March 30, 2008

free pattern: big bulky bucket hat!

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yeah! i knit this up in no time, as an experiment, trying out this top-down idea with some gorgeous handspun, and it worked out so well that i decided to write up the pattern and share it with you!! because it’s knit top-down, you can easily make it exactly as long as you want without having to guess when to start decreasing. (or maybe it’s just me that has a hard time with that…)

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i made this pattern into a pdf for free download if you prefer it that way. mostly so i can put the pdf on ravelry. yay ravelry!

and the pattern:

you’ll need about 80-90 yards of bulky yarn (handspun works great!), a set of size 11 dpns, and a crochet hook

co 4 sts on dpns
join around, kfb into each of the 4 co sts
-easiest way for me to do this:
..co 2 sts on each of 2 needles
..kfb into first st with 1 needle, kfb into 2nd st with 2nd needle
..kfb into first st on 2nd needle with 3rd needle, kfb into last st with 4th needle
there should now be 2 sts on each of 4 needles
kfb first st of each needle as you knit around, until you have 15 sts on each (so 60 sts total)
knit around about 9 rows, or about 2 1/2 inches, or until flattened hat measures about 6 inches from top
kfb first st of each needle, one round
knit 2 rounds with no increases
repeat those 3 rows 2 more times
knit one more increase round which should give you 19 sts per needle
bind off, crochet a trim to prevent curling (in the example i single crocheted around twice, into the back loops only)
block as needed

if you don’t want a crochet edge, you could probably knit the last 4 or 5 rows in seed stitch instead.

depending on your yarn, you may want to use make 1 increases instead of kfb for the bottom section to prevent unwanted bumps.

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for my hat i used yarn spun from a milky robot batt, plied with olive-colored wool dyed by insubordiknit, with a bunch of hemp thrown in here and there.  the colors are more accurate in the yarn photos than in the hat photos, which look a bit too bright.  and the trim is handspun by milky robot! a little mini-skein of beauty. i love handspun yarn so much!!

Filed under: general crafts,knitting,photos,tutorials,yarn — leethal @ 10:41 pm

March 28, 2008

life news and fun photos

i just want to let everyone know i’m alive and well, as i realize i’ve been absent from blog world for a few weeks now. some good things have been happening, to the point of overwhelming me with my lack of time to do everything rad that i need/want to do. so… this led to me… quitting my day job!! well, first, having a talk with my boss about dropping my hours down to 3 days a week. then, yesterday, him deciding that wouldn’t work and me saying ok, then i guess i have to quit. it’s something i had thought about doing, but not actually planned to do for awhile, so i was a bit freaked out at first, but then i started to get pretty excited. so now i’m a mixture of: relieved, happy, terrified, hopeful, worried, optimistic….. so i’ll still be working full time for about a month-ish, trying to buy nothing and save as much as possible, and trying to line up freelance stuff. my plan is to try out having no day job at all, for at least a couple months, see how it goes, and if it’s not working out well, find a part time job at a yarn store or something else craft-related to make things less scary.

so there’s my life update for ya. that and, pete dislocated his kneecap the other day, ouch!! so i’ve spent the last couple days taking care of him, watching lots of dvds and knitting. went to the hospital up on the hill for the first time, crazy drive! awesome architecture though… and i’m working on knitting my first top-down hat (that’s not rectangular), improvising with handspun. if it works it’ll be supercool, i think.

i’ll be updating with some specific news now and then as things become official and stuff. for now, i’ll leave you with some photos. first, some of my favorite moments from the craft release party!

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the best moment – that happy girl won my record bowl set in the raffle and was SO excited! hehe yay!!

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crotch patch!! yeah!!

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and, a couple weeks ago we went to edgefield and i took a ton of photos on film! whoa! i’ve uploaded the regular 35mm, shot with a canon ae-1 and an old olympus from probably the 80s that my uncle gave me. i also shot a roll of 35mm through a medium format box camera, and a bunch of 600 polaroids, all of which i need to scan when i get a chance. film rocks!!

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Filed under: personal,photos,portland stuff — leethal @ 11:14 pm

March 7, 2008

Craft party this Sunday!!

craft release party!!

if you’re in portland, i hope you can make it to twisted on sunday!! hosted by two of my favorite crafty people – susan and diane – and held at one of my favorite crafty places, it should be an awesome time. here is more, copied from twisted’s newsletter:

If you are anywhere near Portland this weekend, please come by on Sunday for the CRAFT magazine issue 06 launch party from 1-4pm. It’s a great before- or after-Crafty Wonderland stop, with snacks and crafting and yarn and tea, oh, my! CRAFT, if you have yet to see it, is a clever, fun, and fabulous new-ish magazine, all about the crafty lifestyle. The fiesta here in Portland is being co-sponsored by two of Portland’s craftiest chicas, Susan Beal (of West Coast Crafty, PDX Supercrafty, and Susan Stars, and author of the new book Bead Simple), and Diane Gilleland (a.k.a. Sister Diane of the Church of Craft, the force behind DIY Alert, and the CraftyPod blog and podcast). Whew! Moxie, who created the insanely fantabulous monsters pictured on the front of CRAFT 06, is heading down from Seattle for some demos, and there will be the hands-on table where you can craft a few of your very own panty-hose flowers as seen in this issue. We also have a ton of projects that are in the magazine in the shop, so you can actually SEE the projects you may choose to MAKE from CRAFT. Did you know that there are project articles from Diane, Susan, and Lee Meredith in this issue of CRAFT? Three amazingly crafty Portland women in one issue of this magazine! Go Portland!

they mentioned me! haha rad! i love twisted so much… and speaking of twisted, i’m gonna be teaching a knitting class there! i’m so excited about it (and nervous!!). i’ll give more details when i know the dates.

i’m hoping to make it to crafty wonderland, the new sustainability fair at the hip drip cafe, then twisted. fun day!

Filed under: lots of links,portland stuff — leethal @ 10:21 pm

March 4, 2008

new variations on the spiraling stripes hats!

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so i wanted to try out a few different yarns on a spiraling stripes hat, to see how they knit up, with plans to show an example of how you can turn this kind of hat into a stash-busting scrap hat by striping between multiple yarns. well, the majority of the yarn i used for this hat was a bit bulkier than my normal spiral hat yarns, which caused the hat to be much wider than expected, making it into a slouchy, kind of beret-style hat!

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so that experiment led to more! and now i’ve added a new page to the pattern pdf with these variations. i’m posting all the info from the pdf page here, so if you already bought the pattern you’re not missing anything, but if you’d still like to have it all together just let me know and i’ll send you the new version. i also lowered the quality of the pdf a little so i can send it through yahoo (now it’s 8mb instead of 10+) – i can’t see any quality difference when i look at it so i think it’s cool. anyone who makes pdfs out there – what quality do you make them? i’m new to these whole pdf thing…

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so here is all the new slouchy modification info, pasted from the pdf:

To make your spiral hat into a slouchy style version instead of fitted, you basically just need to make it wider – so easy! The brimmed versions should stay put just fine, but the no-brim style might need a crochet trim to bring it in around the bottom. Here are some specific ways to make a wider, slouchy hat…

Use fatter yarn. When your gauge goes from around 4.5 stitches/inch to around 4 stitches/inch, this causes a significant width difference in the wedges – around 1 inch wider per wedge. This means you can knit the pattern exactly as it’s written and end up with a slouchy hat if your yarn is on the bulky side. This hat was knit from the clockwise spiraling no-brim pattern, using mostly yarn that got a 4 stitches/inch gauge:

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Add more wedges. Just keep knitting wedges until the hat is as slouchy as you want – 2 extra wedges works very well (so 11 wedges total). This hat was knit using the counter-clockwise no-brim pattern, 11 wedges instead of 9, with 2 rows of single crochet around the bottom to bring it in so it stays on a head. It did need to be blocked, which just meant wetting it, squeezing it dry in a towel, and drying it flat as shown in the picture.

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Make each wedge a little wider. Add one extra rows 1+2 repeat to each wedge, increasing the overall width of the hat. This hat was knit using the clockwise straight brim pattern, with one extra repeat per wedge, everything else exactly the same. It can still be pulled down over the ears, and the garter stitch brim holds it on in the beret-style, so no extra shaping is needed.

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and…. Color Variations:

Instead of using a self-striping yarn, you can give your hat a different look by using 2 or more solid yarns. Use 3 rotating colors and switch between them at the top, between each wedge, for wide spirals. For this method, the clockwise-spiraling styles are recommended. Or make a scrap-busting many-colored hat, each wedge using a different yarn. You’ll need approximately 10 yards of each yarn.

Or use 2 colors and switch every two rows, along the bottom edge of the hat, for a more stripey look.

As shown above, a variegated yarn won’t show the spiral design clearly, but it does make for a cool swirly look.

so that’s the pdf page. a few other notes, things i learned from my experimentation. i recommend going with the clockwise versions for any slouchy style hat you want to make, the shaping just seems to work better. i don’t have an example to show you of that 2 colors striping every 2 rows idea (i’ve tried it, but in hats that i can’t show you yet, secret hats!), but it does look awesome, trust me. i think this striping style looks rad with the counter-clockwise spirals, but it’ll work with any of the designs. if you try any of these ideas, i wanna see!!

oh yeah, one other thing! those braids… when i switch colors at the top between wedges, i cut the yarn around 6 inches, and then when the hat is done i’m left with 18 or more ends. braiding them together like that not only looks cute (i think), but it also means no ends to weave in (none!).

(the pattern pdf is right at the top of my store’s main page for easy access, and of course there are kits too!)

Filed under: general crafts,kit creations,knitting,leethal store,photos — leethal @ 8:44 pm
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