My Adventures in Knitting, truly my Yarn-escape!

Saturday, August 31, 2019

The Simple Hat

The Simple Hat

Created to inspire knitting hats for Asylum Seekers in Northeast Asylum Cities.
See bottom for Hats for Migrants KAL
Design Inspired by 


     Worsted Wt. Yarn Wool or Acrylic, about 160 yds.
     (See Note below pattern for wool yarn suggestions).
     Size # 7 Circular Needles (Size 16") (Knit Picks has excellent affordable needles)
     Size #7 Double Pointed needles (wooden would be less slippery)
     (Optional) Size #6 Circular Needles for a tighter brim if wanted

Cast on: 
90 (100, 110, 120)
    S (M, L, XL) 
18/20" (22/23",  24",  24/25") on
 Circular needles #7 (Opt. #6 Circ. Needles for very tight brim)

(Please note any size can be made to fit more snug by knitting the brim in #6 needles, but for me, this was too tight.)

Place a marker at the beginning
When casting on I use the Long-tail method. And I add 1 stitch to each count above at the end, switch it to the beginning cast on stitch and knit those two stitches together (a little tricky, but worth it). This eliminates the little jog in the brim edge. More detailed instructions and diagrams found on TinCanKnits

     Knit brim on Circular Needles #7 (unless you want a tighter brim then do #6).
     Knit 1, Purl 1
     Till 2.25" then change to stockinette

     Knit in Circular Needles #7 in stockinette, all KNIT for 3" measuring from the end of the brim (5.25" from the starting edge).
     [If you want a slouch hat knit 2" or more inches depending on your slouchy preference]

The Top:
     Divide your knitting into 10 stitches, putting a marker after each 10th stitch.
Row 1: Knit 8, then Knit two together, Marker, proceed around once.
Row 2: Knit
REPEAT ROUNDS Row 1 and 2. (With stitches knit between stitch markers decreasing by one each other row.)
CHANGE to double pointed needles (size #7) when knitting gets too tight for circulars.
Do this till you have 18 (20, 22, 24) sts left on needles.
Row 3: Knit 2 tog. around till you have 9 (10, 11, 12) stitches left.
Cut yarn with a long tail, pull tight, weave through.

Wash & Blocking: This is optional. Sometimes I don't like how blocking I find it stretches out wool, but if your wool is scratchy I have a great technique to soften it. Wash hat in Woolite (really softens wool), then you can also soak it in a little hair conditioner (I use an organic conditioner with mint scent) in water for a bit, rinse, wrap in towel to squeeze out excess water (I stand on it!), then block. I block by using a bowl upside down, make sure the bowl is not bigger, close to size. VERY important! Have the brim hang down below your bowl as it dries. You don't want the brim to be stretched out. 
If Acrylic yarn I wouldn't wash it.

Wool Yarn Suggestions:  A really good source that's affordable is KnitPicks for a large variety of colors of wool yarns. Their Wool of The Andes is scratchy but see above Blocking/Wash instructions and that can help, The Wool of the Andes Superwash is softer. Both color selection is out of this world!  Swish Super Wash is really soft and pretty colors.

     To become part of our Hats for Migrants KAL Sept. 1st - Oct. 20 please come by and join Ravelry Resistance Knitters.  One of our members is the head of Suenos Sin Fronteras. We have a personal address that the hats can be sent to, even after the KAL come by and we'll get you the address. The hats are personally delivered to migrants at Northeast Asylum Cities.  There are also other suggested knits for Migrants on our site, like washcloths and stuffed animals. Knitted items also go to the border to Asylum Seekers.

This hat design started years ago when I followed a KAL put out by Webs.  This pattern by Webs was my inspiration to create the simplest pattern I could for a hat for Migrants.  I made adjustments for what I found to make an even better hat.  If you need tutorials or you want a different design or add a Fair Isle design please refer to the original pattern for inspiration and instruction.  It's really awesome!

Choose Your Own Adventure KAL (2016)Ravelry: Choose Your Own Adventure - Hat KAL

If you want to do a fancier design, Fair Isle, or a different style, or knit, or finish of your hat differently please check out the Webs pattern my friend Maureen and I did a few years ago.  Great designs.

© mojorao

photos above © mojorao

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Hats for Migrants KAL and "Well Met"

Hats for Migrants KAL 

Sunday, September 1st - Sunday, October 20th

Any hat pattern or fiber craft can be done. 
 Hats are sent by crafters to Suenos Sin Fronteras for Migrants in Asylum Cities in Northeast.

and join for details.
Contests and Prizes will be awarded!

Suenos Sin Fronteras  (Facebook Page)
Suenos Sin Fronteras  (Web page)

     I'm busy trying to create a pattern for a Hats for Migrants KAL that starts September 1st.  I had thought I lost my double-pointed needles a few weeks ago when I went to my daughter's old house in Upstate New York for my husband and son to help make repairs.  Intending to create a pattern there, I was thwarted by no needles!  The work there on the house took a drastic turn, rotted walls, ants of all sizes falling from the ceiling and pouring (literally) from the old wall.  Walls knocked down that had to be replaced.  Going to Walmart or anywhere else to get needles was not an option!  And, of course, when I unpacked when I got back to Colorado, there they were stuck in a green skein of wool in an outside pocket.  So I'm running behind.

     Also, I thought I could whip up the old pattern I used several years ago and do some adjustments to make it better and be done.  But no I hit a goldilocks situation.  This one was too big.  Also, I was a bit too sure of myself and I didn't look at that pattern closely, adding 5" to the brim finished, instead of from rim and voila, an unintended slouch hat!  So I'm producing hats to come up with the perfect one.  The good side of this is I do have several sizes to share when I publish the pattern (and a slouch hat version) Saturday night at Midnight EST (10 PM in Colorado) so everyone can start Sunday on the KAL.  Of course, any hat pattern would do.  Any size, any design, any fiber craft and children's sizes too are all welcome!  A simple hat pattern the better but I'll be sharing the original pattern I altered for more variations.  Also, I'm planning on sharing on a blog post more free hat patterns.  This is an old post of free hat patterns you might find useful - Hat Patterns Galore!  Remember don't start till Sunday, September 1st so you qualify for prizes!!!

     So on Sunday, September 1st the Hats for Migrants KAL will begin!  We'll go till October 20th, a Sunday.  You can go to Ravelry Resistance Knitters on Ravelry to become apart of the fun.  All hats will be sent to our representative in Suenos Sin Fronteras, who will bring them to Asylum Cities in the Northeast (see Ravelry Resistance Knitters' group page to learn how to get the address).  We also have a member who can bring hats to a Maine Asylum center for migrants, so feel free to request that mailing information.  There will be prizes offered for those who just join and post interest in the Ravelry Resistance Knitters' group on the "Hats for Migrants KAL" thread, then a raffle at the end of the week from those posted (check out group page Ravelry Resistance Knitters for details).  Also contests throughout with prizes.  In the end, they'll be a prize for who did the most hats starting knitting September 1st (you can also crochet hats).  For those who are interested, there will be a raffle for a giveaway of a night at a bed and breakfast at the end too.  But best of all we're making heads warm and welcoming new people to our country who have gone through a lot to simply get here.  That in itself is all the reward any of us really need, imagine the smiles under the brims!

     Meanwhile, I'm slogging through the 7th book in Nevada Barr's mystery series about Anna Pigeon.  She's a ranger found in National Parks inevitably hovering over a dead body with a mystery.  I've loved all her books so far, but this one.  "Liberty Falling" is set in Ellis Island during a time when Anna is in New York City because her sister Molly is possibly dying.  The only interesting thing is the descriptions of the old hospital attached to the restored parts of Ellis Island.  Old buildings slowly being reclaimed by nature that she explores.  I'm making myself finish the book because it's a series I've enjoyed and I want to know what happens to Anna and Molly.

      So I'd much rather be reading a new book sitting on my table, my BOTM selection "Well Met".  It's a new book released on September 3rd, but we got it early!  A comedic romantic romp through a Renaissance Faire I dearly want to dive into.  Perhaps Anna Pigeon will have to wait a bit while I dive into a funnier world.  It sounds funny and witty and very good from the reviews.

Come Join Us at Unraveled Wednesday


Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Dreams of Black Walnut Dyeing

      I've been in Upstate New York at my daughter's "new" old house (1830) for over a week.  My husband and son (a carpenter down from Maine) came to do some fix-it-jobs and started with an old wall with the intention of stopping a leak and ended up ripping the wall out, plus the next one out.  Layers of rot.  Wall gone and rebuilding commenced.  My biggest contribution is baking tons of desserts.  I've tried to introduce some healthy desserts from Chocolate Covered Katie (links below if you love chocolate like I do).

      Everyday I knit (finished another washcloth for my daughter), bake and often disappear to lie on the next door lawn of a vacant house, doing back exercises (this video is close to what I do, but no pillow), partially borrowed from yoga, to feel better (my back pain disappears when I do this).  But I also find peace just stopping to stare at the trees.  Now you have to understand Colorado where I live has trees, but not like this.  These are huge, soaring and old.  Yesterday I discovered one of those trees is a black walnut with light green orbs gracing the yard.  I had obsessed last year thinking about how I wanted to dye with these.  A beautiful brown it makes.  But where to find black walnuts?  Yeah!  Found.  So I'm packing a small bag away of green black walnuts and later today we get on a train for a two day trip home to Colorado.

     I'd been doing research on Black Walnut dyeing.  Here's one blog that has good instructions - Fiber Artsy

     Meanwhile, I'm still reading the mystery series by Nevada Barr about the park ranger Anna Pigeon.  I back tracked to #4 "Firestorm", which I'd have to agree with the inside cover's reviews which describe it as her best, so far.  But I've loved and enjoyed each one.  This plot has Anna as law enforcement and medic with a team of summer woodland firefighters drawn from different National Parks.  A sudden firestorm happens, flashes over her group.  A dead body is found, so a murder happened in the midst, or right before or after the firestorm.  And now Anna is stuck on the mountain, in snow, a man dying of injuries and one of them is a murderer. She proceeds to figure out who and to keep the team alive as well.

KAL Hats for Migrants!

Next week Wednesday, August 28th I'll reveal my basic hat pattern for the September 1st KAL.  We're knitting (or crocheting) hats for Asylum Seekers in Asylum Cities in the Northeast.  Any pattern and style will do, I'm just creating a simple hat based on an old how-to post that I'll also share so anyone can change it around, make their hats a different size or go fancy with stranded knitting.  There will be prizes awarded from skeins of yarn, a project bag and a night at a bed and breakfast!  If you want to be in the contests you have to wait to begin knitting September 1st, and the KAL will run till October 20th.  Stay tuned.  More details to come up on this blog next Wednesday and in Ravelry's group Resistance Knitters.

Come Join Us at Unraveled Wednesday

Chocolate Covered Katie's Recipes:

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Coming KAL: Hats for Migrants

     I'm in the Atlanta airport finishing a hat, a prototype for a hat pattern for a KAL I'm planning for September into October.  Unfortunately, I checked my bag with the double pointed needles.  So I'll have to wait till I get to my daughter's house in Upstate New York to finish.  

     My KAL's goal is to produce as many hats as possible for Asylum Seekers in Asylum cities in the Northeast.  From Maine, throughout New England we have Asylum cities filled with migrants who will be greatly surprised by our cold weather.  I run a group on Ravelry called "Resistance Knitters" (come join us).  And we have with us the founder and head of Suenos Sin Fronteras, a organization that offers help to Asylum seekers from practical needs to medical at the border and in Asylum cities.  You can go to Suenos Sin Fronteras and make a donation through their site by buying needed supplies through Amazon.  And\or you can create something special for them.  We have a ship to address for all hand made items, so if you join our KAL to make hats then you can PM a person in our group for this address.  It's wonderful to have direct access to someone who will hand deliver your creation made with love.  I'm creating a basic pattern that can be used, but any hat design will do.  You can also crochet.  As long as the end result is a hat to keep someone warm and to say you care.

More details on my Hats for Migrants KAL in next week's Wednesday blog.

Hints for my hat you'll need a skein of yarn, 120 - 140 yds. And size 6 & 7 circular needles (16 in.) or double pointed needles and #7 double pointed needles to finish.  A good source that I find reasonable, yet good quality is KnitPicks for yarn and needles.  

     We at Resistance Knitters are committed to peaceful protest through creative endeavors.  Come by and join us (the join button is at top of the group page).  Introduce yourself and share any causes and crafts you might support.  Take a look at the other threads we have.  I still need to create the thread for the upcoming KAL (hopefully I'll have that up by next week) but we have a wide range of different projects for various causes.  I hope to collect more craftivist projects in the future to make this group a good resource to find protest projects or just humanitarian ones. Enjoy!  As we create we help and make change within and without.  Internally we bring more peace to ourselves as we work with our hands to enact change.

     Currently I'm reading the fourth book in the Anna Pigeon Mysteries series called "Firestorm".  I just started.  The opening pages describe it as her best book so far and I've loved each one so I'm sure I won't be disappointed.  Set each one in a different National park, Nevada Barr who formally was a ranger herself has a sure skill for describing the natural beauty of each, then creating an exciting mystery to be unraveled by our heroine Ranger Anna Pigeon.  Great summer reading.  

Come Join Us at Unraveled Wednesday

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Washcloths and Anna Pigeon Mysteries

     An easy relaxing summer knit is cotton Washcloths.  They feel like taking a vacation from knitting.  The ultimate of mindless knitting and great for gifting when you are done.  I've been following a simplified version of this KnitPick pattern.  They use thinner cotton yarn and I use Peaches & Creme cotton yarn that can be found at Walmart.  A hearty worsted wt. I don't double the yarn and follow the pattern.

     If you want to donate washcloths for Asylum Seekers at the border my group on Ravelry "Resistance Knitters" has a direct address to the founder and head of Suenos Sin Fronteras who will hand-deliver items hand created.  Suenos Sin Fronteras is an organization that helps Asylum Seekers in many practical ways from medical to showers.  You can go to their site and order needed items through Amazon to donate.  Or you can make something yourself and we will help you get it to them.  Just go to the Group and look for the thread on Washcloths for Asylum Seekers, post interest and connect with Dee by PM and she'll get you the address.  Migrant moms requested washcloths for washing their children.

     I'm into the fifth book in the Anna Pigeon Mysteries series by Nevada Barr.  Not intentionally.  I finished the second book "A Superior Death", which was great and I couldn't find "I'll Wind" the 3rd book in a local used store and until payday we're penny-pinching so I skipped ahead to book 5 - "Endangered Species" because I already had that.  I had gotten a few months ago a stack of the Anna Pigeon books from a used book store.  Already I uncovered a spoiler but I really wanted to stay in Anna's world and "Endangered Species" does seem to be more of her interesting and exciting writing.  Mysteries wrapped up in a Naturalist's rich descriptions of different National Parks for each book.  Perfect summer reads.

Come Join Us at Unraveled Wednesday


Small Things' Yarn Along