Winter Woods Knit Hat Pattern

Christmas came with a blanket of snow in the Seattle area for the first time in almost a decade. It didn’t last long. Soon after, the familiar rains returned, melting it all away. But during it’s stay, the beautiful snow-covered trees in the forest behind our house inspired me to create Winter Woods Hat.

Winter Woods is knit in the round. It is a mosaic or slipped stitch pattern, with only one color worked each round. I used the same stitch pattern that I used in Joy Comes In the Morning,  making it potentially reversible if color changes and weaving ends are done carefully. The stitch pattern includes yarn-over’s that are dropped on subsequent rounds to allow for more vertical stretch. Blocking is a must to open up those squares.

Gauge and Sizing

4.5 stitches = 1 inch

Sizes:

  • Small (19.5 inches)
  • Medium (21 inches)
  • Larger (23 inches)
Materials

Yarn: Aran or Worsted weight wool blend in following amounts.

  • Main color – 80 (95, 110)  yards
  • Contrasting color – 40 (55, 70) yards

I used Louisa Harding Esquel, which is a combination of wool, llama and silk. Colors are Natural and Moss.

Needles:

  • Size US6 16″ length or Double Pointed Needles
  • Size US8 in 16″ or Double Pointed Needles
  • Size US8 Double pointed needles or long one for Magic Loop
  • Tapestry Needle for weaving ends
Abbreviations
  • CO: Cast on
  • MC: Main Color
  • CC: Contrasting Color
  • P: Purl
  • K: Knit
  • Sl1 wyif: Slip 1 with yarn in front
  • Sl1 wyib: Slip 1 with yarn in back
  • YO: Yarn over
  • rnd(s): round(s)
Winter Woods Hat
Winter Woods Pattern

With smaller needles and MC, CO 88 (96, 104) stitches. Join for working in the round. Work 1×1 ribbing for an inch.

Switch to CC and Knit one round.

Switch back to MC and P one round, then K one round. Repeat these two rounds.

Switch to larger needles.

[Stitch Pattern]

Setup Round: CC: P1, *YO, P4. Repeat from * to last 3 sts. YO, P3.

Round 1: MC: K1, Drop YO, Sl1 wyib. *K3, Drop YO, Sl1. Repeat from * to last 2 sts, K2.

Round 2: MC: K1, Sl1. *K1, YO, K2, Sl1. Repeat from * until last 2 sts, K1, YO, K1.

Round 3: CC:  *P3, Drop YO, Sl1 wyif. Repeat from * to end.

Round 4: CC:  *P1, YO, P2, Sl1. Repeat from * to end.

Repeat Rnds 1-4. Then work Rnds 1-2, EXCEPT don’t work the YO’s in Round 2. Next, P one rnd in CC.

Switch to MC. P one rnd, K one rnd. Repeat these two rnds.

Switch to CC, and work Stitch Pattern Rounds as follows:

Work Setup Rnd, and Rnds 1-4 in appropriate colors. Work Rnds 1-2 again, but without the YO’s in Rnd 2. Next, P one rnd in CC.

Switch to MC. P one rnd, K one rnd. Repeat these two rnds.

Switch to CC, and work Stitch Pattern as follows.

Work Setup Rnd. Work Rnds 1-2, Except skip the YO’s in Rnd 2. Next, P one rnd in CC.

Decrease Section (Switch to double pointed needles or Magic Loop as needed.)

Switch to MC.

P one round.

For Large and Small Sizes (For Small size, begin with Round 5):

  1. K11, K2tog. Repeat to end.
  2. P one round.
  3. K10, K2tog. Repeat to end.
  4. P one round in CC. Switch to MC.
  5. K9, K2tog. Repeat to end.
  6. P one round.
  7. K8, K2tog. Repeat to end.
  8. P one round in CC. Switch to MC.
  9. K7, K2tog. Repeat to end.
  10. P one round.
  11. K6, K2tog. Repeat to end.
  12. P one round in CC. Switch to MC.
  13. K5, K2tog. Repeat to end.
  14. P one round.
  15. K4, K2tog. Repeat to end.
  16. P one round in CC. Switch to MC.
  17. K3, K2tog. Repeat to end.
  18. P one round.
  19. K2, K2tog. Repeat to end.
  20. P one round in CC. Switch to MC.
  21. K1 K2tog. Repeat to end.
  22. P one round.
  23. K2tog to end.

For Medium Size:

  1. K10, K2tog. Repeat to end.
  2. P one round.
  3. K9, K2tog. Repeat to end.
  4. P one round in CC. Switch to MC.
  5. K8, K2tog. Repeat to end.
  6. P one round.
  7. K7, K2tog. Repeat to end.
  8. P one round in CC. Switch to MC.
  9. K6, K2tog. Repeat to end.
  10. P one round.
  11. K5, K2tog. Repeat to end.
  12. P one round in CC. Switch to MC.
  13. K4, K2tog. Repeat to end.
  14. P one round.
  15. K3, K2 tog. Repeat to end.
  16. P one round in CC. Switch to MC.
  17. K2, K2tog. Repeat to end.
  18. P one round.
  19. K1, K2tog. Repeat to end.
  20. P2tog to end. (7 sts).

Cut yarn and thread through live sts and pull to close top of hat. Weave in ends carefully.

You’re going to want to block the heck out of this puppy. Soak hat in cool water with a bit of wool wash for half an hour. Gently squeeze out excess water and block, being sure to gently pull hat vertically to open up the squares in the stitch pattern.

Winter Woods Hat

Have a Blessed New Year.

Summer knitting in the Fall: A tutorial for a Mitered Square Summer cotton tank top

I love all things Autumn: rain, watching NFL, Thanksgiving, winter squashes, knitting by the fireplace with a hot drink. So I decided to knit a cotton summer top. Because I make sense.

knitting mitered square tank top

How to…

This is more of a tutorial than a pattern. I’ll give instructions on how I created it, but feel free to make any and all modifications.

The schematic shows how the tank is constructed. (And please feel free to admire my amazing MS Paint skills.) Note that the triangles labeled A and C on the sides are actually full squares that wrap around to the other side. Squares labeled A are worked first, separately. B squares are worked next by picking up stitches from the A squares to connect them together. C squares are worked after that by picking up stitches from the B squares. Triangles labeled D and E are completed next. Finally two full squares with straps (F) are added.

knitting mitered square tank top schematic

Materials
  • Cotton or bamboo or linen yarn in a Dk or sport weight. The sample was made with Bamboo Pop by Universal Yarn, which is a DK weight of 50% cotton and 50% bamboo. I used approximately 550 yards, but didn’t keep track of how much of that was main color vs. contrasting color. I suggest knitting a square, calculating the yardage of that one square, and multiplying it by the number of squares you’re going to make. (17-ish if you’re following the schematic). Add some for the straps and edging, and you can get a decent approximate yardage needed.
  • Needles, size appropriate for yarn used, or maybe slightly larger for a nice drape. I used a size 5 for the main parts, and a size 4 for the edgings.
  • Tapestry needle for weaving ends.
Abbreviations
  • K – Knit
  • P – Purl
  • St(s) – Stitches
  • CDD – Center Double Decrease
  • Sl  wyif- Slip with yarn in front
  • RS – Right side
  • WS – Wrong side
  • SSP – Slip, slip, purl

Before starting, let’s figure out sizing and some math. For sizing, measure around the bust and decide on ease. I recommend zero ease or even a slight negative one, because I tried a couple of inches of positive ease at first, and it could have fit a couple of elephants instead of my young daughter. So, the circumference will be bust size in inches plus whatever ease (or not) you want to add (or subtract). Once you know the circumference of the top, divide it by 4. That will be the length of x in the square picture. Also, knit a swatch and calculate gauge (sts/inch).

knitting mitered square tank top schematic

The chest circumference for the sample was 27 inches, so each x equals 27/4 or 6.75 inches.

Because you know the length of x, you can calculate the length of “a” using the Pythagorean theorem since the square forms right angles (more or less). This will be the length of one side.

knitting mitered square tank top equation

Because the sample had an x length of 6.75 inches, the length of “a” equals 4.77 inches.

Now that you know the length of one side, you can calculate how many stitches are cast on for one side using your gauge:

a * (sts/in) = stitches per side.

My gauge was 5.5 stitches per inch, so I needed to cast on 26 stiches for each side of a square.

Let’s set stitches per side equal to z. (So, my z = 26 stitches.)

Row A Squares

These are the only squares that will be worked separately. Cast on (2z) +1 sts. (For my sample, I cast on a total of 53 sts, 26 for each side, plus the center stitch.) Turn.

Setup: Knit z sts, sl1 wyif, K to last st, P1.

Row 1 (RS): Slip1 knitwise, knit to middle 3 sts, CDD (Slip 2 sts together knitwise, K1, Pass slipped sts over.) K to last stitch, P1.

Row 2(WS): Sl1 knitwise, K to center st, Sl1 wyif, K to last st, P.

Knit these two rows for awhile until you decide you want to add a new color. On a right side row, work with the current color until you get to the last st, then purl that with your new color. Continue Rows 1 and 2 with new color until you feel like switching it back. I highly recommend attaching/weaving in color changes while you’re knitting to avoid weaving in a bazillion ends later.

When you have 5 sts left after working a WS row, on the RS, Sl1 knitwise, CCD, P1. (3 sts remain). WS: Sl1 knitwise, Sl1 wyif, P1. RS: CCD. Cut yarn leaving a long tail, and pull through from the back to the front of the st. This st will be used later, so just leave the tail through it for now to prevent unraveling.

Work 3 more squares the same way.

Row B Squares

The second row of squares will connect the first squares together.

With RS of a Row 1 Square facing you and starting at top, pick up z sts in slipped sts along top left edge. (Do NOT use the live st at the very top of the square.) Pick up a st in one strand of knot at bottom of square and one strand of knot in another Row 1 Square. This is kind of awkward, but I found using a crochet hook made it a bit easier. Now, pick up z sts along the slipped sts on the right side of the other Row 1 Square. Again, do NOT use the live st at the top of the square.

knitting mitered square tank top

Setup (WS): Knit to center st, Sl1 wyif, K to last st, P1.

Work Rows 1 and 2 from Row A Squares, changing colors as desired. Complete 3 more squares in a similar way connecting all the Row 1 Squares. (Tank will not be flat anymore after all Row A squares are connected to Row B squares.)

Row C Squares

Row C Squares are worked very similarly to Row B Squares. Pick up sts the same way (leaving the top live sts of B squares alone for now) with the following exception: When you get to the bottom corner of the square, pick up that live st from the top of the Row A Square and place it on your right needle. Pull the tail end out of the st to weave it in later. Do this for all 4 Row C Squares.

Knitting the Bottom Partial Squares (D)

Turn  work upside down. You will be picking up sts from the cast-on edge of the Row A Squares to fill in those triangles, using the following method:

On left edge of upside-down square, pick up z sts, pick up 1 st from bottom center st of Row B Square, then pick up z sts from right side of next Row A Square. Turn.

Setup (WS): K to center st, Sl1 wyif, K to last 2 sts, SSP. (Slip slip purl: slip 2 sts knitwise separately, pass them back to left needle. Purl together through the back loop.)

Row 1(RS): Sl1 knitwise, K to center 3 sts, CCD, K to last 2 sts, SSP.

Row 2 (WS): Sl1 knitwise, K to center st, Sl1 wyif, K to last 2 sts, SSP.

Change colors (or not) as you did with previous squares.

Work rows 1 and 2 until you have a single stitch left, the cut and weave in. (I ended up with 4 sts, so I did a CDD, except I K2tog before passing my slipped sts over.)

Knitting the Back Triangles (E)

The two triangles at the back top are worked by picking up stitches along the slipped edges of the Row 3 Squares (including the live st at the top of the Row B Squares). You can also include the live stitches at the top of the C Squares in your picked up stitches. Decreases are done the same way as the bottom triangles. Work this way (including color changes) until you have desired number of live sts left for the strap, ending with a RS row. (My strap was 13 sts wide, not including edging.) Cut a long tail, and place live sts on a holder.

knitting mitered square tank top equation

Front top Squares and Straps (F)

Pick up sts along the edges along Row C Squares as previous (again, including the live stitches at the tops of Row C Squares if available) and work until you have the same number of live sts left that you have on the back triangles. Now, continue to work back and forth on the straps without decreasing, but slipping the center st on each WS row. Work straps until desired length, ending with a WS row. Place all live sts on needles and Garter Kichener stitch the live sts on the strap to the live sts on the back triangles. (Here is a video on grafting garter stitch.)

Edging

For the edging, pick up sts in the slipped sts at bottom, armholes and neckline. Work garter st (or other desired edging) around. You can add some short rows to raise the neckline or armholes if desired. For the sample, I added a few sets at the front of the neckline using simple wrap and turns. Bind off loosely and weave in ends. Block as desired.

Please contact me with any questions!

Happy Thanksgiving!

My Cowl version of “Where Feet May Fail” Shawl

Well, kids, it’s been raining here in the Seattle area for the last 8365837458 days. I finished my cowl a few day ago, but haven’t been able to get outside to take any pictures without fear of drowning. The sun came out briefly today, so I took advantage of it. Unfortunately, I think this may be the only partially sunny day for a while. :/ (For the record, I LOVE rain, but after 8365837458 days of it, I’m ready for some dryness.)

Where Feet May Fail Cowl

As I previously mentioned, I used the same stitch patterns that I used in my Where Feet May Fail shawl, hence the name.

I think it turned out pretty great. I like working with sport weight wool and Cascade’s 220 Superwash Sport is one of my go-to yarns for these kinds of projects. It’s relatively soft, comes in great colors, and is not too pricey. The reversible garter stitch pattern is very cool. Each side is the reverse of the opposite, and it has a amazing squishy texture. I really like this particular lace stitch pattern too, so added a few panels of those, like in the original shawl. The lace pattern looks completely different on both sides, but again, both are attractive.

Where Feet May Fail Cowl

I added an I-cord-looking edging to the cowl. At first, it was difficult to maintain consistent tension with it, especially in the stripes sections. I had to slow down and concentrate on how tight or loose my edge stitches were. It was also too easy to create loose stitches in the lace sections. After some practice though, I barely had to think about it. Of course, any edging could be used: a garter edge, slipped stitch edge, or any other that you like.

Change the pattern with your own ideas!

The pattern is extremely flexible. It can be made wider, thinner, longer, shorter. Add more lace if you like, or leave out the lace sections and add more squishy stripes. Endless possibilities. 🙂

I’m writing up the pattern now, and hope to have it done in the next couple of days so I can share it with you. It feels so great and squishy (I am loving that word), and I want to make a lot more in different colors.

Don’t  get washed away, Pacific Northwesterners! :O

UPDATE: Free pattern available at Ravelry.

Reversible Two-Color Knitting, aka Making Your Knitting Look Cool on Both Sides

I am fascinated by reversible two-color knitting. There’s reversible knitting. There’s color work. Put them together, and you can make some pretty awesome creations.

Reversible Two-Color Knitting

I’m not talking about double knitting (which is pretty cool too). Double knitting produces a double-thick layer of fabric that creates “negative” images on opposite sides. I’m talking about stitch patterns that may or may not look similar on both sides. But both sides look great and either can be used as the “right” or outside.

Reversible Two-Color Knitting

If you want to try out two-color reversible knitting, I have to highly recommend this book: Reversible Two-Color Knitting  by Jane Neighbors. Originally published in 1974, it’s currently out of print, but can be found second-hand on sites like Amazon or Alibris.com. Jane divides the book into chapters on stitch patterns, items created with these stitch patterns, and ideas on how to use them. The first chapter of stitch patterns is called “Simple Reversibles.” It contains a ton of stitch patterns that use only knit, purl, slipped stitches, and yarn overs. I had no idea there were so many ways to manipulate these 4 stitches.

I’ve used a couple of these in my designs. Where Feet May Fail uses a reversible garter stitch while Joy Comes In the Morning uses one called Shadow Boxing. Shadow Boxing is a lightweight, but warm pattern, perfect for scarves and shawls.

The technique took some getting used to. The reversible garter stitch (like most of the patterns in the book) involves a circular needle, and sliding the work to the other end of the needles at a color change. This is done to keep both edges of the item the same. Color changes occur at both sides, so you don’t have alternating yarns running up only one side of your garment. I needed to watch my tension too. When sliding the work to the opposite end of the needle, the stitches may be tight due to no “give” from the previous color. This can be remedied by adding some well-placed yarn-overs, and dropping them on subsequent rows. Or just consciously keep the edge stitches loose.

Where Feet May Fail Cowl
Reversible Two-color Knitting

I’m currently working on an infinity cowl using the stitch patterns I used in Where Feet May Fail. This pattern uses the reversible two-color garter stich and an open lace pattern. Unlike the original shawl, where the lace is incorporated with short rows, this one will be easily modified. I hope to have the pattern available soon. Just in time for Spring, haha. 🙂

Knit Socks: My lastest Kai-Mei Pair

I’ve been on a knitting hiatus recently, but the cold snowy weather we’ve been getting lately has kicked me back into gear. I started a third pair of knit socks from one of my favorite patterns back in November, with only a few rounds completed. It sat until a few days ago, then I whipped out the entire pair over the weekend.

A post shared by @megaptera11 on Feb 23, 2017 at 2:06pm PST


These went pretty quickly since I had knit the pattern a couple of other times. By the time I started getting bored with the 3×3 ribbing on the leg, it was time to begin the heel flap and heel turn (my favorite parts, knitting-wise!). The lace stitch pattern that winds its way across the top of the foot is a bit fiddly to work, but well worth it. I ended up working 8 repeats of the stitch pattern before starting the toe decreases. (The pair I created back in 2011 had 9 repeats, but I’ve lost the needle death grip since then, and don’t knit as tight.)

Because I have the tiniest feet ever, I used size 0 circular needles with the Magic Loop method.

I’m not entirely sure of the yarn as it didn’t have the original label. It was marked as a Wool2Dye4, sock weight 3-ply. It’s beautiful and incredibly soft.

Kai-Mei Knit socks

Check out the many other projects that knitters have created on Ravelry.

The Next Projects…

Of course one of them will be another pair of socks. This weekend, I visited Tolt Yarn and Wool and picked up some Cestari Traditional Collection for my Hyak socks.

A post shared by @megaptera11 on Feb 27, 2017 at 10:07am PST


I like rustic yarns, and this one is no exception. Made of 100% worsted weight wool, this should knit up quickly into some warm, thick socks that will keep my feet warm when tromping through all this crappy snow we’re getting. :/

I’ve also got a couple of ideas for a cowl based on one of my other designs, and a top based on a project I did a while ago. Stay tuned…