Fringe Hatalong No. 2: L’Arbre by Cirilia Rose

Fringe Hatalong No. 2: L'Arbre Hat by Cirilia Rose #fringehatalong

Magpies, Homebodies and Nomads by Cirilia RoseThank gawd today is here because the suspense has been killing me! Finally I can tell you that the hat pattern for Fringe Hatalong No. 2 is Cirilia Rose’s L’Arbre Hat — from her beautiful book Magpies, Homebodies, and Nomads — which I’ve been wanting to knit since I first laid eyes on it. (You can see the full range of patterns included in this book on Ravelry.) Major thanks to Cirilia and the fine folks at her publisher, STC Craft, for making the hat available to us for the knitalong.

Click here to download the free pattern. Be sure to post your progress here, there and everywhere with hashtag #fringehatalong. And for newer knitters, see my two-part How to Knit a Hat tutorial: Part 1. Anatomy Lessons and Part 2. Gauge and size.

“Arbre” is French for tree and the hat features a stitch pattern called Little Tree, which is just knits and purls and — now that I’ve swatched I can say this for certain — so much fun to knit! As I mentioned in the preview post last week (which contains yarn suggestions and a discount code for the recommended yarn, so if you missed that go look) you will definitely want to swatch for this hat — both to get the hang of the stitch pattern and to measure your gauge, because if you’re working this stitch tightly at all, that will affect the outcome. You’ll also want to block it because it does create a sort of corrugated fabric that relaxes when blocked, so measuring without blocking will give you a deceptive measurement. Below you can see the difference in my swatch before and after blocking. (For the record, this swatch is knitted with Purl Soho Worsted Twist from my stash — Purl sent me several colors awhile back and I’m debating! But I’m exactly on gauge.)

How to swatch for the L'Arbre Hat #fringehatalong

HOW TO SWATCH FOR L’ARBRE

The pattern is written for a heavy-worsted/aran weight yarn, and the stated gauge is 18 sts over four inches. (Recommended needle size is 5mm/US8, but you should use whatever needle size gets you the correct gauge.) And gauge is given in the Little Tree pattern stitch, so that’s what you need to knit your swatch in. You will need to “swatch in the round” — here’s a good tutorial if you haven’t done that before. And be sure to knit your swatch with the same needles you’ll be knitting the hat with. Your gauge will be different if you switch from bamboo to metal, etc.

You need your swatch to be at least 4 inches wide in order to measure it correctly. This particular stitch pattern is a multiple of 8 stitches (k5, p3, repeat) and we know the pattern says 18 sts is meant to be 4 inches. So we need to cast on a multiple of 8 that is greater than 18 to be sure we’ve got four inches of knitting. In addition to edge stitches being messy and unmeasurable in an in-the-round swatch, you won’t be able to work this stitch pattern from the first stitch with this method. To be really safe, cast on 36 stitches: 32 for the stitch pattern (4 repeats) plus two extra stitches at each edge, which I’ve just worked as knit stitches. So knit the first two stitches, work Row 1 of the pattern stitch four times, then knit the last two stitches. Proceed to work through the four rows of the pattern stitch, and repeat those four rows until you have several inches of knitting. Ideally you would swatch at least four inches high as well to measure row gauge. I’m trying to conserve yarn so am taking my chances and will measure row gauge on the actual hat once I get to four inches.

Once you’ve got a big enough swatch, bind off and block it, then lay a ruler across the middle four inches and count the stitches. A stitch pattern like this makes it really easy to count, because each 5- and 3-stitch section is easy to see and add up. Even in my photo above where the ruler is not directly on the swatch, you can see there are 18 stitches between the 0″ and 4″ marks on the ruler — 5+3+5+3+2.

How to knit the L'Arbre Hat by Cirilia Rose #fringehatalong

HOW TO WORK THE LOOSE STRAND

Like I said, this pattern is just knits and purls but there is one nifty, simple little maneuver that creates the “tree” pattern. On Row 2 of the stitch pattern, you slip five knits with your yarn in front — so it’s sticking out the front of your work five stitches over — then lay the yarn across those five stitches, moving it between the needles and to the back of the work in order to knit the next stitch. If you pull that strand too tight, it will cause your stitches to cinch or bunch up in the final fabric. So the trick is keeping the width of that strand loose and even. My advice is to spread out the five stitches on your right-hand needle to their natural width, then lay the yarn across them so they accurately determine the width of your strand, as pictured above. If the stitches are bunched up on your right needle, chances are your strand will be too short, and vice versa.

Then on Row 4 of the stitch pattern, you’re told to “work the loose strand.” All you do, when you get to that stitch, is insert your right needle under the strand and then into the next stitch on your left needle, as pictured here. Wrap the yarn around the needle as usual, and pull it back through both the stitch and the strand, letting the stitch drop off your left needle. And voilà, the strand is now behind the stitch you just knitted. Magic!

ERRATA!

Whether you’re working from the book or the PDF here, note that there is one small error: Under SHAPE CROWN / RND 1, where it says “k4″ it should say “k1, p3″ — that will preserve the garter stitch section correctly on that row.

Also, the PDF includes the coordinating mitts pattern (bonus!), but it’s missing the instructions for completing the thumbs after the stitches have been set aside. If you’ve knitted mitts before, you won’t have any trouble figuring out how to finish them!

S2KP2

There is one abbreviation in the crown decrease section that’s in the back of the book and didn’t make it into the PDF. Here’s how to work it: “Slip the next 2 stitches to the right-hand needle as if to knit 2 together, k1, pass the 2 slipped stitches over.”

FEATURED CHARITY

As I’ve mentioned before, part of my goal for this Fringe Hatalong Series is to highlight worthy charities that take hat donations. You may be planning to knit this hat for yourself — totally cool! — or you may be one of those knitters who deliberately knit more hats than you can use, with the intent to donate them. For this installment, I’m featuring Halos of Hope, a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide hats to cancer patients. With the density of the textured stitch in this pattern and the incredibly soft recommended yarn, I think L’Arbre seems like a great “chemo cap.” So if you are inclined to donate your hat, give Halos of Hope a look. You can find a donation location here, and I believe they’ll also be at Stitches South next weekend, as will we!

DOWNLOAD THE L’ARBRE HAT PATTERN and remember to share your progress with hashtag #fringehatalong wherever you post. I’ll be on the lookout for photos everywhere, and will be answering questions posted in the comments below. (Sorry, I’m not able to reliably answer questions across multiple platforms!)

Happy knitting!

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PREVIOUSLY in the Fringe Hatalong Series: No. 1 Audrey by Jessie Roselyn

Hatalong No. 2 PREVIEW

Fringe Hatalong No. 2 PREVIEW and yarn notes

It pleases me greatly that so many of you have asked when the next Fringe Hatalong is. I loved having so many people knit along on the first one, the Audrey hat, and am happy you’re eager for more! So let’s talk about Hatalong No. 2:

This one is another allover textured stitch, but in this case it’s a really intriguing stitch combination I haven’t done before — and you probably haven’t either. It looks like a TON of fun, but it’s also just one combo/maneuver that repeats all the way up the hat, so I feel like it will be doable for everyone who can knit and purl. And the pattern is written out, not charted. (We’ll do charts next!) So if Audrey was a small step forward for you, this will be a fun one to try to your hand at. And if you’re a more experienced knitter, this should be plenty entertaining for you, too. Given the uniqueness of the stitch, you will want to swatch to get the hang of it (and check your gauge, of course) before you start your hat.

The pattern will again be free here on the blog, and I’ll unveil it next Thursday. Meanwhile, there’s the matter of yarn—

Because of the allover texture, I would recommend using a light color (solid, heather or light tweed) that will show off the stitch work and not compete with it. I’d steer clear of anything variegated or marled on this one. And the pattern calls for 140 yards.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Cirilia tells me the finished hat sample weighs 80g, so that’s roughly 111 yards. If you’re using the Road to China, that means you have about 19 yards to swatch with!

Recommended yarn: The pattern was just recently published but was written awhile ago for a book that was several years in the making, and the recommended yarn has since been discontinued. It’s written for the aran/heavy-worsted weight of Road to China from the Fibre Co./Kelbourne Woolens, which is a beautiful, luxurious blend of baby alpaca, silk, camel and cashmere. If you want to knit with the recommended yarn, check with your local shop to see if they still have any Road to China (not to be confused with RtC Light or RtC Lace), and if not, the good news is it’s available on Kelbourne’s website for as long as the supply holds out. Again, the hat calls for about 140 yards, so note that you’ll need two skeins in your chosen color. And if you use the code “Fringe25″ at checkout, you’ll get 25% off the RtC. (Thank you, Kelbourne!)

Suggested substitutions: I asked the designer to recommend some alternative yarns, and her suggestions included Fibre Co. Terra or Organik, Zealana Heron, and Malabrigo Rios.

Stash diving guidance: If you want to knit from stash and don’t have any of those yarns on hand, you want to look for 140 yards of something in the heavy worsted-aran range with the same baseline gauge as Road to China, which is 16-18 stitches per 4 inches. (If you don’t have the ball bands on every ball in your stash, or the band doesn’t list a baseline stitch gauge, I highly recommend looking things up in the Ravelry yarn database. You can search for pretty much any yarn on the planet and it will tell you the yardage, recommended gauge, fiber content, etc.) If you can find something with a similar fiber content, so much the better.

I took a dip into my own stash and what’s pictured above are three yarns I have handy that are in the right gauge range and I’m excited to swatch with. On the left is Purl Soho Worsted Twist, which is a heavier worsted with magnificent stitch definition.  In the middle is an unspecified aran-weight merino from Camellia Fiber Co. (Not currently available BUT Craft South has several colors of her exquisite Merino Aran.) And on the right is Lettlopi, the aran-weight Icelandic yarn that comes in a multitude of colors. (Note that the first two were given to me; the third I purchased at Tolt — and don’t worry, I also have lighter colors! This one just made the best photo, ha.)

So you’ve got a week to think about what yarn you might want to use. I’ll announce the pattern next Thursday, the 16th, and we can all get started swatching the fun stitch pattern and then get knitting!

Someday vs. Right Away: Fingering-weight lace

Someday vs Right Away: Fingering-weight lace

I’ve seen numerous versions of Carol Feller’s Carpino lately — in a host of different colors and yarns — and the more I see it, the more I want one. Also, the more worsted and bulky sweaters I make, the more I realize: If I’m going to insist on making all of my own sweaters, eventually I’ll need to break down and knit some thinner ones (from the perspective of my wardrobe needs and my limited closet space). But with my short attention span and dearth of knitting time — think how long it already takes me to finish a sweater! — it’s just impossible to imagine. There’s a theory that your hands move faster when knitting with smaller needles and finer yarns, and I like to think there’s some validity to that. But the only way to know for sure it so knit something in fingering, right? I’m tempted by these simple little hats as guinea pigs: Hermaness by Gudrun Johnston and Celine by Cecily Glowik MacDonald, which is actually a linen hat. So lovely.

Writing this, I just suddenly had an urge to knit Carpino in linen. Would that be amazing?

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PREVIOUSLY in Someday vs. Right Away: Fair Isle practice

The lovely Audrey

The lovely Audrey - free knitting pattern

This whole Fringe Hatalong Series idea was a good one, I can already tell. I finished my lovely Audrey hat — my third FO for the year — and feel confident it would not have happened had I not invited you all to knit along with me. I would have gotten sucked into the next sweater without a palate cleanser or quick finish to bolster me, as this has done. And I know I already said this, but it’s such a joy to watch hat after hat appear on the #fringehatalong tag at Instagram. (140-odd posts and counting!) There are far fewer listed on Ravelry — if you’ve made a project page for your hat, I’d love it if you’d add “fringehatalong” in the tags field so yours will show up with all the rest. I’m sure I’m not the only one who wants to see every color and pompom and modification. Meanwhile, I love this pretty little hat and am debating whether to leave it au naturel or toss it in a pot of avocado pits.

If you haven’t cast on yet, it’s not too late! The free Audrey Hat pattern is right here, and there’s no schedule. If you have questions, you can always ask them on the pattern post.

I also hope everyone has made the Seattle Children’s Hospital donation of a dollar or two that Anna requested in offering us the pattern for free. Part of my original idea for the Hatalong series was to feature a charity in each installment — a potential recipient for those of you who are knitting with the intention of giving it away — so I was very pleased that Anna was one step ahead of me in suggesting a small monetary donation for this round. From here on out, I’ll be directing attention to charities in need of hats. But if you are wanting to donate your finished Audrey, check with your local hospital hospice or chemo unit.

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Jen Hewett for Fringe Supply Co. limited edition project bagUNRELATED NEWS YOU’VE BEEN WAITING FOR: The fourth and final installment of our limited-edition Jen Hewett project bags has arrived! As before, when they’re gone they’re gone! For this edition, we went back to the linen and jute drawstring bag from edition one. So if you’ve collected all four, you’ll have two linen and two cotton. The preorders have shipped and that left only about 70 bags available in the shop, so if you want one, don’t hesitate! We also got partial shipments of the amazing skim balm and Bento Bags this week, so see if what you’ve been wanting is there while you’re at it! If not, don’t worry, there’s more on the way.

First of the best of Fall 2015: Wool and Gang walks again

First of the best of Fall 2015: Wool and the Gang walks again

Following last year’s Eek hat for the Giles Fall ’14 collection, my friends over at Wool and the Gang had more knits walking the runway at London Fashion Week yesterday. This time they collaborated with Christopher Raeburn on his shark-themed Fall ’15 collection. As seen in the photos here (from @woolandthegang and @jade_harwood) the pieces include a pair of shark-shaped mittens plus a killer multi-color slouch beanie and big fringed scarf. The mittens, dubbed the Bruce Knitmitts, are available on their site straight away, both as finished goods and a knit kit, and they’ve promised to let me know when the hat and scarf patterns are available later this year. My compliments to the Gang on what must have been another thrilling ride. And to Raeburn, who looks pretty pleased with those mittens.

p.s. They were kind enough to send me an Eek hat kit when I was crying for a fast break from my four months with Amanda, but I haven’t knitted it up just yet. Love. That. Hat.

p.p.s. If I had the sewing chops, I would totally be making my own version of that olive-drab duffel coat with Grainline’s pattern. That is my dream coat right there.

 

Knit the Look: Natalie Joos’ charcoal cap

Knit the Look: Natalie Joos' charcoal cap

I find Tales of Endearment blogger Natalie Joos impossibly adorable, but this also happens to be one of my all-time favorite photos from Vanessa’s blog — Natalie in a subdued-yet-rule-breaking, season-spanning combo of a white skirt, incredible wool toggle coat and charcoal grey beanie. It’s an outfit that says she sees the light of Spring at the end of Winter’s tunnel. But mostly I just really love that hat. Neither of the two photos tells us anything concrete about what’s actually going on with it, knitwise, other than that it’s a bulky yarn knitted with a bit of purl texture on the body. I’m thinking all we’d need do to get the same effect is tamper with Audrey’s stitch counts and knit it in Quince and Co’s Puffin in Kittywake.

And now that I’ve typed that, I won’t be able to avoid doing it.

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PREVIOUSLY in Knit the Look: Multi-marl infinity scarf

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Street style photo © Vanessa Jackman; used with permission

Fringe Hatalong No. 1: Audrey by Jessie Roselyn

Fringe Hatalong No. 1: Audrey by Jessie Roselyn — a mini-knitalong

My darling friend Anna Dianich of Tolt Yarn and Wool commissioned Jessie Roselyn to design a set of patterns for her Snoqualmie Valley Yarn last fall, and it’s super charming. (You know I love a good chevron stitch!) The complete Audrey Collection includes a hat, mittens and socks all in the same reverse-stockinette-with-chevrons stitch pattern. The hat, though, can be worn either side out and was photographed both ways. The photos on the model above show it stockinette side out, which is how I actually prefer it, so that’s the modified pattern I’ve chosen for the first Fringe Hatalong Series knitalong and am publishing below, with Anna’s permission.

In addition to the mittens and socks, the PDF version of the pattern includes a chart, so if you want the chart, the additional patterns and/or to have it in PDF form, you can purchase the complete set at Ravelry. I’m very grateful to Anna for giving us (this modified version of) the hat pattern for the knitalong. A portion of the proceeds from the pattern yarn is going to Seattle Children’s Hospital and Anna asks that, in exchange for the free hat pattern, you please donate a dollar or two to the same cause. You can make a donation through Seattle Children’s Hospital’s site.

The full hat pattern is below!

I’ll be answering questions (to the best of my abilities) in the comments section on this post. I hope you’ll share pictures of your hats here (link to wherever from the comments), on Ravelry and Instagram using the hashtag #fringehatalong. But I will only be able to answer questions posted here in the comments.

NOTES FOR BEGINNERS: In addition to being just knits and purls, this pattern is written with beginners in mind, including indications for where you should reset your row counter if you’re using one. (You could also just make tick marks or check marks on paper, or whatever works for you, as long as you’re consistent in doing it!) I would add that the stitch pattern for the body of the hat (beginning with the Pattern Rounds) is based on a 12-stitch repeat. To make it easier to keep your place and catch mistakes quickly, you might want to use 10 extra stitch markers to separate the repeats. You’ll already have one marker marking the beginning of your round, and that marker should be different from the rest (a different size, shape or color) so you know which one is the BOR (beginning of round) marker versus the rest of them. When you get to the first Pattern Round, work the first 12 stitches as indicated (p1, k11), then place a marker; work the next 12 stitches (p1, k11), place another marker, etc. On the successive rounds, you’ll simply slip each marker from the left to right needle as you come to them. You might drop them when switching to DPNs or during the last of the Top Shaping rounds once they’re in the way, but keep your BOR marked. Also, I strongly recommend you use the nicely stretchy Long-Tail Cast On.

For details on how to swatch for this hat, I’ve spelled that out in the comments. For general guidance and advice on how to knit a hat, see Anatomy lessons and Gauge and size.

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Audrey Hat pattern by Jessie Roselyn

Fringe Hatalong No. 1: Audrey by Jessie Roselyn — a mini-knitalong

CONSTRUCTION NOTES
This pattern provides instructions for two levels of slouchiness: You can work an additional pattern repeat to create a more slouchy fit.

Hat is knitted in the round with a circular needle. When you reach the point where there are not enough stitches to stretch around the circular needle, switch to double-pointed needles. The hat may be worked entirely on double-pointed needles if you don’t have a circular, or if you prefer that method to knit in the round.

[see note on dimensions below]

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MATERIALS

YARN
Approximately 175 yd / 160 m of light DK weight yarn
Sample shown in 8″ fit knitted in Snoqualmie Valley Yarn (100% wool, 250 yd/230 m per 100g skein)

GAUGE
5 stitches/9 rows = 1 in/2.5 cm in pattern stitch

NEEDLES
Needle sizes are recommendations only; always use needle size necessary to achieve given gauge.
US6/4.0 mm needles — a 16-in/40-cm circular needle and set of double-pointed needles (or use your preferred small-circumference method)

NOTIONS
Stitch marker, row counter, tapestry needle

. . .

HAT INSTRUCTIONS
CO 88 stitches. Place marker and join for working in the round, being careful not to twist.

Setup Rounds
Rounds 1-10: [K2, P2] repeat to end
Round 11: [K4, M1] repeat to end (110 stitches)
Round 12: [K5, M1] repeat to end (132 stitches)
Reset row counter.

Pattern Rounds
Repeat pattern rounds 1-15 a total of three times for the 8″ hat (pictured) or four times for the slouchier 9.5″ hat.
Round 1: [P1, K11] repeat to end
Round 2: [P1, K11] repeat to end
Round 3: [P2, K9, P1] repeat to end
Round 4: [K1, P1, K9, P1] repeat to end
Round 5: [K1, P2, K7, P2] repeat to end
Round 6: [K2, P1, K7, P1, K1] repeat to end
Round 7: [K2, P2, K5, P2, K1] repeat to end
Round 8: [K3, P1, K5, P1, K2] repeat to end
Round 9: [K3, P2, K3, P2, K2] repeat to end
Round 10: [K4, P1, K3, P1, K3] repeat to end
Round 11: [K4, P2, K1, P2, K3] repeat to end
Round 12: [K5, P1, K1, P1, K4] repeat to end
Round 13: [K5, P3, K4] repeat to end
Round 14: [K6, P1, K5] repeat to end
Round 15: [K6, P1, K5] repeat to end
Reset row counter; repeat as indicated above for desired length

Top Shaping
[NOTE: this section was tweaked at 8:55am PST to include one extra decrease round.]
Round 1: [K10, K2tog] repeat to end
Round 2: [K9, K2tog] repeat to end
Round 3: [K8, K2tog] repeat to end
Round 4: [K7, K2tog] repeat to end
Round 5: [K6, K2tog] repeat to end
Round 6: [K5, K2tog] repeat to end
Round 7: [K4, K2tog] repeat to end
Round 8: [K3, K2tog] repeat to end
Round 9: [K2, K2tog] repeat to end
Round 10: [K1, K2tog] repeat to end
Round 11: [K2tog] repeat to end
Bind off by pulling working yarn through remaining stitch loops with tapestry needle.

Finishing
Weave in the ends and block.

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ABBREVIATIONS
CO: Cast on
K: Knit
K2tog: Knit 2 together (1 stitch decreased)
M1: Make 1 stitch — insert left needle under bar between stitches from front to back; knit this stitch through back loop (1 stitch increased)
P: Purl

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Pattern and photos © Tolt Yarn and Wool; published with permission