Category Archives: Fiber Artistry and Equipment

Girl’s Day Out

Today is totally abysmal. The windows on 3 sides of the house are getting rained on, as the wind can not decide which way to blow. Being retired, we find ourselves together nearly 24/7, unless I venture off to provide grandmom or mom support with one of our kids or grands and leave hubby to doggy and chicken sit. I belong to two groups, a knitting group and a spinning group and could, if other scheduling doesn’t get in the way, go out one evening and one afternoon each week solo. It doesn’t happen as often as I thought it would as we let other scheduling issues interfere, such as riding lessons together or sessions with the canine behaviorist that is helping us resocialize the big guy with other dogs that he doesn’t already know.
Several years ago, one of my two favorite indie dyers, accidentally created a colorway of yarn that she only had a few skeins. I fell in love with it at a trunk show. She was making a hat out of a skein of it and I bought the last one she had. With that yarn, I created a pattern for a hat that has become my favorite winter hat. It has a story that goes with it and as a result, a local restaurant is called the Mexican hat stealing place. I inadvertently left the hat on the seat when we checked out, realized it and returned immediately to retrieve it, to be told “No hat.” I asked the waiter, the busboy, and the manager and left devastated over it’s loss. Hubby offered to go in and I initially said no, but changed my mind. He approached someone and was given the same answer. Being a retired lawyer, he stated to them that it was one thing to keep something that was left in the restaurant, but it was another issue when the owner returned for it and was told it wasn’t there, that it then became a police matter. The hat reappeared almost instantly and was returned to me. Needless to say, I am much more careful with it now when I go out.
I have wanted to knit a scarf to go with the hat and preferred to knit it with yarn dyed again by Natasha at Unplanned Peacock ( She has tried a couple of times and could not duplicate the color. Her hat had been destroyed by her puppy, so she only had a photo of mine to try to match and the photo showed the red, not true to its beautiful rich tone. This late summer, I asked her if she could just pick out a variegated yarn that picked up the color. She took the challenge to again try to recreate the original color. We have messaged back and forth with photos and discussions for several weeks and a few days ago, she let me know that she thought she had hit the color. We decided to have a girl’s day out, meet up at a restaurant part of the way between our houses that are almost 2 hours apart. After a delightful social time, good food and some visiting, we walked down the town street to The Wooly Jumper ( ), the yarn shop in that town and visited with the owner, Michelle, and had more social time. Natasha went and got the box with the yarn she had dyed for me and a selection of variegated yarns from her collection to try to match my hat, which I had taken with me.
I am excited that she hit it spot on and now I am challenged to design a scarf or shawlette to go with the Ruby Hat. It was a miserable drive in rain and fog home, but my enjoyment and excitment were not tempered.

“Turtle on the Half Shell”

For my farm readers, this one is a craft post.
Choose your turtle by the color of the mask. This hat was engineered after seeing a picture of a similar hat at the request of my Daughter in law as part of Halloween costumes for grandchildren. Now I just need a little girl or boy head to model it on instead of a doll.

Size 20” head and 22” head. Larger size is in parenthesis.
The hat is a knit beanie, the mask is crochet, both using Ella Rae Superwash or a similar worsted weight yarn. It can be knit on circular or double point needles.
CO= cast on
K= knit
K2tog= knit 2 together
Cast on 88 (100) stitches using a stretchy cast on such as long tail on a US 7 16” circular or double points. Join to knit in the round, placing a marker at the beginning of the row. Knit 2 X 2 rib for one inch, continue in stockinette stitch for 4 ½ (5 ½) inches. On the next round, place a marker after 11 (10)stitches and each multiple of 11 (10).
To complete the top of the hat, you will knit the following decrease pattern, switching to magic loop, two circs or double points when needed.
Row 1: *Knit 9 (8), K2tog* repeat to end of row
Row 2 and each subsequent even row: Knit
Row 3: *Knit 8 (7), K2tog* repeat to end of row
Row 5: *Knit 7 (6), K2tog* repeat to end of row
Row 7: *Knit 6 (5), K2tog* repeat to end of row
Row 9: *Knit 5 (4), K2tog* repeat to end of row
Row 11: *Knit 3 (1), K2tog* repeat to end of row
Row 13: *Knit 1, K2tog* repeat to end of row (skip for larger size)
Row 14: *K2tog* repeat to end of row (repeat this row for larger size)
Cut 6” tail and draw through remaining stitches. Secure tail on the inside of hat.
SC= single crochet
HDC= half double crochet
Make 2
With size G hook, chain 15 stitches, join with slip stitch. Chain 1 (does not count as stitch), 25 HDC in ring. Chain 2 and join to first HDC with slip stitch. HDC in next 10 stitches, 2 SC in each of the next 5 stitches, HDC in next 10 stitches. Join with slip stitch, cut off tail and pull through last stitch. Sew the two eyepieces together at the bridge connecting about 4 stitches.
For the ties: Pick up the first single crochet on the outside edge of the mask, chain 2, HDC in the next 4 stitches, chain 2, turn and HDC in the next 4 stitches. Repeat until tie is the length you desire. Repeat on the other side of the mask.
To assemble. Place the top of the mask, wrong side out, even with the bottom of the ribbing. Using coordinating thread, attach 3 or 4 stitches to the ribbing. The mask can be worn flipped up on the hat or down over the eyes.

Copywrite 2013 by Fran Stafford. Please feel free to use this pattern, to sell objects made from this pattern, but do not sell or share the pattern without permission.

Summer craftiness

My new spinning stool, made especially for me by my wonderful brother.
Currently, I’m spinning a David Simpson’s Fiber Blends, colorway Tidal Pool, 95% Merino Wool 5% Silk. There are 3 1/3 oz. that is aiming to be a light worsted, project undecided.
The summer knit is a black lace sweater. This is a reknit for daughter after an unfortunate accident terminated the original. My other summer knit is a sock pattern that is my first toe up pattern and I started them last February when we flew to Colorado to ski. Needless to say, they haven’t been a priority.