Friday, December 9, 2016

Episode 129 - Still Knitting Hats

I think hats are great little projects. You can knit a challenging charted cabled hat, or you can knit a simpler stockinette in-the-round hat. You can knit a hat in chunky yarn and big needles, or you can use up the leftovers from a skein of sock yarn with tiny needles. If the hat doesn't fit, you won't have invested too much time, and hey–it's a hat. It will fit someone after all. So if you aren't too particular about whether you end up with an exact size, you can forgo the swatch and just start knitting. That is the way most of my hats this year came into being. No swatch, match yarn to needles, figure out a cast-on number that will fit someones head, and go. They are all going to charity organizations so I have no doubt each hat will eventually find its way to a head that it fits.

In addition to it being the cold weather season, it is also the season of holidays, of being busy, and often being pulled in too many directions at once. I find that quick small projects satisfy my need to keep my fingers busy and my compulsion to knit, as well as provide satisfaction of finishing something useful.

When I teach, I like to start knitters on hats because there is a lot to learn in the making of the humble hat. You cast on, learn your knit (and maybe purl) stitches, you decrease, then you bind off. All in one small package. I find a beginning knitter has a higher chance of success with a smaller project. I like to give my students the best chance for success.

So yes, even though Gayle and I are sweater knitters, we do find out thoughts turning to hats every year about this time. We've stalked some cool free patterns available on Ravelry this time, so take a look. There are others (we can't mention them all!), so please feel free to share more (both free and patterns for sale) in the discussion thread for this episode in our group on Ravelry. We'd love to hear from you.
- Sharlene

 What are we wearing?
Featherweight Cardigan by Hannah Fettig
Sharlene's tunic length Featherweight Cardigan (and bonus photo of Noni!)
Citadel by Joji Locatelli
Gayle's Citadel

What are we stalking?
Troll by Gabriela Widmer Hanke
Chunky Harvest Hats by Susan B. Anderson
Sharlene's apple hat
Standing Rock Hat by Lavanya Patricella
Pussyhat Project by Kat Coyle (knit flat)
KitKat Hat by Andre Sue (knit in the round)
Brimming by Lori Puthoff
Clio by Elizabeth Doherty
Phoebe yarn from Quince and Company
Boreal Forest Cowl by Renée Callahan
Boreal Forest Hat by Renée Callahan

What are we knitting?
Sockhead Slouch Hat by Kelly McClure
Big Old Coat by Joji Locatelli
Sharlene's Big Old Coat
Bleached by Amy Miller
Silk single yarn from Western Sky Knits
Project Peace by Christina Campbell
Gayle's sock yarn blanket

What have we finished?
Donation hats 12, 11, 10, and 9
Granito by Joji Locatelli
Sharlene's Granito
Magnolia Luxe yarn from Western Sky Knits
Spiral Hat by Laura Kolarik
Gayle's Spiral Hat
Bankhead Hat by Susie Gourlay
Gayle's Bankhead Hat
Simple Skyp Sock by Adrienne Ku
Gayle's Skyp socks
Vector by Katya Frankel

Episode 129 audio

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Friday, November 25, 2016

Episode 128 - Something a little different

This episode is a little different. We want to chat about some patterns, books, and one kit that have caught our eye over the past few months. Many of these patterns will make items that would be fabulous gifts, or the patterns and books themselves might make great gifts for a knitter you know. There are lots of options! Knowing that this is a busy week for those celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday here in the US, we thought it might be a good time for this alternative episode.

Enjoy! :)

What are we wearing?
Cowl Neck Vest by Cecily Glowik MacDonald
Sharlene's Cowl Neck Vest
Jenica Hoodie by Joji Locatelli
Gayle's Jenica Hoodie
Erin Heritage Wool Series from madelinetosh (now discontinued)

Point/Counterpoint, Volume 1
Allichka by Kino Knits
Snowfall on the Mountains Shawl by Sarah Schira
Rainy Season by Kino Knits
Beach House Breeze Cowl by Sarah Schira

The Knitter's Journal from Swatch to Stash

Gansey Kids by Meg Roke
Coastal Capelet
Inshore Legwarmers
Cullercoats Cap

You Can Knit That by Amy Herzog
Revive Cardigan
Entangled Raglan
Woodcutter's Vest

The Zen Variations for The Fibre Company
Takumi by Renee Callahan
Kaizen by Renee Callahan
Acadia from The Fibre Company

Crochet Therapy: The Soothing Art of Savoring Each Stitch by Betsan Corkhill
(patterns not on Ravelry as of 11/24/16)

Flying Geese Textured Cowl kit

Norah Gaughan's Knitted Cable Sourcebook

Thanks to the authors, publishers, and manufacturers who have shared these products with us. 

Episode 128 audio

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Friday, November 11, 2016

Episode 127 - Knitting as usual

What are we wearing?
Viajante by Martina Behm
skirts from StitchesWest (does anyone remember this vendor?)

What have we been stalking? 
Spree Socks by Kemper Wray
The Margot Hat by Margot Allen
Tied Knots by Justyna Lorkowska
The Photographer Hat by Lavanya Patricella
Knitvent 2016 Window No. 1 by Helen Stewart
Indie Gift-A-Long group on Ravelry
Elizabeth Doherty's hats
Pour Moi by Lori Versacci
Cadenza by Cristina Ghirlanda
Ebony by Cristina Ghirlanda
Ethos by Cristina Ghirlanda
Dado by Cristina Ghirlanda

What are we knitting?
Granito by Joji Locatelli
Spiral Hat by Laura Kolaric
Simple Skyp Socks by Adrian Ku
Citadel by Joji Locatelli

What have we finished?
Entrchat by Lisa Chemery
Helena by Allison Will Green
Baby Sophisticate by Linden Down
Kilbride by Wooly Wormhead

Where are they now?
Breezy by Hannah Fettig
Sharlene's Breezy
tosh lace from madelinetosh
Oranje by Ann Weaver
Gayle's Oranje
Laika by Ysolda Teague
Gayle's Laika
Sharlene's Laika

NorCal Knitting Retreat Ravelry group

Episode 127 audio

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Friday, October 28, 2016

Episode 126 - Finish your knitting!

What are we wearing?
Newsom by Bristol Ivy
Dragonfly Fibers Djinni Sock
Sharlene's Newsom
Red Robin Shawl by Helen Stewart
Gayle's Red Robin

What are we stalking?
Favorite Things (basic + gray) by Joji Locatelli 
Granito - dropped sleeve pullover with pockets
Trevor - a-line tunic with stripes
 All I Want - two-color triangular shawl
Textured Pullover - worsted weight striped pullover

What are we knitting?
Granito by Joji Locatelli
Western Sky Knits Magnolia Luxe
Sharlene is also knitting default hats!
Baby Sophisticate by Linden Down
Citadel by Joji Locatelli
Kilbride by Wooly Wormhead
Snowflake Party by Martina Behm

What have we finished?
KitKat Hat by Andre Sue
Sharlene's KitKat
Sharlene's basic hat
Cria by Ysolda Teague (still needs buttons!)
Sharlene's Cria
Sans Serif by Elizabeth Doherty
Gayle's Sans Serif
Tupshin by Erin Birnel
Gayle's Tupshin socks
Skykomish by Lee Meredith
Gayle's Skykomish
Sockhead Slouch Hat by Kelly McClure
Gayle's Sockhead

Finishing links
The Knitter's Book of Finishing Techniques
Wooly Wormhead website
Grafting (kitchener stitch) tutorials
Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-off