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Slightly Slouchy Hat (Obnoxious Orange)

Posted on by MK Carroll

Slightly Slouchy Hat (Obnoxious Orange)

The Slightly Slouchy Hat pattern was written because a certain surly, sarcastic teenager that I adore enjoys wearing hats that actively annoy people (such as a pilly, linty old rag of a hat, worn to a wedding reception). This teenager is a fan of bright orange, and at the time that I was writing up the pattern, I didn't have any on hand. Bright stripes of Firefly butt were, fortunately, obnoxious enough, but I still wanted to make one in a bright orange. I asked for recommendations on Twitter, and Beverly of PoMo Golightly graciously passed along a skein of yarn that turned out to be just right. The shades of orange shift and flicker just a bit, giving it a little more interest than a flat monochrome would.

Slightly Slouchy Hat (Knit Picks Chroma Fingering)

Posted on by MK Carroll

Slightly Slouchy Hat (Chroma Fingering)

A little while back I ordered 1 ball of Knit Picks Chroma Fingering in colorway "Mix Tape" so I could play with it and see how the long color changes would look. Since I wanted to try using a fingering weight yarn with my Slightly Slouchy crochet hat pattern, I picked up a size E hook and got started. I did wind up unraveling the beginning, snipping off the first color, and then starting again - because no matter what, a big pink circle at the top of a hat is going to make someone think of...something other than a hat.

Mix Tape

The colors are wonderful, aren't they? I like the way the hot brights are balanced out by the dark grey.

This is part of my getting a jump on the winter holidays project list. The Slightly Slouchy Hat has been teen-approved - the Firefly stripes version was made 'specially for a smart, sarcastic teen who enjoys the added obnoxiousness potential of having the colors of a Lampyridae backside involved. Your mileage may vary.

Pattern: Slightly Slouchy Hat (free! - in US/Canada and UK/Antipodes versions)
Yarn: Knit Picks, Chroma Fingering Sock Yarn, colorway Mix Tape

Fresh Designs Crochet: Inspiration Board (Hats)

Posted on by MK Carroll

Foliage

Photo: "Foliage" by Robyn Jay

The color story for Fresh Designs Crochet: Hats is "Foliage" - which is a pretty broad-ranging color story, since that includes all the seasons and plants of all sorts. While the color stories aren't necessarily intended to be a theme, if the inspiration strikes that way, I say run with it. Hats are worn all year round in all kinds of climates; what kind of foliage evokes a hat for hot, humid days? a walk in cool, windy woods? sinking up to your knees in snow? a rainy season?

More recently, I read Turning Writers Into M*********** Rockstars on the Terrible Minds blog (FYI, the blog post title and body include strong language). It includes:
Writers are so polite. Their hobbies tend to match. “Oh, I collect first editions of classic American novels!” “I crochet!” “I have a sugar glider named Lord Byron!”

We’re done with that. It’s time to crank up the volume knob, break it off, and stab the shard of plastic into someone’s neck. Authors need bigger, badder, waaaaay more f*****-up hobbies.

Crochet is polite? The writer, Chuck Wendig, probably hasn't heard about yarnbombing/yarnstorming or the Crochet Liberation Front. It got me to wondering on Twitter what a crocheted Rockstar Writer hat could look like, and over the weekend, I started playing around with some ideas myself. I'd love to see yours.

Beatnik Pullover Sweater: twisted rib comparison

Posted on by MK Carroll

The Stockinette blog has a post on how she knit her Beatnik in the round, with seamless set-in sleeves. It looks fabulous on her! It also looks like this sweater doesn't really need seams for structure. So I decided to start a sleeve in the round to see how it compared.

Comparing twisted ribbing

No contest. On top: twisted rib knit in the round on dpns. On the bottom: twisted rib knit flat. I'm glad I'd only just finished the back hem; less for me to frog and re-do.

Knitting a sleeve early on in this process should help me get an idea of the true gauge (the best swatch is a finished project, after all), plus a sleeve is a good on-the-go piece to have in my project bag. I don't think I could successfully work on the cabled body of this sweater at an SNB or in the car.

Beatnik pullover sweater: casting on

Posted on by MK Carroll

Beatnik: back ribbing

So that bag of Berroco Remix I bought along with Wendy Bernard's book Custom Knits, to knit the Ingenue pullover sweater with, after multiple swatches and much Ravelry research, is now being knit into the Beatnik pullover sweater. All of my swatching was suggesting that this wasn't the yarn for an Ingenue; getting to gauge would have made a very stiff fabric and I didn't want to have to redesign the sweater to suit my gauge instead. Just going ahead and designing a sweater for myself gripped me for long enough to sit down with Sweater 101 and take notes, and then Beatnik popped up in Friends Favorites on Ravelry and I was smitten. Although I know swatches lie, my swatches suggest I knit this one size smaller (the 40" instead of the 44"), so that's what I'm doing...even though the sweater is knit flat, in pieces, so trying it on as I go won't be an easy option. I'm also using 4.5 mm needles to knit the twisted rib hems, because I couldn't find 4.25 mm needles. So far, those are the only changes I have made to the pattern; once I get to the armscyes and sleeves it may be a different story, as I have broad shoulders and big upper arms.

I will note that knitting twisted rib in a non-stretchy yarn is not the most fun thing, especially when the needles are heavy enough to slide right out of the stitches if I'm not careful. Added bonus for me preferring to knit "combination" style, which means that the standard instructions for how to knit a twisted rib does not result in a twisted rib when I do it. It's been a little slower for me because I had to pay attention to the stitches and make sure I was twisting them.

Pattern: Beatnik by Norah Gaughan, published in Knitty Deep Fall 2010
Yarn: Berroco Remix