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Tips

Tips for knitting your first sweater

Hello! It is the beginning of a new year and maybe you set some goals for the year ahead like knitting your first sweater! As much of the world is in a lockdown thanks to COVID-19 this is a perfect time to learn how to knit and knit your first sweater. 

Knitting a sweater for the first time was my new year’s resolution for 2018. I had intended to knit Flax by TinCanKnits as my first sweater, in fact I even finished the body, but my gauge was way off (we’ll talk about how to avoid this later on) so it was way too big – I rippled it out and made the Harvest cardigan with the yarn instead, but that’s a story for another day… 

My first complete sweater ended up being the Julia sweater which I got as a kit from Wool and the Gang. It’s made out of their Billie Jean yarn which is upcycled denim. I absolutely love this yarn…too bad I’m not the biggest fan of the sweater.

From my experience above you may think you’re also going to hate your first knit sweater. But that’s not true! And the tips for knitting your first sweater that I’m going to give you below will help you avoid my mistakes! 

Choosing the right size for your first knit sweater

Most knitting patterns use bust size as the main measurement for determining which size you should make. Choose the size that matches, or is the closest, to the measurement of your full bust. The widest part of your chest. 

What is positive or negative ease?

In many sweater knitting patterns you will see the terms positive or negative ease. Ease is the difference between your measurements and the final measurements of the garment. So this will make the garment looser or tighter fitting. 

Positive ease refers to a garment that is looser fitting around your body and allows for movement. A good example of a sweater with positive ease is Andrea Mowry’s Weekender, which has 10” of positive ease. 

Here’s a picture of me wearing the Weekender I knit for my mom. I have a 38” bust measurement and the finished measurement of this sweater is 48” giving me the full 10” of ease. 

Negative ease is a garment that is tighter and will fit snuggly to your body as the measurement of the finished knit sweater is smaller than your actual measurements. 

Here’s me in the My Little Secret Crop with a negative ease of 5”. As you can see it is tight fitting.

Most patterns will indicate if the knit sweater has positive or negative ease built into the final measurements, or if you should choose a size that is a certain number of inches smaller or larger than your bust measurement. 

For example, wording similar to this means you do not need to choose a larger size to get the intended ease, the ease is written into the pattern already: This sweater is intended to be worn with 5 inches of positive ease, this is included in the design, please choose the size that correlates best to your bust size. 

In this case, if you have a 42” bust you will knit the size that is closest to 42”.

While wording like this means you need to pick a size that will give you the intended ease: This sweater is intended to be worn with 5” of positive ease, to achieve the intended ease choose a size that is 5” larger than your actual bust size. 

In this case, if you have a 42” bust you will knit the size that is closest to 42” plus the 5” of ease, so the size with a bust closest to 47”.

Gauge and swatching 

Gauge is how many stitches and rows of knitting fit within certain measurements, usually measured over 4”.  The pattern for your first knit sweater should include the gauge and the stitch pattern to measure your gauge in (if it doesn’t include this info do not knit this sweater, especially as your first knit sweater! This information is critical!)

Gauge can change depending on many factors, some yarn doesn’t puff up, or bloom, as much as others, certain fibers can knit up tighter or looser. And naturally knitters can have a tighter or a looser gauge as well.

How does gauge affect fit?

Gauge is incredibly important for sweater knitting because it’s how you ensure your finished garment will fit! 

If your gauge is tighter than the designer’s gauge, that means that your stitches are smaller, so it takes you more stitches to knit 4”. If you try to knit the sweater at that gauge with the designers instructions, it will come out way too small!! 

The opposite is true if your gauge is too big, your knit sweater will come out too big as well as it takes you less stitches than the designer to knit 4”. This is what happened to me when I knit my first Flax sweater that I had to rip out. My sweater came out several sizes too big because my gauge was off. 

My gauge was only off by a couple stitches, but this shows just how important it is! Just a couple stitches off produced a garment that was a completely different size than intended, so you need to make sure you’re meeting the pattern’s gauge. 

How to measure gauge

To measure your gauge you will need to knit a swatch using the yarn you are going to use to knit your sweater. Here’s a photo of a swatch I recently knit for a sweater, it has a purl line in the middle because I swatched with two different needle sizes so that border divides the different gauges.

A swatch is a square of fabric knit in the stitch you need to measure your gauge in, if you need to measure gauge for stockinette stitch then you will knit your swatch in stockinette. You should cast on more stitches than you need for 4” and knit more rows than needed so your square is larger than 4” by 4” as you’ll want to measure in the middle, not near the edges where your stitches can be tighter or looser. 

You should knit your swatch in the method that you will knit your sweater. If your sweater is knit in the round you should knit your swatch in the round, if it’s knit flat you should knit your swatch flat. 

Block your swatch 

Blocking is when you wet your knitting and then lay it out flat to dry in the shape you want it to be in. Being wet, and then drying, can cause the yarn to stretch out more, so that’s why it’s important to block your swatch. Seeing as you’re going to wash your sweater at some point it’s going to get wet, and when it does that can change the size of the stitches. 

So it’s important to know what your gauge is after your knitting has been blocked

To block your swatch leave it soaking in warm water for about ten minutes, squeeze out as much water as you can (don’t wring) and lay it out flat, tug gently to shape it, but don’t pull too hard and stretch it out unnaturally.

Measure your gauge from the swatch

Once your swatch is blocked and dry it’s time to measure your gauge. I always start with rows personally! 

Lay your measuring tape down at the top of a stitch and count the number of stitches that fit in 4”. That’s how many rows you knit to reach 4” in length. 

Then lay your measure tape across your swatch starting from the left side of a stitch and count the number of stitches across to 4”. That’s how many stitches it takes to reach 4” across.

What if your gauge is wrong?

Firstly, if your gauge is wrong take a deep breath!! There is nothing wrong with you, or with the designer for that matter. Everyone knits differently and there are a handful of designers out there who knit tighter or looser than me, when I knit one of their patterns I just know that I won’t get gauge with the needles they recommend! And that’s OKAY. 

What to do if your gauge is too small

If you are getting more stitches or rows in 4” than the pattern states than your stitches are tighter. To remedy this go up a needle size (or two if you’re really small) and swatch again to get looser, bigger stitches. 

What to do if your gauge is too big

If you are getting less stitches or rows in 4” than the patterns states than your stitches are looser. To remedy this go down a needle size (or two if you’re really loose) and swatch again to get tighter, smaller stitches. 

What to do when the stitch gauge matches, but the rows are off (or vice versa)

You may find that you are able to meet the stitch gauge but not the row gauge, and then when you swap needle sizes the row gauge matches, but now you’ve lost the stitch gauge. When this happens, prioritize meeting the stitch gauge.

As stitch gauge is what determines the width of the garment it is what’s most important for fit. The length can almost always be altered easily by knitting more or less rows and most patterns give the length directions in measurements rather than the number of rows. So it will say something like “knit until sweater body is 15” from the cast on edge”  so you won’t even need to worry about knitting a set amount of rows. 

All this swatching can be really annoying. I won’t lie to you it’s my least favourite part about sweater knitting, and every time I debate not swatching. But it is so so so important for knitting sweaters and other garments. 

Sweater construction

Top-down vs. Bottom-up 

If you are knitting your first sweater with a design that is knit in the round then you will be either knitting from the top-down, meaning you start with the collar and work down to the bottom edge. Or the button-up meaning you start from the bottom edge and work your way up to the collar. 

Flax by Tin Can Knits is knit from the top-down and is a raglan style sweater. 

A young white woman takes a selfie in a mirror, she is posed with her hand on her hip. She is wearing a blue knit Flax sweater and grey leggings
I’ve pretty much been living in this sweater for the past week

The weekender is knit from the bottom up with a drop shoulder for the sleeves. 

Both a perfectly fine options for your first sweater, but many knitters prefer top-down for sweater knitting as you can try the sweater on as you go to test the fit and see the length. 

Knit in the round vs. flat

You can knit a sweater in the round using circular needles, Flax is knit in the round so it has no seams along the sides; it’s all one piece. 

Or you can knit a sweater flat in pieces and then seam the pieces together. The Julia sweater that I made is knit flat and seamed, as is this super bulky cozy sweater. 

Skills to know

Basic stitches for knitting your first sweater

To knit your first sweater you’ll need to know how to knit and purl. These are the two foundational knit stitches needed for any project. 

In addition to knitting and purling you may need to know techniques like cables and lace knitting depending on the sweater pattern you choose. The simplest stitch for your first sweater is going to be one that is knit primarily in stockinette stitch. 

Increases/decreases for sweater knitting

If your sweater is knit in the round from the top down then you will need to increase to make the body wider from the neck out over the shoulders. If the sweater is knit in the round from the bottom up then you will need to decrease to shape the neckline. 

And regardless if the sweater is top down or bottom up you will likely need to decrease as you knit the sleeves so that the sleeve tapers from your upper arm to your wrist to fit your arm correctly. 

Common increases and decreases

There are a few common increase/decrease methods that are used in knit sweater patterns. Increases create new stitches to increase the overall stitch count, making the sweater wider. While decreases take stitches out to decrease the overall stitch count, making the sweater narrower.

When I was knitting my first sweater I found online tutorials really helpful so I have linked a few below!

Increases
Make 1 left/Make 1 right

Abbreviation: m1l/m1r

This increase involves picking up the strand between two stitches and making a new stitch. There are two variations, one is left leaning and one is right leaning. This sounds complicated, especially if you’re a beginner knitting. But it is pretty straightforward!

Here is a tutorial from Tin Can Knits on how to make 1 left and make 1 right.

The hardest part for me is remembering the steps for each one. Here is how I remember

Make 1 right: R for rear and for regular. Pick up from the rear (the back) and knit the stitch regular (through the front). 

I don’t have a trick for make 1 left, just that it’s the opposite no r, so pick up from the front and knit through the back. 

Knit front and back

Abbreviation: kfb 

This increase is essentially creating two stitches out of one! Once you knit a stitch as normal sticking your needle through the front, you’ll put your needle back into the same stitch, through the back loop and knit it again. 

Check out this knit front and back tutorial from very pink

Decreases
Knit two together

Abbreviation: k2tog

To knit two together you do exactly what it says! You knit the next two stitches together, so instead of putting your needle into one stitch, you put it through two and then pull them both off. 

Here’s a video tutorial from Purl Soho showing the knit two together in action! 

Slip-slip-knit 

Abbreviation: ssk

Just like the knit two together, slip-slip-knit makes one stitch from two. Instead of just knitting two stitches together though, you slip the next two stitches onto your right hand needle and then knitting them through the back loop. 

I know this sound so confusing! Here’s a useful tutorial from Tin Can Knits on how to slip-slip-knit.

The difference between the ssk and the k2tog is the way that the decreased stitch leans. A knit front and back leans right, while an ssk leans left. The way the decrease leans affects the shape of the garment so most knit sweater patterns will use both! 

For example when decreasing on the sleeves you will knit front and back for your first decrease and slip-slip-knit for the second one. This causes the decreases to lean into each other giving the sleeve a nice shape. 

In this photo the left leaning knit two together is boxed in red and the right leaning ssk is in yellow.

Seaming your first sweater

If you’re knitting a sweater flat in pieces you will need to seam all of those pieces together at the end to make a sweater. Most knitters prefer to knit in the round over seaming as seaming can be…well annoying and time consuming. I personally find it a little fiddly! 

But there are advantages to seaming, it gives a knit sweater more structure than a sweater that is knit in the round with no seams. 

When I knit my Julia sweater it was the first time I had seamed and it came out really wonky! 

The mistake that I made was pulling too tight. When you are seaming make sure your seam isn’t too tight or too loose. 

Here’s a list of helpful seaming tutorials from Very Pink!

I hope that this guide has filled you with the confidence you need to knit your first sweater! I love sweater knitting and I promise it is much easier than it seems. You can do it! 🙂

Categories
Knits of Steele Designs

Cass Cowl Knitting Pattern

Introducing the….Cass Cowl knitting pattern!

Hello friends, today on the Knits of Steele knitting blog I want to tell you a bit more about my latest knitting design the Cass Cowl. This knitting pattern is squishy, it’s cozy, it has a big braided cable and twisted rib. This knit cowl design has everything I love and that’s why I named it after me!

This chunky knit cowl came to be way way back, I’m not even sure when. I think it was some time in 2019. I knew when I designed it that I eventually wanted to release the knitting pattern, but I lost my confidence a bit and even though I wrote the pattern up I never put it through testing or had it released.

But I set a goal in 2020 that I’m continuing this year to design more knitting patterns and release more of the knitting patterns that I already have written and ready to go. So starting of 2021’s schedule of releases here (finally) is the Cass Cowl knitting pattern!

I named this pattern after myself as a joke at first. It was a placeholder name until I could think of something better, but it just stuck and so it has remained the Cass Cowl. It feels like the right name for this knit design.

And the reason that it is a fitting name for this knitting pattern is that this knit cowl has so many of the design features that I love. Starting of with twisted rib. I’m not sure why I love twisted rib so much, but I do! It just adds a little something extra to a hat brim or sock cuff, or in this case the edges of a knit cowl, over traditional ribbing.

I designed this cowl knitting pattern when I was going through a cable phase. The big braided cable is offset to the side and starts right from the beginning of the cowl and goes right to end integrated into the twisted rib. For obvious reasons, this giant braided cable is my favourite part of this knit design.

And it’s all knit out of super cozy and squishy super bulky yarn!

I used Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick & Quick for this cowl, it takes just over 2 balls to complete. I used the colour Spice Market for this pattern, I’m in love with the rose gold, pink and yellow tones in this yarn! Unfortuantely, I think this colourway has been discontinued 😦

But no need to worry because this cowl looks great in any colour! It suits variegated and solid yarns just fine.

This knit cowl is honestly so squishy and cozy. It’s one of the warmest knit accessories I own and I always pull it out on super cold days. It’s large enough to come up and cover half of your face to ensure warmth, but also that you can still see! But it’s not so bulky that it’s uncomfortable and you can easily push it down to sit under or around your chin.

It keeps the wind out when it’s tucked into the collar of your coat and when paired with a hat it keeps your head and neck totally warm and covered from wind and snow.

Basically, the Cass Cowl is a Winter necessity!!

Cass Cowl Knitting Pattern Details

Yarn

  • 120 – 130 yds (110 – 120m) super bulky (6) weight yarn. 
  • Sample used 120 yds (110m) of  Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick & Quick in Spice Market.

Needles

  • US size 15 (10mm) circular needles 16-24” or size needed to obtain gauge

Notions

  • Yarn Needle
  • Cable needle
  • BOR Marker
  • Scissors

Gauge

  • 9 sts and 12 rows = 4” in stockinette st. 

Finished Measurements

  • 12.5” x 13.5” (32cm x 34cm) folded flat

You can purchase the Cass Cowl on Ravelry. Make sure you check out my release post on Instagram for a special discount code that’s valid through January 13th (Eastern Time).

I can’t wait to see your projects, make sure you tag me in any photos so I can check them out!

You can find my other designs and knitting patterns on Ravelry, and follow me on Instagram to stay up to date on new designs, sales and discounts, and knitting pattern releases!

Categories
Musings

2020 Knitting Goals Round Up

As most knitters can tell you, it’s really easy to get carried away with projects, to get side tracked with new yarn and new cast ons. It’s possible to do a lot of knitting and feel like you accomplished nothing! So for 2020 I set some knitting goals to keep me on track.

At the beginning of 2020, I wrote out my knitting goals for the year. It was actually one of my first posts on this knitting blog! Of course when I wrote this blog I had no idea the turn that 2020 would take… But despite being thrown for a loop by a global pandemic and seemingly endless months of lockdown – I made some good progress on my knitting goals!

Knitting goal 1: Colours

The colours that I wanted to knit with this year were one of my goals. This was because in 2019 I felt like a lot of my projects were really dark neutrals – there was A LOT of navy blue in 2019.

I wanted to use more bright colours because I really love bright pinks and teals and greens, but have never really brought them into my wardrobe.

I think I did pretty well with this goal. Here are some of my colourful projects from 2020.

Overlander Shawl

This was my Christmas Eve Cast on in 2019, but I didn’t finish it until mid-February. I absolutely love the colours I used a mini set from Holy Press Fibres for the contrast colours. The main colour is Mushroom on Artfil Belle which is a fingering sock yarn, and one of my favourites. I love the contrast of the bright colours and this gorgeous tonal great.

Sonya Tee

To say I am proud of this project would be an understatement! It was my most complicated stranded colourwork project (at the time I knit it – that title has possibly been claimed by my For Fox Sake).

I knit this in beautiful Sweet Georgia Yarns. I was hesitant about this colour combination, but I’m so glad I took the leap. and paired Magician and Peachy together.

This pattern was on my Ravelry queue for ages, I had a really hard time choosing colours. I knew I wanted to use Magician as the main colour, and I bought that yarn first while I made up my mind about the second colour.

I actually used a colour wheel to pick this contrast colour. I highly recommend using a colour wheel if you’re like me and bad at coming up with combinations. I think I almost used a creamy white instead of this peach!!

Pink Elefante

I am OBSESSED with this cute little elephant. I knit this one up for my best friend’s daughter (elephants are kind of our thing) and I am most certainly going to make one for myself!

Skywalker Socks

When I bought the yarn for my Sonya Tee I also picked up the beautiful sock yarn from Sweet Georgia with these socks by Tracie Millar in mind!

This variegated colour suits these socks so well.

Okay just ooooone more!

City Limits Sweater

I used a Hawthorne fade set from Knit Picks for this sweater and it took me a few tries to figure out the colours and the pace of the fade. I’m not 100% happy with the fit of this sweater, it’s too tight and too big in all the wrong places, and I ran out of yarn so the sleeves are an awkward length. But I love the colours!

And I used this light neutral colour for my Simone Pullover, which is totally out of my comfort zone and I loved how it turned out!

These last two sweaters are my biggest fails towards goal number 3…stashbusting…two new sweater quantities definitely weren’t in the plans for 2020…OH WELL!

You can read all the details for these projects on my Ravelry projects page.

Knitting goal 2: Scrappy projects

I have my Coziest Memories blanket to use up my fingering weight scraps. But one of my goals for 2020 was to knit some scrappy knitting projects that weren’t for fingering weight.

My success towards this goal has been so-so…

I knit the My Little Secret Crop by Jessie Maed Designs at the beginning of lockdown in March, actually I knit two of them. This was a really good project for scraps, but as I used fingering weight held together it didn’t quite meet my requirement of scrappy knitting projects that weren’t fingering weight.

My first My Little Secret Crop was also my first time fading and I loved how it turned out.

For my second My Little Secret Crop I used Nomadic Yarns self striping yarn held with some speckled Hawthorne fingering and it Love the way it turned out. This was a serious game of yarn chicken, by the end I had just a bit of the striping yarn left over.

I knit the Falling For You cowl by Leslie Alcock. It’s worsted weight and you just need a bit of each colour. It’s designed to be 4 colour blocks and that’s how I knit it, but for my next one I want to do smaller stripes of many colours and that will be perfect for using up worsted weight scraps.

This year, I sought out to solve my own problem when it came to having lots of super bulky scraps. I didn’t have enough of one colour to knit a whole hat so I designed this scrappy knit hat just a few days ago.

I have so many bits of super bulky yarn so I will definitely be making more of these knit hats in all sorts of colour combinations! You can find the free knitting pattern here.

Knitting goal 3: Stash busting

I had some great success with this goal. I knit 37 projects in 2020 and nearly all of them were using up yarn I already had in stash including several sweater quantities.

One of these is my Campside Cardi.

And this really cozy cardigan using Caron Latte Cakes, this yarn had been hanging around my house since 2018!

I have quite a bit of this fuzzy yarn leftover so I need to come up with something to make, I’m thinking a cozy cowl would be perfect!

And here’s how I failed:

Given I knit so many projects with yarn I had in my stash, I’m not sure I’d call it a failure, but I certainly bought more yarn this year than I wanted to…well than I planned to, because I certainly wanted to buy all of this yarn (and more)!

New yarn!

Outside of the yarn for my Simone Pullover and my City Limits, most of my new yarn came from the Great Toronto Yarn Hop – you can read about my haul from that event here.

Sweater quantity for the For Fox Sake sweater. Although in my defense…this was a pattern from my Ravely queue, so it’s a de-stash of my queue LOL.

And some sock yarn! The bubblegum pink is going to be a pair of Shag Carpet Shorites, I’ll hold the yarn double. I don’t have plans for the self striping skein yet…definitely socks though!

And I mean…how could I resist Eeyore inspired yarn from Campfiber yarns!

Yarn I didn’t use.

I also had some yarn that I really wanted to use this year as part of this goal and didn’t.

This pretty slub yarn from Hello Stella that I’m going to pair with some yarn from Legacy Fiber Artz to make a faded, slubby, Flax light.

An orange cat curled up on a comforter with a pink skein of yarn in front of it
This pretty skein from Hello Stella is one of my last yarn purchases of 2019

there’s some of the other pretty yarn I didn’t get to this year…somehow in all the knitting I did there is actually yarn I didn’t use! It’s almost unbelievable. However, I saw a moth the other day so most of it is packed up safe in vacuum bags and not fit to be photographed!

Knitting goal 4: Designing

The final goal I set was to design, and actually release, more of my knitting patterns. I have a tendency to design something and then lose the nerve to actually put it out into the world.

In 2020 I released six knitting patterns, many of them are free knitting patterns on this blog!

One of these six patterns is the Twister Mitts

Two hands wearing blue speckled knit fingerless mitts hold a mug of coffee

I’m pretty proud of my progress this year, but I did design two pairs of socks that never saw the light of day so I still have some work to do in this area.

You can check out all of my designs on Ravelry and browse the free knitting patterns on this blog.

Categories
Free Patterns

Scrappy Colourblock Hat

Hi everyone, I’m here today with a free knitting pattern for a super bulky weight hat. This scrappy colourblock hat is a great pattern for all of your leftover bits of Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick & Quick or other super bulky weight leftovers.

This is also an easy level free knitting pattern and it is a beginner friendly hat pattern. This is a really great free knitting pattern for your first hat if you are just learning to knit.

You only need to know how to knit and purl, knit two together and slip slip knit, and knit in the round. I know that seems like a lot if you’re just getting started and learning to knit, but it’s easy I promise!

If you’re learning to knit and don’t know how to do those things you can pick them up really easily! Here are some helpful tutorials:

Knitting in the round

1×1 ribbing

Knit two together

This free hat pattern also makes for a great last minute gift because it works up super quickly and it only requires a bit of each colour so you can make it with bits of leftover yarn from your stash.

I wanted to call this hat the Oh Sh!t last minute gift hat! If you’re anything like me you leave your Christmas gift knitting until last minute. I do this every year and whip up some last minutes hats, mittens or ear warmers using super bulky yarn. These projects come together so fast and make great handmade Christmas gifts.

So this year I started to tally up who still needed a gift. We are not doing any Christmas gatherings this year, but we do have some family dropping by to do a socially distanced gift exchange. I wanted to knit up a couple quick handmade gifts, but when I looked in my yarn stash…there was not a full skein of super bulky in sight!

This year with the lockdown it’s hard to just run out to the craft store and grab some super bulky yarn, and even if you can run to a store yarn has been in short supply. And this hat works up SO QUICK I knit the adult, child, and baby size all in one day.

I always have a TON of leftover bits of super bulky weight yarn like Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick & Quick. But never enough for a full hat, a half skein of one colour, a quarter of another, bits and bobs leftover from hats and mittens.

This hat is knit in the round from the brim up. 16” circular needles are used until the decrease rounds when it is necessary to switch to DPNs or magic loop to maintain tension.

This knit hat comes in three sizes: baby/toddler, child, and adult. This knitting pattern is written for the smallest size with the numbers for the larger sizes in brackets. 

Required skills: knitting in the round, knit, purl, knit two together, slip slip knit

Yarn

  • Super bulky – Sample used Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick & Quick
  • Colour A: 9 (11, 12) yds
  • Colour B: 9 (11, 12) yds
  • Colour C: 9 (11, 12) yds
  • Colour D: 9 (11, 12) yds
  • Total: 36-48 yds

Needles

  • US 13 (9 mm) 16” Circular needles and DPNs or size to obtain gauge

Notions

  • Yarn needle for weaving in ends
  • BOR marker
  • 3 stitch markers (different from BOR)

Gauge

  • 10 sts and 14 rows = 4” by 4” in stockinette stitch

Sizing

  • Baby/Toddler (Child, Adult)
  • Fits head circumference 17-18” (19-20”, 21-23”)

Abbreviations

BOR: beginning of round

CO: cast on

dpn(s): double-pointed needles

k: knit

k2tog:  knit 2 together

p: purl

pm: place marker

Rnd(s): Round(s)

ssk: slip slip knit; slip next 2 stitches one at a time as if to knit, return to left needle and knit 2 together through back loops

sm: slip marker

st(s): stitch; stitches

Pattern Instructions

With Colour A CO 36 (40, 44)  sts.

Join to work in the round and place BOR marker

Brim

Work 3 (4, 4) rnds of 1×1 ribbing (k1, p1 around)

Knit 1 (1, 2) rnds

Hat Body

Switch to Colour B

Knit 4 (5, 6) rnds 

Switch to Colour C

Knit 4 (5, 6) rnds 

Decreases

Switch to Colour D

Set up row: *K9 (10, 11), pm, repeat from * to end of rnd

Rnd 1: *Ssk, k to 2 sts. before next marker, k2tog, repeat from * to end of rnd

Rnd 2: knit to end of rnd

Repeat rnds 1 and 2 until 12 (8, 12) sts. remain, switching to DPNs when circumference becomes too small for 16” circular needles.

Finishing

Cut yarn leaving at least an 8 inch tail, using a yarn needle weave yarn tail through remaining sts. and pull tight. Weave in ends.

Make sure you share your projects on social media and don’t forget to tag me!

I really hope you enjoy this free hat knitting pattern for the scrappy colourblock hat! You can see my other knitting patterns in my Ravelry store and follow me on Instagram to keep up with all of my knitting adventures.

Categories
FO Spotlight Free Patterns Monthly Round UP

November 2020 Round-up

I cannot believe that November is over and it’s already time for another monthly round-up! The monthly round-up post is my opportunity to share with you what I’m knitting, my works in progress, my knit finished objects, knitting patterns I’m working on and MORE.

In this edition: my woeful neglected WIPs, a FREE hat pattern and my new crafting obsession…let’s dive in!

Current Knitting Projects

For Fox Sake Sweater

I wrote about this knit colourwork sweater in my October Round-up, and I had about 20 rows left in the yoke. Now I have maybe 5-7 rows left. I haven’t worked on it for the past few weeks, but I am done the foxes!

A recent photo of my For Fox Sake when I finished the foxes!

This is going to be my last sweater of 2020, if I finish it this year at all and it’s looking very possible that I won’t. But once I get through the yoke and the sleeve separation my pace should pick up quite a bit.

Vampire Vibes Socks

For a second I thought For Fox Sake was my only WIP, but I am also working on a pair of knit socks. These were my Halloween Cast-on if such a thing exists. I’m using KnitPicks Felici in the colour Vampire Vibes.

In my last post I wrote about my experience with my first afterthought heel and I’m going to do another afterthought heel on this pair.

I haven’t knit much on them, I’m mostly pulling out this project for knitting during movie night.

Coziest Memory Blanket

I mean…this a a forever WIP and I promise I won’t include it in every monthly round-up, but I do want to chat a bit about my scrappy mitered square blanket. I started this blanket in August of 2019 and in August of this year I realized that I was barely 10% through.

Scrappy Sunday mornings are becoming my favourite new habit!

A few weeks back I set a goal of doing 2 at least squares every Sunday and I’ve been pretty good so far at keeping that up. If I manage to stick to this goal all the way through the end of December I’ll be 20% done when 2020 ends!

Finished Objects AKA Mini-FO Spotlight

Bear Lak Cowl

The honour of being the only Knits of Steele FO for November 2020 goes to the Bear Lake Cowl (Ravelry link) by Kacey Herlihy. This was a test knit, when I saw Kacey post the testing call I fell in love with this pretty cowl. And it came at the perfect time in my cowl/DK obession!

I’ve been wearing not only my Bear Lake Cowl but all of my knit cowls recently when cozying up at home!

I used KnitPicks Capra for this project. It was my first time using this yarn and definitely not the last. It is so cozy and warm, the squish factor is unreal.

New (FREE) Knits of Steele Design

I released a new free knitting pattern a couple weeks ago! Hazelnut Latte is a simple knit hat is a perfect wardrobe staple for Fall or Winter. I wrote about it on the blog when it was released, you can check that out here.

And you can download your free copy of Hazelnut Latte from my Ravelry store!

Other hobbies

Part of the reason that my WIPs have been so neglected in November is that I’ve been really enjoying some other hobbies outside of knitting this month.

I did A LOT of knitting in the first three quarters of 2020 and I’m not losing my mojo by any means, but I have taken some time to think about slowing down in the amount of projects I’m knitting. Running out of space in my closet…

Cross stich

Near the end of October I thought that I might enjoy Cross Stitch so I purchased some beginner friendly kits and my journey began. And I love it! Look out knitting…just kidding, knitting will always be my love/obsession but it’s nice to have some variation in crafts.

My first completed cross stitch. So proud of my little sour lemon – don’t look at the back 😉

I haven’t posted much about my cross stitching other than an Instagram story here and there when I’m popping in to give updates. I don’t intend for this to become a cross stitch blog LOL. But I do think I will write a post in the near future about getting started with cross stitch, what my experience was like and some tips for beginners, from a beginner.

I’m approaching my cross stitch journey way differently than my journey with knitting and I don’t think cross stitch will ever reach the same level for me as knitting has what with this blog and my Instagram account.

And that’s exactly how I want it! Posting about my knitting hasn’t taken away my love for it, but it has made that love different and I view cross stitch as a bit of an escape from that.

Gaming

Like many people I got really into Animal Crossing new Horizons during lockdown when it came out earlier this year. But over the past couple months my enthusiasm for the game was waning. And while I didn’t feel like I wanted to play, I was sad about that because it’s such a cute game and I was having a lot of fun.

In November I’m happy to say that my Animal Crossing motivation was back and I’ve had a lot of fun improving my island (hello five stars!) and making plans for cute little areas I want to create in the future.

Pikman

If you’re not familiar with Pikman it involves cute little creatures called, well Pikman! I had one of these games for my Nintendo DS and Matt surprised me with the new one for the Switch.

I just started so I’m not very far along, but this game is also going to be keeping me entertained when I’m not knitting!

Bugsnax

This game is the reason I have played on the new Playstation more than Matt has! It’s so cute.

You can check out the trailer here.

One of the reasons I am loving this game is the world is so whimsical and cute it’s nice to escape reality for a bit. And it’s like Pokemon, but sometimes I find Pokemon overwhelming, in Bugsnax it seems really do-able to actually catch all the critters.

Knitflix

This blog is already loooong enough so I’m going to try and keep the knitflix section short! Here are the shows, movies, podcasts I’ve been enjoying while I work on my knitting projects.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer

If you have been following me on Instagram than you know that Buffy is my favourite show. At the beginning of lockdown I started a re-watch and it has taken me until now to finish it.

This was my first time watching the series beginning to end since I first watched it back in 2015. When Buffy aired I was too young for it and although I caught some of the later episodes on cable when I was older I didn’t really follow the series.

I’m a bit of a collector and I have way more Buffy stuff than I realized. When I dug out props for this photo I had totally forgotten about that colouring book!

Now that I’m finished the series I’m going on to read the comics which pick up where the show left off! And if I can get my hands on it, I’ll re-watch Angel which is a spinoff show.

Big Mouth

Matt and I love adult animation and after watching Archer a dozen times and finishing Rick & Morty we needed something new. With the 4th season of Big Mouth coming this week we figured it was a great time to get into this show.

This show is SUUUUUPER for adults only – very R rated and if a lot of sexual content is going to make you uncomfy I would avoid it. That being said it is hilarious and has had us laughing out loud and cringing all at the same time.

Wine and Crime Podcast

I used to be really into the podcast Wine & Crime (this is another one with graphic content for adults only), but with so many podcasts to keep up with, and not having a commute in 2020 I’ve fallen behind on episodes. Near the end of November I started listening again and now I’m working towards getting all caught up.

I really love the format of this podcast compared to other true crime shows, it’s broken down into segments with each host tackling the background of their topic or a case. And they have a wine pairing for every show!

That’s a wrap on November 2020! I’m not sure how this post got so long when I feel like I’ve hardly done any knitting…I hope you enjoyed it. Please share with me in the comments what you’ve been up to this month.

What’s coming up in December….I mean who knows, but I think I can say that the December Round-up will include a few words about chunky knits, a new cross stitch project or two, some Christmas knitflixes and maybe even an FO!

OH and my Christmas Eve cast-on because I already have that planned! Maybe I’ll even share some of my favourite cookie recipes here on the blog.