An Unfinished Sweater

Dec 30, 2014




Last week, just days before Christmas, I decided I was going to knit Owen a sweater to wear for our family Christmas Eve celebrations. It's not like I didn't have a million other things I needed to do, and it's not like I'd ever successfully made him a sweater (I hadn't), but it was my MISSION.

I grabbed some stash Wool Ease, and printed out the Owlet sweater pattern (the same sweater I knit for Lou this fall), figured out the sizing, and promptly cast on.

Owen is a super skinny kid for a three and a half year old, so I knew I'd have to do some adjusting. There's no "just follow the pattern" for this kid! I cast on for the 18-24 month old size, as that's how skinny he is, and then figured out how long I'd have to knit the body before I worked the arms.

When I managed to get the body done that first night, with a bit of time to spare, I got a bit cocky. I should have checked myself, knowing just how far askew last-minute knitting projects can get, but I forged on undeterred, sharing my progress to Instagram as I went. I stayed up late into the night working on the sleeves, intending to get both done but only managing one off the needles before my eyes got too tired  to stay open and I headed to bed.

The next day, however, things started to go off the rails. While in theory, making a small arm and then doing the yoke of a sweater isn't much to worry about, and could have been easy to finish, it was now Christmas Eve. And we were heading out the door around 5pm, which gave me just the daytime hours, when kids were awake, to finish a sleeve and yoke. Undeterred, I pulled out my yarn and thought seriously hard about getting busy.

And then Lou started to feel icky. Not feverish (yet), and not throwing up, but that about to get sick baby clingyness that you know is the first sign of the impending apocalypse. In less than two seconds, I made my decision. I set the sweater pieces aside and snuggled my baby. Through a few last minute errands, tubs for all, a long car ride and then a fun time with family, I snuggled my baby.

I thought maybe I could get the sweater done later that night, ready for Christmas wearing. And then Lou didn't sleep. And the sweater stayed un-knit. All weekend, through sleepless nights and clingy days, I thought "I'll have it ready for tomorrow". And then on Sunday we finally broke down and took Lou to the doctor, knowing already what was going on.

Ear infection. Just like her brother, Lou shows absolutely no signs of ear infection other than not sleeping. No fever, no drippy ears, no struggles with eating, no tugging on the affected ear. Nothing. Just a total lack of sleep.

The sweater pieces have been unwound. With a sick baby and an overly rambunctious pre-schooler running around, the sweater just won't get done. This is why I'm a hat person - no pieces to put together, not as much time commitment, and portable. Also, I have a few hat patterns memorized, so there's no trying to find and figure out a pattern late at night.

An unfinished sweater, and no regrets. It was fun to try, and even more fun to undo the sweater pieces and wind them into balls, ready to be used for hats in 2015!

Updated Maggie Cowls

Dec 29, 2014





These five cowls were gifted by my mother in law to several ladies in the family. Each was made using Lion Brand Wool Ease, based off a pattern from a cowl she bought for someone else. The Wool Ease makes them washable, while still retaining a bit of wooly goodness.

I modified my Maggie Cowl pattern by casting on 184 stitches, and then purling 6 stitches between each mock cable. I like this larger version - big enough to wrap twice around your neck or wear once and let hang a bit long, and tall enough that it can be pulled down over the shoulders a bit and worn as a caplet if you'd like!

The cowls measure 21" across when laid flat, and 14" tall.

my Holiday Bowl Hadley hat!

Dec 26, 2014
pattern: Hadley Hat, my free pattern
yarn: Bernat super value in red and white
needles: size US 10 / 6.0mm circulars and dpns

It's been so fun, knitting along with Elise as we get ready for the Holiday Bowl! I worked on my adult sized Hadley Hat a few rows at a time in between knitting presents, finishing it up just a few days ago - just in time for kids to get sick! I was actually worried I wouldn't get photos of it or be able to share the final hat in time, so I hopped in front of our tree with my iPhone and the TimerCam app, and hoped for the best.

I wrote the Hadley Hat pattern almost four years ago now, and when I wrote it, I think I was a much tighter knitter than I am now. The pattern calls for worsted weight yarn, but size 10 needles with 80 stitches cast on, which seems very large to me now. In fact, while the hat wasn't too wide to fit around my ears, it sure is super slouchy, far slouchier than I remember it being when I first wrote the pattern and knit Hadleys on repeat a few years ago!

While I love a slouchy hat, I'm considering re-writing the pattern a bit. I could just change the needle size, which would solve most of the problem, or I could decrease the number of stitches and rows for each color section, which would keep the extra flouncy nature of the fabric when the yarn is knit on these larger needles.

Or I could leave it as-is, and add a note to check for gauge, and to probably size down the needles.

Pattern issues aside, I am totally smitten with the idea of knitting the same pattern with another blogger and sharing the progress as you go. With a hat, that becomes more of a "here's what I'm going to knit" post followed by a "here's what I made!" post, rather than a huge series of posts, but the idea is so fun I think I want to do it again! And again! And again!

For those who shared projects with the #holidayknitalong tag on Instagram, it's been so much fun seeing your projects, hats and other things. I hope I remember to use the tag again next holiday season, and a bit sooner at that - I love to see even the smallest peeks into what people are making and gifting!

I'll be wearing my hat proudly tomorrow night as Nebraska takes on USC in the Holiday Bowl, and hope it brings my team good luck!

#holidayknitalong

Dec 23, 2014

clockwise, from top left: kirtleymichelle | laurenlikesblog | alliefinch | cadysinks 


clockwise from top left: delightfullyash | julieloveg | aprilfreshknits | mygurumi 


clockwise, from top left: barleysoup | alliefinch | thenauticalwife | rwerwai

Man, have people been sharing some great projects to the #holidayknitalong hashtag on Instagram! With Hannukah rounding out, solstice just happened, and Christmas around the corner, I we'll be taking some time for family in the next few days. But before I take off to celebrate, I wanted to share some inspiration from those that are knitting at least part of their holiday presents! Thanks to those who have already shared photos - and if you're knitting away, there's plenty of time still to share!

Out And About

Dec 19, 2014
There’s so much goodness happening around the Internet, I wanted to have a way to share some of it with you each week. Enjoy!

The ladies of Tin Can Knits are committing to knitting their lists, just like me!

Scrapbooking with not-so-good photos.

In love with this adorable fox hat!

I love Jen's insights on parenting kids who sabotage big days.

Life: Captured is talking life albums, and once again I'm almost convinced to make one.

I've never seen Twin Peaks, but I love this.

Another panelist has finished her Amanda sweater over at Fringe Association!

Selling discontent.

Great round-up of knitting-themed books for kids.

Love this Audrey Hat from Pickles!

Wise and honest words from a mama to her toddler.

Finishing your stocking!

Santa Baby Hat

Dec 18, 2014
There's just a bit of time left before Christmas, but that doesn't mean your little one still can't dress up as Santa! This long tail hat comes sized from newborn through 12 months, which means even if they're crawling and ripping hats off their heads (I speak from experience ...), you can hopefully still get a handmade Santa photo before all the presents have been opened!

Knit up in worsted weight yarn, this hat shouldn't take more than a few concentrated hours, meaning you might just have time for more than one little Santa impersonator!

YARN 

I Love This Yarn! Solids (100% acrylic; 355 yards / 325 meters per 198 grams)

Feel free to substitute any aran weight (10 ply, 8 wpi) yarn. Yarn suggestions include Loops & Threads Impeccable, Vanna’s Choice, and Bernat Super Value.

MC: you will use between 100 and 200 total yards of red yarn.
CC: you will use just 40 yards (or less) of white yarn.

NEEDLES 

US 9 / 5.5 mm double-pointed needles

NOTIONS 

Darning needle for weaving in ends

GAUGE 

16 sts x 20 rows = 4" in stockinette

SIZES 

newborn (0-3 months, 3-6 months, 6-12 months)
12 (13.5, 15, 16)” circumference

BUY THE PATTERN HERE

BRAIDED EDGES

Dec 17, 2014

I love a good braided cable, and I've found myself drawn over and again to hats with a braided cable edge! (see my recently finished Cable Hat with Flower as an example) Many times, the rest of the hat is rather plain, but the sideways braid at the edge is always enough to make the hat look fancy and gorgeous.

From left to right, here's a few hats I'm loving right now, with a variety of braided cable edges.

Coronet - Perfect for someone new to braided cables, this hat is simple stockinette after you master the gorgeous cabled braid at the brim.

Saxon Braided Cabled Cap - This more detailed braided edge is large and gorgeous. The detail makes the braid a focal point for the hat!

Teampall Bhreacháin Hat - The all-over braiding on this hat means I wouldn't be able to knit it while reading a book or even watching a movie, but the finished result is worth the focused effort!

Wavy Moss Hats and Headband - I love knitting the moss stitch, and I'm in heaven that this pattern has a few varieties, both of hat types and a headband as well!

CABLE HAT WITH FLOWER (WITHOUT THE FLOWER)

Dec 16, 2014



pattern: Cable Hat With Flower, by Rian Anderson (Etsy purchase)
yarn: Bernat Super Saver in winter white
needles: size US 10 / 6.0mm needles

I originally purchased this pattern to use for shop purposes, as Rian gives permission to sell finished items from her pattern. This hat is the last of those shop hats to be sold, as I am moving away from selling finished hats, and am instead focusing on other things (more about that in the new year).

Because of that, I wanted to share the pattern here, talk about how I've modified it just a little bit, and show the fit - it's such a fun pattern, I know I'll be knitting it over and over again, and wanted to be sure everyone knew where they could get it, as well!

The biggest modification I use is simply to knit the hat with worsted weight yarn. The pattern calls for aran or chunky weight, but I always have to go to the store to buy chunkier yarn, and yet always have thicker worsted weight yarns on hand. The larger needles help keep the cable from getting to tight, and so I just work the hat with worsted weight yarn on the larger needles. This actually works out perfectly, and in the many times I've sold this hat I haven't had to make any other adjustments, which is nice!

You can see in the photos that the hat looks a bit long for Lou - that's because she's modeling the size 1-3 years hat, and she still actually wears a 6-12 months hat. What you don't see is that there's still at least 1.5" of give in the width of the hat as well, so while it fits her fine, if a bit slouchy, the hat will fit someone ages 1-3 just as nicely!

I didn't have the flower added to the hat when I took these photos, because I wanted to show the hat without. I love that you can add a flower and make the hat extra girlie, but without a flower it could be a unisex hat, made in a wide variety of colors. And while the cable is braided, and thus a bit more difficult than a more traditional cable, even a beginner could easily make this hat!

Plus, for those who don't like using circular needles, this hat is knit flat, and then seamed together with the top pulled tight!

Hadley Hat Modifications

Dec 15, 2014
(photo from Elise's Instagram feed)

So far, the #holidayknitalong has been going like gangbusters! Elise has officially become a hat addict, knocking out an adorable hat for Ellerie (seen above), with plans to make a few more in the near future!

While I'm still slogging away at my hat, working a row or two in between holiday presents, I wanted to take a minute to share a few ways to modify the Hadley Hat pattern to suit a wide variety of needs. I wrote the pattern over two years ago now, and when it was originally written I only had one size, and used a very specific yarn. These notes will hopefully help you make your hat in a bunch of different ways!

One of the things I love most about hats is that you don't need to worry AS MUCH about sizing - most hats will fit most heads, and have a few inches of stretch to cover any possible sizing mistakes. That said, you can't expect a hat made for a baby to fit an adult, and visa versa.

One of the other things to keep in mind is the number of stripes you'll use for your hat, and even how many stitches to use in each stripe. The adult size has six stripes made with six rows each, but for a newborn hat this would be far too long. You'll want to adjust both number of stripes and number of rows per stripe accordingly.

To make life easier for everyone, I've made this handy chart to help you out. While you can definitely measure your hat recipient's head and then figure out the cast on number, number of stripes, and number of rows per stripe, this chart makes the Hadley Hat a bit more "thinking-proof"!


** Remember, the number of stripes INCLUDES the ribbing rows as the first stripe color. **

Now let's talk yarn. The pattern calls for Hobby Lobby's house brand of yarn, but what's great about this hat is that you can substitute in just about any thicker worsted weight yarn and the hat will turn out perfectly!

What do I mean by "thicker worsted weight"? Well, just about any acrylic yarn with a "4" on the label will work perfectly. That means you can head into any craft store, and just about any of their acrylic yarns will work just fine. Some brands I've used for this hat include Bernat, Vanna's Choice, Red Heart, and Lion Brand Wool Ease.

If you're making the hat with wool yarn, just be sure the suggested needle size on the ball band is at least a size US 8 / 5.0mm. Anything smaller will give you a much looser gauge hat, and the fit won't be the same.

All in all, the Hadley Hat is a fun and fast knit, perfect for last minute presents, or for cheering on your favorite football team during the bowl games, as Elise and I are doing! I'd love to see how you modify the Hadley Hat for everyone on your list - tag your finished knits #holidayknitalong and/or #shemakeshats so I can see!

Out And About

Dec 12, 2014
There’s so much goodness happening around the Internet, I wanted to have a way to share some of it with you each week. Enjoy!
 
I'm in love with all the hats my friend Kelli is making for Christmas this year!

Crazy photos of some abandoned shopping malls around America.

So proud of my friend Jen - she's got a vest pattern in the new Noro Magazine!

Part 2 and Part 3 from the Ewe Ewe stocking knit-along are here!

Love these photos of life in 700 square feet from Rowdy Kittens.

A great round-up for folks looking to recycle yarn.

Love Bella, a gorgeous new cowl from A Friend To Knit With.

I want to knit myself this Barn Sweater, immediately.

Woolful has a great round-up of some superwash alternatives.

Holiday Bowl Knit-Along

Dec 11, 2014

Every fall, our home and lives are covered in red and white, and not just because I want to start decorating for Christmas as soon as school supply sales are done. We live in Nebraska, and that means chants of GO BIG RED and going to all the home games, and talking football and living football and breathing football for three full months.

This year has been especially hard for Nebraska fans, as we've won most of our games but seemed to lose the big ones, and then fired our head coach before the dust of the season had even settled. We made it out of the season still ranked (#25, but still ranked) and are headed to a bowl game, like we are  most years.

This year, we are going to the Holiday Bowl in December 27, and are facing off against USC. And while other Nebraska fans have a wide variety of thoughts on this, my first thought was, "My friend Elise went to USC! We should do a knit-along!"

I e-mailed Elise, she jumped on board immediately, and so the two us are knitting hats to celebrate our rival schools squaring off in just a few weeks! We chose my Hadley Hat pattern (available for free download!) - simple enough for a novice hat maker, but with stripes galore so we can show off our school pride!

The plan is to knit away on our hats between now and game day, and then wear our hats with all our school pride, as we cheer on our rival schools! I'm hopeful Nebraska will win, but with all that's happened this season, I'm just holding out for a loss that's not so bad I won't have to hide my face in my hat the entire game!

The best part of all this?! We're inviting you all to knit along with us! You can make a Hadley Hat in your favorite team colors, or you can simply knit along on whatever holiday knitting is currently on your needles - I know we're still in the thick of it, and most of us are just now starting to realize just how few days we have left to get those presents knit up and under the tree!

Share your projects on Instagram using the hashtag #holidayknitalong, so we can all see what you've been working on, Hadley Hat or otherwise! Me, I'm headed off to cast on my red and white Hadley Hat, and can't wait to see Elise's take shape as well!

While Knitting | Volume III

Dec 10, 2014

Knitting doesn't happen in a vacuum here in SMH-land. Instead, I'm always reading something (thanks to my Kindle) or watching something (thanks to Netflix). Here's a short list of what I've been reading and watching lately.

READING

Considerations, by Colin Wright. Full disclosure, here. Colin is a dear friend, and so I make it a point to read everything he writes. The fact that he's a phenomenal writer doesn't hurt, for sure! Considerations is a collection of shorter essays, focusing on stretching our views on the world around us. We all have set perceptions, and Considerations asks us to think about those, maybe look at things a different way, and consider whether our beliefs and perceptions need a bit of tweaking, or even a full upgrade. Considerations has good thoughts on a wide variety of subjects, and definitely pushed me in a few areas

30 Days Of Doing by Colin Wright. A companion piece to Considerations, this 30 day e-mail series has been incredibly thought-provoking, and I'm so glad I made the purchase. Colin suggests you do more than simply read each day's e-mail and then file it away, and so on most of the days I took the time (sometimes even just five minutes was enough) and really worked through what was being offered. While I'm not making any huge life changes right away, these e-mails have definitely helped me focus in on a few things, sharpen some ideas, and see a bunch of next steps.

Insurgent (Divergent Series), by Veronica Roth. Okay, I totally get why everyone thought this was the best book of the three. I love how everything happened all at once, from the collapse of everything Tris knew, to the coming of age of all the characters, to the cementing of relationships and belief systems.

Allegiant (Divergent Series), by Veronica Roth. After flying through Insurgent, I assumed I would fly through the final book in the trilogy as well. And I read it fast, but not as fast as I'd thought, mostly due to all the crying. It is a heavy book, filled with the ending of one way of life while making room for a new one. Many people I know thought this was the worst of the three, but I simply think the ending of any book series will leave you filled with emotions - and this one is no exception. I really did cry though the last 50 or so pages, and while I was saddened a few things happened the way they did, the book ended exactly as it needed to, which is the best compliment I can give the last book in a series.

WATCHING

Divergent. I read the book months and months ago, but have lagged on reading the second book in the series. I waited so long, in fact, that I knew I wouldn't remember half the book if I didn't either re-read it, or watch the movie. I chose movie, and I'm glad I did. While I know whole chunks were left out, I loved the movie, how it portrayed the book, and how the characters were developed.

Bones: Season 9. We're caught up with what's on DVD, thanks to Netflix, and what a way to end last season! Don't spoil anything for me, though, because I don't know what happens on the season that's on now!

Football. Nebraska had a great season, but don't say that around anyone actually from Nebraska. We fired our head coach after he got another season of 9 wins (the only other current college coach to go seven seasons in a row with nine wins? Nick Saban.), and have now hired someone everyone's super unhappy about hiring. So it's been a contentious time, for sure. But I'm not as invested as some others are, so I enjoyed the season a ton!

LAST MINUTE HATS

Dec 9, 2014
It's crunch time for knitted gifts, and if you're anything like me you're still hoping to get five or six more presents done. Thankfully, designers near and far have heard your cries for a handmade holiday, and have written fast-working hat patterns sized for the whole family! Because I can't help but want everyone I know and love to have a handmade hat on their heads, these fast hats have saved me time and again!

 left to right: Big Chunky Comfy Hat || Bill's Rustic Beanie || Casie Hat (my pattern) || Cozy Cap

 left to right: Finnegan || First Frost || Holbrook Hat (my pattern) || Jack and Jill Beanie


left to right: Kiyona || Madge || Ski Sweater Slouch Hat || Yokohama

While not every person on your list will want a handmade hat this season, hopefully these twelve suggestions will help fill at least a few of those gift bags!

STASHDOWN 2015

Dec 8, 2014

Well, Thursday I said I'd be talking more about tackling my stash "tomorrow", so let's pretend that this is tomorrow, and not several days later!

The short version is this. My stash has gotten out of control, and for someone struggling to live a simple and pared down life, the amount of yarn I've accumulated almost feels like its mocking me, not so silently, from the bedroom closet. Compared to other knitters my stash is meager at best, but I also know that it is far too much for me. I'm at the point where, when I'm ready to make something new, I head to the store instead of digging through what I've already got, which is how I know I'm overwhelmed.

And while I'm in the throes of holiday making right now, I also know that this handmade gifting season will be done before I know it, and I'll be back on track with making hats to give away. Which means I need a plan. (oh, how I love a good plan!)

Which means STASHDOWN 2015! There's a hashtag on Instagram and everything (#stashdown15) for those who are interested in playing along, and the rules, if you can call them that, are simple. I will be working through my stash, one bag, box and pile at a time, until it is gone. I used to proudly boast I could fit my stash into just one not-so-big bag, and I want to be back there again. Which means knitting through all the bits and bobs, the acrylic and the wool, from the sock weight to the super bulky.

I'm excited though, because this means I'll be seeking out new patterns to knit from, rather than simply turning to the three patterns I normally use on repeat. If I've been avoiding my stash for the last six months (cough.year.cough), it's because I know I don't want to knit those tried and true patterns with the yarn I've got. So it's time to branch back out, get back to trying new patterns, and dropping down the Ravelry wormhole as I do so!

In the next few weeks I'll be organizing it a bit better, to make knitting through it a little less traumatic. As I organize I'll share, and then I'll also share regular enough updates as I am able to start seeing the trees through the forest.

For those who are feeling a bit overwhelmed by their own stashes, I invite you to join in. It will end up being a much slower go than I think it will be right now, but I also know that having friends along for the ride will make it go by in a flash, and seem fun along the way!

OUT AND ABOUT

Dec 5, 2014

There’s so much goodness happening around the Internet, I wanted to have a way to share some of it with you each week. Enjoy!

The Ewe Ewe Stocking knit-along is in full swing!

I love me some organization, and Gala Darling is sharing an introduction to using a Filofax.

Five gorgeous sweaters can now be yours, thanks to Madder's new book Elements.

I love how Kelli is using a half-made sweater to make some gorgeous leg warmers.

Two gorgeous patterns, now available as Fringe Association Kits!

It's annual review time for Chris, and he's inviting us all to join in.

I love these bulky mitts the Yarn Harlot finished up last week!

COLORFUL CHEVRON!

Dec 4, 2014
Once my holiday knitting is done, and I've begun tackling the stash in earnest (more on that tomorrow), I'll be looking for fun ways to use up my leftover bits as well as all those full skeins lingering in my yarn stash. And colorful chevron hats seems like a fun way, doesn't it?! I love chevrons (who doesn't?!, and adding in some color work makes the chevron stitch really stand out.

Above are four fun chevron hats I found while poking around Ravelry recently:
top left: Ida's Kitchen, by Kristen Kapur
top right: Puck, by Dani Sunshine
bottom left: Bregne, by Joyce Tromba
bottom right: The Shea Chevron, by Whitney W.

I'm sure to be casting on one (or more!) of these soon!

Lennon Long Tail Hat

Dec 3, 2014






The Lennon Long Tail hat is the perfect photo prop for newborn shoots, and looks adorable on babies up to a year old!

YARN 

I Love This Yarn! Solids (100% acrylic; 355 yards / 325 meters per 198 grams)

Feel free to substitute any aran weight (10 ply, 8 wpi) yarn. Yarn suggestions include Loops & Threads Impeccable, Vanna’s Choice, and Bernat Super Value.

 Note: you will use between 100 and 200 total yards of yarn.

NEEDLES 

US 9 / 5.5 mm double-pointed needles

NOTIONS 

Darning needle for weaving in ends

GAUGE 

16 sts x 20 rows = 4" in stockinette

SIZES 

newborn (0-3 months, 3-6 months, 6-12 months) 12 (13.5, 15, 16)” circumference

BUY THE PATTERN HERE


PHOTO CREDITS
Photos used with permission from Layna Jane Photography and Amy Blanchard Photography

this holiday season

Dec 1, 2014






It's a busy season right now, full of making. Making presents, making hot chocolate, making messes, and making memories. I've been knitting up a storm, all day every day, while we play and laugh and live life to the fullest.

Back in January I decided that my word of the year would be simple. And I've failed at it more than I've succeeded. But I find I gravitate towards quiet and small moments much more than I ever did before, especially this time of year.

There's so much to be done still this holiday season, but none of it involves rush, none of it is a MUST DO OR ELSE. The things that need to be done involve craft time, Christmas movies, hot chocolate dates, and stomping through the snow. There are presents to wrap and Advent calendars to keep Owen from opening all at once.

And of course there's knitting. Right now most of that knitting can't be shared, so I'm pretty sure this space will be quiet. Which has been the state of things lately, hasn't it? Quiet. It's felt good to be quiet here, to live this last season (or three) of life with my two little ones.

I keep coming up with big plans for 2015, and then discarding them. I love the quiet and the simple far too much to want to lean back towards rushed and frustrating and busy. I think I'll stick with simple.

Special Hat Shipping Times!

Nov 28, 2014
People are out shopping like crazy today. And this whole weekend. Every year for the last five or six, we've avoided the big chain stores this weekend, opting instead to stay home and drink hot chocolate, and figure out how many of our holiday presents we can get by shopping small.

If you're considering shopping small this holiday season, please consider a hat from my She Makes Hats Shop. Each Impossible Hat and Cozy Collection Hat purchase will send a child to school for a year through Pencils Of Promise. My goal is to raise $5,000, which will help send kids to school in areas of the world where education is not much more than a dream.


I've still got quite a long way to go with my fundraising efforts, but I know that the holiday shopping season is kicking into high gear, and I'm hopeful that folks will think about picking something up that will do a bit of good in the world, alongside keeping someone's head warm.

With this in mind, any hat purchased today (11/28/2014) or tomorrow (11/29/2014) will ship on Monday (12/1/2014). I'm hopeful that this will mean my fingers (and crochet hooks and knitting needles!) will be flying about like crazy in the next few days as orders come rushing in. There's already some READY TO SHIP hats available, but I'm committing to making every hat, in any color selected, ready for shipping on Monday.

This means I might have to head out to a store or two in the next few days, braving crazy holiday shoppers as I grab yarn for hats. I'm fine with this; I'm hoping this is the case, actually. If I'm out wrestling my way through crowds, it means people have bought hats, and helped send kids to school!

Won't you consider buying a hat from my She Makes Hats Shop?!

Out And About 9

Nov 26, 2014
After a few months of an unintentional "break" involving sharing mostly just patterns - a much needed break, for sure - I've found a bit of my writing voice again! I've been sharing in bits and pieces, mostly through some serialized posts I've tried to keep up with here on the blog, but I hope to have some fun new stuff in the near future as well.

In the meantime, I'm off to celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends this weekend, FINALLY get our tree set up, cut all my hair off (what!!!! photos will be shared on Instagram) and work like crazy on my huge (and totally self-imposed) holiday knit list! While I dig deep into my favorite season of the year, here's a few things I've found around the internet lately that are making me happy, thoughtful, and grateful.

Enjoy!

My friend Courtney will be sending 31 Gifts to people's inboxes this December. I signed up, and I'm betting you should, too!

Thoughts on white privilege, talking to our kids about Ferguson, and why protest is exactly what we need.

Loving the latest family photos Elise shared on her blog, and how much fun the photographers had playing with sameness in a different season.

Lots of amazing new knits in Wool People 8!

With all the pressure to grow and change, I love the idea of staying the same after a difficult experience.

Seriously killing it with every review he writes, this time my brother Nick has tackled Mockingjay Part One.

I made the Annie Cowl as a holiday gift a few years ago - excited there's a new FREE bulky version to try out!

My girl Kelli nails it with the holiday resentment and gender roles!

There's still time to knit a stocking this year, thanks to the Stuff It Stocking Knit-Along with Ewe Ewe Yarns!

I've favorited these links (and so many more) over on my Bloglovin' profile.

While Knitting | Volume II

Nov 24, 2014

Knitting doesn't happen in a vacuum here in SMH-land. Instead, I'm always reading something (thanks to my Kindle) or watching something (thanks to Netflix). Here's a short list of what I've been reading and watching lately.

Hollow City (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children) by Ransom Riggs.This is the second in a series about a group of children with very peculiar abilities, their caretaker (Miss Peregrine) and the battle for the survival of their kind.

I read the first book (Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children) several years ago, but it had been long enough that I re-read the first installment before diving into this book. I'm glad I did this, because I would never have remembered so many of the little nuances that set up the second tale in the series.

Full of time travel, mystery, fights for the survival of a group of people, and more, this book showcases why I love young adult fiction so much. A good YA writer can tell tales with very sophisticated themes, weave in great moral conundrums and help grow readers through words. Definitely pick it up!

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The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change by Adam Braun.So, I knew the basics about Pencils Of Promise before reading this book. I'm in love with their mission, and am proud to say I'm helping build 7 schools through their fundraising efforts. That said, I didn't know the origin story behind the organization, and knew next to nothing about the founder, Adam Braun. So I was excited to dig in and read, to learn more.

Let it be said up front, I am a sucker for a feel-good story that ends happily. And so it should be no surprise that I cried no less than seven times while reading. Kids getting schools, education, and a sense of hope and promise they didn't previously have? Clearly, there were tears. Loved it, and I've already given away a copy, with more to be gifted this holiday season!

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7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker. Okay, so if you don't really find social justice your cup of tea, skip it. But if you love you some Jen Hatmaker, loved her book Interrupted, or are looking for a way to challenge yourself to live a bit lighter in the world, and are ready to recognize just how much our priveledged lives are built on the backs of others, this one's for you. I've already been simplifying my world, but this book has set a new standard, and has challenged me to dig deeper and let go of even more.

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Still working my way through Gilmore Girls, Breaking Bad, and Bones. Nothing new here, so not writing more about them!

Holiday Shipping Reminder!

Nov 23, 2014

The holiday shopping season is upon us, and I wanted to take a moment to remind everyone that shipping deadlines are now set!

If you are ordering a handmade hat (patterns are instant downloads) from the She Makes Hats shop, and want it in time for holiday gifting, you'll need to order by December 7th (for international orders) or December 15 (for domestic orders).

This means there are still a few more weeks to shop handmade this holiday season! And remember - with every hat purchase a child is sent to school for an entire year through Pencils Of Promise!

Customer Love | Volume I

Nov 17, 2014



I love it when people knit up hats from my patterns, and then share photos of their finished hats with me!

Today, I'm sharing some adorable baby photos featuring my Lennon Hat Pattern, all thanks to Adalia Eden Photographie! Based in Gatineau, Quebec, this lovely photographer has whipped through Lennon in a wide variety of sizes and colors in record time, and I love how they've turned out!

You can buy the Lennon Hat Pattern in my Etsy and Ravelry shops. The pattern uses worsted weight acrylic, and is sized for newborns through 12 months!

Have you used a She Makes Hats pattern? I'd love to share photos of your finished hats in my next Customer Love post - simply e-mail your photos to shemakeshats@gmail.com, or just tag them with #shemakeshats on Instagram!!

Falan Hat

Nov 13, 2014

All-over texture makes the slouchy Falan Hat a fun knit for experienced knitters, while the construction is simple enough for a beginner hat maker, all while the slouch makes it perfect for winter weather.

YARN
1 skein Loops & Threads Cozy Wool (50% acrylic, 50% wool; 90y / 82m per 127g)

NEEDLES
US 11 / 8.0 mm 16” circular needle
US 15 / 10.0 mm 16” circular needle
US 15 / 10.00 mm double pointed needles

NOTIONS
Darning needle for weaving in ends
Stitch Marker

GAUGE
8 sts x 12 rows = 4” in stockinette

SIZES
baby (toddler, child, adult) = 16 (18, 20, 22)” unstretched

BUY THE PATTERN HERE

Impossible Hats For The Holidays! (and the winter weather that's coming!)

Nov 10, 2014
Today it it still warm here in Omaha, but it sounds like all over the country folks are already getting hit with the ARCTIC BLAST that's about to sweep over just about all of America. Cold weather is replacing gorgeous fall days, which means the time for bundling up is here!

The She Makes Hats Etsy Shop is stocked full of Impossible Hats in 15 colors, plus almost a dozen ready to ship hats (with more being added later this week!), perfect for helping keep you and those you love warm, while also helping build schools and send kids to school through Pencils Of Promise.

I've committed to raising $5,000 before the end of 2015 to help build schools and send kids to school, and I donate all the proceeds from every hat purchase to this cause. So when you purchase a hat, you're not only keeping your noggin warm, you're also helping send kids to school!

Grab a hat from my Etsy shop today!
 
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