Sunday, November 30, 2014

Lot of Hats

Why haven’t I been blogging about my hats?
a)    I have been super busy
b)    I am really lazy
c)    I have been having trouble with my Internet
d)    All of the above
That’s right D!
Last week our internet completely died. It has been acting up for a while, but on Sunday it decided it could not take it anymore and went to the great modem place in the sky.
We now have a fancy new modem, 12x faster than the old one. I know you are all thrilled!!

So onto hats…

Hat 26 – This is a shadow knit hat. I have had this pattern forever. It was a very easy knit. I used some yarn I had around and it did not have the ball bands, it is either Cascade 220 tweed or Encore Tweed. I am not sure. They are very similar and I think this pattern would be better if it was done in more contrasting yarns.

Hat 27 – I designed this hat for a contest by SMC. I did not make it to the semi-finals. The hat is knit with SMC Active. It is a wool / poly blend. It has some sort of wicking property. It was a strange yarn to knit with… not bad, it just felt weird.

Hat 28 – This pattern goes by the catchy name of Mix Number 32. It is knit with 2 strands of ShiBui Pebble held together. It is a dead simple pattern, but it takes a long time because it is thin yarn. But it is worth it because it is so soft and lovely. The hat is very stretchy.

Hat 29 – I made this hat with my mom in mind. I have not seen her so I do not know if she will like it. I did not realize how purple it was until I was about ½ ways done (apparently I need better light where I knit). The pattern is called Spiral hat and that is what it does, spiral. I am pretty sure it is Galway worsted yarn (again, I could not find the ball band). The pattern is simple and I think the hat looks good.

Hat 30 – I made this hat for The Hub. He wanted an earflap hat. This is the Basic Earflap hat. It is knit with Galway chunky. It was a straight forward pattern. I added an applied i-cord because I could not make the crochet edging look good. Stupid crochet.

Hat 31 – This pattern is Lotus Bowl hat. I love the design of the hat. However, there were a couple of issues. The band should have been done on a smaller needle; I don’t know why I didn’t do it. And my gauge was all wonky. I am not sure what my problem was, but it was a problem all the way through. And I was worried about running out of orange yarn, which I did not. I have not blocked it yet, hopefully it will look better after the blocking.

Hat 32 – this is the perk pattern for December for the shop. It is a little critter cowl for the child in your life. Sorry the picture is not great, it would be better on my granddaughter, but she is not around right now… It is a very easy pattern. It is knit out of Spud & Chloe’s Outer, which is a washable super bulky cotton/wool blend. And will knit up quickly for the holidays! 

Friday, October 03, 2014

Hat 25

WHAT?? Two posts in one week; surely it is a sign of the Apocalypse.

I have been knitting like crazy. This hat is made with Plymouth Inspire and the pattern is on the ball band. It is dead simple and knit on big needles (I used US 11). It went very quickly. 

The yarn has sequins but they are subtle. It is a chainette construction, which I have decided I really like. I made this had for the shop, but I might actually buy a ball and make one for me.
It comes with the fake fur pompom, so you do not even need to make one.

I also want to mention the duck I made.

We are making them for the Little Yellow Duck Project.  It is an Alan Dart pattern and it is free at the website. If you live in the Twin Cities area, you can make one and bring to 3 Kittens Needle Arts before 10/10/14 (I Love Yarn day). We are going to put them out in the park area in front of the shop. We hope to get 100 of them.  

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Hats - More Than One (3 in Fact)

First, I realized that I did not tell you all what yarn I worked on for hat 21, the purple was Sweet Georgia BFL Sock (I love this yarn) & the grey is Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine. They are both very nice yarns. I would recommend them both.

Hat 22
The pattern is Figheadh’s Fundamental Watch cap; it can be knit with any yarn from fingering to super bulky yarn. It was a really well written pattern. I knit it with Viking of Norway Nordlys, which is 75% superwash wool, 25% nylon. It is a sock yarn. I liked knitting with it and the colors are very pretty.

Hat 23
This hat is knit out of Schachenmeyr Lova Fan. It is a super bulky acrylic / wool blend yarn. It was not bad to knit with and it was super quick. I did not have the right size needles available when I started so I went with an 11. I actually think it is a nice fabric for a hat. It is just a hat I improvised. I was going to do ribbing, but I did not like how it looked. So I tried something else and did not like that either. In the end I just knit in a circle. 

Hat 24
This is an all cabled version of my Choose Your own Adventure Hat. 

I have been trying to perfect the decreases done in pattern. It was made with Cascade 220 Superwash. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Hat 21

I finished this hat a couple of weeks ago, but I did not post it. Not sure why, just sheer laziness, I guess.
This is the Frosted Pine Hat from Interweave. I did the lace wrong in the beginning. I think I mixed up the Ssk and K2tog, as usual. Have I mentioned I don’t like lace??

Overall, I like the hat. The fact it does not look like the pattern does not really bother me. I will still wear the hat.

The MN State Fair has come and gone and I did not post my award winning hat.

Here it is.

I won 4th place. I received an “Excellent“ score on everything except for the blocking, which received a “Very Good”. I actually think it was really well blocked, so I disagree with the assessment. But what can ya do?

I should be on hat 37 this week. Obviously I am not, I am currently working on Hat 22 and a crocodile. I am beginning to worry about making it now…

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Hat 20 – What Have You Done For Me Lately?

This pattern is Knitting Pure & Simple’s Animal Hats and it is done flat. I know why it is done that way, because it is all garter stitch it should be easier to knit flat, but I like doing hats in the round. This hat is for My Girl. She picked out the yarn and requested a Unicorn.  The main yarn is Lamb’s Pride Bulky and the horn is done in Tahki’s Stella.
There is an error in the pattern and the horn directions are incorrect. I just fudged it, but if I had been paying better attention it would have been obvious (there are too many stitches in the 1st decrease row). And it does not use anywhere near the amount of yarn for the horn as the pattern calls for. Just so you know.
It took me one month to knit this hat! Why? You would think that if I am knitting with bulky yarn, garter stitch and big needles I could whip it out in no time… Well there were issues.

1st - I had to rip out most of the hat because the fabric was too tight and therefore too small. I found it difficult to gauge how big it was going to turn out. I actually did measure the gauge on the earflap, but it was still too small… sigh.
2nd - I do not like bulky yarn, or big needles or garter stitch. I know, I know… this is odd, but it is true.
3rd – there were problems at home. I will not go into them, but even though everyone says life is short, there are days when it feels so incredibly long and that will never end.

So my granddaughter wants me to knit her a cat one from this same pattern. I am not going to do it right now because I just can’t!  Maybe she would be willing to use a different pattern… 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Officially Behind

I am officially behind in knitting and in blogging. I did not knit for a couple of weeks at all. No reason, just didn’t feel like it. It happens sometimes. And well, the blogging requires me to sit down and write it up and I just haven’t… so there.
It is week 27 and I am only up to Hat 19. So I am going to update you on what I have been knitting.

Hat 17:
This was an experiment for my hat design. It is knit out of Cascade 220 Superwash. I will give it to charity. 

Sorry for the crummy picture. The yarn is too dark to see the pattern well, which is okay because it is not perfect. 

Hat 18:
This is the hat I designed for my intermediate hat class. It is called Choose Your Own Adventure Hat. It has 3 different panels (cabled, lace and Guernsey) to choose from as well as 3 different decreases. I will be selling in on Ravelry once I get it all figured out. It is knit out of Cascade 220. I love this yarn. You could knit 3 different hats with 2 skeins of it.

Hat 19:
This is a hat for the shop. It is Halley’s Comet by Marnie MacLean and knit out of Berroco Maya.
This pattern is really well written. My only complaint is that it knit from the top down which I normally do not like to do. I just find it fiddly and usually unnecessary. I think I should have figured out how to do Emily Ocker’s cast on for it, which I think would have looked better. Regardless, it was a good thing because I was not sure that I would have enough yarn because I did not have a full ball. I made a small and it fits my tiny head. I am pretty sure that if you have a full ball of Maya, you could make a large.
A little about the yarn: it is 85% cotton, 15% alpaca and a chainette construction. It was really nice to work with. And I think it looks great in this pattern. I am very happy with the hat.

Friday, May 09, 2014

Three Hats in a Fountain

Sorry for the delay in posting. I was having issues with the old computer. And, I will be honest with you; I do not love typing on my iPod. I can do it, but it takes a lot of work and well it is always fraught with spelling errors.  I cannot spell worth a darn.
But I have been knitting away. I have 3 hats done.

Hat # 14
This is a pattern from One Skein Wonders. I love this series of books (I have them all) and I highly recommend them because they are full of stuff you can knit up quick.  Now the pattern itself is not difficult, it is just a ribbed hat, so it was a quick knit. I made this out of Cascade 220 Superwash.  I plan on giving it to charity.

Hat # 15
This is my generic hat pattern. Yes, I have knit so many hats that I can in fact just make it up as I go along. Which is what I did here, I wanted to use up the rest of the ball of Cascade 220 Superwash which I used in hat 14 and I added stripes with a darker color of the same yarn. It will also be going to charity. I plan on giving several hats to charity this year. Most of the charities require that you use machine washable yarn for the donations you make. So if you decide you want to join me in making hats for one of the many charitable organizations out there, please keep that in mind.

Hat # 16

This is a hat pattern which I am working on right now. I teach the beginning hat class at the shop and I have had requests to do an intermediate hat. This has been hard for me to come up with since it has been a long time since I was at the intermediate hat level. Honestly, I might never have been there since I was designing my own hats almost since I started knitting them. Anyway, I came up with an idea and this is phase one of it. There will be 2 more phases or maybe 3, we will see. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Hat 13 – Putting on my Top Hat

Yes, Gentle Readers, I have knit a top hat. It is the pattern Marlene from the book Hat Couture. I love this book because the hats are so much fun, with lots of embellishments and such. I will be adding a ribbon and other items after the hat is completely dry. To get the hat to stand up, you must knit at a very tight gauge. I used a size US 10 needle on a super bulky yarn. The yarn is Ella Rae Mega. It is a single spun yarn and it was ideal for this project. I have never knit with yarn before. It is okay to knit with, but it did have some weird strands of something in the yarn, maybe guard hairs or nylon. I am not sure which.  They were easy to pull out so it wasn’t a big deal, just strange. The biggest problem with this hat is the tight gauge. My hands would ache like the dickens after about an hour of knitting. I was a little worried about how it looked before I blocked it, but I love how it turned out. I can’t wait till it is dry and adorned and I can wear it out and about.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Now Back To Our Regularly Scheduled Program

Hat 11 is the Helmet hat from Vogue’s Ultimate Hat Book and knit out of Spud & Chloe’s Sweater. It took forever to knit. It was not hard, but very fiddly. There are cables and twisted stitches. It is supposed to have an extra band thingy at the bottom of the hat. The first time I did the band it was too many stitches, so I pulled it out and tried again. This time I ran out of yarn half through the bind off. I looked at what I had and I did not like it anyway so it came out again and stayed out. I also made it smaller than what the pattern called for. I made it to fit my head.
I liked knitting with the yarn; it held up well to the ripping out I did and it was very soft. It has very nice stitch definition.

Hat 12 is the Northwoods Hat I designed for the MN Shop Hop. I could not knit with the yarn we had for chosen for the hop, so I knit it out of Smart. I found the yarn sort of splity, but I still think the hat turned out. It would have been better in green so the lace would look like trees (which was the look I was going for). Overall, I think it is a great design, if I do say so myself.

Hat 11.25 – new invention. So when I was working on the design for the Northwoods Hat, I wanted to see how the lace looked in the round. I knit a little tiny hat to check it out. In order to block it, I had to find something to stretch it upon. Through much searching, I found this.

After it was all blocked and dry I realized that I had invented a new thing: a clown nose cosy! 
I know, I am a genius! No doubt I will become a millionaire with this great invention.

Saturday, March 29, 2014


I have not been knitting for the past couple of weeks. I started hat 11, but I am not very far on it. This happens on occasion, I just don’t feel like knitting. So I am falling behind on my goal.
What have I been doing instead?? Why needlepoint, of course…

Here is my Spiderman topper I have been working on. It is not quite done (I have to finish the webbing on the uniform). My granddaughter saw it and she asked if it was for her. She LOVES Spiderman and Batman and well any super hero. She is awesome! It is for her of course!

I did pick up a couple of old knitting booklets this week. I bought this one solely because I loved this picture on the back cover. 
Isn’t he the coolest dude ever!? I just loved the gritty New York landscape and the bright blue cardigan.
Once I looked over the booklet, it is actually really good. It has directions for various raglan men’s sweaters. The sizes go up to 56” and include different sleeve and neck options. Well worth the $.25 I paid for it. I am very happy.

I need to start knitting hat # 12 because I need to design a hat for the upcoming Shop Hop. Keep your eyes open for that post. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Hat Number 10

This hat is knit with a new yarn from Lorna’s Laces called Masham Worsted, 70% British Wool & 30% Masham wool. I am not sure which colorway it is, maybe Cornelia. It is a great yarn to knit with. I would love to knit something else with it. 

The pattern is the Beaufort Hat (it is a free Ravelry download). I had originally tried a different pattern and I did not like it all. I have knit this hat pattern before and I really like the pattern. It is easy to remember and it goes quickly. I do not know that this is the best colorway to use for this hat. But I like how it looks like waves. It would think it would be great in a solid or tonal yarn.

Here is a picture of a Masham sheep. Isn’t it the cutest thing??

If you scroll down on this page, you can get more info about them. I am glad that Lorna’s is using a rarer breed for this yarn. There are many breeds of sheep and some are quite rare and if no one uses the wool, they will disappear forever. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Hat number 9 – number 9, number 9, number 9

On The Beatles self-titled album, aka The White Album, there is a song called Revolution 9. This is not the one you have heard on the radio, which is Revolution 1 (I do not know what happened to Revolutions 2-8). Revolution 9 is over 8 minutes long and consists of backwards looping, noise, various statements and John Lennon saying Number 9 over and over again. So you are probably asking what this has to do with my latest hat… well, that is how I felt knitting this hat.
Here is all the mixed up SSK & K2tog
I ripped it back so many times that I felt like it was just repeating it over and over again.  Then when I was almost done with the hat, I discovered that I had mixed up my ssk & k2tog for most of the chart.  Arrggh! I did not rip it out because I was sick to death of the damn thing. The hat is Hepatica from Lace One-Skein Projects and I knit it from Brown Sheep Nature Spun Sport. The problems were all due to me, not the pattern or the yarn. I am just at not good at knitting lace. It is not intuitive to me. I am forever making errors with the symbols, as is evident in this hat.
I want to love knitting lace because I would like to knit a big old lace shawl, but I don’t love it. I don’t hate it, but that is a long way from being able to knit a huge project in it.

Anyway, I blocked it like a regular hat instead of a beret because it is too small for that and I think it looks okay for all of the mistakes. 

Monday, March 03, 2014

Hat # 8 - In Which Things Did Not Go As Planned

This hat is knit with Colinette Point 5 and it is a pattern I improvised.
I bought this yarn with the intention of knitting a certain hat, but when I started it I did not like how the thick and thin nature of the yarn looked. So I started trying different patterns (many). Eventually I decided to cast on with a provisional cast on and do the body in mistake rib. I love mistake rib because it always looks good. Once it was long enough, it took out the provisional cast on and did a 3 needle bind off. Then I picked up around the top edge and knit the crown. It ended up having a little pointy thing at the top which I do not mind as it sort of reminds me of some hats from the 1950s which I have seen (or maybe Genghis Khan). Either way, I am okay with it. I then did single crochet around the bottom edge to even it out a little.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Hat # 7 – A Hat for Janine

I told my friend Janine that I would knit her a hat if she bought the yarn. I asked if she had a pattern in mind and all she said was that she wanted cables.
I looked for a pattern and I could not find any that fit the yarn and the size of Janine’s head, so I designed my own. I found a cable in Barbara Walker’s 2nd Treasury and figured it out to be done in the round.
The yarn is Rowan Renew (which is sadly discontinued) and it was very nice to knit with and I would gladly knit with it again.

I think it is pretty good and Janine liked it. So life is good. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Double the Hats, Double the Fun

Due to circumstances beyond my control, I am going to write about 2 hats in this post.

Hat # 5 – Going for the Gold
On Ravelry, we like to celebrate the Olympic games with a little contest we call the Ravellenic games. Basically, you pick a category and cast on during the opening ceremonies and have to be finished by the closing ceremonies and you knit while watching all the different sports. The object is to choose a project which will challenge you.  I have had this Knit Picks kit for a Andean Chullo for several years. The reason I have never knit it is because I HATE purling in two colors. I cannot purl with my left hand (I have no problem knitting with it). I have to just pick it up with my left hand and wrap the purl around the needle. It takes me forever. So this was a good project for me to challenge myself.

There is a ton of yarn in this kit. I am pretty sure I could make 4 hats just like this with the kit and still have yarn left over.  I am really happy with the way it turned out and I have been wearing it. It is warm and cozy and cute as a button (if I do say so myself).

I would like to talk a little bit about Andean hats… The Andes are in Peru and Bolivia. There men and women (depending on the village) knit brightly colored men’s hats called Chullos. They have detailed patterns, some are geometric and some have animals, but they are all very lovely. The hats are not stranded knitting (which this kit is), but rather they are knit in a type of intarsia in the round. The knitters will also add embellishments like buttons and tassels. I have not added any of those things to my hat, but I think if I do another one, I will make the earflaps in stripes and then add buttons because, well I like buttons!
If you would like to learn more about Andean Knitting, here is a website.
They also have trips for those who are interested. I would very much like to go and see how they do the intarsia in the round. When I have tried to do it, I have not been successful.

Hat # 6 – So cute
This hat is a child size hat made for the shop. We were having a Yarn Tasting and needed a sample knit up in one of the yarns. The pattern is called Lineside Beanie. It is a well written pattern and can be made for newborns to adults. I actually think it is a great pattern for the whole family and think that is a great deal as you can knit it in dk or worsted weight and it would look good on almost everyone. It is a little fiddly at first, but once you get to the body of the hat, it goes really fast.

I think I might be slightly behind in my hat making so I am going to have to make some hats with a little bigger yarn to catch up. 

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Hat # 3 – Oh Voyageur!

This hat is a kit from Imperial Stock Ranch it is the Corps of Discovery. The reason this post is after hat 4 is because I ran out of yarn. This was probably my fault because I always have a problem with row gauge; my rows are always smaller than they should be. I ran out when I had only about 20 rows left. I asked if I could get like 10 – 15 more yards because I figured that would finish it up. The lovely people at Imperial Stock Ranch sent a whole skein. They are awesome.

This pattern (which is available to purchase separately) is really well written. It has great short row directions. But I would advise getting the kit because it comes with the Imperial Stock Ranch’s Columbia yarn (which is fantastic) and is great to knit with.

Columbia yarn is made from Columbia sheep. These sheep are a truly American sheep. They were developed in 1912 by the USDA who wanted a hearty sheep which would thrive in the western United States and provide more wool. I would highly recommend it.  

So, why knit a Voyageur hat? One Christmas (many, many years ago) The Hub & I gave my father-in-law a book about Voyageurs in Minnesota. He was really pleased with it (more than I could have imagined) and he sang a song about Voyageurs. Flash forward to last year when I saw this hat pattern and I thought why not knit that in honor of my father-in-law. If I thought he would wear it, I would give it to him, but I knit him a hat per his request a couple of years ago. 

Monday, February 03, 2014

Hat # 4 - Look Puppies!

What??? Hat # 4, where is hat number 3? There was a slight problem with it and I had to move on to this one. As you know, time and tide waits for no man and I am no exception… So I am proud to present to you hat #4. 

This hat is the February perk at the shop and it is my own design. I am calling it Pups on Parade.
I used Elemental Affects Fingering for the yellow, red and blue and the black is Rowan Angora Haze. I loved working with the Elemental Affects, it is nice and toothy and it works so well for the colorwork. I found the Angora haze easy to knit with, but it is very soft and when I pulled the yarn through the remaining stitches, it broke and I had to patch it together to weave in the ends. But the pups look so nice and fuzzy and I am happy with them.

I think I should have added more rows in the crown so it was longer and less bunchy, but I still like the hat and I would gladly wear it. 

If you like it too, stop into 3 Kittens and pick up a pattern. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Hat #2: 3rd Time is the charm

This hat is called Once Upon a Tam it is a free Ravelry download. It is based on a hat seen on Once Upon a Time (the TV show on ABC) which I like for the lovely hand knits.  This photo is not the best and the color is really darker and prettier. Plus I have not yet blocked the hat. The pattern is really well written. Of course, my row gauge is off as usual so I added some plain knitting rows between the charts. 

Issues: The 1st time I cast on the needle was too large and I did not like how it looked, so I ripped it out. 2nd cast on, I got through row 2 when I realized that I had twisted the stitches and I had to rip it out again. The cast on is 168 stitches, this I a lot of ripping out, just saying.  The 3rd time worked just fine.
I thought about using a larger needle for the body of the hat, but I really like the fabric I got with the 3.

The yarn is Lotus Mimi, it is 100% Mink. It was very nice to knit with (although it was a little slippery) and the end product is soft and light as air. It is fantastic. 

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Hat Number ONE

I cast on my first hat of the year on January 1st and I finished it on January 5th. Not too shabby, if I do say so myself.  The pattern, Twig Lace Cap, is from Lace One Skein Wonders and I made it out of Rowan Pure Wool Worsted. This is a brand new yarn from Rowan and it will be showing up in the shop mid-January. It is a nice yarn, it is machine washable and I enjoyed knitting with it. The pattern was well written and the repeat was easy to memorize once you got going. I did make a mistake, but I do not think it makes a big difference. 

I like this hat. I think it is really pretty.

Hat number two here I come!!