Pretty petal baby hat

I had a precious little ball of pink sparkly yarn that I thought might be enough for  a baby hat…but not quite. I was in a bit of denial- I cast-on and started knitting, thinking that lace would stretch it out and I would get most of it done… yeah. No. Rip out and start over, with a bit more pre-planning.

I’m a little obsessed with the sparkly yarn- I have a pair of socks for myself, a pair of socks for someone who doesn’t read my blog, so I can talk about them all I want. I made a pair of sparkly blue socks for Kate as well. I love this yarn. It’s just so subtly sparkly- it isn’t ugly Christmas sweater sparkly, it just has a thin filament of sparkle spun in. Sigh. It is from Knitpicks, if there happens to be a sparkly yarn-shaped hole in your life. I think the gray would be really classy…

Anyway, I had a golf-ball sized chunk of it left, and a great-niece on the way, and I thought, what better use for this perfect little… shoot, not enough.  I wasn’t in complete denial, as I went along I considered ways of making it work. Maybe making it deliberately little- just a beanie? Nah.  Maybe a rapid flat-topped decrease on top, like a pillbox. Nah. Then I thought about it backwards and inside out- what if we considered the pink lacy part to be a cuff, to folded up over a white background? that way the lace would be more defined, and there would be some adjustability in the ear coverage.

My favorite lace pattern is Old Shale, also called feather and fan. It is easy to memorize, and makes the cast-on edge scalloped and ruffly. I originally got the pattern from The Twisted Sister Sock Workbook (not affiliated with Dee Snyder), but it is a traditional pattern- no one really owns it.

If you are considering learning a different lace pattern for a shawl or something, and want to practice, this could work as a swatch, and you have a hat at the end of (can you tell I hate swatching?)

This pattern is adjustable, either by using bigger needles and thicker yarn (perhaps for a big sister?) or by adding repeats to the old shale pattern- each repeat is 11 stitches, which makes about 1 and 1/4 inches in the circumference of the hat.

Some people test really well on being able to visualize and rotate shapes inside their minds, seeing how puzzle pieces go together, spinning parts around in three dimensions.  At least one of my brothers is gifted at this.  I am not.

I had to concentrate really hard to figure out how the heck I would turn this around so that the pretty side of the lace would show through the holes in the lace of the folded up cuff part, but I wouldn’t have to construct the entire hat backwards…. I am sure the mental exercise was good for me.

Then I was sitting next to the hillbilly goldfish pond, enjoying the sunshine, and had a thought. What if I just turned it inside out, and knit in the other direction? Yeah. That works. There is kind of a hole from going the other way, but since I changed colors there, the hole can get filled in with the woven-in ends.

Gauge is not super important here- baby heads come in a wide range of sizes- this is for a baby due in December/January. I would make it bigger for babies born at different times of the year… with my gauge, using this yarn and these needles the hat is 16 inches around. Your mileage may vary.


Knitpicks Glimmer sock yarn in carnation

Knitpicks Stroll sock yarn in bare

size 3, 16 inch circular needles

Old shale lace pattern- cast on a multiple of 11, join round, being careful not to twist.

round 1 and 2 knit

round 3 perl

round 4 knit two together 2x ,* yo k 4x, knit 2 together 4x*

Cast on 99 stitches in pink and work old shale pattern as written for 3 repeats. (Making the third row perl makes it so the edge does not roll.) Then continue without perling the 3rd row until the piece measures 3 inches from cast on edge- which will be scalloped. Or, if you have a tiny amount of contrast yarn, go until you run out of yarn, as I did.

Switch to white yarn. Turn the piece inside out, so that the wrong side faces you. You will have to go backwards over what you have knit. There will be a slight gap, but you have to weave in the ends if you change colors, so the gap will be filled.

In the next row, knit two together 3x spaced evenly, 96 stitches so that you decrease to 96. Knit stockinette 4 inches, and begin decreases. Place markers every 12 stitches-* knit to 2 stitches before marker*, and knit two together, 1 row plain*. You will hit a point when your circular needle is too long, either add another circular, or switch to double pointed needles. Repeat these two decrease rows until 8 stitches remain- break yarn and sew end through all remaining stitches, then weave in ends.

Wash in wool wash and block.

Start on a hat in big sister’s favorite color…

Two shades of green, and a leafy lace pattern…


Yes, my legs are warm. Why do you ask?

The item of clothing that I get the most compliments on (and this is everything I own, not just stuff I’ve knit) is a Clapotis scarf made with Noro Silk Garden yarn. It is safe to say, that if you have seen me between the months of October and April in the last 7 years, you have seen this scarf. I predict it will be the item my children fight over when I die (figure out how to insert link here)
I love it, and while I think the pattern is pretty, I know the yarn is what makes it. Silk garden is wool and silk and mohair, so it has warmth, and a sheen, and a halo. It is produced by a Japanese genius who blends colors into one another.
During Christmas break, I had an idea for a striped baby sweater, using Noro interspersed with black. Actually, I can’t say I had the idea, because I am pretty sure it came from Pinterest, which I can’t really say, because no ideas come from Pinterest. They all have different sources and just go to Pinterest to rub against each other. It’s like a high school dance.
So, I ordered some Silk Garden Sock, which adds nylon to the original formula, for durability, and is thinner, so it is a bit cheaper. When it came, I couldn’t see it being another sweater- it wanted to be leg warmers.
When I was in middle school, leg warmers became a mainstream fashion trend, rather than just a…hmmm…who does wear leg warmers, usually?…Anyway, my luckiest friends convinced their moms to buy them leg warmers in purple, and metallic, and rainbow. Mine were cream colored and cable knit, which ironically, is a style that I like now…My mom understood something, then.
However, when I saw my 100 gram skein of Noro, I knew that it’s destiny was to become leg warmers for me. Modern Leg Warmers! So I can wear them to yoga, and camping. Yes, camping!

Back when leg warmers were stylish, my brothers used to ask me, "are your legs warm? are your legs warm?"

This was an extremely generous ball of yarn, also- when I weighed it when I was mostly done with leg warmer #1, there were still 67 grams left, and even after the second one was finished, there was enough for a small cowl. I used black sock yarn, I think from Knitpicks,  left from another project to make ribbing at the top and bottom as a frame. It is thinner, and has a different gauge, so I used different needles. I also got a little bored, so I added a cable to make things interesting. The color gradations in Noro are hard to predict- if it is important you to have identical twins instead of fraternal, Noro might not be the yarn for you.

I mostly wear flip flops in the summer, so I can slip these on when we're camping, and not have to pack more shoes.

Bored Cable Leg Warmer Pattern

On size 3 needles, cast on 52 stitches in a solid contrast yarn.Knit in 2×2 rib for 3 inches- this becomes a cuff you can roll up so you can put your flipflops on, or roll down to cover your toes.

Swtch to Noro and size 5 needles. Knit stockinette until bored. Or 6 inches, whichever comes first.

On needle 1. knit 4, perl 2 knit 4 perl 2 knit 18 til end of the needle. every 6 rows, cable front.

Continue until it is a good fit for your leg, then switch back to the contrast color, do a 2×2 rib for 2 or 3 inches and bind off with super stretchy bind off.

A confession, if you have even read this far- here’s why I should write knitting patterns- people who are really looking for patterns don’t really want to see “knit in stockinette until bored” those are terrible directions. If you are looking for a serious pattern, I am sorry. But I am also lazy- it is hard to write serious patterns.