Crochet Pattern: Hazy Daze Hat

Stay cool this summer and block the sun with an easy crochet hat pattern.

We're expecting temperatures near 115° today in Tucson. Even I have a tough time getting excited about fiber crafts when it's this hot. But I have a super cute crocheted summer hat pattern that I think you are going to love.

The hat is made with a cool cotton, linen, silk and nettle fiber yarn. It's generously sized (22 inches in circumference) so that you can comfortably wear it with a ponytail or hairclip.

Materials

  • 1 50 g/218 yd ball of Plymouth Yarn Nettle Grove (shown in Seashell)
  • US size E (3.5 mm) crochet Hook

Gauge


6 sts or 2 rows of dc = 1 inch

Special Stitches


Cluster (CL)
- Holding back the last loop of each dc on hook, 2 dc in same st or sp, YO and draw through all 3 loops.

Beginning Cluster Shell (Beg CL Shell) - Ch 3, dc in same st or sp, ch 2, CL in same st or sp.

Cluster Shell (CL Shell) - In same st or sp work (CL, ch 2, CL). 

V-Stitch (V st) - In same st or sp work (dc, ch 2, dc).

Directions


Ch 8 and join with sl st to form a ring.

Rnd 1: Ch 3 (counts as first dc), 23 dc in ring, sl st in 3rd ch of beginning ch 3. 24 dc

Rnd 2: Ch 3 (counts as first dc), dc in next dc, [ch 3, holding back the last loop of each dc on hook, dc in next 2 dc, YO and draw through all 3 loops] 11 times, ch 3, sl st in 2nd dc. 12 ch 3 sp

Rnd 3: Sl st in ch 3 sp, [ch 5, sc in next ch 3 sp] 11 times, ch 5, sl st in beginning sl st. 12 ch 5 sp

Rnd 4: 2 sl st in ch 5 sp, Beg CL Shell in same sp, [ch 3, CL Shell in next ch 5 sp] 11 times, ch 3, sl st in 1st CL. 12 CL Shell

Rnd 5: Sl st in ch 2 sp, Beg Cl Shell in same sp, [V st in ch 3 sp, Cl Shell in ch 2 sp of next Cl Shell] 11 times, V st in ch 3 sp, sl st in beginning CL.

Rnd 6: Sl st in ch 2 sp, Beg CL Shell in same sp, [ch 1, V st in ch 2 sp of next V st, ch 1, CL Shell in ch 2 sp of next CL Shell] 11 times, ch 1, V st in ch 2 sp of next V st, ch 1, sl st in beginning CL.

Rnd 7: Sl st in ch 2 sp, Beg CL Shell in same sp, [ch 2, V st in ch 2 sp of next V st, ch 2, CL Shell in ch 2 sp of next CL Shell] 11 times, ch 2, V st in ch 2 sp of next V st, ch 2, sl st in beginning CL.

Repeat Rnd 7, seven more times.

Rnd 8: Ch 3 (counts as first dc in this and all following rnds), 2 dc in ch 2 sp, dc in CL,[(2 dc in ch 2 sp, dc in dc) twice, (2 dc in ch 2 sp, dc in CL) twice] 11 times, (2 dc in ch 2 sp, dc in dc) twice, 2 dc in ch 2 sp, sl st in 3rd ch of beginning ch 3. 144 dc

Rnd 9: Ch 3, dc in 10 dc, 2 dc in next dc, [dc in 11 dc, 2 dc in next dc] 11 times, sl st in 3rd ch of beginning ch 3. 156 dc

Rnd 10: Ch 3, dc in 5 dc, 2 dc in next dc, [dc in 12 dc, 2 dc in next dc] 11 times, dc in 6 dc, sl st in 3rd ch of beginning ch 3. 168 dc

Rnd 11: Ch 3, dc in 12 dc, 2 dc in next dc, [dc in 13 dc, 2 dc in next dc] 11 times, sl st in 3rd ch of beginning ch 3. 180 dc

Rnd 12: Ch 3, dc in 6 dc, 2 dc in next dc, [dc in 14 dc, 2 dc in next dc] 11 times, dc in 7 dc, sl st in 3rd ch of beginning ch 3. 192 dc

Rnd 13: Ch 1, sc in same ch as joining, ch 3, [skip 1 dc, sc in next dc, ch 3] 95 times, sl st in 1st sc, fasten off. 96 ch 3 sp

Flower

Rnd 1: Starting with a magic loop, ch 3 (counts as first dc), 15 dc in loop, tighten the magic loop, sl st in 3rd ch of beginning ch 3. 16 dc

Rnd 2: Ch 1, sc in same ch as joining, [ch 3, sc in next dc] 15 times, ch 3, sl st in 1st sc. 16 ch 3 sp

Rnd 3: Sl st in ch 3 sp, ch 1, sc in same ch 3 sp, [(hdc, dc, 2 tr, dc, hdc) in next ch 3 sp, sc in next ch 3 sp] 7 times, (hdc, dc, 2 tr, dc, hdc) in next ch 3 sp, sl st in 1st sc, fasten off.

Attach the flower to the hat and you are ready for some summer fun.

A printable version of this crocheted Hazy Daze Summer Hat pattern with additional sizing options is available in my pattern shop.






Knitting Technique: 3 Ways to Weave in Loose Ends

Knitting Techniques: 3 ways to weave in the yarn tails on sctockinette stitch - duplicate stitch, zig-zag and diagonal methods

I have yet to meet a knitter that enjoys weaving in the loose ends. But after spending hours, days or even months creating a knit piece, neatly tucking in those yarn tails is necessary to give your work that finished look.

Although some people would strongly disagree with what I'm about to say, there's no single "right" way to weave in the ends. It depends a lot on what you have made, the stitches in your design and the type of yarn you have used.

No matter how you choose to weave in the ends, there are three important guidelines to consider:
  • The yarn ends must be secure so your work doesn't unravel after the first wash.
  • The yarn ends must be inconspicuous so they don't detract from your design.
  • The yarn ends should be woven in so they do not interfere with the elasticity of your fabric.
When you are knitting a pieced garment, like a sweater, it's not unusual to weave the loose ends into a seam. For items like hats, scarves, blankets and socks, it can be a little trickier.

I knit up a little stockinette swatch to demonstrate three different ways to weave in your yarn tails - the Duplicate Stitch method, a zig-zag method and a diagonal method.

Duplicate Stitch

Many experienced knitters will tell you that using the Duplicate Stitch is the proper way to weave in the ends. The idea of the Duplicate Stitch is to copy the path of one row of stitches, on the wrong side of your knitting, as you weave in the end of the yarn, hence the name.

For demonstration purposes I knit one row of my white swatch in a green so you can easily see exactly which stitches you need to duplicate.

When I stretch my work out a little bit, you can see the path of the stitches. If you look at the non-horizontal strands of the green stitches you can see a pattern, that looks something like this / \ / \ / \ / \ / \ .

Notice there are two (white) rows of horizontal bars between the top an bottom of my green stitches. That's where the magic happens.

Slip your needle diagonally up and to the right
You are tracing the / part of the stitch.
Slip your needle down and to the left.
That's the \ of the stitch.
Again up and to the right.
Another /.
Down and to the left.
So far you have \ /\ / .
Continue in the same pattern for a few stitches until your yarn is secured.

This is the wrong side.
Even though I used a contrasting yarn color, you can hardly see the duplicated stitches on the right side of my sample.

Zig-Zag

The Zig-Zag is my favorite method for weaving in loose ends because it is very inconspicuous and does not add as much bulk as the Duplicate Stitch.

I have placed my needle next to the strands that I'll be working into.
Lifting one horizontal strand at a time, pull the yarn diagonally through about 4-6 stitches.
Then do the same going down in the other direction. In a real piece of work I would continue my zig-zag on a little farther.

Again, this is the wrong side.
And this is the right side. I have framed the zig-zag with my fingers and you can see the contrasting yarn barely shows.

Diagonal

This method is very secure, but it is a little more bulky and noticeable than the other two methods.

Like the zig-zag, you want to pull your yarn diagonally through the horizontal strands.
However, instead of going under every strand on the diagonal, pull the yarn through every other strand.
Now, pull the yarn back through the skipped strands.

The tension of the fabric holds the yarn tail very tightly.
On the right side the weaving is somewhat visible, but this would not be as much of an issue when you are weaving in the end of yarn in the same color.
Now finish up those WIPs and UFOs and don't forget to weave in your ends. Happy knititng!




Stitch of the Month: Brick and Mortar Stitch

Learn how to knit the Brick and Mortar Stitch

This month I'd like to share a simple colorwork stitch that looks almost as cool on the wrong side as the right side.

The stitch is called the Brick and Mortar Stitch, aka Brick Stitch or Brick Wall stitch. It is worked in two colors across a multiple of 4 sts +1.



Row 1 (RS): With Color A, k all sts.
Row 2 (WS): With Color B, [sl 1, p3] to last stitch, sl 1.
Row 3: With Color B, sl 1, [k3, sl 1] across.
Row 4: With Color A, p all sts.
Row 5: With Color A, k all sts.
Row 6: With Color B, [p2, sl 1, p1] to last st, p1.
Row 7: With Color B, k1, [k1, sl1, k2] across.
Row 8: With Color A, p all sts.

Repeat Rows 1-8 for the desired length.
This is what the stitch looks like on the wrong side. There's a very subtle texture.

The "wrong side" of the knit Brick and Mortar Stitch

Ready to try a pattern incorporating the Brick and Mortar Stitch? You may enjoy "1 Sock, 2 Sock, Red Sock, Blue Sock" from my pattern shop.


Happy knitting!



How to Rescue Bleeding Yarn

How to Rescue Bleeding Yarn: What to do when your indie dyed yarn is bleeding

Late last year I participated in #getyouryarnwishesgranted on Instagram. I wished for a skein of something indie dyed and within minutes I had two perfect strangers offer to send me some yarn. I love the fiber community! One of the skeins even fit perfectly into my favorite colorways, turquoise and lime. It was love at first sight.

Then I started knitting a gauge swatch and my hands turned blue. I was heartbroken. I hid the yarn at the bottom of my stash for nearly 6 months. It was so pretty that I couldn't throw it away, but I didn't want to use it for fear it would lose all its color as soon as I washed it.

Luckily, there is a great LYS, Grandma's Spinning Wheel, on our side of town. Vicky, the owner, talked me through the process of how to save my yarn. I set to work as soon as I got home.

My yarn was already wound into a ball, so the first step was to skein it to maximize the surface area of the yarn. I'm not a dyer, so I don't have a fancy tool to do this. Instead, I taped the end of the yarn to the top of a dining room chair.
Then I wound the yarn around the chair back and when I was done I used a couple thick pieces of string to secure both yarn tails and hold the skein together.
As you can see, after doing this, my fingers were blue.
My skein looked pretty good, though.
Next I soaked the yarn in a mixture of very hot (almost boiling) water and white vinegar until the water cooled completely.

I was a little worried when I lifted the yarn out because the water was still crystal clear.
I gave the yarn a good rinse with cool water.
After rinsing I used a towel to blot out as much moisture as possible.
Then the skein sat overnight on my sweater drying rack.
Once it was completely dry I wound it back into a ball.

Even though I have a yarn ball winder, I don't have a swift, so I resorted to another low-tech solution. I draped the skein over my studio trash can to keep the yarn from tangling as I wound.
And finally the true test. I knit up a swatch and this time my fingers weren't blue. Now I can happily knit up my next favorite pair of socks.

How to Rescue Bleeding Yarn: What to do when your indie dyed yarn is bleeding

So thank you Vicky for your advice and helping me rescue my bleeding skein of yarn!