This hat was once a vest, a vest that was unravelled because I ran out of yarn knitting a sweater from an unravelled dress.
Knitting lends itself so well to making new things out of old things, if you can bear to rip out your own work. These particular ‘old’ things had been practically unworn, which helps (both with the ripping out itself and finding the courage to do it), although this yarn, Colourmart’s Extra Fine Merino, wears very well. I didn’t even notice it when I took the photo, but the sweater I was wearing that day is in the same yarn – knit only a few months after the dress and the vest – and it still looks new, even though it gets worn constantly.
The hat is a pretty straight-forward slouchy beanie, cast on with no real plan or pattern. The stitch creates a really nice subtle ribbed look even though it’s mostly stockinette, so I’m also considering this a big swatch, to be revisited, maybe.
This Christmas was the first time I knit a pair of socks for someone else. It’s incredibly convenient my recipient and I have the same shoe size, but I’m not sure I’ll be knitting socks for anyone else anyway. Hats and scarves and even gloves are easy and ‘normal’ things to give but I think hand knit socks are a bit too niche even for most of my otherwise extremely knitworthy recipients – they require that extra bit of care and commitment (to not wash your laundry too hot and know they might not fit inside all your shoes, that is) that make me worry they’re slightly too fussy to give to most people.
I was planning on following a pattern because there are so, so many pretty ones that I want to try but in the end I decided to make something up myself… of course. I wasn’t getting great stitch definition with texture so I went for a simple bit of lace in a grid pattern, which is something I explored in a pullover earlier this year although I had to figure out a different stitch that would be flatter and more comfortable when worn inside a shoe. I actually tried a Fleegle heel for a change but it didn’t work well at all and I just didn’t have the time to keep experimenting, so I reverted to my trusty Fish Lips Kiss heel in the end.
Happy holidays! I’m not terribly big on Christmas so I surprised myself when I decided to knit this hat on a whim, and surprised myself again when it worked!
A while back my friend showed me a very cool sweater she had with a fascinating 3-dimensional stitch pattern that looked like dragon scales, and that’s the stitch that popped into my head when I started thinking about how I could knit a cartoony shaped tree. The yarn is some mystery green DK yarn that another friend gave me years and years ago (thanks friends!), held double for max effect, and speed. The star is the Stjärna pattern – adorable, easy and free.
I figured when the novelty of having it as a hat wore off, I could always use it as a tree so it’s been sitting on my fridge (where else) next to my ‘real’ tree (a tiny fake thing but it has balls and lights and all!), stuffed with a big skein of yarn to hold its shape, ready to be converted back into a hat to entertain any visitors 🙂 It kind of overshadows my other tree now, so I think next year it will get the lights, and maybe some tinsel and pom-pom decorations and become the official tree. After all, what’s more fitting than a knitted tree for a knitter?
If you’re familiar with stranded knitting, you’ve probably heard of the concept of colour dominance. I won’t be writing about how holding the yarns determines dominance because there are so many different knitting styles, and so many smart knitters have already written about it more eloquently than I could, but I do want to have a little look at how colour dominance can affect the look of a stitch pattern.
My Dashes hat uses a very simple and small chart, with the background colour, MC, making up the majority of the stitches – but not overwhelmingly so. Still, enough for me to prefer holding the MC in my most dextrous finger, which puts the CC behind it and therefore in the dominant position for me.
To have a good comparison between MC and CC dominance in this specific stitch pattern, I made this little swatch. Because knitting colourwork flat is the worst, and because you’re meant to swatch in the round for items you’ll be knitting in the round anyway, a swatch like this is a great way to check your gauge and have a look at dominance while you’re at it. For this little experiment I cast on 40 stitches, with 20 stitches on each needle using the magic loop method. One needle I knit with the MC (background) dominant, and the other with CC (dashes) dominant. For gauge purposes you should definitely knit a bigger swatch than this though!
Because the stitch pattern is basically vertical, the stitches get very elongated (did you notice the gauge actually has less rounds than stitches per 10 cm / 4″?), and knitting with the MC background dominant can make the MC-only columns pop out visibly.
I originally designed Dashes last year as a birthday gift to my friend. Creating new designs for specific people is always great fun and a good challenge as it helps me think outside my little box while still trying to keep my own touch. When it came to Dashes, I wanted to make something graphic but still bright in a way.