Browse Tag by Knitting

I’m a Yarn Harlot… or at least enjoy reading about one.

I’m currently reading “Yarn Harlot: The Secret Life of a Knitter” by Stephanie Pearl McPhee.  This book is a reflection of my soul.

( If you’d like to get a little kicky flavor of her witting writing, check out a sample of her book her on Google Books).  I promise if you’re a knitting or crocheter, you won’t be disappointed.  And coming from me, a big non-reader, consider this a glowing recommendation.

Granted, I’m only 40 pages through, but I just got the book  from a lady at my knitting group (thanks, Helen!) and am so pleased with it, I can only show my appreciation through blogging.  Future note to self:  finish reading a book in its entirety before sharing your opinions.

If you eat, breathe, and sleep knitting or crocheting you have to check out this book.  Reading Stephanie’s stories will make you realize you’re not alone and not as crazy of a knitter as you realized.  You’re just like the rest of us yarn harlots.  There is hope.

In the tiny pages of Yarn Harlot: The Secret Life of a Knitter, you’ll find:

  • Notes left by UFOs (unfinished objects, for all you non-knitters), begging to be finished
  • Panic-laden moments of stretching sweaters and blocking blunders
  • Ambitious, soul-stealing knitting projects shoved in closets
  • Family vacation money spent at local yarn stores
  • Sock knitting ramblings, etc, etc, etc.

My favorite paragraph from the book (so far) has been this,

“Knitting is magic.  Knitting is an act of creation and a simple transformation each and every time. Each knitted gift holds hours of my life.  I know it looks just like a hat, but really, it’s four hours at the hospital, six hours on the bus, two hours alone at four in the morning when I couldn’t sleep because I tend to worry.  It’s all those hours when I chose to spend time warming another person.  It’s giving them my time – time that I could have spent on anything, or anyone, else.  Knitting is love, looped and warm.

If that blurb doesn’t incentivize you to put down your needles and pick up a copy of Yarn Harlot: The Secret Life of a Knitter by Stephanie Pearl McPhee, I don’t know what will.  Happy reading!


FPF: Famous Person Friday

Since it’s Friday, you’re probably expecting Free Pattern Friday.  Sorry to disappoint, but I have something better than a free pattern, I have the creator of all things patterns.  Happy FPF – Famous Person Friday.

When you think knitting patterns – classic, fitted, exquisite stitch detail – who do you think of?  Just one name comes to mind, really: Debbie Bliss.

Debbie Bliss is an international designer from the UK who is famous for her classy knitting patterns, mostly for women.  I had the opportunity to hear her speak at an event sponsored by Wolf Creek Yarns in Grove City, PA.  She spoke about her designs and creative process.  Here are some highlights from her talk:

  • Listen to yarn and let its texture speak to you; create with it what you it wants you to make
  • Don’t make garments that are too big – fitted clothing will fit better in the long run
  • Plain yarn can better showcase stitch detail than novelty yarn
  • Her yarn line, Debbie Bliss, was designed to be true to the knitter she was.  Plain, simple, classic.
  • She visits Italy twice a year to select yarn for her summer and fall lines
  • If she doesn’t like the “hot” color for the season, she’ll hold out and wait to see if it catches on before adding it to her yarn line
  • She prefers classic silhouettes so people can personalize them
  • Her publisher didn’t think her first book of baby knitting patterns would be profitable.  He was wrong
  • She worked as a nurse for two year before gradually building her knitting empire; It’s never too late, she encourage the audience, to pursue your dreams.

While I was the youngest member in attendance (nothing new to me, though, because of my 65-year old knitting group) I thoroughly enjoyed the evening.  Her accept was lovable, her demeanor calming, and her knitting insight a true reflection of the knitting prowess she is.  And as an added bonus, everyone in attendance will get a new copy of her book… can’t wait!

Free Patterns, Knitting

Free Knit Hat Pattern – Hannah’s Hat: A Classic Essential for Winter

knit hat pattern

hannah's knit hat

knit hat zoom

I love making this hat because being a crocheter at heart, I have to make instant gratification projects. If it’s not quick, forgetaboutit. This hat knits up in a jiffy, even though I’ve only been knitting for a while. (Granted, not as fast as I can crochet, but you can’t design crochet hats with a stitch pattern like this…)

Pattern is mainly for my own reference so it’s not completely precise, but feel free to enjoy! Just eyeball it and go. Contact me if you have any questions and I’d be more than happy to help!

Hat was named for my roommate in college, Hannah, who is classy and indie and wonderfully beautiful, just like this hat.


Size 13 (9.0mm) Knitting Needles

1 Skein Lionbrand Wool Ease Thick & Quick (107 yards) or any bulky weight yarn


CO 48 stitches

Knit 4×4 rib for 2 1/2 inches (or however long you’d like your band to be).

Next Row: Switch to Mistake Ribbing For Body: *k2, p2* across until 2 stitches remain.  P2tog (you need an odd number of stitches for the mistake ribbing).

Continue to work Mistake Ribbing (*k2, p2* across until last stitch, p1) until hat measures 7 inches from cast on edge.

Next Row: Begin to decrease. k 1, *k2tog, p2tog* across. Continue decreasing for 3 Rows until only 7  stitches remain.

Cut yarn and weave yarn through remaining stitches on needle, gathering hat shut.

Sew up side seam of hat and Enjoy!

Knit Hannah’s Hat with others on Ravelry: 

If you’re not a fan of straight needles, instructions on how to knit this hat in the round are found below:

Cast on 48, do 4×4 rib as instructed.
Now here is where it gets tricky:
Mark your first stitch with a marker and k2 p2 around. (ending in p2)
Start next row (in the round means next stitch) p1, k2, p2 around till last stitch, and then p1. and then repeat. next row would start with K2.
This is how i wrote it down to help me:
k k p p k k p p
p k k p p k k p
k k p p k k p p
p k k p p k k p
you can see how the K’s and p’s line up, and the other verticals are every other as the should be.
You just need to know when you are going to have 3 purls next to each other, or just 1 purl.

Cast on 48, do 4×4 rib as instructed.

Now here is where it gets tricky:Mark your first stitch with a marker and k2 p2 around. (ending in p2)

Start next row (in the round means next stitch) p1, k2, p2 around till last stitch, and then p1. and then repeat. next row would start with K2.

Continue to work mistake ribbing until hat measure 7 inches from beginning.

Work decreases in hat as written above ^^. (Next Row: Begin to decrease. k 1, *k2tog, p2tog* across. Continue decreasing for 3 Rows until only 7  stitches remain.)

Have fun!

All this knitting mumbo-jumbo got you stumped?  Don’t worry – visit JJCrochet’s Etsy Store for hand-made crocheted and knit hats!