Time for Fall- the Homey Fireplace Hat

I might take hats a bit for granted. When I was learning to crochet I never ventured into hats, after all my grandmother had crocheted several…everyone in my house had more than they needed.  But in honesty, my biggest hang up with hats was working in the round.

Photo courtesy Prime Publishing

The hats my grandmother created were all worked in a back and forth manner, from top to bottom as a rectangle, seamed at a side and gathered at the top. I never saw a hat worked in the round. It intimidated me.

I remember a friend of my college roommate was crocheting hats in the round and I was secretly mesmerized.

So the Homey Fireplace Hat seems pretty straight forward to me. It is worked vertically with a single crochet ribbing, but then has two cables worked in the center, all the way around. It is the same overall style that I am use to. It has a lot of stretch so it can fit just about anybody, kids to adults. This design can be found in the latest issue, October 2017, of I Like Crochet. This is an on-line magazine that offers a nice variety, but not on newsstands but your inbox instead.

Photo courtesy Prime Publishing

The cable is a relatively simple two by one type cable, meaning that there are two stitches that are crossed over by one, and this is done twice. By working the 2 cables right next to each other it helps really set off the texture.

I sometimes like to see this design worked up in a variegated color, as it lends itself well to some color striping and the cables help “bleed” the color to the stripes below. The yarn in this design is called Targhee by Lisa Souza, it is available in so many different color ways that the possibilities really seem endless.

Targhee is a sheep breed, one that is growing in popularity within the United States, especially for locally produced wools. It has a nice spring to it and holds the warmth ideal for a nice hat.

Designs In Movement…Some of My Latest Thoughts

ScannedImageSo the long days of summer are now shortening, children or headed back to school, and that can really only mean one thing…Autumn is almost here. M01220_CWOct14_CVR

I have a couple of new designs out, that I think ring true for fall. In the October 2014 Issue of Crochet World Magazine (available digitally now, and on newsstands September 2, 2014) I have a hat, Birds Eye Border, and a Scarf, Hourglass Cables.

Hourglass Cables Scarf 1

Hourglass Cables Scarf Photo courtesy of Annie’s

I enjoy both of these designs so let me tell you a little about them. The Hourglass Cable Scarf is one that is not you simple rectangle, I was playing with movement and enjoyed how this technique created an in and out effect to the edge of the fabric. I added the cables and was astonished at how fun it was, yet simple to keep track of. So the increase/decrease effect gives visual interest while the cables give great texture (while actually highlighting the curves). But using a variegated or striping yarn the details are even more highlighted, as the color shift gives an additional element of focus.

I even enjoyed this technique enough to offer a video of it through Annie’s (you can find it here).

Bird's Eye Border Hat

Bird’s Eye Border Hat Photo courtesy of Annie’s

The next design is the Birds Eye Border Hat. In this design I was once again inspired by movement, I was attempting to create an open circle in the middle of a fabric, and found that I enjoyed how it edged, and though a highlight of this around the face might be nice, thus the hat was created. It has a slight air of whimsy, and can be personalized by weaving a scarf through the openings or adding bead work. It has a lot of possibilities, and yet is simple to put together.

I hope you enjoy the designs and that they encourage you to play with movement in your own work.

Viewing the Tone, Matching Your Yarn to Your Pattern

ScannedImageIt has happened to many times; a marriage between a beautiful yarn and a wonderful pattern does end up as spectacular as expected. What could it be? Simply put not all patterns are designed the same. Sometimes you have a pattern that highlights the yarn, other times you have a yarn that highlights a pattern.


Same stitches, different tones and colors, notice the difference throughout each swatch, can you see the basket weave? Can you see the small cables next to the filet?

This usually comes into play with multi-tonal yarns and textured or lace patterns. The yarn draws so much attention to itself that is can lead the eye away from all the skill and technique you have put into cables, and popcorns, and filet work.  The texture gets washed out and only the color remains.

This doesn’t mean that you cannot use multi-tonal yarns in intricate designs, but it is finding the correct match. Usually multi-tonal yarns need large designs, or large blocks of consistent stitches. By this I mean that they need solid spaces to let the color play do what it wants to, whereas a solid tone yarn can easily highlight more detailed textured stitches, such as posts and filets. Since the tone is consistent the eye is not lead away.

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Review the same swatches with out the color and simply see the tone, do you notice a difference?

You are probably wondering why I’m using “tonal” instead of “color”; this is because more of the cause of effect is due to the tone not the color. The tone is what would be represented if the values were represented as black and white photographs. When looking at the tones of a color, green and red have the same value as a medium gray and yarns using these as a multi-tone will not be as eye distracting as a yarn using yellow and red. Since the yellow would generate a brighter value on the gray scale then red, it will draw the eye differently, and catch its attention. Give it a try with yarn in your stash, simply take a picture and convert it to black and white and see which yarn grabs your attention. Is it the same as the yarn when viewed in color?

The colors will also be varied in the grayscale values dependent upon the shade of the color, pastels are brighter then rich jewel tones for example, so that plays into the color play as well. The eye for color and value can be learned, it can be recognized. But it does take a conscience effort to find the match between the texture and the color. Keeping this concept in mind when matching your yarn to a project can really help to give you an end item that is the star of the show!