New Favorites: Amirisu 19 (all of it!)

New Favorites: Amirisu 19 (all of it!)

The Fall/Winter 2019 issue of Amirisu landed on my desk last week and I had a bit of a swoon. It is stunningly beautiful from front to back, and there’s not a single thing in there I wouldn’t want to have. (Including the house where it was shot!) I’m not sure the last time I said that about a magazine or book, but while I’m thumbs-up on the entire dozen patterns that comprise the issue, of course there are those that stand out as my very favorites of the bunch:

TOP: Streaks by Keiko Kikuno would make me want to learn how to knit if I didn’t already know how

LOWER LEFT: Fleur by Megumi Sawada is a pretty little lace-and-bobbles hat (which apparently is a thing that appeals to me! who knew)

LOWER RIGHT: Lierne Cowl by Bristol Ivy is a fascinating little loop of pleated coziness

BELOW, UPPER: Escala by Alice Caetano features a mesmerizing fade in texture from smocking to diamonds — I’m obsessed with this

BELOW, LOWER: Wetherell by Kiyomi Burgin is a super charming yoke sweater with additional colorwork accents at the cuffs

New Favorites: Amirisu 19 (all of it!)

PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Holiday hat knitting cheat sheet

Holiday hat knitting cheat sheet: 10 skill-stretching patterns

Holiday hat knitting cheat sheet: 10 skill-stretching patterns

Hats are the best. A great way to learn to knit (or crochet!), pick up new skills, add variety to your queue, get that “I made it!” feeling fast. And of course, they don’t require a lot of yarn and they’re the perfect handmade gifts: The receiver is wowed with something you made yourself — without your spending a month or more making it! For this round of the holiday hat knitting cheat sheet, as I did with our Fringe Hatalong Series a few years ago (6 free patterns), I’ve organized it by the skills involved, from what I think of as the simplest to most challenging. You may dispute the order, and of course there’s no requirement that you knit them all or in this sequence, but if you’re looking for some fun patterns for charity or holiday gift knitting, and the chance to maybe pick up some new skills in the process, check out these gems that have caught my eye this year—

1: Crochet!
The Dawn Hat
by Brandi Harper

2: A little bit of slip-stitch (plus folded brim)
Understory
by Alyssa Coffey

3: Slip-stitch faux cables
September Hat
by Caroline Dick (free pattern, and there’s more where that came from)

4: Mosaic x 3 (aka 2-color slip-stitch)
Incise
by Hunter Hammersen

5: A spot of cabling
Northern Peak
by Jill Zielinski

6: 2-color stranded knitting
Eye Catcher Hat
by Jennifer Berg

7: Brioche rib
Hester’s Hat
by Lori Versaci

8: Brioche basketry
Baskets of Brioche Hat
by Lavanya Patricella

9: Lace
Penny Hat
by Tin Can Knits

10: Lace + bobbles!
York
by Courtney Kelley (see also)

And for lots more gift knitting ideas and pattern roundups, give this page a scroll!

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Serious sock temptations

That time I crocheted a hat

That time I crocheted a hat

I’m totally stunned that this worked. A) I’m not a frequent or experienced crocheter. B) I have never attempted to crochet something that had to fit. C) My gauge was totally different from the Wool and the Gang “Joanne” pattern I bought for this, so I had to wing it. But really the most amazing part isn’t that I crocheted a hat that fits — it’s that I made a hat that actually doesn’t look bad on me! Incredible.

This is the second of my three proposed Summer of Basics pieces, following my toffee Grace sweater. The third was meant to be a dress that I don’t yet have the fabric for. But since I’ve made three other dresses this summer (and pants!), I’m calling it a success.

That time I crocheted a hat

(Field Bag from Fringe Supply Co.)

PREVIOUSLY in FOs: Amazing “Grace” and the perfect pants

New Favorites: Mesmerizing colorwork

New Favorites: Mesmerizing colorwork

The Summer 2019 issue of Amirisu is packed with good knitting patterns, but the two I keep flipping back to are these cool colorwork accessories—

TOP: Escher by Tokuko Ochiai is a shapely little beret with a swirl of diamonds (and I also desperately want that dress)

BOTTOM: Tiger Lily by Meri Tanaka and Hiromi Otsuru is a cozy shawl featuring a mix of high- and low-contrast patterning, knitted in the round, and the steek becomes the fringe — magic!

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: The one(s) I’ve been waiting for

Pretty bobble beret (2019 FO-3)

April Hat bobble beret (free pattern)

Right after I posted about that pair of bobble berets to which I found myself unexpectedly drawn, I realized I had the yarn for one of them right under my nose. The April Hat (a free pattern) is designed by my friend Courtney Kelley for their Germantown worsted, and I had an almost full skein of it left over, in natural, after my mini Sólbein used so little. So I cast on immediately. And quickly understood that while a good useful stockinette project like my vest-in-progress is the equivalent of a good long walk (with hopefully some scenery along the way), and I love a good long walk, I was desperately in need of an experience more like a gymnastics floor routine — lots of action and fluttery doodads. And this hat nailed it.

The brim is an easily memorized lace pattern that was fun right out of the gate. The floral bits on the body of the hat are a combination of puff stitch and bobbles. I’ve knitted bobbles before but had no idea what I was in for with puff stitch — the puff-stitch rounds were almost comically slow for me, although I did get faster each time. Like anything new in life, it’s awkward until you get used to it, but it’s one of those fabrics where you just can’t wait to get to the next repeat because it’s so fun watching it develop.

April Hat bobble beret (free pattern)

I’m rarely one to swatch for hats, especially one I don’t expect to wear myself. Having knitted Courtney’s patterns before, I know that she’s a looser knitter than me, plus the dimensions are a little on the small side and I didn’t want it to come out even smaller. So I threw caution to the wind and went up from the recommended needles to a size US8 for the whole thing (same as I had used on the Sólbein), brim included. After blocking, it clocks in at pretty much exactly the pattern dimensions. And I’m excited to send it off to another of my little nieces, who I feel certain will love it.

The only point of debate for me is the pompom. I imagine she’ll like it, and it is definitely a cake topper to go with all this icing, but I love the way the crown comes together and regret that the pompom covers that up. So as I’m wont to do, I’ve tied it to the inside with a bow, so it can be easily removed by the recipient.

April Hat bobble beret (free pattern)

Here it is on Ravelry if you’re inclined to fave it! ;)

It’s the end of May and this is the third thing I’ve finished this year, all three knitted for others. But my vest is SO CLOSE — coming soon.

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PREVIOUSLY in FOs: Cabled husband hat

Queue Check — May 2019

Queue Check — May 2019

It’s been two months since I cast on this simple little vest and I’m finally nearing completion. After letting it sit for weeks unassembled and then postponing the pick-ups, I made great strides over the weekend, when I ripped out the false-start first armhole edge and knitted them both, then picked up stitches for the neckband. After crowdsourcing armhole edging ideas, I wound going with Norah Gaughan’s suggestion, which was to pick up, knit one round, then bind off in purl. It’s a bit like a single garter ridge, but set off slightly, which felt like it’ll be a good companion to the garter-stitch shawl collar I’m planning.

I still have two key decisions to make: 1) will this have button/holes or not, and 2) still debating sewn or knitted pockets. As soon as I decide those things, the finish line is mere days away, so of course now it’s in the 90s — but still, this is a great a/c defense tool. (Yarn is Mungo.)

Meanwhile, needing a major departure from stockinette, I cast on the April Hat from my recent bobble berets post. I’ve never knitted anything like this, am having a great time with it, and will say more about that when it’s finished! (Yarn is Germantown.)

Which means it’s time for me to zero in on a Summer of Basics plan.

(Lykke needles and stitch markers from Fringe Supply Co.)

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PREVIOUSLY in Queue Check: April 2019

New Favorites: Over-the-top tams

New Favorites: Beret confections

Honestly, saying something has an almost confectionary quality is not normally my way of paying a compliment, but somehow I’ve fallen in love with these two new beret patterns that are exactly that. And I don’t even like berets! Although now I’m wondering why I’ve never really tried one on my beanie-unfriendly head. It could work!

These both just look like such total joy to knit, no matter whose head they might wind up on—

TOP: Western Sky by Caitlin Hunter combines cables, lace and bobbles into the more understated-yet-freespirited of the two

BOTTOM: April Hat by Courtney Kelley mixes a spot of lace, twisted-stitch faux cables, bobbles, puff stitch and a pompom into a fun-loving whole (free pattern)

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Head kerchiefs