Peaks and Valleys Hat

August 26, 2014

I've been slowly but surely working through all my notes, scattered across several notebooks and a few computer folders, and working the fragments of patterns into completed designs. This one is so fun and simple to work off the needles, and it's about to become a donation staple for me!

A simple stockinette stitch, broken up by purl ridges creates a ribbed and slouchy hat.


90-120 yards Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice (100% acrylic; 170y/155m per 100 grams)


US 9 / 5.5 mm 16" circular needle
US 9 / 5.5 mm double pointed needles


One stitch marker
Darning needle for weaving in ends


16 sts x 20 rows = 4" in stockinette


baby (toddler, child, adult)


CO = cast on
DRnd = decrease round
K = knit
K2TOG = knit two stitches together
P = purl
RND = round
STS = stitches


Using long tail method, CO 56 (64, 72, 80) sts.
Place marker to join, being careful not to twist.

Rnd 1-8: [K 2, P 2] around.

Rnd 9-11: K all sts.
Rnd 12: P all sts.

Repeat Rnds 9-12 a total of 6 (7, 8, 9) times


(switch to DPNs when necessary)

DRnd 1: (k6, K2tog) around.
DRnd 2 (and all even rows): K all sts around.
DRnd 3: (k5, k2tog) around.
DRnd 5: (k4, k2tog) around.
DRnd 7: (k3, k2tog) around.
DRnd 9: (k2, k2tog) around.
DRnd 11: (k1, k2tog) around.
DRnd 13: K2tog around.


Break yarn, leaving a long tail. Use darning needle to thread yarn through remaining sts. Pull yarn tight and secure. Weave in all ends.


I’d love to see your finished hats! Tag your projects #shemakeshats on Instagram to share

Zig Zag Cowl

August 25, 2014

pattern: 1-Skein Zig Zag Cowl, by Heather Walpole
yarn: Ewe Ewe Yarn Ewe So Sporty (145y/133m per 50g) - one full skein used
needles: size US 6 / 4.25 mm

My darling friend Casie takes the most amazing photos for me - of my hats, of hand knits in general, and even of my gorgeous family. A phenomenal photographer, she is also amazingly generous, and won't let me pay her a penny for all the photos she takes. So I'm trying to get sneaky, making her things on occasion as a way to pay her at least a bit for all she does.

The Zig Zag Cowl is one such "payment", and it worked out more perfectly than I could have imagined. Heather of Ewe Ewe Yarns had sent me a kit for the cowl not that long ago, but I am not much of a cowl wearer. So I wasn't sure who to make this for, when Casie tagged me on an Instagram photo of a white cowl with a very similar texture to this one. Lightbulb!

The cowl itself was a quick and fun knit. You work the directions two full times to get the zig zag shape, and it is truly a one-skein project. In truth, I was only able to get within four rows of the full two repeats of the pattern, but you literally cannot tell I left two rows off.

My gauge was a slight bit different from the pattern's instructions, because my size 6 needles are 4.25mm instead of the typical 4.0mm. I  have no idea how I managed that one, but because of the miniscule needle size difference, which I thought wouldn't matter in the least, I ran out of yarn a wee bit early. I could have squeezed one more row out of the yarn, but didn't have enough to do the bind-off in a non-yarn over row, so I had to leave some yarn wasted, which was a huge bummer. But like I said, you can't tell in the least that the last zig zag set is shorter, so I'm cool with it.

Casie is in love with her cowl, and grabbed her niece to model for a few photos the other day. I love how happy McKenna is all the time (and gorgeous to boot!), and how much she loves modeling for knitting photos. Almost all my friends have relinquished their hat modeling duties to her, and I'm totally fine with it! Although it does add another person to my "pay with hand knits" list ...

a family of sweaters for winter

August 19, 2014

With my desire to ditch the sweatshop clothes this fall, and dress my family in ethically-made items, I've decided that maybe it's time I branch out a bit from hat making, and make a few family sweaters.

I've shied away from sweater-making in the past, thanks to two horrible experiences in a row attempting to make a sweater for my husband. And while I hope to make him a sweater this fall/winter as well, I'm starting a bit smaller, with sweaters for the kiddos and me. Dip my toes in, figure a few things out on some smaller pieces before I move on to his sweater.

With each of our sweaters, I already know I'm going to have to make a few modifications, but each should be easy enough that the sweaters shouldn't cause me too much stress.

First, there's Owlet for Lou. The smallest size has an 18" chest, which is just about where she's at right now, so I'm going to size it up one I think. That way she should be able to wear it a bit longer into the winter before I have to make her a new one. I plan to make this one with short sleeves, so she can wear it over a long sleeve onesie and not have the arm bulk get in her way as she learns to crawl soon (too soon for my liking, I think).

Then I'll make a Fisherman's Pullover for Owen. This little man is so skinny I'm going to make the smallest size for him, and then add length until it fits. Unless he decides to start eating like a linebacker anytime soon, this sweater should fit him all fall and winter long, which will be nice! I might make the ribbing on the sleeves start a bit sooner, so it's a bit longer. That way the sleeves won't droop on him, and will stay out of his way!

Finally (for now, at least), I want to make myself an Oatmeal Pullover. So many folks have already shared modification notes for this sweater, I'm just going to follow their suggestions and hopefully breeze right through this one! I love that it's made using a bit chunkier yarn, and that the millions of miles of ribbing should help it stay in place as I chase after my kiddos - both of whom will be mobile very soon, if Lou has her way!

I'll share as I knit each sweater, along with when each is done. And of course I'll still be knitting tons of hats this fall and winter, have no fear! What do you have on your needles for fall?

Close Cables Hat

August 18, 2014

pattern: Close Cables hat, by Pickles
yarn: Hobby Lobby I Love This Wool!, approximately 150 yards
needles: sizes US 8 / 5.0 mm and US 10 / 6.0 mm 16" circulars, and size US 10 / 6.0 mm dpns

I've been in the mood for some serious cables lately, and this hat was what started it all. I've loved every single Pickles hat pattern I've used to date, and was shocked to realize I'd never made their Close Cables hat, so about a month ago I popped it onto the needles. After just a few hours it was finished, I was in love, and a small cable addiction had formed!

I've been trying to use up all my HL yarn in the past month or two. I've managed to use up all the acrylic, but I have a large stash of wool left, thanks to an amazing Christmas gift last year. I'm hoping to turn it into a huge batch of hats to send to Nest in a few weeks, and am well on my way to filling up a box already.

This hat was such a joy to knit. The cables are chunky and squishy, just the way I like them. The pattern is simple to follow, although because I used a thick worsted weight yarn I didn't hold it double, as the pattern suggests.

I also worked an extra cable repeat before starting the decreases. I find I almost always have to add length to hats when I make them, to ensure they cover the ears fully. For whatever reason, most hat patterns don't leave hats long enough to cover the ears fully, and with donation hats I want to make sure there's as much coverage as possible.

I plan to make this hat again in the next few weeks at least twice - once in red, once in white, both times with Lion Brand Wool Ease. This way I have some Husker hat options for fall and winter football games! I'm also going to add a contrasting pom to them (red for the white hat, white for the red hat) to give them just a bit more extra festive flair!

All in all, this pattern is a super winner, perfect for gifting, charity donation, and personal hats!

one, two three ... JUMP!

August 15, 2014

When your friend says to run into the middle of the street, throw your hats into the air and jump, by golly you kick off your flip flops (after almost killing yourself the first time, when you left them on), run into the middle of the street, and jump!

And then almost get hit by a car as you scramble to grab the hats ...

Clearly I have mad ups. Gotta love a friend who pushes you to do different things, and then laughs so hard she almost cries at your silly attempts.

Have a great weekend!

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