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Zazzy Pussy Hat: A pattern praised & modified

Catching the second wave of pussy hat knitting here at the beginning of 2018, I adapted the pattern for circular knitting. Notes on this are below. But first, let me say how brilliant Kat Coyle’s original pattern is. I thought about that a lot as I knitted this hat. The concept is brilliant, but also the design of the original pattern is brilliant for the whole idea of a mass protest hat. By designing it as a flat rectangle with only knit and purl anyone could make this hat. A person taking their first knitting lesson could make this hat. Cast-on, knit, purl, cast-off. One set of straight needles. Sew side seams. The idea was for as many people as possible to make as many hats as possible, and really I don’t see how the original pattern could possibly have done a better job of being accessible to as many people as possible. Another brilliant thing about the pattern is the wide K2, P2 ribbing. This is an extremely stretchy ribbing and by having it comprise half the hat it insures that one size really will fit most, if not all, heads. No shaping is inherent in the design concept, but the ribbing makes all the usual initial decreases unnecessary, anyway. The broad band of ribbing can be adjusted on the wearer: some may wear it as is, but others may adjust the fit by turning up the front band. Really, anyway you look at it, Kat Coyle’s original pattern is a brilliant design for its purpose and audience.

So, why did I mess with it? Well, I prefer knitting in the round. Circular knitting is a natural for hats. And I hate sewing seams. I’m not a beginner, so the technique doesn’t have to be rock-bottom basic. Though, really, even knitting this in the round isn’t more difficult than knitting it flat. (Easier, in fact, because no purls for stockinette stitch.) But it does call for an extra technique that a beginner wouldn’t typically learn right away, the Kitchener stitch, for neatly and seamlessly closing the top.

Here’s my adaptation of the pattern. It makes a hat just like the original: all I changed was the technique (and the yarn).

Special techniques needed: Kitchener Stitch for seamlessly closing the top. (I occcasionally refer to this tutorial to refresh my memory on the Kitchener stitch.)

Needles: Size 8, set of 5 dpns. (A circular needle with a short cord would probably also work, but you will still need straight needles for finishing.)

Yarn: Caron Simply Soft Party (“Party” designates a sparkly yarn). Color: Fuchsia. 1  3 oz/85g skein (164 yds or 150 m)

Cast on 100 sts. (I used the German Twisted cast-on, which is a nice stretchy cast-on that’s become my usual, but there’s no need for a special cast-on; your favorite is fine.)

K2, P2 ribbing for 4.25″.

Then knit another 4.25″ in the round (stockinette st). Total length of piece should be 8.5″.

Divide the sts evenly between 2 needles (straight or dpns). Break yarn leaving a very long tail. Finish with Kitchener Stitch. Weave in loose ends and you’re done!

You can view my projects, pics, notes, etc on Ravelry. I reciprocate friend requests!

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Instagram, Ravelry, Socks, and Wine

Wit Beyond Measure Socks are Sheep Thrills!

This self-striping yarn colorway is called “Wit Beyond Measure” and is one of Brazen Stitchery’s yarns. (Love their geeky yarn names: this one is the motto of Ravenclaw.) Finished the socks yesterday evening. Coincidentally, I stumbled across a wine called “Sheep Thrills” yesterday, too. Follow me on Ravelry (AinyRainwater) to see more projects and on Instagram (@ainyrainwater) for a more eclectic assortment of pics. In yet another coincidence…Dictionary.com’s Word of the Day today is ovine: pertaining to, of the nature of, or like sheep. 😆

So the Ravellenics are over…

MEDAL-SOCKI medalled in the Sock-Put and got the Single Skein laurel from Team Tardis (teams give laurels, “Bobicus” gives medals). Maybe next time — if I’m not in the throes of book revisions (Hahaha..like that’ll ever happen) — I’ll try something more ambitious. There were some pretty impressive projects done by my fellow Whovians in Ravelry (Who Knits group) and by Ravellers in general. Today I’m back to exploring fictional worlds in my head while knitting. Now if I could just get rid of that Olympic theme earworm…

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Ravellenic Games 2016

I first heard of this huge mass knitting event when it hit the news some years ago because the name at that time was “Ravelympics” and the U.S. Olympic  Committee sent an insulting cease and desist letter to Ravelry, the big knit/crochet social network. It hit all the major and minor news outlets (here’s the Washington Post article, for instance) and blew up big online both for the non-standard insulting language of the letter and the furious outrage of oh, a couple million or so knitters. The idea is to knit while watching the Olympics, so you’d think they’d be happy for the publicity and the bump in viewership, but no, they insisted that the name be changed, and because they were so rude and insulting to knitters the Olympic committee ended up apologizing not once, but twice, before the furor died down.

The media coverage of this was also the first time I heard of Ravelry. After I picked up my sticks again, I joined last year, so this is my first time participating in the Ravellenics. I’d joined some Rav groups, but hadn’t posted in any. A couple of local shops were participating but since I’d be using yarn purchased at Fiber Fest, it didn’t seem right to join one of those teams. So I joined the Who Knits group, a fine bunch of Whovians, who have Team Tardis for the Ravellenics. I’m making a nifty “slouch sock”. The pattern I’m using is Andie from a recent issue of The Knitter. The purl rows slowed me down a bit but I think I’m still on track to finish and get both medal and laurel in this year’s Ravellenics. I have only the foot and toe left on the first sock, then on to the second sock. I don’t know why but the second sock almost always goes faster than the first. The yarn is Malabrigo Sock, the color is Archangel.

Here’s my progress:

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Relaxation

As I said in the interview (see prev post), I’m taking a break from writing/rewriting to recharge my brain…and as promised, my various social media feeds are now plumped up with pretty pictures instead of promos for my recent bookThis month will be more long walks, tea, dogs, reading, gardening, knitting and Doctor Who. I’m listening to Doctor Who audio (a Humble Bundle from last year) when I knit. I’m reading a lot, mostly ebooks, but I also indulged in Free Comic Book Day on Saturday. Got some great titles. Geeked out. Expect to see more short random posts here on the microblog. Follow me on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook or Like my Facebook page.

Finished those socks yesterday! Now off to make a pot of tea and dig around in the garden!