26 February 2015

How to: Up-size a Hat

Where I talk about upsizing a child's hat pattern to an adult sized. 
Since Head to Toe came out, a number of people have asked for tips on adapting the hat patterns in it to fit an adult. If you've ever knitted kids hats I am almost certain that you would have noticed that past the age of 3 or 4 their heads are VERY close in circumference to those of adults. It's pretty amazing because kids heads usually look smaller than ours and this is due to the fact that although the circumference might be the same, their depth is often shallower than that of an adult head. Because of this, if the pattern is written out to accommodate a good range of sizes, the only change you'd have to make is make the hat deeper. Since all of the hat patterns in Head to Toe were beanies, I will only cover the adjustment of a basic beanie in depth.

Each conventional beanie consists of three parts: Brim, Body and Crown. Because a beanie is a fairly close fitting hat with a straight up body, the easiest way to add depth to it is to work extra rounds in its brim and body portions.

Before you commence the knitting, examine the pattern reading through it completely and noting the depth of the brim, whether the body has a pattern on it or not and a number of rounds in each vertical repeat if it does. 

It is always a good idea to add depth to both the brim and the body, if possible, to make the overall look more balanced. Adding depth to the brim is obviously very simple, just work an extra few rounds in rib before moving onto the hat's body.
The way you add depth to the body will depend on the stitch pattern of the hat. 

If the hat is plain, ribbed or has an otherwise short vertical repeat (top left and centre, and bottom right), do the same as you did with the brim, just add a few rounds to the body length until you are happy with its depth. Make sure to end with the correct row of a repeat before starting working on the crown. 

If the stitch pattern forms a band around the hat (such as the colourwork pattern below), add the extra rounds before and after it, distributing any added rounds evenly.

If the hat has a very long pattern repeat (such as in the bottom left or the top right photos), make a wider brim instead of adjusting its body.

25 February 2015

Head to Toe – Hand Things – Back Hand Hitch

Back Hand Hitch cabled mitt pattern by Katya Frankel

Onto the Hand Things of Head to Toe!
Back Hand Hitch began as a name first rather than a stitch pattern or a distinct look of a mitten back when my kids were going over their knots in Scouts. I'm afraid the design is very literal but it kind of all fell into place rather quickly and the back hand hitch became a cable on the back of the hand. It seemed both obvious and perfect.

20 February 2015


Photo © Yarn Stories

Catch is a seamless top that I designed for Yarn Stories' Grace collection, 'a collection of elegant, feminine designs inspired by the iconic Grace Kelly and named after her films.'

13 February 2015

Book Highlight: Big Foot Knits

My last book highlight from Coop Press is the Big Foot Knits by Andi Smith. 
A stunningly photographed book of sock patterns, tutorials, measuring guides and instructions on adapting pattern to fit larger size feet; the patterns are written specifically for larger size feet, with 3 sizes given for each pattern as well as directions on how to customise the fit.

12 February 2015

Book Highlight: Sock Architecture

Sock Architecture by Lara Neel is all the rage at the moment and for a good reason. Sock Architecture is an excellent reference book for sock knitters; it covers anything and everything you wanted to know about construction, fit, measuring, techniques, types of heels and toes. I really liked how she talks about adjusting and perfecting the fit, making it an excellent source for those looking to adapt a sock pattern you might already be working on to your own taste and style.

11 February 2015

Book Highlight: Ancient Egypt in Lace and Color

There are still a couple of days left of #shareCPlove promo and I'd love to share some of my favourite books that they published over the past few years.

Anna Dalvi's Ancient Egypt in Lace and Colour is a book of beautiful shawl patterns, beautifully photographed. There are 12 shawl patterns, each one is clearly written and comes with an engaging inspiration story. She touches on both, myths and colours, that excited her imagination and inspired the designs in this book.
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