Malabrigo Vermonter

Malabrigo Vermonter

Hats. They are taking over my world.


In truth, this hat should have taken me an evening to knit, but the combination of a too-loose gauge and lack of a 16″ circular needle made this project slightly maddening.  I chose the Vermonter pattern (free on Ravelry) by Abi Gregorio for its simplicity.  Initially I attempted the Amelia Slouch Beanie, but the yarn was so heavy I scrapped that idea halfway through and tried again with this pattern.


The yarn is Malabrigo Rasta, a superbulky yarn that seems to even outdo other superbulkies.  It’s almost like knitting with pencil roving (not that I’ve tried that, but I’m using my active imagination here), and ultimately I had to take out 4 stitches from the written pattern so that the hat would fit my head without toppling off.  I probably knit this hat about four times trying to find the right stitch count, and all of that knitting time was spent on US 11 and US 13 double-pointed needles, so I can’t say I particularly enjoyed myself during the process, but at least I finally found the magic number (40 stitches around). It is worth mentioning that I have a smaller head and a looser gauge, so that might not be necessary for others.  The slightly altered stitch count meant that I had to improvise my decreases at the crown, but it seemed to work out fine (sorry, I don’t entirely remember what I did!).


Making the pom-pom was hilarious; it started out crazy gigantic and I kept giving it haircuts and trimming as evenly as I could, aiming for a reasonable size that was close to uniform, but it’s still pretty enormous.  The first time I wore this my husband pointed at the pom-pom and asked “what is that for?”  I told him it served no particular purpose and was just for fun, which only encouraged him to bat at it like a tennis ball.  Boys.

Having said that, this hat has already gotten a lot of compliments and I love wearing it, especially in the middle of this brutally cold winter (please, can we have some more degrees out here? more than 10 F? also, are you serious with this freezing rain?).  Malabrigo colorways, particularly the variegated ones, never disappoint, and this hat screams “handmade” in the best possible way.

More hats to come.  Specifically, pink hats.


Carolyn PJs

Carolyn PJs

It took me a little bit of inner strength to post these pictures of me in my jammies, but we crafters know that it’s normal to share front, side, and butt views of all our makes, right? I know from reading other sewing blogs that those self-conscious feelings just need to be chucked out the window, because hello, we need to know how well these garments fit.  It’s a new thing for me, but I think I’m making progress.


So, the Carolyn Pajamas by Closet Case Files.  I made a pair of these for my sister as a Christmas gift, but hadn’t yet made a pair for myself.  In fact, my husband was also the recipient of some pajama pants (from a Men’s Simplicity pattern) back in November for his bday, so it was really time for me to have a pair of my own.


I cut a straight size 4, based on my hip size.  The pattern suggests that in this case, since the waist is elastic, the hip size (rather than waist) is the one to go with.  It’s an excellent fit, roomy but still flattering, and I think that has to do with the slightly narrower leg.  Most RTW pajama pants are really billowy, which I can deal with, but these LOOK GOOD.  Like I’m super comfortable, but I still have legs.

I did have to chop off about an inch or an inch and a half to get the right length, so I think that I’ll do that adjustment on my pattern pieces next time, particularly since I was cutting it so close with the amount of fabric I had (2.5 yards of a 45″ width) that I had to piece together part of the waistband.  Not a huge deal, but annoying nonetheless when you buy the called-for yardage.  The fabric is a brushed cotton that is absurdly cozy and warm, from Cotton & Steel’s Holiday 2015 line.  This is the Washi print in Navy, from the Tinsel Collection (appears to still be available here).  When Fancy Tiger Crafts had a 20% off sale on Cotton & Steel over Black Friday, I went for it.  There wasn’t enough of this print to make a full set (top and bottom), but I find that I always end up in an old t-shirt when I’m wearing my pj pants anyways.

There’s nothing better than pockets, and these don’t disappoint, plus the construction is really clever (says the lady who has only sewn on-seam pockets and is probably easily impressed, but still…).  I couldn’t be happier with the finished product, and am looking forward to tackling the other version with piping, as well as the shorts version once it isn’t the dead of winter.  And if I’m feeling particularly brave, there’s a cut of Liberty lawn in my closet that might make an exceptionally classy set of summer pajamas.

Oh, and for the nerds who read to the bottom of the post, check out this amazing seam-matching I did!  So, so proud.