Faux-Fur Pom-Pom Beanie

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Well it’s almost spring time: the sun was beautifully shining today and the temperatures have been climbing. There’s no more snow to be seen, and although spring is my very favorite season, the end of wintertime also means less occasion for cozy knitwear.

One knit accessory I kept seeing on the subways this winter were hats with faux fur pom-poms. There were pom-poms big and small, all different colored shades of fur, and of varying degrees of fluffiness. I thought, those can’t be hard to find! I’ll just pop one on top of whatever hat I’m knitting at the moment and that will be that!

I trolled Amazon for pom-poms that also shipped Prime (this is how I screen most things I buy…) and settled on this Bernat pick in Brown Muskrat. I thought the brown would best complement the minty green yarn I was working with, but they have other fun fur colored shades I’d love to try too such as Black Mink or White Rabbit. They also have fun colors like Coral, Aubergine, or Bright Green.

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For the hat, I used Bernat Roving yarn in Low Tide, a color I have absolutely fallen in love with. It’s chunky so I used size 10 circular and double pointed needles. I made it slouchy in a seed stitch pattern that cast on without a pattern, but there are a ton of others out there like it (such as this free one or this one already on Ravelry) that I’m sure do a much better job with pattern instructions than I can.

My husband thought the pom-pom a bit large and ridiculous, but I love it and can’t wait to wear it out. It’s perfectly slouchy and fun, with just the right amount of polish.

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The pom pom is also super soft and fuzzy! If the tag didn’t explicitly say “imitation” I would have sworn it was real. It’s such an easy way to spruce up an old knit beanie, or the perfect topper to a fun new one. 


 While the forecast calls for sunny and 50 degrees this week, I’ll be ready with this fun bright beanie for any last chilly days before spring comes out swinging! 



Easy Knit Baby Hat and Blanket Set

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I’ve arrived at the age when so many of my friends are taking that amazing next step into parenthood, a journey I myself have not yet undertaken. I’m wishing them all the best and have (I think) very enviable task of churning out baby related knit goodies and other crafty things!

I wanted to make a baby blanket and hat set, but jumping the gun as I usually do, I had no idea of the baby’s gender. Shopping the baby yarn isle, I found this yellow/grey/blue/white skein that I thought would be adorable for either a girl or boy. The yarn is Bernat Softee Baby Chunky in My Sunshine. I absolutely love it. I used four skeins altogether for the blanket and hat, which with a size 11 needle went a lot faster than I expected!

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The blanket and hat are both machine washable, and the blanket is reversible! It is shown blocked, but even before blocking it lays flat and looks great. I’m really happy with how it came out. It has a garter stitch edge and a knit stripe pattern that is plaid inspired. Super easy and quick to knit up.

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It was tight,  but I was able to use the last of the fourth skein after casting off my blanket to make a small baby hat, complete with mini pom-pom!

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The hat is nice and stretchy so it would be pretty roomy on a newborn, but fit the baby up to (I estimate) about 18 months.

Some Abbreviations:

CO= cast on

K= knit

P= purl

K2tog= knit two together

P2tog= purl two together

*Repeat pattern* between the asterisks to end, unless otherwise indicated

Striped Baby Blanket and Hat Set:

  • Size 11 Takumi 24″ Circular and Double Pointed Needles
  • 4 skeins Bernat Chunky Baby Softee in My Sunshine (5 if you are a loose knitter or want to expand your blanket)
  • (optional Pom Pom maker, I didn’t use one)

Blanket: finished size is 44″x 28.5″ blocked.

Note: All stitches are slipped purl-wise.

Cast On 110 stitches on size 11 circular needle. Long tail or provisional cast on methods are both okay, I used provisional cast on. Do not join in the round.

Rows 1-5: Knit

Row 6: Slip 1, K4, P2, K3, P2, K8, *P2, K3, P2, K14* three times, then P2, K3, P2, K8, P2, K3, P2, K5

Row 7: slip 1, K4, purl the purls and knit the knits until last 5 stitches, K5

Work rows 6-7 for a total of 14 rows, then:

Row 19: slip 1, K4, now knit the purls and purl the knits until last 5 stitches, K5

Row 20: slip 1, K4, knit the knits, purl the purls until last 5 stitches, K5

Continue to work a pattern repeat of  rows 6-7 across 14 rows, followed by two rows 19-20 (basically reverse of the pattern to create the stripe) 5 times. This square repeat can be worked as many times as desired for a larger blanket. When ready, end by working rows 6-7 for 14 rows.

Next Row: Knit.

Knit for 4 more rows (garter stitch) and then bind off. Weave in ends and block.

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Using Size 14 double pointed needles, Cast on 44 stitches on 4 needles.

Next: K2, P2.

Continue until hat measures approximately 5″ from CO


Row 1: *K2tog, P2, K2, P2* K2 P2

Row 2: *K1, P2tog, K2tog, P2tog*

Row 3: K1, P1

Row 4: *K2tog*

Row 5: Knit (11 stitches)

Break Yarn and draw through remaining stitches. Cinch to tighten and secure, weave in ends. Make a 2″ diameter pom pom to top it off.

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I think these two would look great in any color, solid or a different festive mix of colors like this one. I can’t wait for some cute babies to try on my creations!

Feel free to leave a comment if anything is confusing,


Knitting Projects from 2015 and 2016 Plans

Another year gone! It’s hard to believe it’s 2016, and I have to say I didn’t knit much this year and when I did, I mostly tried other people’s patterns rather than trailblazing my own. It doesn’t help that I’ve been knitting the same sweater for what seems like ages, so in addition to finishing it up, I want to work on a few smaller and fast projects in the upcoming year.

I did finish a few other small projects this year. I tried to knit this Archway Hat from Interweave Knits Fall 2014, but somehow my gauge was off and it ended up waaaaay too big for my or anyone’s head! I turned it into a sort of cowl thing instead by mirroring the pattern up to the end. I actually love it, so that was knit mishap with a happy ending!

Cowl Picture

A friend from work gifted me the Harmony Cloche pattern by Heidi May (inset picture), and I made it a full three different times for myself and others. I definitely recommend this pattern! It is so versatile that I can wear it cloche style with the brim flipped up (as intended) or with the brim down so it’s more like a front billed hat. I love it both ways. I made it in blue, purple, and black using the recommended yarn.

harmony cloche

I also whipped up a winter classic for my hubby, a hunter green cable knit pom-pom hat! I did make up this pattern, but here is a similar one on Ravelry that is free and easy. We sported our hats at the airport flying home to Boston, with me in my green Slouchy Knit Beanie and him in this cable hat, and the flight attendant asked us if we were matching on purpose in our green knit beanies. I told her no, I just like to knit hats! So funny and totally unintentional.

cable hat

I have a couple projects in progress, including the Vernon Hat from the latest issue of Interweave Knits. I am loving this issue and want to make absolutely everything, but I’m starting small. I feel like I need at least one new hat for myself every winter!

Vernon hat

Lastly, I’m still working on the Second Story Tee by Debbie O’Neill (below) and with any luck, will finish that up soon. I decided to do it in a deep wine burgundy color, since I have a lot of blue in my closet right now. I’m hoping it turns out okay!

I’m always looking for inspiration and people to make things for. I cast on a new hat and my husband asks, “who is that going to be for?” I gift hats or gloves almost every year, and it gets harder and harder to figure out who to give them away to, so I often end up just keeping them and wearing a different hat every day. What did I do when I lived in sunny California? At least Boston has cold knit-appropriate weather.

I wish everyone a happy, healthy, and productive 2016! I welcome ideas for knitting projects and suggestions, as I dip my toes into writing patterns (pretty roughly) and making new things.

Some projects I have in mind for 2016 include:

  1. Pot holders/trivets
  2. more hats!
  3. An arm-knit blanket or pillow cover
  4. Baby hats and blankets for expecting friends!
  5. Another sweater?

What projects are you casting on in 2016?


Cozy 20-minute Arm-Knit Scarf

I can’t believe the holiday season is finally here! I miss all the beautiful fall colors already, and I’m not quite ready for snow. Where did the time go? 2015-10-27 14.05.49

In the meantime there’s been Thanksgiving! I always have a Friendsgiving since I live so far from my family and usually see them at Christmas, so it was fun to see friends again. I never cook the turkey, and only contribute in the form of pie. This year it was the Pecan Pie from Smitten Kitchen.

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While I’ve been meaning to just sit down and brainstorm some knit gifts for the holidays (hats, hats, and more hats!), what I most wanted was a fast and easy project. I’ve heard about arm-knitting before, but I had never learned. I thought it was about time! In less than one episode of Jessica Jones, I whipped up a simple infinity scarf:

arm knit 1

Yarn: Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick in Starlight.arm knit 2

arm knit4To learn, I used this online tutorial from Simply Maggie, but if you are not in to the videos and prefer pictures only, this blog post about arm knitting from Flax and Twine is also great. You’ll notice that most of these scarves double the yarn to create a thicker scarf, using two skeins at once. I only used one skein (and not even the entire ball) for mine, but I liked the looser look of the knit:

arm knit

Yarn: 1 skein Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick in Starlight, or another super bulky yarn.


Cast On 8 stitches using long-tail cast on.

Arm-Knit until piece can wrap three times comfortably around your neck, or measures approximately 80 inches.

Cast off, leave about a foot long tail. Use the tail to join the two ends of your scarf (making it an infinity scarf) by sewing the two ends together with the yarn. Weave in remaining ends.

This pattern can be customized to double the yarn or increase the width with the number of stitches. It was a great quick activity and I would totally make it again!

Happy Holidays!!



Cross-Over Knitted Headband: Free Pattern

This weekend is House of Cards binge weekend, and I’m already spending more time than is recommended in front of the TV. It’s also snowing (again) outside, and as much as people tell me spring is just around the corner, I’m still in the mood for cozy knits, hot tea, and soup.

And so, for the millionth time, I’m making an earwarmer/headband to keep toasty on my long commutes. In fact, it’s my commutes that gave me the idea for this cross-over turban style headband, since I’ve seen it worn by so many stylish ladies on the subway that I wanted one myself.

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I had some extra yarn left over from the last hat I made, and three House of Cards episodes later, I whipped up this headband. It’s fully reversible and mostly very easy, the only tricky part is getting the cross-over, but I’ll do my best to explain. For a slightly thicker version shown in blue, use the number of stitches in parentheses.

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  • 3 Size 8 Double Pointed Needles
  • Lion Brand Yarns Heartland in Black Canyon

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Cast On 24 stitches on one DPN (28 for a slightly thicker headband).

Row 1: Slip 1 knitwise *K2, P2* Repeat from star to last 3 sts, K3.

Row 2: Slip 1 Purlwise *P2, K2* Repeat from star to last 3 sts, P3.

Work in Rows 1-2 for a rib pattern until the band measures half of your head, for me that was 9.5 inches. At this point, you’re ready to work the cross-over.

Cross-over: Work in pattern for 12(14) sts then turn work, leaving 12(14) unworked sts on one DPN and use a third DPN to work those first 12(14) sts in pattern in the opposite direction to end. Next row, turn and work the same 12(14) sts again in pattern, so you are back in the middle of the work, and that half of your headband is now longer than the other half. This longer section will be crossed over. Next, (and this is the tricky part) cross the longer 12(14) stitch section over the shorter section, being careful not to twist, and transfer the the sts from the longer section onto the needle containing the other 12(14) sts by putting the last stitch on the section being transferred in front of the other 12(14) sts, and working backwards until all you have all 24(28) sts on one DPN. At this point, your yarn should be on the outside.

Next Row: Continue to work in pattern straight across the twist, taking care not to twist the the work further. Continue in pattern until the headband fits your head, for me, another 9.5 inches. The headband will stretch, so I usually make it a little tight: about 1 inch shorter than the true diameter of my head.

For the cast off, there are several ways finish. You can simply cast off and then sew the ends together, or you can try the three needle bind-off, which casts off and binds the ends together in one.

Cast Off: Use your third DPN to pick up 24 (28) stitches at the finished end of your headband, to which you will join the end you’re working. Put the ends together and hold the needles together in your left hand as normal, except you have two needles instead of one. Start your cast off by knitting through both the first stitch on your active needle and the stitch on the second needle containing the picked up stitches, so that you are knitting both together as one. Continue this way and cast off as normal, breaking yarn and weaving in ends.

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I could make this in so many different colors and patterns, and different thicknesses too. I know spring is just around the corner, but from here it sure still feels like winter! So until the snow stops falling, the binge watching and knitting cycle will continue. Happy Sunday!

Fuzzy Crochet Pillow Cover DIY

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With the snow making it difficult to go anywhere (even down my porch stairs) and a winter seeming like it will never end, I took a critical eye to the odds and ends of fabric and yarn I have laying around and tried to think of something to DIY.

When I was first getting interested in sewing, I was making pillow throw covers like crazy, mostly because they were square shaped and did a lot to brighten up a room. Fast forward five years (or more??) and I still have the same floral fabric covered pillows gracing my couch in severe need of a makeover.

Recently, I got a bunch of fuzzy chenille yarn that I thought would be great for some kind of fuzzy home accessory, like a pillow or throw blanket. The yarn didn’t have much stretch unfortunately, so after knitting a few rows I found it pretty difficult to work with. I decided to get out my hardly used crochet hooks and give that a go. I’m not the biggest crocheter, but I settled on crocheting a removable slip cover for one of my couch pillows.

While it soon became apparent that I didn’t have enough yarn to crochet all the way around the whole pillow, I dug up some fat quarters I had picked up ages ago at the fabric store, and it happened to be just the right size to fill in the back of the pillow. Here’s how it came out:

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As you can see, I added buttons to one edge, so the slipcover is completely removable. The black and white ikat fabric gives it some graphic boldness that stands out against the boring khaki that is our couch. A short tutorial is below.

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1. I began by chaining 55 loops (approximate width of my pillow) and then single crochet and double crochet rows until I had a square the approximate size of the pillow I wanted to cover. Any size hook works for this, but I used an I/9-5.5mm.

2. Next, I pinned the fabric to my crochet square, making sure my desired pillow fit inside first.

3. I sewed 3 of the 4 edges of the crochet piece to the fabric, then continued sewing along the last edge of the fabric to leave a flap that will be the opening for my pillow to fit inside and then fold over to close.

4. I found some buttons that matched the color scheme of the fabric/yarn and positioned four equally spaced along the fabric, then hand-sewed them in place.

5. Next, I single crocheted down the exposed edge of the cover, single crocheting a loop when I approached a button, so that the loops would hold the buttons in place and close the edge over the pillow i was about to put inside.

6. Finishing up, I put the pillow inside and looped all the buttons closed!

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I love combining fabric and knits, and I think this was a great starting project to get more comfortable with my new sewing machine. I also don’t crochet that often, so it was fun to do something different! Since the snow won’t stop coming either, I’m going to have to think of many more DIY projects to do so the cabin fever doesn’t set in.

What’s your favorite indoor activity?

Easy Reversible Unisex Beanie Pattern

With chilly January already here, it’s nice to have a couple warm hats in heavy rotation. I took a look at the ones I wear most, and I realized they are often the most simple, in muted colors that can be paired with almost anything in my closet. I am almost always in the mood to make hats, and while I have more than I can count hanging around the house, my husband had precious few he could just grab and go. That seemed like enough of an excuse for me to cook up another pattern.

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The great things about this hat are that it’s reversible, can be made in almost any color with medium to chunky yarn. It can be customized by adding a pom-pom to the top (or two!) and even made with stripes by alternating contrasting colors (of the same weight yarn) for each 6-row panel of checkerboard stitch. The possibilities are endless!


1 Skein Lion Brand Yarns Heartland in Black Canyon*

*alternative: any 5z/142g medium weight yarn of approximately 251yds

1 pair of size US 10 (6.00mm) double pointed needles, or equivalent circular needle (12 inch)

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CO= cast on

K2tog= knit two together

P2tog= purl two together

Stitch Guide: Checkerboard Stitch

Rows 1-3: K2, P2

Row 4-6: P2, K2

Repeat Rows 1-6 for pattern


CO 76 Stitches (19 stitches on 4 dpn’s) using the Long Tail Cast On method (Note: if using a circular needle, joining the ends might be tight, but it will fit).

Rows 1-5:  *K1P1,* repeat from * until end (Rib stitch). Continue for 5 rows or until work is 1 inch from CO

Next Row: Begin Checkerboard Stitch

Repeat Rows 1-6 of Checkerboard Pattern six times, or until work measures 8 inches from CO


Row 1: *K2tog, P2tog,* Repeat from * until end (38 sts remaining)

Row 2: *K1, P1,* Repeat from * to end

Row 3: *K2tog,* Repeat from * to end (19 sts remaining)

Row 4: *K2tog* K1. Repeat from * to end (10 sts remaining)

Row 5: Knit. Break yarn and draw through remaining stitches, tie off and weave in ends

I steal his hat to wear once in a while…

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