on hats

My knitting manifesto continues…

I do not knit hats to keep my head warm.

I knit hats because they’re quick. Most hats, even complicated ones on tiny needles can be finished, with focus, in a few nights.

I knit hats because they can be simple enough for an absolute beginner and still be pretty and stunning. But try something more complicated, like cables or colorwork or intarsia, and you can challenge yourself and still have the thrill of accomplishment.

I knit hats because decreases swirling around the top of a hat please me. Decreases in perfectly straight lines please me. Hidden decreases in cabled or color stranded designs please me.

I absolutely love knitting hats.

I recently finished knitting a few hats.

The pattern is my own End of May hat. The construction is one of my favorites. Begin with a regular cast on and knit the lining for a few inches. After a purl round to fold the hem, you get right to the good stuff…colorwork on every round. The chart is wide, repeated only four times on each round. I love the result – flowery and bold.

End of May

The lining is sewn down after you’ve fastened off the last of the stitches at the top. I have tried securing the lining while knitting, but I think the seam is slightly less defined if you do it with needle and thread at the end. I like holding one color of yarn in each hand for colorwork (and that’s the method I teach in my Intro to Stranding class). The work progresses quickly and it is fascinating seeing the pattern emerge.

End of May

I used Berocco Ultra Alpaca for the original version of the End of May hat and the black/purple hat. The yarn is growing on me…it’s affordable, the colors are glorious, the drape, the hand! I highly recommend using the Ultra Alpaca for this pattern.

The green/gray hat above is Cascade 220. Nice, but not as nice as the Ultra Alpaca. For the lining of both hats, I used a scrap of the softest sport weight yarn I had lying around.

I need to knit another End of May hat in the same colors as the original because I gave the original away to be auctioned off in the Denali Education Center Annual Auction. (Yes, it was dumb to send away my original, but it was for a good cause!) I also sent along a Noro version of my Two by One corrugated ribbed hat. They were both purple-y and looked good as a pair – one adult-sized and one kid-sized.


My family long ago outgrew the need for hats to keep warm, but I’m knitting more hats. Always knitting more hats. I love knitting hats.

ETA: End of May on Ravelry, Two by One on Ravelry
Shop all my patterns on my patterns page.

what just happened (manifesto)

I knit a little shawl.

silk kerchief

It all happened so quick I barely remember the details. I didn’t enter the project in Ravelry (until just now). I didn’t write down my color numbers. I think I used a size 3 needle but maybe it was a 4. It was as if I went away for a few days and came back with a little shawl but couldn’t remember how I got the little shawl.

silk kerchief

Here’s what I know. Noro was on sale at the yarn shop and I have wanted to knit this little (but pricey) Silk Kerchief from Zeitgeist Yarns for a long time. So I got the yarn on sale, but I was in the middle of Jerry’s Stripey Sweater. Although I usually don’t give myself rules like “finish such-and-such before you start so-and-so;” I did this time. I made myself finish Jerry’s sweater and then very soon after (mere minutes) I cast on for this bitty shawl.

silk kerchief

And then Lisa and I were knitting it as a 2-person knitalong but because I went on the bender I finished weeks ago and she’s just now getting to the bind off. The garter stitch messes with my head in the best way and I love it so much.

silk kerchief

If I could only ever knit garter stitch, I think I might be okay with that. In fact, that’s definitely part of my manifesto. If all the other stitches in the world were outlawed and garter stitch were the only thing we could knit, I’d be pretty happy. I love the challenge of knitting, but sometimes the simplest things can be awfully rewarding. Even if you can’t quite remember how you got to the end.

Notes on a Manifesto

Thanks to Twitter, I knew about Interweave’s  Hurt Book Sale moments after it went live and had placed my order within minutes. One of the books I got was Nancy Bush’s Folk Knitting in Estonia and I have already read the whole thing. I’m almost embarrassed to admit how surprised I was to learn about all the varied techniques for casting on and other new (to me) things such as the Roositud Inlay.

One sentence that caught my eye is from the pattern introduction for Laila’s Socks on p. 86, where Bush remarks: “I didn’t worry about where the stripes met at the beginning of the rounds, since I’ve noticed that many folk knitters weren’t the least bothered by little ‘jogs.'”


I’ve been thinking about jogs a whole bunch lately with all the knitting I’ve been doing on Jerry’s striped sweater. The picture above shows a sleeve with the increases and beginning of round business all happening together. A hot joggy mess, if there ever was one. I have done nothing at all to make anything jogless, because I actually like the jogs and it’ll look a lot better once I neatly weave in ends and block.

There are many resources in magazines and online for making jogless stripes. I’ve tried it before and I think I prefer to know where my beginning of round is. It reminds me my garment was handknit. It’s not perfect, but it’s mine and I made it just the way I wanted. I was relieved to hear, from Nancy Bush of all people, that jogs are okay.

This is all part of my Knitting Manifesto, which I’ve been writing in my head since, well, I guess since I started knitting. It changes often; sometimes dramatically (remember when I used to think garter stitch was too plain?!?) or sometimes just a little (like now with my stand on jogs). But it drives my knitting choices and it influences how I feel about my craft, my art, my business – whatever you want to call it.

I’m going to try to get my Manifesto out of my head and onto the blog, but for now I’m wondering if you have something like this? Do you have big or little beliefs about your knitting?  I’m just curious.

And also, I would like to knit each and every project in the Folk Knitting in Estonia book. Hello? AWESOME.