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Aves Hat and Charmed Fall Accessories collection!

Woohoo! A mystery project of mine is finally releasing today, so now I can tell you all about it. It’s so hard to keep these secrets, but I admit, it’s fun at the same time. I’ve really been enjoying working on a small and growing pile of secret things this year.

Read on for the details, an announcement, and a giveaway!

Aves Hat pattern by Amanda Schwabe, part of the Charmed Fall Accesories collection from Knit Picks. #knitting #aknitica

The Aves Hat is now available in Knit Picks’ new Charmed Fall Accessories collection! And oh my goodness, you guys, I’ve been pouring through the book today, and it is adorable. It’s full of cute hats in all sorts of yarn weights, and I notice that most of them (including mine) feature fun pom poms this year. They’re colourful and fun, whimsical, and yes, completely charming. The collection is aptly named. ūüôā


I’m also delighted to see a selection of perfect mitten patterns. In fact, they’re basic and versatile enough that you might find yourself knitting them year after year. The designs have beautifully arranged stripes and just make me so happy.

Okay, and there’s more. More! Boot toppers with garden vegetables….!!!… cowls with feathers, with diamonds…. socks with foxes…. a scarf with a gnome on it (hilarious!), and then I found more gnomes as I flipped through the pages. And for the more subdued tastes, there are beautifully textured accessories that will be classics, like the Rectrix Scarf and the Eclate leg warmers and cowl (love!). I think I might need to make the Yarn Chase Hat with the kitty chasing a ball of yarn, at least for my daugher.

A more whimsical, charming, delightful collection I could not imagine. Knit Picks really knocked it out of the park, and I’m so thrilled¬†to be a part of it. It’s just loaded with quick, perfect projects that make me smile.

My fellow Ottawa Knitting Guild peeps might especially like the Circus Hat, which features a bit of light 2-colour brioche stitch in the ribbing. (Our theme this year is brioche, so how perfect is that!) It is super sweet to boot.

Now, my Aves Hat features some light colourwork, just enough to keep things interesting, but not so much to make it scary, I hope. Once the little section of birdies is done, the dots are worked only every fourth row, so you’ll have 3 rest rows in between to knit mindlessly around in circles. It has a nice, slouchy fit and a fluffy pom pom on top that will make it drape just perfectly when worn. I made¬†the ribbing around the bottom to be snug and cozy, and the pattern comes with 3 sizes so everyone can achieve a great fit.

Aves Hat by Amanda Schwabe in the Charmed Fall Accessories collection from Knit Picks. #knitting #aknitica

If you’ve never tried stranded colourwork¬†before, don’t worry! Here are a couple things I’ve written with tips for you, and if you have any questions, just ask. Quick Tips for Knitting Fair Isle Colorwork¬†and¬† Choosing Colors for Your Knitting.

The nice thing about this hat is that choosing the colours is a bit easier since there are only three. Heck, you could even knit it in just two if you like. I bet it would look awesome in black and white, or maybe black or grey with one of the Stroll Brights. I love those fluorescent colours! I wrote the pattern for Knit Picks Palette yarn, but you could easily knit it in Stroll instead, which is so super soft and lovely in a different way. Honestly, it’s hard for me not to knit 5 of each pattern I make, just to try out different colour and yarn combinations. I need more knitting hours!!

And now, another fun announcement:

If any of you would like to join me in a knitalong of¬†any of the patterns in this collection, I’m inviting you to come and join my new Facebook group. The aknitica group¬†is for anyone who likes to talk about knitting, of any kind, not just my patterns or classes. But obviously, we can talk about those, too, and if you have any questions about techniques or anything, I’ll be there to answer them as often as I can. And I’m sure there will be other knowledgeable knitters there, as well, who can help when I can’t get to the computer fast enough. ūüôā

So come join the aknitica community and let’s knit together! There will be a giveaway¬†of the Charmed Fall Accessories ebook,¬†and I’ll tell you all the details of how to enter in the group.


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Making 2-Stitch Cables the Easy Way … And a New Hat Pattern: Merry!

Finally! The long-awaited cabled ear-flap hat is here!

But first, let me tell you my favourite way to make 2-stitch cables. Did you know that you don’t need a cable needle for these tiny things? And you don’t need to rearrange the stitches, either? There’s a fun little trick for making them. Here it is:

Right Cross 2-Stitch Cable

You’ll be working into the two stitches while they’re both still on the left-hand needle. So, insert your right needle into the second stitch (the further-from-the-tip one) knitwise from the front of the work. Knit it, but don’t slide it off the needle. Now, insert your right needle (with the new stitch still on it) into the first stitch on the left needle knitwise from the front. Knit it. Now both stitches have been knit, and you can slide both off the left needle, and you’re done!

Take care that you don’t loosen the stitches as you’re working them. What I do is knit the far stitch, insert my right needle into the next one, then give the working yarn a tug before knitting it.

Left Cross 2-Stitch Cable

Again, you’ll be working the two stitches that form the cable while they’re both on the left-hand needle. Insert your right needle tip into the second stitch, but this time, do it from the back of the work. You can do it through the back loop. (Even though this will twist the stitch, it doesn’t matter because it’ll be hidden.) Knit it, but don’t slip it off the left-hand needle. Now swing your right needle around to the front of the work and knit the first stitch normally and slide them both off the left needle. Done.

Don’t forget to give the working yarn a tug between knitting each stitch to tighten things up. Keep your motions small and work at the tips of your needles.

Now for the hat pattern: Merry!

Merry hat pattern. #knitting #cables Merry cabled hat pattern with pompoms. #knitting #cables #pompoms


If you’ve seen Merrick, then this one will look familiar. It’s a complete reworking of the pattern (even the charts are different) because it starts from the I-cord up. The I-cords grow into the ear flaps, and then the hat is cast on around the ear flaps and worked up to the crown.

It’s a fun, squishy knit that’ll keep your ears and cheeks cozy on cold winter days. It makes a great gift for kids, teenagers, skiers, snowshoers, skaters, outdoor dog walkers, snowman builders, and bus-waiting commuters. The cables give the hat a lot of stretch and squish, so the sizes are quite versatile. And if you’d like to make a more slouchy version, just knit a size up.

Like I do in most of my patterns, I’ve included tips for making everything just so. Never knit an I-cord before? Don’t worry, there are full instructions plus tips for making them even.

And don’t worry about remembering the instructions for the little 2-Stitch cables. I’ve included the relevant ones in the pattern.

[box type=”download” size=”large” border=”full” icon=”none”]You can grab the Merry pattern here.[/box]

Or on Ravelry here.

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Sock Stashbuster Slouch Hat

I’m learning to embrace my quirks instead of trying to change them.

One of them, dear reader, is that I loooooove sock yarn and, well, any fingering-weight yarn.

Sock Stashbuster Slouchy Hat. #stashbusters #knitting

I have lots of it. ¬†Fleece Artist, Knit Picks Palette, Stroll, and Felici, some Lorna’s Laces, Indigodragonfly, more Fleece Artist, some Madelinetosh… Oh, yeah. ¬†I’m a junkie. ¬†I like the good stuff.

I collect it with good intentions, I swear. ¬†I try diligently to think up projects for the skein in my hand before I buy it. ¬†I never leave the store with a skein that doesn’t have a future, a purpose.

But let’s be honest. ¬†Sometimes I make those purposes up. ¬†I would never admit it at the time, but having had certain skeins for a couple of years now, I can say that I *may* have been a teeny bit delusional. ¬†But only maybe. ¬†This is not a confession, and my husband is not allowed to use this post against me.

(Thankfully, I don’t believe he’s ever read a word I’ve written here, so haha! ¬†I’m probably safe.)

ANYway, I love working with this weight of yarn. ¬†My hands don’t get as tired. ¬†I can make a whole project with just one or two skeins. ¬†No large purchase decisions, no sweaters that started off well and then went off the rails… *ahem*

So here’s a hat. ¬†It’s made of sock yarn. ¬†Well, Knit Picks Palette, which isn’t technically for socks, but it’s close enough. ¬†Especially since it can be replaced very easily by any old sock yarn out there.

Sock Stashbuster Slouch Hat pattern. #knitting #hats #sockyarn

Even a basket of those teeny, tiny, stupid, useless-looking leftovers from all the socks and gloves and hats I’ve made.

This hat, basically, is a stashbuster — an alternative, if you will, to making a Sock Yarn Blankie or a Beekeeper’s Quilt. ¬†(Both of which I have been working on for years now. ¬†My Blankie is about 4 feet wide and 1 foot long, and I have a small peach basket of hexipuffs. ¬†I’ll return to you someday, my dears, I promise!)

It’s a nice, basic slouchy hat construction, so you can, if you want, make it from one new ball of yarn and forget the stashbusting altogether. ¬†It’s up to you.

I made it to match my Scrunchy Ombre Arm Warmers pattern.  Why not, right?  I love the rainbowiness of them.

Scrunchy Ombre Arm Warmers by Amanda Schwabe

The pattern comes with instructions for working not only the basic structure, but also these rainbow stripes specifically and some tips for inventing your own stripes — tips on how to use up your stash, no matter the lengths of yarn you have left.

Now, some of you may have already found this pattern on Ravelry. It’s actually been there for a little while, and I’m only just now realizing I forgot to post about it! But I like it so much, I really wanted to share it. It’s actually been one of my most popular so far.

And now, without further ado, you may click this link to go to the pattern page:

[box type=”download” icon=”none”]Sock Stashbuster Slouch Hat[/box]



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Unusual Ways to Choose Colors for Your Knitting

Choosing colors for a project seems to be one of those things that makes us all second guess ourselves. So let’s go over some basic rules and guidelines that might help you to choose colors confidently.

1. Choose colors that you love. What makes your heart sing every time you look at it? Base your project on that.

2. Choose colors that you consistently wear. Have you ever said to yourself, “I wear blue all the time. I should branch out.” WHY? Why do you do that to yourself? Chances are that spending a month making yourself a pink sweater just because you “should” will end with a sweater that sits in your drawer instead of on your back. You know, deep down, that you won’t wear it. Don’t do it. Make yourself classics. If you’re going to branch out, spend $10 and 5 minutes at the mall to test a new color first.

3. Colors can really be combined in soooo many ways and still be pretty. I bet you’ll only think something is ugly if you incorporate a color that you just don’t like. If you don’t enjoy a color, leave it out.

4. If rainbows make you happy, make rainbows. A rainbow effect doesn’t have to mean you’re using all the bright colors in the exact rainbow order. Try using muted versions of the rainbow colors. Or switch the position of just two of them. Or add a bit of grey, brown, cream, or whatever your favorite neutral is to tone things down. If you like bright colors, do a bright rainbow. If you like soft, muted colors, use light colors with a hint of grey in them. If you like earthy tones, use brownish, toned-down versions of the rainbow colors.

5. Aim for balance. Balance just means that there’s a bit of proportion in your design. There are repeating motifs, whether in shape, texture, color, shade, darkness, lightness, brightness… Sometimes creating an imbalance can add visual interest. If you want to draw the eye to an area and really make it pop, use a color that isn’t everywhere else already. Think of sock cuffs in bright red, or just one stripe in a contrasting color. Balance and imbalance are both design tools to put in your tool box.

6. Use contrast. If you want to emphasize a motif, make it dark and your background light, or vice versa. They could both be colored, like yellow on blue. But if they’re both a medium shade, they’ll blend together. That could be a cool effect, but if you want your design to pop, try using a navy blue with a light yellow. If you use a dark yellow with a light blue, however, the yellow might not be dark enough to contrast well.

7. Try using three colors that touch each other in the rainbow or on the color wheel. Did you know that the color wheel is just a rainbow bent into a circle? Yup, it’s that simple. Three colors in a row will give you a nice, gentle effect. Think yellow-green, green, green-blue. Or yellow, green, blue. Or orange, orange-red, red. Have some fun with it.

8. Look around you for inspiration. Flowers, gardens, buildings, paintings, sunsets and sunrises, clouds, farmers’ fields at harvest time, the first rays of sunlight touching the frost on a window pane…. What are their main colors? Now look more closely. What tiny flashes of other colors are inside? If you find beauty in something, try using those same  colors in those proportions in your next colorwork project.

9. Beauty is subjective. Some things, like the golden spiral, are universally beautiful. Did you know that the proportions we consider to be beautiful are mathematical? Cool, eh? But color isn’t necessarily universally beautiful. I have a friend who exclaims in delight over any deep purple or harvest color. One of my sons thinks black and brown are the most lovely color combination. I, personally, will buy any electric-blue or turquoise yarn you put in front of me. If I tried to make myself buy the harvest colors, I’d undoubtedly be dissatisfied with them and my friend would think I was crazy. Such is life. So, buy the colors you like. They’ll match, I promise. Just remember to throw in some contrast in their shades (lightness and darkness) so the design doesn’t disappear.

10. The color wheel contains pairs of opposite colors. These pairs are called complementary colors. When you’re looking at a color wheel, they’re the ones directly across from each other. The main 3 pairs of complementary colors are blue & orange, red & green, and yellow & purple. When used together in a design, they create high contrast but also balance. Hm. I think I may have just learned something profound about life right there.

For more on color theory, check out this handy website.

In other fun color news, I’ve just finished this new hat pattern. I’ve named it Obla, and it’s a stranded colorwork hat made with just two colors. Interestingly enough, I chose two complementary colors for its prototype. And I used two shades, as well. The pinky-purple is medium-dark, and the seafoam green is nice and light. Simple color theory at work. ūüôā Oh, and of course, I actually quite like both those colors. Otherwise, what would be the point?

Obla Slouchy Hat pattern. #knitting #hats


It’s knit up using a total of 60 grams of fingering-weight yarn and size 3 US (3.25 mm) needles. About 30 grams for each of the colors should be enough. You can grab a copy of the pattern here on the aknitica website or over on Ravelry.

I really enjoyed knitting it up. The chart has a nice, simple repeat with no long floats anywhere. I wish I had more time to make another, maybe with a modified rainbow background and white for the contrast. Or maybe in dark charcoal grey with mustard yellow. What do you think?

Obla Slouchy Hat pattern. #knitting #hats


Obla Slouchy Hat pattern. #knittingtips #hats


I hope my color tips were a little helpful today. I figured that other places go into the technical details of color theory more, so maybe I should give you some other ideas. Can you think of any other tips for us? I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below, and don’t forget to share this post on Facebook or Pinterest if you found it helpful.

Just out of curiosity, what is your favorite color combination?

31 Days to Your Nicest Knitting series. #write31days #knittingtips

This post is part of my 31 Days to Your Nicest Knitting series. Every day, I’ll post a new tip or trick to make your knitting nicer. You can follow along easily by subscribing. If you have any knitting problems you’d like me to fix, let me know and I’ll try to answer your question as part of the series. You can find all the posts in the series here.

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Free Preemie Hats, Upcoming Patterns, and Portraits. Oh My!

Hello, lovely people!

My brain is so full right now, of ideas and deadlines, that I barely know what to say when I do have time to write.  Let me begin in the middle.

Christmas is coming (yay!), and that means we have five little people to buy gifts for (yikes!). ¬†They are all super excited, especially since it snowed at our house overnight and they woke up to a wintery wonderland this morning. ¬†I made the mistake of taking my two oldest ones Christmas shopping for their siblings at Chapters last week, and their wish lists instantly grew by about two feet that day. ¬†Pokemon is the big thing in our house right now. ¬†I am secretly horrified, but trying to look interested in all their cards with the weird names and diverse “powers.”

I’ve been knitting up a storm, trying to make samples, figure out new patterns, knit gifts, and fulfill special orders. ¬†(I’ve recently taken up knitting for non-knitters who want hats. ¬†They can be voracious. ¬†Owl hats are a big hit, and I hope to write up a pattern for them soon, if I can ever find the time.)

Owl hat with plaid collageb

I’m also an artist of sorts. ¬†I say “of sorts” because I’ve barely had a chance to draw or paint since my first baby was born nine years ago. ¬†Now that my youngest is three, I’ve realized that maybe I can get back into painting again! ¬†But first, I’m sticking with the simpler art of drawing. ¬†Pencils don’t dry out when you have to leave them to make lunch. ¬†I’ve decided to sell pencil portraits for the next little while. ¬†It’s an experiment of sorts, trying to figure out just how much creativity I can fit into my life before the dirty dishes really do begin to overtake the kitchen counters.

(This is a drawing I made of my husband and our firstborn as a Christmas present to said husband years ago. ¬†It’s actually a compilation of two photos, since neither of them had the proper expressions in one photo, of course. ¬†Husbands and children never do.)

Pencil drawing of father and son.

I also received a surprise in the mail today. ¬†I had sent my sample hats to Knit Picks before they listed my Merrick hat pattern in the IDP section, and today I received them back! ¬†Eva immediately put the blue one on, and aha! — a revelation — it looks adorable on a three year old. ¬†It turns into a cute little elf-like hat. ¬†(She’s wearing the child size.)

Merrick child size

Merrick, child size

I’m in the end stages of getting Merrick‘s close cousin, Merry, ready for publication. ¬†It’s an extended version, shall we say, with cozy earflaps and (optional) hilarious pom poms. ¬†Adding the earflaps forced me to make entirely new charts, so I’m putting Merry out as its own pattern since it took just as much work as Merrick did. ¬†I think, however, that I’ll offer it at a discount to those who want to buy both patterns.

I roped my neighbour and friend into being my model last weekend. ¬†ūüėÄ ¬†She’s such a good sport. ¬†Here’s a sneak peak:


Last, but not least: ¬†Sunday was World Prematurity Awareness Day, and in honour of the four out of my five kids who were preemies, I’m once again offering all my preemie hat patterns for free. ¬†The coupon code is only good for a limited time (until Friday, November 22nd at midnight), so grab them quickly on Ravelry with the coupon code preemieday. ¬†Whether you know a preemie or not, sending preemie hats to your local NICU is such a nice way to encourage the families in your community. ¬†Having a child born too early can be quite nerve wracking and traumatizing. ¬†Many parents suffer from some form of PTSD afterwards. ¬†The more support those parents have, the better.

My personal favourite of my preemie patterns is the Tulip Preemie Hat. It’s so much fun to knit it up with some self-striping yarn, and it’s so tiny that you can complete one in a couple hours (or less).

Tulip Preemie Hat





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I’m Going To Be On Knit Picks!

Look what came in the mail yesterday!

I finally got brave and submitted two patterns to the Knit Picks IDP program.  And they both got accepted!

Very soon, both Merrick and the Knotty Baby Hat will be available on the Knit Picks website for $1.99 each. ¬†You might notice that I’ve lowered their prices. ¬†I can do that because I’m anticipating higher sales through the higher visibility they’ll get on such a great, large website.

For those of you who’ve supported me by buying them at their previous prices, I am so thankful, and I’d like to offer you the gift of another one of my patterns for free. ¬†Just send me an email to with the name of the pattern you’d like for free, and I’ll send you the link myself, with a big thank you for your previous Merrick or Knotty Baby Hat purchase. ¬†You have no idea how encouraged I feel every time I get that PayPal notification email that one of my patterns has been purchased.

Knit Picks kindly sent me some Swish Worsted yarn so I could knit up two samples of Merrick. ¬†I chose two colours: ¬†my absolute favourite, Gulfstream — an electric blue that leans slightly towards aqua; it’s so vibrant and happy — and Dove Heather, which is soft and classic and comforting. ¬†I got the yarn in the mail yesterday, and immediately cast on to make the first sample. ¬†This is so exciting!

I can’t wait to see how the pattern will look knit up in the Gulfstream colour. ¬†I wish I could capture its colour more accurately with my camera. ¬†These photos are gorgeous, but they’re actually lacking some of its vibrancy!

The Knotty Baby Hat was originally designed in Knit Picks Felici Fingering-weight Sock Yarn, so it’s all ready to go, just as soon as I can mail in the signed Terms & Conditions. ¬†I tried to scan them, but I must be missing some essential software for my scanner. ¬†Sometimes, nothing is simple around here.

I’d love to knit up another sample of it someday. ¬†Maybe I’m being picky, but I hate that little line down the left front where my needles joined. ¬†I have since changed the pattern so the beginning of round doesn’t shift any more, so that line will never, ever, ever appear at the front ever again, but my sample photo hasn’t been updated to match. ¬†At least, not in the Rainbow colourway. ¬†I have a nice photo in a blue-stripe colourway, whose name I have completely forgotten, and which looks like it may have been removed from the Felici colours, anyway:


I’m so thrilled and nervous to finally be taking this step forward in my love of designing. ¬†Thanks for supporting me along the way!



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Merrick: Cabled hat pattern

How excited am I about this pattern? ¬†Well, I’ve already knit it up 5 times, and I’m working on a sister pattern with integrated earflaps. ¬†(I want an tangerine orange one for myself, if I can find the time to make it.)

Merrick debuted on Ravelry this past weekend and made it into the Top 20.   I love seeing my patterns alongside designers I admire, like Kate Davies and Stephen West.  Can you say excited?


Fleece Artist BFL Aran version








I first knit Merrick up using Fleece Artist Blue Face Leicester Aran yarn. ¬†I loved the velvety texture of the hat. ¬†It felt lush and thick, and I couldn’t stop petting it.

Then I knit it up using Cascade 220. ¬†I realized that the gauge was different with worsted-weight yarn (duh, me), so I reworked the hat a bit. ¬†I was worried that Fleece Artist wasn’t widely available enough, and I wanted Merrick to be knittable in a common weight.

I wanted to make sure that the Cascade 220 worsted-weight gauge wasn’t an accident, so I picked up some golden Debblie Bliss Rialto Aran from my favourite yarn shop. ¬†It said “aran” — would it be more like the Fleece Artist, or the Cascade? ¬†It turns out the gauge was worsted, as well. ¬†What a relief!

As an added bonus, the Debbie Bliss yarn made the squishiest, most well-defined cables ever.  I absolutely love the texture of it.  I wish I could have a shelf of it in every colour.

But I still had a crush on the Fleece Artist BFL, so I compromised a bit.  In the pattern, the main sizing instructions are for worsted-weight yarn, but I gave some notes on using the heavier aran-weight, too.

When you purchase the pattern, you’ll be getting both charted and written instructions. ¬†You can use either one or the other, according to your preference. ¬†They’re both complete and separate.

I also included detailed written instructions for each stitch used in the pattern.  Feel free to send me a message if anything remains unclear.

To knit Merrick, you will need:

  • 100g worsted weight yarn (or 1 125g of Fleece Artist BFL yarn)
  • size 7 US (4.5mm) circular needle, 16″ for body of hat; and a second circ or dpns for crown shaping. ¬†OR, size needed to get gauge. ¬†(You don’t want your hat to be too small, do you?)
  • cable needle, if using
  • stitch marker
I prefer to knit cables without a cable needle. ¬†I find it much faster. ¬†I learned how to do that from Grumperina’s photo tutorial.
The gauge you’re aiming for is 5 sts per inch in stockinette in the round. ¬†If you know Judy’s Magic Cast On, just cast on about 15 sts per needle and work a tiny, straight pocket in the round. ¬†Make it about 2 inches long, then take the needles out and measure your gauge. ¬†That’s a quick, easy way to get an accurate in-the-round gauge.
Why is measuring your gauge in the round so important? ¬†Because most people purl slightly looser than they knit, so our gauges tend to be different when we’re knitting every round that when we’re knitting and purling back and forth. ¬†(The things you learn while taking the Master Knitting course.)
But I digress.
And now, a plethora of photos so you can see the hat from all angles and decide that you must, this very minute, buy a copy of this pattern for you and all your friends.


My test knitter had this to say about Merrick:¬†[quote]¬†“It was a nice knit. ¬†I found the pattern very easy to work with and your charts worked really well. ¬†I did not use the written instructions, only the notes that went with the charts and the explanations for the symbols on the charts, which I found useful.”[/quote]





[box]Where did I come up with the name Merrick? ¬†Well, it wasn’t easy picking a name for this hat. ¬†I had all my Facebook friends give me great suggestions, but in the end, I chose to somewhat name it in honour of where I bought the yarn. ¬†(Plus, doesn’t “Merrick” sounds vaguely Aran-ish?) ¬†If it weren’t for Beckie at Unraveled in Merrickville, I never would have had the pleasure of working with the Debbie Bliss. ¬†And now I’m addicted to it. ¬†Thanks, once again, Beckie, for inspiring me to happily relinquish all of my yarn budget to your capable hands. ¬†[/box]

[box type=”download”]

You can purchase your very own pdf copy of Merrick right here!  Your download will be sent to you automatically.


What do you think of the Merrick hat pattern? ¬†Have you ever tried cabling without a special needle before? ¬†I’d love to hear from you!

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When I was a kid, I remember reading a short story called “Impunity Jane.” I don’t know why I always returned to that story; maybe it was because I was a typical girl who loved dolls, and Impunity Jane just happened to be a doll. But really, I think it was the word impunity that had me so fascinated. I just couldn’t infer its meaning from the story’s content. It was a word mystery, and I was hooked.

The mystery remained unsolved, and, eventually, forgotten, until my high school English class. There, in my vocabulary book, was the word impunity! And the definition? Freedom from punishment. The perfect word, waiting to be used in the perfect situation. I love those types of words.

As I was typing up the description for this hat pattern, I realized that the thing I like so much about it is its use of variegated and tonal yarns. I have a love/hate relationship with those yarns, which you may have read about here. They always look so pretty in the balls, and so horribly blotchy in stockinette. Unless.

Unless you can come up with some interesting stitch pattern. Then, they shine. Then, you can knit them up with impunity.

For example, in my new pattern, which I named… Impunity. Shocking, I know.

As you can see, these hats have vertical ribbing to break up the colour changes. And the shaping continues right up to the top of the hat. Lots of springy, stretchy rings and visual interest. This hat looks great knit in any colour, for anyone. I’ve been making them for the gezillions of babies being born to all my friends this summer, and I plan to make one for myself, too. And possibly for my husband. If he’s good. After all, what’s the use in being a knitter if you don’t have an over abundance of hats?

The pattern contains sizing for Preemies, Babies, Toddlers, and Children/Adults. Because of the larger-than-normal needle size and the vertical ribs, these hats are stretchy and will fit between sizes. If in doubt, knit a size up. For instance, Preemie is definitely too little for a newborn of average size, but the Baby size will fit a newborn for quite a while. The size shown in the pictures is Toddler, and it fits the pretty little 20-month-old (if I do say so myself) as well as her 5-year-old brothers. But if you’re knitting for an 8 year old or older, I’d go with a Child/Adult size. Clear as mud?

You’ll need a 50g ball of fingering-weight yarn and size 3 US (2.75mm) needles for working in the round. I used two circular needles, but dpn’s or magic loop would work, as well. The yarn I used, that’s shown here, is one of my new favourites: Shibui Sock. Oh, the springiness! Oh, the colours! My hands are happy when I knit with it. The colour shown here is called Roppongi, and it’s a pink/orange mix. Bliss!

[box type=”download”]download now¬†for free![/box]

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Super Mario Charts

Feel free to use these two charts in any of your knitting projects! I had some fun making them up. ūüôā I have no idea what the copyright is for any of the Super Mario characters, so obviously these are free, and I imagine you should only use them in your own work and not sell anything made with them. And feel free to play around with the colours. I made these charts using, and I think I’m really going to like that site for making more charts in the future. It was so so easy.

Anyway, here they are:


And this is what it looks like in a hat:

I used duplicate stitch to do the small details instead of carrying the yarn. And for the eyes, I actually made a small decorative knot instead. You might also notice that these particular Yoshis also have tongues… They were added on as an afterthought at the insistence of my son, even though these Yoshis are NOT in their tongue-out position. I cringed sewing them on, but he was happy. They’re just a straight, basted line of red, with a little duplicate-stitch bit of red at the end.

Super Mario Bony Turtle:

And here’s what that looks like on a hat:

These hats are knit using a variation of Kate Oates’ Cheery Scrap Cap pattern. I used dk-weight yarn instead of worsted, with size 5 US needles, and I probably played around with the number of repeats, too. ūüôā

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Mighty Warrior

I just finished up this chemo cap for a small friend of mine. It’s a bit of a merge between Kate Oates’ free Cheery Scrap Cap pattern and my own viking horn design, with some modifications thrown in. I’m pretty pleased with the result. ūüôā

If you’re interested in making a similar one, here’s how I did this one:

I used Knit Picks Swish DK (instead of worsted weight) and size 5 US circular needles. I cast on 104 sts to make a larger version of the girls’ child-size hat (I basically added 2 more pattern repeats). I skipped the ear flaps this time, and knitted about 3/4″ of 2×2 ribbing before starting into the chart pattern. I used the girl’s pattern for this boy’s hat, but I left the heart part of the chart blank except for one tiny row of red dots.

As for the horns, you can download my pattern for them from Ravelry with this link: download now

May all the mighty warriors out there with battles to fight be strengthened by our love and prayers as we knit for them.