Knitbot Winter Hat KAL and BOGO!

Last year I set out to create a hat that truly fit my head.  This came about after realizing how many hats I have knit for myself over the years that are too big.  For a hat to properly fit, negative ease is necessary.  And the only way to ensure you will have the proper fit is to knit a gauge swatch!  We all know this is true, but can resist this all important step anyway.

Well, I lost the hat I knit myself last year during the Knitbot Simple Hat KAL.

As sad as I am, as it was my most perfect hat, it is always nice to have a fresh hat for a fresh season!  So I am resurrecting the Knitbot Simple Hat KAL, for myself and for you.  Here's what will happen:

Now through the end of the month you can gather supplies.

1. Patterns: choose either the Simple Beret or Knitbot Simple Hat.  Buy either pattern through Ravelry and choose one Knitbot pattern FREE with coupon code knitbot hat.  (Offer good thru 11/30/14 midnight EST)  If you have a different hat pattern, well, you're still welcome in the KAL! The community and I can aim to help you knit a perfectly fitting hat, whatever the pattern might be. 

2. Choose your yarn.  A hat pattern can be a great stash buster!  But we won't judge you if you want to go out and purchase a pretty new skein.  The great thing about Simple Beret and Knitbot Simple Hat patterns is that they each include instructions for multiple gauges, and Simple Hat includes multiple sizes!

KNITBOT SIMPLE HAT

average head circumferences 
Baby 16” (Toddler 18”, Child 20”, Adult 22”, XL Adult 24”)

version a: bulky weight 
finished circumference: 15 (17, 19, 21, 23)” / 38 (43, 48, 53, 58) cm 
finished height: 6 (6.75, 7.75, 8.75, 9.75)” /15.25 (17, 19.5, 22.25, 24.75) cm

yarn: Quince & Co Osprey (100% American wool, 170 yds / 155m, 100 g) 1 skein Peaks Ferry #132 OR 45 (56, 70, 88, 110) yds / 41 (51, 64, 80, 100)m of bulky weight yarn

gauge: 14 sts and 20 rows = 4” / 10 cm in St st

NOTE: in my opinion this bulky version is the best bang for your buck. One skein of Osprey, and I only used about 60% of it to knit the largest hat, which allows plenty of extra to knit your gauge swatch. Just sayin’.

version b: worsted weight 
finished circumference: 14.5 (16.75, 19.25, 20.75, 22.5)” / 37 (42.5, 49, 52.75, 57.25) cm 
finished height: 5.5 (6.25, 7.25, 8.5, 9.75)” / 14 (15.75, 18.25, 21.5, 24.75) cm

yarn: Quince & Co Lark (100% American wool, 134 yds / 123m, 50g) 1 (1, 1, 2, 2) skeins Clay #113 OR 75 (95, 115, 140, 170) yds / 69 (87, 105, 125, 155) of worsted weight yarn

gauge: 20 sts and 28 rows = 4” / 10 cm in St st

version c: dk weight 
finished circumference: 15 (16.25, 18.75, 21, 22.75)” / 38 (41.25, 47.75, 53, 57.75) cm 
finished height: 5.75 (7, 7.25, 8.5, 9.5)” / 14.5 (17.75, 18.25, 21.5, 24) cm

yarn: Quince & Co Chickadee (100% American wool, 170 yds / 155m, 100 g) 1 (1, 1, 2, 2) skeins OR 92 (116, 144, 180, 215) / 84 (106, 132, 165, 197)m of dk weight yarn

gauge: 24 sts and 32 rows = 4” / 10 cm in St st

SIMPLE BERET

finished measurements 
Brim circumference: approx. 17.5” 
Widest point circumference: approx. 26” 
Height: approx. 8.5”

fingering weight 
YARN: 1 skein The Fibre Company Canopy Fingering (50% Baby Alpaca, 30% Merino Wool, 20% Bamboo; 200 yd per 50 g skein) in Obsidian OR 200 yd of fingering weight yarn 
NEEDLES: US1 / 2.25 mm 16” circular needle; US2 / 2.75 mm 16” circular needle and set of dpns NOTIONS: Tapestry needle, 10 markers 
GAUGE: 28 sts and 40 rnds = 4” / 10 cm in St st

dk weight 
YARN: 2 skeins The Fibre Company Acadia 
(60% Merino Wool, 20% Baby Alpaca, 20% Silk; 145 yd per 50 g skein) in Bog OR 200 yd of DK weight yarn 
NEEDLES: US3 / 3.25 mm 16” circular needle; US5 / 3.75 mm 16” circular needle and set of dpns NOTIONS: Tapestry needle, 10 markers 
GAUGE: 23 sts and 32 rnds = 4” / 10 cm in St st

worsted weight 
YARN: 1 skein The Fibre Company Canopy Worsted (50% Baby Alpaca, 30% Merino Wool, 20% Bamboo; 200 yds per 100 g skein) in River Dolphin OR 200 yd of worsted weight yarn 
NEEDLES: US5 / 3.75 mm 16” circular needle; US7 / 4.5 mm 16” circular needle and set of dpns NOTIONS: Tapestry needle, 11 markers 
GAUGE: 20 sts and 28 rnds = 4” / 10 cm in St st

bulky weight 
YARN: 1 skein The Fibre Company Tundra 
(60% Baby Alpaca, 30% Merino Wool, 10% Silk; 120 yd per 100 g skein) in Taiga OR 120 yd of bulky weight yarn 
NEEDLES: US9 / 5.5 mm 16” circular needle; US10.5 / 6.5 mm 16” circular needle and set 
of dpns 
NOTIONS: Tapestry needle, 10 markers 
GAUGE: 14 sts and 18 rnds = 4” / 10 cm in St st

Monday I'll follow up with a post on yarn and color ideas!  If you want to get started today you can read through last years KAL threads.  We'll all join you there soon with fresh content!

Gable and Mayu

In the past few months I've had two pullover patterns published as part of collaborative collections.

Earlier this fall it was exciting to be featured in the Japanese magazine Amirisu alongside some of my pals, including Carrie Hoge and Pam Allen.  

Mayu, which means cocoon in Japanese, seems the appropriate name for my long a-lined body and sleeve pullover featuring Quince & Co. Osprey.  Enveloped in squishy loose spun wool with just enough twist, the fabric is divine! 

More details on Mayu and Amirisu Fall 2014 HERE.

I was very excited when Jared invited me to be part of Wool People again!  It was a treat to design Walpole for WP3 - that cardigan remains one of my favorite designs!  I wanted to use the twisted rib pattern from Walpole as a design element, and decided to try a pullover in Loft.  A subtle triangle rises from the center front hem.  Short row shaping is featured in both the hem and the neck.  In the end the elements used in this round yoke pullover work together rather than compete for attention - just enough interest in this otherwise simple go-to piece.  

More details on Gable and Wool People 8 HERE.

StashBot in action

In my previous post I talked about where we got the yardage and meter averages featured in StashBot.  They are based on actual body measurements - in the case of sweaters we've added + 2" / 5cm of ease +10%, and for all other project types we've added a 10% pad.  

In all cases we are talking about basic Stockinette Stitch pieces.  Do you typically like more ease, cables, more length or a hood?  You'll need more yarn!  Future versions of the app may allow you to do things like add a hood or different length sleeves, etc.  But hopefully this tool, as it is now, gives you a starting place when you have no pattern to reference.  You'll be able to knit SOMETHING with the estimated yardage.   Also, in most cases the estimated yardage will not be exactly divisible by the yardage of the skein you're considering.  That's okay!  In these cases round up, not down.  More yarn will increase your pattern choices in the future.

On that note, let's take the app for a test spin and see some real world examples.

Example 1: Owls by Kate Davies 

StashBot suggests for a size 40" / 102cm chest and a gauge of 13 sts per 4 inches / 10cm an estimated 720 yds / 660m will be needed.  Kate's pattern suggests 700 yds for this size.  We have a match!  

Let's say you were originally shopping for Rowan British Sheep Breeds Chunky, which this pattern calls for.  The 120 yards skeins would evenly divide into the 720 estimated yards 6 times.  If you were on a budget, that's great, you know with those 6 skeins you'll have some sweater patterns to choose from.  As we can see from our example above, it's true, you do!  If you were in a position to grab one more skein you'd increase your options for the future.

Example 2:  Iced by Carol Feller 

This pattern is 12 sts per 4" / 10cm, your stashed yarn from the first example will still be a good fit.  Size 38.5" requires 735 yards.  So if you'd grabbed that extra skein that might be good, although you may be able to squeeze this sweater out of the 720 yds since it's knitted from the top down, you could always shorten the torso and sleeves a tad if necessary.  Keep in mind most listed yardage requirements in patterns also include some percentage of a pad!  

Example 3: February Lady Sweater by Pamela Wynne

Let's say we were shopping and discovered Sundara Worsted Merino.  Using StashBot we learn we'd need an estimated 1180 yds / 1080m to knit ourselves a 44" / 112cm average length sweater.  Since the skeins come with 175 yds and we can't purchase 6.75 skeins, we would have purchased 7 skeins for a total of 1225 yards.  Later, when we're looking for a pattern, we discover that this popular sweater requires 1150 yards.  We have a match!  This sweater has 3/4 length sleeves, we may have enough yarn left over to lengthen them a bit.

Average length sweater is pretty easy to categorize.  StashBot also includes cropped and long sweater categories.  In the future we'd like to expand on the long sweater category.  For instance, there are elongated, swingy cardigans which is what I had in mind when I established the long sweater category...and there there are LONG sweaters that are more like jackets with hoods.  We hope to add a category to encompass these types of sweaters in the future!  

In the meantime, here's an example of a long cardigan that fits with StashBot's data.

Example 4: Storm Mountain by Heidi Kirrmaier

Shopping for Rowan Felted Tweed, you would have found at 22 sts per inch / 10cm you'd need 1600 yds / 1460m for a 44" / 112cm, long sweater.  You would have purchased 9 skeins for a total of 1719 yards.  When pattern surfing you might come across this sweater and discover you have enough yarn to knit your size, as it calls for 1650 yards.  A match!

Here are two examples of patterns that our estimates would leave you shy:

Both of these beautiful sweaters feature a lot of cables, and the jacket to the left is really the most sweater you could every knit!  If our estimate included this sweater, StashBot would have you overbuying for the majority of patterns.  There is no substitute for having a pattern in hand that tells you exactly how much yarn you need for that project.  But for those instances where you don't have a pattern in hand, we hope that StashBot can be the friend that helps you purchase enough yarn to knit something from your stash in the future!

Many have been writing in an letting us know their wish list for future updates to StashBot.  We love that, it's very helpful!  For example, in the near future we are going to increase the gauge range from 3 - 8 sts / inch to 2 - 10 sts per inch.  Have more ideas or wishes?  Send us a note!