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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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Vacation Knitting!

Because what would a vacation be without yarn?

I knit up the last piece of Eva’s sweater, and I think I’ll continue the vacation vibes by sewing it up this week. It’s a Duffle Coat by Debbie Bliss knit up in Knit Picks Swish DK in Amethyst Heather.

I also cast on these Wallflower socks, which I’ve been drooling over since I took the Two Hands, Two Colours class from Sally Melville at my local yarn shop. The Knit Picks Chroma is so sticky! I love it.

Before I could start them, though, I had to finish up these Jaywalker socks that were on the needles I needed. (The poor things had fallen victim to the New-yarn-arrived-so-I’ve-moved-on-to-another-project-and-I’ll-get-back-to-you-later Syndrome. I hear it can sometimes be fatal if left too long. As it was, they barely escaped without serious side effects. Thankfully, after some stitch counting, pattern puzzling, head scratching, husband laughing, and more stitch counting, they’ve pulled through the crisis and might even match — stitch-wise, not stripe-wise. I sometimes like a good, confusing, mismatched stripe.)

I also tried out a new stitch pattern I’d had brewing in my mind for a manly scarf. (For some reason, my husband says I don’t knit for him. I don’t know what he means! After all, that pair of socks I knit for him last year will be ready as soon as I sew in those last three ends. Sheesh.) Right. So, here’s what I came up with:

As you can see, it went great.

And, last but not least, I worked on some sizing for the child-size version of the Tulip Preemie Hat. I was aiming for a one-year-old size to fit Eva this winter, but I think it may need some work. See what buying a written pattern does for you? It saves you time and frustration because someone else has been frustrated for a time instead.

Oh yeah! I don’t know how I forgot about this one, but I also cast on another Ten-Stitch Blanket with some yarn I picked up in a shop near the cottage. It’s Bernat Mosaic in about five different colourways. It’s acrylic (bleah), machine-washable and -dryable (yay!), and WAY cheaper than the Noro Aya I used in the same pattern for my sister-in-law’s wedding present (yay again!). Even though I strongly believe we knitters should never have to sacrifice using quality natural fibres, my wallet doesn’t always agree with me. And, I have to say, the colours in this yarn are gorgeous, the mixture of them is more to my taste than the Noro’s was, and even though my brain knows I’m feeling acrylic instead of a luscious blend of silk, cotton, and wool, my fingers can’t really tell the difference. Plus, I’ve only come across one tiny knot so far, which is far less than the ten-dollar-a-ball, “high quality” Noro can boast. Oh, and when my kids spill cheerios all over it, make a fort out of it, and just generally rub their kidliness all over it, I won’t care because I can throw it in the washer.

To top the vacation off, I made the mistake of heading to Wool-Tyme for their tent sale, where I picked up a pile of yarn for ridiculously low prices. I’m quite excited about some of it (sock yarn and bamboo DK in vibrant greens and purple), and some has me scratching my head wondering why I thought I needed six huge balls of bright orange acrylic yarn just because my kids like that colour.

Good yarn that will be made into preemie hats
Questionable yarn that will nevertheless make my kids insanely happy as a blanket

Now this orange yarn, on the other hand, is something I consider a good buy. Eco Wool, on sale!

I’m picturing it, along with the leaf green, as stranded mittens for the boys to keep their little fingers double cozy this winter. Makes me feel all good and motherly.

Now, to stay home, stop spending money, and happily work my way through my stash.