Someday vs. Right Away: Crochet skills

Someday vs. Right Away: Crochet skills

I keep saying I need to up my crochet game so I can think about making stuff like this and this and this, and instead I only talk about crocheting and have to turn to YouTube all over again every two or three years when I decide to give it a go. One of the first things I ever favorited at Ravelry was Roko’s Borsalino hat, pictured above, knitted from Michiyo’s No.5 hat pattern. (For a similar hat, see the free Novi Hat pattern.) I remember being floored at the notion that one could simply crochet such a hat. My noggin is problematically large (shut up, DG), rendering hats a challenge in general. I’ve developed a fair sense of what I can get away with beanie-wise, but structured hats are pretty much impossible. Which brings me back to that Yoko hat. If I had game, I could make one for myself and make it fit properly, right? So if I want to ever do that, I better get serious about those skillz. Two good places to restart would be Dottie Angel’s sweet and useful Imperial Mitt and Hot Pad and same for Mamachee’s Perfect House Slippers.


PREVIOUSLY in Someday vs. Right Away: Outerwear

New Favorites: Andean-inspired hats

New Favorites: Andean-inspired hats

It’s making me laugh how hilariously out-of-season this is, but with the sopping wet blaze of summer upon us, all I can do is dream of Fall. It’s NEXT, y’all — it’s coming! In the Early Fall 2016 issue of Vogue Knitting, there’s a whole collection of Andean-style hat patterns, aka chullos, and what better to fuel Fall dreams? I find chullos completely mesmerizing, and have repeatedly lingered over the Purl Soho collection of finished ones (now on sale, even!) trying to figure out if I would ever actually wear one or just hang it on the wall. And I have no idea which of the Vogue patterns might be more or less authentic than any of the others, but these are the two I’m smitten with (despite the headache-inducing red background) —

TOP: #18 Textured Chullo Hat by Laura Zukaite with all its amazing texture and tassels (the Andean tassels are everything to me)

BOTTOM: #14 Andean Chullo Hat by Deborah Newton with its great patchwork of colorwork motifs; I’d love to see this one in black and natural


In shop news, we’ve restocked a few missing bestsellers lately: The repair hooks, the rosewood crochet hooks and the Twig & Horn blocking soap bars are all currently available in all materials, sizes and scents! And we’re down to the last handful of Sheepmoji totes, just sayin’.

Thanks for all the great input this week, everyone — stay cool this weekend and I’ll see you back here next week!


PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Crochet shawls

New Favorites: For the hat list

New Favorites: For the hat list

My aforementioned urge to sit around knitting hats all the time, relishing in the variety, continues to be fed by the brilliant designers of the world. These two new cable hat patterns are fairly begging to make it onto my needles:

TOP: Burnaby by Jared Flood is an enticing but simple combo of knit/purl chevrons and basic cables (from the new Brooklyn Tweed Ganseys collection)

BOTTOM: Earlyrising by Annie Rowden is large-scale chainlink cables on a field of garter stitch


PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Shawl collars and cables

Queue Check — February 2016

Queue Check — February 2016

So since my January Queue Check, I finished Bob’s rollneck sweater and started and finished my black raglan. (I posted a sneak peek by the way.) While both sweaters were drying on my dining table over the weekend, I had this moment of pause and relief and thought, “wow, so all I have on the needles right now are those two hats!” Of course, before the sentence was even complete in my head, I remembered ANNA! The thing about Anna is the stitch pattern is so mesmerizing I fall into a trance and forget I’m even knitting. Then I remembered, uh, I have a couple of other things going as well. Actual current WIP tally, top to bottom:

1) Anna Vest, begun in October and saved for the Anna Vest Knitalong, now going strong. This pic is the back piece, and the two fronts are where they left off after my inset pockets tutorial. By the way, there’s plenty of time to join the knitalong — just tag your posts wherever with #annavestkal. [yarn is Fibre Co. Terra in Coalwood]

2) Grey Sawkill Farm sweater (no pattern), sleeves knitted in November and then set aside to make way for Bob’s sweater and my black quickie. This one will probably get knitted here and there over the course of the next few months, ready to wear by fall. No rush. [yarn is Sawkill Farm from Rhinebeck]

3) Penguono, cast on in January among friends doing the same. Really love this photo, but really not feeling this sweater. I’m not sure what will happen next, but how gorgeous is that Camellia handspun? [a gift from Rebekka]

4) Seathwaite Hat, still waiting for me to sit still during daylight hours and do the brim join round. [yarn is YOTH Father in Saba, a gift from Veronika]

5) 1898 Hat, just waiting for some attention, any attention! [yarn is Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in Soot]

I’ll be getting back to both hats soon, because while I don’t really think I’m about to knit 5 more stockinette lopi sweaters, I do think there’s more stockinette in my future (a nice plain cardigan, a simple sleeveless linen something for summer), and the hats will be the much-needed spice in that rather bland knitting diet.

After all the wardrobe planning and the last few makes (both knitted and sewn), I’m feeling for the first time since the purge like I’m able to get dressed in the morning, and for different seasons, and am not in such a panic about filling wardrobe holes. Also feeling more like I have a sense of where my wardrobe is heading for the foreseeable future. So whereas my Queue Check posts have mostly been me obsessing about the five next things I want to make, right now I’m just gazing casually out across the year. And the only thing I’m really feeling particularly driven about is finally casting on that Channel Cardigan I’ve been plotting for two years. If I can decide about yarn, I’ll cast on this spring and work on it in a leisurely fashion, with the anticipation of wearing it, too, this coming fall. Doesn’t that sound lovely?


PREVIOUSLY in Queue Check: January 2016

First of the Best of Fall 2016: Hat hair

First of the Best of Fall 2016: Hat hair

The many weeks of Fall 2016 Fashion Week have begun, and I love the Steven Alan collection just as much as I always do. It’s just what it always is: simple and classic with a tiny bit of an edge, always a little something unexpected. There’s really never anything I don’t like — and I like everything about this one. But what I like best here are the simple ribbed beanies; and this messy, loopy, off-center pony-bun; and most of all, the way the beanie looks on this pony-bun.


New Favorites: Mad hatting

New Favorites: Mad about hats

I have this vision of a time in the future when my wardrobe is in good working order (no more rush to fill in all the gaps) and I can simply knit 1 or 2 carefully chosen sweaters per year, at my leisure. Then the rest of my time can be spent knitting hats! There is such an endless stream of good pattersn, and we all know how relatively quick and gratifying they are. These are my current obsessions:

TOP: Fidra by Gudrun Johnston (as knitted/shot by Kathy) is just good chunky fun

MIDDLE LEFT: Halus by Jared Flood is even more good chunky fun

MIDDLE RIGHT: Buck’s Hat by Thea Colman is cable-based basketweave used to great effect (See also: Manx from my fall hat roundup)

BOTTOM: Holt by Alicia Plummer features allover puff stitch for a simply gorgeous hat


PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Welcome basics, part 2

Fidra photo by Kathy Cadigan used with permission

Plait Hat

Plait Hat by Karen Templer (free knitting pattern)

I thought it might be nice to kick off the new year with a little free pattern — the one I’ve promised you for this easy peasy hat!

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Plait Hat pattern


For this super simple, super warm hat, you need approximately 190-200 total yards of worsted-weight yarn held triple. By knitting with three strands, rather than a single strand of superbulky, you get to create the sweet little braided loop detail up top. You can either wind off three balls of 65 to 70 yards each (i.e., one half skein of Lark per ball), and knit with them held triple. Or, for the safer and easier approach, wind your yarn as usual and use the Navajo Ply method to create the tripled strand as you go. If you Navajo Ply, when you get near the end of the crown decrease section, pull out a crazy-long loop — like 6 feet — to be 100% sure you can finish the knitting and break the long tails for the braid without encountering the bend in your loop. I’d also recommend splicing on the second skein when you come to it.


  • 2 skeins Quince and Co. Lark (134 yards / 123 meters per 50g skein, pictured in Sabine) or approximately 195-200 yards worsted-weight yarn, held triple throughout (see note above)
  • 16″ circular needle and set of DPNs in size needed to match gauge (suggested size US13/9mm)
  • 16″ circular needle two sizes smaller for ribbing (suggested size US11/8mm)
  • 3 stitch markers and 1 contrasting Beginning of Round marker
  • tapestry needle for weaving in ends


  • Gauge: 10 sts and 18 rounds = 4″ in stockinette stitch
  • Size: 18″ circumference at brim (unstretched); 8″ tall


Using smaller needle and the long-tail method, and holding three strands of yarn together throughout the pattern, cast on 44 sts; place BOR marker and join for working in the round.

Work k2/p2 ribbing until piece measures 2.5″ from cast-on edge.

Switch to larger needle and stockinette stitch: knit all stitches, all rounds, until piece measures 5″ from cast-on edge. (For a slouchier hat, knit more rounds before beginning crown shaping.)

Shape crown
Setup round: *k2tog, k7, SSK, place marker; repeat from * to end of round. (8 sts decreased; 36 remain)

Round 1: Knit
Round 2: *k2tog, knit to 2 sts before marker, SSK, slip marker; repeat from * to end of round.

Repeat last two rounds (switch to DPNs when needed) until 3 sts remain between the markers.

Next round: *k2tog, k1, slip marker; repeat from * to end. (8 sts remain)

Next round: *k2tog, drop marker; repeat from * to end. (4 sts remain)

Next round: k2tog, break yarns leaving an 8-10″ tail of each strand; thread all three strands onto tapestry needle, thread them through the remaining three sts and pull to cinch hat closed.

Create braid
Remove the strands from the tapestry needle and braid them loosely for about 2″. Holding the braid securely, form a loop with the three strands (right at the end of the braid), pass the tails through and pull tight to secure braid in the knot. Now thread the tails back onto the tapestry needle and pass them down through the center top of the hat — it will stop at the knot, leaving you with a braided loop atop the hat and the tails inside. Now weave in your ends, block as desired, and wear it in good health!

<< Fave/queue the Plait Hat at Ravelry >>