December 16, 2016

Griffin's Hat | SITW Hat Series

This post is part of the Semester in the West Hat Series. Catch up on the latest hats and free patterns below.
Kenzie | Collin | Amanda | Thomas | Maggie | Signe

My semester in the West has ended, but the hats keep coming! I managed to finish 11 hats during the semester (which I am still typing up, hence sharing only hat #7 right now), and I have a few more IOU's still to make. 

My seventh hat of the trip is for Griffin! Griffin, also known as Griffdawg, Gryffindor, Trackstar, and a plethora of other nicknames, was my fellow trash queen and was also on my cook crew, Goodner and the Vegetarians. We didn't know each other at all at the beginning of this program, and now we have a solid collection of inside jokes. #friendship 😊



And now, about the hat-- Griffin decided to opt for the more abundant design options on Ravelry instead of the 16-page booklet of color pattern ideas I brought. He chose The Easy Ombre Slouch Hat by Paul S Neary, which I modified a bit to add a pompom and adjust the fitting (see mods below for specifics). I used Drops Lima in Petrol 701 and Drops Karisma in Light Grey 44, needles were US 2 and US 6.

I knitted the hat as we drove from Castle Valley, Utah to Kane Ranch, Arizona, near Kaibab National Forest. This marked the part of the trip where we were mostly in deserts, with accompanying warm temperatures that lowered my enthusiasm for working with wool and knitting hats, thus slowing down my pace. 

Pictures are from northern New Mexico's Carson National Forest. 


Modifications:
  • With US 2 and main color (petrol), CO 120 sts and work *K2, P2* ribbing for 1.5 inches (3.5 cm).
  • Switch to US 6 and decrease down to 100 sts (*K4, k2tog* across) for St st and following color pattern.
  • Work decreases once piece measures 7-7.5 inches (17.5-19 cm):
    • Row 1: *K4, k2tog* across row = 80 sts.
    • Row 2 and all even rows: K across, no change in st count.
    • Row 3: *K3, k2tog* across row = 64 sts.
    • Row 5: *K2, k2tog* across row = 48 sts.
    • Row 7: *K1, k2tog* across row = 32 sts.
    • Row 9: K2tog across row = 16 sts.
    • Row 11: K2tog across row = 8 sts.
  • After weaving in yarn ends, work pompom: With a strand of both yarns at the same time, wrap around outstretched fingers until a sizable amount of yarn is wrapped, then break off yarn. Cut a piece of yarn and tie a tight double knot around the middle of the yarn bundle. With scissors, cut the loops on either end, fluff up into a circular pompom, and trim to size. Then attach pompom to hat via the strand tied around the middle of pompom. Consult this YouTube video for more assistance. 
You can view my project on Ravelry here.

More Semester in the West hats, holiday projects, and others to come!

Good luck with finals to everyone still in misery school, season's greetings, stay warm, and good luck to all still scrambling on their holiday gift projects (I have yet to start mine...eep)!

Happy Crafting!!
--Elizabeth

November 13, 2016

Signe's Hat | SITW Hat Series

This post is part of the Semester in the West Hat Series. Catch up on the latest hats and free patterns below.
Kenzie | Collin | Amanda | Thomas | Maggie

It's time to share another hat! My sixth hat is for Signe. Signe is a fellow environmental sociology major, great running partner, and a fun goofy person that makes every day on this program an adventure.


Signe is also an aspiring elf and certified Christmas lover, so it's fitting that she requested the most Christmas-like design yet. This snowflake is a modern spin on the traditional Nordic snowflake. "Christmas in July" is a common saying in crafting circles; "Christmas in September"--when this hat was designed and completed--isn't even questionable. And now in November, it's expected--stores are already offering free gift-wrapping and the candy now has Christmas trees on the packaging. 



I knitted Signe's hat as we drove through Wyoming to Utah. I started it in the Bridger-Teton National Forest, outside of Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, continued working on it  around various places in the Fishlake National Forest of south-central Utah, and finished the hat while in Castle Valley, Utah, where these photos were taken. 



The yarn is Drops Karisma in Red and White, and Drops Lima in Goldenrod. I used US 2 and US 6 needles. 



A word to knitters about color work technique: For Signe's hat, I tried something new. Instead of the traditional stranding with yellow by dragging the yarn behind, I cut four different strands and kept them locally sourced to the yellow accessory by the snowflakes. I'm still unsure as to whether this technique is a better alternative, given that the yellow parts aren't interwoven as seamlessly this way, but it certainly is an option and a great way to avoid juggling three-color stranding rows.

Enjoy the free hat pattern below!



Signe’s Hat Pattern
Difficulty: Intermediate
Yarn: 1 skein Drops Karisma Red 48 (A), 0.5 skein Drops Karisma White 19 (B), 0.1 skein Drops Lima Goldenrod 2923 (C)
Gauge: 21 stitches and 28 rows = 4 in (10 cm) with US 6 in stockinette stitch
Finished Size: Fits adult head, 7.5 in (19 cm) long
Needles: US 2 (2.75 mm) dp needles, US 6 (4 mm) 9 in (23 cm) circular and dp needles
Other Materials Needed: stitch marker, ruler, yarn needle

With A and US 2, CO 120 sts. Connect in the round and pm. Work *k2, p2* ribbing for 1.5 in (3.5 cm).

Switch to US 6 and work first round of color chart with B, while simultaneously decreasing 24 sts evenly around round (*K3, k2tog*) = 96 sts. Continue working color chart, repeating chart four times for each round.

Continue with decreases, starting with round 38. Switch to dp needles when desired. 

Decreases are elaborated in written form below:
Round 38: *k2A, k1B, k1A, k2tog* across round = 80 sts.
Rounds 39, 41, 43, 45, & 47: K across round with A.
Round 40: *k3A, k2tog* across round = 64 sts.
Round 42: *k2A, k2tog* across round = 48 sts.
Round 44: *k1A, k2tog* across round = 32 sts.
Round 46: k2tog across round with A = 16 sts.
Round 48: k2tog across round with A = 8 sts.

Red = Color A; Grey = Color B; Yellow = Color C
[ / ] = K2tog; [X] = No Stitch
After completing color chart, eight sts remain. Cut yarn end, leaving an 8 in (20 cm) tail. Thread yarn needle, pass through remaining sts, and pull tight. Weave in yarn ends. Block if desired and enjoy!

Abbreviations:
k – knit
p – purl
CO – cast on
pm – place marker
st(s) – stitch(es)

You can find this pattern as a free PDF here (corrected version from May 2017). You can find this pattern on Ravelry here.

Until next time,
Happy Crafting!!
--Elizabeth

November 4, 2016

Maggie's Hat | SITW Hat Series

This post is part of the Semester in the West Hat Series. Catch up on the latest hats and free patterns below.


Though it has been a few weeks since I've updated the SITW hat project, I am keeping a much better pace in real life. But this is my favorite hat so far, a fair-isle gnomes hat for Maggie! I knitted this hat whilst driving across Wyoming from our time at the Pine Ridge Reservation and a stop in Gillette, energy capital of the country and the heart of the coal mining in the Powder River Basin.  


Maggie's hat was an absolute pleasure to design and knit, and it was done in a mere two days. Instead of a brim, there's a braid that can be rolled up just like Amanda's Hat. Photos are taken from our glorious camp at Whiskey Basin Wildlife Habitat Management Area, near Jackson Hole, Wyoming.



The yarn is Drops Karisma in Dark Grey, Red, Light Grey, and White, and Drops Lima in Grey Blue and Green. I used US 4 and 6 needles, as well as a size G crochet hook (read: single US 6 double-pointed knitting needle). 



It's always great to see this hat being worn around camp. To me, the colors and design is very cheerful and happy, perfectly fitting Maggie's smiley persona.


Maggie’s Hat Pattern
Difficulty: Intermediate
Yarn: 1 skein Drops Karisma Dark Grey 53 (A), 0.3 skein Drops Karisma Red 48 (B), 0.1 skein Drops Lima Grey Blue 6235 (C), 0.1 skein Drops Lima Green 205m (D), 0.1 skein Drops Karisma Light Grey 44 (E), 0.1 skein Drops Karisma White 19 (F)
Gauge: 21 stitches and 28 rows = 4 in (10 cm) with US 6 in stockinette stitch
Finished Size: Fits adult head, 7 in (18 cm) length
Needles: US 4 (3.5 mm) dp or 9 in (23 cm) circular needles, US 6 (4 mm) dp and 9 in (23 cm) circular needles
Other Materials Needed: ruler, darning needle, stitch marker, size G crochet hook

With US 4 and A, CO 96 sts using provisional cast on. Connect in the round and pm to mark end of round. K all for 5 rounds.

Switch to US 6 and work color chart, repeating chart four times per round.

Dark Grey = Color A; Red = Color B; Grey Blue = Color C;
Green = Color D; Grey = Color E; White = Color F

When color chart is complete, continue knitting with A until piece measures 7 in (18 cm) or desired length. Then work decreases:

Row 1: *K4, k2tog,* repeat * to * across round = 80 sts.
Row 2 and all even rows: K across.
Row 3: *K3, k2tog,* repeat * to * across round = 64 sts.
Row 5: *K2, k2tog,* repeat * to * across round = 48 sts.
Row 7: *K1, k2tog,* repeat * to * across round = 32 sts.
Row 9: K2tog across round = 16 sts.
Row 11: K2tog across round = 8 sts.

Cut yarn end, leaving an 8 in (20 cm) tail. Thread yarn needle and pass through remaining sts and pull tight. Weave in yarn ends.

Work bottom braid. Using the crochet hook and A, undo provisional cast on and work one round of single crochet around hat base. Then work "braid stitch" with a strand of A and B, treating them as if there were only one strand. Slide hook through work, wrap yarn, and pass bottom two loops over top loop. Work "braid stitch" around the base for one round, then tuck in yarn ends. 

Block if desired and enjoy!

Abbreviations:
k – knit
CO – cast on
pm – place marker
k2tog – knit two sts together in the back loops
dp – double-pointed needles
st(s) – stich(es)

You can access a free PDF of this pattern here. You can access this pattern on Ravelry here.

Enjoy!

Happy Crafting!!
--Elizabeth


October 10, 2016

Thomas's Hat | SITW Hat Series

This post is part of the Semester in the West Hat Series. Catch up on the latest hats and free patterns below.

We're still driving so I'm still knitting. This is the fourth Semester in the West hat, for Thomas!


Thomas's hat is the hat of superlatives: most original, most difficult to design, most enthusiastic recipient. Thomas's design of a keyboard and snowy trees wins the originality award so far. To be perfectly honest, I was skeptical this design was going to work out, but Thomas undoubtedly pulls it off.



After finishing Amanda's hat, I took a week off from knitting to relax on a 46 mile canoe trip along the Upper Missouri River in northern Montana. Then it was off to the races to design Thomas's hat, which was definitely the most challenging. Balancing the three factors of the keyboard pattern stitch repeat, the tree pattern stitch repeat, and keeping the common factor in the range to create a hat for a human head was not as straight-forward as past hats have been, but I'm so glad this worked out! 


I knitted Thomas's hat as we drove many hours across Montana to the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, which is where these photos are taken. This project kept me sane in the backseat during some very long travel days. On the way, we listened to excerpts of Dee Brown's Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee on audiotape to educate ourselves on local history and prepare for our stay in Indian Country.



The yarn is Drops Karisma in the Dark Olive, Dark Grey, and White colorways, as well as Drops Lima in Grey Blue. The needles used are US 2 for the brim and US 6 for the body. 

Thomas has been getting some good use out of this hat on this trip, which is great to see!


Thomas's Hat Pattern
aka "Piano Keys and Snowy Trees"
Difficulty: Intermediate--good to have done stranded color work before
Yarn: 0.5 skeins Drops Karisma Dark Olive 47 (A), 0.3 skeins Drops Karisma White 19 (B), 0.25 skeins Drops Karisma Dark Grey 53 (C), 0.5 skeins Drops Lima Grey Blue 6235 (D)
Gauge: 21 stitches and 28 rows = 4 inches (10 cm) with US 6 stockinette stitch
Finished Size: Fits large adult head, 7.5 in (19 cm) length
Needles: US 2 (2.75 mm) double-pointed needles, US 6 (4 mm) double-pointed and 9 in (23 cm) circular needles
Other Materials Needed: yarn needle, ruler, stitch marker

CO 120 sts with US 2 and A. Connect in the round and pm to mark end of round. Work *k2, p2* ribbing for 1.5 in (4 cm).

Switch to US 6 and work Row 1 of Color Chart 1 with B and C, while simultaneously decreasing 15 sts evenly around round (*K6, k2tog*) = 105 sts. Continue working Color Chart 1, repeating chart three times for each round. Then work Color Chart 2, also repeating chart three times for each round. Continue with decreases (starting Row 17), switching to double-pointed needles when desired.
Color Chart 1
Grey = Color B; Black = Color C
Color Chart 2
Green = Color A; Grey = Color B; Blue = Color D
After working decreases in Color Chart 2 = 15 sts. Finish decreases:

Row 29: K1, *k2tog,* repeat * to * = 8 sts.

Cut yarn end, leaving an 8 in (20 cm) tail. Thread yarn needle, pass through remaining sts, and pull tight. Weave in yarn ends. Block if desired and enjoy!

Abbreviations:
kknit
ppurl
k2togknit two sts together in the back loops
pm – place marker
CO – cast on

st(s)stich(es)

You can access a free PDF of the pattern here. You can access this pattern on Ravelry here.

Until next time,

Happy Crafting!!
--Elizabeth

September 30, 2016

Amanda's Hat | SITW Hat Series

This post is part of the Semester in the West Hat Series. Catch up on the latest hats and free patterns below.

The backseat knitting continues! Here is Amanda's Hat, the third hat knitted so far. 


I knitted Amanda's Hat over the course of one day driving around the forests in Wallowa County, Oregon. Photos are taken around our camp during our stay in the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. 



Amanda helped design this hat of women in a row with hearts. She was aiming for a detail that wasn't too overpowering and kept the hat simple. 

This hat was knitted much faster than past ones because it is brimless. Instead of a brim, the hat has a braid around the bottom, completed with a crochet-like technique after the rest of the hat is knitted.The bottom of the hat can roll up, which gives the hat a more casual, trendy look. 



Amanda's hat is knitted with Drops Karisma in the navy blue and white color ways with US 5 and 6 needles. Amanda's hat nicely complements her "kindergarten chic" style, and has gotten some good use during this trip so far, as it's been quite cold at times. 



Amanda's Hat Pattern
Difficulty: Intermediate
Yarn: 1 skein Drops Karisma in Navy Blue 17 (A), 0.3 skeins Drops Karisma in White 19 (B)
Gauge: 21 stitches and 28 rows = 4 in (10 cm) in stockinette stitch with US 6
Finished size: fits adult head, length of 7 in (18 cm)
Needles: US 5 (3.75 mm) 9 in (23 cm) circular or double-pointed needles, US 6 (4 mm) 9 in (23 cm) and double-pointed needles
Other Materials Needed: stitch marker, yarn needle, ruler, size G (4 mm) crochet hook

With US 5 and A, CO 100 sts using provisional cast on. Connect in the round and pm to mark end of round. K all until piece measures 1 in (2.5 cm). 

Switch to US 6, still with A. K 1 round. Then work color pattern with A and B, repeating chart five times per round. 

Blue - Color A; White - Color B
When color pattern is complete, continue knitting with A until piece measures 7 in (18 cm) or desired length. Then work decreases:

Round 1: *K3, k2tog,* repeat * to * = 80 sts. 
Round 2 and all even rounds: K all. 
Round 3: *K2, k2tog,* repeat * to * = 60 sts. 
Round 5: *K1, k2tog,* repeat * to * = 40 sts. 
Round 7: K2tog across = 20 sts. 
Round 9: K2tog across = 10 sts. 

Cut yarn, leaving an 8 in (20 cm) tail. Thread yarn needle and pass through remaining sts, pull tight and securely tie off. Weave in yarn ends.

Work bottom braid. Using the crochet hook and A, undo provisional cast on and work one round of single crochet around hat base. Then work "braid stitch" with a strand of A and B, treating them as if there were only one strand. Slide hook through work, wrap yarn, and pass bottom two loops over top loop. Work "braid stitch" around the base for one round, then tuck in yarn ends. 

Block if desired and enjoy!

Abbreviations:
k – knit
pm – place marker
k2tog – knit two sts together in the back loops
st(s).– stitch(es)

You can access a free PDF of this pattern here. You can find this pattern on Ravelry here

Stay tuned for more updates—there are lots more hats to share and knit. 

Happy Crafting!!
--Elizabeth

September 13, 2016

Collin's Hat | SITW Hat Series

In case you missed the memo on my last post, I am exploring the American interior west to learn about the issues surrounding public lands. I am also knitting my way through this adventure by making hats for many of the people on the program with me.


I'm pleased to introduce my second hat, for Collin! Collin went on Semester in the West in 2012 and has returned as the 2016 Tech Manager. He's here to ensure we have functioning internet, server, power, and a general good time in the technology department. While not technically a fellow student on the program, he was super pumped to get a hat, so of course I was happy to oblige. 


Collin chose a mountain skyline pattern, apparently of a range in Montana. I really like the final color choices of a green (tree-covered) lower range and a blue (alpine) upper range. It's an interesting way to approach perspective and illustrating a 3D landscape in a 2D hat. 



The yarn is Drops Karisma and Drops Lima. I knitted the hat in Washington's Methow Valley, and the photos are from our campsite on Starvation Ridge in the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. 

Since finishing the hat, the group has encountered some pretty chilly weather. It's always a highlight to see the hats I make be worn and actually put to use. My compliments to Collin, esteemed frequent hat-wearer.


Collin's Hat
Difficulty: Intermediate
Yarn: 1.5 skeins Drops Karisma in Dark Brown Mix 56 (A), 0.5 skeins Drops Karisma in Dark Olive 47 (B), 0.5 skeins Drops Lima in Grey Blue 6235 (C)
Gauge: 21 stitches and 28 rows = 4 inches (10 cm) with US 6
Finished Size: fits large adult head, 8.5 inches (21.5 cm) for brim to be folded up
Needles: US 2 (2.75 mm) double-pointed needles, US 6 (4 mm) double-pointed needles and 9 inch (23 cm) circular needle
Other Materials Needed: stitch marker, yarn needle, ruler

CO 136 sts with US 2 in A. Join in the round and place stitch marker at beginning of row. Work *K2, P2* ribbing for 2.25 inches (6 cm).

Switch to US 6 and decrease 28 sts evenly = 108 sts. Knit one more round with A.

Work mountain color chart with A, B, and C. Repeat chart three times for each round. 

White = Color A; Green = Color B, Blue = Color C
After completing color chart, knit two rounds with A. Continue to knit with A until piece is 8 inches (20 cm) long, work decreases:
Row 1: *K4, k2tog,* repeat * to * = 90 sts.
Row 2 and all even rows: K all.
Row 3: *K3, k2tog,* repeat * to * = 72 sts.
Row 5: *K2, k2tog,* repeat * to * = 54 sts.
Row 7: *K1, k2tog,* repeat * to * = 36 sts.
Row 9: *K2tog,* repeat * to * = 18 sts.
Row 11: *K2tog,* repeat * to * = 9 sts.

Cut yarn end, leaving an 8 inch (20 cm) tail. Thread yarn needle and pass through remaining stitches and pull tight. Weave in yarn ends and enjoy!

Abbreviations: 
k – knit
p – purl
k2tog – knit two sts together in the back loops
st(s) – stich(es)

You can get a copy of the pattern on a free PDF here. You can find this pattern on Ravelry here.

I will update the blog with more Westie hats and patterns when I get the chance. Even for a field semester, we have long days and limited free time with Internet, so I have been spending more time knitting than writing patterns online.

Happy Crafting!!
--Elizabeth