The ministry of silly hats

I don’t know about where you’re living but here the weather is slowly becoming more rainy and less warm, which must mean Fall is approaching. Not to alarm you or anything but it is almost September after all. And the beginning of Fall marks the beginning of knitting season starting again (unless you are like me, when every season is knitting season). Usually it is a good idea to slowly break into knitting season by starting off with some small things that will help cope with the approaching colder weather. In other words, it’s time to start knitting hats! And if there is one thing I really love it is silly hats, the sillier the better. So to mark this occasion I’ve compiled a list of the best silly hat knitting patterns. And let me start by saying that it is amazing just how many silly hat patterns are in existence. Major props to all the quirky knitters out there for letting their inner silly hat fantasies out into the open!

5. Fish (dead or alive) by Thelma Egberts
This hat is amazingly silly, yet still amazingly wearable (or maybe that is just me actually). The main thing I like about it is the many modifications you can make with it. Colour-wise you can go in any sort of direction. Maybe you feel like trout, or maybe like salmon, and you can directly work this into your new favourite hat. Oh and the pattern is free!

deadfish

4. Brain by Alana Noritake
Besides being a fanatic knitter I’m actually also a PhD student. And can you guess what field my PhD is in? Yes, it’s neuroscience. So anything combining my day job and my favourite hobby makes me super happy. If I’d wear this to work it’d get stolen within seconds. The only problem I would have with knitting this hat is that I would have to align the gyri and sulci correctly, which is probably impossible. So maybe I better skip on this one. Still, this hat is amazing!

brainhat  3. Duck hat by Emily Ringelman
Better not wear this during hunting season! I love that the earflaps are actually the little duck feat, very cleverly done. The only way to make this hat any better if is the duck would actually quack.

duckhat

2. Unicorn by Brittany Tyler
It has a rainbow coloured mane, it has a horn, what more can I say? This hat will keep your head warm and fabulous. And there’s even little horse ears, so cute! unicornhat

1. Bearded Viking Helmet by Holly Priestley
As far as silly hats go, this is the one that for me takes the cake. And besides the hat being silly I’d also like to point out the practical point of it, because not only will you have a warm head, you will also have a comfortably warm beard area, for those of us that are a bit challenged in the natural beard department (a.k.a. women). Plus, you will be feared far and wide thanks to your instant transformation into fierce viking.

beardedvikinghelmet

Alpine Knitting


AlpKnitting
I’m on a little holiday in the Swiss Alps getting in some relaxation time before it gets busier at work again in September. We’re staying in a wooden cabin on a lovely horse ranch right in the mountains and so far I’ve learned that apparently I am incredibly allergic to horses and/or hay. Alas, one very squeaky night, a trip to the local pharmacy and some antihistamine tablets later and I am finally able to fully enjoy some mountain air and sights.

And did you know there are so many wonderful woolly creatures in the Alps? I was expecting the cows, horses and sheep, but during a hike today we’ve met plenty of lamas, alpacas, donkeys and even reindeer!
AlpsHorse swissalpaca AlpReindeer AlpSheep2 AlpDonkey AlpsLama

I haven’t gotten a lot of knitting done yet, although that spot on the rocking chair in front of our cabin is absolutely perfect for it. There are supposed to be some rainy days coming up, so we’re trying to get in as much outdoor activities as we can right now. And then when the rain comes we can get cozy in the cabin and I’ll knit a bit more. Nonetheless my New Girl skirt has seen good progress since I cast on. I just started the bottom rim of the skirt, which is done in daisy stitch. Once I’m finished with that I ‘just’ have to knit the pockets, weave in the elastic band and weave in all ends and voila, I’ll have a skirt. Although I’m still a bit dubious about the colour choice (somehow it screams sports team colours at me) I cannot wait to see the end result.
AlpKnitting2

A new home for my yarn

yarn3 I have a confession to make; up until last week my stash was homeless. It’s been only around 5 years since I started taking knitting more seriously, and back in the day I only had the odd ball of (acrylic) yarn and acouple of needles lying around. It was hard to imagine I would ever buy more yarn than I could use up immediately. Boy, was I naive. yarn1

In contrast to my stash, which is still pretty young, I’ve always been quite fanatic about buying books. The book buying has always been at a speed that I could not possible keep up with, reading wise. Just the pure joy of buying a new book, leafing through it in the book shop, occasionally smelling it (yes I do that), and then proudly storing it away in your book case (in alphabetical order of course). If I’d stop buying books nows, I’d probably could happily read on a couple of years.

yarn4 And now the same has happened with yarn. The squishing, selecting colours, and maybe occasionally smelling it (yes I do that). Especially sock yarn is a weakness for me, it’s usually just one or two skeins so it is easily bought. And I do love my sock yarn stash so much (picture above is just the sock yarn)! yarn2

When I started to get more into knitting, I started putting my yarn and materials in cardboard boxes or bags. The stash was spread all over the house and there was no order in it whatsoever. As I said, my yarn was homeless. Lately however the chaos of the boxes and bags lying around everywhere and the lack of order started to annoy me to no end. So now I’ve proudly created a home for it in the form of drawers in a dresser. And I have to say it is such a relief to easily find things!

How about you, do you have a system for organising your stash?

New Project, New Girl

zauberball
My current number of works in progress is below 5, which in my world means that it is perfectly acceptable to cast on something new. As you might remember from my top 5 favourite skirt patterns I’ve been dying to cast on the New Girl skirt. And since the weather is still too hot for proper winter knits the timing seems perfect.

Pattern: New Girl
Yarn: Schoppel Wolle Zauberball Stärke 6 in Dottergelb & Petrol

newgirl
You might think dark green and yellow is a bit of an odd colour combination, and I fully agree. Somehow when I purchased this yarn a while back I thought this a very logical combination, but now I don’t see it anymore. But since it made sense to me at one point, I’m sure it will come back. The green is knitting up nicely so far, although the yarn is a bit too splitty for my taste.

As for the pattern, it’s the perfect mindless tv knit and it has been great for train and car travel. I’m nearing the bit where I have to start thinking about the pockets, but until then it’s just plain old stockinette stitch. Just what I needed after the constant counting and thinking required for my Stormborn shawl.

Stormborn

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It’s done, it’s done! Yesterday I finished the Stormborn shawl from the Game of Thrones Mystery Knit Along and I am so pleased with it!

Yarn: Tibetan Cloud Fingering
Pattern: Stormborn Shawl

Stormborn1 Stormborn3

Since this was a mystery knit along I didn’t know what the pattern would be, and I totally lucked out with my yarn colour choice. The green suits the dragon scales very well and in general I love the colour. After a wash and a block the yarn is also very soft. The only problem I had with it was that the thread thickness seems to vary quite a lot, and although that in itself isn’t so much of a problem, the fact that the yarn broke on me twice in the thin parts is. Both times it gave me a mini heart-attack, and in general I prefer my knitting without any kind of heart attack. I wasn’t sure how much yarn I would need for the shawl, and despite it’s name the weight does not seem to be fingering. So of the two skeins (a whopping 900 meters, 100 grams) that I bought I still have 43 grams left. Which is more than enough to do another project!

Stormborn6

The pattern is great as well, it’s interesting enough to keep you motivated up until the end, but repetitive enough to not have to constantly rip back because of a counting mistake. Plus the end result is huuuge, and I’m all for huge shawls. And I can totally picture Daenerys rocking this, of the House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of Meereen, Queen of the Andals and the Rhoynar and the First Men etc. etc. etc.