Tag Archives: two socks on one circular needle

Trellis Ponytail Hat

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Wow, this Trellis Ponytail Hat / Messy Bun Hat was a quick knit! (find the pattern here) Even for me, since I’m trying to knit slowly.  It is one of those addicting patterns where, as you are knitting, you can’t wait to see how the pattern is working and how the trellis pattern emerges.  I teased you in my last post with this picture of my afternoon break as I was working on it:

The whole idea behind these hats (of which there are many patterns out there now) is that if you want to wear at nice warm hat, but your ponytail is in the way, you can make your ponytail stick out the back.  You can adjust the button opening based on whether you wear your ponytail up high or down low.  Very practical and you get a cool hat too!

Once I got the technique down, it was done in a flash:

[I just figured out how to do these nifty galleries for pictures, so you don’t have to scroll as much.  You’re welcome.]

If the yarn looks familiar, it is the same Malabrigo Rios I used to make the Misty Blue sweater.  I only needed a little bit of the second skein to finish the sweater and there was more than enough left over to make the hat.  I will say it again:  I. Love. This. Yarn.

This pattern is knit completely flat (not in the round) and uses slipped stitches (and switched stitches) to make the trellis pattern.  For the life of me, when I started, I couldn’t figure out what the heck was happening.  But then the pattern actually started emerging and I figured I was doing it right.

The “switched stitches” involves dropping a stitch off the needle – and letting it hang out there – then slipping another stitch, then putting the dropped stitch back on your needle.  Nerve wracking to say the least, especially in the beginning.  Once you get going, it’s no big deal.  Until you realize your numbers aren’t right and somehow a stitch got dropped not on purpose. [That might have happened to me.]  A cable needle would be helpful if you are just too nervous to do it this way.

Really the biggest feat for me was the five buttons that needed to be put on this hat. FIVE. If you have been reading this blog for any amount of time, you know I really dislike sewing on buttons.  I will put a shawl pin in a cardigan or just leave it open in order to not sew on buttons.  But this hat being what it is, meaning you can’t remotely wear it without the buttons, I needed to do them.

So, the best way of doing this was with a spoonful of sugar – the sugar in this case being the Wednesday night knit-in at The Spinning Room yarn shop, where I could chat away with everyone and work on my buttons at the same time.  And as it happened, I needed to sew buttons on the sweater too (more buttons):

[This picture makes the yarn look gray.]

So that was EIGHT buttons I sewed on.  In a row.  If you follow me on Instagram, I posted that picture right after I was done, proclaiming I needed some sort of reward for that!  By the way I recently found this YouTube video for how to sew on a button and it is a much better way than I was doing.

A Digression:

Speaking of Instagram, I’ve been posting things I’ve been doing on my breaks during the day…

The other day the King Arthur Flour catalog came. My kryptonite. I love almost everything in there and every time I get it I want to bake all the things.

During this morning’s break I worked on my Apple Blossom Socks by Helen Stewart.  I showed those to you in my last post, too.  I couldn’t get them out of my mind, so, since I happened to be at the yarn shop on Wednesday (how fortuitous), I picked up the skein of Happy Feet 100 Splash that I have been looking at forever.  The yarn in the pattern is speckled, but I’m slightly worried that my yarn might be too speckle-y.  Stay tuned.

Another Digression (not at all related):

Take a look at the progress made by the students in my Two Socks on One Circular Needle class that finished up last night:

Well on their way to finishing two socks at once!

Back to the Trellis Ponytail Hat:

This ponytail hat was a fun knit and it was great to learn a new technique.  What do you think of the ponytail hat in general – the idea of it?  Do you have someone you would knit it for? [I’ll be offering this one as a class in May/June-ish.]


They’ve Got This

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I taught the Two Socks on One Circular Needle class last night and boy was it frustrating — for the participants, not me.  But that’s totally normal. I have taught this class many times now and have come to know exactly what they are thinking as the class goes on.  Because of the fiddly technique, I know they will get frustrated.  They will start saying, “Is this worth it?” or “I don’t think I’ll do this again.”  or “Maybe I don’t want to knit socks.” or “!@#$%^”

So, my job is to keep calm (I’ve gotten pretty good at that) and to let them know at the very beginning that it’s going to be frustrating but also that it’s going to be ok and they will get the hang of it.  Like anything new, there is a learning curve and that’s why you take a class: to learn and get tips and suggestions to get through your project.

For this particular class, I give them one basic question to answer: Where is the working yarn?  It should be in the back, on a cable, not on a needle tip.  By taking a deep breath and looking at their work, they will see, there is only one possible yarn ball/needle tip to work with, even though there are two needle ends and two balls of yarn and the whole thing looks like one big tangled mess!

By the time they come back for the second class after doing inches and inches of practice for homework, they are saying, “It wasn’t that bad!”  or  “I love this!”  or “This is the only way I’m knitting socks from now on.”

Another tip I give is to suggest they work on it a little bit more right when they get home so they can cement what they learned in class.  The ride home gives them a little break and time to think about what was happening in class.

So, while I had those initial “I don’t know about this…” comments in class last night, and even though that picture up there looks like 4 big tangled messes of yarn and needles, by the end of class everyone knew what they were doing. They’ve totally got this.

An Afternoon Tea

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On Sunday, there was an afternoon tea at The Spinning Room yarn shop.


We had tea and goodies. And we knit, of course.

It was the second annual tea, being held to celebrate the new season of Downton Abbey, which we all LOVE.  Matt, from the Short and Stout tea house came to let us sample some tea and talk about making tea.


It was fun and interesting.  And I learned that I liked green tea.  I didn’t used to, and Matt said it was likely because I brewed it too hot, making it too bitter.  You are supposed to heat the water in the kettle until it makes the simmering sound, before it boils.  That means the water is about 180 degrees and the temp at which you are supposed to brew green tea.  Green tea is sooooooooo good for you, and now I will drink it more.  Especially the kind he brought, which was Japanese Something Something (note to self: find out what it’s really called).

I thought that it would be a good idea to bring a treat to share at the tea.  You know, something that would be easy to cut into two-bite pieces and put on a plate next to a teacup.  So I made Apple Crisp Bars (this is actually a rhubarb crisp bar recipe for which I substituted granny smith apples).

A shortbread crust:


Granny smith apples peeled and cut:

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Then tossed with sugar and cornstarch and spread on top of the unbaked shortbread crust:


Then a buttery-oatmeal-y topping:


Bake for an hour until nice and browned:


If you went to the tea and are reading this, you may wonder why you didn’t see them there. They came out of the oven an hour before I had to leave for the tea.   Which apparently was not enough time to cool, because they were still warm and when I went to cut them, they just crumbled apart.  Not good.  Definitely not a good option for a nice afternoon tea and taking an elegant bite of a treat while sipping tea.  After I got home from the tea, they cut into pieces perfectly. So, they are now in the freezer and I will bring them to the knit-in on Wednesday.

A fun Sunday afternoon!  But before that was Saturday, and a busy day of teaching knitting classes for me.

First was the Two Socks on One Circular Needle class:


I know it doesn’t look like much got done, but everyone was well on their way to knowing the magic loop technique!  They went home to practice and do their homework, and we will meet up again in two weeks to work on the gusset.

Then was another session of the popular Oatmeal Stout cowl class:


Yet again, unique and interesting color combinations.  A busy but fun Saturday!

Then, last night I finished my Simple Chevron Stripe Scarf ! :


A great pattern – really simple and relaxing to knit since it is only two, very easily memorized, rows.  It took me about a week and I used all but about 3 yards of a 437 ball of yarn.  I love it. And I’m tempted to knit another with a new yarn that came in to The Spinning Room this week called Indulgence Cashmere.  A really soft yarn with wonderful striping colors.  I don’t usually knit two of the same pattern unless I’m knitting gifts, but I would knit this again, with that yarn.  It’s a perfect in-front-of-the-tv pattern.

Next post: Soup! and Bread!  And probably more Knitting!

Blog Silence

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It’s been a week and a half since my last post.  I don’t like to go that long between posts because I know you are very likely checking every hour or so to see if there is a new post and I don’t like to do that to you.  But things got busy.  In that time:

There were several days of working at and filling in at the yarn shop.

There were two classes to teach. Finishing up the two socks on one circular needle class: IMG_2125

You may notice that there are only two sets here.  In the first class there were five!  I had three participants who didn’t make it to the second class – but hopefully they will finish their socks!

There was also the Bridgeport Cowl class: IMG_2157

Lots of fun was had with a very spirited group!

There was baking, which I’ll show you in another post.

There was cooking, which I’ll also show you in another post.

There was this fox in our yard:


Paul and I were both frantically racing for our phones to take pictures and then realized that we couldn’t get a good picture because of the screen on the door….

There was helping to bleed the brakes on Paul’s race car:


My job was to use that pole to push the pedal down and let it up when Paul said “Down” or “Up”.  A really taxing job, right?  It took some time so I brought my book.

Oh, and there was that book!  What a great book! Divergent by Veronica Roth (click there to get it on Amazon).  The first in a three book series, it is a fun, exciting, page-turning sci-fi book.  I’m not usually into sci-fi but I loved the Hunger Games series and this is somewhat similar.  There is a strong female lead character who has to deal with a huge coming-of-age life changing event.  The story just pulls you along and I couldn’t stop reading it.  From Amazon:

“In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.”

I HIGHLY recommend it and I can’t wait to read the next one in the series.

And then there was this:


Do you see it?  It’s screaming at me “YOU MADE THIS BLACK STRIPE TOO BIG!!!!”   And do you see how far back in the work it is? I’m not going back.  And I’m almost done.

More posts coming about the baking and the cooking and the finishing of the knitting….and hopefully sooner than a week and a half from now…


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Ok, this is just the cutest thing I have knit in a long time:

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Snug cardigan, made with Cascade Ecological Wool.  Love it. Perfectly named since it is snuggly.  So cute and cozy.  Comes in a worsted weight version too!

And here is a blurry picture of the progress from my two socks on one circular needle class (the magic loop method) this weekend (with stress-reducing peanut butter cookies contributed by Vicki):


The knitting looks like a big mess, as it is supposed to at this stage, but everyone was well on their way to “getting it”!

And just in case my last post was just terribly negative about the weather, here is what’s good after an ice storm: Pretty, shiny things….