some yarns just feel at home in your hands.  It may be any combination of texture, drape, suitability to your project and color, and when you find it, it’s nirvahhhhna.

Ishbel Beret

I have a new crush:  Sundara Sock Yarn.  370 yards of plied springiness and good manners touched with the gorgeous color that has made Sundara famous.  I hereby take back previous generalizations about superwash wool.  Judge the yarns one at a time: some are fabulous.

Pattern: Ishbel Beret by Ysolda Teague

Yarn: Sundara Sock in colorway Hot Chilies, received in trade with rosiekitty. Needles, US 2 and US 7 Addi Lace circs.

I needed another hat.  I’ve worn the Narragansett beret almost every day since it finished blocking.  More berets are necessaire.  I have lots of hair.  (No, that’s not me in the pictures, silly.) I hate wet hair.  Snow = wet hair.  Rain = wet hair.  You get the idea.

Slouchy, but not too much

Mods: Medium size, but went down one needle size from recommendation (to US 2) for brim.  Used picot turning ridge instead of purl ridge.  Completed 2 full repeats of vine lace (instead of three), plus partial repeat (as written) for a somewhat-but-not-ridiculously slouchy finish.  It fits me the same as my model.

View from the top

Love the yarn.

Love the colorway.   I mean, anyone see any nutmeg in this???

Love the pattern. Completed in less than a week, without total monogamy.

The best part:  enough yarn left over to make a cowl, so my crush doesn’t have to end anytime soon.

Next up: the BFL-along on Knitter’s Review and Ravelry with the Knitter’s Book of Wool group.  Swatching underway.  Stay tuned!

Itchy fingers

January 8, 2010

With two recent FOs (still in need of photography) and two more projects nearing completion, the  itchy fingers are back.

I need to start something new.  It’s a practically primal urge.  Something fun and scrumptious.

I bought patterns the other day for some wonderful hats by the brilliant Ysolda TeagueRose Red, Snapdragon Tam and Ishbel beret.  I’m sure one of them will be forthcoming.  They make good travel knitting. Heaven knows, the yarn shop in the house stash offers plenty of possibilities and the patterns offer plenty of options to fit any hat that tickles my fancy.  There’s Sundara sock yarn, some yummy BFL, heaps of worsted and DK.

But right this second, I’m distracted by Citron from the new Knitty, done in this:

Sundara Fingering Silky Merino in Adobe

Sundara Fingering Silky Merino in the colorway Adobe from the recent Santa Fe Collection.  A one-skein project for a yarn I’ve been dying to put through its paces.

With all the snow and chilliness of late (and drafty office), every morning I grab something to wrap around my neck.  I might as well have something in my favorite colors with a little bit of ruffle — but not too girly.  It should also go wonderfully with my new (winter staple) car coat.

I hope to resist casting on until I’m finished with the current Darling Bebe sweater, Action.  Just working up the sleeves now.

Citron would be a terrific travel project, as there is a trip upcoming.  Perhaps it will become a race – does a hat beat this to the needles?

Which one is your money on?

One-skein WIPs

December 3, 2009

As the YotA (Year of the Accessory) draws to a close, I’m back to the one-skein projects I’ve come to adore.  The attraction is less about the number of skeins and more about the ability to start, finish and enjoy without adding yet another project to that too-long list of things that need finishing but I don’t have enough brain left to tackle.  And they allow me to knit with really luxe yarns without a major investment.  I started (and false-started) all of these at the KR Retreat.  I love them all for different reasons.

Narragansett Beret

First, my New Beginnings project from the Retreat.  Narragansett Beret from Kristen Kapur.  Lots of reasons for this project:  1)  I purchased the yarn, DyeDreams Celestial, specifically for it at this year’s Connecticut Sheep and Wool Festival.  2)  I’ve never made a hat for myself before.  I need something for those snowy days when my hair gets utterly wet.  3)  I stand a chance of actually completing it – which has never happened for a New Beginnings project before.  In this case, it’s been in the hands of Clara Parkes, Ann Budd, Melissa Morgan-Oakes and the most wonderful friends in the world.  Even without the “commitment ceremony” voodoo that Clara performed this year (see last post for photo complete with tiara), the ju-ju is very good.  The pattern is lovely.  The yarn, a blend of wool, silk and alpaca, is nice enough right now.  It doesn’t feel particularly scrumptious at the moment, but I know it will be when it’s had its bath.

Brief digression: Here’s the write-up of the KR Retreat.  Most of the real details are in the captions of the slide show.  For the record, yes, I am in the group photo as well as a couple of others.  You may recognize some projects.  😉

Swirling Petals Cowl

Next up, Swirling Petals Cowl (a free rav download).  I think cowls can be one of the most deliciously cozy gifts without major time or yarn investment.  This one, in Plymouth Baby Alpaca Grande, is for a dear friend who has no idea it’s coming.  It will be absolutely gorgeous with her black hair as she tromps about with her menfolk this winter on the ski slopes and otherwise.

Tudor Grace, aka "Grace Notes"

Completing the trio, Knitspot’s Tudor Grace.  I’m calling this Grace Notes.  The recipient is my longtime piano teacher, whom I visited with Darling Bebe over the summer.  I had not seen her in a few years, though we keep in touch at the holidays.  She cocked a dubious eyebrow when I told her that knitting and teaching were my personal-time passion, in spite of my explanation that I make really lovely things.  The yarn is Handmaiden SeaSilk in the jewel tones she favors.  Because she is very petite, (and because I know from experience that it grows with blocking!) I scaled the pattern down to 3 repeats instead of five.  With “resting rows” in this six-row pattern, it’s almost going too fast for me to keep up with.  Especially after ElmRow!

A word about the right side of the photo – since everyone asks about it.  (ETA:  I claim no credit whatsoever for thinking of this.  Another awesome idea from Melissa.)  It’s a CD spindle.  I use them all the time now to keep things tidy.  In the case of silk yarns, which tend to collapse and tangle when pulled from the center of a yarn cake, these are perfect to draw from the outside.  When I work on projects 2-at-a-time, I pull from the inside and outside at the same time and nothing ever gets tangled.  The lid screws back on without damaging the yarn, super for travel knitting.  It’s a great way to re-purpose and reuse.  Try it!

For the record, it’s certainly possible highly likely that 2009 may not stand alone as YotA.  And that’s okay, too.

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