Cabled husband hat (2019 FO-2)

Cabled Dad Hat knitting in progress with cat

While I debate with myself about which yarn I want to use for the shawl-collar vest idea and which pattern (and stash yarn) for a wrap, I’ve knitted a hat for my beloved. On Christmas day, we had turkey enchiladas with our close family-friends, the elder of which was wearing a hat Bob took one look at and flashed me a face that said “please!” After some investigation, it was established that my pal Jo had knitted it from Alexis Winslow’s pattern called Cabled Dad Hat. And it seemed like a perfect use for some of the leftover yarn from Bob’s sweater vest, so that’s what’s kept my hands busy on recent nights.

If you’ve seen previous years’ posts about hats for Bob, you may recall he likes a skullcap — won’t wear a beanie that comes down over his ears — but we’d agreed he needed one that could at least fold down over them when needed. To arrive at this outcome, and following Jo’s lead, I began the decreases at 6″ instead of 7″, which for me meant 5 repeats of the chart. (If I make it again, I might stop at 5″.) And then I also shortened the crown portion by speeding up the increases and knitting fewer total rows, which I did simply by decreasing on every round starting with crown row 13.

As usual with hats, I didn’t swatch, and it’s a tiny bit big so we’ll make an effort to shrink it just a touch. But overall, we’re both very happy with it — it’s a great pattern that was obviously more fun to knit than his usual stockinette-everything requests, and it’s nice to see some texture on him.

Cabled Dad Hat free knitting pattern by Alexis Winslow

I realized while finishing this up the other night that, as much as I’ve enjoyed knitting for him and my as-yet unspecified niece, it’s officially been too long since I knitted anything for myself. Time to solve for one or the other of those aforementioned cast-ons!

(Drawstring project bag and Lykke needles from Fringe Supply Co.)

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PREVIOUSLY in Finished Objects: Sunny little Sólbein cardigan

New Favorites: Simple pleasures

New Favorites: Simple pleasures (knitting patterns)

Maybe it’s because I’m wrapping up my annual spot-of-colorwork project, I don’t know, but for whatever reason, I’m finding myself soooo drawn to the idea of knitting something really simple and straightforward but also beautiful and useful. Such as …

TOP: Column by Hiromi Nagasawa is a bulky or superbulky pullover with an unusual construction method that also gives a simple sweater a different look

BOTTOM LEFT: Chunky Slipper Socks by Churchmouse is a bulky version of their fingering-weight Turkish Bed Socks, one of the first patterns I ever bought (but still haven’t knitted!)

BOTTOM RIGHT: Classic Ribbed Hat by Purl Soho is exactly that (free pattern)

Happy weekend, everyone! If you happen to be at Quiltcon today, here in Nashville, hey me too! Please say hello.

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Junko’s abstract Bouquet

New Favorites: Stranded purl hats

This is anecdotal, but I feel like there’s been a significant trend lately toward combining stranded knitting (which is almost always stockinette) with texture in various ways — frequently through the introduction of bobbles. I’m particularly taken with these two hat patterns that take on just a little added texture by virtue of simply purling some or all of the colorwork—

TOP: Hat with Purled XO by Arne and Carlos features a classic motif at jumbo scale with purled colorwork boosting its impact

BOTTOM: Hjarn Hat by Amber Platzer Corcoran is also bulky gauge but with more delicate, three-color motifs (click through for the more colorful samples)

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Yuko Shimizu sweaters

New Favorites: Sari’s cable hats

New Favorites: Sari's cable hats (knitting patterns)

When I was putting together my 2018 Favorite New Favorites and looking back through the year’s best (in my opinion!) knitting patterns, there were several things I regretted not having gotten onto the blog yet. Chief among them, these two enticing cable hat patterns by Sari Nordlund:

TOP: Marlon Hat is gorgeous and worsted weight, which means I have countless yarn options in my stash

BOTTOM: Utu Hat is gorgeous and written for Woolfolk’s weirdly compelling bouclé yarn, Flette, which I happen to have two skeins of (because they sent them to me) and so much curiosity about that I’m seriously sitting here thinking “would I knit a hat on 2s …?”

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Favorite New Favorites

2018: My knitting year in review

2018: My knitting year in review

By the time the calendar blows over to January, I’ll have completed 19 knitting projects, which is a lot for me, but almost half of them were Log Cabin Mitts! When I came up with this pattern back in January — my contribution to last winter’s Fringe and Friends Logalong — it was one of those magical manifestations where you wonder where on earth it came from. I said at the time that they felt like the only truly creative thing I’d ever done, and I’m still so amazed at how beautifully the pattern worked out — and how fun it is to play with — that I have no intention of ceasing to knit them, even having finished 7 pairs this year: the originals (free pattern here), grey, black-and-white, toffee, black-and-blue, verb kit and indigo. (Grey and black-and-blue have been given to friends but will likely be replicated for the collection, which still feels like an art project in process.) The toffee pair live in my jacket pocket and are worn on the regular, but the black-and-white ones are my favorite rendition so far.

2018: My knitting year in review

Overall, it was a year of accessories knitting for me. In addition to the mitts, I made four hats for my sister’s family, for their spring break ski trip: grey Lancet, blue 1898 Hat, ivory Første, yellow ScandinAndean Earflap.

2018: My knitting year in review

Then there’s another hat that’s never been blogged because it’s a pattern I’m supposed to be writing, plus my Hozkwoz hat from the Fringe Marlisle Knitalong. So a total of 6 hats. And of course the cable dickey I haven’t been able to shut up about either before or since knitting it.

2018: My knitting year in review

And then there are the sweaters. Four ostensibly for me: the Sweatshirt vest, ivory aran-gansey, plum Anna Vest and blue Bellows Cardigan, which I don’t think I’m keeping. And the fifth, the final BO of the year, will be Bob’s vest. I’m just finishing up the bands and will write it up as soon as I’m done!

2018: My knitting year in review

The dickey and matching toffee mitts are easily my most-worn, best-loved wardrobe additions this year, and the ivory Første hat is one of the most stunning things I’ve ever knitted. And in addition to the Log Cabin Mitts, I also designed a second mitts pattern this year: Cascara Mitts for Tolt’s anniversary collection. I can’t add them to my tally because I have only knitted 1 mitt for the sake of writing the pattern (plus two more partials for teaching purposes), but I love those mitts and will be making myself a completed pair in the future.

Log cabin and marlisle were both new techniques for me this year, as were the clever construction on the 1898 Hat and mosaic knitting, which was used for the unseen pattern-to-come hat. (Oh wait, there’s one more secret hat — a sample for someone else’s pattern that also involved a way-new technique!! Tell you more about that when I can. So that’s 7 hats, and 20 finished projects in total.) I also got to knit quite a few cables and did some experimenting with the earflap hat and the sweatshirt vest. And published two patterns I’m proud of. Not to mention finally getting the Anna Vest published as an individual download. Phew!

All in all, a pretty good knitting year!

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PREVIOUSLY: 2017 Knitting year in review

Favorite New Favorites of 2018

Favorite New Favorites of 2018 - best knitting patterns

Of all the years, this is one where I feel most dramatically like WAIT! I haven’t even knitted anything from last year’s Favorite New Favorites yet! I’ve gone back to the patterns on that list over and over this year, and several I’ve continued to go on about during 2018, and yet somehow it’s already time to look back through this year’s and pull out the ones I most fervently want to not lose track of.

It was a really good year in knitting patterns, better than I even realized. To scroll back through the year’s New Favorites (which I recommend!) is to witness a lot of ingenuity and beauty, and yet there are loads of things I saved on Ravelry that haven’t even made it onto the blog. (Yet.) Trying to narrow it to the ones I simply admired the most, I was at risk of putting about 40 or 50 patterns into this post. So I decided to limit myself to just 12 patterns for the year: the ones I’d most like to actually knit and have. Which also means this could function as a queue for the coming year — if only people would stop with the new distractions!

BUT FIRST:

Simply based on how many times I’ve typed the words Carbeth Cardigan this year — and the fact that I did cast one on during my flight to Palm Springs last week — it’s clearly the pattern that bored the deepest hole into my brain this year. And then there are the ones I actually made: Grete and Hozkwoz.

And now the dozen …

Best sweater knitting patterns

SWEATERS
top: High Neck Pulloverby Tomoko Noguchi (as seen in Turtleneck season
middle left: Ridgeline Wrap Cardigan by Purl Soho (as seen in Those collars)
middle right: Breakwater Beach Vest by Irina Anikeeva (as seen in Way back to school sweaters)
bottom: Moosonee Sweater by Tara-Lynn Morrison (as seen in Wearable superbulky)

Best wraps knitting patterns

WRAPS
top: Ellsworth by Scott Rohr (as seen in Clever garter colorwork)
bottom left: Two-Point Cowl by Churchmouse (as seen in Two-point cowl)
bottom right: Wallace by Julie Hoover (as seen in Under wraps)

Best fingerless mitts patterns

MITTS
top: New Year’s Mitts by Veronika Jobe (as seen in Colorwork mitts)
bottom left: Weekend Walking Mitts by Dianna Walla (as seen in Quick Knits: Fingerless mitts)
bottom right: Tredje by Irina Anikeeva (as seen in Textured mitts)

Best hat knitting patterns

HATS
top: Tamitik by Shannon Cook (as seen in Quick Knits: Hats)
bottom: Adam by Rachel Atkinson (as seen in Quick Knits: Hats)

What were your favorite patterns this year — the ones you don’t want to let get away from you—

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Sock season

Quick Knits: Hats

Quick Knits: Hats patterns for gift knitting

With gift-knitting season upon us and my having a backlog of eye-popping knitting patterns I haven’t squeezed into the blog yet, I decided to do a sequence of New Favorites alternatives this week: recent killer accessory patterns that also knit up quickly and would make great gifts. Starting today with hats, the ultimate unisex gift. These patterns have enough going on that they’ll be fun to knit and make an impression, but not so much as to slow you down too much!

The particular beauty of hats — or any small-scale gift knits, really — is that it’s a chance for you to have fun rotating through different techniques while you’re at it. A definite win/win—

TOP: Tamitik by Shannon Cook shot straight to the top of my hat list when I first saw it on her Instagram* — cute, simple and bulky is a perfect gift-knit combo

MIDDLE LEFT: Diamondback Hat by Mary Jane Mucklestone was on her needles when I saw her in September and it gave me instant cast-on-itis — rhythmic 2-color stranding at worsted gauge

MIDDLE RIGHT: Adam by Rachel Atkinson is a fitted cap in DK on 8s with gorgeous knit-purl patterning

BOTTOM: Pabst Blue Ribbon by Thea Colman is a striking use of cables on a simple cap at aran gauge (see also: Wild Dandelion)

You guys, I picked these thinking “slip-stitch, colorwork, knit-purl texture, cables,” something for everyone, and didn’t realize till I saw the photos together that I unconsciously assembled a collection of diamonds! But then isn’t that the ideal motif for a gift knit?

(Disclosure: Shannon has since sent me the pattern.)

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Wearable superbulky