Posts Tagged ‘hats’

Knitting needles have been clicking and sewing machine needles have been seaming. The creativity that I’ve been seeing and enjoying is beautiful.

The other day I stopped by Avenue Yarns to visit Janie who leads a Knit Lab on Sundays (noon to 2pm)  so that I could thank her in person for the beautiful quilt that she and her sister Lyda gifted me. It had been “special delivered” to my home by Karen K. It is stunningly beautiful and I will enjoy it for many moons. In fact, it is the perfect size to hang on a chair in the studio….not only will I get to use it but I will enjoy the beauty of it every day.

Janie surprised (again) with another treasure….a hat knit in Koigu. The yarn is like silk to the hand, in this case literally the head. The pattern comes from “Vogue Ultimate Hat Book”. I tried it on with the ties and brooch in back, but in fact it can be worn with ties on the side.


Here are some other knit hats which have so generously and loving been knit by Barbara and, Alison and Juel. Let’s throw in the last couple off my needles…..the gray slouch and the red tower cap.


Friend Juel’s sewing machine has been steaming! She whipped out a few fleece hats!

And there are those hats that been been commercially crafted……a beauty unto their own. Thanks to all who gifted these.

IMG_0358My latest silliness includes this “Batman” cap. I had to let my nephew Daniel, who is a Batman geek and who also just began his first teaching job,  see it right away.Thank heavens for today’s technology…..I was able to send him photo via text. He loved but did suggest “dork” to me. Haha!

My thoughts about hats…..I love them and as long as I really have a need to wear now I love the different looks. Here are some from my closet.

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It’s time to give that update which I mentioned  back on Jul 2 on why I’ve been “away”.

IMG_0346The easiest way to let you all know that I was diagnosed with lymphoma on June 9 is to share my CaringBridge site with you. It was a sudden trip to emergency on May 24 that brought all this to light. I am now in the midst of chemo treatment with the last of 6 sessions scheduled for October 24. So far, I am on track with the treatment schedule and the prognosis is good. The specifics of this can be found on Carolyn and Mathilda……Mathilda being assigned the name to this tumor that is going to waltz right out of my body.

As I heal (lots of rest as well as exercise with Lucy dog and Bill to keep my body strong through these treatments), I have been knitting and sewing. Oh…..and truth be known I have been become obsessed with some of the mysteries on Acorn TV. I finished watching the  Inspector George Gently Series and now onto the Vera series. I should be done with that just about the time that the next season of Longmire airs.

I was recently possessed to knit a slouchy hat to add to the collection of wonderful hats that I have received. The pattern of inspiration for this top-down knit was featured on page 122 of 60 Quick Luxury Knits from Casade Yarns. As I often do, I see a pattern and then I make modifications.

  • I decided to use Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece  as I wanted cotton with just a little wool against my head. Of course changing from merino wool/silky wool to cotton/wool changed the drape of the hat. I am not unhappy with the drape, but think I will knit it again in wool/silk combo which will have a different body that  I can wear for special occasions.
  • The needles sizes used for Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece  were: 6 for the first section of top and 5 for the remainder of the hat.
  • I eliminated the top-notch i-cord detail as I did not like that look.
  • I changed the first section that included the increases from 4 stitches to 128 stitches to circular stockinette stitch as I did not like the way the increases set up in the seed stitch. I then knit 2 rows of reverse stockinette so that I could create separation between the next pattern of seed stitch.
  • With the cap of the hat completed, I then decreased stitches to 112 rather than 120. How did I decide that? I measured my head and then decided a 1/2 – 1 ” ease would be okay. Fact of the matter here is that I forgot that I do not have the volume of full head of hair to make hat fit a bit better. It works out okay…..but does create more slouch.
  • A tip that was shared for sizing for a top-down hat is to put it onto waste yarn when it is “full size” and then try on to be sure that circumference is correct for your head. My experience is that the hat wanted to fan out so it was not a good fit method. However, I am thinking if I had tied the waste yarn to the size as it lay flat the fit technique would have been more successful.
  • I changed the i-cord trim to a contrasting color. I also followed the i-cord pattern as described for an applied 4-stitch i-cord.
  • The last change I made was to the finished edge i-cord. I knew there was an applied i-cord out there that had a slip stitch involved that created a tighter lay of the i-cord to the knitted fabric edge. Off to google I went. I found this applied i-cord technique on the Berroco website. Here is my presentation of method.
  • For the blocking, I used the wet block method. I washed it by hand in Eucalan and a splash of shite vinegar (to set the contrasting color). The next step was to squeeze the excess moisture out and then set up to dry. In this case, I did not want a crease in the hat from laying flat so I stuffed it with a towel.
  • When the hat was almost dry, I tossed it into the dryer on UltraCare to complete the drying process.

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This photo clearly does not do Debra’s work justice…envision!!

Several baby items popped up this week. Debra finished her Textured Interweave Baby Blanket (actual name of pattern)….the subtle color variegated choice with the detailed stitching pattern was perfect. She did labor a bit over some mis-knit stitches…but not to worry she was able to get back on track with either my help or her own. I love this design and I think I have to knit it….I know there are babies on the horizon in this family. You can find the pattern at Ravelry….it’s a free download. A shout out to the designer for a lovely design!

This past Saturday PJ came with two delights….well really four. There were socks and booties knit from her leftover sock yarn. They are so darn sweet and evoked many noises of delight! Then she showed her reversible baby hat knit from left over sock yarn. I think I have to take this idea and knit this for my Idaho nephew for Christmas…..well maybe even my Iowa nephew. They both live in spots where it gets darn cold in the winter.

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No...it wasn't cold...this photo was taken last year!

No…it wasn’t cold…this photo was taken last year!

We have much to celebrate (besides our love of knitting)  in our knitting groups….it seems that we had several celebrations since Stitches. While some of us were  dining out on the Friday night at Stitches we treated three of our gang for their birthdays – Karen K, Patricia and Sheri. Great food and drinks….and, of course, conversation.

March brought more birthdays to shout out about…..Cameron treated the Friday morning group to an afternoon bowling party. Oh what fun….and what interesting bowling scores for many of us.

The most recent was just last Saturday when we  celebrated Katie’s (of the Saturday group) birthday. Food is always part of our celebrations….there was pineapple, strawberries, homemade macaroons, and my now “infamous” baked oatmeal. I discovered this recipe in a health cookbook a few years back and have served it several times. Imagine my pleasure when Shari S. said her husband enjoys it so much that it is the breakfast dish that he brings to a bi-monthly business breakfast meeting when it is his turn. This dish has become a staple at breakfast/brunch gatherings. The recipe is forthcoming…watch for next post!

Look what Diane made for Katie!

Birthday CardBack of the card




And all the while we keep on knitting….check out Maurie’s latest hat!

Her latest hat...more details to follow!

Her latest hat…more details to follow!

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Whoops…..fell down into several holes again with the “family history research hole” being the primary one….can hardly believe my fingers have not been tapping, or is that typing, on this Skein Lane blog.! I have been knitting (of course)…writing on two of my other blogs.. namely Fred and Alta: Memoirs by Their Grandchildren….and What Are We Doing Now.

As always much to share….tonight it is an invitation to join PJ and Terry B….and many others who knit for Afghans for Afghans.

Here is the invitation from PJ…. afghans for Afghans is a humanitarian and educational people-to-people project that sends hand-knit and crocheted wool blankets and garments to the beleaguered people of Afghanistan. Join us!


Dear Knitters and Crocheters for Afghanistan,

We are starting a new campaign and invite you to join us!

We are supplying Aschiana with wool SOCK, MITTENS, and HATS for sizes 5 years to adult.

Aschiana is a long-time, well-respected non-governmental organization in Afghanistan. Our wool gifts will be transported through their
American support group here. Aschiana is known for their service to street children. In fact, in the past, some of our hand-made items have been distributed to Aschiana programs by our former partner Church World Service.

We are in need of wool socks (knit only/no slippers), mittens, and hats ONLY. (We will NOT be collecting sweaters, vests, or blankets.)

Aschiana serves those with the most hardship, those with the least opportunity — with centers for street children, vocational training
and education, and a medical clinic. Aschiana distributes humanitarian supplies to internally-displaced people in the large camps (refugees
in their own homeland) — where the least assistance gets through. Our wool socks, mittens, and hats will be most useful to the children and
adults without permanent homes.

Aschiana representatives have reviewed samples of our wool socks, mittens, and hats and are pleased with the high-quality durable wool,
the cheerful colors, and the individuality of each item. Most relief organization want only cash donations to buy bulk goods closer to the
need. We’re honored that Ashiana would like to take our handmade gifts directly to Afghan children, women, and men.

You can read more about the organization and transport methods on the Afghans for Afghans website.

Some notes for your review:

  • Hats
    • Be sure that hats cover ears.
    • Hats need some stretch for comfort over forehead.
  • Socks
    • Basic socks with proper heels and coverage for the lower leg (no booties or slippers or tube socks).
    • Any foot length (measuring from back of heel to tip of toe) from about 5.5″ – 10″ will be useful.– Socks for knitters only (crochet   does not work well for socks).
  • Mittens
    •   No fingerless styles.
    •   Make sure wrist-ribbing is long enough for warmth.
    •   Careful to avoid holes at the thumb increases.

Use wool (or other animal fiber) to provide maximum utility in harsh weather. Please review our memo on wool and fiber content —

Please avoid white and very light colors that soil more easily. Afghans like all colors — bright and cheery palettes! No camoflage/military-looking yarn. Use up those wool oddballs.

Knit or crochet your favorite pattern or try something new. Classic patterns are best.

Avoid lacy or airy patterns. Items must be very warm and durable for the harshest winter weather. Most of the recipients will have few or no possessions.

Test your garment on your own children or a neighbor’s child or yourself … to double-check proper fit.

Please remember, send only what is specifically requested in our guidelines. Cargo space is precious, and we can only send what is specifically requested and needed.

At this time, we are aiming for a July due date to receive your gifts
here in San Francisco. We will likely need to have our cartons sorted
and repacked and at the domestic departure location in August, when
they will await their September airlift.

You may send in your packages whenever ready. We sort and pack as the packages arrive to monitor our progress.


In partnership with the San Francisco office of the American Friends Service Committee, we’ve been at this together for more than 10 years
— reaching out to the Afghan people on the other side of the world with our handmade, practical wool gifts to express friendship and caring during wartime. We’re determined to continue our tradition.

Our deepest gratitude to the volunteers who have been contributing for many years, and welcome to the new volunteers who keep our momentum

For your summer-time knitting, these small items should be appealing! We hope you will join us.

Thank you for your generosity and support and for taking action with your needles and hooks and your hearts and hands.

We’ll write again soon with a new link on our website with campaign details. In the meantime, we didn’t want to wait any longer to get this campaign going!

Ann and colleagues


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