FO Friday – Dotted Grays


My Dotted Grays is done!

This shawl flew off the needles!  The pattern is Stephen West’s Dotted Rays, one of my favorites.  I think this is my fourth one (and it won’t be the last).

The yarn is from Gauge Dye Works.  It’s a self striping yarn that employs ‘shawl striping’ which means the stripes are different lengths rather than a classic stripe where the stripes are all the same length.   Check out my recent Hydrogen Shawl to see another example of shawl stripes.

Unfortunately, I thought this was classic stripes when I started knitting, meaning it doesn’t matter which end you start from.  Turns out, it was shawl stripes and I essentially knit it ‘backwards’.   Whatever, I like it this way, especially because it’s different.

I’m not even upset by the lack of color.   I’ve got one more skein from Gauge Dye Works.  It’s called Fade to Yellow.


I’m not sure what to do with it just yet.  It’s gotta be something I can knit in the dark though.  I need a new movie theater project stat!  Bill Murray and I are going to see Groundhogs Day this afternoon!!  Talk about FriYAY! Woooo!


Don’t Quote Me on That

Last week, while embracing the idea of non-head shaped hats, I may have said something sort of like ‘Almost only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades and hat shaping’.  It should come as no surprise, therefore, that my next hat was as perfectly head shaped as a hat can get.

It’s perfect (except for the whole pink, angora part…go figure that it would fit perfectly but I’ll certainly never wear it.)   Once again, the shape is due to short rows.  This time, I’ve stacked the short rows directly on top of each other instead of staggering them around the hat.  The result is a more spacious forehead and a flatter back.

The garter ridges are my short rows.  I’ve done two short rows, the first one is 90% of the row, the second one is 70% of the row, followed by 3 rounds of stockinette stitch.  I repeated the short row-stockinette sequence over and over, until I got the length I wanted, then closed the top up…Viola!  Perfect Pink Hat!  <- Click for details on Ravelry

Of course, all these short row hats have had one common theme, stacking deep or long wedges to build a hat.  What happens when the shorts rows are short and shallow?  Here’s one possibility…

This is the most conventional hat in terms of shaping.  It’s essentially a stockinette beanie with stripes.    As I was knitting the stripes, I threw in single short rows of 4-6 stitches at regular intervals.  I was able to close the hat with standard decreases, (K8, K2tog followed by K7, K2tog, followed by K6, K2tog…etc)

Here’s the Ravelry Details!

For anyone looking to attempt a short row hat, this one is a great place to start.  You can adapt any basic stockinette beanie.  Whenever you feel like it, just do a wrap and turn, knit as few or as many stitches as you feel, place another wrap and turn, and you’re back on the right side of the hat, continuing along as though your row had never been interrupted!

I did several short rows per stripe, but maybe you only want one short row.  Maybe you want to stack your little short rows or maybe you want to stagger them so they bias across the hat.  Maybe you want them to be completely random.

Rest assured, I’ve got all these options on my list!  The urge to make hats is finally waning though.  For the first time in over a week, I finished a hat and did not cast on the next one right away.  Who knows, I might not do any hat knitting today?!?



FO Friday – It Worked


As I was continuing on with yesterday’s short row free for all hat, I got to a point where I wondered if I had embraced the Anything Goes spirit just a little too much.  Luckily, it was a brief moment.  It’s true that hats don’t have to be head shaped!  I’m very pleased with how my wonky hat turned out.

I’m officially amending the Almost rule.  Almost only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades and hat shaping!

There is definitely a lot going on.  In addition to non-standard shaping, mixing three different variegated yarns is dangerous.  As a general rule, I would suggest against it.  The short rows make it work though.  It’s a kitchen sink approach.  I’m loving it.   It’s only empowered me to make even more radical choices.  I’ve got some real doozies in the stash basket.  I can’t wait to use them now!

I’m backing off the ledge a bit with the next one though.  It’s on the needles already and looking rather lovely.  I think I’ll keep it that way.  There are still plenty of solids in the stash, after all!


For the inquiring minds, here’s my Rav pages, with more details… Kitchen Sink Hat  or  New WIP

Happy Friday!  Hope you have a woolly great weekend!

WIP Wednesday – Still Hat Binging


As usual, my hat binge is showing no signs of slowing!  I don’t know why I’ve never explored the possibilities of short row hats before.  I’m loving it right now though!  It’s a great way to use up all those yarny oddments laying around.

My first hat this week, is using a rustic, hand spun, llama yarn that my mom dyed.  And when I say rustic, I don’t mean slubby and homespun, I mean vegetable matter.  Lots of vegetable matter.  Even that doesn’t do it justice, I’m picking full on tree branches out of this stuff.  It’s really pretty though!  And it’s bulky!  One afternoon in the park, even with a false start that required frogging, and it was done!

green triangle

I’m happy with the result.  The short rows give it a nice close fit, not much slouch in the back at all.  With the bulk & weight of this hat, you definitely don’t need any extra fabric hanging around.

short row hat

The short rows are the garter ridges.  The color change highlights them nicely, really gives you a clear picture of how the shaping is effected.  You can imagine a big round noggin filling the front of the hat, and no weird gaping to bunch up around the back of the neck!  Perfect!

As I was patting myself on the back for a job well done, I started the next hat.  More stashbusting scraps, more short rows.  All was going well until…


I forgot to change needles at the end of my ribbing.  D’oh!  No big deal.  I’m now knitting a hat on size 3s.  It’s still going to be lovely.  It’s just going to take forever.  (or a day and a half…somehow I’ll manage to survive!)


Check Ravelry for the details:  Rustic Llama  or  Purple Waves






The Stripe Goes On

Two days off sounds like a lot.  Turns out, it’s not!  At least not when you’re cramming all the abandoned weekday chores, an entire week of social visits and as much knitting as possible into those two days.  I’ve got some stripes to show for my weekend efforts though…


I’m happy about them which is a good thing.  I can now direct all my attention to the never-ending will I have enough yarn question.


That green ball is shrinking at an alarming rate!  I’ve got 18 stripes (or 36 rows) left.  It doesn’t look to bad but looks can be deceiving.   The center of that ball is hollow.  Earlier in the project I center pulled for a bit.  It’s officially mantra time.  At least the rows are getting shorter. At least the rows are getting shorter.  At least the rows are getting shorter.  At least the rows are getting shorter.  At least the rows are getting shorter.

WIP Wednesday: Exploration Continuation

I’m starting to figure out the work rhythm.  It’s looked good on paper from the beginning but the first couple weeks were a bumpy adjustment.  I’m into week 4 already.  It’s been like the blink of an eye.  Shawl progress, on the other hand, is approaching another slowdown, perhaps even a screeching halt.


It was just four weeks yesterday since I picked up this green Western Sky Knits dk.  I ran out of the dark grey.  It’s a discontinued yarn, naturally!  No more to be found.  So stripes it was!  Last week I finished my striped section.  I reserved judgement on it until I was well into the next light stripe.


I have officially decided it’s acceptable.  I may even like it, in the future.  Phew!  Just in time for the next phase of worry.  I’m back to playing yarn chicken, and I think loosing again.  I was hoping the extra ball of light grey would be enough to get me through the next section.


I’m still hoping.  Apparently, I’m stupidly optimistic when it comes to knitting.  I don’t think there’s any way I have enough yarn left for 13 more short rows (meaning it’s really 26 rows.)  Each pair of rows gets 10 stitches shorter as I go, I think this is where the optimism comes in.  They’re getting shorter…it’s only 140 stitches right now, that’s not even very many, right?  RIGHT?

Ha!  So what color stripes do I add this time?  At least I can have a plan when my hands catch up to the inevitable shortage my brain is certain about.

WIP Wednesday – More Short Rows!

Yesterday I decided to go off-pattern with my short rows.  I’m working modified short rows again today but this time I’m following the pattern!  I’m working my second WestKnits’ Batad!  I really love this pattern, it’s so fun to knit and the short rows are easy peasy!  Instead of messing with the whole wrap & turn and picking up the wraps, the pattern simply turns, eliminating the wraps entirely!  It leaves a hole in the fabric and that’s okay!  It’s a design feature (a real design feature not a “design feature”, if ya know what I mean.)


It doesn’t look like much yet, but it’s grown a lot since Monday.  You can clearly see the short rows are working, one side is much longer than the other!  I expect to be wearing it very soon!


See more about this project here!