Super-quick Rasta knits

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I had such fun designing and knitting my 30-Round Rasta Hat with Malabrigo’s super-chunky Rasta yarn—and you all have responded so enthusiastically to my quick-knit pattern—that I thought I’d share a few other great designs worked in this chubby, squishy merino.


Ovate by Tori Gurbisz manages to finagle an elegant shawl out of a super-bulky yarn. And it’s now on sale during the Indie Design Gift-A-Long!

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Four skeins of Rasta will yield this piece of cozy loveliness, the Sentiment shawl by Andrea Rangel.

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I adore this new, romantic hat design from Larissa Brown, the Frost Bonnet. The hat is tied to her remarkable time-travel / Viking fantasy novel, Beautiful Wreck.

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If you need a quick pair of mittens, check out Kate Oates’ Warmest Mittens pattern, which includes sizes from toddler through men’s.

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You can find many other options using Ravelry’s advanced search page. Have fun whipping up some quick knits using super-bulky yarns!

Gift-along with me

Just in time for holiday knitting and sudden cold snaps, I’ve just released a new pattern: the 30-Round Rasta Hat.

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(Podcast fans: you may recognize the gorgeous Dianne from the Suburban Stitcher podcast, who so kindly agreed to model the hat for me at Rhinebeck!)

Yup, not kidding: it really takes only 30 rounds to knit this hat, thanks to the squish-i-lumpcious Malabrigo Rasta yarn. It was really fun for me to see what happened when I scaled this delicate leaf lace pattern up to super-chunk size.

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All you need is 65 yards of a super-bulky wool, and you’ll have a hat in an evening. Perfect for that last-minute gift or that night—like last night here—when the temperature suddenly drops 20 degrees and you’re left wondering why you haven’t knit yourself any new hats yet….

The pattern has been fully test knit and tech edited and includes a link to a dedicated video tutorial that explains how to work the “make 3 below” stitch called for in the pattern. (It’s the kind of thing that’s much easier to show than to describe in words!)

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If you’re gearing up for full-on gift knitting, you should know that there’s a mondo pattern sale and knit-/crochet-along that’s about to begin on Ravelry. About 300 indie designers are each offering up to 20 patterns for 25% discount between 8pm EST on November 13 (this Thursday!) and midnight on November 21.

It’s the second annual Indie Designer Gift-A-Long (GAL), and it’s both a great way to pick up a bunch of patterns for gift knitting/crocheting at a great price, and also a fun make-along with tons of prizes and games. Participating designers are listed here, and each of us has our eligible patterns in a Gift-A-Long bundle. My bundle of 20 patterns includes designs for boys and men (my stock-in-trade), as well as a bunch of great accessory patterns for women as well.

The 30-Round Rasta Hat and the hunting gloves I’ll be releasing in a couple of weeks are unfortunately a little late to join the 2014 GAL party, but I hope you find them useful as you plan your gift knitting nonetheless!

Men’s knitting roundup #4

Since the holidays are rapidly approaching, today’s men’s knitting pattern roundup will focus on accessories – that is, quick gifts that can still be accomplished between now and possibly even Hannukah, though that comes quite early this year!

ImageFirst up: some beautifully designed socks by Jennifer Beever, a relatively new designer based in Calgary. The pattern, called Josh, has some fine features, including a false rib pattern down the back of the leg that merges seamlessly into the heel flap. It’s a great, classic sock that even men with the most conservative clothing tastes could appreciate. Josh can be yours for $5 Canadian on Ravelry (that’s just a little less than $5 US).

Jennifer also recently published a pair of garter-stitch mittens that would be perfect for men living in cold climates.

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ImageThis next duo of patterns, the Tolt Hat and Mitts by Andrea Rangel (available together for $8 on Ravelry), would make a perfect gift set and would appeal particularly to younger men, I suspect. If you are new to stranded colorwork, this would make a great pattern to cut your teeth on, as the stitch pattern is fairly simple, quick, and satisfying at a worsted-weight gauge.

When choosing colors for your own project, just make sure to select two colors that have some significant difference in light value. (That is, choose one color that’s relatively light and another that’s rather dark.) Otherwise, all your hard-won colorwork will be difficult to see.

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ImageAnother design that’s likely to appeal to younger men (and boys!) is Elizabeth Murphy’s Goblin Hat. I love the clever construction on these: if you’ve ever been baffled by how to wear a slouchy hat, you will love how this buttoned-down version makes the wearing of a slouchy hat simple. And what a great stash-buster for leftover bits of worsted-weight yarn. Plus, the pattern is free!

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If you need a super-quick knit, try the Courage fingerless mitts (also free) by another new designer, Elizabeth Davis. This pattern includes instructions for three sizes and two lengths (short length shown here), so you can whip up several pairs for people on your list.

New hat pattern! or, another way to cable without a cable needle

There are some great tutorials out there about how to make knitted cables without using a cable needle. The hat above represents a completely different way of thinking beyond the cable needle: use colorwork to create a faux cable. The next photo shows the effect even more clearly:

See how the sage green sections look like cables crossing over each other? I think it would be lovely on socks, too. If you have Luise Roberts’ wonderful little colorwork stitch dictionary called 1000 Great Knitting Motifs, you will find this stitch pattern on p. 105.

I just made this hat pattern available on Ravelry, and it will soon be up on the KnitPicks web site as well. It’s a quick knit, so if you’re looking for something last-minute for the holidays, this might just be the ticket.

On an unrelated note, I would just like to note that we here in the Land of the Large Eyebrows do not believe in trimming our eyebrow hair. No, we do not.