Free Pattern: Lightning Fast Hat

Lightning Fast Hat.

The Lightning Fast Hat JUST flew off my needles. On Monday: I spun and plied the yarn. On Tuesday: I set the twist and let it dry. On Wednesday: I caked it up and knit this hat. On Thursday: I shared my pattern with you!

The fiber was purchased in September 2019 at the Shannendoah Valley Fiber Festival from Mustache Millie.

Lightning Fast Hat! Featuring no makeup, no filter, and poor overhead lighting at night.

I made THIS hat with a chunky weight thick and thin handspun, but you can always use a similarly sized commercial spun yarn (something that works up on an 8mm/size 11 needle). Lion Brand’s Hue + Me meets gauge; the finish is very different.

Pattern: Lightning Fast Hat

Yarn: 79 yards of chunky weight yarn. (I used a thick and thin handspun).
Lion Brand Hue + Me will also work, and provide a smooth (non-textured) finish.
Also tested: 2 strands of worsted held double. Bernat Roving.
Needle: 8mm/Size 11 DPNs (set of 5). Or a 16″circular with DPNs for crown.
Other Notions: Cable needle, yarn needle, BOR marker

Dimensions: 19″ unstretched circumference, 8″ high. Note: this fits my 22″ head without issue.

Gauge: with the thick and thin yarn, my gauge varied between 2.75 and 3 stitches per inch; this gauge was measured on stockinette in the round. My Hue + Me swatch, the doubled worsted and Bernat Roving all measure 3 stitches per inch in stockinette on size 11 needles.

K: Knit
P: Purl
BOR: beginning of round
C5F: slip 2 stitches onto a cable needle, hold in front, knit the next 3 stitches. Knit the 2 stitches off the cable needle.
C5B: slip 3 stitches onto a cable needle, hold in back, knit the next 2 stitches. Knit the 3 stitches off the cable needle.
K2Tog: Knit 2 together.


Cast on 60 stitches. I used long-tail cast-on divided over 4 needles (15 stitches each needle). Designate BOR.

Ribbing: work *K2, P2* ribbing for 5 rounds.

Row 1: K10, P4, C5F, P2, C5B, P4, K to end of round.
Row 2-6: K10, P4, K5, P2, K5, P4, K to end of round.

You will work rows 1-6 a total of 4 times (24 rows total).
Work row 1 once more.

Crown Shaping:
Row 1: (K3, K2Tog)x2, P2, P2Tog, K3, K2Tog, P2, K3, K2Tog, P2, P2Tog, (K3, K2Tog)x6
Row 2: (K2, K2Tog)x2, P1, P2Tog, K2, K2Tog, P2, K2, K2Tog, P1, P2Tog, (K2, K2Tog)x6
Row 3: (K1, K2Tog)x2, P2Tog, K1, K2Tog, P2, K1, K2Tog, P2Tog, (K1, K2Tog)x6
Row 4: (K2Tog)x2, P1, K2Tog, P2Tog, K2Tog, P1, (K2Tog)x6
Row 5 and 6: K2Tog to the end of round.

Cut a 6-10 inch tail; with yarn needle pull the tail through the remaining stitches to close top of hat. Fasten.
Weave in ends.
If desired: Block. Add Pom-Pom. Whatever makes you happy.

Now: wait for a cold day to wear your boss new hat.

Don’t have a stash of bulky handspun? Make it with 2 strands of worsted held together or with your favorite bulky! I’ve tested Lion Brand Wool-Ease (worsted) held with Mainstays Basic and with Bernat’s Roving!

Year of Projects: Week 50/51

Just Drifting.

OOf. It’s a good thing school is starting back up again soon, because I seem to have lost track of time and days recently. I am, at my heart a creature of habit and ROUTINE. Having lost so many of my routine activities (teaching knit/crochet, the gym, kids’ activities), I sometimes find myself adrift. As in, I have no idea what day it is and the concept of time passage is both limitless and stagnant. This means I have frequently been missing the Saturday Farmer’s Market and my YOP updates. For a moment, I was unsure if to day was REALLY Sunday.

In the past couple weeks I’ve been working on stuff!

I finished the Acute shawl (rav link) for a friend last week. After blocking it, I wrapped it up for shipping without taking a picture! Whoops!

I made a cactus from my Darn Good Yarn cactus kit! Its cute and I’ve already ideas to improve it.

I started on a cotton/acrylic version of a pattern I started last year, PlumBody to Love. I have been thinking about exactly HOW I want to present the customization options. I think I finally figured it out. Right now, I’m approaching the front/back split! This yarn suggests a 5mm, but the 4.5mm is producing a fabric that drapes, but has some structure.

And I was able to complete an item from my FIRST half-year YOP list! I hanked and set the twist on all my spun yarns! Now I have fixed my wheel and have free bobbins to use! Some of the yarns (the three at the bottom of the heart) are going into the hand-spun pop-over vest/short-sleeve sweater I’m making myself. I’m unsure of the fate of the remainder of the yarns.
My cheater boucle is a single paired with a commercial lace weight. The colorway is called “Godric’s Hollow” maybe by Hobbledehoy Fibers? The green one is a mystery currently; I might have the tag somewhere. The pink and the light multi-color are both from Serendipitous Ewe. Pink and purple was a pencil roving, Fingerwolle, by Schoppel-Wolle that spouse got me on a work trip to Germany a decade (???) or so ago? The top heart center and the sparkly one (aqua center) are from Gourmet Stash (from 2014 or so). Lastly, the reddish one (left/center) is a silk/wool blend from Halcyon Yarns. This one isn’t complete. I am going to RE-ply it with a single/commercial grey laceweight combination for a 4-ply with some texture (from the commercially spun). I also have a good bit of this fiber left UNSPUN. So much of my stash is so old that the dyers have moved on from selling their fiber.

I’m super excited to share my wrap up next week! I should have the “hobbit blanket” complete (spoiler, I ripped out A LOT and re-did it to my satisfaction), my PlumBody version 2.0, and some sewing.

Until next week!

Sleep. Perchance to Dream.

This is what it looks like outside. Dark.

Just kidding. I’m awake. Its 5am where I am. I’ve been awake over an hour. Lame.

From yesterday. Bottoms Up!!

I finished the Acute Shawl from last week (no pictures). I started a cotton version of a boxy short sleeve pattern I started writing last summer; PlumBody to Love. The pattern is so seamless. I knit my fold-over hem together. The underarm is picked up and the shoulders are kitchenered together. I’m about 4 inches into the body now- this version seems to be working faster than my original. For now, its just miles of mindless stockinette, round and round, which I don’t mind. I read and knit. Just between you and me (and the internet), but I design most of my projects so I can read and knit at the same time. Or if its small enough, walk and knit.

Yes, I purchased a pair of new roller skates! They are black. I haven’t been skating since early high school: so about 1997 is my best guess.
Backstory: My kids have roller skates. They skate in the driveway/parking lot of our townhouse section. We also take them over to the outdoor roller hockey rink near our house sometimes. They have been asking us (spouse and I) to skate with them. I told spouse, if you get skates, I’ll get skates. We all now have skates.
So far, I’ve had them to the outdoor rink twice. I’ve only skated for 30 minutes each time. They are still REALLY REALLY STIFF- and I don’t want blisters! So far, I have no blisters. I can skate in a circle, and I can’t do any tricks or fancy moves beyond staying upright.
FYI: skating outside feels way more difficult than skating indoors. Our closest indoor rink is currently 40 minutes away; Shauwney’s Skate Palace is fundraising to open up in my town. PS: I purchased the skates from Shauwney’s Skate Palace and have all the good things to say!

From when they were new in box. They look more expensive than they were! I thought they delivered me the wrong skates at first!

Now I’m going to get back to knitting, pattern editing, and drinking coffee. The kids and I are going to go skating again today.

Acute-ly Stashbusting

Some stash fingering weigh for the Acute Shawl

For years, I have stoutly refused to make the same pattern twice. But as the designer, I can make the same pattern repeatedly. What’s that about? The Acute Shawl (Rav link) is no exception to my multiple makes of my own patterns. This one is my 4th, and is different than all the others! Its fingering and worked with stash (like the original) but THIS one is crocheted with smaller quantities to give it a colorblock effect. This will ultimately use AT LEAST 5 partial balls of yarn toward my 2021 goal of 100 balls of stash used. Winning!! I am not entirely certain 5 balls is enough, and may possibly require many additional.

Shameless Self Promotion: The Acute Shawl is FREE and recently released!!

I’m still plugging away on my Hobbit Door throw, but I needed something smaller. And lighter (its late-July in Maryland). And portable. I also have a friend experiencing a bit of a rough patch, so if I like the way it FEELS after blocking, its off to them. Nothing like a tangible hug replacement from friends outside of easy visiting radius.

Crocheting with dark yarns… not so bad in THIS project!

I really like the colors I have available, and if I didn’t need to rip EVERYTHING out, I would have started with the black instead of the purple. If it looks too awful, NOTHING is stopping me from dip dying the first block black after the whole project is complete. There are always options!!


A Year of Projects: Week 49

This is how we do it.

My YOP year is winding down to a close! This week I FINALLY crossed another item off my list.

Acute Action! (circa Spring 2021)

I am pleased to announce the release of the Acute Shawl on Ravelry! This simple crochet shawl is written in US/American terms, has instructions for 3 weights (fingering, DK, worsted), and is suitable to crocheters of all skill level.

Until We Win: Fight is entering testing! I’m super excited about this. I am still accepting new testers: please let me know if your interested. This shawl is suitable for intermediate knitters. Just an FYI: I’ll also be knitting this again during the test phase. I am envisioning a scrap version at this time!

Partially completed.

With my 2020/2021 YOP year wrapping up, I’ve started making a new sticker for my 2021/2022 YOP. Here are my two current favorite ideas. I still have a few weeks to tweak it. I’ve also made myself a YOP 2021/2022 open framework list for my next YOP (I’ll unveil it on week 1)

Here are some boring socks I started in early July and have really picked up in the last week and a half. I have 7 rounds and a bind-off left. Theoretically, I can finish them tonight (Monday). They count as stash busting, btw.

That’s all, folks!

That’s Darn Good Yarn

A “Darn Good” Haul.

I’ve been seeing ads for Darn Good Yarn for YEARS. The other day, I was inclined to check out the sale they were running. There were some pretty substantial markdowns, and I found a small handful of items that I was interested in. I put my order in on Monday and it arrived on Friday, of the same week! Everything in the picture cost $37.55 USD, this included the cost of shipping.

The sock yarn is boxed as 2x 30g (130 y) balls at $7.00. It’s pre-wound! GREAT DEAL. Since I like short socks, this is a completely reasonable amount of yarn for a pair of socks for me. I’m going to construct them 2-at-a-time and toe-up so I can see if they are reasonably matched (not important), that the foot is long enough (very important), and to see if I would order it again in the future. If they DO happen to come up short, there is ALWAYS the contrast toe/heel/cuff option.
I got email codes the same day I ordered for sock pattern downloads. I think there were 2 knit (actual socks) and 2 crochet (slippers) patterns. One of the patterns was for a “toe-up Turkish style sock”. I was intrigued by the heel, and integrated that into the pink and green socks I have been working on. It seems to fit ok. Looks less weird than the Fleegle Heel. Hey, it’ll be in my shoe, so as long as it stays put I don’t care what it looks like.

The roving looks just like the picture! Right out of the bag, its not what I would call “soft”, but it is squishy (which may help it draft easily). I hope this will be my inspiration to SPIN SOMETHING! The pin and the amigurumi kit are cute too.

Zinnia from MY “garden”

I want to share my only success with plants along my front walkway in the 8 summers I’ve lived here. My Zinnia have been so easy maintenance since their root systems got established (they don’t need to be watered very often). The afternoon sun is perfect for them! My neighbor told me that if I don’t cut them, they WILL go to seed, and I can easily collect the seeds to use again next year. This may be above my gardening ability. Next year, I will also direct sow the seeds myself (from the ones I grew or other purchased seeds). I had the kids (mine and the neighbor’s) plant these. The patches that the kids missed is super obvious to me…. maybe its my perfectionist nature ruining everything. At least the patches the kids missed have violets, which the wild RABBITS love to eat!!


My spouse wishes they were shorter, he thinks their tallness along the walkway is off-putting. I however LOVE how huge they are, its whimsical to walk between them. My daughter would disagree, she HATES walking through them. They have been attracting ALL the pollinators. Humming birds, butterflies, flies (yes! I’ve seen them drinking the nectar), beetles, and BEES! My daughter hates winged insects, even the kind that make honey.

Our friend, the bee.

Until next time!

Mid-Week Shenanigans

Too Cool

This week has brought finishing, blocking, and a second sock! Scroll down for a gallery of pics!

My green onion cuttings are actually growing!

Listen. Read. Listen-Read.

Photo by Stas Knop on

I LOVE BOOKS. Reading is, by far, my oldest favorite past time. I would say I enjoy a good book better than watching TV or a movie. I’ve been on a kick absorbing literary material. Mainly in the form of audiobooks, because I can do all the things at once. Like change the sheets, put away the laundry, cook dinner- whilst reading!! Making the boring tasks more manageable. I get my audiobooks from Hoopla, as a free service offered by my local public library. Your local public library may also participate in Hoopla, or a similar digital service. Library cards are free and available to members of your community.

Here’s some books I’ve enjoyed recently. Not in complete chronological Order.

Thunderstruck by Erik Larson (actual book) non-fiction
The Great Mortality by John Kelly (audiobook) non-fiction
The Salt Roads by Nalo Hopkins (audiobook) fiction
Paper Bullets by Jeffery H. Jackson (audiobook) non-fiction
Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher by Timothy Egan (audiobook) non-fiction
The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin (audiobook) fiction (part 1 of a series)
Warbreaker (Series) by Brandon Sanderson (audiobook) fiction
The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner (audiobook) fiction
The Dark Elf Trilogy (3 books) by R.A. Salvatore (actual books) fiction

I just started the Icewind Dale Trilogy (also R. A. Salvatore and actual fiction books) this morning. I think I read a few other real books recently, but without going to my bookshelf, its all a blur.

Got my morning COFFEE, getting ready to READ on my back deck before the sun rises too high.

Year of Projects: Week 48

Barreling toward the finish line.

Last week I had a couple of VERY quiet days when the kids went camping with their Grandparents. Much fun was had by all, and my kids were happy to be back home. Because apparently they missed us, even though we won’t let them eat chocolate at breakfast like my parents did. Aside: my parents NEVER EVER EVER let me have chocolate at breakfast, and rarely even purchased sweetened breakfast cereals.

As promises, some pictures of what my closet currently looks like. The sliding mirror doors are difficult to keep fingerprints off of and make accessing more than half of each side of the closet impossible. However, at this point, they are not broken, are functional enough, and therefore have not been replaced; much like the ceiling fan. Our 40 year old house also has all the original flat slab hollowcore builder’s grade doors. When we replace them, the closet doors will likely get a refresh too. But again, not a pressing project. I did FINALLY break down and get some cellular blinds for behind my curtains, I’m kicking myself for waiting so long. The windows are each just under 48″ wide, so I needed to get two shades. We went with the Levolor Light Filtering Cellular shades. We have them in 3 of the front facing rooms, and really like them.

Just in case you’re wondering, my spouse’s clothes are all on a different floor- he gets up for work at 3am and wants to be courteous and not wake me. Yes, I also own an obscene amount of hoodies and most of my clothing items are black.

Now for Yarn-y stuff!

The crocodile stitch did NOT make the cut.

I found a forgotten WIP when I was putting all my yarn away. It was from 2019 when I was teaching a block-a-month crochet along class. 12 classes each yielding a different block of approx. 12″x12″. The 13th class in the series was stitching up the blanket. I conducted the final knit class, but the crochet class never occurred. Because the only people who attended all 12 crochet block classes ALSO attended all of the KNIT block classes. We sewed them all together, so really it was the same class. I thought I would sew up the crochet blocks…. and didn’t. Fast forward to today (literally), I added in a few of the knit ones I did in early 2020. I have 3 more blocks to sew on, and I’m going to add a border. The class did NOT call for a border, however I think it looks unfinished and haphazard without one. Guessed finished size: 48″x50″.

The Door at Bag End.

I got my cream yarn for the hobbit door throw. Squaring the circle might not happen, I am considering alternative shapes for the finished product. THIS IS NOT ADMITTING DEFEAT.

Off the needles!

Until We Win: Fight is off the needles and awaiting a blocking bath. I bound off Saturday morning. A nice, aggressive blocking will really make this project shine.

Shoddy Seamstress Adventures: Face Cloths

I’m always looking for ways to economize and make my skin routine work best for me. I tend to use a lot of liquid make-up removers, toners, and micellular waters in my quest for not-too-awful-looking-for-40 skin. Using all those items uses a LOT of single use cotton pads; 2-4 per day, an average of 20 per week. And each one just goes into the trash. I’m literally spending money on a product that becomes (avoidable) waste.

Avoidable. Without changing my skin care routine. Without going with different product formulations.

Solution: Washable Flannel Face Pads.

I’m familiar with reusable face cloth products. I have a few of the “just add water” make up remover in mini and full-size wipes. They honestly dry my skin out so I can’t use them every day. But I don’t use them for toners and thin liquid skin preparations that I use cotton pads for. I’ve seen a TON of reusable sewn ones on Etsy and Pinterest, and one of my blogger pals made some recently (who exactly made them…. I can’t remember- SORRY!).

After months of just not doing it, yesterday I had a child-free afternoon and made 44 of them! You see, I had been stuck on what materials to use. Flannel, old washcloths, french terry, quilting, a combination?? However, a stroke of genius hit me! I have a few dozen reusable baby wipes from when my kids were born. I never really used them when I was cloth diapering, but we do use them for wiping noses (when tissues are too ouchy), erasing dry erase boards, cleaning up small spills. Super useful, but I don’t NEED 3 dozen. I gathered 11 of cloth wipes (because the 12th of that pattern is somewhere else). They are WAAAAY too big for applying toners and make-up remover.

So I quartered them and used the double overlock stitch around the 2 unbound corners! Some of the wipes needed to be stitched on 3 sides because the original stitching has become unstable over time. The double over lock stitch uses A LOT of thread!

I’m excited about this project. I spent about 2.5 hours cutting and sewing the project. I took an item I had excess of and repurposed it to a size that is continuously useful. I some of my new cotton pads last night and this morning. They are a little more absorbent with product than the single use pads, but they are just as effective! I’ll still use disposable cotton pads for nail polish removal, but I only wear nail polish a couple times a year- it won’t be a big waste generator for me.

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