I used to knit A LOT. Every day. I had projects with me at school, at work, getting my oil changed, sitting in church, in the evening, etc. But my hands and wrists started to protest, so I slowly transitioned away towards other things. Also, I got bored. I felt bad for not wanting to do it anymore.
In the last two years, since opening the Shop, I’ve come back to knitting. Not just that, but I’ve been exploring crochet much more too. And I’m loving it again! My latest FOs have been more for my own enjoyment and curiosity. My new favorite yarn is ENID, the DK weight Blue-Faced Leicester that I’ve been dyeing. I’ve made three shawls and a hat so far.
Let me clarify – these are not “summer” hats. These are most definitely cold time hats. But I made them for the Summer Festival of the Arts this weekend in hopes of encouraging wool purchases during July. Hats are more of an accessory, right? People wear them all the time… right? Honestly, I don’t care at this point. I’m loading up the car today. We’re selling tomorrow, so if my merchandise is wrong, it’s too late now.
Regardless, I had a blast making these hats. I ended up with a whole pile of super chunky yarn, most of which were my corespinning experiments. I knew they were too thick for mitts and perhaps a little too coarse for neckwear, but I thought they could work in hats. Combining them, in my typical way, with neutrals, each hat contains a funky yarn full of different fibers and a nice natural shade of wool or alpaca. Now I have some good examples of what you can make with a 40 yard skein of corespun super bulk! Even though I have a lot of experience knitting hats, I had never really gone from brain rather than patterns. This was also a good exercise in hat shapes and learning how many stitches to cast on. For each hat I kept casting on fewer and fewer (some ended up pretty big) until I was down to about 40 or 50 stitches.
Contrary to popular belief, every now and then I make something that isn’t fingerless mittens. Sometimes I make hats! Actually, I do that rather frequently since they are also small, quick projects. In December I started a hat using a pattern by Lee Meredith called Scant. It is worked top-down without swatching, so I thought it would be perfect for my handspun!
I finished it in two days. Unfortunately, my measuring skills are not so great and it ended up too big at the brim. After having the recipient try it on, we decided I would pull out the ribbing and decrease a few rounds to bring it in. In fact, it was really easy to adjust since it was knit top-down.
I decreased a total of 12 stitches over three rounds and used a smaller needle to get the ribbing even tighter. Once I reworked it, it fit great. I think there is more volume in my hat than was originally expected according to the pattern, but the new owner of this hat is very happy with it. I love the way the colors came out. I definitely will use this pattern again!
Other people are making things with my fibers too!
Check out Jamie’s Chunky Yet Funky Mittens & Hat. She bought several Fantasy Batts at Indie Knit & Spin, created a fun yarn and then knitted this wonderful set. The hat is a great example of what to do when you may not have quite enough yarn for an entire project. She used the remaining handspun yarn for the brim, but found another complimentary yarn for the body. Great job and thank you for sharing! Read all about her project on her blog.
P.S. This is the FIRST project I have seen made with the Fantasy Batts!
My mom requested a new hat, so I decided to get right on it.
I started it on January 8 and completed it on January 9.
And then I gave it to her before getting a photograph.
But a few days later I took it home to get a picture.
And then I didn’t get around to photographing it for weeks.
But today the sun came out.
So I finally got a picture of the hat
And now I can give the hat back to her.
She says it makes her think of Spanky from Little Rascals.
Pattern: Reggae by Emily Rossa Field
Yarns: Handspun, handdyed domestic wool and handspun natural wool/alpaca blend
One of my customers from the Pgh Knit & Crochet Festival has already created something with the yarn that she bought. Emily purchased a skein of 2-ply Falkland called Cascading and knitted Thorpe by Kirsten Kapur. Check out her project details and additional photos on Ravelry.
I didn’t get any photos of this yarn before taking it to the show, but it looks great knitted up. I can’t tell you how exciting it is for me to see my yarns in use. Thanks for sharing, Emily!
Also, my yarn brand is now connected to my Ravelry profile. Next time you use one of my yarns or fibers in a project, you will find it in the database. Check it out here! I had a bit of trouble setting it up – wasn’t sure how to categorize things. Let me know if you have any suggestions for improvement.
People always pick up my single skeins and say, “Well, what can I do with this?” And I usually suggest using it in combination with other yarns. But I’ve been wondering how far does a single skein go? So I picked this skein – handspun, Cosy-dyed Falkland, about 170 yarns – and just started knitting. I started with a tam and then, having plenty left over, made a pair of fingerless mitts. For my personal comfort, I’d say the hat could be a smidge bigger and the mitts a little smaller, but it’s all doable! I even had some yarn left.
There’s always more in that skein or ball than you think, unless you are really hoping to finish a project and you’re pretty sure you’ll have enough, then you don’t. But this set will be a good sample before I take it to a craft show.
It might be possible that I haven’t knitted a hat in over a year. That makes me a wee bit sad. What I have been doing all that time? Probably not a whole lot of knitting, actually. The last hat I made was the Green Circles in September 2009.
This hat, ironically, was supposed to be something similar to a hat I used to wear when I was a kid (and now does not fit). It was long and tubular, flopping down, with gathers at the top and a huge pompom. It did not end up that way at all. But I still enjoy wearing it.
The reason I say “ironically” in regards to Green Circles is because the hat I just finished today happens to be my second attempt at recreating that child’s hat! The newest one has been made out of Cosy’s Rainbow Chard handdyed yarn. I think I’ve gotten closer to the shape of the original hat and I added a pompom too. I’m not sure if that hat still exists someplace, maybe in my old bedroom. Perhaps I’ll try to recover it and then I’d have a better idea of it’s shape.
Continuing with the alpaca theme, I made a small beret with the left-over yarn from the fingerless mitts. Unfortunately I am incredibly bad at guessing how much yarn it will take to finish a project. Therefore, I ended up with a very tiny hat that doesn’t quite fit any of my stuffed animals. Too small for Flick and slightly too big for this other little monkey.
And guess what? I still have yarn left over from that ball!