Jun 25, 2015

Knit List || Hot Chocolate

I cannot begin to explain just how particular Lou is. She loves to have bangs, and will get crazy mad when they get too long and start to hang in her face. She loves to have pig tails or a top knot as well, and picks out which hair bands I should use.

She picks out (and changes frequently) the shoes she is wearing, and will stand in front of her closet with me, helping me decide which shirt to wear. If I should try to just grab a shirt or pair of shoes for her, she will protest QUITE loudly until she can have her say.

At 15 months old, she's got more opinions than her 3 year old brother!

Because of this particularness, I know I cannot simply knit her something and assume she'll wear it in the colder months. She's got enough opinions for our entire house, and so I'm going to have to run future knitting choices by her before I cast on. But boy, do I hope this Hot Chocolate sweater makes the cut! I love the boxy nature, the turtleneck, and the cropped sleeves. It feels very Lou to me, and I hope she sees that as well!

Until it gets colder and she can start helping me pick out some winter knits, it goes on my "here's hoping list"!

Jun 24, 2015

Hats On People || Jeroen

A few weeks ago I was contacted by Jeroen about the possibility of making him a hat as part of my Hats On People project. He'd read of my quest in my friend Chris' book The Happiness of Pursuit: Finding the Quest That Will Bring Purpose to Your Life, and was intrigued. He had read through some of my blog, loved the concept, and wanted to participate!

Of course I said yes - I love to make hats for others, and as much as I can, whenever someone contacts me about making them a hat, I love to get one to them. Jeroen lives in the Netherlands and has completed a quest of his own, so we've bonded over the last few weeks when chatting about the structure of a quest, and the passion behind it.

I'd actually started to slack off on my Hats On People project, and thanks to Jeroen's message, I added a link to the blog with more information for others to participate in this project, and I've gotten just under a dozen requests in the last week! It's so exciting to watch as these hats start getting shipped across the world to folks like Jeroen, excited to help me finish my quest, all while wearing a handmade hat of their own!

Jun 23, 2015

Fringe Hat-Along 3 Is Underway!

Have you participated in the previous Fringe Association Hat Alongs? I keep meaning to grab some yarn and play along, but then .... life, I guess. I was super bummed to miss out on the second one, as I had the yarn ready to go, but just never found the time to sit down and bang the hat out!

This third hat-along features the gorgeous Hermaness Hat from Gudrun Johnston, who is a designer I have loved for years. Her patterns are gorgeous - timeless and still technical, perfect for everyday wear while challenging the knitter in a variety of ways.

For the hat-along Karen is recommending the worsted weight version of this gorgeous lace-weight hat, although a fingering weight version is available as well. And as per Karen's usual amazing style, there is tons of advice and helpful tips in the Hat-Along blog post, so if you're new to hat knitting or lace knitting, check it out before you dive in!!

Jun 22, 2015

Dotted Rays

Pattern: Dotted Rays, from Stephen West
Yarn: Tosh Merino Light, from Madeline Tosh ( yards)
Knitting Time: May 6 2015 - June 20 2015 (six weeks)

I began knitting this shawl in early May, as part of my OWL for the HPKCHC group on Ravelry. I'm not really a shawl knitter, but I knew I wanted to stretch myself this spring/summer to make just a few knitted things that are outside of my normal knit-sphere. That said, I also knew a traditional triangle shawl is something I'll never wear, so I wanted something that I could see myself wrapping around my neck like a scarf this winter.

Something for football games and snow days and going to middle school practicums. Something that would take me from fall to winter to spring. Something I'd actually wear.

Dotted Rays is definitely that shawl! I love looping it loosely around my neck (as seen in the first picture above), but found that when I draped it over my shoulders for pictures, I immediately knew this would be the perfect way to wear this shawl when I need one extra cozy layer. And it also wraps more tightly around my neck like a traditional scarf, for those super cold football games this fall!

Dotted Rays comes with two sizes you can knit, and I chose the smaller size - both because I'm not a natural shawl knitter, and also because I'm super short, so a huge shawl would be a bit unusable. I'm so glad I made the small version, because it's just the right amount of "huge, blanket-like" for me, while still being 100% useable!

I made exactly zero modifications to the pattern as I knit it. And while I could say it's because I didn't feel adept enough to make any changes, in truth I adore this shawl made exactly the way it's designed.

I will say this, however. I worked the first four or five sections just trying to "pay attention" to where the short row turns were, and it was driving me insane! I complained a bit in a private online knitting group I'm a member of, and one lovely friend pointed out that DUH ROBYN, STITCH MARKERS AT THE SHORT ROW TURNS. Because seriously, then you don't have to do anything but pay attention to how many stitches you need to be away from the last marker, and not constantly count the entire section, like I was doing. Game. Changer.

This little tip is actually getting its own post at some point, once I feel like casting on another shawl so I can take pictures of this in-process. Because did I think to take pictures in the moment? NOPE! Oh well. I'm sort of out of practice at this whole blogging thing this spring/summer, so whatever. Next time!!

If you're a seasoned shawl knitter, you could whip this off your needles far faster than I did, I would imagine. But still ... six weeks of intermittent knitting time (when the kids were sleeping, basically) doesn't feel like a very long time to me, so beginner shawl makers shouldn't be scared away by this! The techniques are super fun and easy to master, and it's a piece I'll wear for years to come!!

Jun 10, 2015

COZY, The Collection

I've finally gotten off my duff and put together eight hat patterns, all previously published as individual patterns, into a collection called CozyPerfect for gifting and charity donations, the hats in Cozy work up quickly using super bulky yarn. You can purchase the entire collection for just $15.00 - a huge discount as each pattern is $3.00 individually.

If you've purchased any of these patterns in the past, but would like to have the entire collection, please message me so I can give you a discount dependent on the number of patterns from Cozy you've already purchased. I'd hate for you to spend money twice for a pattern, after all!!

I hope to have more collections like this available, coming this fall and winter. I'm finally getting back to writing patterns, finishing up some of the many patterns I've had half-finished for years along with getting some new patterns out of my head. It feels good to get back to this, for sure!!


Jun 8, 2015

Hats On People & Impossible Hats Have Merged!!

As part of my goal to make 10,000 hats for 10,000 people, I love sharing hats I've made for folks around the globe as part of my Hats On People Project. I also love to raise money for organizations I believe are doing the most good for our world.

Since October, I had been using my She Makes Hats shop to help raise money for Pencils Of Promise and my friend Joel Runyon's 777 Project. However (and as you already know), I did not find running a shop to fit well with my life or my long-term goals.

That said, I want to get back to making hats for the Hats On People project, and I still want to reach my goal of raising $5,000 for PoP, sending 200 kids to school!

So here's what I'm doing - I'm opening up the Hats On People project to anyone who wants a hat. Everyone who requests one will get an Impossible Hat, and I ask that instead of offering to pay shipping or for materials (as many folks have already offered to do), people instead donate to my Impossible Hats Project goal!

If you'd like to be one of the people in my Hats On People project, simply shoot me an e-mail (shemakeshats@gmail.com) - depending on what's going on in my life, and how long my Hats On People request list is, it may take me a bit to get your hat to you, but I'll definitely make your hat!

As I stated above, currently I'm making only Impossible Hats (seen in the photo above). With my busy life and smaller children, these are hats I can make by memory, don't have to worry about where I'm at in the pattern, and I know they'll fit everyone.

When you e-mail me about your hat, please include the following information:
  • What color you'd like
  • If you're allergic to wool. I default to wool yarns right now, as most of the charities I knit for request wool, but I can make your hat in another fiber if you've got an allergy.
  • If the hat is for a child or an adult. Additionally, if the hat is for a child, please let me know their age, so I can make sure it fits properly.
  • If you would prefer the hat to be slouchy (as pictured) or a beanie. I can make either style.
I love making hats for individuals, families, and even smaller groups of people - don't hesitate to message about getting Impossible Hats for your charity group, extended family reunion, etc.

And don't forget, when you request a hat I'll suggest that you donate to my Impossible Hats Project. I have been helping raise money for Pencils Of Promise, and your donation of $25 would send a child to school for a year!! While this is NOT A REQUIREMENT to ask me for a hat, and will not bump you up on my list any, I would greatly appreciate it!!

Jun 5, 2015

Out And About

That would be Lou, trying to crawl under her crib. Why? I'm not sure. But thank goodness for her giant noggin (which is in the 90th percentile), which kept her from fitting. She wasn't super happy about it, mind you, but at least she didn't get stuck under her crib!

Holy buckets it's been far too long since I've shared the stuff I'm loving online! One would think I've been busy building a mascara empire, taking care of my two littles, and taking a summer class.

Wait ....

Anyhow, here's a few (million) of the things I've been saving to Bloglovin' lately!

Have you seen Jane Richmond's new pattern, the Arika Cowl?! Love.

I love a good book list, even though I don't have much time to read lately. See this one, and this one.

Need to pull your hair back in a fun, new way? This chignon makes me dream of long hair again!

I love Darling Be Brave's shop, instagram, and blog. Check out her thoughts on Etsy and Instagram.

When You're Scrappy .... great article!

The Happy Soul Project had their first Kick It Capes sewing bee, and it was a huge success!

Are you a capsule or uniform person? I'm decidedly uniform - grey tees and jeans, to be exact!

Jun 3, 2015

Scarves In The Round

I'm so excited to be part of the blog tour for the book Scarves in the Round: 25 Knitted Infinity Scarves, Neck Warmers, Cowls, and Double-Warm Tube Scarves, written by my darling friend Heather Walpole of Ewe Ewe Yarns!! Heather's first book is full of gorgeous ways to keep your neck warm, all knit on circular needles!! Her book has everything from beginner-friendly patterns to the most complicated of designs, and the finished items range from capelets to cowls to traditional-looking scarves that are knit as mini tubes!

I literally have only one problem with this book - I want to knit FAR TOO MANY of the patterns!! Which is not really a problem at all, now is it! I've got a few of the patterns earmarked for charity, and a few that I want to make just for me!

I love the Del Mar Derby Wrap, clearly. All that ribbing? That's my wheel house! This is the perfect soft scarf to wear wrapped double for cold nights, and would make for a perfect charity project!

I already have plans to cast on the Date Night Infinity Loop, thanks to some bulky yarn I've had lingering in my stash for far too long. There's enough to make a few cowls, so I'll add one to my wardrobe and then donate the rest!!

Traditionally I've struggled with lace projects, mostly due to most lace projects being shawls, with back and forth knitting happening. I'm excited to try the Changing Tides Cowl, however, because I'm hoping the "in the round" aspect of the lace will make it easier for me to wrap my brain around!!

And these are just three of the 25 patterns you'll find in this gorgeous book! I've got a bunch more favorited on Ravelry, and can't wait to watch as projects start to pop up on Ravelry as folks make every one of these gorgeous items!!

And because Heather and her publishers are so amazing, I've got a copy of the book to give to one reader!! To enter, simply comment below with your favorite pattern from the book (you can view them all on Ravelry here) and I'll choose one winner on Sunday night! If you're reading this via e-mail or reader, please click over to the blog and comment to win.

Congrats on the amazing book, Heather!! I can't wait to get knitting on these scarves ... in the round!!

Grab a copy of Scarves in the Round: 25 Knitted Infinity Scarves, Neck Warmers, Cowls, and Double-Warm Tube Scarves for yourself today from Amazon (using the link), or swing by your local yarn shop or bookstore to see if they've got it available yet!!

Jun 1, 2015

Simple Charity Hat

Back in 2010, I wrote and published The Minimalist Knitter's Handbook. While I am far from being a minimalist knitter right now (something I'm working back towards, though), I love that people still find the e-book on Ravelry and want to not only pare down their knitting lives, but knit from the patterns in the book!

It would appear that one of the original patterns from the book, the Simple Charity Hat, was left out of the update I did about a year ago! To remedy this, I'm going to include the free pattern here, so anyone and everyone can use it.

I do not presume to imagine this is a unique pattern. It is a simple size formula, with a few inches of ribbing followed by knitting until you're ready to bind off. That said, I loved making hats like this for many years, and it is a formula I still recommend to beginning knitters who want to learn to knit in the round, but aren't quite ready for decreases.


One skein I Love This Yarn! (100% acrylic; 355 yards/325 meters per 198 grams)
 Note: You will need between 50 and 150 yards of yarn for this hat.


US 9 / 5.5 mm 16" circular needle
TWO size US 9 / 5.5 mm double-pointed needle (for three-needle bind off)


Darning needle for weaving in ends
Stitch Marker


16 sts = 4" in stockinette (row gauge unimportant)


baby (toddler, child, adult) = 14 (16, 18, 20) inches wide, un-stretched.